Over the past few years, increasing public and political pressure has supported legalization of medical marijuana. One of the main thrusts in this effort has related to the treatment of refractory epilepsy—especially in children with Dravet syndrome—using cannabidiol (CBD). Despite initiatives in numerous states to at least legalize possession of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, little published evidence is available to prove or disprove the efficacy and safety of CBD in patients with epilepsy. This review highlights some of the basic science theory behind the use of CBD, summarizes published data on clinical use of CBD for epilepsy, and highlights issues related to the use of currently available CBD products.
Success stories like Oliver’s are everywhere, but there’s not a lot of data to back up those results. That’s because CBD comes from cannabis and, like nearly all other parts of the plant, is categorized by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule 1 drug—the most restrictive classification. (Others on that list: heroin, Ecstasy, and peyote.) This classification, which cannabis advocates have tried for years to change, keeps cannabis-derived products, including CBD, from being properly studied in the U.S.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Fat cells in your body take on the identity of being “white colored” fats or brown and beige colored fats. Your body’s white colored fats will be the ones that will store energy while the brown fats will be the ones to burn the fat. CBD helps aid your body in this process by turning more of your white colored fats brown, amplifying your body’s ability to burn fat.
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.
But because all these products are illegal according to the federal government, cannabis advocates are cautious. “By and large, the federal government is looking the other way,” says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the Washington, DC–based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), but until federal laws are changed, “this administration or a future one could crack down on people who produce, manufacture, or use CBD, and the law would be on its side.”
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Both varieties contain CBD and THC (albeit at different levels), which are the two primary compounds in the Cannabis sativa plant. The Cannabis plant is also very diverse, as it can grow in many different forms. The most common types are Sativa and Indica, but there are more, with each type having dozens – if not hundreds – of different adaptations and different ratios of active compounds, also known as cannabinoids.
Cannabidiol pharmacological effects are mediated through G protein coupled receptors, cannabinoid type I (CB1) and cannabinoid type II (CB2), which are highly expressed in the hippocampus and other parts of the central nervous system (2). When activated, CB1 receptors inhibit synaptic transmission through action on voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels, which are known to modulate epileptiform and seizure activity (3). CB2 receptors are primarily expressed in the immune system and have limited expression in the central nervous system. The effects of CBD are CB2 receptor independent (3).
Is CBD Legal? Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Check your state's laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.
CBD’s effect on homeostasis is believed to be why those in need of nutrition can experience an appetite increase and those with excess weight can experience an appetite decrease. The reason for this is that CBD is an adaptogen. Referred to by some scientists as “the boy scout molecule” because it always does the right thing in any given situation. The Journal of Psychopharmacology tested this theory on rats in 2012. The researchers wanted to see how three common cannabinoids, including CBN, CBD, and CBG, affected the appetite of the rats. The study concluded that both CBD and CBG worked to reduce the rat’s appetite.
Correcting a calorie excess with a calorie deficit sometimes works for weight loss, but it can be difficult. First of all, reducing calories leaves people feeling hungry, which can be incredibly uncomfortable. Second of all, weight gain can cause changes to hormone levels and balance, metabolic patterns, inflammation status, and balance within the endocannabinoid system.
High blood pressure is a globally ubiquitous issue. This study explores the connection between CBD and a reduction in blood pressure. It is particularly unique as it is noted that “there are no dedicated studies in humans to date, to our knowledge, looking at the effect of CBD on either resting cardiovascular measurement or on the responses to stress, with continuous monitoring of CV parameters.”
While this should by no means be taken as direct clinical evidence that CBD for weight loss is a tried-and-true remedy for obesity, the studies mentioned above should certainly warrant more investigation into the topic. And to be sure, many folks are already using CBD products to help control their appetite and lose weight. Do a little research online for customer feedback and reviews, and you’ll see what we mean.
While animal experimental data clearly suggest a potential benefit, supportive clinical data are quite sparse. In a case-control study of 308 cases of new onset seizures, Brust and colleagues found that marijuana use was significantly less prevalent among men who had unprovoked seizures compared to case controls (9). This difference was not significant in women. The authors suggest a potential protective effect against seizures with marijuana use; however, this should be considered speculative.
The reason so many people are interested in cannabis products that don’t make them high, proponents say, is that CBD helps with everything from pain and nausea to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and dementia. CBD is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antibacterial, immunosuppressive, and more, says Joseph Cohen, DO, a cannabis doctor in Boulder, CO.
Authors: Leinwand, Kristina L. DO; Gerich, Mark E. MD; Hoffenberg, Edward J. MD; Collins, Colm B. PhD; National Institutes of Health T32 Institutional Training Grant in Pediatric Gastroenterology; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
I have read about studies from Europe (not very specific I know) that suggest CBD might work better for some people if combined with some level of THC. Also, the getting high part can be helpful, although not for everybody, of course. A second point – I don’t hear very much about CBD eliminating or almost eliminating pain for people with severe pain. Helpful, but, so far at least, it doesn’t seem that CBDs can replace opioids or substantially reduce pain for all chronic pain patients. Maybe someday.
17. Deiana S, Watanabe A, Yamasaki Y, Amada N, Arthur M, Fleming S, Woodcock H, Dorward P, Pigliacampo B, Close S, Platt B, Riedel G. Plasma and brain pharmacokinetic profile of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarine (CBDV), 9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabigerol (CBG) in rats and mice following oral and intraperitoneal administration and CBD action on obsessive–compulsive behavior. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2012;219:859–873. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
Scientists have only scraped the tip of the iceberg so far. The DEA has recently removed CBD from its list of controlled substances. This significant event paves the way for government-funded grants that will allow some of the best minds in the world study cannabidiol’s effect on the human body. It will be exciting to see what is uncovered in the years to come. For the time being, evidence points to CBD’s use as a valuable tool for losing weight. And because it is safe and readily available in most places (check your own state to be sure), it is a simple way of supplementing your health as you attempt to shed unwanted pounds.
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Neuroendocrinology has suggested that the ECS is capable of stimulating specific areas of the body involved in metabolism, such as the skeletal muscles and GI tract. This happens due to the presence of anandamide and 2-AG, which are two naturally-occurring compounds in the body that interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
It makes no sense to me that something that helps with anxiety has an irritability side effect – as a lot of my anxiety is co-mingled naturally with irritability. Further, I have noticed none of these side effects, given that if you become fatigued or sleepy, you adjust dose the next day. So I don’t call that a side effect – rather – an effect of taking too much.
The endocannabinoid system appears to have an essential role in regulating basic human functions like sleep, eating, metabolism, and more. When this system is not functioning correctly, weight gain can occur. CBD helps to restore homeostasis to the cells of the body and can be very useful in reducing fat accumulation and subsequent health risks related to excess body weight.
CBD and other cannabinoids attach to specific receptors in the body found within what is referred to as the endocannabinoid system. In fact, up until recently, scientists didn’t know that these cannabinoids are actually naturally produced in humans and most animals. Some researchers speculate that an endocannabinoid deficiency may be the cause of many disorders and conditions. When CBD is introduced into the body, it binds to receptor cells called CB1 and CB2 receptors.
These are the best CBD oil extracts, hemp edibles, balms and e-liquids that are available to buy in the UK, clearly listed by total CBD content (see red circles above each product). We feature only products we've tried ourselves and know are top of the range, both in terms of purity and strength. You can be assured that you are receiving a CBD oil from ethical UK or European suppliers who use organic crops and supercritical CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction ensures you receive a full-spectrum product and benefit from the entourage effect. All of these products are legal (less than 0.2% THC content) and fully certified.
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Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.