CBD is found in both the drug-producing cannabis indica and hemp-producingcannabis sativa. Hemp CBD oil is extracted from industrial hemp, the c. sativaspecies of cannabis, which produces nearly none of the cannabinoid Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but does produce some amount of the cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol makes up about 40% of hemp extracts and has been clinically studied internationally for years.
CBD can be taken orally for anxiety, bipolar disorder, dystonia, seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. It can also be inhaled to help people quit smoking.
How CBD Works
Modern science has discovered that our bodies are hard-wired with a system of cannabinoid receptors, known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). When these receptors are activated, they permit 2-way communication between body systems. According to prominent Cannabis physician and clinical researcher Dr. William Courtney, non-psychoactive CBD should be considered a dietary essential, noting that much of the research in the field comes from and is sponsored by the United States government.
Cannabidiol has antipsychotic effects. The exact cause for these effects is not clear, however CBD seems to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function.
Cannabidiol might also block some of the psychoactive effects of THC.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) A prescription-only nasal spray product (Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals) containing both 9-delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol has been shown to be effective for improving pain, muscle-tightness, and urination frequency in people with MS. This product is used in over 25 countries outside of the United States. But there is inconsistent evidence on the effectiveness of cannabidiol for symptoms of multiple sclerosis when it is used alone. Some early research suggests that using a cannabidiol spray under the tongue might improve pain and muscle tightness, but not muscle spasms, tiredness, bladder control, mobility, or well-being and quality of life in patients with MS.
- Bipolar disorder Early reports suggest that taking cannabidiol daily improves manic episodes in people with bipolar disorders.
- A muscle disorder called dystonia Early research suggests that taking cannabidiol daily for 6 weeks improves dystonia by 20% to 50% in some people.
- Epilepsy Research suggests that taking cannabidiol daily for up to 18 weeks reduces seizures.
- Huntington’s disease Early research shows that taking cannabidiol daily improves Huntington’s disease symptoms.
- Insomnia Early research suggests that taking cannabidiol 160 mg before bed improves sleep time in people with insomnia. But lower doses do not have this effect.
- Parkinson’s disease Research shows that taking cannabidiol daily for 4 weeks improves psychotic symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease and psychosis. But taking a specific cannabis extract (Cannador) that contains THC and cannabidiol does not appear to improve involuntary muscle movements caused by the anti-Parkinson’s drug levodopa in people with Parkinson’s disease.
- Schizophrenia Research on the use of cannabidiol for psychotic symptoms in people with schizophrenia is mixed. Some early research suggests that taking cannabidiol four times daily for 4 weeks improves psychotic symptoms and might be as effective as the antipsychotic medication amisulpride. But other early research suggests that taking cannabidiol for 14 days is not beneficial. The mixed results might be related to the cannabidiol dose used and duration of treatment.
- Quitting smoking Research suggests that inhaling cannabidiol with an inhaler for one week might reduce the number of cigarettes smoked by about 40% compared to baseline.
- Social anxiety disorder Research shows that taking cannabidiol 300 mg daily improves anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder. But other early research suggests that taking a higher dose (400-600 mg) may improve anxiety associated with public speaking or medical imaging test in people with SAD.
- Cancer Research suggests that taking cannabidiol daily improves cancer symptoms and helps reduce tumor growth.
Side Effects & Safety
Cannabidiol is safe when taken appropriately by mouth in adults. Cannabidiol doses of up to 300 mg daily have been used safely for more than 6 months. Higher doses of 1200-1500 mg daily have been used safely for up to 4 weeks. Cannabidiol sprays used under the tongue have been used in doses of 2.5 mg for up to 2 weeks.
Some have reported side effects of cannabidiol include dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness, and drowsiness.
No overdoses have ever been reported.
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