The legality of CBD (cannabidiol) oil has been a subject of confusion and misinformation. Simply put, CBD oil from industrial hemp is perfectly legal in all 50 states as long as it is sold as a supplement. In other words, it cannot claim to cure or remedy any ailment.
The information on what CBD oil can do is spreading through many internet articles and sites that are easily accessible to the public. This can be a boon for many who suffer from various forms of anxiety but reside in states that do not permit medical marijuana use.
A 2011 Brazilian human study demonstrated efficacy without side effects for anxiety using CBD only. Prior to the human study, an animal (mouse) study demonstrate the same results.
Anxiety is an umbrella term that covers several variations of nervous system disorders involving situations that trigger often overwhelming fear, panic attacks, dread, depression. PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) that many military veterans suffer from.
A large segment of our society, over 25 percent, suffers from mild to debilitating aspects of anxiety. CBD’s legality and access would be of great value to them as well as the almost 8 million PTSD sufferers.
This Human CBD for Anxiety Study
This Brazilian CBD study seems to have been one of those phantom studies not picked up until the thriving cannabis internet media came upon it recently. It was published by the journal Neuropharmacology May 11, 2011.
CBD (cannabidiol) is the second most abundant cannabinoid of over 100 cannabinoids discovered so far in the cannabis sativa plant. The other most abundant is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol sometimes differentiated as Delta 8 or 9), which is the cannabinoid that creates psychotropic effects (the high and increased awareness) as well as offering several medicinal properties for many diseases and disorders.
They split 24 people into two equal groups of people experiencing SAD (social anxiety disorder) who had not received any treatment yet. Social anxiety disorder is probably the most common variation of anxiety there is.
The final 24 subjects were derived from screening applicants to ensure none had received any type of pharmacological treatment or psychological counseling for their SAD. Applicants with any type of chronic disease, including major psychiatric disorders, were excluded from the study as were those who had a history of drug abuse.
None of the study participants smoked tobacco, and none had used marijuana more than five times in their life. None had used marijuana at all in the last year.
A public speaking event was rigged, which normally SAD people will shun completely or fall apart in their attempts at delivering. Twelve were given placebo capsules (control group), and the other 12 were given capsules containing 600 milligrams (mg) of 99.9 (or thereabouts) percent pure CBD (cannabidiol).
The 600 mg amount is considered the maximum dosage needed for anxiety according to prior testing that relied on physiological monitoring without the challenge of public speaking. Both placebo and CBD doses were given an hour before each subject’s speech.
In addition to observations of each speaker, each without knowing which pill was taken, testing was performed on both placebo and treatment subjects with the following conclusions:
Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the control group as assessed [by various measurements and tests available in the study’s full text.]
Therefore, the effects of a single dose of CBD, observed in this study in the face of one of the main SAD’s phobic stimuli [public speaking], is a promising indication of a rapid onset of therapeutic effect in patients with SAD. (Source)
The researchers cited other studies including animal studies and studies that involved testing and instrument monitoring studies without a dramatic phobic stimulus such as public speaking. They also discussed how some SAD victims often “self-medicate” with whole plant cannabis containing THC and experience an intensified anxiety event or paranoia.
The purpose of this study was to prove if CDC without THC was sufficient to offer anxiety relief in challenging situations, the prospect of a possible paranoia event would be avoided. THC can occasionally cause anxiety or paranoia among even non-SAD folks, especially those who are new to using marijuana medically or otherwise.
After pointing out the pharmaceutical medications for anxiety with little benefit and several adverse side effects, the study authors stated:
CBD has important advantages in comparison with the currently available pharmacological agents for the treatment of SAD, such as an early onset of action and lack of important side effects both with acute and chronic administration to healthy subjects
Thus, because of the absence of psychoactive or cognitive effects, to its safety and tolerability profiles, and to its broad pharmacological spectrum, CBD is possibly the cannabinoid that is most likely to have initial findings in anxiety translated into clinical practice.
Commentary on CBD
The CBD this study used was not synthetic. But the 99.9 percent “pure” label used by the researchers indicates their CBD produced from natural hemp was probably an isolate.
A quick search on the researchers’ CBD sources located in Britain and Germany satisfied any concerns of whether the CBD was synthetic or extracted from natural sources. Both companies deal in herbal products.
It’s argued by some that isolates lack an entourage effect, a synergistic effect from combinations of other cannabinoids and terpenes contained in full spectrum or whole plant hemp. Thus these isolates may not satisfy everyone’s needs at all times.
However, a CBD internet site offers the following explanation:
With CBD isolates, you receive the sole benefits of CBD. In comparison, whole plant hemp extract provides the synergistic benefits of the whole hemp plant.
Whether you choose CBD isolate or whole plant hemp extract is dependent upon your health goals. Both have proven benefit in certain instances. (Source)
Industrial hemp differs from cannabis plants cultivated for use as marijuana. Industrial hemp is cultivated for its fiber for several applications, so it grows stronger and higher outdoors with short growing times.
Marijuana with various levels of THC and all or most of the other cannabinoids are various hybrid strains usually grown indoors with appropriately controlled environments. Instead of hemp’s tall strong stalks, marijuana plants are more like bushes that aren’t as tall, thus less durable than hemp stalks.
There is the argument that CBD extracted from cannabis as marijuana, cultivated with varying levels of low THC, has a stronger medical effect than CBD extracted from industrial hemp.
One of those was “Charlotte’s Web,” which was the subject of positive coverage from mainstream media.
CBD Oil Without the “High” – Medical Marijuana’s New Healing Force the FDA Wants to Restrict
But those containing THC higher than industrial hemp’s almost unnoticeable legal trace amount limit – 0.3 percent (less than half of one percent) of THC is allowed everywhere in the United States and elsewhere.
If you live in a state that allows medical marijuana, you’re free to purchase those CBD compounds that are from marijuana plants.
Those strains contain from one to over ten percent of THC by dry weight.
Outside those states, you can still have actual CBD oil or tinctures extracted from industrial hemp, which by law cannot contain more than 0.3 (point 3) percent THC.
It offers several healing properties beyond most pharmaceutical drugs normally prescribed for many conditions. The one caveat is to make sure the CBD comes from whole plant hemp, not just the seeds, for optimum results.
Some CBD products are from hemp seed oil, which is more nutritional than it is pharmacological. They lack the potency of full spectrum industrial hemp. It’s more complicated than what you might think but worthy of research, if interested.
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