Several complexities of the eCB system may impact upon the potential of CBD and other CB1R-activating agents to serve as anxiolytic drugs. First, CB1R agonists, including THC and AEA, have a biphasic effect: low doses are anxiolytic, but higher doses are ineffective or anxiogenic, in both preclinical models in and humans (reviewed in [33, 45]). This biphasic profile may stem from the capacity of CB1R agonists to also activate TRPV1 receptors when administered at a high, but not low dose, as demonstrated for AEA . Activation of TRPV1 receptors is predominantly anxiogenic, and thus a critical balance of eCB levels, determining CB1 versus TRPV1 activation, is proposed to govern emotional behavior [27, 47]. CBD acts as a TRPV1 agonist at high concentrations, potentially by interfering with AEA inactivation . In addition to dose-dependent activation of TRPV1 channels, the anxiogenic versus anxiolytic balance of CB1R agonists also depends on dynamic factors, including environmental stressors [33, 49].
CBD has also been shown to enhance extinction of contextually conditioned fear responses. Extinction training involves repeated CS exposure in the absence of the US, leading to the formation of a new memory that inhibits fear responses and a decline in freezing over subsequent training sessions. Systemic CBD administration immediately before training markedly enhanced extinction, and this effect depended on CB1R activation, without involvement of TRPV1 receptors . Further studies showed CB1Rs in the infralimbic cortex may be involved in this effect .
You can pretty much consider inflammation to be the freaking bane of our modern, fast-paced, industrialized lifestyles. Of the ten leading causes of mortality in the United States, chronic, low-level inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of at least seven, specifically heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and nephritis.
Enter CBD oil: an anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety compound. I have seen in my own life, and many of my patients' lives, the positive impact CBD oil can have on anxiety. Studies have found that CBD oil is a natural anxiolytic (anxiety calmer) and is effective in treating social anxiety. CBD calms anxiety naturally without the potential side effects of pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications.
When medical marijuana became a thing in Seattle, before full legalization, many of my friends found relief from their darker moods with cannabis. At that time, I didn’t have a MMJ card to buy the medical stuff, but a buddy gave me some CBD oil he wasn’t using and I took it in the winter. The grey Seattle rain wasn’t getting to me anymore. I would smile a lot more and it helped me get through a serious break-up and transition in my life. I remember at the time hearing cases like this: http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2014/02/05/study-suicide-rates-fell-in-states-where-medical-marijuana-is-legal/ . How suicide rates dropped in states where medical and recreational use became legal.
CBD exerts several actions in the brain that explain why it could be effective in treating anxiety. Before we dive in, it’s important to note that most research describing how CBD works is preclinical and based on animal studies. As the saying goes, “mice are not men” — and, results from animal studies don’t always neatly transfer to human therapies. However, preclinical studies provide insights that move us in the right direction:
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Then there is the matter of which part of the plant is used. THC tends to be more concentrated in the leaves of the plant, while CBD in its stem and seeds. It should be noted that these aspects are relative. Some degree of agreement exists that for the purest CBD, the stalk of a hemp plant (varieties of cannabis generally grown for fiber manufacturing, low in THC), or much less often the seeds. Taking into account the fact that CBD supplements are usually in an oil form, one may fathom the origins of the nearly ubiquitous hemp oil dietary supplements.
Cannabidiol oil is extracted from the varieties of cannabis plants that have CBD occurring naturally in large amounts and THC in low amounts. To ensure a high concentration of CBD in the oil, a specialized process is used to extract the compound. The oil contains other compounds like terpenes, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, chlorophyll, vitamins, and phytocannabinoids like cannabigerol, cannabichromene, cannabidivarin, and cannabinol.