In the meantime, some physicians are forging ahead — and cashing in. Joe Cohen is a doctor at Holos Health, a medical marijuana clinic in Boulder. I asked him what CBD is good for, and he read me a long list of conditions: pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, intestinal cramping, anxiety, psychosis, muscle spasms, hyperactive immune systems, nervous system degeneration, elevated blood sugar and more. He also claimed that CBD has anti-cancer properties and can regenerate brain cells and reduce the brain’s levels of amyloid beta — a kind of protein that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. I asked for references, noting that most of these weren’t listed in the Academies report or a similar review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “I think you just have to Google search it,” he said. It’s true that a preliminary study found hints that cannabinoids might reduce beta amyloid proteins in human brain cells, but the study was done in cells grown in a lab, not in people. As for cancer, the FDA sent warning letters last year to four companies that were selling products that claimed to “prevent, diagnose, treat or cure” cancer.
And then there’s cannabidiol (CBD), pictured right, which is one of at least 85 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis, but is a major part of the cannabis plant, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s total cannabinoid extract. Due mostly to its safety and legality, CBD has long been researched for a much wider scope of medical applications than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). We’ll get into the most relevant of those medical applications later.

In 2013, the American Journal of Medicine published a study that highlighted the impact of marijuana use on glucose, insulin and insulin resistance among U.S. adults. The study included 4,657 adult men and women from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey from 2005 to 2010. Of the participants, 579 were current marijuana users and 1,975 were past users. The researchers found that current marijuana use was associated with 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels. They also found significant associations between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences, a factor connected to the onset of diabetes symptoms. (17)

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Naturally, scientists wanted to see if CBD had any anticancer properties. As a result, they performed several animal studies using it. However, it should be noted that the findings don’t fully apply to humans. In fact, they merely suggest what possible effects CBD might have when it comes to dealing with cancer. With that in mind, additional human studies would help conclude if CBD has an effect on cancer cells in humans.
Sativex, a cannabis plant–derived oromucosal spray containing equal proportions of THC and CBD, has been approved in a number of countries for use to treat specific types of pain. Numerous randomized clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Sativex for treatment of central and peripheral neuropathic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer pain. [386]
The researchers leading many of the studies on marijuana extracts and obesity are affiliated with the UK’s GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes me cringe that pharmaceutical companies are going to make some kind of very expensive CBD-based weight loss drug.  But regardless of motive, in these studies, the researchers found that the two compounds, THCV and cannabidiol, boosted metabolism, and reduced levels of liver fat, and blood cholesterol. These same compounds also made mice more sensitive to insulin, protected the cells that produce insulin, and increasing metabolic rate – all while suppressing the appetite. Nice.
Grant says this may lead to a “dampening” or mellowing of some neurochemical processes, including those linked to pain. “CBD may also react with other receptors, like those for serotonin, and it may have actions that reduce the inflammatory molecules produced whenever there is tissue damage or bacteria coming in,” he says. “But we really don’t know the mechanisms.”
CBD oil has a wide range of effects on health and has been connected to a diverse number of health problems, ranging from migraines and stress to lack of appetite and sex drive. CBD oil has even been connected to reducing the risk of certain cancers, as well as reducing pain, improving the conditions of the heart, and helping people get a good night’s sleep. There are a number of ways to use CBD oil, depending on what you want relief from.
Supercritical CO2 extraction. Subcritical/Supercritical CO2 oil extraction has several advantages over other extraction mediums, such as alcohol and hydrocarbons: CO2 is nontoxic and is Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA for use in food products. Our bodies produce it when we breathe, and it is commonly used in carbonated beverages. With CO2 as a solvent for oil extraction, no toxins, heavy metals or hydrocarbon materials come in contact with the extracted oils. CO2 is “solvent free”. Other extraction solvents, such as hydrocarbon based propellants like propane and butane, hexane and pentane, or ethanol/alcohol mixtures require additional distillation or purging beyond the extraction process to separate the solvent from the extracted oil. CO2 has a very low boiling temperature and wants to be a gas a room temperature, thus it naturally separates from the extracted oil the same way a soda goes “flat”. The spent plant material is also free of residual solvents so it can be re-used as well. CO2 is non-flammable. Flammable solvents must be processed in a NEMA Class 1, Division 1, 2 or 3 (explosion proof) environment. CO2 is not flammable and does not require costly explosion proof facilities. CO2 is “cold” – Botanical oil extractions can be done at temperatures that are native to the botanical material, minimizing thermal degradation of the plant material and the extracted oil. CO2 is “tunable” – the solvency power of CO2 can be adjusted simply by increasing or decreasing pressures and/or temperatures. The ability of the CO2 to selectively extract affords the ability to create unique extractions that have varying levels of desirable oils and waxes (see below). Less desirable plant constituents, like chlorophyl, can also be “de-selected”. CO2 is inexpensive. CO2 is readily available and widely used throughout several industries. In addition, Apeks’ production CO2 oil extraction systems recirculate and subsequently recover 95% of the CO2 used in each extraction. CO2 is environmentally friendly. Industrial CO2 for extractions comes from byproducts – primarily hydrogen and ammonia manufacturing and fermentation for ethanol. CO2 used for extractions does not contribute to the overall atmospheric CO2 levels.
For immediate medicinal effects, vaporizing or smoking work well. This can be helpful for either initial sleep onset or for wakefulness in the middle of a rest period but only lasts one to three hours. The medication effect is immediate, whereas most ingested products take thirty to sixty minutes before taking effect (faster on an empty stomach) and last six to eight hours. Vaporizers that use a cartridge filled with the CO2 concentrate are convenient and highly effective, and these are available in various ratios of CBD to THC. Herbal vaporizers that use the whole plant are also an effective delivery method. Sublingual sprays or tinctures taken as liquid drops also take effect quickly and last longer than inhaled products.
Heart disease is a growing problem today. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death in the U.S. A healthy diet and lifestyle is a top priority for heart health, but CBD oil can also help. According to research cannabidiol reduces artery blockage, reduces stress induced cardiovascular response, and can reduce blood pressure. It may also reduce cholesterol.
Cannabinoids can be used along with opioid medications, and a number of studies have demonstrated that they can reduce the amount of opioids needed, lessen the buildup of tolerance, and reduce the severity of withdrawal.[384] At least ten randomized, controlled trials on over one thousand patients have demonstrated efficacy of cannabinoids for neuropathic pain of various origins.
This seemed to help me. It was an unexpected pleasant surprise, since I tried cbd for pain relief and calming effect. I was a heavy marijuana user for years. I recently quit and I had some unanticipated problems with erectile dysfunction. I think somehow with all the marijuana I smoked I had some kind of hormone imbalance possibly, I know something wasn’t working right. Anyway since I’ve started taking cbd oil haven’t had any more erectile problems. More sensitivity too. Not sure how it would work on a non marijuana smoker, (I think my problems were from the chronic use of marijuana) but it’s definitely worth a try. It works for so many other things and it worked for me!
I just started taking CBD oil , I am on my 2nd Hip replacement surgery due to device failures looking at a 3rd surgery. Has you can imagine the pain, stress and anxiety levels are off the charts. Especially at an otherwise healthy 54 yr women. So i understand from reading posts its best to take it under the tongue. I am taking 1-2 ml a day. I can tell some difference,is your recommended dosage. I am using for pain , stress and sleep. I appreciate your feedback.