This lack of transparency can be boiled down to a couple reasons that are all intertwined. First, what’s holding everything back is the taboo against cannabis (“marijuana”) that continues to exist in our society. We still hear amazingly exaggerated horror stories of what marijuana can do to us. The Reefer Madness that started back in the 1930s hasn’t gone away. This recent video of Gary Johnson faking a heart attack because of a ludicrous claim against marijuana is just one example.
Well, apart from day to day anxiety that most of us suffer with, anxiety is actually a very complex disorder, which can be at times extremely paralyzing and debilitating. According to recent data published by the National Institute of Mental Health, Anxiety disorders affect 19.1% of adults in the United States in any given year. Furthermore, it is estimate that 31.1% of American adults experience any anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.
Along with its better-known counterpart, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces the marijuana high), CBD is one of more than 400 compounds found in the oils of cannabis plant species, which include marijuana and hemp. Unlike THC, CBD will not make you high. That said, this doesn’t mean CBD is not at all psychoactive, as many assert, says Jahan Marcu, Ph.D., director of experimental pharmacology and behavior at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York City: “CBD does change cognition. It affects mood, which is why people take it for anxiety. And some find that it makes them more alert.”
Glad you're off that stuff and sorry to hear about the hell of cold turkey on that stuff. I've had a taste of that horror missing doses of a benzo, clonazepam, and now tapering slowly over 5 months. The other things – weed psychological addiction, sugar, caffeine, gonna white knuckle the weed as I'm out soon and saving to take the bar exam. I'm going to try using CBD oil as I heard it's effective at reducing anxiety, lifting mood, and so on. Thank you for sharing and wishing you, too, and us all, good health and peace. Will ask my pharmacist about expected withdrawal. Thank you!
Cannabidiol oil has been accepted as a means of relaxation, and its popularity is steadily on the increase. The use of CBD hemp oil being very new, there is still much to be learned about its effects. CBD oil’s precise benefits are still a subject that is debatable, but we can confidently state that Cannabidiol is completely safe, and legal to use.
The scientific evidence for CBD's ability to quell anxiety, dampen psychosis, and lift the mood is patchy at the moment, although the National Institute on Drug Abuse is optimistic: "CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioral and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety."
(FYI, if you're concerned about whether or not Charlotte's Web is legal, their PR kindly sent me this statement: "Regarding legality, CW Hemp is compliant with U.S. law regarding the manufacture and sale of dietary or food supplements. Our products meet the EU standard of less than 0.2% THC to be regarded as hemp and we market our products as a food supplement and adhere to those labeling laws." Phew.)
In addition to fighting inflammation in the body, CBD oil may reduce anxiety by directly affecting the brain. Studies have found that CBD actually lowers activity in the amygdala and increases prefrontal cortex activation, two parts of the brain involved in anxiety. There is also evidence that CBD is able to activate hippocampus neurogenesis, aka regenerate new neurons! This activates CB1 receptors, which has a positive balancing impact on GABA and glutamate levels, associated with reducing anxiety.
Then there’s the issue of vomiting and nausea after chemotherapy. Most people that underwent chemo know that there is proper medication for these side effects. However, these meds often don’t achieve the desired effect. It’s no wonder that people are looking for alternatives like CBD. During one study, 16 participants that had chemo treatment used a CBD-THC combination. This combo was administered through a spray. Nearly all participants agreed that this helped lower vomiting and nausea.
A research conducted by Ethan B Russo, GW Pharmaceuticals, WA, USA, suggests that CBD oil interacts with the protein cells in the body and sends chemical signals to your brain and immune system through a number of stimuli. This helps the cells positively respond to chronic pain. This oil is regularly suggested for people with inflammation and back pain because of its painkilling quality.
Hi Ben. What are your thoughts on the differences, if any, between CBD extracted from hemp (legal to buy for anyone in the US) and CBD extracted from medical cannabis? My instinct is that once extracted, they should be identical because we’re talking about a specific molecule (similar to how ascorbic acid extracted from an orange or bell pepper or made in a lab are identical). However, I had some CBD oil from a major retail website that did not do much for my insomnia, even at high doses. Then I tried some CBD oil from my medical marijuana doc that he claimed was pure CBD (meaning no THC, but I am not sure if there are other terpenes) and of higher quality because it was extracted from medical grade cannabis. I was totally skeptical, but ending up feeling it big time – very calming, almost like being high, but without the random racing thoughts that THC gives me. I am wondering if it’s worth it to shell out for my doc’s product (it is super expensive), or if I should just try another version of hemp-based CBD, such as the one you recommend.
Leonard Leinow has three decades of experience growing and studying medical cannabis and brings a unique spiritual perspective to his work. In 2009, he formed Synergy Wellness, a not-for-profit medical cannabis collective in California. Synergy Wellness has over 3,500 members in its collective and is an artisan organization making hand-crafted organic and natural whole plant-based products. They are specialists in CBD (cannabidiol), the non-psychoactive portion of cannabis, and are pioneers in this aspect of the industry. Leinow is known for his proprietary blends of tinctures and medicine used for cancer and epilepsy patients.
If you have dealt with anxiety before, you are not alone. As the author of a 2015 article published in the Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience says: "Anxiety disorders...are the most prevalent mental disorders and are associated with immense health care costs and a high burden of disease." Yet many are finding that pharmaceuticals won't do, especially for chronic use, and they are turning increasingly to supplements and cannabidiol (CBD) oil for anxiety. 
In many CBD oil products, you'll see the word "extract" on the bottle. This means that the compound CBD had been scientifically extracted from the hemp plant - taken out of its natural environment - and placed into oil (usually coconut or olive oil). Maximum strength CBD oil products seen on the UK market are 5%, meaning you're getting 5% CBD extract and 95% oil.
Collin, C., Ehler, E., Waberzinek, G., Alsindi, Z., Davies, P., Powell, K., Notcutt, W., O'Leary, C., Ratcliffe, S., Novakova, I., Zapletalova, O., Pikova, J., and Ambler, Z. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of Sativex, in subjects with symptoms of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Neurol.Res. 2010;32(5):451-459. View abstract.
In 2011, researchers added light on the cellular mechanism through which CBD induces cell death in breast cancer cells. They showed that CBD induced a concentration-dependent cell death of both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cells. They also found that the effective concentrations of CBD in tumor cells have little effect on non-tumorigenic, mammary cells. (11)
Relevant studies in animal models are summarized in chronological order in Table Table1.1. CBD has been studied in a wide range of animal models of general anxiety, including the elevated plus maze (EPM), the Vogel-conflict test (VCT), and the elevated T maze (ETM). See Table Table11 for the anxiolytic effect specific to each paradigm. Initial studies of CBD in these models showed conflicting results: high (100 mg/kg) doses were ineffective, while low (10 mg/kg) doses were anxiolytic [59, 60]. When tested over a wide range of doses in further studies, the anxiolytic effects of CBD presented a bell-shaped dose–response curve, with anxiolytic effects observed at moderate but not higher doses [61, 90]. All further studies of acute systemic CBD without prior stress showed anxiolytic effects or no effect [62, 65], the latter study involving intracerebroventricular rather than the intraperitoneal route. No anxiogenic effects of acute systemic CBD dosing in models of general anxiety have yet been reported. As yet, few studies have examined chronic dosing effects of CBD in models of generalized anxiety. Campos et al.  showed that in rat, CBD treatment for 21 days attenuated inhibitory avoidance acquisition . Long et al.  showed that, in mouse, CBD produced moderate anxiolytic effects in some paradigms, with no effects in others.
This may be a good place to point out that not all CBD products are created equal. The industry is still largely unregulated, and the quality and quantity of CBD in a given product will vary wildly. Third party testing definitely helps to monitor companies’ claims, but it’s still up to you as the consumer to do your homework on the best CBD products.
I’ve been on anti-depressants for 11 years since having a stroke and having to stop taking estrogen. I started on Zoloft, then celexa, then Effexor. I’ve been having bad blurry vision for a few years that has my eye dr stumped. Finally my primary doctor thought it could be the Effexor since that is one of the side effects. So we decided that I would wean off the Effexor and try Wellbutrin instead. I lowered the amount of Effexor over 3 weeks till I wasn’t taking it any longer but started the Wellbutrin the last week of taking Effexor. After 3 days of no Effexor the withdrawals seemed to hit me. Headaches, nausea, extremely emotional, and bad dizziness. I had an important event to go to on day 3 of no Effexor so I took a low dose (37.5 mg) hoping to get me through the night. I felt decent for a couple days then boom, the withdrawal symptoms came on fully again. So I decided I would just try to go off both the Effexor and Wellbutrin because I didn’t want to go through this again and really wanted to see if I could handle life without them. Well it’s been a week without any Effexor but the dizziness and emotional outrages are still going on. I’ve been using Bonine (motion sickness) which does seem to help a little. My daughter mentioned the CBD oil which I was totally against at first but after doing a lot of research I am now quite interested in it.
Scientific studies support ashwagandha’s ability not only to relieve stress, but also to protect brain cells against the deleterious effects of our modern lifestyles. For example, in validated models of anxiety and depression, ashwagandha has been demonstrated to be as effective as some tranquilizers and antidepressant drugs. Specifically, oral administration of ashwagandha for five days showed anxiety-relieving effects similar to those achieved by the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam (Ativan®), and antidepressant effects similar to those of the prescription antidepressant drug imipramine (Tofranil®).
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.
Spanish scientists via their animal studies found that CBD improves the transmission of 5-HT1A, which is a sub-type of receptor of serotonin hormone. It is known that medicines which target the body’s serotonin system can help treat some cases of depression and dealing with anxiety. This is the reason why pharmaceuticals companies have made SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Zoloft and Prozac.
Recently a friend gave my 80 year old father a small bottle of 550 MG CBD Oil to help him with some chemo side effects. My father does not want it so he gave it to me as he knows I have restless legs at night with tiny little muscle spasms like little fireworks going off in both lower legs from the knee down when I lay down to go to sleep at night.