Szaflarski explains that cannabis contains about 500 different compounds, some of which—including CBD and THC—interact with certain chemical receptors in the human nervous system. But unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive—meaning it doesn’t cause any kind of a high. Despite that, the US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies CBD (and other cannabis compounds) as schedule I substances, making their sale illegal in many states.
“It is important to remember that CBD benefits and improves the activity in the endocannabinoid system by increasing the time anandamide works on the CB1 and CB2 receptors,” writes Dr. Michael Moskowitz. “Anandamide works on the serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine systems. It also works on the GABA-glutamate system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Its main role is restoring balance through inhibition when levels are too high and enhancement when they are too low. This is the most likely reason phytocannabinoids in general and CBD specifically are able to regulate depression and anxiety.”[321]

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The reduction of iNOS and reactive oxygen species by CBD, along with the reduction of lipid peroxidation, shows the important therapeutic action of CBD in reduction of colonic inflammation by indirect reduction of oxidative damage. In addition, the dysregulation of the interleukins IL-1B and IL-10 is a well-known disruption caused by irritable bowel disease (IBD). The restoration of these interleukins to normal behavior by CBD, although the specific pathway is unknown, is another important therapeutic action that CBD has on reduction of colonic inflammation.
Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that.
As with a fermented food like kombucha, slight natural variations are normal and to be expected in a product such as CBD oil because it is made from living plants. Changes in the weather, soil, and water can all impact the biology of the source material. While we verify Certificates of Analysis (and take many other criteria into consideration during our review process), even the most reputable five-star companies have no way to control for every variable in this organic process.
Rich in CBD, cannabis has been used for centuries to fight illness, improve sleep, and lower anxiety. Today, our understanding of the potential benefits of CBD is growing by leaps and bounds—more and more, CBD is seen as a powerful disease-fighting agent. Thanks to decades of scientific investigation, it’s now possible to get the benefits of CBD in supplement form.
Relevant studies are summarized in Table ​Table3.3. In a SPECT study of resting cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in normal subjects, CBD reduced rCBF in left medial temporal areas, including the amygdala and hippocampus, as well as the hypothalamus and left posterior cingulate gyrus, but increased rCBF in the left parahippocampal gyrus. These rCBF changes were not correlated with anxiolytic effects [102]. In a SPECT study, by the same authors, in patients with SAD, CBD reduced rCBF in overlapping, but distinct, limbic and paralimbic areas; again, with no correlations to anxiolytic effects [104].
I assume this is also a side effect of the eased anxiety, but I seem to fall asleep within the 20- to 30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping (or at least shortening) the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I'm able to snap out of the overthinking mindset that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there's no telling whether a big life event would kindly disrupt this newfound bliss, but I'd like to think it's helped on day-to-day basis.

In the United States, non-FDA approved CBD products are classified as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.[62] This means that production, distribution, and possession of non-FDA approved CBD products is illegal under federal law. In addition, in 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration added "marijuana extracts" to the list of Schedule I drugs, which it defined as "an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant."[63] Previously, CBD had simply been considered "marijuana", which is a Schedule I drug.[62][64]

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