Linked to diet and lifestyle, atherosclerosis is common in developed Western nations and can lead to heart disease or stroke. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder involving the progressive depositing of atherosclerotic plaques (immune cells carrying oxidized LDL or low-density lipoproteins). A growing body of evidence suggests that endocannabinoid signaling plays a critical role in the pathology of atherogenesis. The condition is now understood to be a physical response to injuries in the arterial walls’ lining, caused by high blood pressure, infectious microbes, or excessive presence of an amino acid called homocysteine. Studies have demonstrated that inflammatory molecules stimulate the cycle leading to atherosclerotic lesions. Existing treatments are moderately effective though carry numerous side effects. CB2 receptors triple in response to inflammation, allowing anandamide and 2-AG, the body’s natural cannabinoids, to decrease inflammatory responses. The CB2 receptor is also stimulated by plant-based cannabinoids.
While CBD is most commonly used to treat physiological symptoms, there’s a growing body of research that indicates it can also be used in the therapy of a range of mental health conditions, including anxiety. A study by the University of São Paulo found that CBD significantly reduces subjective anxiety, leading investigators to conclude that “These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in [social anxiety disorder] and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.”
Early research shows promising signs that a product made from cannabis known as cannabidiol (CBD) oil may help relieve anxiety. CBD is a type of cannabinoid, a chemical found naturally in marijuana and hemp plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t cause any feelings of intoxication or the “high” you may associate with cannabis. Learn more about the potential benefits of CBD oil for anxiety, and whether it could be a treatment option for you.
Studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Cannabidiol has shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder and researchers suggest that it may also be effective for panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. (7)
In the U.S., we live in a culture where more is often perceived as being better. And it’s easy, without even thinking about it, to apply that approach to CBD dosing. But when it comes to CBD, more is not necessarily better. In fact, for many, less CBD is more effective. One way to determine your optimal dosage is to start with a small amount of CBD for a couple weeks and then slowly increase your dosage, carefully taking note of symptoms, until you’re seeing the results you want.
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At present, we have the following classification of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body, mainly from fatty acid precursors), phytocannabinoids (compounds that have a plant origin, with the cannabis plant being the best-studied source of phytocannabinoids though not the only one), and artificial cannabinoids (created while studying THC, to garner the benefits of marijuana without the recreational component).