Cannabinoids Support Many Aspects of Health – Part 2

It is hard to go anywhere without seeing signs for CBD for sale. In the first part of our discussion of cannabinoids, we discussed that humans have endocannabinoid systems that respond to cannabinoids our bodies make as well as those we might supplement through supplementation.

The three primary routes of supplementation with cannabinoids are oral, inhalation, and topical. Most research reports on the use of oral CBD, usually provided in an oil base. These clinical studies have demonstrated beneficial effects related to inflammation and pain, anxiety, seizure control, neuroprotection, anti-psychotic and anti-tumor effects. Below is summarized some of the research findings:

Several studies, both human and animal, have been done looking at the effect on seizure activity by cannabinoids. 3 of 4 studies had positive results for children with treatment-resistant epilepsy and there is currently a pharmaceutical product, Epidiolex, that is undergoing extensive testing for the treatment of epilepsy in children.

Neuroprotection and inflammation
In animal models and cell culture lines, CBD has shown some benefit for such neurodegenerative conditions as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, glutamate toxicity, Multiple Sclerosis, and from the result of alcohol abuse. Studies are small and study endpoints in human studies focus on quality of life and symptom control.

Pain control is one of the most common uses for CBD, including neuropathic pain and pain caused by inflammation, like arthritis. In a rat model for arthritis, researchers found improvement in pain from a topical application of a CBD gel. A 2018 review of research on the effects of cannabinoids on pain found that CBD acts on multiple pain targets and that the analgesic effects found are not limited to the actions of CBD on cannabinoid receptors, but demonstrate actions related to serotonin receptors, spinal and brain neurons, sensory neurons, and other players in the intricate biological expression of pain.

Anti-tumor and cancer treatment symptom relief
Cannabis has been used extensively for the reduction of nausea and the stimulation of appetite in those undergoing cancer treatments, but the benefit may extend to anti-tumor effects. In studies of cancer cell lines and animal models of cancer, CBD has been shown to affect cancer cell death, decreased tumor growth, and inhibition of metastasis (McAllister et al, 2015). Human studies are in progress to see if these benefits extend to human subjects.

Anxiety (and Sleep)
In some small animal and human studies, CBD has shown benefit for reducing some of the symptoms and measures of anxiety and stress, including reducing heart rate. Various studies looking at social anxiety and PTSD found therapeutic benefit which may be via actions on serotonin pathways, among other effects. In a large case series on the effects of cannabidiol on sleep and anxiety reported by Shannon, et al (Perm J. 2019; 23: 18-041) 72 adults presenting with anxiety or sleep disturbances showed significant benefit, with anxiety scores decreasing in 79.2 % of patients and sleep scores improving in 66.7% of patients within the first month’s use. This study also reported CBD was well tolerated in all but 3 patients.

In Conclusion
Regarding the question of whether CBD is right for you, if you are generally healthy and aren’t on prescription medications, there is little evidence of harm with the use of hemp-derived CBD products. If you try it, follow these guidelines – start low and go slow as you are adjusting doses upward to see if you see a benefit. CBD products have different strengths and different carrier oils – make sure you are taking a product where you know the strength and is organic. For a 1000 mg/ounce product, a starting dose might be 2-10 drops taken once to twice daily.

If you have a disease or are on any prescription medications, speak with your doctor to make sure CBD is not contraindicated and will not interfere with your current prescription medication regimen. CBD can inhibit some liver enzymes (ie P450 enzymes) responsible for breaking down certain medications, and concomitant use could theoretically alter the level of other medications that are cleared via similar pathways, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before use.

Camden Whole Health’s Natural Pharmacy offers its own line of
High Potency Certified Organic CBD

We have seen the health benefits of prescribing CBD over the last couple of years but were not confident in the consistent quality of available off-the-shelf products to be free of contaminants and qualified for CBD strength. After much research, we have secured a highly qualified source of high potency (1000 mg/ounce) organic CBD oil (sourced from HEMP) in a base of organic EVOO.
Our bulk order will allow us to dispense to our patients and other members of the community at a price that is significantly below other products on the market. Our natural pharmacy dispenses the organic olive oil-based CBD oil (guaranteed to have less than <0.3% THC) in 1, 2 and 4-ounce bottles.

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