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CBD become one of the most sought-after medicines on the market today. Not only is it able to treat a wide range of ailments ranging from cancer to arthritis, CBD is known to be effective without causing any obvious side effects. It can be used safely in the long-term without causing addiction and dependence.

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There are tons of ways to use CBD, and one of the most popular is to use CBD gummies. These products provide patients with a tasty and fun way to medicate themselves. In this article, we’re going to talk about the use of CBD gummies for helping to fight off anxiety and depression.

What is CBD?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the main cannabinoids found in the cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is known to treat a number of illnesses, both mental and physical. Some of the things that CBD is most commonly used to treat include:

  • Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
  • Anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems
  • Cancer
  • Various diseases of the intestinal tract like IBS and Crohn’s disease
  • Various forms of pain, both chronic and acute

These are just a few of the things that CBD can be useful for treating. CBD works by affecting the body’s endocannabinoid system, a system of neurotransmitters that affects a huge number of our bodily processes. We’ll touch on that later in the neurochemistry section.

CBD is attractive to a number of people because it presents a holistic alternative to a lot of pharmaceutical medications. Many people find that their pharmaceuticals may be effective for treating a problem on the surface, but the side effects often compete with the benefits and in the long-run the illness is rarely treated.

CBD gummies, on the other hand, can help people manage the symptoms of their illnesses without actually becoming dependent on a drug or overwhelmed by side effects. This provides a unique opportunity to actually heal the root of the problem.

CBD vs THC

Many people are hesitant to use CBD because they know that it comes from the same plant as THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is another cannabinoid. This one is largely responsible for many of the psychoactive effects that a person can experience when smoking marijuana.

Marijuana is quite a powerful drug and it’s understandable that some people would want to ensure that they’re not going to get high when using CBD. Rest assured, CBD and THC have vastly different effects, and CBD is not psychoactive at all.

This is interesting because structurally, CBD and THC are almost identical. Their molecules have the same number and same type of atoms; they are simply arranged differently. This contributes to the vast differences in experiences when using these two compounds.

CBD Effects

The interesting thing about CBD is that it will not have many effects if you are not treating an actual problem. That is to say, CBD works by helping to restore balance and function to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), as mentioned earlier. If your endocannabinoid system is in perfect health, then taking CBD won’t do much for you.

Unfortunately, the reality is that most of us have at least some imbalance in our ECS. These imbalances can come from a number of things that we’re exposed to on a daily basis: pollution, stress, unhealthy food, etc.

For these people, CBD is known for providing a number of positive benefits:

  • Reduced inflammation, improving pain and swelling for people with problems like arthritis
  • Increased relaxation and ability to fall asleep
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Improved sociability
  • Improved concentration
  • Improved digestion

All of these benefits can work together to help ward off various illnesses and diseases.

Does CBD Get You High?

CBD does not get you high. As mentioned earlier, the CBD molecule is nearly identical to the THC molecule. However, because of the arrangement of these molecules, the two compounds act entirely different inside the body.

THC directly affects the body whereas CBD indirectly affects the body. This is why THC is much more apparent when ingested than CBD.

CBD Gummies

CBD Products

There are a huge number of different products containing CBD available. The variety in products allows for patients to choose from a number of ways of consuming CBD. The different methods of taking CBD will provide differences in the effects and duration of the substance.

  • CBD oil and tinctures are among the most popular CBD products. These oils and tinctures are so popular that we have dedicated a section to them below.
  • CBD capsules. Capsules are great for oral use but they can also be broken apart and taken sublingually or under-the-tongue. Capsules tend to come on slower than the other methods of using CBD but they also last for a bit longer.
  • Smokeables and vape products are useful for people who have acute problems like pain or panic attacks. These products can be inhaled and the effects felt almost immediately, though they tend to wear off much quicker.
  • Topical products. There are a number of products made with CBD that can be applied directly to the skin. These products are great because the active ingredient can be absorbed into the skin and there won’t be any effects on a person’s mental or physical site except where they apply it.

CBD Oil

CBD oil is one of the most popular forms of using CBD. This is because the oil provides you with a concentrated form of the active extract that can be consumed in a number of ways

The most effective way to use CBD oil is to take it sublingually. This involves holding the oil under your tongue for about 5 minutes so the CBD can be absorbed into the blood vessels there. This causes it to hit you faster and you’ll end up using less of it this way, thus saving money.

CBD oil is also used in the making of a number of other CBD products, like edibles.

CBD Edibles

CBD edibles are one of the most popular ways to consume CBD. People have had great success using CBD oil to make snacks and treats filled with CBD that people can eat. Ranging from CBD gummies to CBD peanut butter, edibles are a great way to medicate yourself.

One of the best things about edibles is that they are more slowly metabolized than the other forms of CBD. This means that the active effects may come on a bit slower but they will linger for much longer.

CBD and Anxiety

One of the most popular uses for CBD gummies and other forms of CBD is for helping people manage anxiety.

Many people were baffled by the implications of this, particularly because THC is well-known for causing anxiety in many people. Folks were wondering how a cannabinoid – especially one so similar to THC – could be used for fighting anxiety.

We’ll discuss the reasoning a bit more in the neurochemistry section below. For now, the simple fact of the matter is that CBD helps to manage anxiety by relaxing the mind and body, as well as balancing out the endocannabinoid system.

CBD has been shown to be useful for fighting all sorts of anxiety, ranging from generalized anxiety to panic disorder. Many have found success using a vape pen to help them manage acute panic attacks. CBD has even been shown to help fight anxiety associated with serious conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.

CBD and Depression

CBD has proven to be a very exciting alternative for helping people manage depression.

Many traditional antidepressants are known for causing a huge number of side effects. These drugs often take a long time to work – many people have to use them for up to three weeks before these drugs work – and they often have drastic effects on a person’s physical and mental health.

CBD might not be as potent as some of these antidepressants, but it targets the problem in a much more holistic manner. Instead of blunting your emotions or inhibiting your ability to feel depressed by overloading your brain with neurotransmitters, CBD helps you overcome acute symptoms of depression so you’re actually able to identify and heal the root of the problem.

CBD gummies and other forms of CBD are a great tool for helping some people get the treatment that they need to actually eliminate their depression. After this, they can stop using CBD. This is in stark contrast to traditional antidepressants which many people find themselves using for the rest of their lives.

Neurochemistry and CBD

We have touched on the subject of CBD and neurochemistry in this article, but only briefly. In this section we will give a bit more information about the way CBD affects our brain and nervous system.

As mentioned, CBD affects the ECS. This massive system of neurotransmitters and receptors is responsible for governing many facets of our brains and bodies. It helps to regulate our immune system, manage our digestion, regulate our mental health, and generally help to ensure that we function properly.

Unfortunately, many of us have an imbalance in the ECS. CBD works by helping to restore balance to this vast system by indirectly influencing it.

This is one of the reasons that CBD has such vastly different effects than THC. THC directly binds to what are known as cannabinoid receptors. By binding to these receptors, THC can have a direct, immediate, and profound effect on this entire system.

CBD, on the other hand, works indirectly. Not only does it not bind to the receptors, but it actually makes it more difficult for substances like THC to bind to them. Instead, CBD works ‘behind the scenes’ to have a positive and regulatory effect on certain neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and our own naturally produced cannabinoids.

CBD Dosage

The dosage that one requires when they are using CBD depends on their condition and how serious it is. Dosages vary greatly between people and since CBD hasn’t been approved by federal organizations there is no standard dosage.

However, there are certainly some standards that one could expect to use.

  • People with anxiety may need anywhere from 10 to 50 mg of CBD. 10 mg doses of capsules or oils can be useful for helping to treat mild-to-moderate social anxiety and general anxiety. Higher doses can stave off a panic attack in its tracks.
  • People with pain or inflammation often require slightly higher doses. 20 mg can be effective for mild-to-moderate inflammation, but doses of anywhere from 50-100 mg are quite common.
  • People with depression often take higher doses, beginning at around 50 mg. However, people with melancholy or mild depression caused by situations or events can find some improvement using around 20 mg.

Keep in mind the way that you consume your CBD also has an impact on how much you need. Consuming CBD gummies or tinctures orally causes some of the drug to be destroyed by the liver before it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Taking it sublingually helps to prevent this and reduces the amount required by about 40 percent.

CBD Side Effects

The vast majority of people won’t experience any side effects from CBD. Aside from the fact that higher doses might make you sleepy and unfit to drive a motor vehicle, CBD won’t cause any serious side effects unless you are allergic to cannabinoids.

That said, some people are extremely sensitive to the compound. These people may experience symptoms like dry mouth, diarrhea, and nausea. However, this may indicate that the medicine was not prepared properly or was produced in a facility with low safety and health standards.

One thing to be noted is that people using THC for recreational purposes might find the effects diminished if they use CBD. However, people who are using THC for medicinal purposes often find that the benefits are enhanced when they are using CBD in addition to THC.

Hopefully, this article has helped you to better understand CBD and the powerful benefits that it can provide for you and those that you love. Good luck healing yourself with this fantastic medicine.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder associated with significant morbidity and mortality, being a major risk factor for suicide, substance abuse, poor outcomes of medical conditions, and impaired functionality. It is characterized by flattening of mood, loss of emotional expression, and retardation of thought and movements. Individuals who have depression usually have a depressed mood, loss of interest in activities they were usually interested in, sleep disturbance, loss of energy, and reduced ability to thick or focus.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) categorizes depressive disorders into major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, and depressive disorder due to a medical condition. However, all these classes of depression are characterized by the presence of a sad or irritable mood with associated difficulty in thinking, concentrating, and carrying out normal physical tasks, impairing the individual’s daily functioning.

Stats about Depression

Between 2009 and 2012, approximately 7.6% of Americans aged 12 and above were diagnosed with depression and it was more common among females and persons aged 40 and 59. In 2015, about 16.1 million adults aged 18 and over had a minimum of one depressive episode in the previous year.

Depression has been found to occur in children at an incidence rate of 0.9% in preschool-aged children, 1.9% in school-aged children, and approximately 4.7% in adolescents. In prepubertal children, depression occurs in boys and girls at an equal rate. Generally, depression in men and women has the highest rates in those aged between 25 to 44 years and the incidence of severe depression increases with age.

What are the Traditional Treatments for Depression?

There is a wide range of treatments for depression which have proven effective in improving symptoms. A combination of medications and psychotherapy is effective in reducing the symptoms of depression, and therapy with either form alone is often ineffective. Combination therapy has been found to increase quality of life and improve treatment compliance in patients with depression.

Advanced treatment techniques used for the treatment of depression include electroconvulsive therapy which uses high-energy electric stimulation, and bright-light therapy involving exposure of an individual with depression to bright light at an intensity of 10,000 lux for a period of one hour in the morning.

Therapy for Depression

Psychotherapy is often combined with medications in the treatment of depression. There are different types of therapy for depression and these can be grouped based on their efficacies. A therapy is considered “efficacious and specific” if studies in at least two settings (hospital, home therapy, rehab center etc.) have proven it more effective than medications. A therapy is considered “efficacious” if it has been proven from at least two settings that it is superior to no treatment at all, and it is “possibly efficacious” if it has been proven effective in at least one study in a single setting.

Examples of efficacious and specific therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy, problem-solving therapy, and interpersonal therapy which help the individual modify their behaviors and interpersonal relationships. An example of an efficacious therapy includes mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to prevent a recurrence or relapse, and an example of possibly efficacious therapy is continuation cognitive therapy to prevent recurrence by helping the individual develop positive thinking and behavioral patterns.

Medications for Depression

Medications used for treating depression are of different classes, each with a different mechanism of action, characteristics, and side effects. Some of these drugs include Fluoxetine (Prozac), Citalopram, Amitriptyline, Imipramine, and Nortriptyline. These drugs generally increase the concentration of stimulant substances in the brain to improve the depressive symptoms.

Home Remedies for Depression

Patients with depression could benefit from a number of home remedies which could help to improve their symptoms, in addition to antidepressants and therapy:

  • St. John’s wort – This plant, although not approved for treatment of depression by the FDA, has been linked with increased amounts of serotonin in the body correlating to improvement of depressive symptoms.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in fish such as salmon, sardines, and trout, and this substance has been linked to improvement in depressive symptoms.
  • SAM-e – S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e) is artificially designed to function like chemicals in the brain which elevate mood. It is considered a supplement useful in improving symptoms of depression.
  • Folate – Folic acid which is found in a number of foods such as beans, lentils, dark leafy greens, and fortified cereals have been found to improve the effectiveness of medications used in treating the disorder.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the hemp plant. It is one of the numerous unique compounds called cannabinoids which naturally occur in hemp. Generally, cannabinoids can be produced in the body (these are known as endocannabinoids) or found in the hemp plant as phytocannabinoids. CBD is industrially extracted from the cannabis plant and separated from the other cannabinoids, representing about 40% of cannabis extracts.

CBD is a phytocannabinoid which helps to stimulate the regulation of the central nervous system. CBD, therefore, helps supplement the effects of endocannabinoids in regulating appetite, mood, functions of the immune system, sensation, and keeping our bodies working normally. CBD oil is made from hemp plants and can be purchased legally in the United States. CBD is available in different forms such as tinctures, concentrates, capsules, sprays, tapes, and topicals.

CBD vs. THC

Most times, people interchange CBD for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. Both of them represent the commonest compounds found in the plant. However, they have numerous differences.

THC, unlike CBD, is intoxicating causing a high and euphoria. It is responsible for the “high” felt by marijuana users. CBD, on the other hand, is not a psychoactive substance as it does not act via the same biological pathways in the body as THC.

CBD Oil Effects

Although, CBD oil has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of any condition, there have been several studies demonstrating some of its health benefits:

  • CBD has been shown to have anti-oxidant properties which means that it is capable of mopping up toxic substances obtained from food or generated in the body. These substances are often at the center of inflammatory conditions such as myocardial infarction, inflammatory bowel disease, and stroke.
  • Oxidative stress caused by the release of these toxic substances causes age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and CBD has been found to protect against these degenerative diseases of the brain and reduce their clinical progression in patients suffering from them. CBD may also help in the clinical improvement of some autoimmune disease such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Clinical trials have shown that CBD oils are effective in the treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
  • Studies have shown that CBD may have therapeutic benefits for brain disorders such as psychosis, depression, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Other benefits of CBD are currently being investigated, including its effects on anxiety and depression, as well as on social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Does CBD Get You High?

CBD is a non-psychoactive form of cannabinoid which has been found not to interfere with the cognitive functions of the brain. It does not get you “high,” in contrast to THC, which alters the cognitive functions of the brain.

Is CBD Addictive?

According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is not addictive and it has no potential for abuse or dependence. This is mainly because CBD does not contain any addictive substances, in contrast to THC and some cannabinoids which contain such and are, therefore, capable of being addictive.

Is CBD Safe?

There have been extensive reviews on the toxic potentials of CBD and reports have revealed that CBD has a relatively low toxicity. It has been found to be safe with little potential for adverse effects. CBD was found to have no effect on fetal development and other bodily functions. Generally, CBD does not produce the adverse effects seen with THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids. However, reports demonstrate that some reactions may occur as a result of its interactions with other drugs co-administered with it.

How Could CBD Help with Depression?

CBD has been found to be effective in the treatment of depression. While CBD does not cure the condition, it has been linked to improvement of the symptoms.

The cannabinoids produced in our bodies (endocannabinoids) help to regulate several functions of the body such as mood, pain sensation, sleep, and appetite. These substances exert their actions by binding to specific points of brain cells called the receptors through which they potentiate the actions of a substance called serotonin which acts to improve mood and reduce stress levels. Serotonin also acts by binding to its receptors in brain cells. When these chemical substances bind to their respective receptors, they trigger a series of events within each brain cell stimulating processes that improve mood and stress control.

CBD has been found to help improve depressive symptoms by modulating the actions of the endocannabinoids and also potentiating the effects of serotonin by enhancing the activity of the receptors unto which serotonin binds.

CBD oil helps to significantly improve depressive symptoms and the individual’s quality of life.

CBD Oil Dosage

CBD oil is available in several forms including tinctures, capsules, concentrates, and topical forms. However, it is most commonly administered orally. It is important to note that CBD is most effective when used regularly in maintenance doses, though it may be used for treating acute flare-ups.

In the management of depression, CBD oil may be taken in the tincture and capsule forms. Individuals with depression can begin with a dose of 5 to 10mg daily until the desired results are achieved. Gel capsules of CBD are available as 25mg per pill and it is safe to begin at this dosage as CBD has a good safety profile. The effects of CBD lasts several hours after a dose is ingested and most persons report feeling better for up to 24 hours. However, you will only begin to notice these improvements after 90 minutes of ingestion of CBD oil.

For managing acute flare-ups, it is best to vaporize CBD isolate for fast relief of symptoms. However, the maintenance dose should not be discontinued. Although you may also use the ingestible forms of CBD in treating acute flare-ups, these, generally, have a relatively longer onset of action.

Generally, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before starting CBD oils to prevent drug interactions and exacerbations of any medical conditions you may have. Do not, also, discontinue or start any drug while using CBD without consulting your physician.

For information on where to obtain CBD Oil, go here.

CBD Oil Side Effects

CBD oil is generally safe to use with minimal risk of adverse effects. Side effects may be seen when high doses are taken. Some studies have revealed that if taken at high doses, it may cause a weakening of your immune system. However, the main concern with the use of CBD is the risk of drug interactions, therefore, it is recommended that you consult your physician before using CBD oil.

Bottom Line: Can CBD Help You?

CBD is one of the naturally occurring chemical substances found in the cannabis plant and though the stigma associated with the psychoactive counterpart, THC, has rubbed off on it, it has been shown to have immense health benefits in treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and inflammatory diseases. CBD oil helps to significantly improve depressive symptoms and the individual’s quality of life. However, it should be noted that CBD does not provide a cure for the disorder, but leads to a better quality of life for the patient.

Resources

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/286759-overview#a4

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/natural-treatments#1

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/herbs-supplements

https://ministryofhemp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/The-Complete-CBD-Resource.pdf

https://www.royalqueenseeds.com/blog-new-who-report-shows-cbd-is-not-addictive-nor-dangerous-n771

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648779/

https://keytocannabis.com/blogs/cannabis/cbd-for-depression

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923339

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22729452

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20002102

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High-intensity cannabis use is associated with retention in opioid agonist treatment: a longitudinal analysis

 

Link High‐intensity cannabis use is associated with retention in opioid agonist treatment a longitudinal analysis

ABSTRACT

Background and Aims Cannabis use is common among people on opioid agonist treatment (OAT), causing concern for
some care providers. However, there is limited and conflicting evidence on the impact of cannabis use on OAT outcomes.
Given the critical role of retention in OAT in reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality, we aimed to estimate the association
of at least daily cannabis use on the likelihood of retention in treatment among people initiating OAT. As a secondary
aim we tested the impacts of less frequent cannabis use. Design Data were drawn from two community-recruited
prospective cohorts of people who use illicit drugs (PWUD). Participants were followed for a median of 81 months (interquartile
range = 37–130). Setting Vancouver, Canada. Participants This study comprised a total of 820 PWUD
(57.8% men, 59.4% of Caucasian ethnicity, 32.2% HIV-positive) initiating OAT between December 1996 and May
2016. The proportion of women was higher among HIV-negative participants, with no other significant differences.
Measurements The primary outcome was retention in OAT, defined as remaining in OAT (methadone or
buprenorphine/naloxone-based) for two consecutive 6-month follow-up periods. The primary explanatory variable was
cannabis use (at least daily versus less than daily) during the same 6-month period. Confounders assessed included:
socio-demographic characteristics, substance use patterns and social–structural exposures. Findings In adjusted analysis,
at least daily cannabis use was positively associated with retention in OAT [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.21, 95% confidence
interval (CI) = 1.04–1.41]. Our secondary analysis showed that compared with non-cannabis users, at least daily
users had increased odds of retention in OAT (aOR = 1.20, 95% CI = 1.02–1.43), but not less than daily users (aOR = 1.00,
95% CI = 0.87–1.14).

Conclusions

Among people who use illicit drugs initiating opioid agonist treatment in Vancouver,
at least daily cannabis use was associated with approximately 21% greater odds of retention in treatment compared with
less than daily consumption.

 

Heavy Cannabis Use Might Affect Recovery from Opiate Use Disorder

 

Using cannabis at least daily is associated with better 6-month retention in a program of opioid replacement therapy.

Greater retention during treatment for opiate use disorder (OUD) reduces morbidity and mortality and predicts better outcomes. According to preclinical and clinical data, both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) might reduce opioid withdrawal and pain. CBD is safe in humans and might reduce anxiety and craving for opioids. However, results have been mixed in several large observational studies of the relationship between cannabis use and OUD treatment retention. In another observational study, researchers followed 820 Canadian patients with OUD for a median of 81 months after initiation of opioid replacement therapy (methadone, 99%).

At baseline, daily heroin injections were reported by 44%, daily prescription opioids by 8%, and cannabis use by 49% (17% used cannabis daily). In two semiannual follow-ups, daily use (but not less than daily) was associated with a 20% greater odds of 6-month treatment retention than no cannabis use. Various analyses yielded similar results.

COMMENT

Despite these provocative findings, providers should not recommend cannabis to patients with OUD for several reasons: Of several large observational studies, this is the only one supporting a benefit for retention with cannabis use; in two others, cannabis users had worse outcomes. As an observational study, it may have unmeasured confounders. Cannabis use has several potential associated risks and harms, including psychotic disorder, cognitive impairment, and cannabis use disorder. Finally, the findings might be relevant only to patients on methadone; almost no participant received buprenorphine. That said, cannabis use is unlikely to be excessively detrimental to recovery from OUD. In light of the recent FDA approval of a cannabidiol-containing compound and its classification to Schedule 5, more studies should be performed soon to investigate the utility of CBD for treating substance use disorders.

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Opioid Epidemic Burdening Grandparents, Foster Homes

 

Image result for child holding hand of grandparent

 

 

Once a month, Kim Hudson, 51, knocks on the door of her own home in Warren, Michigan.Eleven-year-old Ava answers the door and Hudson gets to “play grandma for the day.”On the surface, this ritual isn’t that unusual. Hudson is actually Ava’s grandmother.But ever since Ava’s mother, Katelin, died from a heroin overdose three years ago, Hudson has had a much larger role.

“I was robbed of being a grandma,” Hudson told Healthline. “Now I’m the full-time parent. I never really got to play the grandma role.”

Hudson never expected her daughter — who had Ava when she was 17 and was a “good mom” — to struggle with opioid addiction.

But after Katelin had her wisdom teeth pulled when she was 21, everything changed.

“They gave her some strong pain killers, and after that her life just unraveled,” said Hudson.

Katelin was in and out of rehab. When she started using heroin, she was in and out of jail.

While Katelin was in jail in 2011, Hudson and her husband — who has since passed away — applied for temporary full guardianship of their granddaughter.

They did it for one simple reason — Ava.

“My intention was never to take away Katelin’s role as a parent,” said Hudson, “but I had to protect that little girl.”

As the opioid epidemic forces more children out of their parents’ custody, grandparents like Hudson are stepping in to fill the gap.

But as they become the primary caregiver for their grandchild — or grandchildren, in some cases — older adults are seeing their lives turned upside down.

“They thought this was a time they were going to get to go to the movies and play cards with their friends. Instead, they are being a full-time parent,” Jaia Peterson Lent of Generations United, a Washington-D.C.-based nonprofit, told Healthline.

Grandparents who do the right thing also face many obstacles.

These range from navigating child welfare systems to caring for grandchildren that may have special medical or therapy needs — all while dealing with the effects of their own child’s addiction.

Grandparents face many challenges

After years of decline, the number of children in foster care is once again on the rise, reports Generations United.

There were more than 415,000 children in foster care in 2014, up from about 398,000 in 2011.

Experts point to the opioid epidemic.

Children may be removed from their home when their parents are jailed or forced into treatment due to opioid use, or when the parents die from an opioid overdose.

In 2014, more than 40 percent of children in foster care with relatives were there because of their parents’ opioid, alcohol, or other drug use, according to Generations United.

Dr. Lawrence S. Brown, Jr., chief executive officer of START Treatment & Recovery Centers in Brooklyn, New York, told Healthline that he has “seen an increasing number of patients bringing their children or grandchildren to our treatment programs while they are receiving their treatment. We believe that has a lot to do with the opiate epidemic.”

These are people who are trying to get clean so they can maintain custody of their child or grandchild.

But Brown said that START has also seen a jump in requests from children and family services about whether people in treatment are still able to take care of their child.

When addiction treatment — whether it is medication-assisted treatment or individual or group counseling — doesn’t work, foster care may be the next step.

States hardest hit by the opioid crisis have seen dramatic increases in foster care.

In Ohio, drug overdose deaths rose 21 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since 2010, the number of Ohio children placed with relatives in foster care has risen 62 percent, according to Generations United.

Overall, about 2.6 million American children are being raised by grandparents or other relatives, according to the nonprofit.

Often without enough help.

“There is a real need for more supports and services, and also more information about the existing supports and services that are available to grandparents and other relatives,” said Peterson Lent.

Many grandparents expected they would be enjoying the freedom of retirement, not raising another child.

“They were not planning for this,” said Peterson Lent. “They may have gotten a call in the middle of the night saying ‘Take this child or they’re going to end up in foster care.’”

The financial burden is overwhelming for many grandparents.

There are the routine costs of daycare, clothing, and food. But there are also adoption and legal fees.

“I had to get a lawyer and I had to file court papers,” said Hudson. “I had to pay money to get full custody, which was silly, because I was getting full custody of my own grandchild.”

Children who witnessed their parents’ substance abuse, or who were exposed to opioids before birth, may also need ongoing medical care and therapy in order to live healthy lives.

Some grandparents raising grandchildren are also living on a fixed income. And nearly one in five live below the poverty line, according to Generations United.

Older adults may even be dealing with their own health issues. This can make it hard to keep up with the go-go-go pace of a child. Some grandparents may even forgo their own medical care.

“We find that often the children are the priority,” said Peterson Lent. “If the grandparent has a doctor’s appointment but something comes up with the child, they’re often going to neglect their own health needs and prioritize the needs of the children.”

They may even cut back on their medication in order to put food on the table or pay for other necessities for their grandchild.

Not enough support for grandfamilies

Some resources and financial assistance are available to grandparents who step in. These vary from state to state and depend on many factors, including their income and whether they are a licensed foster care parent.

The monthly stipends for fostering can help.

But according to Generations United, for every child in foster care with relatives, there are 20 children being raised by relatives outside the foster care system.

“That means that they are going to have access to much less support and services — and certainly less financial support — than if they become a licensed foster parent,” said Peterson Lent.

Ironically, when grandparents step in before their grandchild ends up in the foster care system, they are missing out on support that can help them take care of the child.

Hudson was one of those grandparents.

“I never went the foster care route at all, because my husband was here and we were providing for her,” she said.

But now that her husband is gone, she wonders if she could have gotten more support.

“But it’s always worked up to this point,” she added. “And it’s still working. I make it work.”

Her older children — age 25, 21 and 20 — all moved back home, which helps.

“We split the household into four,” said Hudson, “and we all take care of each other — and Ava.”

But even for grandparents who are registered foster parents, the small monthly stipend they receive from the foster care system may not cover the added legal and medical expenses.

And in some states, if they adopt their grandchild, the financial support dries up.

Hudson and her husband did apply for legal guardianship of their granddaughter. Without this formality, grandparents would have a hard time doing things like enrolling their grandchildren in school or taking them to the doctor.

Experts say that there are good reasons for providing more support for grandparents and other relatives to take in these children.

“The research is really pretty clear that you should prioritize relatives for children when you can,” said Peterson Lent “Children do better with relatives, compared to nonrelatives, when we have an appropriate relative to place them with.”

There are other benefits, as well.

“Those relatives who step in to care for the children, and keep them out of the formal foster care system, they’re not only doing the right thing for kids — by reducing trauma and keeping them with family,” said Peterson Lent. “They’re also saving taxpayers $4 billion each year by keeping kids out of foster care.”

Already, state foster care budgets are stretched thin, social workers are overloaded, and there is a shortage of families willing to provide temporary homes for children.

Relatives play an important role in helping children left behind by the opioid epidemic — and in helping an overburdened foster care system.

“As we see the uptick in foster care placements with the opioid epidemic,” said Peterson Lent, “we’re also seeing child welfare systems increasingly rely on relatives to meet that increasing need.”

Generations United reports that, in 2014, more than a third of all children who were removed from their home because of drug or alcohol use were placed with relatives.

Some progress in helping grandparents

The opioid epidemic is not the first time that grandparents and other relatives have had to step up to take of children affected by their parent’s drug addiction.

But some progress to the system has been made since the crack epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s, or the earlier opioid epidemic in the 1970s.

One step forward is The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, which promoted placement of children with relatives. This includes giving relatives financial support similar to what other foster parents receive.

“As a result of that law, we are seeing that relatives are also being identified and reached out to more regularly,” said Peterson Lent. “Not every child welfare agency is doing that in the way that they should be, but we’ve certainly seen progress.”

Peterson Lent added that one thing the child welfare system doesn’t do well is provide earlier support for families, so foster care isn’t the only option.

“We need to turn child welfare financing on its head so that states can use some dollars for proven programs that help prevent that tragedy, that help prevent a need for children to enter foster care,” said Peterson Lent.

Brown said there is also a need for more support for the children of parents with an opioid addiction, to keep them from ending up on the same path.

Although there is a lack of real data, said Brown, “what we are seeing is an increase in generational addiction.”

This is why START developed a program, called Teen START, which focuses on helping adolescents stay clear of the cycle of drug addiction.

Like many other grandparents caring for their grandchildren, Hudson turned to a support group — in her case, the Grandparent2Grandparent Facebook group.

She is thankful that she has not had to deal with as many “horror stories” as other parents.

She is also thankful for her unexpected life with Ava, her fifth “child.”

“She is my hero and my rock,” said Hudson. “She’s very upbeat and positive.”

“Does she miss her mom? Yes, she misses her mom,” she added. “But I don’t think she misses the situation that she was in.”

 

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CBD

Prof. Donald I. Abrams MD – Cannabis and Cancer Care

 

Cannabis as Medicine with Donald J. Abrams

 

 

The Neuroscience of Cannabis with David Presti

 

 

The Ethnobotany of Cannabis

 

The Science of Cannabis: The Genetics of Cannabis Breeds

 

Cannabis 101: What’s the difference between Indica, Sativa & Hybrid?

 

 

 

 

 

Integrating Complementary and Conventional Therapies in Cancer Care

 

What Really Causes Cancer (and What You Can Do to Prevent It)

 

 

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Repeated oral ketamine for out-patient treatment of resistant depression: randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept study

 

Oral Ketamine
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BackgroundKetamine has been demonstrated to improve depressive symptoms.

AimsEvaluation of efficacy, safety and feasibility of repeated oral ketamine for out-patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

MethodIn a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept trial, 41 participants received either 1 mg/kg oral ketamine or placebo thrice weekly for 21 days (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02037503). Evaluation was performed at baseline, 40 and 240 min post administration and on days 3, 7, 14 and 21. The main outcome measure was change in Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).

ResultsTwenty-two participants were randomised to the ketamine group, and 19 to the control, with 82.5% (n = 33) completing the study. In the ketamine group, a decrease in depressive symptoms was evident at all time points, whereas in the control group a decrease was evident only 40 min post administration. The reduction in MADRS score on day 21 was 12.75 in the ketamine group versus 2.49 points with placebo (P < 0.001). Six participants in the ketamine group (27.3%) achieved remission compared with none of the controls (P < 0.05). The number needed to treat for remission was 3.7. Side-effects were mild and transient.

ConclusionsRepeated oral ketamine produced rapid and persistent amelioration of depressive symptoms in out-patients with TRD, and was well tolerated. These results suggest that add-on oral ketamine may hold significant promise in the care of patients suffering from TRD in the community.

 

Repeated oral ketamine produced rapid and persistent improvement of depressive symptoms in a small sample of outpatients with treatment-resistant depression who continued their usual treatment, according to a proof-of-concept study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry.

The results also showed that repeated oral ketamine was well tolerated among these participants in a community setting.

“Intravenous ketamine … has been demonstrated to act as a novel antidepressant, with an extended effect following repeated infusions while maintaining a good safety profile,” Yoav Domany, MD, from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine, and postdoctoral research fellow, department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience, University of Cincinnati, and colleagues wrote. “However, intravenous administration presents major obstacles to clinical applicability, especially in community setting.”

Though previous study has examined IV and intranasal ketamine for treatment-resistant depression, research on oral ketamine is lacking. Therefore, the investigators conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept trial to determine the efficacy, safety and feasibility of add-on repeated oral ketamine for outpatients with treatment-resistant depression.

The researchers randomly allocated 41 participants to receive either 1 mg/kg oral ketamine or placebo three times a week for 21 days. All participants were instructed to continue taking their usual prescribed care. Patients were assessed at baseline, 40 minutes and 240 minutes after administration and on days 3, 7, 14 and 21 to measure change in Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores.

Of 22 participants who received treatment with ketamine and 19 who received placebo (control group), 33 patients completed the study. Among those receiving ketamine, Domany and colleagues observed a reduction in depressive symptoms between baseline and all other time points (P < .005), including day 21. In the control group, there was also a decrease in symptoms, but only at 40 minutes after initial administration (P < .05).

At the endpoint (day 21), the reduction in MADRS score was 12.75 among those receiving ketamine compared with 2.49 points among those receiving placebo (P < .001). The researchers reported that 27.3% of the ketamine group (n = 6) achieved remission as opposed to none in the control group (P < .05) at day 21.

Adverse effects were mild and transient, according to the safety analysis. Common adverse effects included increased systolic blood pressure, euphoria, dizziness and drowsiness after initial administration, all of which resolved within 1 hour. Follow-up safety evaluation at day 28 showed a maintained effect on MADRS scores in the ketamine group.

“Our results, although promising, cannot yet be applied to clinical practice without larger, randomized studies,” Domany and colleagues wrote. “Such studies are needed to address questions such as optimal dosing regimens, patient selection and treatment duration to properly assess the safety of long-term ketamine usage, the risk of misuse and the restricted means appropriate for at-home prescription.”

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Ketamine infusion well-tolerated in small sample with mood disorders

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Researchers observed no long-term adverse effects in a small sample of patients with severe and treatment-resistant mood disorders who received ketamine infusions as clinical treatment.

Although the response and remission rates after a four-infusion protocol were lower than those reported in most clinical trials, the small size and racial homogeneity of the study population limit the generalizability of these findings, according to data published in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

“Ketamine is being used as an off-label treatment for depression by an increasing number of providers, yet there is very little long-term data on patients who have received ketamine for more than just a few weeks,” Samuel T. Wilkinson, MD, from the department of psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine and Yale Psychiatric Hospital, told Healio Psychiatry.

“Controversy remains about whether ketamine should be used outside of research protocols due to concerns regarding potential negative clinical outcomes for repeated use, including impaired cognition, delusions and interstitial cystitis,” Wilkinson and colleagues wrote in their article.

Ketamine treatments were given in an electroconvulsive therapy suite. In late 2014, Yale began providing ketamine as an off-label therapy on a case-by-case basis for patients who could not participate in research protocols. In the current article, the authors assessed the participants’ experience over 29 months of providing ketamine as a clinical treatment for severe and treatment-resistant mood disorders.

At first, patients received a single- or double-infusion protocol (0.5 mg/kg over 40 minutes IV); but in early 2015, the researchers transitioned to a four-dose protocol over 2 weeks based on emerging evidence supporting the safety of a multiple-infusion protocol. They tracked symptom severity and set cognitive assessments at baseline and after every 6 to 12 treatments.

From October 2014 through February 2017, 54 patients received ketamine, with 518 total infusions performed. Ketamine infusions given at 0.5 mg/kg over 40 minutes were well-tolerated. Two patients discontinued treatment prematurely: one for intolerable dissociative effects and one for transient hypertension.

In the subset of 44 patients with mood disorders who began the four-infusion protocol, 45.5% responded and 27.3% remitted by the fourth infusion, which were lower rates than those reported in most previous clinical trials, according to the authors. Patients showed a significant reduction in symptoms over time. The overall mean score, as measured by the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (Self-Report), dropped by 37.9% and the overall mean depression score dropped by 37.8%.

“While our paper has a number of limitations, one of its strengths is the long-term follow-up of a small cohort of patients who have received ketamine for depression, some for over a year,” Wilkinson told Healio Psychiatry. “Though we were not able to follow patients with the same level of rigor as a sponsored clinical trial, we observed no obvious adverse long-term effects on cognition, development of psychosis, or new-onset cases of ketamine abuse.”

In a subsample of 14 patients who received long-term ketamine infusions ranging from 12 to 45 total treatments over a course of 14 to 126 weeks, there was no evidence of cognitive decline, increased inclination for delusions or emerging symptoms consistent with cystitis.

“There remains an urgent need for more powerful and comprehensive long-term safety data on ketamine from much larger samples,” Wilkinson and colleagues wrote.

“Given that racemic ketamine hydrochloride no longer has patent protections, it is unlikely that large and long-term clinical trials will be conducted to provide such long-term safety data,” they continued. “The formation of a registry combining data from community and academic sites is therefore the most realistic way of capturing long-term data on the effectiveness and safety of ketamine as a treatment for mood disorders.” 

 

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Can you be allergic to marijuana?

 

People can have allergic reactions triggered by marijuana, just as they can with many other plants and pollens. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

In recent years, there seems to have been an increase in the number of reports of marijuana allergies. This may be because marijuana, or cannabis, is becoming more popular as a medicinal treatment for a range of conditions. Some states have also legalized the drug for recreational use.

Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, can also cause negative reactions in some people.

Read on to learn more about the causes and symptoms of marijuana allergies, and the possible effects of CBD oil.

Causes

Marijuana buds, joints, and leaves on wooden table to represent marijuana allergy.

A marijuana allergy may be triggered by eating, smoking, or touching the plant or its products.

More than 50 million Americans have allergies. While marijuana may have some medical benefits, marijuana pollen can trigger allergy symptoms in some people.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), a person can develop an allergy or allergic sensitization to marijuana after exposure to the plant. People can be exposed to cannabis allergens in the following ways:

  • inhaling pollen in the air
  • smoking marijuana
  • touching marijuana
  • eating marijuana

Research published in 2013 suggests a particular strain of cannabis called Cannabis sativa may be especially irritating.

A recent small-scale study from 2018 reports that people are more likely to have a cannabis allergy if they have allergies to cat dander, molds, dust mites, or plants.

More research is needed, however, to establish this possible link.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of a marijuana allergy, many of which are similar to seasonal allergy symptoms, include:

  • a dry cough
  • congestion
  • itchy eyes
  • nausea
  • red, itchy, or watery eyes
  • a runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore or itchy throat

Handling the drug may also cause contact dermatitis, a skin reaction that can have the following symptoms:

  • blisters
  • dry skin
  • hives
  • itchiness
  • red, inflamed skin

Symptoms of marijuana allergies can come on immediately after exposure to the plant, although, in other cases, they may not begin for an hour or more.

To stop symptoms from getting worse, a person who notices these effects should immediately stop touching or smoking the drug.

Less commonly, marijuana can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This condition can be life-threatening and occurs within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen.

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • itchy and flushed or pale skin
  • low blood pressure
  • swollen tongue or throat
  • weak and rapid pulse
  • vomiting

Anaphylaxis can result in a coma or death, so it is essential to get emergency medical attention if this reaction is suspected.

Risks

Peeled banana half-eaten on wooden table.

A marijuana allergy can be linked to cross-reactivity with other allergens, including certain foods.

Along with anaphylaxis, the main risks linked to a marijuana allergy are that it may be linked to cross-reactivity with other allergens.

Cross-reactivity happens when the proteins, such as pollen, in the marijuana plant resemble the proteins in another plant. An allergic reaction may then occur when a person comes into contact with similar proteins elsewhere.

Foods with proteins that resemble marijuana proteins, and which may, therefore, cause an allergic reaction in people with marijuana allergies, include:

  • almonds
  • apples
  • bananas
  • chestnuts
  • eggplant
  • grapefruit
  • peaches
  • tomatoes

Diagnosis

Doctors diagnose marijuana allergies in the same way as other types of allergies, by using skin tests or blood tests.

Skin tests

A doctor will first take a person’s medical history and perform a physical examination. They may then use a skin prick test. This test is not very invasive, and the results come back quickly.

In a skin prick test, the doctor will apply a diluted allergen, such as marijuana, to the skin’s surface with a needle. If a red bump or wheal, itching, and redness develop in that area within 15 minutes, a person may be allergic to that substance.

A doctor may also use an intradermal test. This test involves using a thin needle to inject a diluted allergen just below the skin’s surface.

Blood tests

Blood tests are another way of checking for marijuana allergies. A sample of blood is drawn and tested for the presence of antibodies to marijuana. If a person has more antibodies in the blood than expected, they are more likely to be allergic to marijuana.

Blood tests may be better than skin prick tests in some cases because they involve a single needle prick. They are also less likely to be affected by any other medications. However, the results take longer to come back, and the tests are more expensive than skin tests.

Treatment

At present, no treatment is available for a marijuana allergy. A person can take antihistamines to manage symptoms and reduce discomfort.

For some types of pollen allergy, a course of allergy shots is prescribed to reduce a person’s sensitization to the substance. But these are not currently available for marijuana pollen.

Because of the lack of treatment options, those who are allergic to marijuana should avoid smoking, eating, or touching the plant or the drug to prevent allergy symptoms.

If a person has a severe allergy to marijuana, they should carry an epinephrine injection (Adrenaclick, Epipen, or others) in case of accidental exposure and subsequent anaphylaxis.

Prevention

Disposable blue gloves, face mask, and protective goggles.

Wearing protective layers may help to prevent an allergic reaction when handling marijuana.

Avoiding exposure to marijuana is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction to the plant or drug.

A person who is using medical marijuana and suspects that they may be allergic to it should speak with their doctor to find an alternative treatment.

People who work in a marijuana processing plant should limit exposure by using:

  • allergy medications
  • face masks
  • gloves
  • inhalers

Reactions to CBD oil

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a substance that comes from the marijuana plant. Medicinal uses include treating some seizure disorders.

CBD is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance in marijuana. Pure CBD does not have mind-altering effects. Only THC produces these “highs.”

In contrast, CBD may have antipsychotic and anti-inflammatory properties.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one CBD-based drug, Epidiolex. This prescription-only treatment can help people who have two types of rare and severe epilepsy. The drug received approval in June 2018.

For most uses, research has not yet confirmed how safe and effective CBD- or marijuana-based products are, and there are no regulations controlling the production or sale of CBD oil and other marijuana products.

Some CBD products contain THC, but it is not always clear how much, even when there is a label.

For this reason, most consumers do not know how safe their CBD oil is, especially when used in high quantities.

2011 review of previous studies on CBD oil reports conflicting findings. The researchers suggest that, while long-term use and high doses up to 1,500 milligrams a day may be well tolerated by people, some adverse reactions have been observed.

At high intakes, CBD oil may cause:

  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • interactions with other medications
  • lightheadedness
  • low blood pressure

2017 study recommends more research be carried out on the effect of CBD on certain enzymes, drug transporters, and the effects of other drugs.

An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies

Some people use CBD oil as a topical treatment for skin disorders or neurological pain. A person should try applying a small amount of the oil first, to ensure they will not experience an unwanted reaction.

In addition to Epidiolex, the FDA have also approved three drugs that contain a synthetic form of THC. Marinol and Syndros treat the severe weight loss that can occur with AIDS. Cesamet can help prevent nausea and vomiting in people who are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

As with other medications, it is possible to experience an allergic reaction to Epidiolex, Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet.

Takeaway

Most people with marijuana allergy symptoms have a mild to a moderate reaction that is similar to seasonal allergy conditions. Skin reactions may also be experienced.

When a person avoids the drug and its pollen, their symptoms will resolve quickly.

Those who are severely allergic to marijuana should seek medical treatment. Also, they should carry medications to react quickly to accidental exposure to the drug.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Everything you need to know about CBD oil

People take or apply cannabidiol to treat a variety of symptoms, but its use is controversial. There is some confusion about what it is and how it affects the human body.

Cannabidiol (CBD) may have some health benefits, and it may also pose risks. Products containing the compound are now legal in many American states where marijuana is not.

This article will explain what CBD is, its possible health benefits, how to use it, potential risks, and issues surrounding its legality in the United States.

In June 2018, the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the prescription use of Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD oil, for treating two types of epilepsy.

What is CBD oil?

CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant. Researchers have been looking at the possible therapeutic uses of CBD.

CBD oils are oils that contain concentrations of CBD. The concentrations and the uses of these oils vary.

Is CBD marijuana?

CBD oil may have health benefits

CBD oil may have a number of health benefits.

Until recently, the best-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

This is the most active ingredient in marijuana.

Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, and these compounds have different effects.

THC creates a mind-altering “high” when a person smokes it or uses it in cooking. This is because THC breaks down when we apply heat and introduce it into the body.

CBD is different. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive. This means that CBD does not change a person’s state of mind when they use it.

However, CBD does appear to produce significant changes in the body, and some research suggests that it has medical benefits.

Where does CBD come from?

The least processed form of the cannabis plant is hemp. Hemp contains most of the CBD that people use medicinally. Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa, but the two are very different.

Over the years, marijuana farmers have selectively bred their plants to contain high levels of THC and other compounds that interested them, often because the compounds produced a smell or had another effect on the plant’s flowers.

However, hemp farmers have rarely modified the plant. These hemp plants are used to create CBD oil.

How CBD works

All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors.

The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It also has two receptors for cannabinoids, called the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.

CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, but many are in the brain.

The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions, and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, and other functions. THC attaches to these receptors.

CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.

Researchers once believed that CBD attached to these CB2 receptors, but it now appears that CBD does not attach directly to either receptor.

Instead, it seems to direct the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.

Benefits

CBD may benefit a person’s health in a variety of ways.

Natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties

People tend to use prescription or over-the-counter drugs to relieve stiffness and pain, including chronic pain.

Some people believe that CBD offers a more natural alternative.

Authors of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly reduced chronic inflammation and pain in some mice and rats.

Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting a3 glycine receptors

An Overview on Medicinal Chemistry of Synthetic and Natural Derivatives of Cannabidiol

Effects of Cannabinoid Drugs on Aversive or Rewarding Drug-Associated Memory Extinction and Reconsolidation

 

The researchers suggested that the non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, such as CBD, could provide a new treatment for chronic pain.

Quitting smoking and drug withdrawals

Some promising evidence suggests that CBD use may help people to quit smoking.

A pilot study published in Addictive Behaviors found that smokers who used inhalers containing CBD smoked fewer cigarettes than usual and had no further cravings for nicotine.

A similar review, published in Neurotherapeutics found that CBD may be a promising treatment for people with opioid addiction disorders.

The researchers noted that CBD reduced some symptoms associated with substance use disorders. These included anxiety, mood-related symptoms, pain, and insomnia.

More research is necessary, but these findings suggest that CBD may help to prevent or reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Epilepsy

After researching the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, the FDA approved the use of CBD (Epidiolex) as a therapy for two rare conditions characterized by epileptic seizures in 2018.

In the U.S., a doctor can prescribe Epidiolex to treat:

  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a condition that appears between the ages of 3 and 5 years and involves different kinds of seizures
  • Dravet syndrome (DS), a rare genetic condition that appears in the first year of life and involves frequent, fever-related seizures

The types of seizures that characterize LGS or DS are difficult to control with other types of medication.

The FDA specified that doctors could not prescribe Epidiolex for children younger than 2 years. A physician or pharmacist will determine the right dosage based on body weight.

Other neurological symptoms and disorders

Researchers are studying the effects of CBD on various neuropsychiatric disorders.

Authors of a 2014 review noted that CBD has anti-seizure properties and a low risk of side effects for people with epilepsy.

Findings suggested that CBD may also treat many complications linked to epilepsy, such as neurodegeneration, neuronal injury, and psychiatric diseases.

Another study, published in Current Pharmaceutical Design, found that CBD may produce effects similar to those of certain antipsychotic drugs, and that the compound may provide a safe and effective treatment for people with schizophrenia. However, further research is necessary.

Fighting cancer

Some researchers have found that CBD may prove to combat cancer.

Authors of a review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found evidence that CBD significantly helped to prevent the spread of cancer.

The researchers also noted that the compound tends to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote their destruction.

They pointed out that CBD has low levels of toxicity. They called for further research into its potential as an accompaniment to standard cancer treatments.

Anxiety disorders

Doctors often advise people with chronic anxiety to avoid cannabis, as THC can trigger or amplify feelings of anxiousness and paranoia.

However, authors of a review from Neurotherapeutics found that CBD may help to reduce anxiety in people with certain related disorders.

According to the review, CBD may reduce anxiety-related behaviors in people with conditions such as:

The authors noted that current treatments for these disorders can lead to additional symptoms and side effects, which can cause some people to stop taking them.

No further definitive evidence currently links CBD to adverse effects, and the authors called for further studies of the compound as a treatment for anxiety.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes results from inflammation that occurs when the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas.

Research published in 2016 by Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation found that CBD may ease this inflammation in the pancreas. This may be the first step in finding a CBD-based treatment for type 1 diabetes.

A paper presented in the same year in Lisbon, Portugal, suggested that CBD may reduce inflammation and protect against or delay the development of type 1 diabetes.

Acne

Acne treatment is another promising use for CBD. The condition is caused, in part, by inflammation and overworked sebaceous glands in the body.

A 2014 study published by the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD helps to lower the production of sebum that leads to acne, partly because of its anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Sebum is an oily substance, and overproduction can cause acne.

CBD could become a future treatment for acne vulgaris, the most common form of acne.

Alzheimer’s disease

Initial research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that CBD was able to prevent the development of social recognition deficit in participants.

This means that CBD could help people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s to keep the ability to recognize the faces of people that they know.

This is the first evidence that CBD may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Legality

Marijuana leaves

CBD oil is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant.

Cannabis is legal for either medicinal or recreational use in some American states. Other states have approved the use of CBD oil as a hemp product but not the general use of medical marijuana.

Some state and federal laws differ, and current marijuana and CBD legislation in the U.S. can be confusing, even in states where marijuana is legal.

There is an ever-changing number of states that do not necessarily consider marijuana to be legal but have laws directly related to CBD oil. The following information is accurate as of May 8, 2018, but the laws change frequently.

However, state legislators generally approve the use of CBD oil at various concentrations to treat a range of epileptic conditions. A full list of states that have CBD-specific laws is available here.

Different states also require different levels of prescription to possess and use CBD oil. In Missouri, for example, a person can use CBD of a particular composition if they can show that three other treatment options have failed to treat their epilepsy.

Anyone considering CBD oil should speak with a local healthcare provider. They can provide information about safe CBD sources and local laws surrounding usage.

Also, research local state laws. Most states require a prescription.

Recent developments: CBD oil for epilepsy

In June 2018, the FDA approved the use of CBD to treat two types of epilepsy.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, writing for the FDA on 25 June, stated:

Today, the FDA approved a purified form of the drug cannabidiol (CBD). This is one of more than 80 active chemicals in marijuana. The new product was approved to treat seizures associated with two rare, severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older.”

Dr. Scott Gottlieb

Dr. Gottlieb is careful to point out that:

  • The FDA have not approved the use of marijuana or all of its components.
  • The association has only approved a purified version of one CBD medication, for a precise therapeutic purpose.
  • The decision to approve the product was based on the results of sound clinical trials.
  • Patients will receive the medication in a reliable dosage.

Side effects

Many small-scale studies have looked into the safety of CBD in adults. They concluded that adults tend to tolerate a wide range of doses well.

Researchers have found no significant side effects on the central nervous system, the vital signs, or mood, even among people who used high dosages.

The most common side effect was tiredness. Also, some people reported diarrhea and changes in appetite or weight.

Risks

There is still a lack of available long-term safety data.

Also, to date, researchers have not performed studies involving children.

Side effects of Epidiolex

Concerning the product that the FDA approved to treat two types of epilepsy, researchers noticed following adverse effects in clinical trials:

  • liver problems
  • symptoms related to the central nervous system, such as irritability and lethargy
  • reduced appetite
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • infections
  • rashes and other sensitivity reactions
  • reduced urination
  • breathing problems

The patient information leaflet notes that there is a risk of worsening depression or suicidal thoughts. It is important to monitor anyone who is using this drug for signs of mood change.

Research suggests that a person taking the product is unlikely to form a dependency.

Side effects of other uses of CBD

There is often a lack of evidence regarding the safety of new or alternative treatment options. Usually, researchers have not performed the full array of tests.

Anyone who is considering using CBD should talk to a qualified healthcare practitioner beforehand.

The FDA have only approved CBD for the treatment of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

When drugs do not have FDA approval, it can be difficult to know whether a product contains a safe or effective level of CBD. Unapproved products may not have the properties or contents stated on the packaging.

It is important to note that researchers have linked marijuana use during pregnancy to impairments in the fetal development of neurons. Regular use among teens is associated with issues concerning memory, behavior, and intelligence.

How to use

CBD is one of the compounds in marijuana

CBD is just one of may compounds in marijuana, and it is not psychoactive. Smoking cannabis is not the same as using CBD oil.

Using CBD oil is not the same as using or smoking whole cannabis.

A person can use CBD oil in different ways to relieve various symptoms.

If a doctor prescribes it to treat LGS or DS, it is important to follow their instructions.

CBD-based products come in many forms. Some can be mixed into different foods or drinks or taken with a pipette or dropper.

Others are available in capsules or as a thick paste to be massaged into the skin. Some products are available as sprays to be administered under the tongue.

Recommended dosages vary between individuals, and depend on factors such as body weight, the concentration of the product, and the health issue.

Some people consider taking CBD oil to help treat:

Due to the lack of FDA regulation for most CBD products, seek advice from a medical professional before determining the best dosage.

As regulation in the U.S. increases, more specific dosages and prescriptions will start to emerge.

After discussing dosages and risks with a doctor, and researching regional local laws, it is important to compare different brands of CBD oil.

Several CBD oils with different applications are available to purchase online.

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Effects of cannabidiol plus naltrexone on motivation and ethanol consumption.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore if the administration of naltrexone together with cannabidiol (CBD) may improve the efficacy in reducing alcohol consumption and motivation rather than any of the drugs given separately.

The effects of low doses of naltrexone (0.7 mg·kg , p.o.) and/or CBD (20 mg·kg ·day , s.c.) on ethanol consumption and motivation to drink were evaluated in the oral-ethanol self-administration paradigm in C57BL/6 mice. Gene expression analyses of the opioid μ receptor (Oprm1) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the 5-HT receptor in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) were carried out by real-time PCR. The role of 5-HT receptors in the ethanol reduction induced by the administration of CBD + naltrexone was analysed by using the 5-HT receptor antagonist WAY100635 (0.3 mg·kg , i.p.).

The administration of CBD + naltrexone significantly reduced motivation and ethanol intake in the oral self-administration procedure in a greater proportion than the drugs given alone. Only the combination of both drugs significantly reduced Oprm1, TH and 5-HT gene expressions in the NAc, VTA and DR respectively. Interestingly, the administration of WAY100635 significantly blocked the actions of CBD + naltrexone but had no effects by itself.

The combination of low doses of CBD plus naltrexone were more effective than either CBD or naltrexone alone at reducing ethanol consumption and the motivation to drink. These effects appear to be mediated, at least in part, by 5-HT receptors.

 

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When and How to Treat Possible Cannabis Use Disorder

When and How to Treat Possible Cannabis Use Disorder

  • Psychosocial interventions are the first-line for the treatment of cannabis use disorder.

  • The most effective available treatments are cognitive–behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy, with greater benefits found when combining approaches.

  • Adding contingency management to these interventions can provide further benefit.

  • There is no pharmacotherapy approved for the treatment of cannabis use disorder.

  • Cannabinoid analogues and gabapentin have been tested with preliminarily positive results. Further research is warranted to clarify the potential role of these medications.

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Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for
Disorders of Motivation?

Beyond the CB1 Receptor Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation   << LINK

Results from a growing number of preclinical and clinical studies identify a novel treatment application for CBD in disorders of motivation, including drug addiction, anxiety, and
depression (Table 1). A review of the findings suggests that CBD may attenuate motivational dysfunction through activation of the 5-HT1A receptor and elevations in eCB tone. Given the
multitude of molecular targets for CBD, there is substantial potential for additional beneficial effects through actions at other receptors. Further in vivo exploration of these targets will be fundamental for developing a thorough understanding of the therapeutic efficacy of CBD for drug addiction and affective disorders. Critically, isolating the mechanisms of CBD may pinpoint selective targets for rational drug development. Yet the
greatest treatment value of CBD may lie in its multitarget actions or polypharmacology (Hopkins 2008). Pharmacotherapies that target numerous receptors across neural networks
may be more efficacious than those that are maximally selective for a single target (Hopkins 2008, Mencher & Wang 2005). Evidence for this comes from the use of antidepressants and antipsychotics, which derive their therapeutic effects via interactions across various GPCRs (Anighoro et al. 2014). Therefore, in motivational disorders with complex etiology and underlying neural substrates, the multitarget effects of CBD may make it a highly efficacious
treatment option.

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Cannabinoid potentiation of glycine receptors contributes to cannabis-induced analgesia.

Cannabinoid potentiation of glycine receptors contributes to cannabis-induced analgesia.

Abstract

Cannabinoids enhance the function of glycine receptors (GlyRs). However, little is known about the mechanisms and behavioral implication of cannabinoid-GlyR interaction. Using mutagenesis and NMR analysis, we have identified a serine at 296 in the GlyR protein critical for the potentiation of I(Gly) by Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a major psychoactive component of marijuana. The polarity of the amino acid residue at 296 and the hydroxyl groups of THC are critical for THC potentiation. Removal of the hydroxyl groups of THC results in a compound that does not affect I(Gly) when applied alone but selectively antagonizes cannabinoid-induced potentiating effect on I(Gly) and analgesic effect in a tail-flick test in mice. The cannabinoid-induced analgesia is absent in mice lacking α3GlyRs but not in those lacking CB1 and CB2 receptors. These findings reveal a new mechanism underlying cannabinoid potentiation of GlyRs, which could contribute to some of the cannabis-induced analgesic and therapeutic effects.

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Distinct pharmacology and metabolism of K2 synthetic cannabinoids compared to Δ(9)-THC: mechanism underlying greater toxicity

Distinct pharmacology and metabolism of K2 synthetic cannabinoids compared to Δ(9)-THC mechanism underlying greater toxicity

Abstract

K2 or Spice products are emerging drugs of abuse that contain synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs). Although assumed by many teens and first time drug users to be a “safe” and “legal” alternative to marijuana, many recent reports indicate that SCBs present in K2 produce toxicity not associated with the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, ∆(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC). This mini-review will summarize recent evidence that use of K2 products poses greater health risks relative to marijuana, and suggest that distinct pharmacological properties and metabolism of SCBs relative to Δ(9)-THC may contribute to the observed toxicity. Studies reviewed will indicate that in contrast to partial agonist properties of Δ(9)-THC typically observed in vitro, SCBs in K2 products act as full cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) and type 2 (CB2R) agonists in both cellular assays and animal studies. Furthermore, unlike Δ(9)-THC metabolism, several SCB metabolites retain high affinity for, and exhibit a range of intrinsic activities at, CB1 and CB2Rs. Finally, several reports indicate that although quasi-legal SCBs initially evaded detection and legal consequences, these presumed “advantages” have been limited by new legislation and development of product and human testing capabilities. Collectively, evidence reported in this mini-review suggests that K2 products are neither safe nor legal alternatives to marijuana. Instead, enhanced toxicity of K2 products relative to marijuana, perhaps resulting from the combined actions of a complex mixture of different SCBs present and their active metabolites that retain high affinity for CB1 and CB2Rs, highlights the inherent danger that may accompany use of these substances.

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Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health.

Article regarding health aspects and risk of THC and CBD.

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Beauty’s New High: CBD Oil

Now that nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, and with many other states with varying latitudes of access, cannabis has gotten a whole lot more sophisticated. And the beauty business is not about to miss out.

Cannabis-derived ingredients feel trendy, and they may well offer a raft of possible benefits, which beauty brands are quick to tout. CBD oil, specifically, is nonpsychoactive (it won’t get you high) and is said to offer relief from pain, anxiety and depression, stimulate appetite and have anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties. Cannabis products also nod to enthusiasms that have already gained momentum in the beauty industry, like ingestibles (CBD-infused gummies, caramels and drops) and wellness (CBD lotions to relieve soreness from new year workouts).

There are already devout fans, some boldfaced, who are drawn to CBD topical products largely for their pain-relieving properties. Olivia Wilderecently told this reporter that she used it to relieve physical aches during a Broadway run. The fashion stylist Karla Welch, who works with Ms. Wilde, Ruth Negga, Katy Perry and Sarah Paulson, uses Lord Jones CBD lotion on her clients’ feet when they walk the red carpet.

“It’s perfect for long nights in high heels,” Ms. Welch said. “All my girls love it, and bottles live in my styling kit.”

Jessica Richards, the founder of Shen Beauty in Brooklyn, is often a trendsetter in beauty retailing, and she started carrying Lord Jones in December. “I do so much SoulCycle that I have one hip that hurts,” she said. “I tried out the CBD lotion. It’s not a placebo. It really does work for pain management.”

Image
From left, Vertly, Lord Jones and Khus & Khus CBD products.

Lord Jones, which is based in Los Angeles, is not the only brand to market a pain-relieving CBD body lotion, but it is one of the chicest. Founded in 2016 by Robert Rosenheck, who has a branding background, and his wife, Cindy Capobianco, who has led public relations for Banana Republic and marketing for Gap, it is a leader in a movement to make marijuana more attractive to a mainstream audience. The packaging, with a baronial crest and gold accents, would look at home in a fashionable department store. That celebrities use the products adds additional cachet.

“The closer we get to de-stigmatizing cannabis, the better it is for all,” Ms. Capobianco said.

That sentiment is shared by upstarts including Cannuka, a line of topical products containing CBD and manuka honey; Khus & Khus, a skin- and body-care line by the ayurvedic specialist Kristi Blustein; and Vertly, a line of lip balm by Claudia Mata, a former W magazine accessories editor, which is introducing body care this year. And beauty lines, including Malin & Goetz and Boy Smells, make reference to cannabis in their products purely for the scent.

For example, Boy Smells has a cannabis-scented candle called Kush. “We’re aware that having a cannabis candle is a little provocative, but I personally love the flavor and smell of cannabis,” said Matthew Herman, a founder, who previously worked for the fashion labels Giles Deacon, Proenza Schouler and Zac Posen. “It has a wet earth smell that is very attractive.”

Mr. Herman also noted that the cannabis industry is undergoing a makeover. “A lot of my friends have been getting their products from more ‘luxury’ cannabis suppliers who are focusing on packaging and branding,” he said. “It’s not like pot is new, but for a long time you had to go to a head shop and buy a cheesy pipe. It was always a little gnarly. Now it’s fun to see modern, minimal, elevated designs.”

But looks are one thing, efficacy is another. As CBD oil seeks to go mainstream, it’s tough to tell which products hold up to scrutiny. “I get sent a million different brands saying they have CBD, and the stuff doesn’t work,” Ms. Richards said.

That’s because there is confusion in the marketplace, said Verena von Pfetten, a onetime Lucky digital editor and a founder of Gossamer, a publication dedicated to the chic side of cannabis culture. “The cannabis plant is complex with many compounds,” Ms. von Pfetten said. “CBD is one of them, and THC is one of them.”

There are studies, she said, showing that for pain relief, CBD works best within the plant’s cannabinoid system, meaning that combinations of compounds are more effective than isolated ones. That’s termed the “entourage effect,” and Lord Jones, for one, has sought to compensate for it by using CBD rendered from the entire hemp plant.

“We’ve found CBD isolate, or crystals of pure CBD, to not work,” Ms. Capobianco said.

Speaking of hemp, there’s debate there, too. Hemp is a type of cannabis that has had the THC largely bred out of it. It’s legal across state lines, so only CBD derived from hemp can be distributed nationally. There is a lot less CBD and other cannabinoids in hemp than in cannabis strains that contain THC.

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