After months of visiting doctors and sitting through tests like a human lab rat, it was determined that there was a slight anomaly in the anatomy of my temporal lobe—the part of the brain that controls hearing, speech, and auditory comprehension—which explains why every time I have a seizure, I suddenly don’t understand the English language. Epilepsy can’t be cured, so the only course of action available for me was to take a medication every day for the rest of my life. My neurologist prescribed a few different anti-convulsant medications, but they all made me feel tired, depressed, slow, and unlike myself—until finally, I found one that was slightly better than the rest.
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THC does typically come with a long list of health benefits, but the clinical use of this cannabis compound is often limited by its unwanted psychoactive side effects in people. For this reason, interest in non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, has substantially increased in recent years. In fact, CBD is being used in conjunction with THC for more favorable effects.
The endocannabinoid system is spread throughout your brain and body, but primarily throughout your central nervous system. The interaction between cannabinoids and receptors is what produces effects like the regulation of mood, pain, appetite, inflammation, and memory. Plant-based cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants, also interact with the receptors (whimsically named CB1 and CB2) in the endocannabinoid system, and each affects your body in different ways. CBD and its infamous cousin THC are the 2 most well-known cannabinoids.
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.