Social media is blasting this one out lately, showing that different parents have been treating their children illegally (in states that are not classed as medical states) to help prevent their children from having seizures or deal with epilepsy. While there has been limited scientific evidence on the topic, 2016 was a major turning point for the plant as a major study was conducted by Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, showing profound results.
Several weeks after a hysterectomy last spring, Bo Roth was suffering from exhaustion and pain that kept her on the couch much of the day. The 58-year-old Seattle speech coach didn’t want to take opioid pain-killers, but Tylenol wasn’t helping enough. Roth was intrigued when women in her online chat group enthused about a cannabis-derived oil called cannabidiol (CBD) that they said relieved pain without making them high. So Roth, who hadn’t smoked weed since college but lived in a state where cannabis was legal, walked into a dispensary and bought a CBD tincture.
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Over the past few years, increasing public and political pressure has supported legalization of medical marijuana. One of the main thrusts in this effort has related to the treatment of refractory epilepsy—especially in children with Dravet syndrome—using cannabidiol (CBD). Despite initiatives in numerous states to at least legalize possession of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, little published evidence is available to prove or disprove the efficacy and safety of CBD in patients with epilepsy. This review highlights some of the basic science theory behind the use of CBD, summarizes published data on clinical use of CBD for epilepsy, and highlights issues related to the use of currently available CBD products.
The reason so many people are interested in cannabis products that don’t make them high, proponents say, is that CBD helps with everything from pain and nausea to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and dementia. CBD is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antibacterial, immunosuppressive, and more, says Joseph Cohen, DO, a cannabis doctor in Boulder, CO.
Honestly, I began to wonder if I was just experiencing the placebo effect. But on the one day, I didn’t take my CBD oil, I ended up picking a fight with my boyfriend (totally my fault) and let a few off-color remarks by a family member mess with my mood. Truly, I feel like it was a bit less anxious, both of those incidents could have been diverted.
While animal experimental data clearly suggest a potential benefit, supportive clinical data are quite sparse. In a case-control study of 308 cases of new onset seizures, Brust and colleagues found that marijuana use was significantly less prevalent among men who had unprovoked seizures compared to case controls (9). This difference was not significant in women. The authors suggest a potential protective effect against seizures with marijuana use; however, this should be considered speculative.
But it also requires careful research before making a purchase. Because the cannabis plant readily absorbs pesticides, heavy metals and other chemicals that are in the soil and water, it’s so important that cannabis plants are frequently tested while they are growing. And it’s up to manufactures to test CBD products, too. When you are shopping for CBD oil, look for products that have been tested for contaminants and for CBD vs. THC levels.
It’s safe to say that Charlotte’s Web is probably the most recognized CBD brand out there — and it’s not all hype. This company pioneered the CBD industry and made it their mission to de-stigmatize CBD by setting the bar high for transparency. They produce and oversee their organic CBD products from seed to sale, standing behind them with a solid return policy.