That leaves those touting CBD’s effectiveness pointing primarily to research in mice and petri dishes. There, CBD (sometimes combined with small amounts of THC) has shown promise for helping pain, neurological conditions like anxiety and PTSD, and the immune system—and therefore potentially arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and more.
Researchers at the Department of Pharmacognosy, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, UK, basis the study conducted on mice found that CBD oil has analgesic properties and may relieve chronic pain of all kinds . It can disrupt the activity of pain receptors in the body and instead cause a release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine – “feel good” compounds that can ease discomfort and pain, even if the pharmaceutical painkillers have no effect.
At this time, there does seem to be a growing body of basic pharmacologic data suggesting there may be a role for CBD, especially in the treatment of refractory epilepsy. However, given the lack of well-controlled trials, we must also ask if we are getting ahead of ourselves. Clearly, this is an emotionally and politically charged issue. If this were any other uninvestigated pharmaceutical compound, would we feel as compelled to make the agent widely available before statistically valid class 1 evidence was available for review? Until data from well-designed clinical trials are available and reliable, and standardized CBD products that are produced using GMP are available, caution must be exercised in any consideration of using CBD for the treatment of epilepsy. In the meantime, based upon promising preliminary data, further clinical research should be wholeheartedly pursued.
A number of difficulties exist in evaluating published data on CBD or marijuana use for epilepsy. The extremely limited published studies were small, poorly described, and not well designed. Contributing to the difficulty of interpreting published studies, CBD products are not produced under the guidance of good manufacturing practices (GMP) and are not subject to regulations governing labeling, purity, and reliability. In other words, currently, there is no guarantee of consistency between products, or even differing lots produced by the same manufacturer. Without independent testing (e.g. USP certification) of CBD products for content and purity, as well as bioavailability testing of specific products, uncertainty surrounds the use of available CBD products in routine clinical settings.
The cannabis plant contains a unique group of carbon compounds often referred to a phytocannabinoids. The most common ingredient is THC, which creates the euphoric high effect. Due to the THC element in the plant, marijuana is often associated with a stoner stigma of people only wanting to get high. But that is far from the truth. Cannabis also contains other medicinal compounds including cannabinol, cannabigerol, cannabidiol, and cannabichromene.
Cannabidiol is the major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa. Over the centuries, a number of medicinal preparations derived from C. sativa have been employed for a variety of disorders, including gout, rheumatism, malaria, pain, and fever. These preparations were widely employed as analgesics by Western medical practitioners in the 19th century (1). More recently, there is clinical evidence suggesting efficacy in HIV-associated neuropathic pain, as well as spasms associated with multiple sclerosis (1).
I stopped by Moon Juice after work, feeling a little nervous and excited all at once. “You might notice that your body feels a bit heavy after you try it—sometimes when I take it I feel like I just want to sit down and chill,” said the women behind the Moon Juice counter who helped me. Prepped for potential side effects, I emptied one dropper’s worth of CBD oil into my chamomile tea as soon as I got home … And didn’t feel anything. A few hours later I got into bed and immediately fell asleep.
Other targets for CBD include transient receptor potential (TRP) channels that are involved with the modulation of intracellular calcium (1, 6). Cannabinoids are highly lipophilic, allowing access to intracellular sites of action, resulting in increases in calcium in a variety of cell types including hippocampal neurons. CBD actions on calcium homeostasis may provide a basis for CBD neuroprotective properties.
There’s still a lot of unknown territory, but early evidence for CBD’s efficacy is more than enough to justify further large-scale clinical studies — some of which are already in the works. These studies also point to the variety of effective ways to take CBD. This is an important point to keep in mind if you find yourself shopping for CBD products and wondering if the best CBD for pain is a topical, a tincture, or a vape product.
Transparency: Moon Mother sends each batch of product to a third-party lab to be tested for potency as well as other contaminants. You can find all of these lab reports on the company’s website. They also added more information about their company processes to the website, so it’s easier to find important information about extraction and manufacturing.
Bacon had said that I might need to try two full droppers worth of the oil to really feel its benefits. I knew that I had an incredibly busy and stressful day ahead of me—I needed to fit in a five mile run before work, had lots to do at the office, was scheduled for a busy event in the middle of the day, and had a 2-hour meditation class later that night which would require a lot of mental clarity. Tentatively, I squirted two droppers of CBD oil into my bulletproof coffee and sipped away.
And then I woke up on the concrete, a worried crowd gathered around me. “You had a seizure,” my friend said gently as I blinked my eyes, trying to process this new information. I remember it was warm that night because I was wearing a sundress, and when I finally regained consciousness my first worry was that my dress flew up and everyone could see my underwear.