CBD vs Opioids: The Pain Relief Showdown!

Opioid painkillers have been a part of medical practice for a very long time. They are used for a variety of injuries and conditions that cause pain since they have strong, numbing effects, making them very useful in certain situations.

However, their use has become indiscriminate and unnecessary in a lot of cases, and illicit production and sales have risen significantly, which has caused an epidemic of opioid addiction and several cases of overdose which result in death.

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

What are opioid painkillers?

Opioids, or narcotics, are a type of drug that produces euphoria, drowsiness, confusion, slow breathing and pain relief. And, because they have a high potential for abuse, they are controlled substances.

They are made from components found in the opium poppy plant, or developed in labs, like fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid.  

For decades, doctors have prescribed opioids like oxycodone or morphine to patients who suffer from strong chronic or acute pain for different reasons: from injuries, to chronic illnesses.

Though these opioids initially do their job and reduce or eliminate pain, they have terrible effects when they are taken long term, as they mostly are nowadays. They create strong dependence, making it very difficult, or even impossible for the patients to stop taking them. But the most serious issue with these painkillers is that they cause an astounding amount of deaths in the United States, and the rest of the world, due to overdose.

TheHealingMethod

CBD and Opioids

Lately, CBD has proven to be a potential substitute for painkillers as well as helpful in opioid addiction treatments, since it provides pain relief, lifts the mood and lowers anxiety, which is so prevalent in withdrawal syndrome.

Prescription Opioids vs Illegal Opioids

There really is not much difference between opioids prescribed by a doctor and the illegal ones we often hear about in the news. What sets them apart is that legal ones are prescribed and controlled, while illegal ones are sold in the illegal market and completely uncontrolled, which does make it easier for people to overdose due to the uncertainty of what exactly is in them and how strong it is.

The first opium derivative to become popularized for pain management was morphine, which is used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain. Morphine is an isolated compound found in opium poppy which is 10 times stronger than processed opium poppy on its own, which was used for pain relief in the past. And, though it was initially foreseen to have several medicinal benefits, it soon proved to be extremely addictive and dangerous if taken regularly.

Morphine isn’t the only commonly prescribed opioid. We might also know heroin, for example, as a well known narcotic that is illegally sold. However, it is commonly prescribed by doctors for pain management, under the name of diamorphine. Though the name is different, it is exactly the same chemical, and it has the same effects. So, just like a heroin overdose can cause death, so can a diamorphine overdose in a patient who has been prescribed the medication.  

Some of the most common prescription opioids are:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Vicodin  

These are all controlled substances, and are very commonly used and abused by patients or by those who have a narcotic addiction. They might work well for temporary pain relief when a person has been severely injured or has had surgery, but are not recommended for long term use, since they will inevitably cause dependence and, subsequently, are very likely to be abused; or, in the best of cases, they will cause very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

It is estimated that, in 2017, more than 72.000 people died of opioid overdose in the united states. A shocking number, isn’t it? And Fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times more potent than morphine, and 50 times more potent than heroin, seems to be responsible for the steady rise in this number. And, just like most opioids, it is marketed both illegally and under medical prescription.

Those at Risk…

In this opioid epidemic, the illegal buyers are not the only ones at risk. Even for patients to whom they have been prescribed, opioid painkillers are dangerous. If a person is feeling pain and, out of desperation, takes more than the prescribed amount, an overdose is highly probable.

The drowsiness caused by them can affect some people more than others. So even if some are perfectly able to go about their day after taking morphine, some might be at risk of fainting, falling over, or tripping. They can be seriously injured or even die for reasons other than overdose.

Because most of these are readily prescribed by doctors, addicts have taken to faking injury and severe pain in order to receive opioids in urgent care or the E.R. And, since it’s not necessarily easy to tell who’s faking and who’s not, many get away with it, which calls us to look into other non opioid pain relief for doctors to use in their practice in order to reduce the likelihood of this happening.  

CBD vs Opioids: What are the Effects?

Though they both provide pain relief, CBD and opioids work in completely different ways.

First of all, opioid painkillers are highly processed or synthetic, which means that they are no longer the poppy plant they once were; they are not at all natural, which causes them to have stronger, more dangerous effects than CBD, which is not nearly as processed and is completely natural.

Some of the differences in effects are:

Opioids

  • Cause drowsiness and confusion
  • Slowed breathing and hypoxia (not enough oxygen reaching the brain)
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Euphoria
  • Death (caused by overdose)
  • Tolerance, which causes the person to need higher doses or a stronger opioid

CBD

  • Doesn’t cause drowsiness or confusion; it has even been shown to improve concentration and alertness during the day
  • Doesn’t affect oxygenation, but might reduce blood pressure during stressful events
  • Is often used to reduce nausea
  • Doesn’t cause constipation, but in extremely high doses, it might cause diarrhea in some people
  • Improves mood, but doesn’t produce euphoria
  • Has never been observed to cause death, even in extremely high doses
  • Hasn’t been shown to produce tolerance

It is important to point out that this list of effects is for CBD on its own, it doesn’t take into account the effects that supplements that include THC might have.

Opioids, regardless of them being illegally taken or prescribed, shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women, since they could cause miscarriage, low birth weight, and even cause the baby to develop dependence and withdrawal symptoms after birth.

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

Sometimes, people who use marijuana consistently (daily) in high doses, begin experiencing something called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which causes vomiting and severe stomach cramping, which are only relieved by hot baths. In these cases, the only solution is to stop consuming marijuana.

This syndrome is believed to be caused only by THC, since it hasn’t been observed to occur in people who use high doses of CBD on a daily basis (like children and adults who suffer from epilepsy), only by frequent high THC marijuana consumption.

Is CBD addictive?

This is an interesting question. CBD on its own has not shown any potential for dependence. However, when it comes to THC, or marijuana, about 9% of people who use it regularly develop something called “marijuana use disorder”, which is not necessarily an addiction, but a form of dependence.

Since THC produces psychoactive effects, it is likely the reason marijuana causes dependence, particularly if the habit of consumption begins before the age of 21, when the brain is more susceptible to alterations. However, this dependence and its withdrawal symptoms are usually very mild and go away fast, compared to those of strong opioids like morphine, oxycodone, and others.

CBD derivatives have not been shown to cause dependence, but since they have mood lifting effects, people might report not feeling as uplifted when not using them. In this sense, CBD can be compared to antidepressants: used on their own, they might keep you afloat, but stopping them would cause you to sink back into depression. However, if they are taken along with a disciplined therapeutic and growth process, there might come a time when you can decide, along with your doctor, to stop taking them without issues.

Facts!

Is cannabis an opioid?

No! Cannabis is not an opioid. Opioids are drugs (legal or illegal) derived from the opium poppy plant, or made in a lab to enhance some of its properties (like fentanyl). Cannabis is a different plant entirely.

Are there CBD withdrawal symptoms?

CBD has not been observed to produce withdrawal symptoms when suspended, but changes in dosage might cause different effects, and some people might miss the benefits and take a little while to adapt to not taking it.

CBD helps with withdrawal symptoms…

When you’re wondering how to get off opioids, it is important to work with a healthcare professional. Effects can be varied and hard to deal with, so you’ll need support, and your doctor might recognize CBD as a valid option to facilitate the process. It all depends on the type of opioid you’ve developed dependence to, the dosage you’re currently taking, and the way your body reacts to it. It’s different for everyone.

However, CBD has shown to be helpful for opioid withdrawal in most cases, since it reduces anxiety, improves mood, enhances sleep, and reduces pain, which are all issues that are encountered during the process.

CBD vs Opioids What’s the best option?

Though many would prefer certain opioids, like morphine, since they lack the social stigma that cannabis comes tied to, the truth is that:

  • CBD is not addictive, while opioids are
  • You cannot die of CBD overdose, but you can easily die of opioid overdose
  • CBD hasn’t been shown to produce withdrawal symptoms, while opioids produce plenty, which disable the person suffering from them
  • CBD can be used long term without causing the patient to develop resistance to its effects, while opioids do, and eventually results in the need for a stronger version

Clearly, CBD is the least harmful option of the two. And, though it might not have the numbing effects that opioids are capable of producing, if CBD turned into a routine, along with other small life changes, like exercise, meditation and healthy eating, the effects are likely going to be even better and less risky than those of opioids, at least when it comes to long term use.

When it comes to short term use, like after an accident, or surgery, opioids do have their benefits and, as long as they are carefully administered can be a good option, but should not become a habit, or they will surely generate life threatening addiction.

RELATED ARTICLES

Have you ever given a thought to those pieces of bone on your back, just below your shoulders? Probably not. And what does it mean when they’re hurting…

Epilepsy can be a devastating diagnosis for children and families alike. Feeling like your child’s life has been interrupted and they can no longer enjoy the activities they once had is heartbreaking…

Has a doctor ever asked you to rate your pain from 1 to 10? Well, the number is hard to decide, and the more we try, the more annoyed we get, until we just settle for one that doesn’t quite represent how we feel…

Happy 420! Special 2019 Edition: Latin America




…and stay on top of the latest buzz on medicinal cannabis legalization in Latin America.

April 20 is an international cultural day when the pro-cannabis community traditionally gets together to express its thoughts on the legalization of cannabis in all its forms.

The term 420 has been used since about 1971, both referring to the date (April 20) and the time of day (4:20pm), as code for cannabis. It has been since adopted by the pro cannabis community, and is now used to bring attention to the issues of legalization and medicinal use.

A new dawn…

The end of the decade is bringing with it a new dawn for cannabis as a medicine. It is slowly but steadily transforming into a scientifically recognized medicinal substance and leaving its social stigma behind.

Currently, a lot of countries around the world are debating the possibility of legalizing cannabis for medicinal or recreational use, while some have already moved past the issue.

This new, worldwide debate has opened the doors for a new market full of possibilities since, until recently, cannabis was solely monopolized by the illegal market and violent criminal groups, which caused the quality of the products to be unsupervised and poor. However, legal cannabis would bring with it regulation and standards which would prevent quality issues that can cause negative health consequences (such as mold or chemicals in the plant making consumers sick).

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

Cannabis and CBD in Latin America

Latin America has become an important player in the recent journey of worldwide cannabis legalization. Several Latam countries have taken steps, in recent years, to legalize and produce hemp and different cannabis strains for medicinal purposes, and they are expected to soon become extremely competitive in the international market of processed derivatives, like oils, creams, sprays, and all the different presentations currently available.

It is predicted that by 2028, medicinal cannabis will account for two thirds of the regional total value of the cannabis market, because production is about 80% cheaper than in the US, Canada or Europe.

There are currently more than 40 licensed cannabis producers in Latin America. Some countries, however, seem to be more ahead than others. For example, up until December of 2018, Colombia accounted for 44% of the world production quota.

The estimated total market value of cannabis in Latin America is 9.8 billion USD, and legal sales within the region are expected to rise to 12.7 billion by 2028.

Canada is currently the strongest market for cannabis, since it has fully legalized cannabis use for both medicinal and recreational purposes, and Canadian companies have invested more than 100 million dollars in Colombia for growing purposes. This means Colombia is positioning itself to become one of the largest cannabis exporters in the world.

Legalization

In Latin America, legalization has vast differences from country to country, which comes to show how culture varies from one to another, even if they are thought to be very similar.

The Latin American countries where medicinal cannabis is legal are:

Some insight into the most cannabis-relevant Latin American Countries

Uruguay

In 2013, Uruguay became the first, and so far only, Latin American nation to legalize adult cannabis consumption. Only registered Uruguayans are allowed to purchase cannabis, and it can only be sold by authorized pharmacies.

In 2014 it was made legal to grow up to 6 plants at home.

Brazil

Brazil has the highest cannabis consumption in Latin America.

In 2015, CBD was transferred from the list of prohibited substances to the list of controlled substances, and is now fully covered by the health care system. However, authorizations for the import of cannabis oils are individually evaluated for compassionate use, which means it’s only for patients whose condition is resistant to all other treatments available.

Mexico

Mexico has a history of conservative policies regarding cannabis; but in 2015, special access to CBD Oil was granted to a little girl, and in 2018, the country finally made it legal to grow for private personal use, and declared the prohibition unconstitutional, which suggests that legalization of non medical use will come in 2019.

Chile

Chile has the highest consumption rates per capita in Latin America. And, interestingly, out of all Latin American countries, it has the longest history with successful hemp cultivation for fiber, so the have a lot of experience on good growing practices and know the plant well.

Panama

In Panama, cannabis is still illegal, even medicinal. In 2016 a “legalization” bill passed, but regulation is pending. Only personal dose is allowed, and there are exceptional sanitary permits.

This year, the national assembly is due to vote on bill 595, which legalizes medicinal consumption, but prohibits domestic cultivation.

Like Panama, some Countries around the world have this strange phenomenon, where regulation is pending. Colombia had this issue in 1986, when a law was passed, which allowed regulation, but the regulations took a couple of decades to arrive.

Colombia

Colombia has quickly become one of the strongest countries when it comes to cannabis cultivation. And, at the moment, it’s the only one aggressively promoting cannabis exports.

It has several conditions that favor it in this particular industry, like:

  • A variety of climates.
  • 12 hour day/night cycle, which allows for year round outdoor cultivation.
  • Long culture of exportation.
  • Central location, which is good for commerce.
  • Fertile soil.
  • Existing legislation.
  • The government’s commitment.

In 2018, Colombia was granted a growing quota equivalent to 44% of the world production authorized by the International Narcotics Control Board.

TheHealingMethod

Legalization

Colombia had an interesting journey. Though legalization technically happened in 1986, the country’s issues with drug trafficking and violence prevented further regulation, which caused cannabis to still be treated as illegal. It took several years before any other legal disposition was made concerning cannabis. The timeline is as follows:

February, 1986: Colombia legalized manufacture, export, sales, medical and scientific use of cannabis. However, due to the lack of regulation, production could not be initiated.

1994: Consumption was decriminalized.

2009: The Constitution is modified, criminalizing possession and consumption, except with medical prescription.

2012: Possession is decriminalized (up to 20gr).

June, 2015: Home cultivation of up to 20 plants is decriminalized.

December, 2015: Cannabis is legalized for medical and scientific purposes.

May, 2016: The Ministry of Health defined licensing requirements for production and manufacture of cannabis derivatives.

June, 2016: The first manufacturing license was issued to a large-scale cannabis corporation.

July, 2016: Law 1797 established a regulatory framework for medical and scientific use of cannabis.

April, 2017: Decree 613 amended law 1787, ensuring government support for small growers, distinguishing between psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis, and creating regulations for seeds.

At the moment, Colombia is the only latinamerican country that distinguishes between psychoactive and non psychoactive medical cannabis. Psychoactive cannabis is only permitted in its processed form (oils, pills, and different topical presentations), but not as flowers or dried plants. Cannabis-based medication (like Sativex) is only available with a medical prescription, and can only be distributed in government authorized pharmacies.

Since November 2018, several cannabis licenses have been granted:

  • 19 for use of seeds
  • 62 for psychoactive cannabis cultivation
  • 89 for hemp cultivation
  • 73 entities were granted licenses for psychoactive cannabis derivative manufacturing (68 for export, 64 for domestic use and 28 for scientific research)

Colombia aims to grow as a cannabis derivative exporter, starting with the regional market before expanding to other countries, like Canada.

Foreign operators are welcome in the Colombian cannabis industry, and residency requirements have not been established, though the company must at least have a local branch or independent company within the territory, and is expected to comply with the local tax regulation.

At the moment, several major Canadian cannabis companies are already involved in Colombia. And the government has now granted benefits to small and medium growers, which benefit the country’s growing economy.

According to BBC Mundo, “Colombia has the best conditions in Latin America for investing in the [medical] marijuana industry.” And Canadian analyst, Michael McCune, a member of the Canadian lobbying group called iTrust Cannabis, said, “We see Colombia as a global leader in the cannabis industry, with enormous production and export capacity.”

This is an important view, since Colombia and Canada are currently the two main leaders of the cannabis market.

Colombia’s economy is slowly being reborn from the ashes of the conflict that has plagued it for decades. And it’s interesting to see how cannabis is one of the industries that has begun to take shape after the illegal drug-fueled conflict. Not to mention that the economic development brought by it is reaching some of the most conflict-affected areas of the country, like Valle del Cauca and Magdalena.

It’s perfect timing, since the government is questioning itself on how it can generate rural development without relying on hydrocarbons, which are now an unstable market. And by 2025, Colombia’s cannabis exports are predicted to exceed those of coal, while Procolombia also believes that the country is capable of quickly capturing one fifth of the cannabis market in the next few years.

The Change….

The punitive approach to cannabis in Latin America and the rest of the world is changing steadily due to the increasing number of patients who have been successfully treated with it; and that change will only be accelerated by the fact that the World Health Organization has recommended its rescheduling as a controlled substance. This encourages a debate between the medical and scientific world and those who still feel that it is necessary to maintain the punitive approach towards cannabis.

Each Latin American country has its own regulations, which vary depending on their individual culture and history. These regulations have different implications for companies that wish to enter the country’s economy or expand in it.

The two most commonly used business models for this industry in Latin America are:

  • Vertically integrated operations (a license-holder is allowed to produce, process, sell, and export their product).
  • Corporate model for agriculture (small and medium-sized producers sell their harvest to a company that processes, packages, and distributes the product).

This is something the region needs. An estimated 4.5 million Colombians and 60 million Latin Americans suffer from cancer, MS, or epilepsy. The region is in need of better, less harmful treatments that can help people have a better quality of life.

What will legalization bring to the table?

Legalization is a game changer. It brings with it regulations that keep products in check and set a standard for quality and good practices. It stops being a business lead by criminal organizations that take advantage of the low standards and becomes a market pushed forward by doctors, scientists and serious entrepreneurs who know how to provide good service and quality products.

It also opens the doors wider for medical and scientific studies, trials and research that will allow us to look into new treatments and even cures for devastating illnesses.  

Vicente Fox, board member of Khiron Life Sciences Corp. and former president of Mexico, believes that moving from prohibition to legalization is a good thing. It takes money and power away from violent, illegal organizations and gives it to entrepreneurs, farmers, the legal side of economy; it generates jobs, medical and scientific research, and accelerates development.

Though public opinion is quickly shifting and people are now less fearful than they have ever been about cannabis, this particular industry needs to be more careful than others. Every company needs to be on its best behaviour because one mistake can ruin everything. The cannabis industry hasn’t yet established credibility, so it is up to the new companies to do so.

If everything goes well, people will understand that there’s a big difference between an industry run by criminals and an industry run by doctors, experts, and farmers.

There seems to be a misconception about cannabis being an extremely harmful drug, but this is nothing more than a misconception, which will, in time, hopefully change.

“I have never heard of anyone dying from cannabis; on the other hand, billions have perished from alcohol, sugar excess, and cigarettes.” Vicente Fox

For it to work…

For this industry to succeed, different factors need to come into play.

  • The collaboration between different countries will surely bring the best of two worlds together, and result in a product that has outstanding quality and good manufacturing practices.
  • Operational costs must be maintained low for Latam countries to become competitive and maintain that competitiveness when others begin exporting.
  • Brands need to stand out globally and have exceptional quality and good practices.
  • It is important for companies to understand and adapt to the individual regulations in the countries they have chosen to work in, in order to avoid unnecessary legal issues.
  • t’s important to maintain supply, since demand can jump unexpectedly.
  • It is also necessary to stimulate home grown market and inform people on good home growing practices in order to avoid widespread health issues.
  • Cannaturism is also a broad opportunity for Latin Amercan countries while legalization moves forward.

2020s?

There’s a lot of hope for the 2020s! It’s the beginning of a new era for medicine, science, and society. A new era for less prohibition and more regulation in order to ensure quality and good practices in the marketing of cannabis products.

If regulations continue to advance, the next decade will possibly bring with it better medical treatments for painful, debilitating illnesses and a significant improvement in mood disorders, anxiety and depression.

Having a legal cannabis market will also serve as a strong blow to violent organizations that take advantage of circumstances and are not interested in the community’s well-being. They have caused a lot of harm to individuals and entire counties. So taking away some of their power, is bound to be a positive change…

Happy 420!

And here’s to a new era.   

RELATED ARTICLES

Since the 2018 Farm Bill was signed this past December by the President, the FDA, lead by Scott Gottlieb, has been judiciously looking into the subject in order to figure out how to regulate Hemp, CBD and products infused with it…

Last week, a chain pharmacy most of us are very familiar with, CVS, introduced hemp derived CBD products to their inventory in 800 different shops, in 8 States around the US! This is big news, as it means CBD’s benefits are being more recognized…

Hemp has been a part of the country’s history since colonial times. The Mid-Atlantic States grew it intensively. Hemp was used to create ropes used in ships, while others used it for textile purposes as…

Endocannabinoid Deficiency Fibromyalgia: Is CBD the Answer?

Fibromyalgia has plagued the lives of many, both physically and emotionally. It causes disability and depression, making people feel isolated and unproductive. However, its cause, just like that of many other conditions, remains a mystery to sufferers and doctors… Could science be close to figuring it out?

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a mysterious illness that causes sufferers to feel pain in their body for no apparent reason. It is more prevalent in women, and it is currently the most common rheumatology diagnosis in the United States.

Often, people who suffer from it are dismissed as being over dramatic, or some claim their pain to be psychosomatic, which is why the diagnosis is fairly new, compared to other conditions.

However, in recent years, studies have shown that fibromyalgia is, in fact, a very real medical condition that not only causes unnecessary pain signals to be sent to the brain, but also alters the pain threshold, making people a lot more sensitive to these signals, which is referred to as  hyperalgesia.

In sufferers, fibromyalgia causes stress, anxiety, feelings of guilt, isolation, and even disability. It is part of a group of conditions referred to as subjective pain syndromes, which are difficult to identify, since there are no objective, observable signs and they are often resistant to medical treatment. It is characterized by painful trigger points, mostly in the shoulders and neck, that limit physical activity and generate frustration.

It is associated closely with depression and anxiety, but it isn’t clear if one causes the other or if they coexist because they have the same origin.

TheHealingMethod

Endocannabinoid Deficiency?

In our bodies, the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, has two basic tasks:

  1. Balance feelings of well-being
  2. Stimulating the body to heal from injury or illness

This system reacts to endocannabinoids (cannabinoids that are naturally produced by our bodies), which interact with it and keep it running as it should.

Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome, CECD, happens when the concentration of these endocannabinoids, called anandamide and 2-AG, are lower than normal. This is a very new discovery, the initial theory having been proposed in 2001, and subsequent studies have backed it up.

Slowly, scientists and doctors are catching on to how this affects us, and have been shocked to discover that the effects are a lot broader and more significant than previously thought.

The origin of the theory came from the fact that many brain disorders are related to neurotransmitter deficiencies, so it was concluded that, considering its main function, chronic endocannabinoid deficiency should result in alterations in the sensations of pain, system imbalance and inflammation, since the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in those.

Conditions whose cause has been unknown for centuries now have a little ray of sunshine. Low levels of anandamide have been reported in people suffering from a number of illnesses whose cause was eluding the medical community.

If endocannabinoid deficiency proves to be the cause, these illnesses will now have better, more effective treatments that will make them more manageable, and they will be less likely to cause disability and depression.

Endocannabinoid Deficiency Fibromyalgia, Migraine, PTSD and IBS

Some of the conditions that have been observed to concur with clinical endocannabinoid deficiency are: fibromyalgia, migraines, PTSD and IBS, among others.

These three conditions have certain common characteristics:

  • Heightened sensitivity to pain, or hyperalgesia, which has been observed to be associated with endocannabinoid hypo-function (decreased function of the ECS).
  • Are accompanied by anxiety and depression
  • Have been labeled as psychosomatic
  • They coexist in the majority of cases, which suggests the same cause

Recently, it was discovered that people who suffer from fibromyalgia have a distinct deficiency of the endocannabinoid anandamide, which our body is supposed to produce naturally. Anandamide generates feelings of well-being and, in high amounts, can cause euphoria. However, if its concentration is too low, it has shown to have incredibly negative effects physically and emotionally.

When looking further into the issue, other illnesses were associated with this deficiency, which was officially named “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome,” or CECD. And the main conditions it has been related to often overlap, supporting the theory that it is the possible cause.

Endocannabinoid Deficiency Fibromyalgia: Is CBD the Answer?

If anandamide deficiency proves to be the cause of some or all cases of fibromyalgia, there is a lot of hope for a successful treatment to be developed and standardized in the near future.

CBD is a phytocannabinoid, a cannabinoid that is produced in plants, which stimulates CB2 receptors, the same type of receptors that react to anandamide and cause feelings of wellness and pain relief. Theoretically speaking, CBD should be able to replace anandamide in people who have low concentrations of it, until eventually the body is able to regulate its production.

Interestingly, in a specific study, CBD showed an improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms that highly surpassed those of the usual medications prescribed for this condition (like duloxetine and milnacipran).  

In fibromyalgia and other CECD related conditions, cannabinoid treatment, mainly CBD treatment, has shown improved sleep, pain relief, and other benefits that support the influence of the deficiency in the symptoms.

In a few trials, THC was studied as a possible treatment, but the results were not as significant as the ones showed for CBD and whole plant cannabis, which showed decreased pain and stiffness almost immediately, as well as improvement in sleep and reduced anxiety.

The use of cannabis-based epilepsy medication, Sativex also proved to be highly effective for pain, which proves that CBD oil for fibromyalgia is the best option.

What is the cause of endocannabinoid deficiency fibromyalgia?

Humans have an optimal level of endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG) in the body, which interact with endocannabinoid receptors. When endocannabinoid function is lower than normal,a series of conditions will necessarily follow, such as:

  • Digestive issues
  • Mood alterations
  • Sleep alterations
  • General well-being will be disrupted

It is still unknown why these lower endocannabinoid levels occur, but the CED theory suggests that the cause could be genetic or congenital, or might even be acquired after a significant injury or illness that alters the balance of the endocannabinoid production.

Other illnesses that have been linked to CECD

The ones mentioned above are not the only conditions that seem to be linked to clinical endocannabinoid deficiency. Others that are being evaluated for their possible relation to CECD are:

  • Neonatal failure to thrive
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Infantile colic
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Repetitive, unexplained miscarriages
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar disorder

These are just a few, though there are many others that could be part of this list.

Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency is new, but very important discovery being studied currently that could help us understand different conditions that have mostly been a complete mystery to us.

It seems almost obvious when you think about illnesses being caused by the body being unbalanced. A lot of people have spoken about CBD oil and fibromyalgia. However, we are so used to having external causes to our ailments, that we have failed to see what was right under our noses.

Our bodies have lost balance, so we need to return it to them in order to be healthier and feel better. Hopefully CBD treatments are standardized and recognized as valid methods of improving the quality of life of those who suffer from fibromyalgia and have seen their lives altered by it.

RELATED ARTICLES

For the first time ever, we can say that several medical trials are being carried out to determine the benefits of CBD. A few years ago, these components were only considered for terminal patients, but now…

April is World Autism Awareness month, and every year has brought with it more progress in terms of knowledge. Hopefully, now that worldwide cannabis legalization is looming above us, it serves as an opportunity to…

How many times have you stared at the ceiling, shifted around and flipped the pillow over in an effort to fall asleep? Here’s how CBD, along with some other small changes, can help you sleep better and defeat insomnia…

CBD Oil for Autism: Does it Work?

April is world autism awareness month, and every year has brought with it more progress in terms of knowledge, representation and new treatments for those who live with autism.  

This campaign aims to raise both awareness and funding for medical research in hopes of discovering new treatment options, like CBD, or possible ways of preventing this disorder by identifying risks factors more clearly, which are thought to be a mix of genetic and environmental conditions.

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

Hopefully, now that worldwide cannabis legalization is looming above us, it serves as an opportunity to contribute to the different treatments that are currently available for autistic children and adults.

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurobehavioral disorder with a wide spectrum of severity.

Characteristically, those who suffer from autism, have impaired social, communication, and language skills; and it is generally characterized by rigid, repetitive behaviors and movements.

Around 1% of children in the US are diagnosed with some form of autism: 1 in every 37 boys, and 1 in every 151 girls. Though it is more likely to be diagnosed in boys than girls, that gender gap is beginning to diminish, since there is more awareness of how it can manifest differently in girls.

In 2014, it was estimated that more than 3.5 million people in the US live with autism spectrum disorder. The diagnosis of the disorder is increasing quickly, but it is thought to be more due to awareness and better diagnosis criteria, rather than due to an “epidemic” many fear.

Complications…

Around 30% of cases of autism are accompanied by seizures and epileptic disorders, which makes them harder to manage. And the condition may also be complicated by learning disabilities and other disorders, both neurological and physiological.

Adulthood comes with a whole new set of challenges for patients, even those with high functioning autism. For instance, around 35% of young adults with autism haven’t had a job or received further education after high school.

Fortunately, there is constantly more information and scientific research being carried out that could help people and families better cope with this disorder. For example, currently, the University of North Carolina is working on a study that will establish a way of determining if a baby will eventually grow to be diagnosed with autism.

This particular study will allow children to receive therapy and treatment in an early stage, which is likely to result in a better prognosis. Currently, by looking at a brain scan, autism can be predicted and, so far, 8 out of 10 predictions are accurate.

CBD Oil for Kids with Autism

Though at the moment it might seem a little controversial, these past few years, doctors and parents have been turning to cannabis, specifically CBD, in hopes of improving the quality of life of children with autism.

CBD shows promise as a treatment for behavioral symptoms, including violent outbursts, hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, and hypersensitivity to physical contact; not to mention it can do a lot for autism that is accompanied by epilepsy, reducing seizures and cognitive decline.

Because traditional treatments are limited, parents have begun exploring alternative treatments such as CBD, and some are beginning to see it as a first option, even before any other medications are tried.

TheHealingMethod

Clinical Trials…

In 2016, Israeli doctors began carrying out a medical trial with 120 low-to-medium functioning autistic children and young adults, in order to evaluate the behavioral effects CBD could have on their condition.

The supplements that were used were completely free of THC, since the purpose of the study was to determine the properties of CBD alone, and THC still comes with a lot of legal, social and medical baggage that they weren’t prepared to deal with.

During this trial, some patients who were 100% non communicative, started speaking after being given CBD.

At the end of this year, 2019, The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, will be launching a trial with the aim of looking into CBDs effects on severe forms of autism in children.

Why does CBD Oil for autism work?

It has been theorized that the reason CBD reduces self harming behavior in autistic children, is that it improves their communication skills, reducing the frustration that they feel when they’re unable to express ideas and feelings.

Parents have reported a significant improvement in behavior and mood alterations when using CBD Oils or Sprays. It suddenly becomes less stressful and risky to have people over, and it becomes easier to show affection and communicate in a clear way.

A lot of parents report more eye contact, less anxiety at being in an educational setting, and even openness to accepting new foods, which is often an issue.

Also, since epilepsy is a common issue with severe forms of autism, the benefit doubles. Parents use CBD oil for autism and epilepsy, and it has shown a lot of effectiveness, since CBD is better known for its anti-seizure properties and is now being used for epilepsy in children and in adults. This means it can potentially improve the lives of those who suffer from both conditions significantly.

Though doctors know of the many benefits it provides, they want to know exactly how CBD works and why it improves autism symptoms before they “go wild” and prescribe it to every kid that comes to their office. However, there are some who have already begun recommending and prescribing the component.

CBD Oil for High Functioning Autism

Since autism is a spectrum disorder, it varies in severity and need for support. A lot of autistic children grow up to be fully functioning adults. However, they still have difficulties with social interactions, depression and anxiety.

Even for high functioning autism, and what was formerly known as Asperger’s syndrome, CBD oil has been known to help with social anxiety, which is prevalent for those who suffer from the disorder; depression; and even helps reduce repetitive movements.

Autism and the CB2 Receptor

In 2013, a study was conducted in order to identify physiological differences between autistic and non autistic children, in hopes that the origin of the condition could be targeted and life skills improved.

It was discovered that there is a significant difference between autistic and non autistic children when it comes to CB2 receptors.

CB2 receptors, one of the two types of receptors that conform the endocannabinoid system, respond to CBD. The component stimulates them and balances different systems and functions.

Hopefully, in the near future we manage to figure out what exactly is affected when a child suffers from autism, and how CBD targets that alteration.

CBD Oil Dosage for Autism

When it comes to dosage, it is extremely important to consult with a healthcare professional and take into account the child’s age, weight and condition.

Generally speaking, the initial dosage is the same as the one normally used for childhood epilepsy, which is 1mg per kilogram, 3 times a day.

Starting from there, the dosage can be slowly increased until positive changes are seen. Though, again, medical supervision is advised.  

So, is CBD Oil for Autism a Good Idea?

If you compare CBD to medication like Risperdal, which is often given to patients, there really is no question that CBD is the better option.

Psychiatric medication often causes significant side effects that can harm the body and mind permanently, while CBD causes virtually none, and it’s completely natural.

Parents, experts and patients themselves don’t report any negatives when it comes to CBD oil for autism. Probably the only issue they’ve expressed is having trouble finding the product.

Just like it occurs with epilepsy patients, CBD usually allows autistic children to lower the dosage of other medications they’re taking, or to stop taking them completely.

Healthwise, CBD is a really good option. However, Child Protective Services is still an issue parents sometimes have to deal with, since it’s not yet a recognized treatment. So, legally, when it comes to minors, it’s still a very delicate territory and parents should be well informed before making the decision to give their child CBD supplements.

Here’s to CBD being standardized as a medical treatment!

RELATED ARTICLES

For the first time ever, we can say that several medical trials are being carried out to determine the benefits of CBD. A few years ago, these components were only considered for terminal patients, but now…

How many times have you stared at the ceiling, shifted around and flipped the pillow over in an effort to fall asleep? Here’s how CBD, along with some other small changes, can help you sleep better and defeat insomnia…

About once a month, most menstruating people go through that dreaded time in their cycle when everything sucks… Is CBD the answer to getting through it in better shape?

CBD Face Mask – Just What Your Skin Needs!

It’s Time for some Pampering and Self Care with these Amazing Turmeric and CBD Face Masks

Let’s face it, most of us have had skin problems at some point in our lives. From irritation, to oily skin to acne, there’s always something that’s ailing our complexion.

At this point we know that, when it comes to skin, the least aggressive options are the best ones; this is why strong chemicals are better kept away. On the other hand, natural, homemade face masks are a really nice way to care for our skin and relax, not to mention they’re all the rage!

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

Today, we’ll be giving you two recipes for all natural face masks, using two ingredients you might not normally think of when planning a spa night with friends, or by yourself.

As a side note, both of these recipes have been enhanced with tea tree oil due to its healing and antibacterial properties. It’s a great complement for the other ingredients you’ll be using.

CBD Skin Care Benefits

CBD has a lot of benefits, to the point where it is often used by people who suffer from dermatitis, eczema, acne, and other skin conditions. When used in cream form, or any other topical presentations (cbd face serum, sprays, patches, roll-ons), CBD can do a lot for your skin!

Some of the most recognized CBD skin care benefits, are:

  • Antibiotic and antifungal: CBD has antimicrobial properties that prevent infections and the growth of bacteria or fungi, while also strengthening the body’s built in defense system.
  • Anti inflammatory: topical CBD helps reduce localized swelling caused by allergies, bruising, exhaustion, and irritation.
  • Reduces irritation: CBD calms the skin, reducing irritation, itching and redness caused by different factors.
  • Promotes healing: CBD promotes healing and activates skin repair when there are lesions.
  • Interestingly, cannabis has also been known to work very well in the treatment of some forms of skin cancer (and other types of cancer), with impressive results. However, when used for cancer, THC, the psychoactive component found in cannabis, plays an important role.

Calming, rejuvenating CBD Face Mask and CBD Facial

You have probably seen some of the best CBD beauty products out there! But how about making your own?

Cannabis has a calming, anti inflammatory effect on the skin. It can be used by people who suffer from diverse skin conditions due to it being both a natural and effective way to reduce inflammatory and allergic reactions, making it the best face mask for irritated skin.

So here’s the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of CBD Oil
  • ¼ of an avocado
  • 3 drops of tea tree oil

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients until you have a creamy paste, then carefully apply it on your face with a brush, and leave for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax! You deserve it. Do this once a week, or when needed.

How does CBD work in face masks?

Though CBD can be used on its own, in cream or oil form, the idea behind mixing it into a face mask with other beneficial ingredients, like tea tree oil and avocado, is to potentiate its action on the skin and make the experience a lot more healing. This might be the best CBD skin care routine for you! Try it and let us know how it goes.

Remember, natural ingredients are always the best option!

CBD Oil side effects

CBD oil hasn’t been observed to have side effects on the skin. It generally relieves pain, irritation, and inflammation, but no negative effects or allergic reactions have been documented. On the contrary, due to its anti inflammatory effect, CBD has been shown to reduce light allergic reactions, along with the hypersensitivity and irritation caused by them.

Turmeric Skin Care Benefits

Curcumin, the main component in turmeric, has several different health benefits, making it one of the most medicinal herbs in the world, which is why it is highly used in Ayurvedic medicine in India and Sri Lanka, as well as incorporated into the local cuisine.

  • Antimicrobial: it doesn’t allow harmful microbes to grow, cleansing impurities off the skin.
  • Anti inflammatory: it reduces inflammation and pain caused by it.
  • Antioxidant: it has the ability to cancel out free radicals which are thought to cause cancer, aging and decay in the skin and other organs.

TheHealingMethod

Deep cleaning, detoxifying Turmeric Face Mask

Turmeric has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties, so it helps clean and detoxify your skin deeply, while reducing inflammation and the “puffiness” caused by it. So here’s an amazing recipe that can help you…

Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon of powdered turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of raw Honey
  • ¼ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 6 drops of tea tree oil

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients until you have a paste, then carefully apply it on your face with a brush, and leave it for 6 minutes. Do this once a month.

If you have a light complexion, it’s best to do this when you don’t have any commitments that day, since your skin might (not necessarily) have a yellow tinge for a few hours. Though this shouldn’t happen if you don’t use more than ½ a teaspoon. Don’t worry if it does happen, though! Just don’t leave the mask on for too long, and gently rinse your face a few times, soak a cotton ball in your favorite face tonic, and dab it as you normally would.

Some bonus tips for skin care:

  • Drink enough water: you might’ve heard this before, but it’s true: water helps the body get rid of toxins that affect our skin.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables every day: they give you important nutrients that your skin needs in order to be healthy and repair itself.
  • CBD supplements: taking a CBD supplement as little as once a day can contribute to your body’s ability to heal and can reduce inflammation or irritation in your face.
  • Avoid strong chemicals: they can cause irritation and allergies.
  • Give your pores a break from makeup: your skin also needs to breathe every now and then.
  • Skincare routine: Wash your face once or twice a day with cold water and a soft, natural face wash (if necessary), making sure you remove all your makeup before going to bed! The pillowcase isn’t the only one that suffers if you go to sleep with makeup on.

Let’s take the time to care for ourselves…

We live fast paced lives which often cause us to forget about caring for ourselves in basic ways. We work, study, travel and, before we know it, our skin is dry and lifeless, or irritated and swollen.

Whether it’s a poor diet, lack of nutrients, or excessive exposure to the elements, CBD and curcumin can help us give a little life back to our complexion, not to mention, taking the time and putting the effort into helping our skin recover, reminds us to be more mindful and appreciate our health and body…

RELATED ARTICLES

First of all, let’s make something clear: This is not just for couples, and not just for Valentine’s Day. As you probably know, CBD is very healthy for human bodies. So, if you are forever…

If you follow or have any interest in the cannabis industry, you know that CBD products are trendy. From gummy bears and infused beverages, to full spectrum CBD medications…

New Year’s eve is coming. And we know you have already been thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. We also know that those resolutions don’t last very long, and very few of us can…

CBD Oil for Seizures: Childhood Epilepsy

Epilepsy can be a devastating diagnosis for children and families alike. Feeling like your child’s life has been interrupted and they can no longer enjoy the activities they once had, or that you thought they would, is heartbreaking.

But parents and doctors all over are making a fuss about cannabis and CBD oil. Most of us have heard something about it.

If you’re still wondering what it’s all about, and how it can help, then here you go…

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

High CBD Strains for Epilepsy

There are several high CBD cannabis strains out there; some old, some new. Hemp is the better known one, since it’s been around for centuries, and has been used for different purposes, both medicinal and industrial.

When it comes to epilepsy, some popular high CBD strains are Valentine X, AC/DC, Cannatonic, Therapy A, among many others. But Charlotte’s Web, which was originally called “Hippie’s Disappointment”, is one of the better known ones when it comes to use for minors, due to it being high in CBD and extremely low in THC (30:1 ratio), which means it doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects, even in small children. But, hemp and other high CBD strains are very similar to it and more easily obtained. Plus, they also have the beneficial effects that people seek when searching for alternative treatments for epilepsy.

What can CBD do for epilepsy patients?

CBD has anti seizure, antispasmodic and neuroprotective properties, which help epileptic patients reduce the frequency of seizures, loosen the muscle spasms that they are prone to, and slow, or even reverse, the deterioration that the seizures cause in the brain.

There have been several heartwarming success stories of epileptic children who have been treated with CBD oil. And Hippie’s Disappointment, for example, was renamed after a patient that responded very well to it in 2012.

Real Children have benefited from it…

Charlotte Figi, who was five when she started taking CBD, suffers from a very complex type of epilepsy, called Dravet syndrome, which was causing her to have around 300 seizures per week. And, since most children who suffer from this illness die before the age of 10… At this point she was already halfway through her life expectancy.

Her parents eventually came to the realization that traditional medication was not going to do much for their daughter’s condition. And as they looked into alternative treatments, they came across cannabis, which was already being used for epilepsy patients.

They wanted their daughter to enjoy life and have as much quality time as possible, since she was only five. Her illness was not allowing her to be a child and experience life the way she should have been able to.

“During that time, she lost the ability to walk, talk, eat, and really just, like, participate in life at all; she couldn’t do anything, she just sort of laid in my arms, catatonic. And I just thought that was it…” Charlotte’s mom said.

After trying “Hippie’s Disappointment”, Charlotte improved dramatically, only suffering from three or four seizures per month. And, in an impressive turn of events, she was able to completely go off her strong epilepsy medication.

Epilepsy in Children

There are several cases like Charlotte’s. This isn’t an isolated situation, epilepsy affects an alarming number of children and adults in the country, and in the entire world, and it has no cure at the moment, so finding the best, least harmful treatment, should be a priority.

What is it?

Epilepsy is a chronic illness that affects the brain, and is characterized by frequent, unpredictable seizures which are not caused by any other underlying condition (such as fever).

People who suffer from epilepsy can be affected by it in a variety of ways because there are different types of seizures and different causes for the illness. So there’s no way to know how much a person’s quality of life will be altered before they have lived with epilepsy for a while.

In 2015, epilepsy affected more than 3.4 million people in the United States. That is 1.2% of the country’s population. Of these, 470.000 were children, and 3 million were adults.

It is estimated that, today, 0.6% of children suffer from active epilepsy. Though it might not seem like it, it’s a lot.

Causes

Mostly, the cause for epilepsy in children is unknown. However, stroke, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, and central nervous system infections can cause epilepsy in people who didn’t previously suffer from it.

Types of Seizures

According to Epilepsy Ontario, there are two main types of epileptic seizures, and each has its own subtypes respectively:

1. Focal Seizures: limited to one point in the brain.

  • With retained awareness
  • With loss of awareness

 

2. Generalized Seizures: there is seizure activity in both hemispheres of the brain.

  • Absence seizures: the child abruptly becomes unaware for a period of time.
  • Tonic-clonic or convulsive seizures: first, the child loses consciousness, stiffens, and falls to the floor. Then, the extremities begin twitching uncontrollably.
  • Atonic seizures: the child loses consciousness and collapses.  

 

  • Clonic seizures: the person loses control of their body and starts twitching involuntarily; it might involve loss of consciousness, followed by confusion.  
  • Tonic seizures: muscle spasms, flexion or extension of the arms or legs, and impaired consciousness.
  • Myoclonic seizures: abrupt muscle jerks in different parts of the body.

 

Depending on the type of seizure a person suffers from, it will look different to those around them, which is why it’s so scary for parents who witness their child’s first ever seizure; it’s something no parent expects to see, and most don’t recognize it for what it is. It can be extremely alarming.

Why are CBD and Hemp getting so much attention from parents of epileptic children?

Before Charlotte’s Web was popularized for pediatric seizure disorders, strains like hemp and AC/DC were already being used as an alternative treatment for epilepsy patients, including children. And they still are, since CBD has no side effects and no risk of overdose as far as we know.

In the past few years, actual medical studies and trials have been conducted in different countries, with very positive results, which brings a lot of hope to the medical community.

There are a lot of illnesses, epilepsy among them, which have not yet been fully unravelled, and medication for it hasn’t been perfected. Symptoms and complications are tough to deal with, so science is constantly trying to figure out which medication could be developed in order to help without causing side effects that are worse than the actual illness.

Since cannabis has had such a bad reputation due to its known recreational use, looking into it medicinally has been generally frowned upon. This preconception has slowed the research and the studies, especially when it comes to children. However, we’re coming to a point when illnesses are becoming less deadly, but more impairing. Yes: people now have a longer lifespan, but a very poor quality of life.

It is particularly harrowing for parents to see their young children suffering and not enjoying life. This gives them the courage to try options that might be unpopular, because they really have nothing to lose.

This is the reason why, in the past few years, CBD has had a lot more buzz. Parents are looking, the internet is showing, and, when something works, those parents want to share their experience with the world and with other parents.

Concerns

Parents and healthcare professionals have several concerns: does CBD oil affect a child’s development? Does it get them high? Does it make them more likely to develop an addiction in the future?

The answer to all of these is NO.

Brain Development

CBD in no way affects a child’s development. In fact, in cases where a child suffers from epilepsy or autism, where the cognitive development is impaired, CBD treatments have been shown to stop, and even reverse this deterioration and improve psychosocial abilities.

Does the Child get High?

It doesn’t get children “high”. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects, and people who consume it retain their full capacity and awareness.

Does it Generate Addiction?

CBD has been proven to be non-addictive; it does not create habit or make children or adults more likely to develop it in the future.

The benefits, however, have the potential of preventing brain damage which would have been caused by years of frequent and strong seizures.

CBD: Improving the Quality of Life

Today, thousands of parents and doctors swear by CBD. Remember these are families who have known heartbreak closely by seeing a crippling illness reduce their child’s quality of life immensely.

This is the hardest part of chronic illnesses. Surviving, but not living. Or seeing someone survive, but not live.

CBD is able to not only treat an illness, but to return joy and life to a person, child or adult, who has forgotten what it feels like to enjoy day to day activities. It doesn’t just reduce seizures; it gives something back. And it’s not just for epilepsy patients. CBD helps with a number of symptoms, chronic or acute.

TheHealingMethod

What should I do if someone is having a seizure?

If you see someone having a seizure, it can be very scary. You might feel extremely worried and be afraid to hurt the person by trying to help.

If there’s a doctor in the room, he or she will likely identify themselves and take charge of the situation. Let them! And be ready to assist them if needed, but don’t get in the way.

If there are no doctors in the room, keep calm and here’s a video that shows you what to do!

CBD Testimonials: How CBD Saves Lives

You have probably heard a little about the different health benefits CBD can provide for us, such as pain relief, lowering inflammation, lessening irritation… However, at times, CBD does a little more than make our lives more comfortable; it can save people from devastating illnesses and improve their quality of life significantly. Could it be true?

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

There are all sorts of stories like that, about patients who struggle with epilepsy, cancer, and other complicated conditions, and they or their families end up trying CBD oil as a last resort, having nothing to lose, only to be surprised by the almost unbelievable effects.

In the near future, we will probably continue to see countless stories like these before CBD is officially recognized as medicine…

CBD: 5 Real Life Stories

We have finally reached a time in history when the medical and scientific communities are being allowed to conduct serious studies and randomized trials on CBD, and cannabis in general, which are having a lot of positive results. And there are also a lot of individual stories where CBD has been a life-saver. Here are some of these stories:

1.  Hunter

Hunter Elwell is a young Australian teen who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a severe and debilitating form of epilepsy. His first years of life were spent in a haze; between the seizures and medication, he slept through most days.

Right before his eighth birthday, his parents decided to try medicinal cannabis in order to reduce the seizures, which were causing him to deteriorate rapidly.

The supplement he’s taking now, as part of his routine, has reduced the frequency of his seizures and has reversed some of the cognitive deterioration he suffered because of them. He has become more aware of his surroundings, started recognizing people, and is relearning some of the skills he had previously lost. His mom, found it amazing that her son learned how to say “mom” all over again.

Currently, due to the positive effect CBD oil has had on epilepsy patients like Hunter, there is a lot more research being done about cannabidiol and other cannabinoids, since it has been suggested that several others might also be responsible for the positive effects of cannabis oil in patients.

2. Charlotte

Charlotte Figi is a young girl who is well known by those who have followed the journey towards legalizing medicinal cannabis. She, like hunter, also suffers from Dravet syndrome.

At five, this illness was causing the little girl to have around 300 seizures per week, significantly lowering her quality of life, and causing neurological deterioration. She first experienced a seizure at only 3 months old and, by the age of two, she was already showing signs of cognitive decline. Most children who suffer from this illness die before the age of 10, due to the devastating effects of the constant seizures.

At this point, her parents were able to find a doctor who recommended medicinal cannabis for the treatment of her condition. She began taking CBD oil made from a high CBD strain of cannabis, which had an immediate and almost unbelievable effect.

During her first week taking the prescribed amount, Charlotte had no seizures, which was a first for her. She began being able to participate in life, eat, and even play with her twin sister and her older brother.

3. Zaki

Zaki Jackson suffers from another severe form of epilepsy called Doose syndrome. At the age of nine, his mom was desperate for any treatment, since her son’s doctors had told her there was nothing else they could do.

When she first heard of CBD, it seemed like there was nothing to lose by giving a less than experimental treatment a chance, so she began the journey towards getting her son what he needed in order to lead a better life.

In 2013, Zaki celebrated his first one year anniversary without any seizures at all; something that had previously seemed unthinkable to his mom and his doctors.

4. Lachie

Lachie Davidson is a young adult who has had a rare, benign brain tumor since he was a child. The tumor causes him to have several “laughing seizures” throughout the day, and, every once in a while, it causes severe seizures.

Medication for his condition has affected his ability to speak, which is very frustrating for him. He is currently participating in a medical trial which aims to find evidence of the effects of cannabinoids in seizures, though he doesn’t know if he’s taking the placebo or the actual medication. So he’ll have to see…

5. Kalel

Kalel Santiago’s parents are some of the many who have been desperate to find something that could help their kids suffering from severe forms of autism. Kalel, at his worst, wasn’t able to speak at all and would have self harming behaviours like banging his head against hard surfaces.

After beginning his CBD treatment, which consists of spraying CBD oil into his mouth twice a day, he started speaking his first words and his behavior changed in an impressive way, probably due to being able to communicate more openly than before.

Studies have shown that autistic children have significant differences in their CB2 receptors, compared to non autistic children. Doctors came to the conclusion that the reason CBD works so well for autism is that it stimulates the CB2 receptors, improving certain functions related to communication. Research is still being carried out.

What about THC? – 3 Bonus Stories

Though THC requires a more careful management, since it produces psychoactive effects, it has been shown to have significant anti carcinogenic properties. Essentially, it has the ability to cause the death of cancer cells, which are then flushed by the body.

Though it’s not legal, a lot of patients who have no other options, opt for THC treatment, feeling like there’s nothing to lose; and a lot of them have obtained astounding results. Here are some of them:

1. Deryn

At the age of 10, Deryn Blackwell was diagnosed with leukaemia and went through chemotherapy in order to treat it. Two years later, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer called Langerhans cell sarcoma, for which the only available treatment was bone marrow transplant.

After four unsuccessful transplants, and an unexpected infection his body had no way of fighting, doctors gave Deryn one week to live.

He planned his funeral and couldn’t wait for all the treatments and the illness to be over. He was tired of the pain and the emotional effects that came with it. At that point, the antibiotics were keeping him alive, the morphine had stopped working, and he was now on fentanyl and sleeping pills.

As a last resort, his mother managed to get her hands on cannabis tincture and decided to give it to her son in secret, in hopes that it would at least lessen his suffering, since he was in a lot of pain and was very anxious.

The effects were almost immediate; Deryn was a lot calmer and the pain had lessened. A few days later, the bloodwork showed new white blood cells. This meant that his body was now recovering and was beginning to be able to fight infection.

His mom wondered if it had just been a coincidence, so she stopped giving him the tincture, and his white cell count started going down again… Deryn is now perfectly healthy against all odds; he’s able to do regular activities, and wants to be a chef.

2. Joy

Joy Smith was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016. About a year later, after it was discovered that the cancer had spread to her stomach and intestine, she was told she only had six weeks to live… Think about that for a second; six weeks, less than two months. Sometimes we have holidays planned that are more than two months away. In an instant, she was pretty much told that it was over.

It has been almost three years since she was first diagnosed, and now she’s in remission. Why? She decided to try cannabis extract, which was still illegal in her home country.

She decided to stop chemotherapy and has only been taking the cannabis oil for a while. In her latest checkup, her doctor said that the cancer had almost entirely disappeared, only a little remaining in her stomach. And, even though she knows she could be accused of committing a crime, she decided to share her story publicly in hopes of helping others.

3. Rick

Rick Simpson is a relatively well known name in the world of medicinal cannabis. He came across it while looking for a way to treat symptoms that had been leftover from a work accident.

However, later he was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer and, rather than go on topical chemotherapy, he decided to use topical cannabis oil to treat it. He had heard about a study from the National Cancer Institute about THC, and chose not to expose his body to aggressive chemo.

He left a cannabis soaked bandage on the cancerous growths for a few days and, when he uncovered them, they were gone. He was so moved by the experience that he began making his own oil and giving it away to people who needed it.

TheHealingMethod

So, why are CBD and THC treatments still struggling to become recognized?

Scientists and doctors who believe in the medicinal properties of cannabis have different theories as to why these compounds have yet to be recognized and standardized as official medical treatments. Some theories point to the prevalent bad reputation that cannabis and hemp haven’t been able to shake, due to the recreational use for which they are better known.

However, others believe that the reason is more financial. Since CBD and THC are natural compounds easily obtained from hemp and other cannabis strains, they cannot be patented or kept as a secret formula, which implies that the financial gain that could be obtained from them by pharmaceutical companies is far less than the profits that come from other medication that is a lot less available.

Though we can’t really be sure of the ultimate reason behind the delay in regulating and recognizing the medicinal properties in CBD and THC, the truth is that this is rapidly changing. Real life stories about how cannabis can be an amazing alternative, are more and more common, so there will come a point where lawmakers around the world will have no choice but to regulate it.

Here in the US, for example, the FDA is currently working on the regulation of CBD, which is good news, but it’ll take a while before we get to see any official documents.

CBD for Insomnia: How CBD can Help You Get a Good Night’s Rest…

How CBD can Help You Get a Good Night’s Rest…

How many times have you stared at the ceiling, shifted around and flipped the pillow over in an effort to fall asleep, only to find yourself, 3 hours later, thinking about everything you need to do that week and being annoyed at not getting enough rest?

Yes, me too. So here’s how CBD, along with some other small changes, can help you sleep a lot better and defeat insomnia…

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

Why can’t we sleep?

Insomnia can have a few different causes and triggers. It is believed by the medical community that, generally, insomnia is a result of anxiety and an overactive mind. Those who can’t sleep, often spend hours on end thinking and rethinking their choices, day, month, life… It’s an endless cycle, since we can always find something new to think about.

All this thinking doesn’t allow us to tune out and go to sleep.

However, there are other possible causes for it, like chronic pain, which can cause people to have a really hard time falling asleep when it’s intense enough.

Chronic vs. Acute Insomnia

Insomnia isn’t necessarily a constant. Sometimes people who don’t usually have trouble sleeping, could experience a period of time during which sleep seems impossible. This is usually due to an isolated incident, like a traumatic or emotion-filled event, an illness, or even a heavy meal. Yes, eating too much before bed can cause insomnia.

But for those who suffer from insomnia in a more permanent way, for those who have spent months or years staring at the ceiling, being annoyed, insomnia becomes a debilitating and life altering issue that affects them emotionally and physically.

The Game Plan

Up until a few years ago, I suffered from severe insomnia. It took me hours to fall asleep in the first place, only to end up waking up three or four times during the night. I hardly slept, and I am now aware of the fact that a lot of people have this same issue…

Some opt for the “easy” solution of taking sleeping pills, which is dangerous, and only covers up the problem, rather than helping you solve it.

Sleeping pills don’t help treat anxiety, stress or the overactive mind; they just cause somnolence and knock you out. Of course, it does need to be said, not all sleeping pills knock you out, but still, they don’t tackle the real issue head on.

Perhaps it’s better to try other, more natural methods first…

CBD for Insomnia: can it really help?

It can… But not in the way you might think.

CBD does not have sedative properties like THC does, so it’s not going to knock you out as soon as you swallow a few drops.

Basically, what CBD does is reduce stress, anxiety and tension throughout the day, leaving the mind ready to rest and contributing to the body’s repairing and healing process, helping the brain maintain a deeper sleep throughout the night.

When using CBD for sleep it’s better to take it during the day in regular intervals, stopping 2 hours before you’re planning on going to bed. This way, your body and mind will be relaxed and ready for bed.

Overtime, this routine will be assimilated by your body, until the time comes when you don’t even need help sleeping. Habits are strong, so just like your brain becomes used to insomnia, it can become used to sleeping well. Think of it as training your brain.

What is the CBD dosage for insomnia?

Dosage is something everyone needs to be really careful about when it comes to CBD.

Every person is different physically, mentally and emotionally, so what works for some might not be enough, or might be too much for others. So please don’t assume that the dosage that worked well for someone you know is the one that you have to start with.

As is commonly said in the world of CBD, you need to “start low, grow slow”, plus pay close attention to your body, in order to find the dosage that’s perfect for you and your unique situation.

Biphasic Effect

CBD is a component that has a very sensitive and noticeable biphasic effect. This means that its effects vary depending on the dosage. If the dosage is too low, it will have no effect, if it’s just right it will significantly help reduce the targeted symptoms and cause a sensation of well-being; however, if the dosage is too high, it will likely worsen the symptoms it was meant to eliminate.

This is why, when it comes to CBD for sleep, we need to be extremely careful with the dosage, or it is likely to cause even more insomnia, particularly if you take large amounts too soon before bedtime.

Does marijuana help you sleep?

Most people think of sleep when they think of marijuana because it’s very common for consumers to fall asleep soon after ingesting it. However, this sedative effect is not due to CBD. Then, how does marijuana affect sleep?

THC is the component in recreational or medicinal marijuana that is responsible for the sedative properties. It has the potential to knock you out in about an hour.

Some people swear by some strains more than others as effective sleep aids, however we need to remember that even within the same strain, the concentration of THC and CBD in plants can vary. So a strain that worked for you in the past might not work today because the particular plant the flowers came from is lower in THC or CBD. It’s almost a lottery, really, so it’s better to stick to supplements if you want to obtain a more accurate dosage of specific components.

And, though some people enjoy the effects of THC, it’s not very functional and doesn’t stimulate the habit forming routine of clearing the mind and going to sleep. Plus, THC also has the risk of causing unpleasant effects, like anxiety and paranoia, at least in some people, which would make sleeping even more difficult than it already was.

Unless THC is a tried-and-approved method for yourself, we don’t recommend using it for the first time with the object in mind of targeting insomnia. It’s not worth the risk. Try CBD first, and go about it slowly and consciously and you will likely find what works and what doesn’t work for you.

What else can I do?

In order to attack insomnia from every possible angle, you could make some small, yet powerful, tweaks to your day. This way, you’re facing the issue from different angles and covering your bases.

Some of these changes can be:

  • Stick to a regular sleeping schedule! That way your brain will get used to what is considered “bedtime”.
  • Avoid daytime naps until your schedule has normalized. They can throw your sleep cycle off and keep you awake when you’re not supposed to be.
  • Develop a specific, relaxing bedtime routine, like washing your face, meditating, or stretching.
  • Don’t watch TV, use a computer, tablet, phone, or other electronics (including games) after you’ve gone to bed; this is sure to activate your brain and keep it from going into rest mode.
  • Keep your bedroom organized and comfortable; this will cause you to feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed.
  • Don’t eat anything right before bed, or drink stimulating drinks after 3pm. Making the body digest something while your trying to sleep is not a good idea.
  • Cut down on sugar and heavy food, your stomach could be the one keeping you up at night while trying to process what you put into it.
  • Meditate! It’s amazing for clearing your mind and reducing anxious thoughts and stress. I personally believe that a little CBD oil during the day paired with a bedtime meditation session can put you to sleep in a heartbeat. Though it takes a little practice.

Is sleep really important?

In short, YES.

Not sleeping enough, or sleeping badly, can have several negative effects on your health and mood, such as exhaustion, stress, irritability, memory problems, depression, and can even cause you to be more propense to falls or accidents.

When you don’t sleep well, you feel groggy, dizzy and clumsy, not to mention your body didn’t get the chance to fully recover from all the activity, which could cause your immune system to be weakened, so you’ll be more likely to get sick.

And, honestly, it feels horrible when you don’t get enough sleep, so why do we even wonder?

So…

So give CBD and these tips a go! Who knows, you might be taking a step towards leaving insomnia behind. And, believe me, it feels amazing to no longer say “I didn’t sleep well last night” almost every morning.

Remember “start slow, grow slow” and pay attention to what works for you.

Sleep tight!

CBD Oil for sleep: what you need to know

You have probably heard that adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per day. And you have also thought… no way. Well, it’s true! And this post is going to serve as a digital and eye-opening slap in the face. Furthermore, if you are suffering from insomnia and you have given up on counting sheep, we are going to tell you why you should try CBD oil for sleep. And, if you don’t suffer from any sleeping disorder, well you should just keep reading anyway if you want to have better sleep at night (hope that wasn’t too aggressive).

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

Lack of sleep, or an interrupted cycle, is a serious health problem in the United States. According to the Sleep Apnea American Association, sleep related problems affect 50 to 70 million americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes. Over 70% of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep “at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night”.

Above all, people who sleep less than 7 hours per day are more likely to become obese, physically inactive and chronic smokers, than people who sleep 7 hours or more. Another interesting fact is that adults who sleep less than the recommended 7 hours are more likely to report chronic health conditions like heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and depression.

But fear not, our devoted readers, for today we give you a possible solution: CBD. But before, let’s first check some studies that suggest a concerning and alarming correlation between lack of sleep and an increase in chronic pain symptoms.

The Correlation Between Lack of Sleep and Pain

Sleeping six hours or more, is not just so you can get up for work and be able to function. There is sufficient literature that relates lack of sleep and pain.

In a 2008 study, researchers wanted to prove that pain and sleep are bi-directionally connected. During the study, participants were monitored daily for sleeping hours and pain symptoms during the day. In 78% of the cases, subjects slept between 6 and 9 hours, and reported daily pain as “mild frequent”. However, when subjects reported less than 6 hours of sleep, their pain symptoms the next morning where stronger. “Results suggested that hours of reported sleep on the previous night was a highly significant predictor of the current day’s pain frequency”, researchers concluded.

On the other hand, other studies proved how people who sleep more tend to have less pain sensitivity. A study conducted in 2012 showed data to support that after subjects who had sleeping problems were subjected to a 10 hour sleep routine during four days, experienced a considerable reduction on their pain sensitivity.

An interesting research evaluated whether partial sleep loss altered endogenous pain inhibition in any way, and spontaneous pain in women. In total, 32 healthy women were studied during a 7 night period. The tests consisted in randomly awaking some of the women during sleep time. After conducting the test and later examining the data, they found that women who had more hours of sleep showed reduction in pain. This findings suggest a possible role of sleep disturbance in chronic pain.

Finally, an alarming study was conducted on 2015 with female nurses who worked long shifts at hospitals. It turns out that work-related stress and sleep deficiency increases the risk of having diabetes, heart disease and stroke (cardiometabolic risk).

Still think that lack of sleep is harmless?

CBD oil for sleep

Ethan Russo, cannabis leading scientist, led a clinical trial to see the effects of the cannabis pharmaceutical drug, Sativex, on pain and sleep. He discovered that CBD and THC improved sleeping conditions in patients suffering from neuropathic pain and in some symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Dr. Russo also found that Sativex improved sleeping parameters in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathic pain, intractable cancer pain and rheumatoid arthritis. If CBD and THC can help patients with chronic pain sleep, it could be a breakthrough in their quality of life.

Another study conducted in adult male rats showed evidence to support that CBD can increase percentage of sleep during daytime. The group of mice that were given 10 and 40 mg/kg of CBD increased the total percentage of sleep compared with the placebo group. Also, the group injected with 40mg/kg showed an increased REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep latency. Researchers concluded that “the systemic acute administration of CBD appears to increase total sleep time, in addition to increasing sleep latency in the light period of the day of administration”. For patients suffering from chronic pain, CBD could be a good treatment for them to sleep during daytime.

Contrarily, there are other studies that suggest that CBD has a more alerting effect, and that it can actually counterpart the sedative effect produced by THC:

“fifteen milligrams thc would appear to be sedative, while 15 mg cbd appears to have alerting properties as it increased awake activity during sleep and counteracted the residual sedative activity of 15 mg thc”.

But how much CBD oil for sleep? Mind your dose

This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you try CBD oil for sleep it will work the other way around and keep you up all night. CBD oil can reduce anxiety, helps deal with stress and facilitates relaxation. This is why many people have found that CBD oil is one of the best choices for sleep. It won’t knock you out like THC, but it will get you in a more relaxed state.

Healthspan Medical Director Dr Sarah Brewer, told Net Doctor why she recommends and uses CBD oil for sleep:  

“It is proven to be particularly helpful for sleep disorders in people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Anecdotally, ever since I started taking CBD at night I have enjoyed really deep sleep and also feel more relaxed”.

A lot of patients are using cannabis infused edibles for sleep. although they take longer to have effects on the body, at the same time its effect is way more potent. Patients have reported sleeping for longer periods of time when consuming edibles.

However, the issue with edibles is dosing. It is very hard to control how much cannabinoids you are ingesting. That’s why it is better, or more recommended, to try CBD oil for sleep instead. Because of cannabis biphasic effect, it is recommended to start at low doses and grow from there. As Project CBD says, “Start low, grow slow”. Always remember that less is more.

We know this all sounds very interesting. And to make it even more awesome, we’ve picked the 3 best cannabis strains for sleep (based on Leafly) and the best 3 CBD oils for sleep (according to Cannainsider).

3 Best Cannabis Strains for Sleep

Grandaddy Purple

This indica dominant strain produces a relaxed and sleepy effect. It can also help with stress and insomnia. You will taste grape, berry and sweet flavor when trying this strain. “Pain is powerless against GP. So is nausea, anxiety, annoyance and insomnia. This strain would probably set you back to good after drinking 32 cups of coffee and getting hit by a bus”, wrote a user about this strain.

God’s Gift

This is also an indica dominant strain. You will also be able to taste the grape and sweet undertones, just like Grandaddy Purple, but with a little earthy flavor. This is one of the best strains to help you deal with insomnia and stress. “I went to bed with no struggle with a clear mind. I feel great today with no care of what ailed me yesterday”, said a review of the strain.

Afghan Kush

“Imagine a very large, fluffy cloud enveloping your body. Then add weights to your eyelids. Be prepared to feel an undeniable need to eat anything you see…and then somehow find yourself in your bed paralyzed. Do not smoke this if you are not prepared to sleep”. This review by a Leafly user pretty much sums it up. Pain, stress and insomnia are all gone when trying this strain.

We hope this was helpful!

Sleep tight…

RELATED ARTICLES

For the first time ever, we can say that several medical trials are being carried out to determine the benefits of CBD. A few years ago, these components were only considered for terminal patients, but now…

About once a month, most menstruating people go through that dreaded time in their cycle when everything sucks… Is CBD the answer to getting through it in better shape?

Latelly, a lot of us have heard about CBD, strains, high CBD strains… But what are they? Here, you will learn the basics about hemp, genetics, and why high CBD strains are all the rage nowadays when it comes to pain and other conditions!

More than genes: 5 Triggers for Migraines and how Cannabis can Help

These are testimonies that women who suffer from migraines share with the American Migraine Foundation. But you might ask, “Why only share the words of women who suffer from migraines?” Well, because this is a condition that affects mostly women. According to recent statistics by the American Migraine Foundation, one in every five women suffers from migraines.

It is the third most prevalent illness in the world and the 6th most disabling illness in the world, according to Migraine Research Foundation. However, migraines don’t discriminate by age, gender or race. It affects one in every sixteen men and one in every eleven children in the world. In a more general view, more than 39 million Americans suffer from migraine.

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

Although there is no cure, the medical community are prescribing more and more opioids to control the severe pain that comes with migraines. And we all know how addictive and dangerous these drugs can be. We are going to tell you 5 things that can trigger migraines and how cannabis can be an alternative treatment.

What is migraine?

As you will see throughout this post, migraines are more than just a headache. Although migraines begin with a headache, the pain sometimes is so severe it can trigger other symptoms. The attacks can last from 4 to 72 hours. This is why the medical community has agreed to define migraines as a “neurological disease with extremely incapacitating neurological symptoms”.

The most common symptoms can be:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell
  • Tingling or numbness in the extremities or face

Even though there are several types of migraines, the most common two can be defined by a visual phenomenon: aura.

Migraine without aura

This is the most common type of migraine. It represents between 70% and 90% of all cases. The headache is usually on one side of the head, and it is a throbbing and/or pulsating pain. This pain can be so severe that it can affect your daily life, and even produce some of the symptoms we described above. It can produce vomit and diarrhea. Also, people with migraine without aura experience light and sound sensitivity (photophobia and phonophobia).

Migraine with aura

This type of migraine comes with a neurological symptom expressed as a visual disturbance, or aura. Patients will start to experience blind and/or coloured spots. Also, sparkles or stars and flashing lights before the eyes. Sometimes, even temporary blindness. Symptoms are different from migraine without aura:

  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness on one side of the body
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo

Additionally, there are other symptoms but not as common as the above. Some patients have reported speech and hearing impairments or even partial paralysis and fainting. All of these symptoms are experienced before the headache, or, in some cases, a headache may not even be present.

The most common belief about what causes migraines is a genetic condition. This is true, but not entirely. As we explained before, migraines affect women in a larger scale than men. It is more likely for women to experience migraines than men. But migraines can be caused by a number of physiological and environmental conditions.

5 things that can cause migraines

Food

 

Yes. We know that everytime you read something it tells you what you can or can’t eat. If you don’t suffer from migraines, it is very likely that you won’t start suffering from them if you eat these foods. However, if you are more susceptible to strong headaches, it is better to avoid this.

Aged cheeses, like blue cheese, are considered to induce migraines. It is better to avoid other types of cheese like cheddar and camembert. Also, salty and processed food can also trigger them. Try to avoid cured meat, yeast extracts and smoked fish like salmon. All of these type of foods contain a substance called tyramine. This is a chemical substance found naturally in some foods.

Another important thing to have in mind is eating on schedule. Altering with your regular meal time can trigger attacks.

Alcohol and… ¿coffee?

Beer and wine can be triggers. Beer, for example, has a lot of tyramine. However, bottled beer tends to have 25 times less tyramine than beer from a beer tap. So if you love beer and don’t want to miss it, when you go to the bar order in bottle. There is also a belief that red wine can also induce migraine attacks. But there is not scientific proof of it. When it comes to alcohol, it is better to keep it to a minimum. Although there is no study to prove it, large amounts of alcohol will definitely give you a headache. And if you suffer from migraines, the result in the morning after a night out can be devastating.

And when it comes to coffee, there is much debate. Some say that coffee triggers a migraine attack, while others say that caffeine can help in head pain relief. The truth is… you are the only one who knows. If you are a regular coffee drinker, skipping your morning cup can induce headaches, and consequently escalate to a migraine attack. But too much caffeine can clearly produce headaches. It’s up to you to keep your coffee intake in a moderate level.

Hormonal Changes

Women are more likely to have migraine attacks during menstruation. This is due to hormonal changes. Women who have a history of migraine attacks tend to experience them before or during their periods, when there is a radical hormonal change. Because of this, other women can also experience severe headaches during pregnancy or menopause.

Medication or treatments that induce change in hormone levels can also trigger migraines. Women who take birth control pills or hormonal therapy might have an increase in their headaches. So if you suffer from migraines, it would be better to talk to your doctor for a different treatment to avoid an increase in headaches. Yoga and meditation help you sleep better, and also will be a great thing for migraines because a change in your sleep pattern might also trigger attacks.

Emotional triggers

Throughout this blog we have explained how important it is to keep your body and mind in a healthy state. A clear mind can be the greatest treatment and it can prevent a lot of illnesses people suffer from everyday. And migraines are no exception. Stress migraines, although it’s not a recognized by the International Headache Society, is one of the most common types.

Stress and anxiety can trigger migraines because of chemical reactions in your brain. When you are stress or suffering from anxiety, you can experience a “fight or flight” response. This might create tension and fear which make migraines even worse. If you suffer from migraines, try anti-stress activities like yoga or meditation.

Environmental triggers

There are some environmental and physical conditions that can induce migraines. It appears that people who suffer from this condition have very sensible senses. We explained before that one of the symptoms can be sensitivity to light and sound (photophobia and phonophobia). If you suffer from migraines, exposure to very bright lights, or extreme changes in light intensity can trigger a headache. It works the same way with loud, sudden noises and strong smells.

Could cannabis be a treatment for migraines?

Migraines affect your day to day life. The testimonies at the beginning of this post portray how severe this condition can be. And because the normal prescription for migraines are opioids, people have decided to cast them away and look towards cannabis. Because of its analgesic properties, cannabis is becoming very popular to treat the severe pain that comes with migraines. But, as it happens with cannabis, there is more anecdotal than scientific evidence to support this. But this is the starting point.

According to cannabis expert Ethan Russo, the increase of cannabis as a migraine treatment is something that the medical community should investigate in a much deeper level: “collective evidence supports the proposition that experimental protocols of cannabis usage in migraine treatment should go forward employing modern controlled clinical trials”.

Last year, a study titled The Use of Cannabis for Headache Disorders reviewed the evidence of cannabis as a treatment for headache disorders, migraines included. Researchers arrived at the same conclusion as Russo: there is sufficient anecdotal evidence and preliminary results, but clinical trials are needed to see how far cannabinoids can go as a treatment for migraines. “Such trials are needed to determine short- and long-term efficacy for specific headache types, compatibility with existing treatments, optimal administration practices, as well as potential risks”.

But this can take a while. In the meantime, try following the 5 tips we gave you above. Avoid food with high levels of tyramine, such as blue cheese and some types of beer. Avoid strong light, smells and sounds. And, most importantly, start doing anti-stress activities such as yoga or meditation.

RELATED ARTICLES

Have you ever given a thought to those pieces of bone on your back, just below your shoulders? Probably not. And what does it mean when they’re hurting…

Has a doctor ever asked you to rate your pain from 1 to 10? Well, the number is hard to decide, and the more we try, the more annoyed we get, until we just settle for one that doesn’t quite represent how we feel…

Pain and pain management have always been a part of humanity. Pain is a primal constituent of the experience of being alive. And the feeling of pain as a result of disease has been crucial to shape how we understand the universe both in and outside our bodies…