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…

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…

10 CBD Clinical Trials You Might not Know About

…and their importance in today’s health needs!

For the first time ever, we can say that several medical trials are being carried out to determine the benefits of CBD, and even THC, for humans.

A few years ago, these components were only considered for terminal patients, but now their many benefits are being explored for their possible applications in treatments of different conditions, both for children and adults. Furthermore, they are no longer being looked into as a last resort for terminal patients, but as a first option for conditions like epilepsy, autism, asthma, and even for cancer itself, not just for its symptoms.

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

Some CBD clinical trials and studies of immense importance that have been or are being carried out, are:

1. CBD for Epilepsy

It’s no wonder, epilepsy is getting the most attention when it comes to CBD clinical trials, since, over the past decade, there have been countless cases of epilepsy patients who have benefited from CBD oil.

This study, carried out by the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the UM School of Pharmacy, aims to determine the benefits and safety of a CBD based medication for children with severe forms of epilepsy. And, though this trial still treats CBD as a last resort, qualifying it as “compassionate care”, it will be an amazing contribution for the medical community.

Ole Miss has an interesting history with cannabis. It was the first authorized cannabis grower for scientific research purposes, though the FDA recently opened up the possibility for other growers to become authorized. Since this is still a controlled substance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) oversees the production and gives out the authorizations every year.

Why did CBD Clinical trials for epilepsy take so long to occur?

In most cases of severe epileptic disorders, the children who suffer from it usually don’t survive long enough to become adults. The goal with treatment is usually to prolong life expectancy and to maintain life skills (speaking, walking, eating) for as long as possible.

Though cannabis and CBD in particular have been shown to do wonders for these children, the social stigma and legal implications of giving it to minors have put a lot of pressure on parents and health professionals, and limit their options.

2. CBD for Asthma

Asthma is an allergic, inflammatory condition that affects the airways, and more than 26 million people in the U.S. suffer from it.

Together with the Hebrew University, an Israeli company is developing a cannabis based treatment for asthma that will benefit both children and adults. The researchers decided to look into CBD due to its well known anti inflammatory properties, though it might also have an effect on the allergic reaction itself, via the immune system. The idea with this research is to develop a supplement in tablet or inhaler form, that will be accessible to everyone.

Cases of severe asthma have been labeled as an “unmet clinical needs” by the World Health Organization, since it is usually treated with corticosteroids, which some people are resistant to, and from 1990 to 2015, the number of asthma cases doubled, which generates the need for better treatments, preferably natural ones that don’t produce harmful side effects. This is where CBD comes in.

TheHealingMethod

3. Movement Disorders

At the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego, a CBD trial will be carried out this year to establish possible beneficial effects of cannabis in a common movement disorder known as essential tremor (ET), which is characterized by involuntary shaking. However, if the results are positive, it is likely to have beneficial effects on all disorders of this type. This trial will focus on CBD and will include a low dose of THC.

Movement disorders, like essential tremor, Parkinson’s, dystonia, among others, affect around 42 million people in the U.S. They alter daily life and are extremely likely to cause anxiety and depression; so CBD shows promise as a treatment for people who suffer from this type of conditions, though so far research has been leaning particularly towards Parkinson’s, since it is so debilitating.

4. CBD for MS

Studies show that CBD reduces symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, such as fatigue, pain, inflammation, depression and spasticity, while increasing mobility.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the protective layers of the nerve fibers and spinal cord, causing failures in the nervous system’s communication to the brain. It can cause numbness, electric shock sensation, and mobility issues, among several other symptoms that significantly affect life and cause disability.

A trial was conducted in 2005, which demonstrated cannabis’ effectiveness at treating pain in patients suffering from MS, and a specific trial was carried out in order to compare the efficacy of two cannabis based medications for MS.

The positive results in these trials are probably due to the role of the endocannabinoid system in multiple sclerosis, which has been established by scientific studies.

5. Endometriosis

CBD is being looked into for its possible ability to treat endometriosis, an illness that affects about 180 million women in the world, and occurs when the lining of the uterus grows in other places around the pelvis, ovaries, or Fallopian tubes.

A new lab in Israel, set up by Israeli doctors with the purpose of carrying out medical research about cannabis’ medicinal properties, will begin an intensive study about the way CBD can benefit patients who suffer from endometriosis, since CBD has been proven to regulate the immune system, even preventing the spread of the disease.

The doctors commented on the current information there is about this particular illness, and stated that a lot more research is needed in order to understand how cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system relate to it.

6. CBD Clinical trials for Anorexia

The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research of UCSD has been pushing medical research forward, which is good news for everyone whose health could be benefited by CBD.

They will soo launch a trial that specifically looks into the effect of CBD in Adult Anorexia Nervosa, for which there is currently no proven medical treatment.

Cannabis has been observed to aid with anorexia for its appetite enhancing properties, and most of the effect has been attributed to THC. However, CBD shows significant promise in this area, since it not only targets appetite, but also helps reduce anxiety and depression, which are the core of eating disorders.

7. CBD for Early Psychosis

Though cannabis is usually not recommended for schizophrenia or psychosis in general, CBD on its own has shown anti psychotic properties.

A trial will begin in order to determine if the component can reduce symptoms and improve cognitive function in patients with early psychosis. It will also look into the biological response to stress, and the effect of CBD in eating behavior, which is altered by anti psychotic medication.

8. CBD Clinical Trials for Anxiety

An extensive clinical study that was carried out in 2015, evaluated CBD’s anxiolytic properties and its effect on anxiety related disorders. It was determined that CBD shows a broad range of potential relevant to the treatment of different symptoms of anxiety disorders, and has the advantage of not producing detrimental side effects even at higher doses.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, and around 40 million adults are affected by them. However, less than 40% of sufferers are receiving treatment for them.

In the past decades, CBD’s beneficial effects in neuropsychiatric disorders has been observed by the medical community through anecdotal evidence and scientific studies, which brings a lot of hope for the development of a successful medical cannabis-based treatment for these conditions.

9. CBD Clinical Trials for Chronic Pain

CBD has shown great promise for pain management, but specifically for chronic pain, it could even be considered a breakthrough.

This current study is examining the effects of both CBD and THC on chronic pain in adults (18-50 yrs.) and it’s related symptoms, and aims to compare the effects of different doses of THC/CBD, in order to determine the best combination. Hopefully this will shed more light on the individual and combined effects of these two cannabinoids.

Chronic pain sufferers develop depression, anxiety and are constantly troubled by inflammation. CBD has the potential of treating all of these issues with little to no side effects, which would allow chronic pain sufferers to have more active lives and care for themselves a lot better.

10. CBD Clinical Trials for Fibromyalgia

A medical study in 2016, suggested that clinical endocannabinoid deficiency could be the cause of chronic pain disorders and other illnesses, such as fibromyalgia, which shows the most evidence of having relation to this issue.

Significantly lower levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide in cerebrospinal fluid were seen in patients suffering from chronic pain. However, several CBD trials for fibromyalgia are still needed in order to determine its benefits, which could be several, since a common treatment for the condition are antidepressants, and it is currently known that CBD and antidepressants share some of their benefits, though work in a completely different way.

This trial showed that most patients experienced reduction of pain and stiffness in as little as two hours after they consumed the cannabis solution. And the beneficial effects were much higher in the ones taking the real cannabis than the control group.

The results concluded that cannabis is much more effective than the different prescription meds currently being indicated for fibromyalgia. Though it’s clear that it requires standardization and regulation for it to be as effective as possible.

Prospects for the future…

Thanks to all these medical studies and trials, we’re finally beginning to learn about the different benefits and possibilities that CBD and cannabis have when it comes to our health and well-being.

The world is currently dealing with an increasing number of medical conditions that are no longer deadly, but that affect quality of life significantly, since they reduce people’s ability to care for themselves and lead a full life.

CBD is showing a lot of promise in medical terms for the near future, not just for adults, but for children who suffer from debilitating conditions. So we’ll see…  

RELATED ARTICLES

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…

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 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

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?

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!

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 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 PMS: How it can make those days suck less…

About once a month, most menstruating people go through that dreaded time in their cycle when everything sucks… Our bodies feel ugh, everything hurts, the mirror doesn’t work well, everyone gets a little extra annoying, and sugar seems to be everywhere.

Yes, PMS. It changes our routine, mood and even health; we don’t know what to do with ourselves for a few days, and then the cycle starts all over again…

Is CBD the answer to getting through it in better shape?

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

What is PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, is a series of symptoms that can be experienced during the days leading up to the beginning of the next cycle, or period. These symptoms are caused by hormonal fluctuations during the premenstrual phase, which occurs differently in each body, and even varies from cycle to cycle.

Can CBD be useful for Alleviating PMS Symptoms?

Have you ever wondered how to get rid of period cramps? Or, better yet, how to decrease PMS symptoms in general? Yes, I think most of us have…

Like Queen Victoria’s physician said back in the day, “for the relief of certain kinds of pain, I believe, there is no more useful medicine than Cannabis within our reach.”

Queen Victoria herself used it monthly for years for her premenstrual symptoms. However, at the time, its medicinal compounds, such as CBD, had not yet been isolated or identified.

What are some of these symptoms, and how can CBD help manage them?

There are several symptoms associated with PMS; they can cause mild to severe discomfort and some people experience more uncommon symptoms than others, but some of the most usual ones are:

Cramps and Nausea

CBD is widely known for its nausea and pain relieving properties. Cramps can be mild or intense to the extent of interfering with daily life, at which point they can cause severe nausea and vomiting that alter daily life significantly.

Joint or Muscle Pain

CBD has strong pain relieving and anti inflammatory properties that work particularly well for joints and muscles. And, curiously, during the days leading up to the beginning of the cycle, muscles and joints recover more slowly, so post workout pain lasts longer, and joints swell and hurt more than usual.

Anxiety, Irritability and Mood swings

CBD has a calming, mood-lifting effect that leaves us feeling relaxed, energized and less altered. Female hormones affect the whole body, including the brain; they mess with emotions and often make us more sensitive, nervous, insecure and incredibly anxious. If you’re ever feeling anxious for no apparent reason, take a look at the calendar; it’s possible that hormones are involved.

Fatigue

When taken during the day, CBD has been shown to energize both emotionally and physically, producing pleasant feelings of well-being. Sometimes, during the days leading up to the period, and during the period, it is common to feel drained of energy. This is partly due to not sleeping well, which CBD helps with, and partly due to lower hemoglobin levels that significantly affect some of us.

Bloating

CBD supplements are highly anti inflammatory and help the body flush out excess water more efficiently (though it’s not a diuretic). The general bloating and increase in weight that is experienced during this time is caused by swelling and extra water retention due to hormonal fluctuation, since estrogen and progesterone alter the body’s fluid regulating mechanisms.

Insomnia

Though CBD does not have sedative properties like THC does, if taken regularly during the day CBD leaves the mind ready and relaxed enough for a deep sleep at night, which is helpful since pain, discomfort and anxiety during the premenstrual days can cause sleeplessness and interrupted sleep, which makes the following day even more difficult to deal with.

Difficulty Concentrating

As CBD allows you to get a better rest, reduces inflammation and lifts the mood, it significantly reduces the “fuzzy brain” symptom we experience so often. This is due to the fact that it’s generally believed that lack of concentration isn’t directly caused by hormonal fluctuation; it is more likely a side effect of the other symptoms like insomnia, discomfort, anxiety and fatigue.

And what about more uncommon symptoms?

There are other, less usual symptoms that aren’t experienced that often, or that haven’t been looked into for very long. This is how CBD can help you overcome some of them:

Weakened Immune System

CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system and, consequently, causes it to regulate the immune system and strengthen it.

Some people have a higher chance of getting colds or more serious infections right before their period begins, though there are some who experience this during ovulation. It isn’t completely clear why it happens, but we now know that fluctuations in progesterone and estrogen levels affect the immune system, causing our bodies to be more sensitive to virus and bacteria. CBD has been shown to lessen the probability of acquiring an infection.

“Period Flu”

Producing a general feeling of well-being, CBD reduces or eliminates the strange aches and flu-like symptoms that some people experience during PMS and the first days of the cycle. Doctors believe this phenomenon may be caused by lower estrogen levels, and by prostaglandins hormones that are released by the body in order to aid in the shedding of the uterine lining, which can produce uncomfortable feelings of sickness, without the person being actually sick.

Itchiness and Extra Sensitive Skin

CBD creams and topicals help alleviate irritation and inflammation when the skin is particularly sensitive due to hormonal imbalance or other reasons. In this case, alterations in the blood flow caused by the release of different hormones, can sometimes affect skin sensitivity and cause you to feel itchy for no reason, and extra sensitive to touch and textures.

Gum Swelling and Sensitivity

CBD reduces or eliminates the swelling that sometimes occurs in the mouth during the end of the cycle. During these days, there is increased blood flow to the mouth, which in some people causes gums to feel more sensitive and plaque to form more easily.   

Shortness of breath

CBD helps reduce inflammation in the airways, which is why scientists have developed a CBD inhaler for severe asthma. It is unclear why this happens, but some people experience shortness of breath right before their period is due. It might manifest during low impact activities or during routine workout sessions.

PMDD

3 to 8% of people who experience PMS, bare such extreme symptoms that it gets a new name: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD. It affects every aspect of life, and debilitates the sufferer to the point of altering mental health significantly.

The symptoms are similar, but a lot more severe than those of PMS. And the American Psychiatric Association has even determined guidelines for the diagnosis of this condition, since it affects daily life so severely, and is likely to last up until menopause.

TheHealingMethod

Generally, in order to become more functional, those who suffer from this condition need treatment, which can consist of lifestyle changes or even medication. For the treatment of PMDD, doctors commonly prescribe antidepressants, oral contraceptives, or other medications, which can cause uncomfortable side effects, and even health issues.

On the other hand, CBD is a more natural and effective option to help treat this debilitating condition, since it causes virtually no side effects, doesn’t overcharge the liver or kidneys, and doesn’t cause dependence, even if it’s taken for several years. When it comes to our body, the best option is always the most natural one.

How it helps…

CBD helps tackle the symptoms and the cause itself. Since it has anti inflammatory properties and helps relieve pain and nausea, it’s often recommended for PMS, which can manifest as generalized pain, strong nausea or vomiting, and swelling of the stomach, face and body. This is why high CBD supplements are the most ideal for these particular issues.

CBD is helpful for alleviating hormonal imbalances during the menstrual cycle. The reason for this is that the body’s production of progesterone and estrogen is affected by the endocannabinoid system, which is closely related to the endocrine system.

The endocannabinoid system could be referred to as the anti inflammatory system, and inflammation can become worse with hormonal fluctuation and emotional distress. The stress caused by PMS knocks you off balance and the ECS helps you recover that balance, and helps stabilize the endocrine system, which is in charge of the pituitary gland, which in turn produces sex hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle and determine its different symptoms.

CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system so it can help balance the endocrine system and, consequently, the production of hormones. It is the ideal component for the treatment of both physical and emotional symptoms, since it is completely natural and doesn’t produce unhealthy side effects.

Some people have found that taking regular doses of CBD supplements during the days leading up to their period, causes them to feel less anxious, moody, stressed and generally more comfortable and energetic. Not to mention that it helps them sleep a lot better at night.

What about THC?

Unlike CBD, THC is not recommended if you suffer from strong PMS or PMDD symptoms, since it can make you more anxious, depressed, and even paranoid. So far, it has been observed that THC doesn’t interact very positively with hormonal fluctuations, and it’s better to avoid it during the days leading up to the beginning of the cycle (unless a doctor evaluates your particular situation and determines its usefulness), until we have a better understanding of how it affects us.

Is CBD for PMS the solution?

After reviewing the different symptoms that we usually have to ride out, and the way in which CBD can help alleviate them, hopefully a new option for treatment has opened up for you, but it is in no way a “cure” or the only option. A few life changes, like eating less sugar, cutting down on salt and fat, exercising regularly and drinking less alcohol, are sure to add to the improvement as well.

So, the next time you’re curled up in bed, not knowing what to do about the pain and anxiety, consider what you just read and try CBD out! Who knows? It could work wonders for you…

RELATED ARTICLES

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…

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!

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…

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

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…

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!

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of cannabis. Cannabinoids such as CBD are amazing for treating anxiety, depression, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, among others. But recently, researchers have been looking into another important medicinal benefit that cannabis, more specifically CBD, might have…

CBD Dosage? Less is More… Here’s where to Start

Everyone reacts differently to cannabis. If you are thinking of cannabis for medicinal purposes, it’s very important that you find the exact and right dosage for you.

Take a minute to remember what you feel after one drink. You feel more relaxed, you start talking a little more and feel chipper. But after you had six or more, you start to feel dizzy. And if you push it a little further, you’ll probably make a visit to the toilet and pass out. This is something called the biphasic effect. And, besides alcohol and other substances, cannabis also produces biphasic effects. We’ll explain how the biphasic effect works and how to properly manage dosage to experience the best results.

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

What is the biphasic effect?

The biphasic effect means that too low or too high doses of cannabis can produce equally negative effects, or worsen your symptoms. And, most importantly, in cannabis, specially when it comes to THC, moderate, balanced doses can make you feel the desired effects. However, high doses can amplify the symptoms you’re trying to get rid of. For example, consuming too much THC can induce anxiety and even a panic attack.

But the biphasic effect doesn’t work the same for everyone. Let’s say you try a CBD cream to manage your back pain. You try it and it works so well that you tell all your friends and family about it. Your aunt is having back pain as well, so you give her some of that cream. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t work for her. Why? Because of the biphasic effect. Maybe your aunt needs a cream with a higher CBD percentage.

Every person is different and has different reactions to substances like cannabis. This is why dosage is so important. And not just any dosage, but the right one for you. And to find the right one you need to understand that cannabis strains have different ratios.

Different strains, different ratios

Even though the market is full with predominant THC strains, CBD has become more popular. According to Google Trends, CBD searches triple THC searches (see table below).

Among the CBD searches, the most popular related topic is “CBD Oil”. The increasing interest in CBD and it’s different products in the market means that people’s interests and curiosity are mainly directed towards the non psychoactive effects of cannabis. To understand it better we need to explore the different strains and categories of products available in the market.

High THC, Low CBD

This type has between 10% and 30% of THC and very little amounts of CBD. Research has found that CBD can even lower or neutralize some of the psychoactive effects of THC. These type of strains will definitely get you high.

But, when it comes to medicinal purposes, a higher dose doesn’t necessarily mean a better effect. With large amounts of THC, the effect is sedating, more than stimulating.

Balanced CBD/THC

This type has a balanced 5% to 15% of THC and CBD. Even though there is no “right dose” for everyone, some think this balanced type is a good starting point. Guillermo Velasco of Complutense University of Madrid is one of the leading scientists researching cannabinoids for cancer treatment. He states that THC has as much medicinal purposes as CBD. “In my opinion as a scientist, I’ve been working with [cannabis] for quite a long time. THC is the compound that has the most potent anti-cancer activity. CBD is helping—we tried a lot of combinations of THC and CBD because it’s good for avoiding the side effects of the therapy […] but, definitely THC is important”.

A 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC is considered to have a very good response to some treatments. Both cannabinoids have the same medicinal benefits such as analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. So if you want the best result for pain and inflammatory problems, balanced CBD/THC this is your type of product. CBD can cancel the psychoactive effect of THC, so you will experience the medical benefits of THC, but without experiencing so much the psychoactive effects.

High CBD, Low THC

Finally, we have the CBD predominant strains. Products of this type have between 5% and 20% CBD, and under 5% of THC. People who consume these products are sensitive to the side effects of THC. Also, people who need to be in constant medication throughout the day prefer these high CBD concentration products.

But high concentrated CBD products doesn’t necessarily mean more effective. If you have a lot of pain and you are considering CBD, don’t think high doses of this cannabinoid are going to help you even more. According to Project CBD, just 2.5mg of CBD combined with a small amount of THC can have a great medical effect, opposite to high doses of CBD.

In cannabis Dosage, less is more

Above all, cannabis is considered to work better in low doses. For example, let’s take a look at two of the FDA approved medications: Sativex and Epidiolex.

Sativex is a cannabis sublingual spray developed by GW Pharmaceutical. Each spray of 100ml and it contains 2.7mg of THC and 2.5mg of CBD. This means is almost a 1:1 ratio. A study conducted on cancer patients with Sativex prove the concept of “less is more”. Patients who received 21mg a day showed significantly more decrease in pain than those patients who received 52mg a day. Other patients who received 83mg showed no response at all.

Likewise, Epidiolex is another pharmaceutical drug approved by FDA. The drug is indicated for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and more. Studies prove that just 1mg/kg of body weight, for epileptic children shows better results. What doctors recommend is to start with this small those and slowly increase after watching the patient’s response.

Start low, grow slow

In conclusion, find the right dose for you. But remember this: start low, grow slow. Everyone’s is different, and taking into account the biphasic effect, you and your aunt will experience different effects while using the same CBD cream. It’s better to try products with a low dose of CBD and/or THC and watch your reaction throughout one week. If you don’t experience any changes, increase the dose. But do it in a very small proportion, and watch your reactions again. Try this until you find the right dose for you. And always remember that, in cannabis, a higher dose doesn’t mean better results.

RELATED ARTICLES

When it comes to the effects of cannabis, women and men are worlds apart. Though there is scientific research about how cannabis affects and interacts with our bodies, few of those clinical or preclinical studies analyze male and female subjects separately…

Recent studies suggest there might be a condition related to long-term use of cannabis. People all around the United States are experiencing nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and dehydration. Patients also have a compulsive tendency to…

Marijuana have many different chemical compounds. Each of these handles a particular characteristic of the plant. You’re probably familiar with one compound, chlorophyll. It’s what makes plants, including marijuana, green. Another…

Debunking the myth: CBD and THC levels don’t depend on Strains

Less indica & sativa; more cannabinoids and terpenes

Indica and sativa strains are believed to have different effects. But besides how they physically look, strains have nothing to do with the plant’s chemical compounds.

Here’s the truth: how a cannabis plant looks has absolutely nothing to do with how it makes you feel. Indica or sativa? Nah! It doesn’t matter at all.

Ethan Russo, neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher and one of the world’s cannabis scientific eminence agrees with this belief:

Shop-Wellbeing-Essence

“The sativa/indica distinction as commonly applied in the lay literature is total nonsense and an exercise in futility. One cannot in any way currently guess the biochemical content of a given Cannabis plant based on its height, branching, or leaf morphology”.

So when you hear “indica strains have more CBD” and “sativa strains have more THC” it’s not true at all. Why? Because of intensive crossbreeding. But before we get into that, let’s briefly explain the two most common strains of the plant.

Cannabis Sativa and Hemp

This plant grew mostly in Europe and North America, and was used by civilizations ages ago for its strong fibers and for the nutritious benefits of its seeds.

The term Cannabis Sativa was first introduced by Carl Linnaeus, a botanist who is widely recognized for his work on taxonomy, the science of classifying living organisms. But Linnaeus’ obsession and true love were plants. In his paper, Species Plantarum (1753), he described cannabis sativa by its physical characteristics: “with loose female flowers, and narrow palmate leaves”[1].

There is no evidence or record of Linnaeus consuming cannabis. However, he did described how the female plant started to flourish when separated from the male plant.

Cannabis Indica

It was first named this way during the 18th century by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a french botanist, naturalist and one of the fathers of evolution. In 1785, Lamarck gave the name cannabis indica to the wild species growing in India. Civilizations before Lamarck’s time used it for it psychoactive effects. As well as Linnaeus, there is no record of Lamarck consuming cannabis.

Lamarck describes cannabis indica as physically tall in stature and as having narrow leaves. It is better suited for warm climates in the equator.

Hybrids

So, what we have so far is the same plant used for two different purposes: psychoactive and industrial. And then, when you cross cannabis indica and cannabis sativa, you create another strain that today we call a hybrid. This is the starting point of a non-stop process of cross breeding strains that began almost 40 years ago and hasn’t stopped since.

What is known in the market as cannabis sativa or cannabis indica, is just the result of crossing hybrids with other hybrids. Or, to be even more accurate, crossing hybrid clones with other hybrid clones.

Sativa and Indica are no indicators of THC or CBD levels

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Because of interbreeding and further cloning process of female cannabis plants, THC levels have grown and CBD levels have decreased in cannabis plants.

A study published in 2014 proved it. Researchers took samples from confiscated cannabis flowers from 1995 and compared them to flowers in 2014. The idea was to analyze and compare the concentration of THC and CBD. The results are astonishing:

“Overall, the potency of illicit cannabis plant material has consistently risen over from approximately 4% in 1995 to approximately 12% in 2014. On the other hand, the CBD content has fallen on average from approximately 0.28% in 2001 to <0.15% in 2014”.

So, today we have extremely THC high strains. Regardless if it’s cannabis indica or cannabis sativa, there is no way to know how much THC or CBD you are really consuming. This is exactly what Russo was talking about in the quote above:

“The degree of interbreeding/hybridization is such that only a biochemical assay tells a potential consumer or scientist what is really in the plant”. So, if indica and sativa are no measure at all, what should someone look for when buying cannabis products? The answer is cannabinoids and terpenes.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

You are probably pretty confused by now. But if you are going to buy cannabis products, the best thing to do is forget all you’ve heard about indica and sativa. Today, that’s all just marketing stuff.

“The data shows that Indica and Sativa is just morphology [the plants’ appearance and structure, not their highs]. It’s a misperception that Indica will put you to sleep or that Sativa is more energetic”, Jeffrey Raber Ph.D. told LA Weekly. What you need to be looking for is cannabinoids and terpenes.

You need to figure out if your body accepts THC dominant, CBD dominant or a THC/CBD balance. This will depend on the effect you are looking for and how you like to feel in certain situations. Sativa and indica can have either of this types of ratios.

Once you identify it, trust your nose. Terpenes are aromatic compounds present in plants and fruits, and they have a pretty distinguishable and strong smell.

Terpenes can have different effects such as relaxing or uplifting. So you also need to find the right terpene for you or for the activity you want to do.

In conclusion, the only way to really know what you are consuming is to ask for technical specifications, such as CBD and THC percentages as well as terpenes. Also, be patient, because this is a trial and error process only you can do.

RELATED ARTICLES

When it comes to the effects of cannabis, women and men are worlds apart. Though there is scientific research about how cannabis affects and interacts with our bodies, few of those clinical or preclinical studies analyze male and female subjects separately…

Recent studies suggest there might be a condition related to long-term use of cannabis. People all around the United States are experiencing nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and dehydration. Patients also have a compulsive tendency to…

Marijuana have many different chemical compounds. Each of these handles a particular characteristic of the plant. You’re probably familiar with one compound, chlorophyll. It’s what makes plants, including marijuana, green. Another…