Shoulder Blade Pain: Causes and Treatment

Let’s talk about shoulder blades!

Have you ever given a thought to those pieces of bone on your back, just below your shoulders? Probably only when they’re hurting; and what does it mean when they are? Read on…

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What are Shoulder Blades?

Shoulder blade or scapula, is a triangular shaped bone located in your upper back, behind each of your shoulders, which connects the upper arm bone (humerus) with the collar bone (clavicle).

Pain in this area is not easy to figure out, since it could indicate something serious, like a heart attack, or something temporary and mild, like having slept in an awkward position. So here’s everything you need to know about it…

Causes of Shoulder Blade Pain

Poor posture or an awkward sleeping position

Sleeping in an uncomfortable position or sitting with bad posture for prolonged periods of time can cause pain in the shoulder blade area, but most of this pain is muscular and doesn’t mean there is an injury, so it can be easily treated via physical therapy and practicing better posture.

Direct injury to the scapula bone

Trauma, falls or taking a hard blow can injure the scapula. It can be bruised or even fractured. Scapula fractures can be type I, II, or III, depending on their severity and bone displacement, and might need surgery to be reset when they are severe, though most don’t.

When surgery is not needed, treatment is usually pain medication, temporary immobilization and physical therapy. These fractures are usually common in car accidents, and can be accompanied by chest trauma and other fractures, but they’re not among the most common fractures in the country.

Mild or severe shoulder or rotator cuff injury

The shoulder has an amazingly wide range of motion, which means it needs a lot of soft tissue and bone support in order to work properly. Since it has so many connections, it can easily get injured or swollen with bad movements or by lifting too much weight. These injuries cause shoulder blade pain and can make it more sensitive to touch.

Joint or bone conditions

Conditions that cause pain and affect the bones and joints, could also cause shoulder blade pain. These conditions are: arthritis (more specifically ankylosing spondylitis), osteoporosis, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia and frozen shoulder. They cause pain in different bones and joints and can affect the scapula, but their treatment depends on the condition, though applying heat or cold packs, and being careful with movement, usually helps.

Pain irradiated from an organ in distress – referred pain

Since the lungs and heart are so close to the scapula, they can cause pain in its general area when they are malfunctioning. However, other organs and conditions can cause shoulder blade pain, such as back problems, a slipped disk, gallbladder disease, liver problems, peptic ulcers, pancreatitis, or abdominal surgery.

The body is connected, so different conditions can cause pain in seemingly unrelated areas, which might be confusing. In this case, the original condition needs to be treated before the referred pain can go away. However, pain medication can sometimes help while the treatment is completed, but it’s healthier to stick to natural solutions, like heat packs, or CBD oil.

Heart Issues

Particularly in women, heart issues can cause sharp shoulder blade pain. The conditions that specifically cause this are: heart attack, a tear in the aorta, and inflammation of the lining of the heart, which is why it’s important to pay attention to other alarming symptoms that occur at the same time.

Lung issues

The lung issues that are known to cause shoulder blade pain are lung cancer, blood clots, or a collapsed lung. These conditions may also cause difficulty breathing, fainting, or other complications.

Cancer

Lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer can cause pain in the shoulder blades. Though extremely rare, heart cancer also causes feelings of pain and tightness in the chest and possibly in the back.

Nerve damage or neuropathy

Nerve damage in the area, or Brachial Plexus Neuropathy can also cause pain in the area where the shoulder blades are and the shoulders. A pinched nerve in the shoulder can cause pain as well.

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Positioning of the Pain

Depending on the disease and the organ, pain can present in different sides of the body, or can be accompanied by other symptoms.

Pain behind left shoulder blade – Left shoulder blade pain in women

Heart attack mostly causes pain in the left shoulder blade, and, for some reason, women are more likely to experience this symptom than men are. However, strain or trauma to the left arm, shoulder, or back can also cause this particular pain.

Pain in upper back between shoulder blades

When the pain is located between the shoulder blades, the cause could be a little different. It could be related to acid reflux, which affects the esophagus and could cause referred pain towards the middle of the upper back. However, pain between shoulder blades in women is also a common occurrence in heart attacks, so don’t ignore it, just pay attention to the way it presents.

Scoliosis, vertebral compression fractures , or epidural anesthesia, can also cause interscapular pain. But, when it comes to epidural anesthesia, the pain should go away as the anesthetic wears off.

Pain behind right shoulder blade

Gallbladder disease generally causes pain in the right shoulder blade, since it is located on the right side of the torso. However, strain or trauma to the right arm, shoulder or back can also cause this pain.

What causes knots under shoulder blade?

Knotting can be painful and annoying. Though it is usually not very serious. These muscle spasms are caused by prolonged bad posture or position, by tension in the neck and shoulders, or by muscle strain and overuse.

It can happen mostly on the dominant side for each person, since it’s the one we put more strain on, but can also happen on both sides.  

Treatment

The appropriate treatment for shoulder blade pain depends on its cause.

For overuse, strain, bruising, or bad posture, the recommended treatments involve rest, hot/cold compresses, painkillers (if absolutely necessary), stretching, massages, physical therapy and light movement exercises.

For cancer and other conditions that cause pain to irradiate to the shoulder blades, the necessary treatment is the designated one for that particular condition (like chemotherapy for cancer, or medication for heart issues). 

When it comes to knotting and tension, massages and hot compresses are the best options, since massages can help undo the spasms and heat relaxes the tense muscles.

People have also reported feeling some relief while using CBD supplements. This is probably due to the component’s antispasmodic properties as well as mild pain relieving effects.

When should I see a doctor for shoulder blade pain?

Though muscle strain or mild pain caused by poor posture is not really a reason to go to urgent care or schedule a doctor’s appointment, when it has been bothering you for more than 3 months, then a visit to an orthopedist, physiotherapist or chiropractor might be a good idea.

You should see a doctor immediately when the pain is so intense that you are unable to move, or if it’s accompanied by:

  • Sharp chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Tachicardia
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Any other alarming symptoms that significantly affect your ability to function as usual

Prevention and Tips

  • Be aware of your posture and correct it if necessary
  • Don’t lift items that are too heavy, and be careful when pulling or lifting any weight (like when carrying children or heavy suitcases).
  • If you spend a lot of time sitting behind a desk, get up and stretch, walk around and check your posture often.
  • Cut down on sugar and inflammatory foods, which can cause joint pain and muscle weakness. Some inflammatory foods, though not all of them, are: processed meats, sugar, fried foods, refined wheat (white bread, white pasta) and gluten.

I hope this was informative and helpful! Sometimes shoulder and shoulder blade injuries can feel like they will never heal, but you might be able to manage them and improve mobility and pain by changing your lifestyle, being very careful and conscious with your movements, and, believe me, physical therapy works wonders.

I was injured after carrying a heavy suitcase during a three week trip, and for months there were tight knots under my shoulder blades and I couldn’t lift my left arm or walk for too long without feeling excruciating pain on my left shoulder blade and neck.

After months of pain, I finally saw an orthopedist, who sent me to a physical therapist. After three months of careful therapy and applying hot packs on my back, I was moving my arm again, not being woken up by pain, and a lot less annoyed.

Of course, my soft tissue is still injured and will never heal, which is why I need to be careful about a few things, like about sleeping on my left side for too long, lifting my arm too high without being careful, or lifting things that are too heavy… But it no longer feels like it did before, which was as if I would never use my left arm for much again.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…  

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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…

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Raise Your Voice for CBD!

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

Since then, we’ve been eagerly waiting for the first public hearing to be announced… And it finally has!

The first ever FDA public hearing aimed towards the regulation of CBD has been scheduled for Friday, May 31, and the FDA has asked all of us to participate and comment on three specific subjects regarding CBD:

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Health and Safety Risks

Manufacturing and Quality

Marketing, Labeling and Sales

How do I participate?

Up until May 10th, you can submit a request to make an oral presentation at the hearing.

The Agency will also be receiving written comments on the subject until July 2 of this year, through:

  • The FDA’s docket for public comment on this hearing, which is No. FDA-2019-N-1482.

Mailing address:

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Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305)

Food and Drug Administration

5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061

Rockville, MD 20852

Information about the Public Hearing

Date

Friday, May 31

Time

8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location

FDA White Oak Campus,10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Building 31, Conference Center, the Great Room (Rm. 1503), Silver Spring, MD 20993.

Entrance

For non-FDA employees, the entrance is through Building 1.

This is a huge step forward for the United States, since it will lessen stigma related to cannabis and provide clear guidelines for quality and production.

Hopefully, a lot of us participate! The more people share their knowledge, input and experience, the better chances there are for the FDA to regulate CBD in a way that serves the community and contributes to medical development.

See you at the hearing!

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CBD Oil for Seizures: Childhood Epilepsy

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

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

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

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High CBD Strains for Epilepsy

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

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

What can CBD do for epilepsy patients?

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

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

Real Children have benefited from it…

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

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

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

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

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

Epilepsy in Children

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

What is it?

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

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

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

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

Causes

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

Types of Seizures

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

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

  • With retained awareness
  • With loss of awareness

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concerns

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

The answer to all of these is NO.

Brain Development

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

Does the Child get High?

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

Does it Generate Addiction?

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

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

CBD: Improving the Quality of Life

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

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

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

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What should I do if someone is having a seizure?

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

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

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

CBD Testimonials: How CBD Saves Lives

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

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

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

CBD: 5 Real Life Stories

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

1.  Hunter

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

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

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

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

2. Charlotte

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

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

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

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

3. Zaki

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

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

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

4. Lachie

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

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

5. Kalel

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

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

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

What about THC? – 3 Bonus Stories

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

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

1. Deryn

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Joy

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

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

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

3. Rick

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

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

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

TheHealingMethod

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why can’t we sleep?

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

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

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

Chronic vs. Acute Insomnia

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

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

The Game Plan

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

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

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

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

CBD for Insomnia: can it really help?

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

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

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

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

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

What is the CBD dosage for insomnia?

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

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

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

Biphasic Effect

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

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

Does marijuana help you sleep?

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

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

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

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

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

What else can I do?

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

Some of these changes can be:

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

Is sleep really important?

In short, YES.

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

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

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

So…

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

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

Sleep tight!