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CBD Stands for Cannabinoid
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Sept 2nd 2018
Cannabis extract can help treat psychosis, study suggests
'Our results have started unravelling the brain mechanisms of a new drug that works in a completely different way to traditional anti-psychotics'
The team from King’s College London found cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major chemical components of the marijuana plant, works in opposition to its other ingredient, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which causes users to get “high”.
THC is thought to be a significant risk factor for psychosis and other conditions like schizophrenia.
Experts have warned modern “skunk” strains that have been bred to maximise levels and produce a stronger high can harm users. People with psychosis experience episodes of acute hallucinations that can become distressing and put them and others at risk.
The King's study found that a single dose of CBD could significantly reduce the abnormal brain activity that causes these effects.
“There is an urgent need for a safe treatment for young people at risk of psychosis,” said Dr Sagnik Bhattacharyya, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at the university. “The mainstay of current treatment for people with psychosis are drugs that were first discovered in the 1950s and unfortunately do not work for everyone.
“One of the main advantages of cannabidiol is that it is safe and seems to be very well tolerated, making it in some ways an ideal treatment.”
CBD is not psychoactive and does not have opportunities for abuse, with legally sold forms having to be extremely low in THC.
A CBD oil with higher THC has been licensed for treating rare childhood epilepsy in the US. This, along with growing evidence for its health effects, has led the UK government to recognise the benefits of medical cannabis and say it could be prescribed bydoctors.
To test how CBD may counteract these effects the researchers recruited 33 young people flagged by early intervention services as having symptoms of psychos, but who had yet to be diagnosed or treated.
Alongside 19 healthy participants their brain activity was scanned and their verbal and memory skills were tested before half were given CBD and the other half received a placebo.
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Psychiatry, showed that brain activity was abnormal for all the patients with psychosis prior to treatment.
However, after treatment those who received CBD shoed greatly reduced abnormal activity, falling between the placebo and healthy group, and their test performance improved.
While these findings are promising they are now launching the first major clinical trial, across multiple hospital sites, to confirm whether CBD can be an alternative for conventional antipsychotic drugs.
“If successful, this trial will provide definitive proof of cannabidiol’s role as an antipsychotic treatment and pave the way for use in the clinic,” Dr Bhattacharyya said. “Our results have started unravelling the brain mechanisms of a new drug that works in a completely different way to traditional anti-psychotics.”
May 14th 2018
CBD Oil for Diabetes: All You Need to Know
Diabetes is a disease wherein the body has trouble regulating the level of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. In healthy individuals, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which works to transport glucose molecules across cell membranes and into cells for energy production.
In diabetics, depending on whether they suffer from the Type 1 or Type 2 form of the disease, the body is either unable to produce insulin, or it’s unable to use it in a way that’s sufficient enough to maintain glucose at a healthy level in the bloodstream.
In turn, irregular or unstable glucose levels can cause a huge array of serious, life threatening conditions, which we’ll talk about in detail shortly.
In regard to CBD oil for diabetes, then, there are two main things we need to consider in order to determine the degree of viability that the drug has on the increasingly-prevalent disease: In what ways (if any) does CBD work to improve either the function and/or production of insulin, and how does CBD work to alleviate the spectrum of side effects caused by irregular blood sugar levels.
In this article, we’ll talk about recent research publications which directly address both of these questions, in the hopes of shedding some light on why CBD oil for diabetes is gaining such popularity among both patients and physicians alike.
Diabetes: What is it, What Causes it, and Who is at Risk
To elaborate on the rudimentary processes explained in the introduction, diabetes is a disease wherein the body is unable to properly transfer the glucose from food into energy sources for cells.
And of course, without energy sources, the body’s cells (which are responsible for every functional mechanism of life) will be unable to carry out the requisite pathways needed to survive.
In the case of Type 1 diabetics (who only make up about 5% of the diabetic population), the body is no longer able to produce insulin, which is the keystone hormone needed to transfer glucose molecules from the bloodstream into cells. This is generally due to an autoimmune attack on the pancreas – the organ responsible for the production of insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually arises in children or young adults who contract a pancreas-attacking virus, and other than perhaps a genetic predisposition, there are not many specific risk factors.
Type 2 diabetes is a rather more complex form of the disease wherein the body still produces insulin, but it either doesn’t produce enough of it, or the cells become resistant to its physiological pathways. Either way, the resulting effect is similar to that of Type 1 diabetes, wherein the underlying issue is a general inability to control blood glucose levels.
Also, Type 2 diabetes is a far more prevalent form of the disease; it is estimated to affect over 400 million people worldwide, or between 90 and 95% of the total diabetic population.
Additionally, far more risk factors are associated with Type 2 diabetes than there are with Type 1. Several of the most prominent of these factors include: weight (obesity); a high sugar diet combined with inactivity; family history/genetics; ethnicity (African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians are especially susceptible, though the reason is unknown); and age (people over 45 are far more likely to develop the disease).
Like we mentioned earlier, in the world of medicine, anecdotal evidence can only go so far.
So regardless of the fact that many diabetics use CBD oil every day of their lives to help manage their condition, a lot of physicians will be wary to recommend it as a treatment unless they can point to the exact physiological reasons as to why it’s beneficial.
Fortunately, along with its treatment potential for cancer and nervous disorders, CBD oil for diabetes has been one of the most thoroughly researched areas of medicinal cannabis.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, a research scientist out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, points to the fact that naturally-occurring CBD receptors occur throughout the human body – from the brain and nervous tissues, to organs and immune cells, and one of the organs where he’s found the receptors to be highly prevalent.
In fact, endocannabinoid receptors (namely CB-1 receptors) have been found specifically in the organ’s islet cells – the exact location where insulin is produced. And what’s more, the stimulus of these receptors in the islet cells has already shown to have direct links to insulin production.
Now, regardless of how intriguing the research is, we simply cannot yet say that endocannabinoid receptors are directly responsible for the production of insulin, or that CBD is a cure for diabetes in any way shape or form. While it’s possible that the receptors may play a crucial role in insulin’s production, much more research will have to be done in order to pinpoint the physiological mechanisms and exact chemical pathways that are responsible for doing so.
We will say, though, that preliminary studies of CBD for diabetes have been so promising, it’s led to American Journal of Medicine’s Dr. Joseph Alpert to call on the DEA and the National Institute of Health (NIH) for increased funding and collaboration on it’s continued research.
And moreover, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has gone so far as to suggest that endocannabinoids may be “the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health,” based on their central role in regulating homeostasis, which is the body’s ability to maintain normative operating conditions in spite of harmful stimuli.
CBD for Diabetes: How it Can Help Treat Underlying Medical Conditions.
What’s been even more concrete than research on CBD’s role in insulin production, though, has been research on its ability to help treat and prevent common medical conditions associated with diabetes.
One of the most prominent factors associated with the development of insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes is chronic inflammation related to obesity. The excessive presence of fatty tissue in obese Type 2 diabetics drastically limits the efficiency of glucose metabolism, which in turn results in high levels of sugar building up in the bloodstream. The specific anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, however, have long been known to directly combat glucose metabolic disorders and improve overall metabolism.
Nerve damage is another condition commonly associated with diabetes. In many instances diabetics will have very limited sensation in their lower extremities, and in severe cases, amputations of the leg(s) are often necessary. This is due to a lack of sufficient blood flow, which eventually results in the breakdown of tissue and the increased risk for infection. CBD, in turn, is a federally patented neuroprotectant, and has been shown to reduce infarcts (areas of dead tissue due to lack of blood flow) by up to 30%.
Likewise, there have been dozens of other publications as well that have showed great promise in the role of CBD as a treatment for diabetes, including studies on retinopathy (a disorder of the eyes) and diabetic cardiovascular dysfunction.
In short, the medical potential and therapeutic benefits of CBD oil for diabetes is nothing short of phenomenal; many thousands of diabetics use it every day to treat the disease and improve their overall quality of life, and many thousands more will continue to do so in the future in light of increased research and improved information.
And lastly, on a side note, it’s important to point out that CBD oil will not get you high – unlike whole plant marijuana, it contains hardly any traces of THC, which is the specific cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive properties of the drug.
CBD Oils for Diabetes: Final Thoughts.
CBD oils can range in terms of their overall concentrations of the active cannabinoid; not all tinctures are the same, and different dosages will be required depending on the specific oil that you end up using (although the dosage strength will always be labeled on the bottle).
CBD oil is no guaranteed solution for all diabetics; while the majority of patients do find it highly therapeutic, it’s certainly more effective for some than it is for others. As is always the case, it’s important to do your own research, and if possible, speak with a professional about some possible tinctures that might be appropriate for you and your specific condition.
You might want to investigate CBD oil from CTFO. This is a top quality hemp oil, grown in the US with certified lab testing and quality control for all products. It is available in a wide variety of strengths and flavoring (peppermint) is also available.
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