What is CBD and can it really help Fibromyalgia?

Cannabidiol (can·na·bid·i·ol) or CBD is a non-toxicating compound, one of over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids (can·nab·i·noids), that have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp plants and Marijuana plants are both members of the Cannabis Sativa plant family.

About Hemp

Hemp has been used as a remedy for certain health issues for centuries and may have been among the world’s first cultivated crops. It was prescribed by the ancient Greek and Roman physicians. The ancient Egyptians used it to reduce the growth of tumors. The Emperor Shen Neng (2737 BC) recommended cannabis tea for the treatment of pain, arthritis, malaria, gout, and memory disorders.

It was also a common fiber used in rope-making ten thousands years ago in ancient China, as well as a common crop in the 13 original U.S. colonies. It was used for sails, ropes, clothes, and paper.

In fact, the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers.

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Modern Research

Over the past 20 years, research has been accumulating to show that CBD from hemp plants can have a dramatic, positive effect on health.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) filed a patent on cannabis in 1999. It covers the use of non-psychoactive cannabinoids (CBD) to treat neurological diseases, including Alzheimers’s, Parkinson’s, and oxidative stress diseases-stroke, Chron’s disease, diabetes, and arthritis!

In fiscal year 2017, the NIH supported 330 projects totaling almost $140 million on cannabinoid research. Within this investment, 70 projects ($36 million) examined therapeutic properties of cannabinoids, and 26 projects ($15 million) focused on CBD.

How CBD works

In 1992 Dr. Ralph Mechoulan, who discovered the psychoactive THC compound in cannabis 30 years earlier, discovered that animals naturally produce what he called endocannabinoids (inborn) chemicals similar to the plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) present in hemp and cannabis.

Researchers have gone on to find that there are receptors in the body, which respond similarly to both the endocannabinoids produced in the body and the ones from CBD rich plants. These cannabinoids stimulate the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

What Is The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an inborn self-regulating network, responsible for monitoring and balancing a wide variety of bodily functions – including mood, appetite, metabolism, sleep, pain, and immune system response.

Interestingly, your body is able to make its own cannabinoids to interact with the endocannabinoid system! This allows it to control communication between cells and regulate your body’s functions.

Phytocannabinoids are the name given to cannabinoids like CBD found in plants. Phytocannabinoids including CBD ingested from plants like hemp activates the body’s own natural endocannabinoid system.

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Due to its part in monitoring and restoring balance when an illness arises, the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulation of disease. When the ECS is functioning properly the body’s systems are maintained in a state of balance, or homeostasis.

CBD, Central Sensitization and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia has been linked to central sensitization. Central, in this context, refers to the central nervous system, which comprises the brain and nerves of the spinal cord. This system regulates how your body responds to signals from the rest of the body. Sensitization is a gradual change in how your body reacts to a particular substance or stimuli.

In central sensitization, the entire central nervous system becomes sensitized to certain stimuli. Central sensitization is considered by many experts to be a key mechanism behind fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It helps explain many of the symptoms of these illnesses, including the way the body and brain amplify pain signals.

A 2017 paper published in Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets suggested CBD as a possible way to diminish the activity of brain cells called glia, which leads to central sensitization. That’s a major feature of fibromyalgia and other central sensitivity syndromes such as chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraine.

Fibromyalgia may be associated with an endocannabinoid deficiency. CBD may help shore up and balance the endocannabinoid deficiencies and restore proper self-regulating systems of the body.

A 2016 review published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found evidence that CBD is effective in migraine and irritable bowel syndrome, which are related to fibromyalgia. It also stated that some cannabis-based treatments appeared effective for fibromyalgia.

Fortunately, we now know that phytocannabinoids, in particular CBD, from hemp can help the ECS regain its balance.

 

A 2013 paper by two National of Institutes of Health researchers, stated cannabinoids “may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans.”

The authors reported that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases, including:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Moods
  • Obesity
  • Sleep
  • Cardiovascular
  • Cancers
  • Liver
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Skin disorders
  • and much more.

Because of its ability to stimulate the ECS, CBD therapy has shown to helpful in numerous unwanted health conditions including converting inflammatory, weight- promoting, and cardiac-damaging white fat into anti-inflammatory, weight losing, and cardiac protecting brown fat. It also appears to protect the heart from potential damage associated with diabetes. CBD promotes collagen formation and bone health.

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CBD and Chronic Pain

For all the many reasons people use CBD, pain relief is number one. Given today’s opiate crisis, CBD is an especially welcome alternative therapy for chronic pain. Prescriptions for opiates have increased 400% percent over the last decade. Each day over one hundred Americans die from prescription narcotics.

A recent survey of 2,400 chronic pain patients found that:

  • 80% of respondents reported CBD was very effective for relieving their pain
  • 80% percent reported CBD was more effective than their prescription medications
  • 42% percent were able to replace their pain medications with CBD alone

Studies show cannabinoids can reduce the amount of opioids needed, thus reducing potentially build up, tolerance and potential side effects. At least ten different studies have shown CBD to be helpful for neuropathic or nerve pain.

Anxiety and Stress

The oral use of cannabis to treat anxiety appears in an ancient Vedic text dated to around 2000 BC. It is one of the most recommended reasons for using the cannabis plant from culture to culture. As an addition too, or even better as an alternative too, tranquilizers and antidepressants, CBD oil offers a safe, effective alternative for anxiety and stress disorders.

Depression and Moods

Studies that CBD is a good natural antidepressant-especially so for depression associated with chronic stress, a common problem for those with fibromyalgia.

Unlike some antidepressants and most tranquilizers or benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, etc.) CBD won’t make you feel dopey, tired or sleepy.

Why Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil Is Best For Fibromyalgia

There are over 100 ‘identified’ compounds in the cannabis plant. While most of these compounds have their own therapeutic benefit, they combine synergistically to provide a far better performance than any single compound, including CBD.

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That’s why full-spectrum, whole plant extracts work best.

The cannabis genus of plants contains approximately 500 compounds. Studies show that while CBD only is somewhat effective, but full spectrum strains or the whole plant extract not only provides faster and better relief, the effects also last longer. The Entourage Effect is the main reason behind the efficacy of whole plant extracts.

What is the Entourage Effect?

The Entourage Effect is the results (the effect) produced from the synergistic interaction of the numerous natural chemicals, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids naturally found in cannabis plants, including hemp. The Entourage Effect refers to the beneficial effect of all these compounds working together as opposed to just one or two of these compounds working in isolation.

Simply put: the Entourage Effect is the benefit you get from consuming multiple components of the cannabis plant together instead of ingesting one component at-a-time.

For instance, flavonoids are phytonutrients, which are responsible for the vivid non-green colors we see in plants. The color of those shiny red apples and beautiful blueberries is all due to their unique flavonoid profile.

Commonly known flavonoids include:

  • Catechins – found in green tea
  • Quercetin – found in cannabis, fruits, and vegetables

Flavonoids are known to have antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects (especially the ones found in cannabis).

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in all plants. These compounds are responsible for the smell of a fresh tangerine or the unmistakable sharpness of pine needles.

Common terpenes are:

  • Limonene – found in citrus fruits
  • Linalool – found in lavender

Terpenes have therapeutic effects on the human body. The practice of aromatherapy is based on terpenes!

The potential health benefits of full spectrum, whole plant, CBD products are almost too good to be true. It would be easy to dismiss this as another fad, except that there thousands of research articles and millions of dollars driving what I believe will be a true revolution in plant based medicine.

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Will CBD help you reduce your fibromyalgia, chronic pain, low moods, anxiety, or other health issues? I don’t know. But I do know that this is the beginning of a health movement that could perhaps turn the drug industry upside down.

Does CBD Make You Feel High?

Nope. Because CBD is extracted from high-CBD, low-THC hemp, it will not get you high like marijuana does. Hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. They will cause no negative impacts on your sensory awareness, perception, consciousness, reaction time, or behavior.

While there are thousands of varieties of hemp, the cultivars used to make CBD oil supplements contain significantly higher levels of CBD. With these CBD-potent plants, it’s relatively simple to extract a hemp oil with high levels of CBD and NO THC. This allows you to take as a daily supplement without dealing with any psychoactive effects.

The Essential Therapeutics, hemp based full spectrum CBD products are 100% THC free.

How does CBD make you feel?

Many CBD users have reported an awakening effect after they take their supplement, while others have said they experience a heightened sense of calm. Others say they don’t notice any immediate sensation after taking CBD, but that with regular use they feel increased energy, less pain, and less stressed throughout the day and have improved sleep patterns at night. I recommend you give it a go and see for yourself.

Will CBD Make Me Fail a Drug Test?

Most drug tests look specifically for THC and its main metabolite, THC-COOH. THC is the compound found in marijuana that binds with receptors in your brain to cause a high.

Most drug tests do not detect the presence of CBD.

Some studies have shown that eating hemp foods and consuming hemp oils can, in rare cases, cause a positive result in urine and blood tests. Therefore, anyone who is concerned about testing positive on a drug test should avoid CBD oil products unless they are guaranteed to be free of THC.

The Essential Therapeutics, hemp based full spectrum CBD products are guaranteed to be 100% THC free.

Are There Side Effects of CBD?

First, once again please know that CBD supplements will not cause you to get “high.” Hemp-derived CBD oil is completely non-psychoactive.

While there have been some reports of dry mouth, low blood pressure, and drowsiness with CBD, scientists looking into the safety of taking CBD have found it to be  “safe” and “well tolerated” supplement. Their research review investigating CBD side effects found that CBD had NO NEGATIVE effects

Is Cannabidiol (CBD) Legal?

Yes, Hemp CBD, with no THC is legal worldwide.

 

 


Glossary

Cannabis

The Cannabis Sativa plant includes both hemp and marijuana. Cannabis contains a variety of compounds called cannabinoids, two of the most dominant are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis is native to Asia, but grows almost anywhere.

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds unique to cannabis that act upon the human body’s cannabinoid receptors, producing various effects including pain relief and other medically beneficial uses. Marijuana’s most well-known cannabanoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) due to the fact that it is the most abundant, and also because it produces the psychoactive effects (or the “high”) that drives the plant’s recreational use. However, there are over 85 known cannabinoids all with varying effects, including the non-toxicating CBD.

CBD

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the at least 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis and the second only to THC when it comes to average volume. Recently, CBD has gained support for its use as a medical treatment as research has shown it effectively treats pain, inflammation, depression, GI disorders, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects (the “high” or “stoned” feeling) associated with THC.

Endocannabinoid

The word “endocannabinoid.” “Cannabinoid” comes from “cannabis,” and “endo” is short for “endogenous,” which means that it is produced naturally inside of your body. So “endocannabinoid” simply means cannabis-like substances that naturally occur inside us.

Hemp

Hemp is a fibrous product that can be produced from the male cannabis plant and can be used in the manufacture of rope, paper, beauty products, and a vast array of other products. Hemp plants have no value as a drug since they are males. However, they are still considered illegal in the United States.

Marijuana

Marijuana is the general term for female cannabis plants or their dried flowers. Females are distinct from male plants in that they are the ones that produce flowers which contain the high percentage of cannabinoids that hold both their medicinal and psychoactive properties.

THC

THC is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. It is the most well-known and most abundantly available cannabinoid in marijuana plants. THC is also the component in marijuana that is responsible for the psychoactive effects, or the “high.” Also known as delta-9-tetracannabinol, it was first isolated in 1964 and is thought to serve as a natural defense for the plant against pests. Research has shown THC to be an effective medical treatment for a range of conditions. There is no lethal dose of the compound in its natural form.

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