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How Could Cannabidiol Benefit the Gut?

By | Cannabinoids explained, Health effects of cannabinoids, Uncategorized | No Comments
Diagram of the digestive system to show areas affected by IBD

The digestive system. While Crohn’s disease can affect any area, ulcerative colitis is confined to the colon and/or rectum (Tortora & Derrickson) Source: Leysi24

Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 18, Dan McMahon has years of experience with gut issues and many of the ways to treat it. Even with 22 pills a day, including steroids, bi-monthly injections and dietary advice from his gastroenterologist, the pain and discomfort was always there. However, a few years ago, his father suggested that he try cannabis, but simply smoking “regular” cannabis had no positive effects. Then one day, a friend gave him a CBD oil-infused blueberry muffin, and after his initial disappointment over the lack of “buzz”, realised that he wasn’t really in any pain, for the first time in years.

Did Cannabidiol Benefit the Gut?

He states that CBD has given him back quality of life that he never thought he would see again and has enabled him to avoid prescription medications, and takes CBD products almost every day now. Another patient with Crohn’s disease has stated that cannabis use along with pharmaceutical medications has allowed him to have only one other flare-up of his symptoms in five years, and avoid surgery. Crohn’s disease, along with ulcerative colitis, is known as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), after the root cause of the disease.

Look at the evidence

But what evidence is there to back up these claims? In one study of 30 Crohn’s disease patients before and after cannabis use, 21 patients “improved significantly” and were able to reduce usage of pharmaceutical medications. At first, 15 of the 30 patients needed a collective total of 19 surgeries over an average period of 9 years before cannabis use.

Fewer surgeries

During an average period of 3 years of cannabis use, only 2 patients needed surgery. In comparison, the National Institute of Health estimates that 70-90% of patients with Crohn’s disease will need surgery. Almost two-fifths, 39%, will need repeat surgeries.

All 30 patients reported improvements in their symptoms, the number of patients requiring steroids fell from 26 to 4, and the mean number of bowel movements fell from 8 to 5 daily. This was thought to be due to the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids, which can regulate immune cells and the amount of inflammatory chemicals they produce. In another, placebo-controlled trial, 10 of the 11 patients who received cannabis cigarettes showed a clinical response, with 5 reaching “remission”.

So how could Cannabidiol benefit the gut? And what about CBD itself?

A study on both mice with intestinal inflammation and biopsies of patients with ulcerative colitis, the other IBD, found that CBD could ease inflammation in both by reducing the activation of glial cells. These are a type of nerve cell that communicate with the immune system. In the biopsies of human patients, CBD significantly reduced glial cell activation and inflammatory activity of other immune cells in a dose-dependent manner. That means a higher dose of CBD produced a stronger effect. This could be seen in both biopsies of patients who were in “remission”, and those having flare-ups. The strongest effects were seen on the glial cells.

Other components of hemp, including other cannabinoids and some of the many terpenes, have also demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects. However, more research on low-THC, whole hemp extracts is required for the management of IBD.

If you suffer from IBS, IBD, Crohn’s disease or any other inflammatory bowel problem, you might like to try a CBD supplement and see if it will reduce your symptoms. Research does show some impressive results so far. Find out more about our CBD products and how to order them.

References

http://www.honeycolony.com/article/cbd_crohns_disease/

http://unitedpatientsgroup.com/blog/2015/01/13/a-cannabis-patients-guide-to-crohns-disease-by-crohns-patient-daniel-towns/

http://www.ima.org.il/FilesUpload/IMAJ/0/39/19985.pdf

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0028159

bioavailability of cannabidiol

What Do Bioavailability and Sublingual Mean For Me?

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Bioavailability explained

There are many reasons why we may want to take CBD-rich hemp extracts, whether it be to manage a chronic condition, prevent illness or just for general health maintenance and wellbeing. In all cases, we want to get as much out of every dose as possible. For this, the bioavailability of CBD and other cannabinoids must be maximised. Bioavailability means how much of a substance is able to enter the bloodstream unchanged.

Maximizing Bioavailability

So how can we maximise bioavailability1? When a drug is given intravenously, the bioavailability is 100%, because it gets past barriers such as the intestinal wall, as well as liver metabolism. When a medicine is taken orally, it may not be absorbed through the intestines because of insufficient time. Being highly water soluble or not dissolving enough are two reasons why a drug may take longer to be absorbed. Poor digestion, binding to other substances and use by the intestinal bacteria are other reasons why it may not be absorbed. After a nutrient, medicine or something else is absorbed into the bloodstream, it passes through the liver2. In the liver, a portion of an absorbed substance is changed, which makes the affected substance more water soluble. This is to prepare it for the next time it enters the liver, where it is readied for excretion.

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All about sublingual administration

So what does sublingual mean, and what does it have to do with bioavailability? Sublingual administration of medicines is when it is designed for absorption under the tongue3, not in the stomach and intestines like food. “Sub” means “under”, and “lingual” means “relating to the tongue”. As this also means direct transfer into the blood, it avoids issues relating to the intestinal barrier. These include inability to be absorbed, interaction with other nutrients or drugs, or use by normal intestinal bacteria. It also avoids being directly shuttled to the liver and resulting changes to its structure.

Of course, CBD is also vulnerable to issues that can affect intestinal absorption, as well as being processed by the liver. Because of this, a small study4 in 2003 set out to find any differences in the bioavailability of CBD and THC when taken in different ways. The dosage methods tested were oral, oro-pharyngeal (throat), buccal (inside of the cheek) and sublingual. When CBD was taken sublingually, the half-life was 86 minutes, while oral use had a half-life of 65 minutes. The term “half-life” means the time taken for half of the tested substance to be removed from the body. Another measure of bioavailability, known as “area under the curve” (AUC), also showed a superior score for sublingual CBD. The two AUC scores for sublingual use were 408.53 and 427.33. However, the scores for oral use were 345.68 and 362.04. The AUC measurement shows the total exposure of the body to a medicine once it is given. Therefore, a higher AUC can mean a greater potential to be effective.

Liposomes offer increased bioavailability

Liposomal hemp extracts may be even more bioavailable, as the type of fat that the hemp extract would be surrounded by can enable easy, efficient absorption. While more human trials are needed, sublingual CBD and CBD-rich hemp extracts may be better than taking a regular capsule, as it could bypass many obstacles between the cannabinoids and their intended destination.

cannabidiol bioavailability

If you need bioavailable CBD as a sublingual dose, head on over to our CBD oil products page and see the great range of CBD oils we offer.


References

1: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/clinical-pharmacology/pharmacokinetics/drug-bioavailability

Preston, A, 2014, Nutritional Biochemistry Explained, Lulu Press.

3: http://www.pharmtech.com/considerations-developing-sublingual-tablets-overview

4: http://www.cannabis-med.org/data/pdf/2003-03-04-4_0.pdf

Cannabinoids, Hemp and Severe Nausea

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Cannabinoids, Hemp and Severe Nausea is an interesting topic indeed. One of the most common reasons why medical cannabis is prescribed is to relieve nausea, and may be why you purchase Elixinol CBD oil. Nausea can be caused by many things: physical illness, pharmaceutical drugs, too much alcohol or psychological stimuli. But how can hemp and cannabinoids work to treat nausea and vomiting?

Some research figures relating to nausea control using Hemp

The psychoactive cannabinoid THC, which is drastically reduced in hemp plants, has been studied for years for its effects in relieving the nausea and vomiting that many cancer patients experience1. In an early trial from 19752, 14 out of 20 patients taking THC experienced reduced nausea and vomiting. Of those who finished the study, THC was effective in 12 of 15 cases. In another3 trial from the 1980s, THC reduced nausea and vomiting in 23 of the 36 patients assigned to receive it. Only one of the 36 patients taking the pharmaceutical control experienced relief. It works by stimulating our cannabinoid receptors, but not everyone can tolerate the “high”.

nausea and hemp

Cannabidiol is a promising anti-nausea agent

Cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t cause a high, but research on shrews showed that it can also reduce nausea and vomiting1. Its non-heated form, CBDA, was able to produce this effect at a much lower dose, 0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg of body weight instead of 5 and 10mg/kg doses. This effect was partly explained by stimulation of receptors called 5-HT

CBDV, which may relieve nausea.

A CBDV molecule.

1A receptors

CBD also does not directly stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. However, it can increase the levels of our own, naturally occurring cannabinoids, by reducing their breakdown and uptake into cells. Additionally, beta-caryophyllene, one of the terpenes in hemp4, has also been found to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. While its anti-nausea abilities have not been specifically tested, this action may mean it has supporting effects.

CBDV

Another cannabinoid known as CBDV5 may also reduce nausea and vomiting. CBDV is the “raw” version of CBD, which turns into the more well-known cannabinoid after heating. Research on rats found that it was able to prevent nausea caused by a toxin, by stimulating the cannabinoid receptors. This was unlike the drug Rimonabant, which works against cannabinoid receptors and increased nausea.

CBD and CBDA

CBD and CBDA can both relieve nausea caused by toxins and prevent anticipatory nausea, which is caused by psychological conditioning1. Other terpenes4 present in hemp besides beta-caryophyllene may also be able to play a role in reducing anticipatory nausea. This is typically treated by prescription of benzodiazepines, which increase a neurotransmitter called GABA, but may be too sedating and addictive. Linalool, a terpene present in both hemp and lavender, has been found to reduce anxiety and promote mild sedation by increasing GABA. It also reduces glutamate, a neurotransmitter which can be overstimulating in excess. Myrcene is another terpene which has shown sedative effects; it is also found in hops, a plant often used to aid sleep in Germany.

Unfortunately, while there is abundant research on THC and relief of nausea and vomiting, CBD and other non-psychoactive components of hemp have largely been neglected. However, the currently available research and reported experiences suggest that CBD-rich hemp oil could be a promising preventative for vomiting.

control nausea with CBD oil


References

1: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4960260/

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1099449/

3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2847994/

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3792004/

Could Vaping Cannabinoids Help Me Quit Smoking?

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Vaping Cannabinoids Could Help You Quit Smoking

Vaping, with the use of e-cigarettes, is a popular alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes because of the belief that it is non-toxic. However, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine as well as other potentially harmful chemicals1. Researchers have found that e-cig vapour can contain formaldehyde, the “probable carcinogen” glycidiol, and the irritant acrolein. Increasing voltage, heat and usage of the device may also worsen the levels of these toxins. Fortunately, vaping hemp oil rich in cannabinoids could help kick nicotine addiction, while still providing something to “smoke”.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the primary cannabinoid in hemp oil, may be useful in fighting nicotine dependence2. This is because the CB1 cannabinoid receptors may control how “rewarding” nicotine and other drugs feel to the user. These findings have led to trials testing the effects of Rimonabant, a drug which acts against the CB1 receptors. Rimonabant has since been withdrawn from the market and clinical trials after it was discovered that the medication increased the risk of depression and suicide. CBD, however, has a much better safety profile.

Research into CBD assisting in addiction recovery

Pre-clinical research has suggested that CBD may assist in recovery from addiction. In rats, CBD was able to reduce cue-induced drug seeking, even 14 days after administration. But what about us humans? Studies have shown that smoking cannabis high in CBD significantly reduced the reinforcing effect of stimuli related to THC-containing cannabis in those who were addicted. Because of this research, another trial was published in 2013 testing the effect of CBD inhalers on cigarette use for one week. Twenty-four smokers received either an inhaler containing CBD, or a placebo inhaler, which they were instructed to use whenever they were craving a cigarette. Among volunteers inhaling CBD, there was a significant drop in the number of cigarettes smoked during the week; the much smaller drop seen in the placebo group was insignificant2.

can CBD help you quit smoking?

Reduce tobacco withdrawal symptoms

CBD and other cannabinoids may help to reduce withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking, such as anxiety or a depressed mood3. A study on 24 patients with social anxiety found that a dose of CBD before a public speaking test significantly reduced anxiety during the speech4. When compared to 12 other people without social anxiety, there were no differences in anxiety, cognitive impairment or discomfort.

Other components of hemp, such as the terpenes5, may also help relieve the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine and help you quit smoking. Limonene, a terpene also found in citrus oils, was able to dramatically reduce depression in hospitalised patients in one trial. Even though researchers just diffused the oil into the air, some patients experienced a normalisation of depression scores and could even discontinue antidepressants. Beta-myrcene, another terpene, has been recognised as a sedative as part of hops, which is often used to aid sleep. Also found in lavender, linalool may contribute to the sedative and anxiolytic abilities of the hemp plant.

Overall, CBD-rich hemp oil could be a helpful tool in kicking a nicotine addiction, although more clinical trials are needed to reach a definitive conclusion. It is important to always consult a qualified professional when looking at treatment options to quit smoking cigarettes.


References

1: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160727090350.htm

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23685330

3: http://www.quit.org.au/about/frequently-asked-questions/faq-smoking-withdrawal/faq-withdrawal-symptoms.html

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21749363

Could Inhaled Cannabinoids Help Neuropathic Pain?

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Neuropathic pain is a complex and chronic set of pain conditions caused by damage to the nerves, which penetrate all areas of our bodies. The worst part? Chronic neuropathic pain, or neuropathy, often responds poorly to the standard, well-known ways to treat pain. It can get worse over time, and even lead to serious disability. But if you do suffer from neuropathy, there may be some good news. A new clinical trial has recently been published, which suggests that cannabinoids could be an effective alternative way to manage neuropathy1.

Clinical trial results for cannabis and neuropathic pain

In this trial, 16 participants were administered cannabis at one of three different potencies (1%, 4% or 7% THC) or a placebo, which they took by aerosol inhaler. Use of an inhaler may mean that consuming cannabinoids or hemp extract by the increasingly popular method of vaping could be effective. All of the participants had diabetic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes. Currently, diabetes affects around 387 million people around the world1. At each increasing dose, there was a greater reduction in spontaneous pain – pain without anything even touching them. At the highest dose, there was even a reduction in induced pain. Unfortunately, it also caused a drop in mental performance.

neuropathic pain and cannabinoids

Statistics on neuropathic pain and cannabinoids

Negative effects on mental performance is one of several reasons why many choose CBD-rich hemp extracts, such as Elixinol, over THC-containing products. But can CBD, and other components of hemp extracts, also help relieve the pain seen in neuropathy? Another trial, this time on 177 patients2 with advanced cancer pain, tested the effects of THC and CBD together versus THC alone and a placebo. Only those taking the THC and CBD together saw a significant reduction in pain. The THC alone did not show a significant difference from the placebo. In the THC and CBD group, 43% showed at least a 30% improvement in pain scores. Both the THC only and placebo group had 12% of patients experiencing an at least 30% reduction in pain. This may mean that not only does CBD have its own pain relieving abilities, but also that THC requires its presence in order to have any effect on many people.

Vanilloid receptors and CBD

CBD may fight neuropathic pain in a different way to just acting on our cannabinoid receptors. A study on rats with neuropathy showed that CBD was working on a type of receptor called the vanilloid receptors, but did not need the cannabinoid receptors3. The vanilloid receptors control pain sensation, and if you’ve ever heard of chilli being able to reduce pain, they are why it works. CBD also reduced activity of the inflammatory PGE-2 substances. Inflammation contributes to pain and sometimes even long-term tissue damage.

Other cannabinoids and neuropathy

Other cannabinoids may also help to relieve neuropathic pain.4 CBC and CBG are both anti-inflammatory and analgesic, but have not been studied as much as THC or CBD. CBC is weaker in these respects than THC, but CBG has stronger analgesic ability, and a stronger ability to block an inflammatory enzyme called lipoxygenase. Even flavonoids found in hemp could assist in relieving neuropathy. Cannflavin A, which is unique to hemp and cannabis, can inhibit PGE-2 30 times more potently than aspirin in the laboratory, but has not been thoroughly studied. Some terpenes, such as myrcene and beta-caryophyllene, are also anti-inflammatory. Overall, CBD-rich hemp may be an effective way to relieve neuropathic pain, but clinical trials are needed specifically on high-CBD, no-THC hemp oil.
neuropathic pain and CBD cannabidiol


References

1: https://www.medicaljane.com/2015/07/07/study-supports-efficacy-of-inhaled-cannabis-for-neuropathic-pain-caused-by-diabetes/

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19896326

3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17157290

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18728714

acne treatment

High-CBD Hemp Oil and Acne: A Review

By | Health effects of cannabinoids, Uncategorized | No Comments

In a post published in July, I discussed research suggesting that CBD-rich hemp extracts could be a great topical treatment for acne. But when I started taking Elixinol’s liposomal extract – initially for inflammation and depressive tendencies – I found that it was also an internal acne treatment, at least in my case.

My acne story

Ever since I was 10 years old, just beginning to enter womanhood, I have always had mild acne. There would always be many tiny spots on my face, and at least one or two painful, red cystic spots. The reason why it was so persistent – for the majority of my life – was that nothing seemed to work. Not wearing makeup, or changing the brand, did not work. Creams containing benzoyl peroxide and various cleansers, natural or not, had very little benefit, with the greatest temporary benefit coming from a diatomaceous clay mask I bought in Germany.

A friend recommended that I mix zinc and vitamin C powder into cream, and put it on my face. My face looked better in a general sense, but not in the sense of acne. Abandoning gluten helped me in a neurological sense, but my skin did not improve. Limiting milk and yellow cheese has reduced the number of cystic spots on my face, but the greatest reduction in acne for me has been from taking a daily dose of liposomal hemp oil extract.

rescue balm cbd oil for acne

Hemp oil extract reduced my acne

Within a week, I stopped getting any more new cystic acne spots, and the number of tiny spots is continually decreasing. Additionally, the dark circles under my eyes are fading more than what they did when I stopped eating gluten. This is often a sign of inflammation. My brother, my fraternal twin, has also suffered from acne since puberty, although his is much more severe, which is at least partly because of his higher dairy intake. I am glad I did not write it off as “genetic”, even though I only found that internal use of hemp oil could clear my skin by accident.

So how does hemp oil work as an acne treatment?

As I wrote in my previous post, CBD and some of the terpenes in hemp may have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and sebum-reducing properties that could work together to fight acne. CBD can increase the levels of our own cannabinoids, such as AEA, by stopping them from breaking down. AEA, at high levels, has been found to reduce the production of sebum. Sebum keeps our skin in good condition at normal levels, but in excess it blocks the pores of our skin and can cause acne. The terpenes known as pinene, limonene and linalool, which are found in hemp, have shown antibacterial effects against Propionibacterium acnes, the most common bacterial cause of acne. Limonene and linalool also demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, which is handy too in cases of infective acne because P. acnes produces the inflammatory substance known as TNF-alpha.

Final thoughts

While I am just one person, and I would like to see clinical trials on topical or internal hemp oil and acne, my verdict is that, if you are suffering from acne, hemp oil is definitely worth a try. Particularly if you want to use it topically, liposomal hemp oil looks like the best option in terms of absorption. If you want to try hemp oil as an acne treatment, please head over to our products page and check out the various options we have available. You can choose between topical or ingestible hemp oil products.

acne cbd oil

Cannabinoids Could Help Migraine Sufferers Find Relief

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Migraine sufferers may find relief with cannabinoids

In the USA alone, over 37 million people suffer from migraines, with an estimated 2-3 million experiencing chronic migraines1. Around 5 million have at least one migraine per month, and 11 million say that it causes them moderate to severe disability. Over 90% say that it interferes with work or everyday functioning, and most say that their migraines cause relationship problems. But a migraine is just a headache, right? Actually, migraines can involve severe, painful headaches, over-sensitivity to light, nausea, vision impairment, disorientation and problems with co-ordination – far more than just feeling uncomfortable2. Even worse, sometimes these symptoms can last for several days.

Could-CBD-Prevent-and-Stop-Migraine

So how could cannabidiol (CBD) and the other cannabinoids help?

If cannabinoids could help migraine sufferers find relief how would it work? The human body produces its own cannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG); together with the cannabinoid receptors, they make the endocannabinoid system. This regulates many processes in the body, such as blood vessel dilation. When cannabinoids interact with their receptors, they reduce blood vessel dilation, which is important in migraines because the expansion of blood vessels in an area with no extra space (ie the brain) creates pressure, and therefore pain.

The endocannabinoid receptors known as CB1 receptors are also present in higher than usual levels in an area of the brain strongly associated with migraines3. While our own cannabinoids regulate our bodies in ways that prevent migraines, levels of AEA have been found to be lower in people who suffer from migraines4. Also, women with migraines may have

Cannabidiol.

higher levels of the enzyme that degrades AEA.

Cannabinoids may help reduce Glutamate

Cannabinoids such as CBD may also directly relieve the pain seen in migraines. The stimulating neurotransmitter known as glutamate is responsible for the secondary and tertiary (horrible) pain in both migraines and fibromyalgia5, but cannabinoids can block the release of glutamate from nerve cells. Cannabinoids may also stabilize the platelets, which are responsible for blood clots, and inhibit serotonin release, which in excess can amplify pain4.

Hemp medicine has a long history

Although the scientific evidence behind the use of hemp and cannabinoids to relieve migraines is largely lab studies, hemp medicines have a long history in migraine treatment4. Dr Clendinning in London was the first Western physician to prescribe cannabis (which had a much lower THC content back then) for migraines in the 1840s. In the 1870s, another doctor, Dr R. Greene, was recommending daily doses of cannabis to prevent migraines. In 1890, Sir John Russell Reynolds, physician to the British royal family, highlighted migraines as an indication for the prescription of cannabis in a review of his 30 years of clinical experience.

In more modern times4, a case was reported where a patient suffering from migraines found relief in small doses of smoked cannabis, after failing conventional therapies. The author had previously encountered multiple patients with migraines who had failed pharmaceutical drugs, but responded positively to cannabis. Other case reports described patients finding relief from other types of chronic headache.

Overall, the evidence behind using CBD-rich hemp oil to manage migraines is in need of clinical trials, but laboratory studies, historical use and case reports do show a potential benefit. If you suffer from migraines you might like to try our high-potency CBD oil products to reduce that migraine pain.

migraines and cannabinoids


References

1: https://migraine.com/migraine-statistics/

2: https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-and-migraine-treatment/

3: http://theroc.us/images/Clinical%20endocannabinoid%20deficiency%20(CECD)%20revisited%20Can%20this%20concept%20explain%20the%20therapeutic%20benefits%20of%20cannabis%20in%20migraine,%20fibromyalgia,%20irritable%20bowel%20syndrome%20and%20other%20treatment-resistant%20conditions.pdf

4: http://theroc.us/images/Comprehensive%20Review%20of%20Medicinal%20Marijuana,%20Cannabinoids,%20and%20Therapeutic%20Implications%20in%20Medicine%20and%20Headache-%20What%20a%20Long%20Strange%20Trip%20It%E2%80%99s%20Been.pdf

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

Could Hemp Oil Help With Glaucoma?

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How Could Hemp Oil Reduce Glaucoma?

Although we depend on our eyes every day for almost everything that we need or want to do, we often take them for granted – until we are threatened with loss of vision. Glaucoma is one such threat, which often causes optic nerve damage and may lead to blindness if left untreated1. It affects over three million Americans, and around 60 million worldwide; it is one of the leading causes of permanent blindness.

So, could Hemp Oil Help With Glaucoma? While surgical and pharmaceutical treatments have halved the risk of blindness over the years, could hemp and cannabinoids be a less invasive, more natural approach?

A depiction of advanced glaucoma - could CBD oil help?

A depiction of advanced glaucoma.

Glaucoma sufferers generally do not want THC

Most US states where cannabis is legal for medical use include glaucoma, especially in its advanced stages, on the lists of permitted conditions. The damage that glaucoma does to vision is caused by the increased intraocular pressure (IOP), which means the pressure inside the eye. A small study performed in 1971 found that smoking cannabis was able to reduce IOP by 25-30%, thus sparing their eyes from damage. However, this effect lasted for only 3-4 hours, meaning that you would have to smoke cannabis 6-8 times every day. This would be understandably unpleasant to most people because of the psychoactive effects of THC and risk of dependence.

Hemp-Cannabinoids - Glaucoma treatment

Fortunately other cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), can reduce IOP without getting a patient “high”2. They could be effective either systemically or applied directly to the eye, which would bypass many issues with absorption. The remaining problem with absorption that has been reported in research is the poor ability of cannabinoids to mix with water, which resulted in less than 5% of one medication actually reaching the inside of the eyes.

Hemp Oil Liposomes

Use of liposomes, which increase absorption through watery areas and fatty tissues, may be a way to get around this. In a study on cats, CBG3 was found to have a mild effect on IOP after the first dose, but this became much more significant with long-term use. Unlike the cannabinol that was also tested, CBG did not cause eye redness. Cannabichromene (CBC) may also4 be able to reduce IOP without causing redness in the eye, while THC carries this negative effect.

So how do cannabinoids relieve the raised IOP seen in glaucoma?

While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, there are several ways2 that cannabinoids seem to work to relieve pressure. Some studies have found that they can reduce production of the fluid inside our eyes, and may even increase the outflow of this fluid. Cannabinoids, particularly CBD, can also act as antioxidants, directly protecting the nerves from damage.

Another way that they may protect the nerve cells is by reducing production of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that can over-stimulate the cells in excess. Additionally, the blood vessel-dilating properties of some cannabinoids may help to relieve excess IOP. While the ability of THC-containing cannabis to relieve the symptoms of glaucoma has been well-documented and recognized, clinical trials are needed to test the abilities of high-CBD, low-THC hemp. In addition, trials could determine whether the whole extract or only certain cannabinoids could be used to prevent irritation by some components such as terpenes.

buy hemp oil for glaucoma


References

1: https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-for-glaucoma-treatment/

2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1772142/

3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6499952/

4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6323206/

Why Does CBD Have So Many Potential Uses?

By | Cannabinoids explained, Health effects of cannabinoids, How CBD works, Uncategorized | No Comments

CBD is a Unique Molecule With Many Potential Uses

Here at Elixinol, we have covered a wide range of potential therapeutic uses for cannabidiol (CBD), other cannabinoids and hemp oil. From epilepsy to PTSD, it can all sound too good to be true. So how could one plant have so many benefits?

many uses of CBD

Besides being the second most abundant cannabinoid in the Cannabis genus, and the most in hemp, CBD is now well-known for the sheer number of possible therapeutic uses1. Each use has different levels of evidence, from clinical trials where we see how effective it is in humans, to in vitro lab studies where we can see how it may work. The presence of endocannabinoid receptors in a range of tissues and organs help to explain CBD’s broad applications. However, it can also interact with other types of receptors in the body and brain. Endocannabinoid-CBD-PTSD

The brain seems to be built for cannabinoids

The brain is made up of billions of highly specialised cells called neurons, along with several types of supporting cell2. Each neuron communicates with many other neurons by the synapses. Synapses are where two tiny bulbs on the ends of projections from the neuron cell come to meet. Neurons communicate with these by using chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Whether or not a neuron can “understand” the use of a certain neurotransmitter depends on if it has a receptor for that chemical. These receptors can respond to other chemicals too, such as the cannabinoids.

CBD increases the level of our own Cannabinoids

CBD, unlike THC, does not directly interact with the cannabinoid receptors, but instead works to increase the levels of our own cannabinoids. It also indirectly affects the signaling of these receptors. One of the non-cannabinoid receptors that CBD can influence is the dopamine receptors. Dopamine is involved with motivation and reward, as well as other cognitive and motor functions. This may be behind how CBD could help to fight cigarette cravings. In a study of 24 cigarette smokers, volunteers were given either an inhaler with CBD, or a placebo inhaler, and instructed to use it whenever they craved a cigarette3. The number of cigarettes smoked in the CBD group dropped significantly during the week, but not for the placebo group.

CBD and Serotonin

Animal studies have also shown that CBD can interact with some types of serotonin receptors, which may explain its effects on depression and anxiety. Its ability to interact with the serotonin 1A receptor may explain the documented effects of CBD on neuropathic pain, opioid dependence, and nausea and vomiting. There have been many anecdotal reports of hemp oil relieving nausea, even in severe vomiting caused by pharmaceuticals used for cancer. In addition, a study on shrews showed an effect of CBD on the serotonin 1A receptors which significantly reduced nausea and vomiting4. Its non-heated form, CBDA, had the same effect, but at a much lower dose.

Supporting the wide-ranging effects of CBD are the other cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBC, terpenes and other phytochemicals. These have shown anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antioxidant and other effects. The number of potential benefits of hemp oil and CBD aren’t exactly “too good to be true”, but clinical trials are needed to confirm many of them.


References

1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-does-cbd-do

2: Tortora & Derrickson, 2012, Principles of Anatomy & Physiology, 12th edn, Wiley

3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23685330

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4960260/

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

Are CBD and Hemp Oil Safe During Pregnancy?

By | Health effects of cannabinoids, Uncategorized | No Comments

Cannabis and Pregnancy

Many mothers consider turning to hemp or cannabis products during pregnancy, in order to control nausea, stress and other unpleasant symptoms. But as medical professionals do not recommend the use of cannabis during pregnancy, is hemp oil safe?

The perceived “blanket ban” on plants of the Cannabis genus (which hemp belongs to, as it is a non-psychoactive cousin of cannabis) may just relate to THC. A 2014 study suggested that THC exposure during pregnancy negatively affects brain development in both humans and mice1. As fetal development involves many specifically-timed signals and processes, THC may impair it in some ways. Cannabis use has also been linked with low birth weight and premature deliveries. However, a review of research found that there was no significant risk of these when results were adjusted for factors such as tobacco smoking2.

Contradictions to the negative effects of cannabis on pregnancy and newborns

Contradicting the 2014 study is a six-year, controlled study on Jamaican mothers and their children3. This found that the mothers using cannabis had babies who were not only free of impairment, but deemed “superior”. They were more socially responsive, less irritable, and more alert and autonomically stable. However, these better scores wAn 8-cell embryo, a couple of days after pregnancy begins. ere caused by higher educational attainment and financial independence among users.Nineteen of the 33 users reported that it relieved nausea and improved appetite; 15 said that it reduced fatigue. Participants also stated that they found relief from depression and feelings of desperation, associated with raising children in poverty.

Follow-up research4 conducted in California also found no developmental problems in the babies of mothers who used cannabis. In addition, three women previously thought to be sterile conceived; mothers were 8 times more likely to breastfeed for at least a year; and all gave birth naturally.

The endocannabinoid system, a system of chemicals produced by our own bodies similar to cannabinoids and the receptors that respond to both, is present from the early embryonic stage. Even when an embryo is only two cells, it still has cannabinoid receptors5. In a study on mouse embryos, THC, but not CBD, stopped the development of embryos that were less than 8 cells. However, one of our own cannabinoids, anandamide, also stopped early embryos from developing. CBD exerts some of its effects by increasing levels of anandamide, so it may have negative effects on embryonic development.

It must be remembered that this was a 1995 study on mice, so it may not translate to humans. On the other hand, many of the Jamaican women in the study above were “root’s daughters” who smoked cannabis every day, including the earliest weeks of pregnancy.

CBD might be better than regular cannabis

In conclusion, cannabinoids have been consumed by many pregnant women over the years to relieve uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea. However, using only non-psychoactive hemp is advisable to avoid addiction. It is also important to only use hemp extracts, as well as other herbs and supplements, during pregnancy and pre-conception if it is necessary, and to use them under the advice of a health professional.

If you think CBD could help you in your pregnancy to help combat nausea and other effects of pregnancy, please check out our range of CBD products.

References

1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/cannabis-safety-while-pregnant

2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27607879

3: http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/medical/can-babies.htm

4: http://www.academia.edu/24964395/The_Wellness_Revolution_Hemp_and_Cannabinoids_Introduction_281_Words

5: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7568154