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Can CBD (cannabidiol) help people who want to quit smoking tobacco?

 

No Smoking Sign for tobacco cigarettes
Can CBD (cannabidiol) help you quit smoking tobacco cigarettes?

By now the majority of us know that smoking tobacco cigarettes is generally bad for us and how it affects our bodies and health both in the short and long term.

There was a scientific study published in 2008 which cited tobacco as the single greatest cause of preventable death worldwide.

In fact it quotes:

“each cigarette smoked is estimated to shorten life expectancy by 11 minutes”.

Now let’s say you smoke a packet of 20 tobacco cigarettes a day, you potentially have taken almost 4 hours off of your life – imagine what you could do in 4 hours!

Most people who smoke cigarettes agree that how to quit smoking cigarettes is a big issue for them especially with the amount of products that are aimed at helping you to stop smoking tobacco that causes the biggest dilemma by deciding which to choose and what is the most effective? Nicotine gum? Nicotine patches?

The choices are endless and do they really work in helping you give up smoking?

There is an issue, nicotine addiction as obviously one of the main components in a tobacco cigarette is nicotine and all the stop smoking aids in the main contain nicotine!

Numerous studies have suggested a link between nicotine addiction and the endocannabinoid system (a group of receptors in all our brains that is  involved in a variety of physiological processes such as appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory).

The latest research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) can help if you are trying to stop smoking! CBDeaze, our cannabidiol eliquid contains 100mg pure organic CBD and absolutely no nicotine!

Now this is the interesting part.

In September 2014, a study completed by the University College London researchers was published in Addictive Behaviors. University researchers attempted to investigate whether low doses of CBD could help smokers who wanted to quit smoking to overcome their nicotine addiction.

Celia J.A. Morgan led the research team, and 24 participants ages 18-35 were selected. Half of the participants were male, while the other half were female, and the study utilized a double-blind and placebo-controlled model. In order to participate in the study, participants were required to smoke more than 10 cigarettes each day, and they also needed to have a goal of beating their nicotine habit.

Next, participants recorded the number of cigarettes that they smoked throughout the week before treatment. They were then split into two groups and given an inhaler to use each time they felt a craving to smoke. One group was given a placebo, while the second group received CBD.

Participants then recorded their inhaler use over the next week, and they also kept track of the number of cigarettes they smoked. Researchers also sent out texts once per day asking participants to rate their level of craving for cigarettes.

Researchers found that those in the placebo group showed no difference in the amount that they smoked. However, those in the CBD group smoked, on average, 40% less after just a 1-week period!

“We found that CBD seems to reduce the salience of cues. It also can reduce anxiety and may affect a memory process called ‘reconsolidation,’ which is where when a memory of the reward of smoking is re-activated by seeing someone smoking, it is rendered vulnerable to destruction”, says Dr. Celia Morgan, co-author of the study. “CBD might mean these positive smoking memories are gradually erased,”

You can read the full study by clicking here.

Will Vaping CBD E Liquid Affect Drug Test?

Some of you may be wondering if vaping on a CBD based e-liquid will cause you to fail a standard workplace drug test (which are becoming more and more common these days). No surprise there – if you do, you lose your job!

However, rest assured – failing a drug test because of CBD will not happen! While smoking marijuana is likely to put you in trouble, using cannabidiol only products does not lead to the same results.

The main psychoactive compound of cannabis is considered to be THC, and this is what drug tests look for. In fact, to get technical, it is actually the main metabolite of THC, THC-COOH, which urine tests normally screen for – through a process of immunoassay screening. These tests tend to have a cut-off point of 50 ng/mL, and anything above this will return a positive result. Once this positive result has been achieved, tester will often verify the finding using a much more sensitive GC/MS test, which will flag positive for anything above 15 ng/mL.

Fortunately, the urine drug screen for THC-COOH is known to have very little cross-reactivity to other cannabinoids that are not psychoactive, such as CBD (cannabidiol), CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and others.

Now, its important to discuss the presence of THC in hemp.  As you may or may not know, the amount of THC in most hemp grown and all legal CBD Hemp products currently being sold in the United States is .3% or less, with most being at or below even .1%.  This is such a negligible amount of THC that its virtually impossible for anyone to get any sort of ‘high’ or euphoric effects from hemp.  Most people are using CBD Hemp Oil products in such a way that they are taking in between 1mg of CBD and 40mg of CBD per day.  At these levels, the relative amount of THC is so low that any THC present in that person’s urine would be low enough to report a negative test result (or passing, if you will), meaning the person would “pass” the drug test.  Now, the only other thing to consider here is that, if someone were to take ultra high amounts of CBD daily, say, in the 1000-2000mg per day range (information provided from: Leafly.com ), then it is possible that their urine would return a positive (or failing) test result.

For this reason, if you use CBD (and use a lot of it!), and think you are going to be subjected to a drug test at work, the best thing you can do is ensure that you are buying lab tested, high quality CBD products. These are more likely to contain much less THC, and will have a lab proven reading on content for you to look at. If you use small quantities of CBD, then you don’t really need to worry.

Can Medical Marijuana Be a Potential Cure For Cancer

One of the most intriguing potential applications and benefits of medical marijuana is using it to treat cancer.

It has long been prescribed to counter the side effects of chemotherapy, but oncologists across the world are working on trials to determine whether cannabis can be used to treat cancer itself.

Many patients choose various THC and CBD products in an attempt to cure cancer, but there are many different methods of going about treatment.

Past research showed promise for THC in cancer treatment, but many are skeptical of using THC-based products because of its psychotropic effects (eg. the “high”).

As a result many oncologists have redirected their focus towards cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG).

A recent British study, however suggests that cannabinoids may be most effective against cance when combined in a manner that allows them to act with one-another. Below is a short list of studies and research supporting cancer treatment with medical cannabis to get you started:

Article courtesy of www.medicaljane.com

Understanding The Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

Both, hemp and marijuana come from the same plant – Cannabis Sativa L.

So what actually is the difference between hemp and marijuana? The short answer: interpretation. The long answer: the difference is a largely misunderstood, because unfortunately, when most people hear the horrific word “cannabis” they think of it as a recreational drug.

But in reality, cannabis has just as much to do with these industrial hemp products as it does with the pot. This brings the question — how is hemp different from marijuana?

Genetics

Cannabis is believed to be one of the oldest domesticated crops. Throughout history, humans have grown different varieties of cannabis for industrial and medical uses.

Industrial hemp has low THC levels compared to marijuana specifically cultivated for personal psychoactive use. Whereas marijuana that can be smoked usually contains between five and ten percent THC, industrial hemp contains about one-tenth of that. In order to get a psychoactive effect, one would need to smoke ten or twelve hemp cigarettes over a very short period of time.

The reason for the low THC content in hemp is that most THC is formed in resin glands on the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant. Industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce buds, and therefore lacks the primary component that forms the marijuana high. Furthermore, industrial hemp has higher concentrations of a chemical called Cannabidiol (CBD) that has a negative effect on THC and lessens its psychoactive effects when smoked in conjunction. Tall, sturdy plants were grown by early civilizations to make a variety of foods, oils and textiles, such as rope and fabrics. These plants were bred with other plants with the same characteristics, leading to the type of cannabis we now know as hemp. However, other plants were recognized for being psychoactive and were bred selectively for medical and religious purposes. This led to unique varieties of cannabis that we now know as marijuana.

According to Dan Sutton of Tantulus Labs, a Canadian company that specializes in cannabis cultivation technology, “the core agricultural differences between medical cannabis and hemp are largely in their genetic parentage and cultivation environment.”

In fact, scientists believe the early separation of the cannabis gene pool led to two distinct types of cannabis plants. The two species (or subspecies) of cannabis are known as Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa.

Legal status

THC is classified as a controlled substance in the UK. CBD is 100% legal in the UK.

While the differences between hemp and marijuana are quite vague and borderline non-existent in nature, in relation to UK and EU law the differences are quite clear.

Marijuana is considered to be unregistered strains of cannabis sativa with a THC content regularly over 0.2%, where hemp is classified as European registered cannabis strains with a THC content below 0.2%.

Cultivation

Growing hemp and marijuana together isn’t an option. By doing that you get cross pollination which leaves both plants infertile. When they cross pollinate you loose the buds of the flowers and the seeds. With hemp these parts are very useful for a wide variety of uses (oil, food, seed for the following year). With marijuana the bud is the part of the plant that has the most THC, if this doesn’t fully develop due to cross pollination then you loose a lot of the material that can be smoked.

The difference in THC levels make hemp and marijuana a lot different. There are thousands of products that can be made from hemp, but it must be set aside that hemp and marijuana are the same thing. It must be understood that hemp can not be smoked for a high, marijuana can not be grown in place of hemp and fool authorities, and marijuana and hemp can not be grown together (or even with in a mile radius of one another).

Compared to cannabis sativa indica, cannabis sativa sativa (industrial hemp variety) has a much stronger fiber. This fiber can be used in anything from rope and blankets to paper. Marijuana fiber has a low tensile strength and will break or shred easily, making it a poor fibrous plant when compared to industrial hemp.

New study reveals: CBD enhances skeletal healing

Cannabidiol helps broken bones heal faster, a new study has found.

The Times of Israel reports that researchers at Tel Aviv University found that rats with broken bones healed much quicker when given the non-psychotic cannabis component, CBD.

The administration of the non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) leads to improvement in bone fracture healing, according to preclinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Investigators at the Hebrew University Bone Laboratory in Israel assessed the ability of CBD administration to promote healing in rats with mid-femoral fractures. Researchers reported, “CBD markedly enhanced the biomechanical properties of the healing femora after 8 weeks.”

Authors also evaluated the administration of THC and CBD together, but reported that this combined preparation was “not advantageous” over CBD alone — indicating that the plant’s potential bone-stimulating properties are primarily specific to cannabidiol.

Their conclusion was that “CBD alone is sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing. Multiple experimental and clinical trials have portrayed CBD as a safe agent suggesting further studies in humans to assess its usefulness for improving fracture healing.”

While there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies, it is clear that it is possible to detach a clinical therapy objective from the psychoactivity of cannabis. CBD, the principal agent in our study, is primarily anti-inflammatory and has no psychoactivity,” said Dr. Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv’s Bone Research Laboratory, as cited by the Tel Aviv university website.

To illustrate these findings, scientists tested two different groups of rats – one was treated with both CBD and THC while the other one only with CBD.

We found CBD alone to be sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing,” Gabet explained.

Other studies have also shown CBD to be a safe agent, which leads us to believe we should continue this line of study in clinical trials to assess its usefulness in improving human fracture healing,” he added.

The researchers also found that human cannabinoid receptors stimulate bone growth. That means further studies of marijuana usage to treat osteoporosis and other skeletal diseases are to come.

We only respond to cannabis because we are built with intrinsic compounds and receptors that can also be activated by compounds in the cannabis plant,” Gabet said.

The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point,” he added.

Researchers have previously acknowledged that endogenous cannabinoids stimulate bone formation and inhibit bone loss, potentially paving the way for the future use of cannabinoid drugs for combating osteoporosis.

Cannabidiol vs. epilepsy: Can CBD reduce seizures?

Scientists recently converged in Philadelphia for the American Epilepsy Society’s 69th Annual Meeting, touting new studies and insights in the field of epilepsy. Researchers discussed new findings, including personalized medicine, and the promise of cannabidiol (CBD) in human and animal studies.

A year-long study conducted by epilepsy specialists at the New York University Langone Medical Center have suggested that cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis effectively reduces seizure frequency and is safe for most children and young adults who have epilepsy. Research led by Dr. Orinn Devinsky from the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Langone followed patients with the condition at 11 epilepsy centres across the US.

In total, 261 study participants between the ages of 1-30 years were given the oral CBD treatment Epidiolex over the course of 12 weeks. Both, researchers and families knew they were receiving CBD treatment. 

Participants were given an oral CBD regimen from 2-5 mg/kg per day and increased dosage until either intolerance occurred or to a maximum dose of either 25 mg/kg or 50 mg/kg per day. Additionally, parents recorded seizures in diaries, which the study team reviewed at each visit. The team also conducted lab screenings at baseline and after 4, 8 and 12 weeks of CBD treatment.

The number of convulsive seizures, called grand mal or tonic-clonic seizures, went down by about half on average. Devinsky says that some children continued to experience benefits on cannabidiol after the trial ended. “In the subsequent periods, which are very encouraging, 9 percent of all patients and 13 percent of those with Dravet Syndrome epilepsy were seizure-free. Many have never been seizure-free before,” he says. 

Evidence suggesting that CBD is effective against treatment-resistant epilepsy may be growing but scientists still know very little about how it works—other than the likelihood that it is “completely different than any other seizure drug we know,” as Devinsky puts it. That’s a good thing, he notes: “One fear is that because of the way that the drugs are tested and screened, we’ve ended up with a lot of ‘me-too’ drugs that are all very similar.”.

Despite of preliminary positive results of the study published last December, researchers (including those who were involved in the study) agree that a full clinical placebo-controlled trial needs to be done. However, that takes time and puts parents in a difficult position, and as Devinsky says “Parents are desperate and they feel the medical community has failed them, which is true in many cases.”. In the meantime most clinicians and researchers advise “cautious optimism” when considering CBD as an epilepsy treatment.

You can read the full study here

How Does CBD Affect Endocannabinoid System?

In our previous blog post we described the Endocannabinoid system and how it works – it’s a compound physiologic network within our bodies, involving cannabinoid receptors. The endogenous cannabinoids and their respective enzymes are in control of maintaining balance in system by regulating the synthesis and breakdown of the active endocannabinoid compounds.

At first, the scientists thought it only responds to endogenous cannabinoids produced by the human body. However, the latest research has found that the system will also recognize and respond to cannabinoids from external sources, including CBD, which is found in hemp.

There are two main types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These are CB1 and CB2 receptors. Unlike THC – the main psychoactive compound of cannabis – CBD is unable to bind to either receptor perfectly. This causes stimulation in the cells where the receptors are activated, without being fully latched onto. As CBD is transported through the bloodstream, and endocannabinoid receptors can be found throughout the entire body – including the brain – interactions can take place throughout the entire body, causing widespread and varied effects. It is largely why CBD oil has become such a popular dietary supplement.

Although the endocannabinoid system is the main point of CBD interaction, it is not the only one. So we thought it worth quickly mentioning the other ways CBD interacts with the body. This additional interaction is caused by CBD stimulating other receptors. For example, CBD is thought to activate serotonin receptors. It also stimulates G-protein receptors that affect temperature control and pain perception.

What we know for sure is that CBD is a complex cannabinoid, and the way it interacts with the body is nothing but amazing. The fact we have an internal system that appears to be specifically set up to work with CBD is astonishing. The research already conducted into CBD has found nothing but positive results – so who know what the future of CBD based research could bring.

What Is The Endocannabinoid System?

For better understanding how cannabinoids affect our brain, you need to find out what the Endocannabinoid system is. It’s incredible that people have used cannabis for centuries as a natural medicine, but up until the last few decades have scientists truly understood how it actually works!

Cannabis medications work so efficiently because of the endocannabinoid (ECS) system, present in all humans and many animals as well. This system consists of a series of receptors that are configured only to accept cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

This system, an integral part of our physiologies, was discovered in the mid-1990s by Israeli researcher Dr. Ralph Mechoulam who also identified THC as the main active ingredient in cannabis in the early 1960s. Israel has been one of the most progressive nations for cannabis research and currently has one of the most advanced medical marijuana programs in the world.

So what is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS), named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining our health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.

Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life, from the sub-cellular, to the organism, and perhaps to the community and beyond.  Decades of scientific research on the endocannabinoid system has resulted in the discovery of two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found in various parts of the body, but are most prominent in the brain and immune system.

Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are also found at the intersection of the body’s various systems, allowing communication and coordination between different cell types. At the site of an injury, for example, cannabinoids can be found decreasing the release of activators and sensitizers from the injured tissue, stabilizing the nerve cell to prevent excessive firing, and calming nearby immune cells to prevent release of pro-inflammatory substances. Three different mechanisms of action on three different cell types for a single purpose: minimize the pain and damage caused by the injury.

CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain, although they are also both present in the male and female reproductive organs. Current research shows that THC is specifically keyed to the CB1 site. Therefore it is responsible for the feeling of intoxication that is the most familiar aspect of cannabis. From a therapeutic standpoint, it’s most important effect is to modulate and moderate the perception of pain. For example, touching a finger to a hot stove sends an electrical impulse that goes from the finger to the brain. The brain replies, “ouch, hot” and the finger is pulled away.

The CB2 receptors are keyed to CBD and works as an anti-inflammatory agent. The immune-boosting functions of CB2 are far less understood as research into CBD is just really beginning. It’s only been about five years since CBD re-emerged in the medical cannabis scene and was identified through Steep Hill Labs. The benefits of CBD-rich medicine, with its anti-spasmodic qualities, is one the most exciting and promising areas of cannabis medical research currently happening. One of the other effects of CBD is that it moderates the effects of THC. It actually knocks THC off the CB1 receptor, so if someone is experiencing THC intoxication, a strong dose of CBD can counteract those effects. The future of CBD-rich medicines is almost limitless.

What Are Cannabinoids?

To understand how CBD affects our bodies, we need to get right to the bottom of cannabinoid science.

To tell you the truth, cannabis is all about cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are responsible for marijuana’s effects on the body — and the reason you get high. They’re also the reason why medical marijuana works to alleviate so many symptom-related ailments.

Because cannabis is mainly used for recreational or medicinal purposes, a little information on cannabinoids can help you make healthier choices for your brain and body.

So what exactly are cannabinoids?

Here’s what Wikipedia has got to say about them:

“Cannabinoids are a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain. Ligands for these receptor proteins include the endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by humans and animals), the phytocannabinoids (found in cannabis and some other plants), and synthetic cannabinoids (manufactured artificially). The most notable cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major constituent of the plant. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, exhibiting varied effects.”

Esentially, cannabinoids are simply chemical compounds that cause reactions when they enter the body via the lungs as smoke and vapour or through the stomach as edibles. They can even permeate the skin, as is the case with cannabis topicals. The path via smoking and vaporizing is slightly different than that of cannabis when eaten. The effects of ingested, or eaten, cannabis are typically stronger and last longer because it is processed by the stomach and liver before it enters the blood stream.

What is the difference between cannabinoids?

The major differences between the cannabinoids are determined by the extent to which they are psychologically active. Three classes of cannabinoids, the CBG, CBC and CBD are not known to have such an effect. THC, CBN, CBDL and some other cannabinoids on the other hand are known to be psychologically active to varying degrees.

CBD is probably the most abundant cannabinoid, contributing up to 40% of cannabis resin. Interestingly, CBD may actually have anti-anxiety effects and lessen the psychoactive effects of THC. This means that a plant with a greater percentage of CBD may reduce the intensity of the effects of the THC, which in effect lowers the potency of the plant. Use of a cannabis plant with less CBD has been shown to have an increased psychological impact and result in unwanted effects such as anxiety.

When THC is exposed to air it oxidizes and forms CBN. CBN is only very weakly psychoactive and not unlike CBD interacts with THC to reduce its effects. This is why cannabis that has been left out unused will have increasing amounts of CBN and decreasing amounts of THC and thus lose potency.

The infographic below details different types of cannabinoids and how they affect our bodies and brains.

Infographic of different cannabinoids
Infographic courtesy of www.leafy.com

Difference Between CBD And THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two types of cannabinoids found naturally in the resin of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa & Cannabis indica).

Both, THC and CBD interact with the cannabinoid receptors found in the human body, but the types of effects brought about by these compounds couldn’t be more different! Mood, motivation, memory, cognition, perception, and psychomotor performance are most affected as they have the most receptors for cannabinoids.

In recent years research has revealed THC and CBD have opposite actions on the brain and body. This factsheet highlights the main differences between these two cannabinoids.

Psychoactive properties 

The main difference between these two cannabinoids is the extent to which they are psychoactive or ‘mind altering’.

Essentially, THC is known to have strong psychoactive properties – it is THC which gives the ‘high’ feeling and the reason most people use cannabis. CBD on the other hand, is believed to have an anti-psychoactive effect which appears to moderate the ‘high’ and some of the other negative effects experienced with THC, particularly on anxiety and psychosis.

Doctors usually prefer treatments with minimal side effects, which has been a major barrier to the acceptance of medical marijuana. Likewise, CBD has been used to treat younger children with various ailments.

Anxiety

Cannabis is known to provoke feelings of anxiety and paranoia in some people, especially when used in high doses or by inexperienced users. This effect can be attributed to THC. CBD has been shown to alleviate the anxiety caused by THC, and may even reduce anxiety when administered on its own. In fact, studies show that CBD works to counteract the anxiety caused by ingesting THC. A number of studies also suggest that CBD can reduce anxiety when administered on its own.

Antypsychotic

Evidence suggests a link between the use of cannabis and the onset and exacerbation of psychosis, and again it seems THC is responsible for triggering these adverse symptoms. CBD appears to have anti-psychotic properties, therefore researchers believe that this cannabinoid may be protective against the psychosis-like effects of THC. Taking that into consideration, CBD is currently being investigated as an antipsychotic treatment for patients with schizophrenia.

Sleep

One of the most common uses of marijuana is as a sleep aid, and indeed sleepiness or drowsiness is often a reported side-effect of cannabis. On the other hand, studies suggest CBD acts to promote wakefulness, making CBD a poor choice as a sleep medicine. While existing research on the role of cannabis on sleep is unclear, some suggest it is THC which has this ‘drowsy’ effect, and in contrast, CBD facilitates a state of ‘wakefulness’.

Legal status 

While THC is classified as a controlled substance in the UK, CBD is 100% legal in most of the parts of the world.

While the differences between hemp and cannabis are quite vague and borderline non-existent in nature, in relation to UK and EU law the differences are quite clear.

Cannabis is considered to be unregistered strains of cannabis sativa with a THC content regularly over 0.2%.

Hemp is classified as European registered cannabis strains with a THC content below 0.2%.