Discover all the ways in which cannabidiol, a natural remedy from the cannabis plant, can change your life. The healing properties of this ancient medicine can boost mood, relieve pain, calm inflammation, improve heart health, strengthen bones, promote brain health, balance hormones, regulate the immune system, soothe skin conditions, and contribute to overall wellness in so many ways. The CBD Oil Miracle guides you through the medicinal history and science behind CBD oil and empowers you to:
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Expert yet understandable information will help you learn about this compound that is rapidly sparking interest around the globe.
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ROOTS AND REDISCOVERY
The United States, as a society and a government, seems to have memory loss about cannabis. Officials who have the authority to deschedule cannabis (more on that on page 8) do not seem to appreciate that fewer than 100 years ago the healing power of this plant was well accepted.
Sadly, many people are afraid of the cannabis plant — in both marijuana and hemp form — because of the cannaphobia, or fear of marijuana, that persists from the days when Harry Anslinger wielded power. Anslinger was the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Following Prohibition (of alcohol), he began a propaganda campaign against cannabis and declared that it did more harm than good. He drafted the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, effectively criminalizing cannabis nationwide. In turn, the act promoted worldwide prohibition against all things cannabis, including hemp, and was the precursor to Nixon's infamous War on Drugs.
Though Anslinger's slanderous claims had no basis, his remarks have influenced the opinions of many Americans — more than 80 years later! Cannabis has a long and dignified history. It was used as medicine, for textiles, as building material, and as part of ceremonies for thousands of years. The use of cannabis is not new; society as a whole, which includes scientists and healthcare professionals, is actually rediscovering the capacity of this incredible plant.
To dive deeper into the history of cannaphobia, search for this article online: "Cannaphobia: What's Up with Fear of Marijuana."
The cannabis plant first wound its way through the world thousands of years ago, starting in Central Asia before being introduced to Africa, Europe, and then the Americas. At first, people used the plant's seeds as food and its fibers to make clothing, rope, paper, and sails. Ancient cultures knew how to put the rest of the plant to good use, too. China, Egypt, Greece, and India had all incorporated cannabis into their pharmacopeias for conditions such as anxiety, inflammation, and gastrointestinal issues long before the first century AD. Legend has it that the earliest documented use of Cannabis sativa was about 2,600 years ago. Why it was used can only be speculated — possibly medicinal or ritualistic.
A Puritanical Approach
The Puritans of the first American colonies took a more practical approach to cannabis (what a surprise!), using it to make textiles and paper. Hemp was considered so useful and easy to grow that the Virginia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut colonies actually required farmers to raise it in the early 1600s. In fact, our founders — including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — grew hemp on their farms, and the Declaration of Independence and flags made by Betsy Ross were made from hemp! The cannabis plant was intimately part of American life when the colonies were settled.
Cannabis as Anesthesia
Chinese surgeon Hua Tuo is thought to be the first person to use anesthesia, which included a product containing powdered cannabis called ma fei san, though the formula is lost to antiquity. Some historians believe that Hua gave this mixture to his patients in order to perform intense and intricate healing procedures, combining herbal remedies, acupuncture, and surgery to cure even the most difficult conditions, such as brain tumors. He was known as an empathetic surgeon and herbalist who cared deeply for his patients, which is why he experimented with techniques to numb their pain. In fact, the Chinese word for anesthesia literally translates to "cannabis intoxication." Sun Si Miao, an equally well-regarded Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, used cannabis leaves topically for relief of pain.
Americans did not catch up to ancient cultures' use of marijuana as medicine, however, until the late 1800s. While studying in India, Sir William Brooke O'Shaughnessy discovered the healing effects of cannabis. He brought his knowledge to England in the 1830s, and within a few decades the news had spread to the United States, where pharmacies and doctors' offices began to sell cannabis extracts for a multitude of health issues. In fact, cannabis was part of the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) from 1850 to 1942 and was once recognized by universities and medical associations as an effective medical treatment for various conditions.
Cannabis was entered into the secondary list of the USP in the third edition of 1850, remained as a primary listing from the fourth entry of 1864 through the 11th edition of 1936, and was removed from the twelfth edition in 1942.
During the high times of the 1960s, recreational users noticed the health benefits of cannabis with THC. In fact, in 1968 Harvard medical student Andrew Weil (yes, the Andrew Weil who is now a guru of "alternative" medicine) conducted sanctioned research on the effects of cannabis. That same year, over two-thirds of college students in Colorado were in favor of cannabis legalization. Then came the War on Drugs and the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 that classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug — a designation reserved for substances deemed to be addictive and with no medical applications.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), "Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence." Other Schedule I substances include heroin, LSD, and MDMA (known as ecstasy). Interestingly, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, oxycodone, and the stimulants Adderall and Ritalin are Schedule II drugs, considered by the DEA to have a lower potential of abuse than cannabis.
That classification prohibited marijuana research; however, scientists continued to take note of anecdotal evidence from cancer and AIDS patients who used the ancient plant medicine for symptom relief.
The First CBD Study
Meanwhile in Israel, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam began conducting research about marijuana and its medicinal potential. He was the first scientist to isolate two of the plant's most important cannabinoids: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). He also completed the first clinical trial of cannabidiol — a study of CBD's effect on patients with seizure disorders — in which he discovered CBD's anticonvulsant benefits. Years later, Dr. Mechoulam, who is considered the "godfather of cannabis research," identified and named the endocannabinoid anandamide that ultimately led to the breakthrough discovery of the endocannabinoid system. (Learn more about the endocannabinoid system and endocannabinoids on page 20.)
The Promise of Cannabis
Nearly four decades later, we are only beginning to understand the incredible implications of Dr. Mechoulam's work. Thanks to additional cannabis research, scientists have continued to uncover the intricacies of the endocannabinoid system, which — according to the National Institutes of Health —"is one of the most important physiologic systems involved in establishing and maintaining human health." To this day, Dr. Mechoulam speaks on the significance of the system and the ways cannabis can affect humans on a physiological and psychological level. In an interview in Holistic Primary Care, he explains that "the endocannabinoid system is involved in essentially all human diseases. So obviously, it is of extreme importance." Ultimately, it is all about balance and homeostasis.
California was the first state to advance the case for medical marijuana with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which legalized access for people with severe or chronic illnesses. Dozens of states have since followed suit. More and more people are recognizing the amazing potential of THC-containing cannabis in healthcare. Many adults who use marijuana are actually self-medicating. The three most common reasons for cannabis use are anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia — with or without a medical marijuana recommendation.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta brought the importance of marijuana, cannabis, and CBD to national attention in 2013 with a CNN series called Weed that profiled Charlotte Figi, a young girl suffering from a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome. None of the available conventional treatments made a difference in Charlotte's condition. Her parents watched helplessly as she experienced hundreds of seizures every week, with no end in sight — until they heard about a boy using CBD-rich cannabis oil to reduce his symptoms.
Fortunately for Charlotte, she and her family lived in Colorado, a state that had legalized medical marijuana. They purchased a CBD-rich product from a local medical marijuana dispensary that successfully reduced their little girl's seizures to only a couple per month. That cultivar is now called Charlotte's Web in honor of its brave ambassador.
Today, scientists and farmers are working to perfect CBD-rich cultivars (known as "strains" in the cannabis-growing world) for numerous health conditions from skin issues to seizures. These are exciting times in the cannabis community: the ancient healing plant is finally regaining its place in the sun, literally!
At a Glance
Ancient civilizations used the cannabis plant for food, textiles, and medicine.
Hemp was a major crop when the United States was settled in the 1600s.
By the late 1800s, American pharmacies were selling cannabis-derived cures, which contained THC.
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 criminalized cannabis following Prohibition.
The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 halted the use of cannabis entirely — even for medicinal use.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the "godfather of cannabis research," discovered CBD and THC in Israel and studied their effects on seizure disorders.
Researchers later identified the human endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for balance and homeostasis.
Scientists are rediscovering the cannabis plant and the medicinal potential of its cannabinoids, including CBD.CHAPTER 2
BEYOND STIGMA AND CONFUSION
Cannabis is the next big thing in health and wellness, for certain, regardless of whether it contains THC or not. Cannaphobia, however, persists (see Marijuana Is Cannabis, Too, on page 14), and that may leave individuals missing out on the benefits on CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids in cannabis. That is why it is essential to discover and share the findings of integrative healthcare practitioners who are knowledgeable about cannabis and the endocannabinoid system.
A Clear Look at Cannabis
There are a lot of misconceptions about cannabis and its compounds. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
CANNABIS WITH LESS THAN 0.3 PERCENT THC, which is considered hemp, is currently available for purchase.
CANNABIS WITH OVER 0.3 PERCENT THC can be found in states that have medical marijuana dispensaries or permit adult use of marijuana.
BOTH THC AND CBD can be psychoactive — which is why CBD is so great for anxiety and other mood disorders! (Read more about anxiety and depression on pages 73 and 122, respectively.)
ONLY THC can be intoxicating, creating the high.
Keep reading for a deeper exploration of what distinguishes cannabis and its compounds. You can learn more about specific CBD products available in Practical Products, beginning on page 33.
CBD AND THC ARE COUSINS
CBD and THC have a lot in common:
They both come from the Cannabis sativa plant.
They are each one of more than 100 phytocannabinoids (phyto-meaning plant) found in cannabis.
They both directly and indirectly impact multiple receptor systems in the body.
They both require decarboxylation from their acids forms, CBDA and THCA, to become CBD and THC, respectively.
They both have medicinal benefits.
WHAT IS RAW CANNABIS?
It was once believed that it is necessary to decarboxylate, or apply heat to, the cannabinoids in cannabis to "activate" them and gain their therapeutic benefits. This has been shown not to be the case; therapeutic value has been demonstrated in the raw cannabinoids in plants that have not been decarboxylated. In fact, some researchers believe that raw cannabinoids may have even more value than their decarboxylated forms for certain health conditions. The most prevalent and significant raw cannabinoids are CBDA (cannabidiolic acid, the raw, nondecarboxylated form of CBD) and THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, the raw, nondecarboxylated form of THC). These forms of cannabinoids offer unique medicinal properties not always shared by their decarboxylated counterparts. Additionally, the raw form of THC does not have an intoxicating effect.
What Is Decarboxylation?
Technically speaking, decarboxylation is the process by which the carboxyl ring or group (COOH) is removed from cannabinoids. The primary ways this is done are with heat and time. Heating cannabis via vaporization decarboxylates the cannabinoids because the high temperatures make the cannabinoids readily available for absorption. Products labeled as containing CBD have been decarboxylated via heat. Also, over time, as cannabis dries, the raw cannabinoids can slowly and minimally convert to the so-called active forms.
Psychoactivity and Intoxication
While CBD is not intoxicating in the way that THC can be, CBD is still technically psychoactive. That is because balancing out your mood is considered a psychoactive effect, by definition. And that is a good thing! CBD's mood- boosting effects come from its ability to increase the availability of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. This is why CBD is considered an anti-anxiety compound (more on that beginning on page 73).
In addition to CBD and THC, there are over 100 phytocannabinoids in cannabis, each of which communicates differently with the endocannabinoid system. Some other well-known phytocannabinoids that are beginning to be investigated include:
CBC, or cannabichromene
CBG, or cannabigerol
THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin
CBN, or cannabinol
MARIJUANA IS CANNABIS, TOO
Because of the stigma attached to the term marijuana, many fans of the plant prefer to call it by its scientific name, cannabis. Unfortunately, marijuana is often unjustly associated with intoxication and addiction, and there is a reason for that: propaganda. A 1936 film called Reefer Madness depicted cannabis as a highly addictive substance that would lead to hallucinations and criminal behavior. The plant is still often associated with crime and danger and is not fully recognized for its medicinal potential. Be mindful that cannabis with THC — marijuana — has healing benefits, too. Cannabis is not only about CBD.
Discovering the Difference
In the 1970s, marijuana growers started to focus on recreational use, maximizing THC to create the perfect high, so CBD took a back seat for decades. Major milestones in the timeline of discovering CBD were few and far between:
1963: Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam began his clinical research on cannabis and isolated the CBD molecule.
1980: Dr. Mechoulam teamed up with South American researchers to publish a study about CBD and epilepsy.
1998: Geoffrey Guy, MD, cofounded GW Pharmaceuticals and joined researchers to develop a CBD pharmaceutical.
2003: Clearly recognizing some potential despite restrictive laws, the U.S. government established a patent for CBD as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective!
2009: California's Steep Hill Laboratory tested a cultivar of marijuana provided by Harborside Health Center and found that it had more CBD than THC. Named Soma A-Plus, it was the first CBD-rich cultivar of cannabis in the United States.
Today, many growers are focusing on this key cannabinoid and creating CBD-rich cultivars of cannabis, resulting in the development of a new holistic wellness market.
Many cannabis scientists and clinicians believe that the compounds in the plant work better together, not in isolation. This is referred to as the "entourage effect," an idea that was popularized by researcher Ethan Russo. Cannabis contains over 400 compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes. Different cannabinoids and other plant entities work harmoniously to create therapeutic effects. For example, in some cases, CBD's healing properties are more efficient when THC is also present.
What Is in a Name?
You may think that flowery, silly, and downright strange names like Women's Collective Stinky Purple (one of the first CBD-dominant cannabis plants) are specific to marijuana. Consider that some of your favorite flowers, fruits, and vegetables have unique monikers, too. The person who patents the cultivar gets to name the plant. How about the Pineapple Upside Down Cake hosta, the Hillbilly beefsteak tomato, and Purple People Eater African violets? Now maybe cannabis strains such as Blue Dream, Cannatonic, and Pineapple Express make a bit more sense.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The CBD Oil Miracle"
Copyright © 2019 St. Martin's Press.
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Table of ContentsForeword: CBD Can Change Lives
Introduction: The Rise of CBD
Part 1: Understanding CBD
The Potential of a Plant
Roots and Rediscovery
Beyond Stigma and Confusion
The Science Behind CBD
CBD for a Better You
CBD for Beauty
Dosages and Individualized Medicine
Be Smart about CBD
CBD for Pets
Part 2: Getting Specific
How CBD Can Help You
Addiction to Substances
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Bonus: Hemp as Food
Another Powerful Part of the Cannabis Plant
About the Author