Unfortunately for the mental health of many young cannabis users, the chemical profile of the drug has changed drastically over the past three decades. Not only does modern cannabis contain more than twice as much THC as it did in the 1960s, it also now contains hardly any of the “neuroprotective” cannabinoid CBD.
Most recent strains of skunk have shown that high doses of THC can induce temporary schizophrenia-like psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, delusions, anxiety and hallucinations. Yet cannabis also contains a cannabinoid known as CBD (or cannabidiol), which appears to have almost the exact opposite effect.
Research from around the world on CBD seems to have kick-started a movement among some cannabis users to switch to CBD-rich varieties in the hope of a safer, more mellow drug. Supposedly CBD-rich cannabis products are now being sold by “therapeutic”retailers from Amsterdam to San Francisco –and if more research finds CBD-rich cannabis really is significantly safer than skunk, it could strengthen the case for the legalisation and regulation of cannabis products.
CBD (cannabidiol) is being investigated as a potential treatment for epilepsy, diabetes, appetite-loss, a range of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, psychosis and schizophrenia. The compound has also been found to be a potent antioxidant and even appears to inhibit cancer cell growth in certain rare cancers.
Cannabinoids are chemicals that act on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, part of a system that regulates a variety of physiological processes including pain sensation, mood, memory and appetite.
Purified CBD has been shown to have antipsychotic and anti-anxiety effects, and can lessen the psychotic symptoms normally experienced by people given high doses of THC. Research by University College London also suggests that people who smoke cannabis rich in CBD are less likely to experience “schizophrenia-like symptoms”than those who smoke cannabis containing only THC.
Receptors are like switches in the brain that help to control memory and aspects of your mood, the main chemical in cannabis that get you high is called THC and it turns off lots off these switches leaving you felling and creative or anxious or paranoid. The other main chemical in cannabis iscalled CBD and this seems to turn lots of these switches back on in particular in areas that might help protect you against some of the unpleasant side affects of effects.
Top Marijuana Research Experts recently attended a University Symposium. he University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s National Center for Natural Products Research hosted a symposium Feb 5th-6th 2015 focused on the status and prospects for a promising, orally administered therapeutic CBD.
The conference’s discussions surrounded development of a standardized cannabidiol oil that could serve as a seizure treatment for children. The oil contains a very low amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the principal psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, and a high amount of cannabidiol, or CBD, a nonpsychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant that may have anti-seizure activity.
Mississippi’s bill is named for Harper Grace Durval, a 2-year-old girl who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Paige Figi, a Colorado mom whose daughter Charlotte also suffers from Dravet Syndrome, attended the conference. Charlotte Figi’s condition was drastically improved by a daily dose of the CBD oil, leading to a grass-roots effort to exempt CBD oil from controlled-substance laws in several states.
“Her life is a 180-degree turnaround from what she was,” Paige Figi said. “She was an end-of-life, do-not-resuscitate hospice patient – and that’s just one patient. … I get to see the efficacy on epilepsy, and it’s absolutely worthwhile to pursue this.”
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