8 Facts to Know About the Difference Between Cannabis & Hemp

8 Facts to Know About the Difference Between Cannabis & Hemp

LJG 2021

written by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

LJG 2021

written by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

In 1970, the United States government passed the Controlled Substances Act deeming all cannabis species a Schedule I drug and banning it use. (Read how that came to pass HERE). Since then there’s been a lot of confusion about the two different species of the cannabis sativa plant- cannabis and hemp. While many politicians and policy makers seem to continue to be confused, let’s review the differences between cannabis and hemp.

1. Cannabis and hemp are basically cousins. However the hemp plant does not grow the flower or bud. (SOURCE)

2. The cannabis flower produces THC known for its psychoactive qualities or euphoric effects. Cannabis plants can be grown with varying levels of THC. While the hemp plant without the flower only contains 0.03% THC. (SOURCE)

3. Both species contain the chemical compound CBD. This compound does not have any side effects, contradictions, or psychotropic effects even with less than 0.03% of THC.(SOURCE)

4. CBD can be derived from both plants. Cannabis can only produce a whole plant treatment or the foundation for medical cannabis. (SOURCE)

5. Both plants have been proven to have medicinal qualities. THC is being used to treat epilepsy, glaucoma, asthma, addiction and more. Other conditions that are responding to CBD are multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic pain and more.

6. Hemp can be in a variety of other applications including clothings, paper, skincare products, etc… (SOURCE)

7. In breeding medical cannabis, THC is thought to act as the leader to the CBD in creating the entourage effect. (SOURCE)

8. CBD products with less than 0.03% THC derived from hemp are legal in all of the United States and can be obtained online. Cannabis derived CBD product with higher levels of THC are not (yet!) legal in all 50 states. (SOURCE) There aren’t any cannabis and hemp products approved by the FDA as both are not federally legal. 

Whether you decide to use cannabis or hemp products, remember that producers should be connected to a legal farm, facility, grow, research center, state agriculture center or other unit covered by the Federal Farm Act of 2014. This will help you find the best products and ensures safe use. Don’t be afraid to ask for proof. If one brand can’t provide you with proof, move on. There are lots of great cannabis and hemp products out there for every type of use you’re looking for!

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HEY NEWBIES- START HERE!

KEEP IN MIND

Stay calm. Canna-curious is cool! But collect some info first.
If you are:

  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

NAVIAGTE

EXPLORE

A No Shame, Sex-Positive Open Letter to “Slutty Summer” Cannabis & CBD Aphrodisiac Product Users: Enjoying Cannabis & Sex Tips and Tricks for Your Enjoyment

LJG 2021

written by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Hannah Sadock

reviewed by

Hannah Sadock

LJG 2021

written by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Hannah Sadock

reviewed by

Hannah Sadock

Undoubtedly every retailer of cannabis or CBD lube is psyched the media has deemed the summer of 2021- “slutty summer.” There has been lots of chatter in the news projecting the increasing amounts of individuals “whoring” themselves out of quaratine as they engage in casual sex (hopefully) after getting vaccinated. If you’ve been tracking the essential status of the cannabis industry through the pandemic, you may be thinking- we have gone from “Hot Girl Summer” to “Pot Girl Summer” and now “Shot Girl Summer. 

Whether you received Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, you may be thinking it is time to refill  that birth control, stock up on condoms or other contraceptives, and finally try out cannabis or CBD lube. Though  before you start updating your Bumble and Tinder profiles, there are some key details  you may want to familiarize yourself with before introducing new partners into your pleasure experiences… specifically related to cannabis or CBD lube.    about the cannabis or CBD lube you plan on using…

Cannabis as an Aphrodisiac

Yes, you read that correctly! – It is time to replace chocolate, oysters, ginseng, maca root, candlelight, and lingerie with cannabis. Whether you believe that any of these common day aphrodisiacs are really capable of making your toes curl, it looks like cannabis actually offers a full mind and body effect that will have you grabbing your pillows and screaming yes!  Sure, the mechanisms making your toes curl during pleasure are governed more by complicated systems in the body such as psychological, neurological, and endocrinological rather than cannabis alone.  Cannabis may move through your body to get your blood flowing, ease your nerves, calm your mind, and increase your hormones to give you the tingles in all the right places.

It is a toss up on which is more complicated; human sexuality or cannabis. Here’s what we’ve come to understand about these two complicated things together… When cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout our brain (receptors called CB-1) and body (CB-2). Different cannabinoids have different effects. Depending on a cannabis product’s cannabinoid profile, different types of relief are achievable including- pleasure, coordination, cognition, and more… So the endocannabinoid system is thought to influence sexual behavior.

Cannabis is a natural enhancer of all sensations, and can be used as anxiety-relieving, pain-reducing, and euphoria-inducing. It can also produce a defense against physical and psychological resistance and/or inhibition. Essentially cannabis may address common sexual- physical and psychological- barriers to spice up your sex life. In other words, for those of you who have trouble getting out of your heads and into your body during sex- cannabis might be just the thing you need. The use of cannabinoids is also thought to expand the longevity of your sexual encounters, increase the duration and frequency of orgasms achieved, and heighten the level of intensity experienced. 

Scientific research and anecdotal reports alike support that cannabis may increase sensitivity to touch, changing tactile sensations for the better. Users also report an increased libido and sexual desires. Though more research is needed regarding cannabis’ thought out impact on blood flow, pressure and soft tissue as all these functions are targeted during sexual experiences. Further, cannabis’ impact requires more research on sexual dysfunction, desires, lifestyle changes, and pleasure, such as erectile dysfunction, sex hormone, and orgasm, as these factors can all be influenced by the use of cannabis. 

In the meantime, and good news for us, anecdotal evidence overwhelmingly shows improvement in the overall aphrodisiac effects of cannabis. If your friends haven’t already started kissing and telling about their cannabis fueled sexy times, too- just wait. It’s coming soon. 

Choosing Cannabis for Sex

Plain and simple, cannabis is a psychoactive drug, so different bodies will react in different ways. If you are toying with the idea of introducing cannabis into your sex life, whether solo or partnered, it is important to set a goal for your practice. I know that doesn’t sound really sexy but hear me out. Cannabis’ diverse effects may be satisfying for one partner and unenjoyable for the other, especially if it is a first time use. To balance the vibe, remember, start low and go slow… no one enjoys a quick finish. In other words- it is best to start with a lower dose and titrate up slowly. Partners may have different needs such they don’t want to use the same strain or may even choose different routes of administration. Don’t expect your party to simply join your cannabis party as their needs may be different. 

Choosing a strain can be as personal as choosing a partner. Depending upon what kind of sexual experience you are craving, you are going to want to be specific about your choice of cannabinoids and terpenes. Choosing individual strains may also decrease the barrier of unbalanced pleasuring experiences with partnered play. Since we know each strain and person hold a different “working relationship,” if you will, it is best to meet your own needs. So It is really more of a BYO situation as each person’s endocannabinoid system will interact with THC, CBD, and all the other cannabinoids differently. Once again, create a safe space for yourself and partner by choosing a strain and dosing wisely as certain strains increase sensitivity to touch and change tactile sensations for the better. 

Terpenes, responsible for the aroma and flavor, will really help to set the mood as they also define the effects of each strain. Of course like cannabis, sex has many flavors of fun, all looking, feeling, and experienced differently and all equally valuable. If you are a person who lives for hot, intense, and maybe even some kink, then limonene, caryophyllene, and terpinene may feed your hot fire with energizing and uplifting effects. If you’re hoping for a more passionate, sensual, intimate love-making experience, relaxing and relieving linalool is the terpene for you.

You may want to also take some precautions to make sure you have the most enjoyable and safe experience possible. Before you get too stoned, talk about what you’re consenting to, find the condoms or other contraceptives, grab some water, etc… You may also want to consider whether you’d prefer to try it alone and masterbate versus with a sex partner- either can be fun!

Choosing Your Cannabis Aphrodisiac Products 

Perhaps you have already seen some of the many cannabis and CBD sexy intimacy products on the shelves at your dispensary and even drug stores. For those who still think smoking a joint is the only efficient way to use cannabis, this next bit will really blow your mind, and maybe even your load…

🚫 Ingesting Cannabis If you are still looking to add that secret ingredient of love into your sexual journey with cannabis, look no further at the explosive heart shaped baked goods and products all over the market. Edibles make for a discrete, smoke free consumption of cannabis building intensity over time creating a long lasting high. Perfect for some Netflix, Drill, then Chill as sensations may still be present after making the love, so take advantage of the effects and snuggie up nice. Products such as chocolates, cookies, and even flavored body paints are available for every kind of sexual encounter. 

However, as popular as edibles are (and they are the most favored form of consumption), they are not  always the best route  for partnered sex. Since edibles take 30-60 minutes to kick in, the uptake is often too slow and unpredictable, increasing the likelihood that partners will peak at different times. This too often leads to ingesting an over amount than necessary  shifting the focus of pleasure to the inability to sync with one another. to not sync up at all. Edibles are influenced by each individual  body mass index (BMI), digestive system, and other related factors sometimes making partnered edible eating less sexy as you two consistently ask each other, “are you feeling it now,” which may not always apply to cannabis at that moment.

Inhaling Cannabis If you are revved up, ready to go and looking for a more instant high, smoking would be the quickest route. Cannabis can be inhaled through multiple forms such as grinding your flower to use in your favorite smoking piece, or even baking the grinded flower through vaporization. There are also liquidated and waxed extracted cannabis usually in cartridge or concentrate form and these tend to kick in much faster compared to consuming cannabis, which can take too long.. 

🚩 Massage Oil, Intimacy Oils & Serums Sexual wellness has been embraced by the cannabis industry. Like cannabis balms, ointments, bath salts, salves, lotions, perfumes, and face cream- cannabis and CBD massage oil, intimacy oil, and serums are topicals like all the rest. So do not be fooled by the marketing scams. 

However, sensually you and your partner release each other’s tension when you apply cannabinoids to the skin, as these topicals provide localized pain relief along with anti-inflammatory benefits. The act of touching one another provides that extra sexual drive of focusing on pleasure and connection for one person at a time. Although, keep in mind a massage rubdown will not necessarily get you as applying cannabis to the skin penetrates the epidermis only inhibiting absorption directly into the bloodstream. 

Topicals designed and formulated to intensify sexual pleasure also focus on overall genital health. There is faster absorption through the mucous membranes of the vagina and anus. Oils and serums are thought to enhance blood flow and heighten sensitivity with intoxicating scents and tastes. These types of topicals may alleviate dryness and increase lubrication as everyone should be implementing lube into their sexual practices. Topicals works as a sensory or physical release creating an experience of feeling different stimulation and soothing simultaneously.

  

🚩 Suppositories Administering medication via suppository is much more common than many would think. Suppositories are often used to treat GI conditions, vaginal dryness due to menopause, seizures, and other conditions as it is an accessible localization point for administering medication. Suppositories are round or cone-shaped medications designed to be inserted into the vagina, anus, or urethra. Some may take the form of a pre-lubricated clear, jelly cone shape making administration accessible. While other forms may require lubrication prior to inserting and may resemble a medication capsule. Either way, they both do the same job of  dissolving once inside, and absorbed by the body  directly into the bloodstream. Inserting a suppository is thought to be more targeted relief than oral ingestion. Cannabis suppositories are commonly used in preparation for your romantic moments or following them for relief. Please advise before inserting any unknown object into your body as you may want to consult with a doctor if you are prone to infections or pH imbalances. 

🚩 Lube Sufficient lubrication is key to comfortable and enjoyable penetrative sex. In fact, everyone should go out and purchase lube after reading this for lube should always be a member of the party.. Lube truly is a great additive for penetrative sex as it reduces friction, tearing, discomfort, and decreases stimulation from driness. Many products on the market have been infused with cannabis and/or CBD to increase your natural flow of lubrication or just add for fun. Lubes are meant to be applied directly to the genitals- vulva, clitoris, and anus. Though they are not as effective on the skin of the penis as it is far less absorbent than the vagina and vulva. However there is a small wait time before dessert, as it takes  a 15-20 minute of absorption time for the relaxed, tingling, prolonged, and multiple orgamsic effects to rock your body.

A Note on Cannabis Topicals

Okay so now I need your full attention. You may have noticed some “red flags” 🚩 when reading about the cannabis options to elevate your sex life. Just like red flags with partnered sex (i.e. consent), there are some red flags that cannabis can carry into the bedroom. You need to be knowledgeable to make the choices for your safety which is an important factor when experimenting with pleasure. Some products have risks, such as cannabis topicals. There are a few things of note when using these types of cannabis aphrodisiacs:

🚩 Most cannabis topicals are coconut or hemp oil based and therefore edible- which can make for a pretty fun time. However if you kiss, lick, suck cannabis lube, you may get high. After ingesting a topical, the cannabinoids are absorbed through the digestive system. They then impact the endocannabinoid system. So if you’re giving oral sex, be aware that ingesting this topical is psychoactive and will get you high.

🚩 While we’re on ingesting a topical- let’s also talk about allergies. It’s entirely possible to have an allergic reaction to lube. It’s important to review the ingredients to know if you may react to any element in the formulation. If you feel any swelling, burning, or itching, you may need to check for the following symptoms: hives, redness, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of a severe allergic reaction when using cannabis lube or any other topical.

🚩 If you are practicing safe sex with with use of condoms, steer clear of the cannabis or CBD topical as they are not the best lubricants to ensure protection from STIs or pregnancy. Cannabis and CBD lubes and other topicals commonly use coconut or hemp oil as its fat soluble carrier. While this is good for cannabis and CBD bioavailability, it’s not so good for condoms:

  • Latex condoms can dissolve and/or break when used with oil-based lubricants.
  • Latex diaphragms and sex toys can also be broken down by oil-based lubes.
  • Non-latex condoms are sensitive to oil-based lubes- so it is best to check the package before use.

Oil-based lubes are ideal for masturbation, penetrative unprotected sex, and water-play. They can also be used for a sensual massage. Please remember to practice consent when engaging in penetrative unprotected sex with a partner– creating a safe space for experiecing emotions and pleasures ensures for a eye-opening time. 

Other options- try to find water-based lubes or use nitrile, polyurethane, or animal skin condoms. After all, reducing friction and increasing comfort during sex should minimize soreness or irritation. Be sure to choose wisely if using contraceptives as some chemicals will react.

Getting Ready for Shot Girl Summer

Okay now that you have all the product tips you need for a sexy cannabis lite night, there is still one more thing we want to share. Here are some other key tips to consider as you train for your Slutty Summer. Actually, these tips will keep you in check with your selfcare, physically, mentally, and emotionally to ensure the experience is staying true to your goals. Here are some great tips to support your sexual self and health when considering a Shot Girl Summer:

Touch Yourself Yup, that is right. Consider masturbating more to grow awareness of your body’s on and off switches. When masturbating, you become the expert of your own pleasure as you control the experience. It is important to touch yourself and notice the response or reaction. Then once you are comfortable, you can share your findings with other sexual partners.    

Orgasm is Not the Goal It is best to focus on enjoying what is actually happening in the moment. Feel the sensations you are experiencing and follow them. Sometimes when sensations of orgasm arise, be mindful of where your thoughts are heading and bring yourself back to the moment. The more you focus your attention on an orgasm, the more you miss during the moment, so enjoy yourself. Live through any anxious thoughts, accept them, and let them go – be mindful in the moment and just keep redirecting your attention back to the pleasure. Focus on breathing to relax your body and allow for increased sensation. Orgasm happens when they happen and if we miss an orgasm opportunity then all the more reason to try again. 

Communicate, communicate, communicate Sex is not purely physical, and following your instincts is not alway enough as your partner cannot read your mind. Telling your partner what you like and do not like can help sex become deeper, less awkward, and more pleasurable. It also may be best to negotiate before you bring cannabis to the party so you can set a plan for boundaries, consents, and maybe even safe words so if you get too high, we know to support each other.

Plan for safer sex If protecting yourself and your partner from STIs, HIV, and pregnancy is of importance, be sure to plan as such. There are many contraception methods to suit every encounter. Getting frisky does not have to be risky if you are  well prepared. Oh and using a condom does not hamper your ability to have an orgasm. Of course there are always potential risks when using condoms, so be sure to keep in mind and plan for moments of uncertainty, as there is a risk for impaired judgment. Best to be safe than sorry, so plan ahead so cannabis can participate in future pleasurable experiences. 

Hydration A lack of water causes your body to release stress hormones, which may throw off sexual hormones and leave you with a low libido. Proper hydration can facilitate natural lubrication and help you orgasm by increasing oxygen levels in the bloodstream.

Get loud and active Sound and movement help the sexual energy move through your body. The more you moan, cry, talk dirty, laugh- the more you will feel it. YAASSSSS!!!!

So similarly to the approach we suggest about cannabis, we would also recommend “harm reduction” for your post-vaccination, post-pandemic plan. With bars and restaurants opening back up all over (if they have not already), it is still best to hang out in a small circle with vaccinated people in open and/or outdoor space. Stay safe y’all!!

And keep in mind- if sex is painful, increasing lubrication  may not always be the answer nor  taking another hit. Many infections and/or illnesses can increase pain during sexual intercouse – especially vaginal sex. If you experience recurrent or worsening pain during sex, be sure to consult your healthcare provider. Also be aware that sometimes sexual dysfunction symptoms may arise throughout our lives as this is natural and normal. It is best to seek support for these symptoms as sexual health is a significantly important factor for future experiences. 

https://www.smoa.jsexmed.org/article/S2050-1161(19)30009-1/fulltext

Androvicova R, Horacek J, Stark T, Drago F, Micale V. Endocannabinoid system in sexual motivational processes: Is it a novel therapeutic horizon? Pharmacol Res. 2017 Jan;115:200-208. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2016.11.021. Epub 2016 Nov 21. PMID: 27884725.

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. FAQ020: When Sex Is Painful. September 2017. 

The World Health Organization, Family Health International, United Nations Population Fund. Use and procurement of additional lubricants for male and female condoms: WHO/UNFPA/FHI: Advisory note. World Health Organization 2012.

Dezzutti CS, Brown ER, Moncla B, Russo J, Cost M, Wang L, et al. Is wetter better? An evaluation of over-the-counter personal lubricants for safety and anti-HIV-1 activity. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e48328. 

Nicole W. A question for women’s health: chemicals in feminine hygiene products and personal lubricants. Environ Health Perspect. 2014 Mar;122(3):A70-5.

Pacher, P., Bátkai, S., & Kunos, G. (2005). Cardiovascular pharmacology of cannabinoids. Handbook of experimental pharmacology, (168), 599–625. https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-26573-2_20

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/489287

Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: a review of clinical data and relevant animal studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034

Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349. https://doi.org/10.4155/fmc.09.93

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HEY NEWBIES- START HERE!

KEEP IN MIND

Stay calm. Canna-curious is cool! But collect some info first.
If you are:

  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

NAVIAGTE

EXPLORE

People Everywhere are Taking the Test…Here’s Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for the Cannabis Drug Test

written by

Kayla Johnson

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

written by

Kayla Johnson

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Ahh, the dreaded drug test. Most of us have been there. It’s usually a requirement that you pass a drug test to obtain certain jobs. Sadly, drug tests can be scary for those of us who use cannabis, even if you have a medical recommendation for cannabis. This is due to the fact that in some states if we fail our drug test for cannabis, even if we have a medical card, it could ultimately lead to us becoming unemployed or never getting the job at all. 

So how do we prepare for such an important test? Let’s first understand what the cannabis drug test is and how you fail the test. If you are a cannabis consumer, you’ve more than likely heard someone talk about THC, but do you know about THC and drug testing…

What is THC?

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC), most commonly referred to as THC, is a psychoactive cannabinoid molecule that is found in cannabis. Nevertheless, cannabis stays in your system far after the psychoactive effects have surpassed. 

6 Factors That Determine How Long THC stays in your system

There are a few factors to consider about how THC is metabolized through the body. THC is lipid/fat soluble.That means THC is stored in our fat cells when metabolized or broken down. We release THC metabolites via sweat, urine, and even while breathing. Therefore different factors can determine how quickly THC or its metabolites (THC-COOH) leave our bodies. Here are the factors to consider:

  1. Frequency of use
    •  How much do you use? How often? How long have you used?
  2. Gender 
    • Females (cisgendered), on average, metabolize THC slower than males due to having higher levels of body fat. 
  3. Sweat Excretion 
    • THC metabolites are found in your fat cells, thus the more you sweat, the quicker those metabolites can exit. A good work out in the gym can be beneficial to passing your cannabis drug test!
  4. Hydration
    • Dehydration = increased concentration of THC. Stay hydrated! 
  5. Metabolism
    • A faster metabolism is able to excrete THC metabolites quicker; however, keep in mind, metabolism is impacted by age, genetics, physical activity and certain health conditions.
  6. Method of consumption
    • Inhalation of cannabis will leave your body quicker than those who opt to ingest cannabis, as it takes longer to break down. 

Types of Drug Tests

Cannabis drug tests can be administered in a few different ways. The one most of us think of when we hear “drug test” is the urine drug test. It is most common, and partly due to the fact that it is the least expensive. Sometimes other types of drug tests are used to test for cannabis. Depending on which type of drug test you are taking, there are many variables to consider. The variables range from cost, detection times, accuracy, biasness, and what it detects to name a few. 

  1. Urine
    • Most common 
    • Only tests for cannabis metabolites
    • Used in most workplaces due to their 0 tolerance policies 
    • Cost effective
    • Can be detected for 30 days or more if you are a chronic smoker 

Approximate Detection Times for Cannabis Drug Testing Via Urine 

Single Use

3 days 

Moderate Use (3-4 times per week)

5 days

Heavy Use (daily)

10 days

Chronic Heavy Use 

> 30 days 

*These are approximate detection times in urine. The actual detection time can vary. 

2. Blood

    • Most expensive
    • Most intrusive 
    • Commonly considered most accurate 
    • Detects the ACTUAL presence of THC, and sometimes the metabolites(THC-COOH)

Positive results are detected for just a few hours to approximately 7 days for chronic smokers
3. Hair

      • Can be taken from any part of the body!
      • Not reliable- results can vary depending on type of shampoo used
      • Bias to being more sensitive to dark, thick hair
      • Supposed to be detectable for months, as this is the case for cocaine hair testing but results are not indicative that it is the same for THC
  1. Saliva
    • Only detectable 2-4 hours after consumption 
    • Detects ACTUAL presence of THC
    • Doesn’t detect the level of concentration
    • Least common

Preparing for Your Drug Test

The cannabis industry is just beginning to legalize and destigmatize it’s use- not to mention how to manage its use as it applies to employment. Both the cannabis industry and every other industry as well will need to figure out how to evaluate the use of cannabis and properly manage employees with regard to their medicinal use. 

For now, that puts the onus on employees/patients to navigate these murky waters. Consumers must be knowledgeable about the benefits and risks associated with cannabis consumption. One of the risks is the potential to fail a drug test, lose a job or job opportunity, and other unfavorable outcomes.Understanding the different types of cannabis drug tests and how they are utilized will help us to make educated decisions about the conscious consumption of cannabis. 

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/marijuana-reha
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2587336/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4920965/
https://www.mayocliniclabs.com/test-info/drug-book/marijuana.html

Pin it

HEY NEWBIES- START HERE!

KEEP IN MIND

Stay calm. Canna-curious is cool! But collect some info first.
If you are:

  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

NAVIAGTE

EXPLORE

Can We Recommend The Best Strain? No, But There’s A Really Good Reason Why…

Can We Recommend the Best Strain? No, But There’s a Really Good Reason Why…

Caroline Platzman

written by

Caroline Platzman

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Caroline Platzman

written by

Caroline Platzman

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

What is the best cannabis strain for…? Listen, I get it. I think that those of us in the cannabis community, at one point or another, have Googled something along the lines of, “What strains of cannabis make you laugh the hardest?” or, “What cannabis strains are good for managing pain?”

Let me fill you in on a little secret: There are none! The evidence behind these articles or lists you might find are anecdotal. There is no hard and fast science behind them. Those “Top 5 Best Strains for Anxiety” lists you see all over the internet are, to put it bluntly, kinda bullshit.

And unfortunately, because these lists are everywhere, the spread of this much misinformation can be dangerous, to say the least. It is important to educate yourself on what information about cannabis is fact-based, and what is not, so you can consume responsibly and safely.

Understanding How Cannabis Affects You

It is important to understand that every individual’s endocannabinoid system is unique. The endocannabinoid system in each of us responds to cannabis in its own individualized way. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all “best strain” to use to manage anything! This is especially true for mental and physical health conditions like anxiety, depression, trauma, and pain. At the end of the day, it comes down to the individual and what works best for them.

Similarly, there is no “best strain” of cannabis that induces laughter, hunger, sex drive, deep conversation, or whatever else you are hoping to stimulate or achieve. There might be a strain that works best for one person, but it does not necessarily mean it is the best strain for someone else. Remember that cannabis use is a subjective experience, meaning everyone experiences each strain, down to the terpenes and cannabinoids, differently.

The Differing Effects of Cannabis Strains

Different strains do affect you differently, but not in a one-size-fits-all sort of way. And, contrary to popular belief, there is actually not much sound scientific evidence to support the differences in physical effects of indica versus sativa-dominant strains, either. According to a Canadian study conducted in 2015, of 81 tested cannabis strains, the reported sativa-indica split rarely matched their genetic makeup, despite what it says on the packaging (Sawler et al., 2015).

This is largely due to the fact that cannabis is such an age-old medicine that even our most up-to-date science can’t truly decipher every part of its makeup. Cannabis has been grown for centuries, in various parts of the world and through various methods- so, the makeup of the strains we refer to as indica and sativa may not actually be distinguishable in significant ways. Even the names of strains can be misleading, many of which are not derived from anywhere.

So when Adam the Budtender is swearing by the new Zour Apples that just came in and the heady high it initiates, although he means well, he likely isn’t giving the most accurate information (sorry, Adam).

Why are these “Best strains for…” lists dangerous?

You see these lists everywhere, boasting misinformation decorated as fact-based science. This is extremely dangerous for a multitude of reasons, and the fact these lists are so common only exacerbates the problem. Even highly popular cannabis companies and connoisseurs are getting it wrong, so it is imperative to dismantle the myths and to understand the actual science.

The most important reason is that from a medical perspective: the recommendation of cannabis strains to patients for specific purposes, with absolutely no science to back it up, is reckless and potentially harmful. While one person may have a perfectly fine experience with a certain strain, another person might not.

Second, cannabis companies that continue to curate and exacerbate these myths pander to people who simply don’t know any better, are essentially falsely advertising their products by spreading misinformation. Whether cannabis connoisseurs are fooled or choose to turn a blind eye to profit off of consumers’ lack of knowledge around this topic, there is completely no ethical justification in publishing these lists that are, quite frankly, making shit up for profit, views, whatever.

Cannabis Education is Key

Access to unbiased education is key for cannabis consumers to make informed, healthy decisions. Do not believe everything you read online, because it might not always be based in any real truth or facts. Understand you are one of many, many cannabis consumers who might be today years old when you found out these lists are all basically phony.

This is why you will never catch The Calm, Cool, & Collected recommending cannabis strains for this or that. We want to give our readers unbiased, accurate information because knowledge is power. Education is the first step in understanding how to utilize cannabis in the best way for you. So it is important to dismantle these myths about cannabis strains.

Sallaberry, C., & Astern, L. (2018). The endocannabinoid system, our universal regulator. Journal of Young Investigators, 34(6): 48-55.

https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator#

 

(2015). The genetic structure of marijuana and hemp.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0133292

Sawler J, Stout JM, Gardner KM, Hudson D, Vidmar J, Butler L, et al. (2015) The Genetic Structure of Marijuana and Hemp. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0133292. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133292

 

https://www.vice.com/en/article/kbvz9m/weed-strains-are-mostly-bullshit-weedweek2017

 

Atakan, Z. (2012). Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals.Ther Adv Psychopharmacol; 2(6): 241–254. doi: 10.1177/2045125312457586

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/#bibr27-2045125312457586

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeadams/2018/10/14/new-research-shows-all-marijuana-strains-basically-the-same/

 

https://news.ok.ubc.ca/2018/10/10/thc-amounts-identical-in-most-cannabis-strains-ubc-study-finds/

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  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

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Two Things to Consider Before Calling Yourself an “Insomniac”

written by

Charlie Suter

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

written by

Charlie Suter

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Sleep disturbances can be an extremely frustrating issue to manage. Whether it is trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or any other stimulus affecting sleep, we all have had an experience of trouble sleeping, all presenting differently in each other.  Struggles with sleeping are so common that around 15 to 20% of adults in the United States are living and managing a sleep disorder.  Though it is important to remember, before you start matching symptoms and self diagnosing as an “insomniac”, there are two questions  to consider: What might be causing your sleep disturbances and what actually are sleep disorders. 

 

Assess your Sleep Disturbances

There can be many causes and factors influencing the onset of sleep disturbances. Lifestyle factors such as access to fresh foods, safe living environments, your mental and medical health status can each have  an impact on the quality and outcome of sleep hygiene. Assessing these different factors by tracking and adjusting them could rule out potential factors, listed above, as the trigger for sleep. 

 

Lifestyle factors can have impact on sleep, the most common being:

  • Caffeine consumption can cause a delay in falling asleep, shorten the duration of sleep, and decrease sleep quality. This is due to its effects on adenosine receptors, causing oxygen consumption and blood flow to increase.
  • Alcohol consumption can cause difficulty in falling asleep and a decrease in the amount of REM sleep. This is due to its effects on sleep homeostasis, which regulates the cycle between REM and NREM sleep.
  • Inconsistent sleep patterns due to shift work or jet lag can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm, which is the body’s 24 hour regulation of sleep-wake cycles, causing difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep at desired or appropriate times.

 

Environmental factors will also have a large impact on sleep. Common issues include:

    • Excessive light at night and decreased sunlight during the day can disrupt your circadian rhythm, the body’s 24 hour sleep-wake cycle. 
    • Excessive Noise can prevent you from both falling and staying asleep.
  • Room Temperature can cause difficulty falling and staying asleep. While the optimal room temperature for sleeping is 66 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, personal preferences can differ. 

 

Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, PTSD, and depression can cause sleep difficulties. In cases like this, it is best to consult a mental health professional to discuss possible remedies such as therapy or medications. Chronic pain, diabetes, and other physical conditions can also cause sleep disturbances and may require consultation with a medical professional in order to explore possible remedies. 

 

Understanding Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders involve difficulties with the quality, timing, and amount of sleep obtained over an extended period of time. Individuals living with a sleep disorder will often experience difficulty with daytime functioning due to their sleep disruptions, which can lead to poor quality of life. Difficulty with sleep can affect an individual’s overall health and increase their risk of developing some serious health issues. Each disorder has its own specific set of symptoms but will often include: 

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • A strong urge to take naps during the day
  • Abnormal breathing patterns during sleep

 

Common sleep disorders include:

  • Insomnia: the inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep.
  • Sleep Apnea: characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep due to airway obstruction resulting in loud snoring.
  • Parasomnias: a class of sleep disorders that cause abnormal movements and behaviors during sleep.
  • Narcolepsy: an inability to control sleep and wake cycles often causing individuals to fall asleep at any time.
  • Hypersomnia: feeling sleep deprived even after ten or more hours of sleep.

 

What to take away

The purpose of this is not to self diagnose a sleep disorder, rather to bring awareness to the possible factors contributing to your sleep. It is best to consult a medical professional after assessing your sleep disturbances and attempting changes to clarify what is still resulting in sleep difficulties. Accessing medical treatment can open doors to other remedies to support and treat sleep disturbances. 

https://www.sleepassociation.org/about-sleep/sleep-statistics/

Medic, G., Wille, M., & Hemels, M. E. (2017). Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nature and science of sleep, 9, 151–161. https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S134864

Clark, I., & Landolt, H. P. (2017). Coffee, caffeine, and sleep: A systematic review of epidemiological studies and randomized controlled trials. Sleep medicine reviews, 31, 70–78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2016.01.006

Smolensky, M. H., Sackett-Lundeen, L. L., & Portaluppi, F. (2015). Nocturnal light pollution and underexposure to daytime sunlight: Complementary mechanisms of circadian disruption and related diseases. Chronobiology international, 32(8), 1029–1048. https://doi.org/10.3109/07420528.2015.1072002

Thakkar, M. M., Sharma, R., & Sahota, P. (2015). Alcohol disrupts sleep homeostasis. Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.), 49(4), 299–310. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alcohol.2014.07.019

Boivin, D. B., & Boudreau, P. (2014). Impacts of shift work on sleep and circadian rhythms. Pathologie-biologie, 62(5), 292–301. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.patbio.2014.08.001

https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/index.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-2035408

Common Sleep Disorders: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment (clevelandclinic.org)

Burke, T. M., Markwald, R. R., McHill, A. W., Chinoy, E. D., Snider, J. A., Bessman, S. C., … Wright, K. P. (2015). Effects of caffeine on the human circadian clock in vivo and in vitro. Science Translational Medicine, 7(305). https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5125

Harding, E. C., Franks, N. P., & Wisden, W. (2019). The Temperature Dependence of Sleep. Frontiers in neuroscience, 13, 336. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019.00336

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Stay calm. Canna-curious is cool! But collect some info first.
If you are:

  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

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Extreme Fear: The Experience & Frequency Of Childhood Trauma

Extreme Fear: The Experience & Frequency of Childhood Trauma

Narinka Guichette

written by

Namen Namestein

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Narinka Guichette

written by

Narinka Guichette

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

When I was five years old, we took a field trip to the pool in summer camp. I was very curious about the water but could not swim. Everyone else was just jumping right into the pool. Curiosity got the best of me, and I, too, just jumped right in. I quickly regretted it, and immediately started panicking when I could not keep myself up above the surface. I was under the water for a while before a counselor noticed. I was pulled out of the water just in time…

Yes, you could call me a survivor but that experience left me traumatized til this day.  Because of that near drowning experience, I developed a fear of water. Pools, beaches, rivers and even baths scared me. That fear has stayed with me throughout the years and has caused me to avoid aquatic related social events. As an adolescent, I would not attend friend’s birthday swimming parties. As an adult, I cannot watch television or movies featuring large bodies of water. That even includes animated films like Nemo and Little Mermaid I wish I could watch with my family.

My coping mechanism has been avoidance. But for some adolescents facing different traumatic experiences avoidance is not always an option and is not recommended. It’s time to face our fears…

What Childhood Trauma Looks Like

Trauma is an experience faced where it causes extreme fear and hopelessness sometimes altering an individual’s perception of reality (Rhoden, Macgowan, & Huang, 2019). The percentage of girls and boys that experience trauma during adolescence ranges from fifteen percent to forty three percent. The trauma I went through as a child has left me distrubed causing a sense of uneasiness when I am near water and the fear it has instilled in me as an adult is not uncommon.  When you think about other trauma such as violence, abuse, traffic accidents, bullying, deaths in the family it is not a shock that it’s been estimated that more than two-thirds of American children will experience a potentially traumatic life event by the age of 16 (Lea Winerman 2015).

How do Adolescents Respond to Trauma

The behaviors adolescents use to cope with trauma ranges from acting out, substance usage, anger, and intentionally breaking rules and hurting themselves and others (Adolescent trauma and treatment, 2012). Based on that brief description alone I am sure you are saying, wait a second don’t all adolescents act this way in general? Each individual is different if you suspect that your adolescent might be trying to cope with a trauma they most likely will mask their feelings and it is important to seek professional help.  Avoiding the early signs can lead to different forms of addiction either with the drug they are misusing or other substances.

 Treatments and Alternatives to Therapy 

Although during that time it might feel as if you are alone or like my story embarrassed to talk about. People might judge you and say this happened when you were a child and get over it, undermining the  effect of trauma. Avoiding the traumatic experience is what causes it to follow you as you age. At Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, many doctors collaborated to develop a course for therapy known as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) in the 1980s. This course usually 12 to 18 sessions and results are shown to reduce PTSD, anxiety, depression and other symptoms in children and families. For the past 25 years Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) data and results have shown their effectiveness on clients as young as 3 and as old as 18. TF-CBT has multiple phase treatment. First, they focus on stabilizing a child’s clinical symptoms, and include psychoeducation. We help the child understand the connection between their trauma exposure and current clinical presentation. Next, they educate the child about the impact of the specific trauma that the child has experienced. After, they help the child with skills development, such as relaxation skills and other affective-regulation skills. These doctors encourage these children to express their feelings by speaking up about them, because we know that when children can describe their feelings, they’re less likely to act out those feelings in destructive ways. Lastly, they work on helping children understand the basics of cognitive processing, so they can begin to understand the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. TF-CBT developed these phases to help children stabilize their emotions and their behavior and most children start to see improvement to be less traumatized.

Conclusion

Seeking help is not a bad idea. Therapists are shown to help clients make sense of the trauma and learn skills to better handle negative thoughts and feelings to go about living their lives better. Do not wait until that traumatic experience starts haunting you by causing nightmares to do something about it. Understanding why that experience is traumatizing can be the first step towards overcoming it. For those who cannot afford therapy they can engage in behavior that makes them happy such as getting involved in extracurricular activity. An activity that makes them happy. Life is beautiful filled with rainbow colors. We can’t let the grey colors that come with trauma overshadow our rainbow.

Adolescent trauma and treatment. (2012). Newport Academy, Retrieved from https://www.newportacademy.com/resources/mental-health/teen-adolescent-trauma/

Rhoden, M., Macgowan, M. J., & Huang, H. (2019). A systematic review of psychological trauma interventions for juvenile offenders. Research on Social Work Practice, 29(8), 892-909. doi:10.1177/1049731518806578

What is trauma . The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders, https://centerforanxietydisorders.com/what-is-trauma/

Lea Winerman. (2015). Helping children recover from trauma.Vol 46, No. 11, 40. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/12/helping-children

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-act-be/201609/21-common-reactions-trauma

https://www.healthline.com/health/traumatic-events

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25266475/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1619095/

http://cctasi.northwestern.edu/family/trauma-focused-therapy/

https://www.newportacademy.com/resources/mental-health/teen-adolescent-trauma/

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/12/helping-children

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If you are:

  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

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Find Your Mind: Making CBD Your New Meditation Partner

Find Your Mind: Making CBD Your New Meditation Partner

Jessica Christion

written by

Jessica Christion

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Jessica Christion

written by

Jessica Christion

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

CBD not only became my new meditation partner, but it can become yours, too. When I was in college, I realized that my anxiety increased dramatically. The added stress of assignments, being worried about life after college, and becoming a functioning adult had a crippling impact. It constantly felt like I had 1,000 alarms going off in my head at the same time. Meditation had previously provided me with stress relief but I hit a wall. I found I was not about to meditate like I once did.

I had already been using CBD as a sleep aid. I noticed it also prevented my heart from beating out of my chest from stress. The idea occurred to me one day- hmmm what if I use CBD during my meditation? The rest was history…

My meditation practice has only benefited from my use of CBD. I am able to reach a more calm state of mind much more easily than before. It is easier to become an observer of my thoughts. I would love for everyone to experience this combination and I want to explain how you can begin your journey and get to know CBD as your new mediation partner…

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most prevalent active ingredient found in the cannabis plant. The most prevalent is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and it’s most well known as it’s one of the chemical compounds in the plant that will get you high.

CBD can be found in both the cannabis and hemp plants. CBD products derived from hemp contain less than 0.3% THC and are legal in almost 50 states except Idaho, Iowa, and South Dakota.

CBD does not interact with the body in the same way THC does as it relates to making you feel the effects of being “high”. A common misconception is that CBD is non-psychoactive which is not true because it’s still mind altering, just in a different way than THC. CBD works with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) to achieve homeostasis or balance in our bodies. It helps regulate mood, appetite, sleep, immunity, memory, and pain sensations. By interacting with and influencing cell receptors, CBD activates them to lower levels of stress- ya know, most people’s very reason to meditate.

As the CBD market is yet unregulated, it’s important to seek out vetted products that you know will be safe in your body. It’s best to use CBD sourced in the US that have been batch tested for cannabinoid levels, contaminants, and toxins.

Once you find the right CBD for you, find your dose by starting low and going slow. That means start with a low dose  and titrate up little by little to find the right dose for you. It is worth noting that too much of it can produce undesired effects. So take it easy. Once you get the hang of it, you should give it a try while you meditate. CBD could be your new go-to mediation partner.

What is meditation?

It is speculated that meditation has been around since 5000 to 3500 BCE. It is an old and well established practice. If you’ve never meditated before, you may be wondering exactly what it is and how it improves your daily life. Meditation comes from the Latin word meditatum which means to ponder. It’s a practice for your mind and body to better understand and cope with your behavior and emotions. Meditation allows you to see how your emotions have a huge influence on your behavior. Many illnesses stem from the stress that we tend to cause our bodies. Meditation works to increase calmness, promote relaxation, improve your mind psychologically, pain regulation, improves focus and overall well-being.

There are several forms of meditation. Here are three main forms of meditation- which also happen to be great for beginners:

Mindfulness Meditation This is the most common form of meditation (and the I would most recommend for beginners.) The point of Mindfulness Meditation is to try to focus on the present moment. The overarching idea is to be fully aware of your thoughts and emotions- becoming an observer of them without zooming in.

Guided Meditation This form of meditation can also be called visualization which is the main thing you do during practice. Typically, people find a guided instructor via the internet like YouTube or in person. The guided visualizations offer a deep relaxation and focus using your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

Transcendental Meditation This form of meditation uses mantras- words, sounds, or simple phrases that are repeated multiple times throughout your meditation. Phrases can begin with “I am” for example repeating: ” I am at peace”, ” I am love”,” I will focus on myself in this moment” etc. The idea is to do this form of meditation at least twice a day. I would recommend it when you wake up and before bed.

Tips for Using CBD to Improve Your Mediations

If this is your first-time hearing about meditation, or you are looking for ways to improve your meditation practice while using CBD here are some super helpful tips:

  • Find a quiet place where you can be alone.
  • Place yourself in a comfortable position whether that’s lying, sitting, or even going for a walk.
  • Set an intention for your meditation practice. Focus your attention on a particular source. If your mind wonders you have somewhere to bring your attention back to.  Your intention could be on your breath, mantras, affirmations, or the reason that you wanted to start meditating in the first place.
  • One misconception about meditation is that you must control every thought that pops in your head- this is impossible. Instead, focus on allowing thoughts to come and go with a visual. A great visual is to picture each thought like a train pulling up to a stop at a train station. Then as it takes off, so does the thought. Do not feel upset with yourself for having a stream of thoughts. The point is to notice them and let them flow without judgement.
  • Also start off with a 5-minute meditation and gradually increase your time at your own pace. It is your practice for a reason.

How can CBD contribute to your practice of mediation

Now that we discussed the benefits of CBD and had a glimpse into meditation, let’s discuss how you can use them together. Separately both CBD and meditation show similar benefits such as relief from anxiety, pain, stress, sleep disturbances, increased relaxation, and over-all calmness. So why not combine them?

The combination would be helpful for those who have tried meditation and felt as though it was not for them. For example a study carried out by Yale University showed that meditation was linked to a decrease in activity as it related to the default mode network which is responsible for mind-wandering. While on the other hand previous studies have shown that CBD shows anti-panic properties, reducing anxiety related symptoms.  CBD can possibly aid in your meditation by being your assistant into that calm, cool and collected state that you desire.

If you are curious about 5 ways to incorporate CBD into your meditation practice head over and read 5 Ways to Incorporate CBD into Your Meditation.

Brewer, J. A., Worhunsky, P. D., Gray, J. R., Tang, Y.-Y., Weber, J., & Kober, H. (2011). Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(50), 20254–20259. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1112029108

Cannabis – News \u0026 Lifestyle. (2019). What Is CBD ? A Scientific Explanation on how CBD oil Works & Impacts the Body | Candid | #cbdoil [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EENvemARPiQ

 

Fine, P. G., & Rosenfeld, M. J. (2013). The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain. Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, 4(4). https://doi.org/10.5041/rmmj.10129

 

Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, E. M. S., Gould, N. F., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma, R., Berger, Z., Sleicher, D., Maron, D. D., Shihab, H. M., Ranasinghe, P. D., Linn, S., Saha, S., Bass, E. B., & Haythornthwaite, J. A. (2014). Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(3), 357. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018

 

Mead, E. (2019, July 4). The History and Origin of Meditation. PositivePsychology.Com. https://positivepsychology.com/history-of-meditation/

Soares, V. P., & Campos, A. C. (2017). Evidences for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol. Current Neuropharmacology, 15(2), 291–299. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159X14666160509123955

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If you are:

  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

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CBD TOPICALS SOLD HERE: Would You Buy Them?

CBD TOPICALS SOLD HERE: Would You Buy Them?

Dana Marshall

written by

Dana Marshall

Hannah Sadock

reviewed by

Hannah Sadock, MFT

Dana Marshall

written by

Dana Marshall

Hannah Sadock

reviewed by

Hannah Sadok, MFT

“CBD SOLD HERE,” said the sign in my local 7Eleven and just a week prior, I had noticed a locked cabinet full of CBD products at the local grocery store. CBD infused chapsticks, salves, lotions, tinctures- the list could go on,  a bunch of unregulated CBD products in the same stores that sell my snacks and dinner.

It felt confusing and wrong for me to enter a store solely for groceries to then come across bottles of CBD products in the next aisle that I could purchase at any moment. Many individuals looking to try CBD for the first time might find these grocery store CBD products cheap and easy alternatives instead of researching reputable companies and products. Thinking, “my favorite, trusted  grocery store is all for NON GMO fruits, vegetables, naturally raised cattle, and now CBD products should be okay, right?”

This is not the case.  CBD products sold at your trusted stores do not equal quality CBD products and quite frankly, does not mean they belong there.  Especially convenience stores, known for its sugar, carbohydrate, and nicotine containing products.

What is CBD?

Firstly, to understand the products, we must understand the compound CBD.  CBD,known as cannabidiol, is the second chemical compound found in cannabis and hemp, after the most prevalent chemical, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  It is critical not to mistake CBD’s effects when hearing its close relationship with THC.   Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to the CB1 and CB2 cannabis receptors causing CBD’s purpose in cannabis and hemp products to NOT produce the “high” or “psychoactive” effectsThat’s right, CBD does not make you feel the same way THC makes you feel.

So, now you’re probably wondering what the term cannabidiol truly means and how it works.  Simply stated, humans have  over 40 neurotransmitters throughout the body, which serve as little chemical messengers for the body.  Specifically, one of those neurotransmitters is called endocannabinoid. When CBD is applied, inhaled, ingested, or whatever preferred method of consumption, the endocannabinoids influence cannabis receptors causing an individual to feel some sort of expected physical relief. .

How do CBD topicals work?

CBD works hand in hand with the endocannabinoid system, which is our system that is primarily responsible for the sensations of pain and pleasure.  Remember, we produce a neurotransmitter called endocannabinoid, causing the cannabinoid receptor in CBD to react solely based on bonding to endocannabinoid.  You will experience relief and relaxation from a topical as it penetrates the skin through its pores.

CBD topicals are great  as they can be applied directly to the skin!  On our body we have pulse points, specifically,   on the head, neck, wrists, and soles of feet.  CBD topicals can easily be as effective on pulse point areas rather than covering your entire body.   Though, everyone experiences CBD effects differently causing some users to prefer applying the topical  all over the body and in thicker layers to allow easier access.

CBD Topicals 

There are many different forms of CBD topicals that exist in our retail word. Each, with many different forms that can be found and utilized, depending on the preference of the individual. Topicals are creams, salves, or lotions containing CBD and can be directly applied to the skin.

Not all CBD topicals are made the same though, making it critical for  independent research of the company as well as the ingredients before purchasing.  What I mean is, not all CBD is extracted in the same manner causing different companies to utilize different substances during extraction. Not to mention, all the unknown extra ingredients added into the topical after extraction. Be sure to educate yourself before spending money on a product that could cause more harm than good by adding unknown chemicals to your body.

  • Creams + lotions: these are fat or oil based, contain beeswax, water, and other ingredients like herbs and essential oils.
  • Salve: these contain carrier oils like coconut oil, beeswax, and other ingredients like herbs and essential oils.

What Conditions are CBD topicals good for?

CBD topicals can be used to target symptoms of many conditions, including mental health.  Consumption in any form can directly influence emotional experiencing in the limbic system, as it is the part of the brain responsible for regulating emotions. The limbic system also houses neurotransmitters responsible for mood and pleasure, serotonin and dopamine.

If CBD can potentially provide relief and relaxation, then what conditions is it good for?  

Those looking to utilize CBD topicals may first be drawn to the product due to their claim of easing pain sensations. Though, users looking to target mental health symptoms can also benefit from CBD topicals! A recent study pertaining to the usage of CBD noted specific conditions that may benefit from the use of CBD. The study also included conditions that would not benefit from the use of CBD, which was presented through weaker evidence. It is critical we are aware of the downfalls as well. For we may be using a compound that has negative interactions with certain medications and even illnesses. Evidence shows that CBD containing compounds may help alleviate the symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Weaker evidence shows CBD did not alleviate the symptoms related to bipolar disorder, anxiety, Tourette’s Syndrome (TS), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

What To Look For When Researching CBD

It is important not to skip this step when purchasing any CBD product, as you do not want to buy the first product  seen on the shelf.  Not all CBD companies are the same, and many will do whatever it takes to promote their product through advertisement.  These are the companies that you may want to steer clear of, as you want to find a brand that you can trust.

To find a high-quality CBD product, you must sit down and do some research.  It is important to find out how the CBD oil was extracted and how the product was manufactured.  Search for companies using organic and pharmaceutical-grade ethanol to process the CBD.  For many companies, it is easier and cheaper to use ethanol with toxic solvents. You may want to avoid the added solvents as they are not recommended for human health.

Some companies may offer products that are labeled as “full spectrum” or “whole-plant.” These terms ensure the full hemp plant products are included in the oil (terpenes, flavonoids, other cannabinoids).  While some companies may only offer CBD isolates, which simply means, the product only contains CBD. There are also different dosages of CBD available making it is important to read the label knowing how CBD is in the product. The stronger the CBD dosage in the product means a higher potency. It is also not uncommon for CBD to have labels read as “X amount of milligrams per X amount of milliliters.” For example, a 10 mL bottle with 500 mg of CBD will not be as potent as a 10 mL bottle with 1000 mg.  The strength will depend upon the effects you are trying to reach, giving yet another reason to do your research.

Finally, check for third-party lab results, as trusted CBD brands provide this data. It is important to assure the amount of THC does not exceed 0.3%, and it is free of impurities. If a company says that its product is free of THC and impurities, but does not provide test results, that is a key sign it is most likely not a trustworthy brand.

How to use CBD topicals

There are certain rules that one must follow when exploring CBD and its benefits.

Steps to receive benefits from CBD topicals:

  1. Do extensive research on CBD topicals, reputable brands, physician recommended brands, strengths, and reviews from other consumers.  Do not skip this part, as you want to assure you are purchasing quality CBD to receive the greatest effects for what you are trying to achieve!
  2. Purchase your preferred CBD topical
  3. Always make sure the affected area that you are applying the CBD topical to is clean of dirt and oil.  Some CBD topicals may already contain oils and water, and it will be very difficult for the topical to enter the skin effectively.  Remember you can apply it to your head, neck, wrists, soles of feet, and wherever else you may need relief.
  4. Apply the recommended amount of CBD topical to the area. Don’t forget that it has to enter through the pores to provide relief, and some of us may have thick skin!
  5. Sit back and relax, or wait for the relaxation to occur!

CBD Could Be For Me

CBD has become a popular product and trend causing it to be found in grocery stores with different dosages and brands to select from. Though, it is all about figuring out what form of CBD will work for you. CBD topicals tend to be the most preferred choice for first time consumers. I want to make something clear, CBD may not be successful for everyone.  If you are using it to relieve anxiety and it does not work, it does not mean your anxious thoughts have won. You should not give up after your first attempt of using CBD, as you may have not found the right product or routine. It takes time to adjust to your CBD routine, as well as tweaking the route of administration, dosage, and strengths.  It may be helpful to keep a small journal when first experimenting with CBD, as you want to find what fits your needs.

CBD topicals are not for everyone and it is not the only form available either.  Some CBD consumers experiment with other forms of cannabis and hemp products as part of their medicinal regime; while others solely use CBD staying clear of that 0.3% of THC.

Just remember; do your research before purchasing any THC or CBD containing products. You always want to ensure you are purchasing a trustworthy product due to the potential toxic solvents and a product that will work!

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476

https://www.projectcbd.org/science/how-cbd-works

https://www.chicagotribune.com/marijuana/sns-find-high-quality-cbd-oil-20200522-ewzq5nsomva2dictqeyqovr22i-story.html

https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(19)30007-2/fulltext

https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-019-0012-y

 

Sarris, J., Sinclair, J., Karamacoska, D., Davidson, M., & Firth, J. (2020). Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically-focused systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1). 

https://rdcu.be/chHH3

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KEEP IN MIND

Stay calm. Canna-curious is cool! But collect some info first.
If you are:

  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

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Can CBD be your new Meditation Partner?

Can CBD Be Your New Meditation Partner?

Jessica Christion

written by

Jessica Christion

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Jessica Christion

written by

Jessica Christion

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

CBD not only became my new meditation partner, but it can become yours, too. When I was in college, I realized that my anxiety increased dramatically. The added stress of assignments, being worried about life after college, and becoming a functioning adult had a crippling impact. It constantly felt like I had 1,000 alarms going off in my head at the same time. Meditation had previously provided me with stress relief but I hit a wall. I found I was not about to meditate like I once did. 

I was also into CBD at the time, it was really the main thing that allowed me to sleep without waking up worrying about an assignment that was due. It also was the one thing that allowed me to not feel my heart beating out of my chest at the mere thought of going to class the next day. One day I thought to myself, hmmm what if I use CBD during my meditation? The rest was history. Now, I often pair CBD with my meditation practices, and I realized that getting into a more calm state of mind is much easier, all of my missiles in my brain are not firing all at once. It is easier to become an observer of my thoughts. I would love for everyone to experience this combination and I want to explain how you can begin your journey and get to know CBD as your new mediation partner. 

What is CBD?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol and is the second most known and prevalent active ingredient found in the cannabis plant. CBD contains less than 0.3% THC and is legal in all 50 states, so you are in luck! CBD does not interact with the body in the same way THC does as it relates to making you feel the effects of being “high”. A common misconception is that CBD is non-psychoactive which is not true because it still interacts with the brain, just in a slightly different way. To keep it simple and easy for our brains to digest, CBD works with our endocannabinoid system. CBD can help regulate the endocannabinoid system by easing pain as anti-inflammatory, helping you sleep, relieve anxiety, epilepsy, PTSD, and the list goes on. 

What is the endocannabinoid system you ask? The endocannabinoid system helps regulate mood, appetite, sleep, immunity, memory, and pain sensations. It is the host of creating balance in our bodies and when this balance between our body and mind is disrupted it can result in several health-related issues. This is where CBD can come in. CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system in its own way through what is known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These two little receptors are found in both our bodies and in cannabis compounds called endocannabinoids. The CB1 receptors are associated with mood regulation and found primarily in the brain. The CB2 receptors are associated with immune function and inflammation; these are primarily found in your immune system. Another interaction is with our adenosine receptors, found in the same area as CB1, our brains. CBD activates our adenosine receptors and results in lower levels of stress, and anxiety. CBD does something similar with our vanilloid receptors located near the CB2 receptors, by binding to them. Vanilloid receptors are there to control inflammation and temperature regulation producing an anti-inflammatory effect.

 With all of this amazing information being said CBD has been shown to be relatively safe for everyday consumption but too much of it can produce undesired effects; it is important to know your dose by starting small and increasing as you go. It is also important to look for lab test results when purchasing CBD so that you know where your CBD is coming from and that it is safe for your body. Something that is still fairly new in research can be a bit overwhelming but if you are as fidgety and anxiety prone as me, you should give it a try it could be your new go to partner in meditation.

What is Meditation?

It is speculated that meditation has been around since 5000 to 3500 BCE it is an old and well established practice but if you never meditated before you may be wondering what exactly it is and how it improves your everyday lives. Meditation comes from the Latin word meditatum which means to ponder. Meditation is a practice for your mind and body to better understand and cope with your behavior and emotions. Meditation allows you to see how your emotions have a huge influence on your behavior. Many illnesses stem from the stress that we tend to cause our bodies. Meditation works to increase calmness, promote relaxation, improve your mind psychologically, pain regulation, improves focus and overall well-being. 

There are several forms of meditation, here are three main forms of meditation that I enjoy, they are great for beginners as well:

  • Mindfulness Meditation: This is the most common form of meditation and I would recommend this for beginners. The point of Mindfulness Meditation is to try to focus on the present moment, and to be fully aware of your thoughts and emotions becoming an observer of them, without zooming in.
  • Guided Meditation: This form of meditation can also be called visualization, which is the main thing you do during practice. Typically, people find a guided instructor via the internet like YouTube or in person. The guided visualizations offer a deep relaxation and focus on using your senses, smell, touch, sound, sight, and hearing.
  • Transcendental Meditation: This form of meditation uses Mantra. Mantras are words, sounds, or simple phrases that are repeated multiple times throughout your meditation. Phrases can begin with ” I am” for example repeating: ” I am at peace”, ” I am love”,” I will focus on myself in this moment” etc. The idea is to do this form of meditation at least twice a day. I would recommend it when you wake up and before bed.

If this is your first-time hearing about meditation, or you are looking for ways to improve your meditation practice while using CBD here are some super helpful tips: 

  • Find a quiet place where you can be alone. 
  • Place yourself in a comfortable position whether that be lying or sitting, you can even go for a walk.
  • Set an intention for your meditation practice. Setting your intention means to focus your attention on a particular source, so that if your mind wonders you have somewhere to bring your attention back to.  Your intention could be on your breath, a certain set of affirmations, or the reason that you wanted to start meditating in the first place.
  • One misconception about meditation is that you must control every thought that pops in your head, this is impossible. Instead, focus on allowing thoughts to come and go with a visual. A great visual is to picture each thought like a train pulling up to a stop at a train station and then as it takes off, so does the thought. Do not feel upset with yourself for having a stream of thoughts. The point is to notice them and let them flow, without judgement.
  • Also, start off with a 5-minute meditation and gradually increase your time at your own pace. It is your practice for a reason. 

How Can CBD Contribute to Your Practice of Mediation?

Now that we discussed the benefits of CBD and had a glimpse into meditation let’s discuss how you can use them together. CBD and Meditation taken separately, both show similar benefits such as relief from anxiety, pain, stress, issues with sleep, and promote relaxation and over-all calmness so why not combine them? The combination would be helpful for those who have tried meditation and felt as though it was not for them because the mind was too busy racing. For example, A study carried out by Yale University showed that meditation was linked to a decrease in activity as it related to the default mode network which is responsible for mind-wandering. While on the other hand previous studies have shown that CBD shows anti-panic properties, reducing anxiety related symptoms.  CBD can possibly aid in your meditation by being your assistant into that calm, cool and collected state that you desire.

Brewer, J. A., Worhunsky, P. D., Gray, J. R., Tang, Y.-Y., Weber, J., & Kober, H. (2011). Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(50), 20254–20259. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1112029108

Cannabis – News \u0026 Lifestyle. (2019). What Is CBD ? A Scientific Explanation on how CBD oil Works & Impacts the Body | Candid | #cbdoil [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EENvemARPiQ

Fine, P. G., & Rosenfeld, M. J. (2013). The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain. Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, 4(4). https://doi.org/10.5041/rmmj.10129

Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, E. M. S., Gould, N. F., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma, R., Berger, Z., Sleicher, D., Maron, D. D., Shihab, H. M., Ranasinghe, P. D., Linn, S., Saha, S., Bass, E. B., & Haythornthwaite, J. A. (2014).

Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(3), 357. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018

Mead, E. (2019, July 4). The History and Origin of Meditation. PositivePsychology.Com. https://positivepsychology.com/history-of-meditation/

Soares, V. P., & Campos, A. C. (2017). Evidences for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol. Current Neuropharmacology, 15(2), 291–299. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159X14666160509123955

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HEY NEWBIES- START HERE!

KEEP IN MIND

Stay calm. Canna-curious is cool! But collect some info first.
If you are:

  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

NAVIAGTE

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The Truth About CBD and Anxiety

The Truth About CBD and Anxiety

LJG 2021

written by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

LJG 2021

written by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

There are so many claims about CBD and anxiety everywhere you look. With anecdotal and scientific evidence mounting that cannabidiol (CBD) enhances well-being and relaxation with an intensification of ordinary sensory experiences- Answering whether or not CBD is a good treatment for anxiety is not that simple. The complexities of anxiety and the unregulated CBD market require more of consumers than ever before.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to regulate homeostasis. CBD empowers our regulatory system maintain balance. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids like any other nutrient. Cannabis and hemp produce phytocannabinoids that also interact with the ECS.

CBD is largely believed to be “non-psychoactive.” However this is the biggest misconception about the cannabinoid. While CBD does not produce intoxicating effects, it interacts with receptors throughout the brain and body to achieve its effects.

Originally CBD was thought to bind to receptors in our bodies like other cannabinoids. However we’ve come to know that CBD modulates other cannabinoids to ensure that our bodies use more of the other chemical compounds it needs. CBD effects cannabinoid receptors as well as serotonin and pain receptors to decrease anxiety. Other cannabis or hemp chemical compounds including cannabinoids (THC, CBG, CBC, CBN, etc…) terpenes, and flavonoids maybe required to achieve the desired effect.

Dosing CBD for Anxiety

CBD is biphasic- that means too high or too low doses can produce opposite effects. Therefore each individual should “start low and go slow” to find their optimal dose of CBD. If overused, you could experience nausea, fatigue, and/or irritability. The use of tinctures are thought to be best for anxiety as they are easiest to dose.

Shopping for CBD to Treat Anxiety

As the hemp CBD market is as of yet unregulated, it requires a savvy consumer to identify the best products. The best CBD products are those that are fully transparent about their products. CBD retailers should disclose all the information about the contains of their products including the use of batch testing and QR code labeling. Consumers should be sure to buy products from a trusted retailed and review the Certificate of Analysis (COA) to help ensure the quality of a CBD product. COAs provide scientific analysis of the cannabinoid, terpene, and contaminant profile. A good rule of thumb- if it seems too expensive or too cheap, there’s probably a good reason.

Knowing all this about CBD is anxiety producing alone. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your CBD product of choice prior to public speaking or going to a party. It’s best to consult your doctor if you are taking any mediations to ensure there aren’t any drug interaction complications.

Effects of CBD to Treat Anxiety

It’s also important to note that CBD also be derived from cannabis/marijuana plants. With higher levels of other cannabinoids, there may be more risks involved for those living with anxiety. The most important acute adverse effects caused by cannabis are anxiety and panic attacks, and with regard to somatic effects increased heart rate and changes in blood pressure.

Whether you choose to treat anxiety with CBD or not, changing your habits can change your experience of anxiety. Mental health therapy and natural remedies including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and relaxation practices (meditation & yoga) are important to decreasing anxiety.

https://www.scielo.br/scielo.phpscript=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-44462019000100009&tlng=en
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2019/winter/6960-cannabis.html
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27353308/
https://www.nature.com/articles/npp20116?foxtrotcallback=true
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20829306/
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0269881117737400

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HEY NEWBIES- START HERE!

KEEP IN MIND

Stay calm. Canna-curious is cool! But collect some info first.
If you are:

  • under 25 years old
  • taking any medication
  • at risk for heart disease
  • family history of psychosis
  • family history of mood disorders
  • family history of addiction

…please be sure to consult a medical or mental health professional.

NAVIAGTE

EXPLORE

Don’t Be Afraid Of Your Brain- Learn About The Surprising Impact Of CBD On Psychosis

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Brain- Learn About the Surprising Impact of CBD on Psychosis

Caroline Platzman

written by

Caroline Platzman

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Caroline Platzman

written by

Caroline Platzman

LJG 2021

reviewed by

Laura Geftman, LCSW

In both the scientific community as well as in our own, a lot of people question if Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a viable treatment option for psychosis- and the truth is, the answer is not yet known but research is ongoing. As the scientific community does its part to find the answers for us, it is important we take a moment to understand the research that we do have so far. If you or someone you love lives with symptoms of psychosis, you may have already looked into CBD as a potential alternative yourself, as CBD is becoming more and more mainstream. So, let’s break it down.

As we know, medical CBD is used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, low appetite, insomnia, muscle spasms, autism, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases, and other conditions. The list goes on! With that said, research suggests CBD may also have the potential to reduce psychotic symptom severity and improve cognitive ability in patients experiencing psychosis.

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is an umbrella term that refers to symptoms of delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking that demonstrate a detachment from reality. Chronic, or ongoing, psychosis is associated with diagnoses such as Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective disorder and Delusional disorder. Psychosis can mean sensing something that isn’t there or believing in something that isn’t reality. It can also mean having thoughts that don’t make sense or seem unclear. Sometimes, psychosis looks and sounds obvious: for instance, someone who might be yelling “FIRE!” and claiming to smell smoke, where there is no smell or apparent cause for alarm to others. Feelings of anxiety and paranoia can accompany episodes of psychosis and cause extreme distress in the person experiencing it.

A lot of times, though, psychosis might not appear so overtly. Symptoms might display in ways other than agitation or yelling. Someone experiencing psychosis might tell you in detail about how they worked for the FBI for 20 years (when they are only, say, 30), or how they are going to Oxford University next fall (they are intelligent, but you do not recall them even mentioning an application). Another example would include someone experiencing feelings of anxiety due to the belief they are being watched, and acting on that belief. Episodes of psychosis manifest differently in different people, and can sometimes even pass as reality.

What is the relationship between CBD and psychosis?

Because psychotic symptoms can be so individualized as well as unpredictable, much research has concluded that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis, may have the potential to exacerbate psychosis. However, CBD may be another story. Due to research still being young, “there is currently encouraging, albeit embryonic, evidence for medicinal cannabis in the treatment of a range of psychiatric disorders” (Sarris et al., 2020).

CBD is known to have natural antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties. In a clinical setting, CBD has been shown to fight psychosis, as it is associated with an improvement in acute symptoms as well as fewer side effects and inconsistencies than traditional antipsychotic medications. Compared to common traditional antipsychotic medications, which are notorious for producing a variety of adverse side effects, the therapeutic impact of CBD for many seems like a promising alternative that comes at virtually little to no cost.

Some research suggests CBD may help to reduce abnormal brain activity associated with symptoms and have the ability to ‘reset’ the brain, normalizing the brain into a state of equilibrium (Bhattacharyya et al., 2018). According to the 2018 study, just one 600mg dose of CBD has the power to partially manipulate specific regions of the brain and counteract psychosis (Bhattacharyya et al., 2018). Another recent study suggests that CBD use in those living with Schizophrenia helps to decrease the severity of symptoms over time (Khan et al., 2020). In addition, CBD for Schizophrenia has “particularly promising effects in the early stages of illness” (Batalla et al., 2019).

While some research has shown some promise for CBD in relation to psychosis, more research is needed to determine the therapeutic effects of CBD on psychosis. It might be wise to also consider anecdotal evidence regarding the use of CBD for treating symptoms of psychosis while scientific research slowly increases.

Bottom line

The science regarding the effects of CBD on psychosis generates hope, but it is still in its juvenile stages. It remains unclear as to whether CBD can be an effective long-term solution to treating symptoms of psychosis. It is important to remember that because each individual is different, effects of CBD can vary, and CBD may need to be used as an adjunct in order to produce results. More research is needed and ongoing; according to Batalla et al. (2019), “future studies should focus on the effects of CBD on psychotic disorders in different stages of illness, together with the effects on comorbid substance use”.

While the effects of CBD as a treatment for psychosis remain unclear, CBD definitely has versatile medical implications that continue to astound researchers. What we do know is that CBD has not been shown to necessarily exacerbate psychosis, and it is clear that the beneficial properties of CBD could conceivably be utilized to yield safer, more tolerable alternatives to traditional antipsychotic medications. However, further research is required to more accurately dismantle and assess the advantages and disadvantages of CBD for psychosis.

For more information on CBD and mental health, check out:

  •  

Batalla, A., Janssen, H., Gangadin, S.S., Bossong, M.G. (2019). The Potential of Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Psychosis and Addiction: Who Benefits Most? A Systematic Review. J Clin Med; 8(7):1058. doi: 10.3390/jcm8071058. PMID: 31330972; PMCID: PMC6678854. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31330972/

 

Bhattacharyya, S., Wilson, R., Appiah-Kusi, E., et al. (2018). Effect of Cannabidiol on Medial Temporal, Midbrain, and Striatal Dysfunction in People at Clinical High Risk of Psychosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry; 75(11): 1107–1117. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.2309

 

Davies, C. & Bhattacharyya, S. (2019). Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for psychosis. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol;9:2045125319881916. doi: 10.1177/2045125319881916. PMID: 31741731; PMCID: PMC6843725. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31741731/

 

DiSalvo, D. (2018). Study: CBD from marijuana may ‘reset’ the brain to counteract symptoms of psychosis. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2018/08/31/study-cbd-from-marijuana-may-reset-the-brain-to-counteract-symptoms-of-psychosis/#3db8daf06a36

 

Hahn, B. (2018). The Potential of Cannabidiol Treatment for Cannabis Users With Recent-Onset Psychosis. Schizophrenia bulletin, 44(1): 46–53. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbx105

 

Khan, R., Naveed, S., Mian, N. et al. (2020). The therapeutic role of Cannabidiol in mental health:  a systematic review. Journal of Cannabis Research, 2(2). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-019-0012-y

 

McGuire, P., Robson, P., Wieslaw, J.C., et al. (2017). Cannabidiol (CBD) as an adjunctive therapy in schizophrenia: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Psychology, 175(3): 225-231.

https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17030325?journalCode=ajp&

Sarris, J., Sinclair, J., Karamacoska, D., Davidson, M., Firth, J. (2020). Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically-focused systematic review. BMC Psychiatry; 20(1):24. doi: 10.1186/s12888-019-2409-8. PMID: 31948424; PMCID: PMC6966847. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31948424/