A new study has some good news for people who fear public speaking—or suffer from acute anxiety in general. The marijuana component cannabidiol, or CBD, seems to help.
The study, published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, tested how CBD influences anxiety in a simulated public speaking setting, “a well-tested anxiety-inducing method.”
The researchers analyzed self-reported anxiety test results as well as physiological markers like blood pressure and heart rate in 57 male subjects throughout the experiment. Participants received either 150mg, 300mg or 600mg of CBD, or a placebo in the randomized, double-blind test.
Earlier research has demonstrated that CBD can mitigate anxiety in a dose-dependent manner. The present study reached the same conclusion: The impact of CBD on anxiety followed a U-shaped dose-response curve.
Here’s how the experiment worked.
Participants were shown an instructional video and given two minutes to come up with a four-minute speech about public transportation in their neighborhood. Anxiety markers were tested before, in the middle of and after their speeches.
Self-reports about anxiety levels showed that the group that received the 300mg CBD dose “showed lower anxiety levels” compared to the placebo group. Also, the higher (600mg) and lower (150mg) dose “had little or no effect on [public speaking] anxiety, and a significant response was only achieved with an intermediate dose.”
Via the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry.
“Confirming several preclinical and clinical studies, our results indicate that acute doses of CBD can decrease anxiety,” the researchers wrote.
“In conclusion, we observed again that single acute doses of CBD cause an inverted U-shaped dose-response pattern in human subjects submitted to an experimental model of anxiety,” the study found. “The narrow therapeutic window of CBD makes it difficult to use the drug in clinical settings before rigorous chronic dose-response clinical trials have established optimal doses.”
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Marijuana Ingredient Reduces Anxiety During Public Speaking, Study Shows
Let’s face it- life can be hard and stressful with all of its “adult responsibilities” bestowed upon us. Some days it feels like we just get up to go to work, pay the bills and hope to get one hour of solitude in before rinsing and repeating in what I call the “adult lifecycle”.
The good news is that you don’t have to let stress get in your way when you have cannabis — nature’s very own way of saying “don’t worry; be happy”. Forget about the daily grind and take a gander at these six amazing ways you can relieve stress with cannabis (in no particular order):
Netflix and chill
Call it what you will, one of the most relaxing (and fun!) pastime activities on the face of Snoop’s green earth has to be watching your favorite shows on the ‘Flix with your preferred partner in crime while sharing a fat bowl of greens. Nothing says “suck it, life!” more than succumbing to the simple pleasures.
Topical body massages
If you’ve never had a full body massage with a cannabinoid-packed topical, stop what you’re doing and get on it because it will change your life. Cannabis topical creams and ointments produce incredibly relaxing results by soaking into the skin and binding with your endocannabinoid receptors, giving your whole body the tingly jinglies while the stress just melts away.
Cannabis and crafts
There are tons of fun hobbies and crafts to get into if you’re looking for a way to let your creative juices flow. Try taking a pottery class or one of the wildly entertaining “Puff Pass & Paint” sessions that mix cannabis with creativity. Nothing is more satisfying than creating crafty masterpieces while getting baked like your mama’s lasagna.
Staying active is one of the keys to reducing stress, so if you’re a runner or hiker (or want to start), perhaps popping an edible and going for a jaunt is in your cards. Long distance ultra-marathon gods like Avery Collins not only take copious amounts of edibles before going on 5k “warm-up” runs in order to make it more fun, but also to alleviate aches and pains associated with treating his body like a machine day-in, day-out.
Smack some balls around
Not a golfer? Fret not, because once you’ve tried “aqua golf” with your favorite strain inhabiting your body, you’ll wish you had tried this years ago. There’s something extremely relaxing about hitting floating balls into a body of water and knowing you’re not the one who has to go get them.
Comedy and cannabis
It’s no secret that most comedians smoke weed. A LOT of weed. How else could they possibly come up with films about a teacher going to prison for feeding a diabetic police horse sugar-laden munchies? (Looking at you, Dave Chapelle)
Check out who’s coming to town at your local comedy club and buy some tickets (and a whole lot of reefer) for you and your crew. The more stoned you get, the more appreciative the comic will be when you’re the only ones laughing at even their lamest of jokes.
The cannabis plant is made up of more than 500 unique, natural compounds, including around 85 cannabinoids. Of these, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) stands out, due to its psychoactive properties. In other words, it’s the reason a person feels high, euphoric, or in an altered state of mind. High THC levels are sought after by recreational because it produces a better, longer-lasting “buzz”. Medical cannabis users, researchers and medical professionals also recognize that it has medicinal properties that can be applied to a variety of illnesses, ailments and conditions. It’s a fascinating substance, but what, exactly, is THC and what are its medicinal applications?
What Is THC?
The answer to this question is actually quite simple, THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It’s chemically similar to cannabinoids that the human body already makes for the endocannabinoid system, therefore it readily connects to special receptors in the brain, as well as those within the immune system. The receptors in the brain are primarily associated with pleasure, memory, thinking, appetite, coordination and time perception. Researchers are currently looking at the role these immune system receptors play in the treatment of diseases, such as cancer.
One of the most well-known medical uses for THC is to treat nausea and vomiting associated with certain diseases and conventional treatments, like chemotherapy. It’s also known for its appetite-stimulation properties, which is beneficial to patients whose appetite is suppressed due to illnesses, such as anorexia. It’s also been used effectively to treat lack of appetite in Alzheimer’s patients, who had previously refused to eat. What’s more, users of cannabis for increasing appetite and decreasing nausea tend to maintain a stable body weight over the long-term. While some patients smoke the plant, others use it in its edible form, both methods have proven effective.
Pain and Inflammation
Doctors generally prescribe opioids for severe, chronic pain. The problem is, these drugs carry with them a high risk of addiction, especially with long-term use. What’s more, opioid use has negative impacts on the quality of life for patients. THC has proven to be useful in treating chronic pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, headache, menstrual pain, chronic bowel inflammation and nerve damage. There is a low risk of addiction, unlike opioid use, and fewer side effects. A study by the University of Michigan, involving 185 patients, showed that medical cannabis patients also reported a 45-percent increase in their quality of life.
Anxiety and Depression
Millions of people across the country suffer from anxiety and depression, for which doctors generally prescribe anti-depressant medications. The problem with these drugs is that they are addictive, and often have accompanying negative side-effects such as suicidal thoughts. THC, on the other hand, does not carry with it side effects. In fact, in smaller doses, it increases serotonin levels, which can offer relief from depression. According to one study, there was a decrease in the number of suicides for 15 to 19-year old men in states that have legalized medical cannabis, compared to states where it is not legal.
While all of the medical benefits of THC have yet to be discovered, or applied, it is preferable, in may cases, to highly-addictive opioids and other medications. It has been difficult, up until now, for doctors and researchers to experiment with cannabinoids due to its status as a Schedule I drug. However, as more states legalize the plant for medical use, it is likely that research will become easier, and more conclusive. Until then, proponents of medical cannabis use will continue to offer anecdotal evidence of its benefits and effectiveness. Likewise, opponents will continue to point towards out-dated, inaccurate information as the basis for their desire to keep it designated as an illegal substance with no medical benefits.
While the most popular strains seem to be forever-stocked on nearly all cannabis dispensary shelves, it is always nice to discover lesser-known or proprietary genetics that deserve more attention. I recently had the pleasure of discovering one such example in the Sour Apple Maui strain grown and sold by Oasis Cannabis Superstore in Denver, Colorado.
I entered Oasis Cannabis Superstore on 44th Ave without a specific strain in mind, which could easily become an overwhelming situation considering that they keep more than 100 strains on hand at all times. I was lucky enough to be helped by Lanai, a friendly and knowledgeable veteran member of the Oasis team, who was able to quickly point me in the direction of Sour Apple Maui. (Big thanks, Lanai. You rock!)
Lanai selects flowers of Cherry Lime Rickey after filling a gram of Sour Apple Maui at Oasis Cannabis Superstore.
Sour Apple Maui
Sour Diesel x Power Plant x Maui Waui
Oasis Cannabis Superstore, 5430 West 44th Avenue, Denver, CO 80212
Sour Apple Maui flower from Oasis Cannabis Superstore.
This sample of Sour Apple Maui is reminiscent of flora found on a tropical island. These dense flowers fade from dark green at the core to lighter, lime-green on the edges. Each bud was speckled with bright orange hairs (pistils) and shimmering concentrations of kief (trichomes). Once ripped in half and upon closer inspection, I noticed a few tiny leaves that were slightly purple in color.
These flowers smelled sweet and earthy with strong undertones of fuel and citrus. It likely contains higher quantities of limonene, a terpene found in cannabis, citrus fruits, juniper and several other plants, known to help to increase mental focus and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Full disclosure, I was slightly nervous about trying Sour Apple Maui for a couple of reasons. First of all, it tested highest for THC out of all strains available at Oasis, maxing out at 27 percent, and strains super high in THC often leave me with a racing heart. I usually prefer heavy indicas, but Sour Apple Maui is an 80 percent sativa dominant strain. I may have been skeptical, but I will forever trust Lanai’s recommendations because she was spot-on with this one. It provided me with just the right amount of cerebral relaxation to remain calm and clear-headed, in-the-moment, and therefore able to concentrate on one task at a time.
Just as the label very clearly stated, this strain is perfect for those, like myself, who suffer from ADD. I also found it to be a phenomenal pain reliever. It eradicated the headache I woke up with almost instantly. The Oasis team also, understandably, recommends this strain in the treatment of depression, fatigue and muscle spasms.
Officially on my list of favorites, Sour Apple Maui has become my go-to strain for summer. If it were a song, it’d be “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin because whether you’re relaxing by the pool, hiking a new trail or playing frisbee at the park, Sour Apple Maui will leave you carefree and in-the-moment. It may also be a good option for those seeking daytime pain relief at work, or for anyone suffering from PTSD.
With medical laws sweeping the nation, more and more patients are eligible for legal and safe access to cannabis — or at least the right to legally possess and consume it. As of June 2015, 14 states had passed “CBD-only” laws, programs designed to provide safe access to low-THC, high CBD (cannabidiol) cannabis oil for a limited set of diseases. In many states, including Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma, the only qualifying condition is epilepsy or debilitating seizures.
CBD-Only Laws Relatively Ineffective
Such laws are primarily motivated by childhood epilepsy and intended to curb the occurrence of seizures. Unfortunately, most are relatively ineffective and more a political stunt to gain reelection than an effort to truly help sick adults and children. Many of these patients gain no benefit from conventional pharmaceutical treatments. Many CBD-only states, however, are providing no safe access to an organic medicine that can easily be extracted into a concentrated form and given to children twice a day.
Often, such limited medical cannabis laws are given the name of a child patient who helped inspire them them or was cited as a reason to support the legislation, such as the Harper Grace Durval bill (Mississippi), the Haleigh’s Hope Act (Georgia), and the Alexis Carey bill (Idaho). Unfortunately, such laws serve a minority of childhood epilepsy sufferers. Current research and anecdotal evidence has revealed that CBD-only oils significantly reduce seizure activity in less than one-third of patients. Thus, seven out of 10 children with severe epileptic conditions like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome do not gain effective improvement to their condition and a significant decrease in seizures from CBD only.
CBD-only states that limit the herbal extract to only epilepsy also discount the most common condition for which CBD oil is administered: Cancer. By allowing only patients suffering seizures or childhood epileptics to use CBD oil, politicians most intent on re-election discount a sizeable portion of their citizens and millions of sick people when they so tightly limit the scope of their state’s CBD law.
No Access to Medicine
Some experts have observed that a network of dispensaries that provide trained budtenders and sage advice to desperate patients is typically not available in most states that have implemented CBD-only medical cannabis laws. Laws that merely legalize and remove penalties from the possession or consumption of something like CBD oil, but that do nothing to provide safe access to medicine and consulting for patients are of little real help.
Some have opined that current CBD legislation in many states is merely a political ploy to satisfy medical cannabis and patient advocates and put up a roadblock to future legislation that is more comprehensive and less restrictive. In other words, the governors and legislatures of many conservative states have beaten cannabis activists and legalization groups like NORML and MPP (Marijuana Policy Project) to the punch with their own highly diluted, mostly ineffective laws.
Also, programs that cater to a single disease like epilepsy reach a very small portion of the overall patient population. According to the MPP:
“…only two percent of the registered patients in both Rhode Island and Colorado report seizures as their qualifying conditions.”
This reveals that CBD-only laws sometimes provide safe access to very few patients. Unfortunately, MPP reported that “The vast majority of [all medical cannabis] patients have symptoms that benefit from strains of marijuana that include more than trace amounts of THC.”
Critics and Lip Service
Vocal critics of CBD-only legislation include Paul Armentano, the Deputy Director of NORML. Armentano has called such laws “largely unworkable” and believes that this is due to the tight restrictions they place on doctors and patients. For example, Tennessee, Utah, and Florida provide access to CBD oil not via dispensaries and retail outlets like those in Portland, Seattle, Denver, and Los Angeles, but instead limit qualified patients to those participating in a special FDA clinical trial.
This obviously greatly limits participation and access, delivering help to very few actual patients after the hype of national press releases and photo opps has passed. In addition, patients in such states are shown no respect in terms of their desire or right to choose their own variety and brand of cannabis medicine from the retail outlet of their choice. Such limited access results in programs that are more lip service than actual help for millions of patients, their caregivers, and their families. In essence, many such programs are a monumental societal-level taunt, inviting very sick patients and desperate parents to participate in programs with very little actual effectiveness.
Patients are increasingly seeking high-CBD varieties of cannabis for treatment of many diseases and conditions, most notably cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, pain, and anxiety. There is also evidence that adult seizure patients, especially females, have a greater need for THC than other sufferers. Even if most states were actually providing safe, reliable access to high-quality, laboratory tested CBD oil containing no THC, the latest research indicates that such a limited approach that disregards the benefits of whole plant therapy helps few children — and actually increased seizure activity for some.
One study published in 2014 and conducted by Dr. Kevin Chapman involved 58 children, with an average age of seven, with “catastrophic forms of epilepsy.” It found that less than 30 percent of children treated with CBD-only oil containing very little or no THC experienced a reduction in seizures of 50 percent or greater. When THC is added to the mix, the majority of patients begin to experience a reduction in seizure activity. It is also estimated that many patients who gain marginal or even good efficacy from CBD-only oil would experience even greater therapeutic benefits if their medicine also contained some THC, even in small amounts or maybe at a 1:1 ratio with CBD.
A 2015 CBD Patient Survey conducted by Care by Design surveyed 2,495 patients between March and August of 2015. One of the survey’s key findings was the fact that CBD oils lacking THC are not as therapeutic or effective as those containing between 20 and 35 percent THC. Concluded the survey:
“THC matters. A higher ratio of CBD to THC does not result in better therapeutic outcomes. Patients using the 4:1 CBD-to-THC were the most likely to report a reduction in pain or discomfort….”
The survey goes on to note that patients who use an oil featuring a 2:1 CBD-to-THC ratio reported “the greatest improvement in overall wellbeing.” This confirms other research that has discovered that CBD and THC interact synergistically to enhance the therapeutic effect of the other, an example of the entourage effect.
Anecdotal Patient Testimonies
Many desperate parents of children with epilepsy have experimented with CBD oil. Unfortunately — as research has indicated — for the majority of them, oils high in CBD, but low in THC, do not work best for their children. Jason David has been treating his seven-year-old son, Jayden, an epilepsy sufferer with Dravet syndrome, with medical cannabis in one form or another since 2011. Dravet is one of the worst manifestations of epilepsy and does not respond to conventional treatments. Said David:
“I wish Charlotte’s Web [a CBD-only oil from Colorado] worked for all epileptic kids, but it doesn’t. The worst seizures Jayden ever had on medical cannabis was while we were using Charlotte’s Web.”
Brian Wilson, a former East Coast resident, moved to Colorado in 2014 because of its medical cannabis law. He is another parent of a child suffering from Dravet syndrome. In an interview with Ladybud in 2014, Wilson said:
“CBD is a very important part of the mix, but only part. We saw minor seizure control and developmental progress with CBD alone, but we didn’t see real seizure control until we added measurable levels of THC to the mix.”
Wilson also noted that the acidic precursor to THC, THC-A, provides significant therapeutic value to some patients. “This is highly individualized medicine. There is no magic bullet,” he added.
Some medical cannabis advocates believe that vague CBD-only bills “betray the science behind cannabis medicine.” Patients are finding that CBD, without any THC, is simply not effective or is marginally effect, when clearly superior solutions exist. In fact, several cases like that of Jason David and his son Jayden have been reported in which CBD only increased seizure disorders, often during times of illness, stress, or hormonal change.
More Research Necessary
Unfortunately, until cannabis is removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act of the federal government — which considers it as dangerous and addictive as heroin and bath salts — human trials and detailed research will fail to occur in the United States. Even cocaine and methamphetamine, truly addictive and dangerous drugs, are categorized as Schedule II and can be prescribed by a doctor.
Until Congress commits to comprehensive research into the medical efficacy of cannabis for a wide variety of diseases and ailments, tens of millions of patients throughout the country will needlessly suffer. More must be understood about the delicate and nuanced interplay of cannabinoids and terpenes and how they benefit patients with a variety of conditions. Until this happens, a naturally occurring herb that could be helping a sizable portion of the patient population will continue to be outlawed, denying the sick safe access to a 10,000-year-old organic medicine.