Better Living through Hemp: The healing effects of Cannabidiol (CBD)
Authored by: Lisa Cicetti
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always check with your physician before starting any new supplement program.
Subjects experience psychological and physiological effects after ingesting cannabis because cannabinoids, THC in particular, interact with a complex and dense receptor system within the body (Earleywine, 2002). The CB1 receptors, first identified in the late 1980s, reside predominantly in the nervous system and their stimulation is responsible for the plant’s psychoactive and behavioral effects, among other functions. The CB2 receptors, identified in the early 1990s, reside primarily in the immune system and are involved in the moderation of a number of biological functions, including inflammation and pain response. Naturally occurring chemicals in human body (so-called endo-cannabinoids), which possess a similar molecular structure to herbal cannabinoids, act as neuro-modulators and cytokine modulators within this receptor system to regulate many of the body’s essential physiological functions such as appetite, blood pressure, reproduction, bone growth, tumor modulation, immunity, inflammation, pain sensation, memory, and muscle tone, among others. It is theorized that a properly functioning endogenous cannabinoid receptor system is necessary for good health (Melamede, 2005) and that certain disease types may be the result of deficiencies within this system (Russo, 2008). According to a National Institutes of Health review, “Modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system … holds therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hyper- tension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few” (Pacher, 2006).
The Cannabis plant is comprised of many components. One primary group are the cannabinoids. The THC cannabinoid is what provides the high; this is the psychoactive component. The cannabinoid that we are focusing on in this paper is cannabidiol, a non- psychoactive cannabinoid. This study and this document have nothing to do with national discourse over legal marijuana – either for medicinal or recreational use.
For the sake of accuracy, we investigated crystalline cannabidiol. More precisely, with all the marketers and vendors in this space, we investigated one very particular crystalline cannabidiol: CBD PUR.
What is CBD PUR?
CBD PUR is naturally derived cannabidiol. In accordance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this is imported from outside the United States. It is derived naturally, and is not synthetic. All claims as to the purity and origination have been verified. As a matter of fact, samples provided for manufacture are tested for accuracy and then the manufactured product is again tested for accuracy.
While we are talking about testing, it is appropriate to discuss what is cannabis, hemp, and CBD PUR. Cannabis and in turn hemp have THC. THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive component of marijuana. Different strains of cannabis have different concentrations of THC. CBD PUR has no THC. The product was carefully analyzed and tested in ever1y stage of the manufacture process. Since no THC is present, none can be detected. The FDA does allow for trace amounts of THC, under 0.03% in CBD rich hemp oil being sold commercially. Even at these minuscule levels, THC will trigger a positive indication on testing urine drug testing. CBD PUR will not show positive on a urine drug screen.
CBD PUR is a naturally derived cannabidiol. In accordance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this is imported from outside the United States. It is derived naturally, and is not synthetic. All claims as to the purity and origination have been verified.
In a very short window, four weeks, participants were provided the CBD PUR in a gel cap delivery system. Participants were provided a battery of psychological, neuropsychological and physiological testing instruments to assess their present state as a baseline to measure the effectiveness of CBD PUR. Participants were assessed pre and post with a battery of instruments comprised of:
- Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG)
- The Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test (IVA)
- The Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS).
- The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
- The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)
- The post-traumatic Stress Inventory, Civilian Version (PCL-C).
- Systems Survey Maestro
**At weekly segments, participants were administered the BAI and the BDI.
- Thirty five signed up for the project
- Twenty completed the project
- Males that completed: 7
- Females that completed: 13
- Age of participants in project: 20 to 72
- Age of participants that completed project: 22 to 50
- Educational level of participants: GED/high school to doctoral level
- Ethnically: project was comprised of primarily Caucasian with some Hispanic individuals (no African Americans, Asians, or Native Americans participated in this project).
- Geographically: all participants were residing in the South Florida area at the time of this investigation.
ALL calculations performed via ANOVA with repeated measures (a more precise procedure than Paired T-test)
.05 is significant (5 out of 100)
.01 is more significant (1 out of 100)
.001 is even more significant (1 out of 1,000)
Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG):
An examination of the aggregate data uncovered through both the neuropsychological testing data and the norm-referenced Quantitative EEG brain mapping data, showed a significant and meaningful improvement along key clinical dimensions in most clients.
The neuropsychological testing suggests increases in basic cognitive functions related to attention control and memory. This finding may be shocking to those who incorrectly equate ANY cannabis-related product without THC to “street” marijuana and it is documented negative impacts on these very cognitive functions.
At the same time, it is important to note the transformations that many of the client’s brains underwent when their EEG profiles were examined. One finding was a significant increase in “relaxing” slow wave surface amplitudes in the posterior section of the brain; a pattern commonly associated with increased relaxation and emotional composure. Perhaps even more intriguing, via a deeper analysis of brain function via Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA) EEG, were signs of increased calm in and around the medial forebrain bundle area. This would suggest far less anxiety and anticipatory stress associated with novelty and learning in general. Clients that suffer from chronic Post Traumatic Stress have a natural fearfulness and apprehension with novelty, which perpetuates the PTSD, inhibits new adaptations to experience, and negatively impacts learning and cognitive function in general.
These initial results carry with them the responsibility for careful follow up with greater research data gathering controls and a more detailed and sophisticated statistical analysis. At the same time, such encouraging initial results deserve further study and open minded investigation (Gismondi, 2015).
The Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test (IVA):
The IVA+Plus is a 15-minute integrated visual and auditory test of attention and response control (CPT). Using the IVA+Plus can uncover if a student is a visual or an auditory processor, if they perform better under high demand or low demand conditions, and how long they are able to maintain focus. The main test task, which lasts approximately thirteen minutes, presents 500 trials of visual and auditory 1’s and 2’s in a pseudo-random pattern, requiring a set-shift between the visual and auditory modalities. (Brain Train, 2015). The Integrated Visual and Auditory (I.V.A.) continuous performance test (CPT) is a screening tool used in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures (parent and teacher behavior rating scales, QEEG, T.O.V.A.) to assist in the screening of individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of neuro-feedback training or medication (AngelFire, 2015).
RESULTS: one of the six subtests was statistically significantly changed
The Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS):
RBANS provides a brief, individually administered battery to measure cognitive decline or improvement across these domains: immediate memory (list learning and story memory); visuospatial/constructional (figure copy and line orientation); language (picture naming and semantic fluency); attention (digit span and coding); and delayed memory (list recall, list recognition, story memory, and figure recall). The uses and applications of the RBANS are to: screen for deficits in acute-care settings; track recovery during rehabilitation; track progression of neurological disorders; and screen for neuro-cognitive status in adolescents (Pearson Clinical, RBANS, 2015).
RESULTS: four of the six subtests were statistically significantly changed
The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI):
The BAI is a screen for anxiety. Patients respond to 21 items rated on a scale from 0 to 3. Each item is descriptive of subjective, somatic, or panic-related symptoms of anxiety. The BAI has been found to discriminate well between anxious and non-anxious diagnostic groups in a variety of clinical populations (Pearson Clinical, BAI, 2015).
RESULTS: not only was there statistically significant change in the four weeks, there was measurable change in one week
The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI):
The BDI is the most widely used instrument for detecting depression and takes only five minutes to complete. It consists of 21 items to assess the intensity of depression in clinical and normal patients. Each item is a list of four statements arranged in increasing severity about a particular symptom of depression (Pearson Clinical, BDI, 2015).
RESULTS: not only was there statistically significant change in the four weeks, there was measurable change in one week
The post-traumatic Stress Inventory, Civilian Version (PCL-C):
The PCL-C is a 20-item self-report measure that assesses the symptoms of PTSD. The PCL has a variety of purposes, including: monitoring symptom change during and after treatment; screening individuals for PTSD, and for making a provisional PTSD diagnosis (Veterans Administration, 2015).
RESULTS: statistically significant change in four weeks
Systems Survey Maestro:
The Systems Survey Maestro has been designed using custom algorithms based on years of clinical experience to carefully evaluate the individual patient nutritional needs. The survey is divided into 15 categories, each section a major physiological system in the body.
The sections listed below were the sections that statistically showed a significant posttest reduction of symptoms as compared to the pretest answers for the group as a whole. These symptom questions were designed and grouped to reflect the different body systems under nutritional stress, for example, symptoms that reflect sympathetic stress are grouped together under the sympathetic category and symptoms that reflect digestive stress are grouped together under the digestion category. The goal was to see if taking CBD for a month would reduce the overall symptoms listed on the pretest.
1 – Sympathetic (P-Value = 0.0029468850)
Sympathetic nervous system: A part of the nervous system that serves to accelerate the heart rate, constrict blood vessels, and raise blood pressure. Results based on symptom reduction of this system, modulated towards a homeostatic balance, after taking CBD for one month. This statistic would indicate further study.
- Acid foods upset
- Get chilled often
- “Lump” in throat
- Dry mouth-eyes-nose
- Pulse speeds after meal
- Keyed up – fail to calm
- Gag easily
- Unable to relax; startles easily
- Extremities cold, clammy
- Strong light irritates
- Urine amount reduced
- Heart pounds after retiring
- “Nervous” stomach
- Appetite reduced
- Cold sweats often
- Fever easily raised
- Neuralgia-like pains
- Staring, blinks little
- Sour stomach often
2 – Parasympathetic (P-Value = 0.0096958819)
Parasympathetic nervous system: The part of the involuntary nervous system that serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity, and relax the sphincter muscles
- Joint stiffness on arising
- Muscle-leg-toe cramps at night
- “Butterfly” stomach, cramps
- Eyes or nose watery
- Eyes blink often
- Eyelids swollen, puffy
- Indigestion soon after meals
- Always seems hungry; feels “lightheaded” often
- Digestion rapid
- Vomiting frequently
- Hoarseness frequent
- Breathing irregular
- Pulse slow; feels “irregular”
- Gagging reflex slow
- Difficulty swallowing
- Constipation, diarrhea alternating
- “Slow starter”
- Get “chilled” infrequently
- Perspire easily
- Circulation poor, sensitive to cold
- Subject to colds, asthma
3 – Sugar Handling – (P-Value = 0.0065962137)
- Eat when nervous
- Excessive appetite
- Hungry between meals
- Irritable before meals
- Get “shaky” if hungry
- Fatigue, eating relieves
- “Lightheaded” if meals delayed
- Heart palpitates if meals missed or delayed
- Fatigue in afternoons
- Overeating sweets upsets
- Awaken after few hours sleep – hard to get back to sleep
- Crave candy or coffee in afternoons
- Moods of “blues” or melancholy
- Craving for sweets or snacks
4 – Cardiovascular – (P-Value = 0.0443934649)
- Hands and feet go to sleep
- Sigh frequently, “air hunger”
- Aware of “breathing heavily”
- High altitude discomfort
- Opens windows in closed rooms
- Susceptible to colds and fevers
- Afternoon “yawner”
- Get “drowsy” often
- Swollen ankles, worse at night
- Muscle cramps, worse during exercise; get “charley horses”
- Shortness of breath on exertion
- Tightness or pressure in chest, worse on exertion
- Bruise easily, “black and blue”
- Tendency to anemia
- Noises in head, or “ringing in ears”
- Fatigue on exertion
5 – Biliary/liver system (P-Value = 0.0000391677)
Showed a decrease in symptoms based on results of the symptom questionnaire.
- Dry skin
- Burning feet
- Blurred vision
- Itching skin and feet
- Excessive falling hair
- Frequent skin rashes
- Bitter, metallic taste in mouth in morning
- Bowel movements painful or difficult
- Worrier, feels insecure
- Nausea occasionally after eating
- Greasy foods upset
- Stools light colored
- Skin peels on foot soles
- Discomfort between shoulder blades
- Occasional laxative use
- Stools alternate from soft to watery
- Sneezing attacks
- Dreaming nightmare type dreams
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Milk products cause distress
- Sensitive to hot weather
- Burning or itching anus
- Crave sweets
6 – Digestive – (P-Value = 0.0137431219)
- Loss of taste for meat
- Lower bowel gas several hours after eating
- Burning stomach sensations, eating relieves
- Coated tongue
- Pass large amounts of foul-smelling gas
- Indigestion 1/2 – 1 hour after eating; may be up to 3-4 hours after
- Watery or loose stool
- Gas shortly after eating
- Stomach “bloating”
7A – Hyperthyroid – (P-Value = 0.0010409657)
symptoms were decreased significantly on the post questionnaire.
- Can’t gain weight
- Intolerance to heat
- Highly emotional
- Flush easily
- Night sweats
- Thin, moist skin
- Inward trembling
- Heart palpitates
- Increased appetite without weight gain
- Pulse fast at rest
- Eyelids and face twitch
- Irritable and restless
- Can’t work under pressure
7B – Hypothyroid – (P-Value = 0.0021223384)
- Increase in weight
- Decrease in appetite
- Fatigue easily
- Ringing in ears
- Sleepy during day
- Sensitive to cold
- Dry or scaly skin
- Mental sluggishness
- Hair coarse, falls out
- Tension in head upon arising, wears off during day
- Slow pulse, below
- Frequency of urination
- Impaired hearing
- Reduced initiative
7D – Hypopituitary – (P-Value = 0.0193673397)
- Abnormal thirst
- Bloating of abdomen
- Weight gain around hips or waist
- Sex drive reduced or lacking
- Tendency to ulcers, colitis
- Increased sugar tolerance
- Women: menstrual disorders, young girls: lack of menstrual function
7F – Hypo-adrenal – (P-Value = 0.0016031114)
- Weakness, dizziness
- Chronic fatigue
- Nails weak, ridged
- Tendency to hives
- Arthritic tendencies
- Perspiration increase
- Bowel disorders
- Poor circulatio
- Swollen ankles
- Crave salt
- Brown spots or bronzing of skin
- Allergies – tendency to asthma
- Exhaustion – muscular and nervous
- Respiratory disorders
8 – Foundational – (P-Value = 0.0057637585)
- Muscle weakness
- Lack of Stamina
- Drowsiness after eating
- Muscular soreness
- Rapid heart beat
- Feeling of a band around your head
- Melancholia (feeling of sadness)
- Swelling of ankles
- Change in urinary function
- Tendency to consume sweets
- Muscle spasms
- Blurred vision
- Loss of muscular control
- Night sweats
- Rapid digestion
- Sensitivity to noise
- Redness of palms of hands and bottom of feet
- Visible veins on chest and abdomen
- Apprehension (feeling that something bad will happen)
- Nervousness causing loss of appetite
- Nervousness with indigestion
- Thinning hair
MF – Male Female – (P-Value = 0.0065721208)
- Very easily fatigued
- Premenstrual tension
- Painful menses
- Depressed feelings before menstruation
- Menstruation excessive and painful breasts
- Menstruate too frequently
- Vaginal discharge
- Hysterectomy / ovaries removed
- Menopausal hot flashes
- Menses scanty or missed
- Acne, worse at menses
- Depression of long standing
- Prostate trouble
- Urination difficult or dribbling
- Night urination frequent
- Pain on inside of legs or heels
- Feeling of incomplete bowel evacuation
- Lack of energy
- Migrating aches and pains
- Tire too easily
- Avoids activity
- Leg nervousness at night
- Diminished sex drive
CBD PUR US crystalline cannabidiol has shown remarkable properties. This pilot study of thirty five individuals with only twenty completing the four week regimen demonstrated:
- Improvement on one of six tests on the IVA
- Improvement on four of the six scores of RBANS
- Improvement on the BAI in just one week
- Improvement on the BDI in just one week
- Improvement on the PCL-C during the four week regimen
This pilot study certainly warrants further investigation but should the outcomes remain constant, this product should have potential benefit for concentration and memory, anxiety, depression, and for post-traumatic stress. All of this in one pill taken once a day.
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By George Bennet,