You’ll hear and read a lot about CBD products that can cure different forms of cancer and about hemp oil that has miraculously healed patients from anxiety, tumors, diabetes and whatnot. My advice? Beware of products whose benefits sound too good to be true. CBD oil is a powerful antioxidant whose strength is greater than that of vitamin C and E, and I’m sure we will soon have strong medical evidence for different health effects.
Oxidative stress is responsible for many ailments today. Oxidative stress is when the body has too many free radicals and can’t keep up with neutralizing them (with antioxidants). This is more of a problem now than in the past because our environment is so much more toxic than it once was. A 2010 study shows that CBD oil acts as an antioxidant and another study found CBD has neuroprotective qualities. So CBD can reduce neurological damage caused by free radicals.
Since then several other so-called endocannabinoids and their receptors have been discovered. Scientists have come to recognize that endocannabinoids interact with a specific neurological network—much the way that endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine do. Exercise, Mechoulam notes, has been shown to elevate endocannabinoid levels in the brain, and “this probably accounts for what jogging enthusiasts call runner’s high.” These compounds, he explains, apparently play an important role in such basic functions as memory, balance, movement, immune health, and neuroprotection.
A geneticist, Kane studies cannabis from a unique perspective—he probes its DNA. He’s an affable, outdoorsy guy with a bright face and eyes that wander and dart inquisitively when he talks. He has studied chocolate and for many years the sunflower, eventually mapping its genome, a sequence of more than three and a half billion nucleotides. Now he’s moved on to marijuana. Though its sequence is much shorter, roughly 800 million nucleotides, he considers it a far more intriguing plant.
Since opening the San Francisco office of Parsley Health in 2016, I’ve become exposed to the wide world of cannabis. I grew up in the midwest and had adopted conservative views of marijuana use. Despite living in California for almost two years, the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, I was still skeptical of marijuana and CBD oil benefits. I was also hesitant to prescribe CBD to patients due to potential psychoactive effects when combined with THC and because it’s not a regulated substance. But as my patients at Parsley Health kept asking me about CBD, I decided to dig a little deeper into potential CBD oil benefits and was surprised at how promising it may be.
The body of research on cannabidiol, CBD oil benefits, THC, and other cannabinoids has grown exponentially in the past decade. The following brings together the latest scientific studies and stories from patients and doctors with advice on treating specific symptoms. It also includes dosage suggestions and information on recommended types of cannabinoid-based medicines for the particular condition.
CBD may help reduces REM behavior disorder in people with Parkinson’s disease. REM behavior disorder is a condition that causes people to act out physically during dreaming and REM sleep. Typically, during REM, the body is largely paralyzed, a state known as REM atonia. This immobilization keeps sleepers from reacting physically to their dreams. In REM behavior disorder, this paralysis doesn’t occur, leaving people free to move—which can lead to disruptive sleep and to injuring themselves or their sleeping partners. Cannabis may also work to reduce pain and improve sleep quality in people with Parkinson’s disease.
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