Skip to content

Your source for high quality CBD
products approved by pharmacists!

Archive for August 2018

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease, meaning that over time, progressive degeneration (deteriorating) of the nervous system leads to various movement disorders or difficulties. Hallmark signs of Parkinson’s Disease are tremors or rigidity (stiffness). Symptoms typically start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Over time, patients may lose expression in their face, their arms may not swing as they walk, and their speech may become slurred or soft. These symptoms may worsen over time, and will likely result in difficulties performing activities of daily living (ADL). In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.

Unfortunately, Parkinson’s disease has no cure. Doctors can prescribe medications to improve symptoms or slow the progression of the disease. Preliminary research is beginning to understand the role that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may play in the management of symptoms in Parkinson’s disease. CBD may improve motor symptoms of Parkinson’s such as tremors or rigidity, and may also provide some neuroprotective effects as well that may slow the progression of disease.

Research articles:

Promising cannabinoid-based therapies for Parkinson’s disease: motor symptoms to neuroprotection

Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: An exploratory double-blind trial

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, occurs when the body’s immune system “eats away” at the protective covering of nerves (called the myelin sheath). This resulting nerve damage disrupts communication between the brain and the body. Multiple sclerosis can cause many different symptoms, including vision loss, pain, fatigue, and impaired coordination. The symptoms, severity, and duration can vary from person to person. Some people may be symptom free most of their lives, while others can have severe chronic symptoms that never go away. Physical therapy and medications that suppress the immune system can help with symptoms and slow disease progression, but there is no cure. Unfortunately, medications that weaken the immune system come with the potential for serious side effects. 

Because of this, some patients have turned to CBD oil to help with symptoms of multiple sclerosis. While CBD is not a replacement for the mainstays of treatment, preliminary research and case reports have shown some benefit when CBD is added to the regimen. Patients report that CBD helps with the muscle spasticity symptoms of MS.

One study showed that “…objective improvement in mobility and patients’ opinion of an improvement in pain suggest that cannabinoids might be clinically useful.” 

Anxiety Relief through CBD

Anxiety is a normal part of life. Most of us experience anxiety intermittently as certain situations arise. Medical treatment is usually not necessary for occasional anxiety.

However, anxiety that is persistent, seemingly uncontrollable, or overwhelming may be cause for concern. Excessive, irrational dreading of everyday situations can be disabling. Anxiety that interferes with daily activities should be discussed with your doctor, as you may have an anxiety disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions – just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States.

During any given year, almost 40 million Americans are estimated to experience some type of anxiety disorder. Despite this staggering number, only about one-third of these patients actually receive treatment. 

Preliminary research and case reports have shown that CBD has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and anti-depressant-like properties. In addition, patients that experience sleep disruptions may use CBD oil to support healthier sleep patterns. Patients that are struggling with anxiety or insomnia should discuss with their psychiatrist about including CBD oil in their therapy regimen.

We have found that doses on the lower end of the dosing spectrum tend to work better for patients using CBD oil for anxiety or insomnia.

For further information, you may wish to peruse these research reports and case studies:

Antidepressant-Like and Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Cannabidiol – A Chemical Compound of Cannabis sativa

Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug

Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report

Topical vs Oral Applications of CBD

We often receive questions about whether to apply hemp topically or take it orally. Topical hemp works great for patients with pain or inflammation in a single joint, such as a knee, elbow, or foot. The topical formulations generally do not penetrate deep enough to be used for chronic back pain, although we do have a patient who uses it with heat, and she says it helps dampen the pain. The topical pens seem to work well for headaches if you apply it on your temple. Patients with neuropathy, especially in the feet, use the cream or ointment with some benefit, but we generally recommend to add oral CBD with the topical, so the two can work synergistically. There are transdermal creams that absorb well enough to elicit blood levels similar to that of oral formulations. These transdermal creams are a great choice for people who do not tolerate the oral formulations. One drawback of using the topical formulations is that they tend to be a little more expensive than their oral counterparts. 

My personal bias is that hemp is so healthy for a multitude of symptoms. It helps balance out your own endocannabinoid system. It helps balance your immune system which in turn works on chronic inflammation.  It is a great antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anxiety reducer, pain reducer, and auto-immune disease modifier. This begs the question, why would you not take it internally? There are so many benefits to taking it internally, that many of our patients plan to use it long term for a continued healthy lifestyle.

CBD 101

We think that it’s important for you to understand how CBD works in your body. While much of this information is in “laymen’s” terms, it should give you a sound grasp on the concepts of CBD and how it could work for you.

The brands of CBD that we sell were selected based on their quality of sourcing, processing, chemical analysis policies, and third party independent analytical testing. These companies have been pioneers in the hemp industry, and they continue to support scientific case studies and the legislative movement to make CBD available nationwide to consumers. Do not get overwhelmed by this information, and feel free to call us with any questions! We’re here for you!

WHAT EXACTLY IS CBD, and how can it help my body?

Your body produces endocannabinoids (bear with me here!), these are “messengers” that are isolated from the brain and peripheral tissues that communicate using cannabinoid receptors located throughout your body.

In order for these messengers to convey information, you must produce a healthy supply and the receptors must be healthy and active. Unfortunately, through the natural course of aging and due to many outside factors that cause stress to our operating systems, our production of endocannabinoids may no longer be sufficient.

This is where phytocannabinoids come into play. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid whose molecules very closely resemble those of your endocannabinoids. CBD can often step in and fill the gap in your messaging system, creating the potential for better reduction in pain & inflammation, a stronger immune balance, and for some a better response to and recovery from stress and anxiety.

Think of a giant puzzle with some missing pieces. Your brain can pretty much tell what that puzzle picture is… but still, with those missing pieces the message isn’t clear. CBD is able to sharpen the picture and fill in the gaps. As the CBD is slowly introduced to your system, the receptors begin to recognize that activity and the presence of the chemical that they are designed to receive and “wake up”. Once there is some reactivation of the receptors, your body has an increased ability for “cross system” communication… in other words, get more accurate messages to the correct locations.

Finding Your Dose

We recommend starting with a sublingual oil so you can start low and titrate your dose up. We also recommend that you commit to 2 to 4 months for your desired health benefits.  The key to success with your hemp product is patience and working your dose up until you get relief

One of the most important things to be very clear on is that there is no ‘across the board’ dose for  CBD Oil. The very best way to find the amount of CBD that will be effective for you is to begin low 5-10 mg at bedtime . After 3 days go to twice daily and slowly work your dose up every 3 days . Once you get the desired results stay at that dose. You may always increase or decrease your dose to get your desired health results. Certain conditions take a longer time and a higher dose. We have seen people get no benefit for weeks then get relief on week 7 or 8. 

It is also good to recognize that the needs of your body are not exactly the same each day. Most people find an average daily dose that is helpful but they also acknowledge that on some days, the dose needs to be increased a bit due to variables such as changes in the weather, pain from ‘over doing it’ a bit, or a stressful event.

Almost everyone who is considering CBD asks, “Why can’t I just start with the highest dose capsule?” Many folks are put off by the oral spray or sublingual (under the tongue) oil format… but it is an important tool for you and here’s why:

The spray or oil applications allow you to begin at the modest dose of 3 to 6 mg of CBD and increase very gradually over a 2 to 4 month trial. This slow introduction greatly increases the chance that you will experience as much receptor activation as possible. If you begin at higher doses prior to ‘nudging’ your receptors you may be wasting some of the CBD. There is no advantage to starting at the highest dose.

Once you have established your “foundation” dose, then you can decide which format will best serve your needs. Capsules & soft gels are available in a variety of doses. We believe that placing the oil under your tongue provides the best absorption. We even have ointments if you have targeted issues with one joint.

There are also those who find that a capsule in the morning and a few sprays or drops in the afternoon provides their custom dose. Remember, everyone is different. In the end, you are using the introduction of CBD to slowly wake up your body, setting the stage for best results, and finding the optimal dose for your targeted wellness issues.

Introducing… The Dosing Schedule!

Once you chose your starting dose ( Dose x) use that at bedtime for 3 days. Days 4-6 use the starting dose twice daily.
Example
Day 1-3 Dose x at bed for 3 days
Day 4-6 Dose x twice daily
Day7-9 Dose x am, Dose 2x(twice the starting dose)
Day 10-12 Dose 2x(twice the strating dose) twice daily
You may continue increasing every 3-7 days after first 2 weeks until you get the desired effect. 
Rushing through the dosing schedule does not provide any additional benefit, and may cause you to waste the CBD oil that you’ve invested in.

Pay attention to your body. Maybe there are certain areas of your body that really hurt every morning when you wake, or prevent you from falling asleep at night, or flare up when you engage in a specific activity (reaching up to get something from the kitchen cabinet, swinging your leg up when you get onto your bike). Pay attention to these as you move through your first days using CBD. If at any point you feel that some of this pain that you have become used to is changing or reducing, make a note of this on the back of your chart. If at some point you realize that you are just feeling a bit better in general, make a note of this.

You can ‘pause’ your trial at any point and REPEAT that same dose for a few days to determine if that is a good daily dose for you. (i.e., on day 10 you really feel a reduction in pain… rather than moving onto day 11 you are going to do the Day 10 dose for 2 or 3 days. Maybe this is your dose? Has your pain gone from a level of 10 to a level of 6? Or less? Is your stress response easing up? Anxiety diminishing? Sleep improving?

If you have experienced a reduction in pain or anxiety but would like to see if you can get an even better result, then go ahead and proceed with increasing the dose until desired results

Once you have determined your best dose, then you can choose which format is best for you.

SPECIAL NOTES

  1. The dosing trial is meant to continue until you get relief. CBD takes 4-12 weeks to see the results you desire depending on what you are using it for. The key is patience and working your dose up every 3 days until desired effect. 
  2. CBD & your prescription medications: With rare exception (e.g., blood-thinning medications ), there is no conflict with medications during the  dosing trial. If you find that CBD is a good tool for you and you are interested in ongoing use, then it is wise to speak to your prescribing physician. CBD makes use of some of the same pathways in the body that many common medications use. Over the long run this “competition” for pathways may lessen or increase the effectiveness of a medication. Your physician can monitor this at your check-ups and make dosing adjustments if needed. Do not make these adjustments on your own. If you are taking a specialized medication or have an acute health condition with related medications, please speak to us about this prior to beginning your trial.
0