Anxiety and depression are all too common in the world. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million American adults, or 18.1 percent of the population, are affected each year. As such, people suffering from an anxiety disorder are more likely to go to a hospital at a rate of three to five times more than others. A variety of factors can lead to the development of such a case. This includes genetics, personality, and life events.

Despite just about every person being susceptible to the condition, only 36.9 percent of anxiety disorders receive treatment.

That figure may be a bit lower than the actual number of people receiving self-medicated treatment. In recent years, cannabis has represented a favorite, mostly non-addictive option for those medicating, with or without a medical card. That said, “mostly” should be highlighted in the last sentence as cannabis use is not a surefire, across the board solution for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.

Despite studies on the subject existing, the issue is like most others in cannabis, where it currently lacks enough data for conclusive findings. Over the years, clinical support for cannabis use to treat anxiety and depression has wavered depending on the study.

The Center for Disease Control‘s information unsurprisingly walks the government line. It states that marijuana can lead to an array of adverse effects from disorientation to suicide. Though, in the latter’s case, the CDC does note that a link between its use and grave self-harm is not established.

Most published studies are likely to mention that cannabis and mood disorders are both incredibly complex. Dr. Susan A. Stoner (yes, really), discussed the complexity of the two in a June 2017 study, noting just some of the vast factors involving the two.

“The endocannabinoid system appears to play an important role in responses to stress and anxiety. The two primary active ingredients of marijuana, THC and CBD, appear to have differing effects with regard to anxiety. Pure THC appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses and increase anxiety at higher doses. On the other hand, pure CBD appears to decrease anxiety at all doses that have been tested. There appears to be tolerance to these effects over a short period of time with regular use.”

Mike Robinson is the founder of the Global Cannabinoid Research Center in Santa Barbara, CA. His experience with the subject runs two-fold. “I’m not just a patient, I’m also a published researcher so I likely have an edge over the average consumer on what to use.” The former director of communications for the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine has a California medical card and uses both CBD and THC to manage his day. “No pharmaceutical medication has ever helped me like cannabis and extracts do. Without it I’d likely be unable to do much as it’s replaced literally dozens of pills taken daily,” explained Robinson in an email.

Dr. Stoner’s findings and several others suggest that cannabis use works in the short-term but can lead to increased substance abuse and increased depression. However, many patients, both state-approved and self-medicating, stand by its long-term use.

Brad Zale has dealt with anxiety since he was 10, and depression since 15. This included having daily panic attacks and feeling depressed for weeks at a time. He has a Florida medical card and uses cannabis to help him recognize irrational thoughts and relax. He reports still experiencing depression but not for long periods. “I am more optimistic but realistic about situations.”

Zale is like many who have turned to cannabis as their sole medication. He began using marijuana in October 2016 and claimed to have gotten off of nine drugs. “I was taking a variety of pills for anxiety, depression, pain, and ulcerative colitis-related issues. Since then, I have only taken cold medicine and maybe the occasional Benadryl.”

Melissa Gumley uses marijuana to address anxiety and depression she’s dealt with her entire life. These issues coincide with ADHD and manic depressiveness. Previously, she had spent years on Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse and was prescribed mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety medications that left her with horrible side effects. Today, she uses cannabis to feel what she calls “even,” where she doesn’t experience “radical ups and downs but a nice middle ground that’s consistent.”

But cannabis wasn’t always an option she wanted to explore. Beginning at 15 in recreational settings led Gumley to have several adverse experiences. She went back and forth on using cannabis medicinally but changed her mind over time. The availability of more information helped prompt her decision. “When the west coast started legalizing and the quality improved and information was widely being spread, I got back into it. I started researching the benefits of cannabis from a medical standpoint. I was unhappy with prescription meds and decided it couldn’t hurt to try,” she wrote in an email.

Others found themselves using cannabis after a traumatic experience, sometimes without even realizing it was medicinal. That was the case for freelance cannabis writer Max Ballou, who began using every day after they were raped in college. Ballou wrote how cannabis helped them cope after their attack. Unlike the findings presented by some studies, Ballou credits marijuana for not using other drugs.

They also incorporate regular mental health check ups with their primary physician into their treatment regimen. “For me, having mental health support goes hand in hand with any holistic wellness regimen. Without someone to talk to about what was causing my suffering, which was a psychological wound, I’m not sure cannabis on its own would be enough to heal.”

Amy Hildebrand is a recent college graduate on the front lines of the subject thanks to her personal experiences and work in the cannabis space. That includes serving as chair of the board for this year with Students for Sensible Drug Policy as well as 4Front Ventures.

While cannabis and other drugs can play a part in treating a person’s condition, it can lead to some troubling outcomes. Hildebrand, a significant consumer since 15, explained how large consumption has led her to think she was depressed at times.

Today, she continues to use cannabis each day in Illinois, where she is not a medical patient. As such, her cannabis may not always serve its purpose. “I don’t have control over the product that I’m using. So sometimes it helps. Maybe it’s got a certain terpene in it or it leans more towards an indica or whatever it is that works for my anxiety. But there are other times when I’m now able to realize, ‘Hey, this is an acute effect of the weed you just smoked manifesting and increasing anxiety.’”

Depression and anxiety disorders are some of the most commonly linked conditions to medical cannabis use. While its efficacy remains debated, anecdotal findings suggest many have found some relief from its use. That said, results are mixed and can vary, especially when a person is without a medical card or access to legal avenues where information is much more clear and available.

Gumley worries that the divide between legal and illegal states will further cause an information gap in cannabis consumers. “I wish I had some guidance when starting my cannabis journey but the truth is I didn’t. It’s trial and error. You must be patient and take your time finding what works best for you.”

She mentioned several tips to those looking to medicate with cannabis. One stood out in particular. She wrote, “Like all meds you need to let your body adjust and learn to let it work with you. I do most of my design work using cannabis but it took years of practice before I could smoke and then sew and pin fit complex projects. There is a learning curve.”

The post Mental Health and Cannabis: Anxiety and Depression appeared first on High Times.

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1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.

CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.

2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?

Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.

3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?

Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. organic hemp seedsTypically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!

99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.

In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?

The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.

5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?

colorado growing operationWe feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.

6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?

Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.

7. What is the best method of use?

For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.

8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?

There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.

9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?

Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative CBD Oil Extractside effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.

10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?

As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.

When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.

The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.

For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.

THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?

In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.

12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?

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Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.

13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?

No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.

We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor thereCannawell.

14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?

Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†

Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.

15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?

We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. mjna message boardWe also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.

16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?

We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.

17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?

CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.

Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.

18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia

There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).

For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.

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