I’ve been doing some research on CBD, cannabidiol, which is derived from both cannabis and hemp plants. I have learned A LOT and thought I’d share.
While my ApoE4 status is always a consideration, my motivation for this came from struggles with foot pain. Since 2013, I’ve had three surgeries, tried numerous physical therapy/exercise approaches, and used various joint/inflammation supplementation strategies, but I’m still experiencing issues which impact my life in many ways.
Although I live in Colorado, which has had medical marijuana for a while (2000) and was one of two states to first legalize recreational marijuana, (2014) until recently I have been reluctant to consider this option for multiple reasons. But the anecdotes I was hearing were success stories, perhaps I’ve heard more stories than most because of our legal status, so my interest was piqued. Besides, after following the discussions on this APOE4.info website, I’ve learned that traditional medicine isn’t necessarily going to provide good answers.
When I heard that there was this “form of marijuana” called CBD which is effective at addressing pain/inflammation without “getting high” and that CBD can come in cream/balm form that can be applied directly to an affected area, I became seriously interested. But I didn’t want to adapt a practice that would contradict my ApoE4/health strategies. For example, unless necessary, I avoid NSAIDS even though they can reduce pain/inflammation because they also interfere with a healthy gut biome which is critical for clear cognition. I since learned CBD is not strictly a marijuana product that has to be purchased at a marijuana dispensary.
Some terminology: Cannabis
– also known as marijuana, a plant that is used for its psychoactive drug qualities (to get high) or for medicinal purposes. Illegal in all 50 states per federal law, regardless of the state’s law. Recognized as legal for medical purposes (medical marijuana card required) in over half the 50 states (28 plus DC as of April 2017). State law recognized as legal for recreational purposes in 8 states plus DC (as of April 2017). Even in states where it is legal recreationally, there are laws as to where it can be smoked/consumed, specifically public consumption is illegal. Landlords, hotels, etc. can restrict usage within their abodes. A person needs to be careful with cannabis products in the home around pets and children. A state’s legal recognition does not circumvent what an employer may dictate for employment. A person can still be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. Even if bought in a state that recognizes legal recreational marijuana, it’s illegal to transport to any another state. If you have a medical marijuana card, states that allow medical marijuana do tend to reciprocally respect that, but recognize that if you are flying, TSA cannot allow people to bring any marijuana on airplanes. I’m sure there are other “prickly” issues.Hemp
-- A variety of the cannabis sativa plant species that is generally grown for commercial and industrial uses. Although cannabis and industrial hemp are both members of the species cannabis sativa and both contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains. Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD). Hemp products for consumption (hemp protein powder, hemp seed oil, hemp lotion, hemp hearts, etc.) can be purchased without legal restrictions in the U.S. THC
-- Tetrahydrocannabinol -- the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis (what makes a person high)CBD
-- Cannabidiol - one of at least 113 active cannabinoids in cannabis (don't know about hemp). CBD does not have the intoxicating effects as THC and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. In 2013, CNN produced a segment that featured “Charlotte's Web” a high CBD, low THC cannabis extract that does not induce a high (it was was originally called "Hippie's Disappointment"
). Charlotte’s Web was named after a 10 year old girl, Charlotte, who experienced a reduction of her epilectic seizures after her first dose of medical marijuana. That 2013 CNN segment resulted in increased demand for CBD-dominant cannabis and led to some changes to U.S. legislation. CBD products derived from marijuana plants must be purchased from marijuana dispensaries, even if they are sold for their medicinal not psychoactive effects. CBD derived from hemp is considered a food and dietary supplement, not a medication. There are no restrictions on the production, sale, and consumption of hemp oil in the U.S.
I have also learned there are various products cannabis/CBD can come in, I was personally stunned. There’s the traditional marijuana “joint” which is smoked, but there’s also vaping oil, edibles, drinks, creams, tinctures, powders, crumbles, patches, capsules, and probably more!
There are hemp products for your pet too. Gracious! The different forms allow for varying degrees of discretion but also come with varying degrees of time until a response is felt. I’ve also learned that the cream I’m interested in for direct application to the constantly inflamed area of my foot can also be applied to certain areas of the body where veins are closest to the skin for general, systemic use.
Since it is not considered a medication, CBD products have not been evaluated by the FDA. If you visit a website which features the sale of CBD products you will likely notice they claim to help a LONG list of ailments. FYI, anyone can go online to read about CBD products that contain THC, purchasing them on-line, however, is a different story. There are no restrictions to purchasing CBD products that don’t contain THC, although if purchasing out of country, there may be customs restrictions.
Most (if not all) of the beneficial claims on these websites cannot be backed by rigorous research. Growing hemp has been restricted in the US and universities in this country have only been allowed to grow hemp for research purposes since 2014. When it comes to research on medical marijuana, scientists in the U.S. have to get approval from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the FDA. So there are many unknowns as far as benefits and negative risks/side effects.
There are many ailments CBD claims to help. This was taken from the literature of a company that sells CBD oil products from hemp (no THC):
Health benefits in every drop of CBD oil
• Reduces small intestine contractions
• Reduces risk of artery blockage
• Reduces vomiting and nausea
• Suppresses muscle spasms
• Reduces blood sugar levels
• Inhibits cancer cell growth
• Supports immune system
• Protects nervous system
• Promotes bone growth
• Reduces inflammation
• Relieves pain
• Treats psoriasis
Their literature also says:
Recent studies have shown that CBD has a wide range of therapeutic properties that may help manage and even prevent certain diseases. Although further clinical research is still needed to determine the potential long-term effects of CBD on the human body, experiential evidences show that it has indeed a positive impact in various organ systems.
Vasorelaxant for glaucoma
Analgesic for rheumatoid arthritis
Stimulates new bone growth and strengthens bones affected by osteoporosis
Like I said, a long list of ailments, but even the brochure admits more clinical research is needed.
I didn’t spend too much time researching, but here are some studies I found of interest to ApoE4s:In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's Disease
. Published 2017https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28217094
“Thus, it is investigated as a potential multifunctional treatment option for AD. Here, we summarize the current status quo of in vivo effects of CBD in established pharmacological and transgenic animal models for AD. The studies demonstrate the ability of CBD to reduce reactive gliosis and the neuroinflammatory response as well as to promote neurogenesis. Importantly, CBD also reverses and prevents the development of cognitive deficits in AD rodent models. Interestingly, combination therapies of CBD and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient of cannabis sativa, show that CBD can antagonize the psychoactive effects associated with THC and possibly mediate greater therapeutic benefits than either phytocannabinoid alone.”Cannabidiol Modulates the Expression of Alzheimer's Disease-Related Genes in Mesenchymal Stem Cells.
“In conclusion, we have found that pre-treatment with CBD prevented the expression of proteins potentially involved in tau phosphorylation and Aβ production in GMSCs. Therefore, we suggested that GMSCs preconditioned with CBD possess a molecular profile that might be more beneficial for the treatment of AD.”
GMSCs: gingivaDelineating the Efficacy of a Cannabis-Based Medicine at Advanced Stages of Dementia in a Murine Model.
“Here, we provide evidence that such natural cannabinoids are still effective in reducing memory impairment in AβPP/PS1 mice at advanced stages of the disease but are not effective in modifying the Aβ processing or in reducing the glial reactivity associated with aberrant Aβ deposition as occurs when administered at early stages of the disease. The present study also demonstrates that natural cannabinoids do not affect cognitive impairment associated with healthy aging in wild-type mice. The positive effects induced by Δ9-THC and CBD in aged AβPP/PS1 mice are associated with reduced GluR2/3 and increased levels of GABA-A Rα1 in cannabinoid-treated animals when compared with animals treated with vehicle alone.Long-term cannabidiol treatment prevents the development of social recognition memory deficits in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice
. Published 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25024347
“Our findings provide the first evidence that CBD may have potential as a preventative treatment for AD with a particular relevance for symptoms of social withdrawal and facial recognition.”Cannabidiol promotes amyloid precursor protein ubiquitination and reduction of beta amyloid expression in SHSY5YAPP+ cells through PPARγ involvement.
“Cannabidiol (CBD), a Cannabis derivative devoid of psychotropic effects, has attracted much attention because it may beneficially interfere with several Aβ-triggered neurodegenerative pathways, even though the mechanism responsible for such actions remains unknown…..Results indicated the CBD capability to induce the ubiquitination of APP protein which led to a substantial decrease in APP full length protein levels in SHSY5Y(APP+) with the consequent decrease in Aβ production. Moreover, CBD promoted an increased survival of SHSY5Y(APP+) neurons, by reducing their long-term apoptotic rate. Obtained results also showed that all, here observed, CBD effects were dependent on the selective activation of PPARγ.”Neuroprotective effects of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol in hypoxic-ischemic newborn piglets.
“In conclusion, administration of CBD after HI reduced short-term brain damage and was associated with extracerebral benefits.”
HI: temporary occlusion of both carotid arteries plus hypoxia
How does CBD works? According tohttp://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317221.php
All cannabinoids, including CBD, attach themselves to certain receptors in the body to produce their effects.
The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It has two receptors for cannabinoids, called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are found all around the body, but many of them are in the brain.
The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, among others. THC attaches to these receptors.
CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They have an effect on inflammation and pain.
It used to be thought that CBD acts on these CB2 receptors, but it appears now that CBD does not act on either receptor directly. Instead, it seems to influence the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.