Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) is derived from cannabis (marijuana plant), using the chemicals that are naturally found in the plants. This oil does not produce the ‘high’ that you would assume comes from marijuana. There is actually no form of intoxication associated with the oil, but it is still looked upon in a negative light because of its origin. As the research unfolds though, people are beginning to understand just how powerful and beneficial this plant can be to our society. CBD oil has benefits to long to describe in one article, and instead of giving you a short overview, I am breaking it into two separate articles. Even then, there is more to read and uncover! I highly recommend digging in to the research available out there!
Research shows that CBD Oil Benefits the following:
- Chronic Pain
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Social phobia
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Mild to moderate depression
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Menstrual Cramps
- Muscle Pain
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- And More…
18% of adults (40 million Americans over age 18) suffer from an anxiety disorder. It is rarely talked about, and either over-medicated for or under-treated, as many doctors do not take it seriously. Of course, I will recommend exercise, dietary changes, and alternative outlooks on the conditions as first treatments, but sometimes it is not enough.
Researchers believe that CBD changes the response to serotonin through the brain’s receptors. A 2012 study discovered that CBD oil successfully reduced anxiety in adults suffering from social anxiety disorder. A 2011 study revealed that CBD oil greatly reduced stress and anxiety in those who fear public speaking. With dozens of other studies finding similar results, it is time that this legalized natural treatment be more well-known and accepted.
We have learned that CBD oil alters the cerebral blood flow, reducing uptake in the left parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, and inferior temporal gyrus. The blood flow increased in the right posterior cingulate gyrus. CBD may then help the hippocampus regenerate neurons, which then relates to an overall impact on the activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas, significantly reducing anxiety.
Further research shows that CBD oil:
- Aids in sleep with those suffering from insomnia due to anxiety
- Lowers the heartrate and other physiological effects of anxiety
- Improves Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms
As mentioned above, CBD oil has an effect on the brain’s receptors, and this effect has been discovered to help in pain management. The oil has the ability to lessen inflammation and reduce chronic pain.
Over 38 million adult Americans suffer from chronic pain, and doctors (again) typically over-medicate these individuals, who then still suffer. Cannabidiol shares neuroprotective effects with THC (the strain of marijuana that produces the ‘high’), inhibits glutamate neurotoxicity, and displays antioxidant activity greater than ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or tocopherol (vitamin E). It is a TRPV1 agonist that inhibits fatty acid amidohydrolase, which reinforces CBD’s ability to manage pain.
This pain can be related to everything from menstrual cramping to chemotherapy side effects. There can be pain from injury or pain from illness, but one thing is consistent, CBD has the research behind it to provide pain relief. Even if not used alone, it should be considered as part of a management regimen.
It is becoming more common to hear my clients explain to me about how their child is not managing well with school. These children are as young as kindergarteners. They complain of tummy aches daily, beg not to be dropped off, or become a different child under the eyes of the teacher. Parent-teacher conferences are leading parents to wonder what is wrong. There may be behavior issues, refusal to complete work, ADHD tendencies, isolation or seclusion, and/or little attempts to learn the material, leading to a believed learning disorder. Many families struggling with these challenges speak with their pediatrician and turn to medication for better focusing, or use threats of losing privileges if the child doesn’t ‘do better’ or perform to standard. I talk a lot about the anxiety a child may be feeling, and how that anxiety could be the root of all the challenges.
School-related anxiety is a very real thing today. Separation anxiety, performance anxiety, and social anxiety can impact our children in a large manner. If you believe that the mind and body are one unit working together, then you understand just how important it is for the body to be in perfect alignment so all neurons firing can reach their desired destinations. Anxiety is not only mental, but it relates to the physical body, causing personality alterations and even chronic pains or illnesses.
It can be hard to diagnose school-related anxiety because it tends to surface in different ways for different children, but the most common problem for children suffering from anxiety is that school is hard. It becomes harder the longer the anxiety goes unnoticed.
According to the Child Mind Institute, signs of anxiety in school-aged children include: http://childmind.org/article/classroom-anxiety-in-children/
- Attendance Problems
- Disruptive Behavior
- Trouble Answering Questions in Class
- Frequent Trips to the School Nurse
- Problems in Certain Subjects
- Lying About Homework/Not Completing Work
- Avoiding Socialization/Not Making Friends
- Asking to Stay Home
- Bullying/Being Bullied
These signs can be linked to any of the following types of anxiety:
- Separation anxiety: Worried about being separated from the parents.
- Social anxiety: Excessively self-conscious, making it difficult to participate in class and socialize with others.
- Selective mutism: Having a hard time speaking in some settings, like at school around the teacher.
- Generalized anxiety: Worrying about performance and perfectionism.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: When children’s minds are filled with unwanted and stressful thoughts.
- Specific phobias: When children have an excessive and irrational fear of particular things, like being afraid of animals or storms.
There is, of course, a normal amount of anxiety that can be felt, but even that can manifest itself. Utilizing chiropractic care will allow the body to work as a whole unit and provide proper pathways for the nervous system, allowing for a healthier overall well-being. Chiropractic care reduces stress-related subluxations in children just as it does in adults.
In addition to chiropractic care, there are numerous ways you can help your child manage their anxiety.
Open Communication. Talking about your own hard days, finding happiness in situations, and how you talk yourself through things will provide a positive example and allow for them to come to you with questions and emotional struggles.
Self-Confidence Building. The key to coping with and minimizing anxiety in your child is to teach them to talk their way through it. “I am strong. I am kind. I will learn something new and smile today.” You can alter the talk to suit your child’s needs, but it is important to follow the day with a second talk. This one should be in response to how the day went – but always taking a positive outlook and including happy things to dream about and plan for the following day.
Talk positive about school, friendships, and learning. Modeling positive feelings can have a large impact on your child.
Do not ask probing questions about your child’s anxiety. Questions such as, “Why are you feeling this way? What’s wrong? Why don’t you want to go to school” can cause more stress and will not help you help your child. Instead stick with simple questions that can invoke positive answers. “Are others including you? Is something happening at lunch that makes you feel bad?”
Be there. Let your child know that you will be there for lunch, recess, or another specific time frame and be sure to follow through. Seeing you may ease the anxiety. This may not be convenient, but it can be very important to gradually helping your child adapt and feel more comfortable.
Talk to the teacher. Work as a team to help your child feel more comfortable at school.
Lead a healthy lifestyle. By eating a well-balanced diet and keeping the body healthy with the highest quality supplements, the body will function at its highest potential.
Respect your child. Ultimately, your child deserves your respect and support. Figuring out how to help without breaking your child’s spirit or forcing them against their will may be the hardest obstacle you are faced with during this phase of parenthood, but you can do it.
You may be risking your life for a good night’s sleep.
There are two different categories of sleeping medications: Over-The-Counter (OTC) and Prescription. I’m going to talk to you about the risks of both, beginning with OTC. OTC sleep aids may seem to be an easy fix, not addictive like prescription versions, and even safe because they are made so readily available. This is not the case, is it ever these days? If you are not sleeping well, or not falling asleep well, there is a deeper issue at hand. Finding a natural, healthy solution to the rooted issue will not only solve your sleeping troubles, but improve your overall wellbeing.
Most people assume that taking an OTC sleep aid won’t cause harm, but the sad truth is that a few doses can cause long-term problems. The main ingredient in many OTC sleeping pills is an antihistamine which results in the drowsy and sedative effect. Many OTC sleep aids also contain acetaminophen (Tylenol type products), especially if they advertise pain relief as well. For more specific information on Tylenol risks read here: http://peaandthepodchiropractic.com/the-truth-about-tylenol-dangers-for-infants-children-and-pregnant-women/
Most Common OTC Sleep Aids:
- Tylenol PM
- Advil PM
- Other store-name brands
OTC Sleeping Pills May Increase Your Risk of Liver Failure and are linked to brain damage.
The number one cause of acute liver failure in the United States is taking too much acetaminophen, which is incredibly easy to do considering just how many over-the-counter and prescription products contain this drug. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/07/21/FDA-Changes-Tylenol-Warnings-But-Doesnt-Tell-You-How-to-Take-it-Safely.aspx
Overdosing is as easy as taking a dose for a headache, cold or achy back that’s making it difficult for you to sleep, but having already taken one or more acetaminophen-containing products to relieve your pain and other symptoms during the day. Not realizing that compounding doses of acetaminophen can be extremely dangerous, even deadly, is what causes an overdose. This risk is important to be aware of, especially if you take Tylenol PM, Excedrin PM or other acetaminophen-containing sleep aids on a regular basis. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/29/overthecounter-sleep-meds-are-not-effective.aspx
The numbers are alarming, over $100 million or more is being spent on OTC sleep aids, and research shows that children 12 years and older along with adults are downing these medications like candy.
Taking these OTC Sleep Medications, even sporadically, can put you at risk of: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep-aids/art-20047860
- Skin rash
- Appetite increase, weight gain, loss of appetite, or even anorexia.
- Hypo-tension (abnormally low blood pressure).
- Blurred vision.
- Prostate problems.
- Liver toxicity.
- Morning hangover. Waking up groggy and feeling “drugged” is a common side effect.
- Daytime drowsiness and fatigue. OTC medications tend to last longer than 8 hours, leaving you unable to function well throughout the next day.
- Dental Decay
Benadryl and Sominex have previously been found to cause hallucinations in the elderly. All of the listed OTC drugs can negatively affect your brain, causing long-term cognitive impairment. These drugs, called anticholinergics, block acetylcholine – a nervous system neurotransmitter. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease typically have a marked shortage of acetylcholine. The results of some studies indicate that these drugs with anticholinergic effects may be yet another piece of the puzzle that might explain the sharp rise in dementia and cognitive decline.
Other anticholinergic drugs, such as Paxil, Detrol, Demerol, and Elavil are available only by prescription.
“Research involving data from more than 10,500 people who received drugs for poor sleep (hypnotics) showed that “as predicted, patients prescribed any hypnotic had substantially elevated hazards of dying compared to those prescribed no hypnotics” and the association held true even when patients with poor health were taken into account — and even if the patients took fewer than 18 pills in a year.
The study suggested that those who take such medications are not only at higher risk for certain cancers, but are nearly four times more likely to die than people who don’t take them.
Sleeping pills linked to these risks included benzodiazepines (such as temazepam), non-benzodiazepines (such as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata), barbiturates, and sedative antihistamines.” http://www.darksideofsleepingpills.com/
Not only are prescription sleep medications linked to increased risk of death, but they place you at a 35% higher risk of cancer.
In addition to the side effects of the OTC versions, prescription sleep aids add the side effects:
- Sleep walking, sleep eating and even sleep driving
- Confusion and disorientation
- Complete amnesia from events, even those that took place during the day
Sleeping Pills Help You Fall Asleep Just 13 Minutes Faster and Sleep Only 11 Minutes Longer
Sleeping pills do nothing to help the underlying reasons why you’re having trouble sleeping in the first place. This is likely why studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy can treat insomnia better than drugs
Better Options for a Good Night’s Sleep
Whether you are not able to fall asleep, wake up too often, or don’t feel well rested when you wake up in the morning, these options may provide you with techniques to improve sleep problems.
There are many factors that can influence your sleep, but one that many fail to consider is the use of lights, such as your TV, iPad, and computer, before going to bed. These emit the type of blue light that will suppress melatonin production and hamper your ability to fall asleep. Ideally, you’ll want to turn them off at least an hour prior to bedtime.
Next, making sure your bedroom is ideally suited for sleep can also go a long way to ensure restful and uninterrupted sleep:
- Cover your windows with blackout shades or drapes to ensure complete darkness.
- Consider using a Himalayan salt lamp. It will give off a soft red glow, purify the air, and help you rest easier.
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom at or below 70 degrees F (21 degrees Celsius)
- Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs).These can disrupt your pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well.
Natural sleep aids and insomnia treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy take time to treat this sleeplessness, usually a minimum of several days or weeks. It takes time and hard work to learn how to sleep if you have insomnia.
Chiropractic care and wellness adjustments will help you to relax. It also improves the blood flow in the nervous system and corrects any misalignments, or sublaxations in the spine. These subluxations compress the nerves and cause lack of communication between the spine and the brain. These subluxations lead to a process called stress response which puts the body out of balance and do not let the body rest.
Avoiding gluten, grains, dairy and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are one of the most important reasons why inflammatory prostaglandins are produced. That is why stopping sugar and sweets is so important to controlling your pain and other types of chronic illnesses.
Omega-3 fats (Like Krill Oil or Fermented Cod Liver Oil) are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins.
B vitamins are important for energy production in cells. And vitamin B6 works with the sleep aid 5-htp to help create serotonin.
Calcium, Magnesium, and Vitamin D3:
Adequate calcium and magnesium in your daily diet are also important nutrients for helping you relax and get a good night’s sleep. But according to the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements, millions of Americans are not getting adequate amounts. Magnesium in particular may help with fatigue and stress reduction. Multivitamins almost never contain much calcium or magnesium, so you may need to supplement if your diet is lacking in these two essential nutrients. You should also make certain you are getting at least 400 IU of vitamin D3 every day (1,000 IU supplements are even better, especially during the dark winter months). Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption.
Make sure to use high quality supplements.
A melatonin sleep aid can be very effective for some people, especially for jet lag. Melatonin can be taken by itself as a natural sleep aid. It is also often seen as a blend in supplements, which may be the most effective way to use it.
Also known as 5-hydroxytryptophan, this substance is produced in the body from the amino acid tryptophan. In supplements, 5-htp often comes from Griffonia simplicifolia seed extract. 5-htp is a precursor to serotonin and increases serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that has many functions, one of which is to regulate sleep. One of the great things about 5-htp is that it crosses easily from the blood into the brain. That’s why 5-htp taken by itself may be effective for reaching a natural calm mood and also help with depression.
As a natural sleep aid, it’s probably best to use 5-htp as part of a supplement blend.
This brain neurotransmitter is included in some natural sleep aids because it has a calming effect and relieves anxiety that can keep a person awake at night. GABA does promote drowsiness and may help some people fall asleep faster.
This is the most abundant amino acid in your body. It has a wide range of uses, including for insomnia, anxiety, and to improve mood.
This is also an amino acid and is naturally found in green tea. Studies have shown that green tea contains about 1 to 3% theanine. It has a relaxing and anti-anxiety effect on the mind.(Green tea itself is not a natural remedy for insomnia because this tea contains caffeine, but you can find a decaffeinated version.)
Herbal Sleep Remedies:
The best natural sleep aid will have some combination of sleep herbs in them.
- Lemon balm
Not all of these herbs need to be present for an all-natural sleep aid to be effective. Most herbal sleep aids will also often have melatonin mixed in with them, though not always.
Tips for falling asleep fast: http://www.sleeppassport.com/how-to-fall-asleep.html