Cannabidiol (CBD) from industrial organic hemp works on the endocannabiod system which Dr. Blair calls the master controller. I heard Dr. Blair speak on the recent Detox project and he shares the myriad of health benefits he sees in his patients: reduced anxiety and pain, healing of the gut, detoxification support, improved absorption of nutrients (via effects on tight junctions), improved contractions in the gut, improved sleep, reduced inflammation, reduced IBS symptoms (less constipation or diarrhea) and it even modulates cortisol (high or low).
Dr. Blair and connected by phone after his interview and I’ll be interviewing him as soon as I get settled in Australia (so please post your questions in the comments section below).
Since the interview and because my previous blog generated so much interest, I’m here to share some additional information that I have learned since his interview. Because of the work I do with clients with anxiety I am always looking for new resources and I must say I am very excited to learn about CBD from organic hemp.
I posed some questions for Dr. Blair because he briefly mentioned medication tapering and he kindly addressed them for me. These were actually some questions I asked on the Detox Summit blog but for ease of reading I’ll share them in interview style here:
Trudy: Dr. Blair, I’d love to hear if you’ve had success using the Elixinol with individuals tapering from benzodiazepines? And do you find that those that have a really difficult time tapering i.e. many withdrawal symptoms, need much lower amounts?
I currently use GABA, tryptophan, niacinamide and other nutrients with much success but I am always looking for additional options to make it even easier for my clients.
Dr. Blair: Trudy, I have. The taper has been much faster without the typical agitation and systemic symptoms. With CBD as protection I encourage a more rapid decrease in dose. It seems that some typical withdrawal symptoms may be mediated by specific neurotransmitters. CBD “turns down the volume” in some of these cases with it’s homeostatic effects.
Trudy: When doing a benzo taper do you have your patient use the CBD for a certain time period before starting the taper (like a month)?
Dr. Blair: Two weeks should be sufficient.
Trudy: You say “Now, it doesn’t work in everybody, but the rate of positive responses is on the order of 75 percent.” In general, who have you found it not to work for, or is it very variable?
Dr. Blair: I have not found any consistency in the failures. But, in some cases I don’t think the CBD has failed but the patient will not recognize the improvements they have had. Recently, I dosed a gentleman with arthritis of his hands. After 5 minutes he said his pain was almost gone. Then he said, the relief could have been from anything. It’s almost as if these people do not want to have improvement or relief. Or, the withdrawal of pain is so subtle they don’t recognize the CBD as the active agent.
Trudy: Many of the research papers on the benefits of CBD refer to cannabis sativa/marijuana – do we know that CBD has similar benefits whether it’s from hemp or marijuana? How much actual hemp CBD research is there?
Dr. Blair: There are 1570+ papers in pubmed on CBD. Hemp vs marijuana – there is no question that whole plant extracts are the most effective therapeutic sources but there are impediments in that THC is generally illegal or highly controlled. Secondly, it’s difficult to know how much CBD is actually in any marijuana product, and what other chemicals are present. Each crop has different content.
CBD from industrial hemp is cleanly extracted and pooled in large batches for some consistency in concentrations of key active CBD. In my experience CBD alone, or with very, very low THC (<0.3%=industrial hemp) has been very effective for 75% of individuals with major conditions.
Trudy: Just to confirm, how much THC is there in CBD oil from organic hemp?
Dr. Blair: THC in industrial hemp/cannabis is <0.3% but that is the plant and not necessarily the product. Only a batch analysis can tell. Any supplier worth their salt will provide a batch analysis for you to review. But, some CBD products contain much less THC. For example, in Elixinol Liposomes the THC is so low as to be considered undetectable.
THC helps in some cases of epilepsy and probably in cancer but in my experience adverse effects from CBD products come from the small amounts of THC.
Trudy: May I ask what adverse effects you’ve seen? I have concerns about being a factor in the onset of schizophrenia and psychosis, especially in boys under 18 who use marijuana. There are a number of papers published about this. Here is a recent one – Traditional marijuana, high-potency cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids: increasing risk for psychosis. I’ve worked with a few mom moms who say their son’s mental health issues started after they started using marijuana.
Dr. Blair: Adverse effects can include headaches, anxiety, dreams, and lowered blood pressure. Regarding schizophrenia, a close review of the reports indicate many were using skunk product and some were self-medicating for their behavior conditions with the cannabis.
This is the end of the “interview” with Dr. Blair.
I also participated on a panel with other speakers at the recent Integrative Medicine for Mental Health/IMMH conference and when an audience member asked about a patient self-medicating with marijuana, Dr. Bill Code, MS expert, shared much of his expertise, also supporting my new-found knowledge of CBD from hemp.
I do have concerns about CBD from medical marijuana due to the psychoactive THC component and I shared some of my concerns during the panel discussion. We covered some of this in my Anxiety Summit interview with Dr. Hyla Cass: Marijuana and anxiety: Panacea or Pandora’s Box?.
Dr. Code feels some of the psychosis concerns are unwarranted. However, right after the panel ended an ER psychiatric nurse shared how she sees a large number of teenage boys in the ER with symptoms of psychosis whenever they have music festivals in town.
Is it susceptible individuals or the butane or pesticides or mold or a high amount of THC or skunk that is the cause? I don’t know if we have the answer yet and this is why I can endorse CBD from hemp but not marijuana.
I learned even more about CBD from hemp via a company exhibiting at the IMMH conference – CV Sciences, makers of +CBDoil. We spent a good hour talking to Dr. Michael Lewis, advisor to CV Sciences and President and founder of the Brain Health Education and Research Institute, and others from the company, asking a ton of questions. All the answers confirm what I have recently learned from Dr. Blair.
For now, I do feel comfortable sharing what I am learning about CBD from industrial hemp. But I don’t yet have much experience using it with clients. So far this is my experience:
- I used some of the +CBDoil cream on my aching feet at the IMMH conference and it helped the pain and gave me a solid night’s sleep (which can be challenging when in a hotel). I did also use 2 sprays (equivalent to 1 mg of CBD) earlier in the afternoon too.
- A colleague who tried some at the IMMH conference felt a little spacey
- Another colleague at IMMH reported that she felt it was very calming
- Feedback from my community on the original CBD blog
I also just heard from a mom that she has had incredible benefits using medical marijuana (with both CBD and THC) with her autistic son so I’ll share more as I learn more.
I’m still looking for an answer to this question: How much actual hemp CBD research is there and I am having a hard timing teasing out if the marijuana CBD research applies to all this, but will get answers. Until I learn more, here is some of the research that pertains to anxiety, panic attacks and depression:
- Evidences for the anti-panic actions of Cannabidiol
- Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
- Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa
Here are some links for you:
- Dr. Blair offers phone consulting via Prohealthadvisor
- The Elixinol website and products (these are the products Dr. Blair uses and he is an advisor for the company – use this code for a 10% discount: 10off208)
- The +CBDoil product (this is the one I tried at the recent IMMH conference)
- The Realm of Caring (a non-profit site that Dr. Blair recommends as a resource for additional information)
With appreciation to Dr. Jay Davidson for inviting Dr. Blair to speak on the Detox Summit and for both of them enlightening us!
And again, thanks to Dr. Blair for an excellent interview and answering so many of our questions!
Please share other questions you have and we’ll get them addressed when we do our interview.
Please also share both positive and negative results with both CBD from hemp and marijuana.