11 Things You Didn’t Know About CBD Gummies Everyone is talking about CBD gummies. Now that hemp-derived CBD products are federally legalized (as long as they have 0.30% or less THC). There are There are four different ways to get a prescription for CBD oil or medical cannabis products. Learn how to get a cbd oil prescription in Canada. Information from the NHS website on medical cannabis.
11 Things You Didn’t Know About CBD Gummies
Everyone is talking about CBD gummies. Now that hemp-derived CBD products are federally legalized (as long as they have 0.30% or less THC). There are many people who live in states without a medical cannabis program. And CBD supplements can unlock some of the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids for symptom management.
If you have been thinking about buying CBD gummies, the first thing you should know is that not all CBD supplements are created equal. There is a difference between clinical grade CBD and other products that may be available on the market. Read the label carefully to educate yourself on the difference. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently have standards for CBD products, which means a high number of ‘fake CBD’ supplements available online.
Here are eleven important things you should know about CBD gummy supplements:
1. They Taste Good
In the early days of innovating edibles, gummies had a medicinal taste. That’s not the case anymore. While a CBD supplement in the form of a gummy shape with fruit flavoring will never taste as good as candy, it doesn’t smell like cannabis. And it doesn’t taste like cannabis either.
The CBD is derived from hemp, which is not as pungent or strong smelling. So, if you open a package of gummies in the car, your vehicle is not going to smell like weed, which is a good thing. Part of the appeal is that CBD gummies can provide most of the health benefits of cannabis, discreetly and conveniently.
Many people try CBD oil. It is convenient and affordable to use by sublingual uptake. That is administering drops under the tongue for rapid absorption. The problem? The oil typically tastes bad. There is a reason why some people add their CBD oil to coffee or tea or orange juice. And it leaves an aftertaste. Most CBD gummies taste great and have no aftertaste.
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2. CBD Gummies May Help With Inflammation
Did you know that most chronic diseases are caused by inflammation? We tend to think of inflammation as swelling after an injury. But at the cellular level, your body is constantly fighting inflammation because it can do a lot of damage to your health.
Our modern diets aren’t the best. Even when you try to eat a healthy and balanced diet, you are eating preservatives unless you are shopping exclusively at a health food store. Chemicals that are not natural and not found in organic food sources. They are meant to extend shelf life. Make the food we eat to look better and taste better. But these artificial additives wreak havoc on our bodies.
One of the scary things about inflammation is that you may not recognize the signs. Often, people suffer from high inflammation where the symptoms are virtually invisible for years. Your physician may not even realize it as a health problem for you until you develop an associated chronic disease.
The health risks associated with chronic or long-term inflammation include:
- Memory impairment
- Cholesterol imbalance
- Elevated CRP levels
- Aches and pains
- Skin problems
- Digestive issues
Chronic Inflammatory Diseases (CIDs) can trigger your body to overreact in defense responses. For example, inflammation is one of the causes of the most severe cases of Covid-19. For Covid-19 patients, a cytokine storm happens, which attacks the body’s immune defenses. Chronic inflammation is one of the common features for patients most at risk for life-threatening response to the coronavirus.
3. You Can Get Low-Carb or Keto CBD Gummies
Some people with health conditions like diabetes have to be very careful about the number of carbohydrates they consume daily. There are carbohydrates in healthy foods too, which are not as bad for you. For example, the fruit has naturally occurring sugars but also fiber. That helps offset the impact on blood glucose levels.
But other foods, which are simple carbohydrates, are high on the glycemic index. That means it is just a small amount of simple carbohydrates, and your blood sugar will rise quickly. The immediate effect for people with diabetes are symptoms like dry mouth, headaches, hyperactivity, or mood variances like irritability.
Over the long-term, a diet that is high in carbohydrates can create health problems. For people with diabetes, vision damage and nerve damage resulting in numbness or neuropathic pain. High blood sugar also weakens the immune system, leaving some people with chronic diseases prone to serious infections. And sometimes, those infections can be life-threatening. So, choosing low-carbohydrate foods and supplements is a good idea.
Many manufacturers of CBD gummy supplements are now using Monk Fruit to sweeten their products. That is a sweetener that is healthier than other alternatives, and it is low on the glycemic index. You may have to search around for a CBD gummy made with Stevia or Monk Fruit, but they are out there for people on carbohydrate restricted diets.
4. CBD Gummies Are Easier on Your Throat and Lungs
When you take a CBD edible, it is non-psychoactive. That means you will not experience the same intoxicating effects of smoking medical cannabis. That makes CBD ideal for daytime use when you have symptoms of pain, inflammation, or anxiety.
Some people have respiratory conditions like asthma or emphysema. That makes smokable CBD varieties (vape oil), or smokable hemp flower is not a good alternative. The inhalation of smoke can irritate or aggravate symptoms.
Eating a CBD gummy is safer than smokable varieties, but CBD absorption through the digestive tract is slower. That means that the benefits of the cannabinoids last longer and are released over time, which is also economical and convenient for people who want to use CBD to naturally manage pain and inflammation symptoms.
5. Very Minimal Side Effects with CBD Gummies
Some people with health conditions are concerned about the interaction between prescription medications and medical marijuana. There are very few medications that can be contraindicated with medical marijuana. Talk to your doctor for advice if you have a medical card and prescription medication review.
It is virtually impossible to ingest too much cannabidiol with CBD gummies. Taking CBD gummies may produce only two side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased ability to absorb prescription medications or other supplements
One of the safety considerations about CBD gummies that you should discuss with your doctor pertains to liver functioning. Supplement CBD gummies can impact the way your liver absorbs prescription drugs. That is why it is very important to discuss your use of CBD gummy supplements with your primary care physician (PCP).
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6. Supplementing CBD Can Boost Your Antioxidant Levels
Every day we are ingesting things called free radicals into our body. Think of free radicals like these microscopic invaders that enter the body, and attach to healthy cells. And when they do, they create damage to the cell. Damage that spreads and can result in serious health risks over time through cellular oxidation.
Free radical damage is also linked to premature aging and impaired organ functioning. Clinical studies have also connected free radical damage to chronic diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders.
The human body has a natural defense against free radicals. Glutathione and other antioxidants are produced in the liver. The antioxidants are like a security team that is dispatched to “seek and destroy” free radicals. And remove them from the body.
Clinical grade CBD gummies also provide an antioxidant boost for your body. And can help reduce free radicals and cellular damage linked to chronic and neurodegenerative diseases.
7. CBD Supplements May Help Reduce Cancer Activity
There are many clinical studies that have reported CBD may help reduce certain types of cancer. In animal testing on mice and rats who were dosed with CBD, there were antitumoral results. In plain language, the CBD appeared to reduce the growth rate of test subjects’ tumors.
Some of the studies suggested that:
- Cannabidiol may inhibit functions in the body (including inflammation) that can increase cancer risk.
- CBD may prevent tumor cells from spreading.
- Cancer cell growth may be inhibited with the long-term use of cannabidiol.
- CBD may help kill tumors or help achieve cancer remission for certain types of cancer.
There is no hard evidence that cannabidiol will cure cancer. However, an exciting new study was published that is providing new hope for patients living with cancer. Read: “Cannabinoids in Cancer Treatment: Therapeutic Potential and Legislation.”
8. Cannabidiol (CBD) May Help Reduce the Severity of Seizures
How effective are cannabinoids at reducing some of the symptoms of epilepsy? This is one area of cannabinoid research that has been conclusive. Patients with epilepsy who receive cannabinoid treatments can experience fewer seizures. It can also help reduce the severity of seizures for children and adults with moderate to severe epilepsy.
Cannabinoids work to reduce seizures that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fast-tracked prescription medications that are cannabis derived. Specifically for Dravet Syndrome or Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy, which is diagnosed in children.
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9. CBD Gummies Daily May Help With Anxiety and Depression
Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States? It is estimated that there are about 40 million American adults who have one or more types of anxiety disorders. Or approximately 18.1% of the population, according to The Anxiety & Depression Association of America.
Many people living with anxiety do not seek formal treatment. Even though there are a variety of treatment options available, including prescription medications and talk-therapy. According to the ADAA, this is concerning because as many as 36.9% of Americans never seek treatment or help for their anxiety disorder. And anxiety predisposes patients to other health risks, including compromise of the immune system and psychiatric disorders.
Supplementing CBD Can Help Balance Receptors Responsible for Mood and Healthy Sleep
Cannabidiol (CBD) can reduce anxiety and depression by acting on two different regions and functions of the brain. The adenosine and serotonin receptors are responsible for controlling heightened emotions when someone experiences anxiety. And serotonin is responsible for overall mood, including happiness and sadness and symptoms of depression.
When adenosine receptors are working well, your body effectively manages stress. But if the receptors are impaired and not working, anxiety levels can peak. People who struggle with depression or low mood have in common the impaired functioning of serotonin receptors. And if serotonin receptors are also not working correctly, it can cause insomnia.
Researchers do not fully understand how it works. But what they do know through clinical studies is that cannabidiol can positively affect both the serotonin and the adenosine receptors. That can provide relief for people who struggle with anxiety or depression.
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10. People With Insomnia May Improve Sleep Quality
You may not have depression or anxiety, but you could have chronic insomnia. This condition impacts approximately 30% to 48% of older adults in the United States. The Sleep Foundation reports that 23.8% of teenagers may have chronic anxiety.
Cannabidiol may help people with chronic insomnia improve their sleep quality. In one study, while comparing to a placebo, patients dosed with CBD slept longer, with fewer interruptions. With doses of 25 – 175 mg, after a three-month study and follow -up 51.6% of the participants had reported improved sleep. But 26.8% of people had reported sleep quality declined.
That suggests that CBD may work for many people who struggle with insomnia. And because CBD gummies are easy to take (and tasty) before bed, it makes the supplement an excellent alternative to consider compared to prescription sleep medications.
Some people with insomnia experience higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol at night. It is normal for higher levels of cortisol to happen in the morning to provide additional ‘wake up energy.’ Cannabidiol may help regulate or lower cortisol levels gently to improve sleep.
11. Can Help Reduce Bacterial Infections
People who have autoimmune diseases like cancer, lupus, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and celiac disease are prone to infections. That means bacterial and viral infections can become serious. Or even life-threatening for people with chronic diseases. And there are some bacterial infections like MRSA and sepsis that have been shown to resist treatment with antibiotics.
Prior to the Covid-19 health crisis and pandemic, clinical researchers evaluated CBD as a potential treatment for superbugs. Those are types of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. It is important to research because the World Health Organization has acknowledged that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are approaching dangerous levels of threat worldwide.
Researchers that tested CBD against bacteria strains (staph) and streptococcus (strep) found some interesting results. The clinical tests showed that:
- CBD is less likely to increase the resistance of bacteria.
- CBD can kill certain types of bacteria within three (3) hours. That is compared to an average of 6-8 hours for standard prescription antibiotics.
- CBD works best for gram-positive bacteria. That includes bacterial infections that cause skin infections and pneumonia. It was less effective for gram-negative bacteria like E.coli and salmonella or gastrointestinal infections.
With more clinical testing and medical data, we may see a future where physicians routinely prescribe clinical-grade cannabidiol (CBD) to patients with infections. Or for post-operative care to help reduce skin or surface infections after discharge from the hospital. This could include CBD gummies and topical ointments applied for daily wound care.
Patients with chronic and autoimmune diseases may also use CBD to reduce the risk of contracting a bacterial infection. Since the side-effects are nominal for most patients, taking a daily CBD supplement may prove beneficial.
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How to get a CBD oil prescription or medical cannabis prescription
There are four ways to get a prescription for CBD oil or other medical cannabis products:
- From your doctor or specialist
- From a cannabis nursing service
- From a cannabis clinic (“canna clinic”)
- From a cannabis telemedicine service
Here’s what you can expect from each of these approaches.
Your doctor or specialist
Very few doctors and specialists are readily prescribing cannabis, for a variety of reasons. Many will simply refer you to a cannabis clinic, or even suggest you go buy it from a retail store.
If your doctor is knowledgeable and willing, count yourself lucky. That said, they are unlikely to have time to educate you on all of the ins-and-outs of medical cannabis, or help you decide which licensed producer to register with. Nor are they likely to have staff at their clinic who can help.
Some doctors may have a single licensed producer that they have a relationship with. They will forward your prescription to that producer, who will then call you to help you choose a product. It’s convenient for the doctor, but it doesn’t leave the patient with any choice of producer. This is unfortunate because no single producer can meet the diversity of needs that patients have.
[By the way, Wayfare works with quite a few doctors who are prescribing cannabis but count on us to provide educational support to their patients. We can even help prepare documents you can take to your doctor.]
Cannabis nursing service
You can think of this service as a mobile clinic. The nurse will come to your home, provide education, take a medical history and connect with a doctor or Nurse Practitioner to obtain the authorization. She will also help you select an appropriate product and develop a detailed treatment plan and dosing schedule. She will then help register you with a licensed producer so you can order products by phone or on-line, and will follow up with you semi-weekly while you work toward your goal.
The cost for this service is usually fully-covered by insurance as a home nursing expense.
Wayfare falls into this category, although we do often work with patients’ own doctors, and there are some cannabis clinics who refer to us to provide extra support for patients. We are now also providing a telehealth option as well.
Over the past few years a number of specialized cannabis clinics have opened up. These are typically staffed by doctors who work there on a part-time basis. These doctors may come from specialties including psychiatry, surgery, and anesthesiology. This means that some patients may see a heart surgeon for their arthritis! But really, bless these doctors for making time to learn about cannabis and help people.
The educational portion of your visit, where you select a licensed producer and product, is quite often handled by a lay person who may have the title of “cannabis educator”, “canna counsellor”, or “patient educator”. These people rarely have medical training, although they may be knowledgable about particular strains, the pricing programs of the various producers, and how to use a vaporizer.
Cannabis telemedicine services
You can get on a video conference with a doctor or Nurse Practitioner, who will assess you and provide an authorization for medical cannabis. Some of these services are stand-alone whereas others are provided by cannabis clinics as described above.
The educational component of the service may again be handled by a lay person, sometimes via a separate video call or by telephone through a call centre.
Medical cannabis (and cannabis oils)
Many cannabis-based products are available to buy online, but their quality and content is not known. They may be illegal in the UK and potentially dangerous.
Some products that might claim to be medical cannabis, such as CBD oil or hemp oil, are available to buy legally as food supplements from health stores. But there’s no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits.
Specific cannabis-based products are available on prescription as medicinal cannabis. These are only likely to benefit a very small number of patients.
Can I get a prescription for medical cannabis?
Very few people in England are likely to get a prescription for medical cannabis.
Currently, it is only likely to be prescribed for the following conditions:
- children and adults with rare, severe forms of epilepsy
- adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy
- people with muscle stiffness and spasms caused by multiple sclerosis (MS)
It would only be considered when other treatments were not suitable or had not helped.
Epidyolex for children and adults with epilepsy
Epidyolex is a highly purified liquid containing CBD (cannabidiol).
CBD is a chemical substance found in cannabis that has medical benefits.
It will not get you high, because it does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical in cannabis that makes you high.
Epidyolex can be prescribed by a specialist for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome (both rare forms of epilepsy).
Nabilone for chemotherapy patients
Many people having chemotherapy will have periods where they feel sick or vomit.
Nabilone can be prescribed to adults by a specialist to help relieve these symptoms, but only when other treatments have not helped or are not suitable.
Nabilone is a medicine, taken as a capsule, that has been developed to act in a similar way to THC (the chemical in cannabis that makes you high). You may have heard it described as a “manmade form of cannabis”.
Nabiximols (Sativex) for multiple sclerosis (MS)
Nabiximols (Sativex) is a cannabis-based medicine that is sprayed into the mouth.
It is licensed in the UK for adults with MS-related muscle spasticity that has not got better with other treatments.
There is some evidence medical cannabis can help certain types of pain, though this evidence is not yet strong enough to recommend it for pain relief.
In some cases, however, it may be prescribed for pain as part of a clinical trial.
What about products available to buy?
Some cannabis-based products are available to buy over the internet without a prescription.
It’s likely most of these products – even those called CBD oils – will be illegal to possess or supply. There’s a good chance they will contain THC, and may not be safe to use.
Health stores sell certain types of pure CBD. However, there’s no guarantee these products will be of good quality.
They tend to only contain very small amounts of CBD, so it’s not clear what effect they would have.
Is medical cannabis safe?
The risks of using cannabis products containing THC (the chemical that gets you high) are not currently clear. That’s why clinical trials are needed before they can be used. “Pure” products that only contain CBD, such as Epidyolex, do not carry these unknown risks linked with THC.
But in reality, most products will contain a certain amount of THC.
The main risks of THC cannabis products are:
- psychosis – there is evidence that regular cannabis use increases your risk of developing a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia
- dependency on the medicine – although scientists believe this risk is probably small when its use is controlled and monitored by a specialist doctor
Generally, the more THC the product contains, the greater these risks are.
Cannabis bought illegally off the street, where the quality, ingredients and strength are not known, is the most dangerous form to use.
What are the side effects?
Depending on the type of medical cannabis you take, it’s possible to develop side effects such as:
- decreased appetite
- feeling sick
- a behavioural or mood change
- feeling very tired
- feeling high
- suicidal thoughts
If you experience any side effects from medical cannabis, report these to your medical team. You can also report them through the Yellow Card Scheme.
CBD and THC can affect how other medicines work. Always discuss possible interactions with a specialist.
CBD can also affect how your liver works, so doctors would need to monitor you regularly.
How do I get a prescription?
You cannot get cannabis-based medicine from a GP – it can only be prescribed by a specialist hospital doctor.
And it is only likely to be prescribed for a small number of patients.
A hospital specialist might consider prescribing medical cannabis:
- for epilepsy – if you (or your child) have one of the rare forms of epilepsy that might be helped by medical cannabis
- for MS – if you have spasticity from MS and other treatments for this are not helping
- for chemotherapy – if you are vomiting or feeling sick from chemotherapy and other anti-sickness treatments are not helping
The specialist will discuss with you all the other treatment options first, before considering a cannabis-based product.
A prescription for medical cannabis would only be given when it was believed to be in your best interests, and when other treatments had not worked or were not suitable.
It’s expected this would only apply to a very small number of people in England.
If the above does not apply to you, do not ask a GP for a referral for medical cannabis.
Will the laws on cannabis be relaxed?
The government has no intention of legalising the use of cannabis for recreational (non-medical) use.
Possessing cannabis is illegal, whatever you’re using it for. That includes medical use cannabis products, unless these have been prescribed for you.