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40 Million US Adults Have an Anxiety Disorder. Can CBD Help?

As laws and social stigmas change, the cannabis plant, namely its chemical compounds of cannabinoids, is gaining more notability for having effective anti-anxiety effects on people across the globe. In a recent study on cannabidiol (CBD) and neuropsychiatric, or anxiety, disorders, it was shown that preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for the following disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. There is a need for studies to investigate chronic CBD dosing and clinical populations, but this study used acute doses of CBD to explore the effects of cannabidiol to calm the fear response in the body.
Fear and anxiety, as adaptive responses that are necessary for coping with threats to survival, can easily get excessive or persistent and can lead to disability when systems are imbalanced. When this happens, people typically show a diminished sense of well-being, have a hard time in healthy relationships, are more prone to unemployment, and also exhibit an elevated suicide risk. So it’s no wonder that we are exploring CBD as a natural and healthy alternative to help combat these disruptive responses. In the United States, twenty-nine percent of the population has a lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders, the highest of any mental disorder. This in turn creates massive social and economic burdens as this large of a population struggles with day to day structures such as relationships and jobs. Currently, pharmaceuticals such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and serotonin reuptake inhibitors are prescribed to treat these conditions, but sometimes, at a high cost. CBD, with further study, is showing excellent safety ratings for high doses, which is unlike many of the pharmaceutical options out there with high overdose and abuse rates. This study showed that CBD was well-tolerated across a wide dose range, up to 1500mg/day (orally), without any reported psychomotor slowing, negative mood effects, or abnormalities in vital signs. 
The way CBD interacts with the brain’s chemistry has to do with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for the body’s way of maintaining homeostasis, or balance, as well as other diverse physiological functions such as caloric energy balance and immune function. Several of these receptors found throughout the endocannabinoid system are known to regulate fear and anxiety-related behaviors, specifically the CB1 receptor and the serotonin 5-HT receptor (joyfulness), among several other receptors throughout the body’s nervous system. A system that is healthy has a natural and balanced response to fear-triggering events, whereas one that is experiencing disorder, does not have that regulated response and creates a malfunction.
The way CBD can work on regulating this response has to do with the CB1 receptor – its activation has the ability to minimize conditioned fear responses and can prevent it from coming back unnecessarily, by releasing a hormone corticotropin, which has anti-anxiety effects. That said, when these receptors are activated on a consistent basis, it can help prevent the negative effects that fear has on the body, such as aging and stress. Chronic stress impairs the endocannabinoid system’s signaling to various parts of the brain (the hippocampus and amygdala), which leads to anxiety. Basically, cannabinoids have been shown to be activators for this balanced and natural response of the system to regulate fear, not block it.

Although this study had its limitations, as only experimentally-induced anxiety or fear was studied, it was shown that CBD reduced anxiety with a simulated public speaking test in healthy subjects and also those suffering from social anxiety disorder, and proved to be comparable to pharmaceutical medications in their efficiency. Taken at high doses ranging from 300 to 600mg, CBD was shown to reduce anxiety in healthy people without affecting baseline anxiety levels, or a balanced anxiety response, and also significantly reduced anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder. This means that this evidence may support the use of CBD for aiding potential treatment for PTSD or enhancing cognitive behavioral therapy, which could change this problem in the United States. 

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7 Ways To Use Industrial Hemp Other Than CBD!

After 77 years of prohibition on industrial hemp, American farmers have begun to grow the crop again!  Although we’ve been in a restricted time regarding hemp, awareness is growing and many are beginning to see the light that has always been there. 
 
“Tin Lizzie” Automobile by Henry Ford
In 1941, Henry Ford was looking for a solution to the metal crisis that the US was experiencing during the war.  As an avid agriculturist, he grew hemp and soybeans on his property and used the crop to create something more sustainable during the metal shortage.  The bioplastic paneled car prototype was made from soybeans, wheat, and corn, and was designed to run on hemp fuel.  As the war weakened, the project was pushed aside when steel was no longer in high demand.  Many Ford records were destroyed in a fire a few years later, and the exact descriptions of the car vary between stories.  Some report that the car was 25% lighter in weight and vastly more durable, not to mention, made with highly renewable resources.
 
Ropes & Sails
Even longer ago, early ships and covered wagons used canvas or hemp to travel far and wide.  Early ropes were made from industrial hemp due to its incredibly strong fibers and a naturally higher resistance to mold and bugs.  Many things we know were made from canvas, could have easily been made with hemp, as “Canvas” is also said to come from the word “cannabis”. 
 
The American Flag
Some historians claim that the first American flag made by Betsy Ross was made out of industrial hemp.  While there is not much research that explicitly states what the first flag was made of, many speculate that it was made from canvas or hemp, due to the resources available at the time.
 
Paper
Although hemp and paper were once both used as parchment, due to production costs, paper took the lead for newspapers, packaging paper, and other short-term use paper goods.  Hemp was most commonly found in higher end paper goods like banknotes and cigar papers.  Even though hemp offers up to 5x longer fibers, stronger, and has a greater pulp retention when recycled, paper from wood pulp beat out hemp.
 
Edible Hemp & CBD
Hemp can be eaten as seeds, oil, milk, butter, and in a number of dishes.  Seeds can be eaten raw, hulled, ground, or soaked in water and blended to make hemp milk.  Hemp seeds are high in fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, as well as, very high in essential fatty acids.  It also provides an amino acid profile much like milk, eggs, and meat.  This is likely why you will find hemp proteins emerging in the health food market!  CBD products like tinctures and capsules can fall into this category, too.  Read more about CBD here.
 
Wearable Hemp
While hemp bracelets, bags, and dresses have been seen as “hippie clothes” in somewhat recent culture, hemp as a textile has been used for years to create uniforms and bedding.  In the last year or two, hemp has become the cloth for sustainable fashion, and it’s not just for those who live in a commune.  Companies like Adidas and New Balance have launched hemp tennis shoes, and companies like Patagonia and Nordstrom are selling partial hemp clothing in their stores.
 
Hempcrete
Hempcrete is an alternative construction material has recently come on the scene that is both an insulator and a moisture regulator.  While it’s more lightweight and renewable than traditional lime concrete, it cannot withstand the pressure as a building foundation, so it’s typically found used in building walls.  Since it it a low-density material and does not crack with movement, it could be a useful material in earthquake zones.  In the US, special permits are needed to build with hempcrete but other countries have been using it for years. 
 
 
At Fully Activated, we’re big believers in this plant for many reasons and we’re excited to see where the future of hemp leads us!  For more information on our Colorado-grown hemp, Read Our Story Here!