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CBD CONDITIONS & TREATMENTS

How CBD Can Ride to the Rescue in the Opioid Crisis

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In the United States over the past decade, as we can certainly all agree, we have faced a growing crisis in the form of an epidemic of addiction, abuse, and overdose centered around opioid painkillers, apart from and including illegal heroin use.

Now that the federal government has stepped up to the plate and named this a national crisis, we’ve begun to see scientists, politicians, and community leaders come together to join the battle.

But first, it’s critical to understand the nature of addiction.

Understanding Addiction

Addiction is so difficult to battle because it’s something of a ghost in the brain. One can never nail down exactly what it is that’s wrong until it’s too wrong to change without help. In fact, addiction is something like a hijacking wherein the functions and processes driving an individual’s behavior become dominated by something other than their true long-term self-interest.

We become irrational and work against ourselves strictly for the maintenance of the addiction. It is a fundamental rewiring of the brain.

Most addictions center around the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This is essentially the feel-good drug inside the brain. And other drugs that we take from the external world and put in our bodies can control how much of this internal drug is released and active and available for us to feel.

But dopamine is not just caused by drug intake. In fact, it rewards us for our evolutionary best interests. It’s like an internal design system meant to incentivize us toward the behaviors that are supposed to be helping us, such as eating, sleeping, and having sex.

Addictive substances play upon this internal instinctive equipment. They hijack the system that was meant to help us survive and reproduce and cause it to turn in on itself. They give us the reward without us having to work for it.

In other words, we were designed to be rewarded by an internal mechanism for behaviors that help our fitness and the fitness of our species. But when that reward is turned into a reward for another behavior altogether (such as taking the painkiller pill), it rewires our incentivization structure within the brain, causing a very different set of behaviors, many of which are highly self-destructive.

When this rewiring has taken place and become a self-reinforcing pattern of behavior in someone’s life, we have what we call an “addiction”.

The opioid crisis is essentially a segment of this societal problem that centers around prescriptions for opioid-based painkillers as well as heroin on the street. Opioids are in fact the most prescribed class of medicines in the United States.

And many people addicted to illegal opioids, such as heroine, began down this path following some sort of surgery where they faced an initial exposure to this type of drug. The need grew from there and soon only found release in illegal form. This illegal form also exposes them to dangers such as used needles and the potential for infections, including HIV.

CBD and the Opioid Crisis

Individuals who have been involved in an addiction involving opioids in the past, or those who have learned through other routes such as a family member’s addiction, are all too familiar with the deadly risks involved in exposure to something such as an opioid.

In these cases, many such individuals actually request that their doctor does not give them access to something that can become so deadly in its habit-forming properties. In such a case, individuals will choose to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve, Voltaren, or ibuprofen.

However, many people don’t realize that one of the best natural alternatives here is actually CBD.

CBD creams, lotions, and oils have a number of different painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties, as we have covered exhaustively in many of our own pieces. In addition, other cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis also have such properties.

CBD not only increases the strength of a signal that the sensory nerve requires but also functions to impact the immune system to prevent inflammation. And much pain and suffering that is targeted by opioids is actually rooted in inflammation on the cellular level.

In short, CBD is a valuable, effective, and healthy alternative option for those facing a potential move into an opioid-dominated life. Greater public awareness of this fact may serve to be a huge asset as we all work together to face down this terrible crisis.

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BENEFITS OF CBD

Healing Properties CBD and Addison’s Disease

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Primary adrenal insufficiency, also known as Addison’s disease, is a very rare condition that impacts the adrenal cortex, resulting in a number of very difficult symptoms, including a lack of appetite, lethargy, possible adrenal crisis, loss of weight, and erratic mood.

One of the symptoms noted above – adrenal crisis – is a particularly acute experience that should be treated as a medical emergency. During that adrenal crisis, one may experience a dramatic loss of blood pressure accompanied by dizziness, lower body pain, and fainting spells.

Such an attack can result in death.

Coming to Grips with Addison’s Disease

The adrenal cortex is a rare instance of the word cortex being applied to something that is outside of the brain. In fact, the adrenal cortex is found on the top of the kidneys, and is made of a couple of different glands.

This is part of the HPA, which is an important axis of connected components that regulate many different functions in the body.

One element of this system is known as the endocrine system, which is in charge of various molecular signals in the body, such as hormones. The regulation of this system is critical in a number of different processes that sit at the very core of our physiological functionality.

On the other hand, the adrenal system is in charge of things like our ability to deal with sudden danger – commonly known as the fight or flight system. This is how we respond to highly stressful and highly dangerous situations encountered unexpectedly during daily life. Much of this is dealt with by the pituitary gland, which produces important chemical components that instinctively energize responses in the body.

For those suffering from Addison’s disease, we see it atrophying of this core system. This interrupts the processes that allow us to behave in a manner that our bodies were designed.

Without this properly functioning system we can end up lacking important responses in certain situations while having those responses happen to us in inappropriate situations. But we can also have a number of other symptoms such as those described above.

The role of CBD In Addison’s Disease

It’s certainly true that Addison’s disease is relatively uncommon. However, CBD is an excellent resource for those suffering from this terrible condition.

In our other pieces, we have previously described the importance of the endocannabinoid system and how it is tied throughout the body’s important systems.

Well, as you might have guessed, the endocannabinoid system is also an important part in dealing with Addison’s disease. Because this is such a critical and interconnected system throughout the body, you’ll find that it has a very complex relationships with many different sources of discomfort, malady, and disease. The case of Addison’s disease is no different.

CBD can be an important component in treating and or preventing a case of Addison’s disease because it isn’t impactful element in the functionality of the endocannabinoid system, as we have discussed in our prior pieces. In fact, much anecdotal evidence exists alongside some genuine research by the medical and scientific community to support these contentions.

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BENEFITS OF CBD

The Effects of CBD and Glaucoma

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facts about CBD and Glaucoma

As we discussed the variety of different health conditions that appear to be treatable or preventable through the use of CBD, we must admit to the existence of a spectrum of efficacy. In other words while it appears to have an enormous range of application, there are certain things that it works even better for than others.

One of the best of the bunch is glaucoma.

As the reader is likely aware, glaucoma is a defect with implications for severe damage to an individual’s optic nerve, and thus a failure in the proper functionality of the eye.

Coming to Terms with Glaucoma

While we don’t understand exactly how it’s cause, the most relevant source of serious long-term damage to the optic nerve in cases of glaucoma appears to be hypertension on an intraocular level. In other words,, comes from too much pressure inside of the eye because of too much fluid in between the iris and cornea.

How prevalent is glaucoma? About 2 million suffer from it just in the US. Most of them are around 50 years of age or older by the time we actually see signs of the glaucoma.

The early stage symptomology is relatively inconspicuous. The first thing you deal with in a case of glaucoma’s difficulty seeing out to your periphery – otherwise known as a loss of peripheral vision. If this happens to you, unfortunately I have some bad news: glaucoma is already irreversible at this stage.

This is when we know that there’s already too much pressure directly in the eye and damage is already been done to the optic nerve.

While we don’t fully understand exactly why or how this happens from the outset, the consequences are undeniable.

Here’s how it breaks down: the eye produces something called aqueous humor. No, that’s not a comedy club for fish. It’s actually a fluid it’s meant to sit between the iris and cornea of the eye. But when there’s too much of it, it results in pressure that can damage the optic nerve. It’s also important to understand that this is a very sensitive system.

The optic nerve is actually a highly delicate grouping of nerve tissue and it’s easily damaged. It is a highly delicate instrument. Any alteration leads to irreversible issues with vision.

Can CBD Help?

As we have described, glaucoma is the result of a failure to regulate some delicate balance of some kind of substance somewhere in the body – in this case, the aqueous humor in the eye. What we want to highlight here is that this is a regulatory issue.

While CBD is still on the frontier of its important research development, one thing we have learned for certain at this point is this: CBD is great at regulatory problems.

Why? Because CBD impacts the endocannabinoid system, and the endocannabinoid system is intimately tied into most of the body’s major regulatory systems.

That’s why it’s so good at helping with immune system issues, inflammation issues, pain management, and hormonal balance. These are all important regulatory functions in the body, and ones that the endocannabinoid system is intimately integrated within.

As such, anecdotal and formal research has shown CBD could be a highly valuable tool in the battle against glaucoma. While more research needs to be conducted, we already know that it’s effective, and we already have a pretty good idea why.

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BENEFITS OF CBD

Treatment Option for CBD and Sickle Cell Anemia

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Did you know that scientists aren’t even sure how many people are affected by sickle cell anemia in the world right now? Most people don’t realize that one of the most frequently identified hereditary conditions is in fact sickle cell anemia.

While we don’t know exactly how many people suffer from this difficult condition, we do know that it’s at least millions. Those living in Southwest Asia, the Mediterranean countries, Africa, and India are most at risk.

Coming to Grips with Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell anemia is a common version of the sickle cell disease, as you might guess. The most important and peculiar characteristic that defines this disease is a crescent shape found in red blood cells.

A red blood cell isn’t supposed to be crescent-shaped. Instead, it supposed to be round and flattish, allowing transportation through membranes with tight gaps, which are common throughout the body’s circulatory system.

It is this crescent-shaped or sickle shaped character as well as a rigidity that is responsible for all of the problems that go along with sickle cell disease.

What Causes Sickle Cell Disease?

The cause of sickle cell disease is a gene mutation. Specifically, it is the gene that responsible for hemoglobin production.

Hemoglobin, an important protein found in red blood cells, attaches itself to oxygen molecules to help transport them around the body.

The mutation that causes sickle cell disease is a mutation involved in the production of the shape of red blood cells, resulting in the misshapen, rigid, sickle shaped design that is responsible for the problems that come with this difficult condition.

At the end of the day, the problem that is found with this condition is that of factors involved in causing a difficulty adjusting when the weather is cold, some occasional bouts of dizziness, and a lack of energy.

Diagnosis is actually extremely easy, and most cases of the disease are already detected by the time the baby is born. That said, to know for sure, a doctor will prescribe a blood test diagnosis that will determine precisely whether or not the patient carries the sickle cell abnormality and thus will suffer from effects associated with the disease.

A Solution and a Problem

If you understand more about sickle cell disease, it may not be too surprising to know that case density is greatest in areas where prevalence of malaria is to be found.

You see, the odd shape of red blood cells for individuals with sickle cell disease actually works to repel the spread of malaria throughout the body. Hence, over an even illusionary timeline, sickle cell disease has actually evolved as a defense in areas where malaria is particularly common in individuals are likely to be exposed to it.

In such places, having sickle cell disease actually decreases one’s chances of death, thereby increasing one’s chances of survival and eventual reproduction. This is why the disease has gained traction in certain areas of the world.

How Can CBD Help?

While there are no absolute treatments for sickle cell disease, cannabis and CBD have appeared to make a positive difference in both coping and managing the process that one must endure as a sufferer of sickle cell anemia.

CBD works to aid in the functionality of the immune system as well is the nervous system, thus treating many of the symptoms that are most often experienced by those with this terrible disease.

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