Using a homemade wrinkle cream is a cheaper alternative to expensive anti-wrinkle creams, lotions and moisturizers. Here’s a guide on how to make your own natural DIY wrinkle cream with simple ingredients for getting rid of wrinkles under eyes, face wrinkles and lip lines.
Face wrinkles, eye wrinkles and fine lines around eyes, also called crow’s feet can give away your age even when you are still young. But most of the times, some anti-aging creams do not help to remove wrinkles around the mouth, face and even hands. What if you tried a homemade anti-aging cream from natural ingredients? Can it fix wrinkles such as forehead wrinkles or deep furrows? Let’s find out.
Homemade Wrinkle Cream That Works
Do DIY anti-wrinkle creams even work? What are the reviews and before and after results pictures for plumping and smoothing out wrinkles show any positives? Our readers often write to us asking us for recommendations for a homemade wrinkle cream that works and here is one email sent to us just yesterday via email.
“I am 57 years old and age has recently caught up with me. I have these wrinkles that are most notable on my face and neck. My friend recommends using a natural homemade anti-wrinkle cream as opposed to a commercial cream. Is there any natural homemade anti-wrinkle cream that you particularly recommend?” Judy
There are way too many commercial wrinkle cream products out there today, and quite as many natural homemade wrinkle cream alternatives. As for the part on whether the homemade varieties work, the answer is yes, there are many natural homemade anti-wrinkle creams that are not only a cheaper option, but also very effective.
One natural anti-wrinkle cream that we particularly like is the one made from honey, green tea, eggs, and lemon juice which is discussed in more details in another section of this article.
Best Homemade Wrinkle Cream
A quick search online using Google or your favorite search engine will bring you dozens if not hundreds of homemade anti-wrinkle creams which often leads to the question, “What is the best homemade wrinkle cream?”
While the effectiveness of each cream may vary from one person to another, you will want to look for a recipe with at least one of the following ingredients:
Tea: It’s rich in polyphenol antioxidants; neutralizes free radicals on the skin. Its natural astringent properties also help to tighten the skin.
Rosehip oil: It helps to regenerate skin cells and increase production of collagen. It also helps to tighten and brighten the skin.
Vitamin E: Helps to firm the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles
Honey: Honey is a natural astringent that helps to tighten the skin and restore its elasticity
Homemade Wrinkle Cream Recipe
The ageing process has significant impact on the skin. It makes the skin lose its elasticity, thin out, look drier, and eventually develop wrinkles starting with fine lines. Are there recipes for making anti-aging creams for under eye wrinkles?
We sought to find out an all-natural homemade anti-wrinkle cream recipe. Now, go get the following ingredients, reward yourself by grabbing a cup of coffee, and then meet us in the next section of the article where we’ll walk you through the instructions of preparing your own homemade wrinkle cream recipe for fixing face wrinkles and under eye wrinkles:
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Green Tea Powder
DIY Wrinkle Cream with Green Tea
I am, personally, a huge fan of DIY stuff and there is now way we could have finished this article without listing at least one DIY wrinkle cream. It is an easy anti-wrinkle home treatment or natural cream.
There is also no way we could have left green tea natural wrinkle cream out. This is a type of tea made from high-quality Japanese tea leaves. It is popularly used in Japanese tea ceremonies.
Green tea has been shown to be rich in antioxidants (polyphenols) which help to not only ensure smooth complexion but also reverse the harmful effects of free radicals in the skin, notable among them being the formation of wrinkles.
Now, let’s jump right into the process of making this DIY wrinkle cream, assuming that you have gathered the ingredients we listed in the previous section of the article:
Break the egg in a small basin or bowl
Add 3 teaspoons of green tea followed by 3 drops of lemon juice
Stir the mixture with a spoon until well blended
Add your honey gradually until your mixture forms a thick paste
Using your fingers, apply the cream apply the cream gently on your face, except for the area beneath your eyelids to avoid irritation. Make sure that your face is clean before applying this homemade cream; ideally start by cleansing it with a mild soap.
Allow the cream to set in for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water
Follow it up with a moisturizing cream
Repeat this process 1-2 times daily for one week to get rid of face wrinkles, fine lines around eyes and other types of wrinkles
Some proponents of green tea DIY wrinkle creams such as this one claim that they protect the skin from sun damage, but you should nevertheless not forget to wear sunscreen while going outdoors since photo-ageing is one of the most common culprits for wrinkles.
If you want, you can prepare a larger amount of the cream and then store it in your refrigerator for subsequent uses.
Homemade Anti Wrinkle Face Cream – Honey + Cocoa Butter
Face creams are in plenty, but did you know that you can make your own homemade anti-wrinkle face cream? With cocoa butter and honey, it is easy to remove fine lines and smooth out forehead lines and wrinkles around the mouth with this recipe. Here is yet another simple-to-prepare homemade cream that will help to reduce wrinkles on face:
Steps: How to Make Homemade Wrinkle Cream for Forehead Wrinkles etc.
Add 1 tbsp cocoa butter, ½ tbsp organic honey, 2 drops sesame oil, and 2 drops apricot oil in a small bowl
Stir thoroughly to make a well-blended paste.
Apply the paste on the face and leave it on for 15 minutes before washing it of with cold water
Repeat this everyday in the morning and evening for 1 week
Homemade Eye Wrinkle Cream
Wrinkles under eyes, or eye wrinkles can be crow’s feet or just deep wrinkles around eyes that make you look old. But how can you get rid of eye wrinkles with an eye wrinkle cream made by yourself? What ingredients should you use for a homemade anti-wrinkle cream for eyes?
The area around the eyes is one of the areas where wrinkles tend to appear. This home made eye wrinkle cream (courtesy of primarilyinspired.com) may however help to reverse.
1/4 cup green tea
1 tsp. emulsifying wax
3 drop lavender Essential Oil
1/4 tsp. citric acid
1 tbsp. rosehip seed oil
1 tbsp. sweet almond oil
1/4 tsp. vitamin E
Steep the green tea in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes and then strain out the tea leaves
Mix the green tea with citric acid in a glass bowl
Mix, rosehip oil, vitamin E, sweet almond oil and wax in another glass bowl
Place each of the two bowls in a saucepan half-full with water
Heat the two saucepans until the wax in the second bowl has fully melted
Mix the contents of the two bowls when temperature is just about the same. Pour the green tea-mixture into the rosehip oil-mixture and not vice versa. Stir or mix your mixture thoroughly with a hand held blender to make a fine cream.
Use a blender to mix the cream in cycles of 10 minutes until the water is not separating at the bottom of the mixture. This may take a total time of between 30 and 60 minutes.
Finally, pour in lavender oil and sweet almond oil.
To use this homemade anti-wrinkle cream for face, simply dab a small amount gently around your eyes in the morning and evening. Feel free to use the cream on any other area of your face as well.
Home Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction : Erectile dysfunction (ED), sometimes known as impotence is a very common health issue affecting millions of men worldwide. While male egos might not like to discuss the same, this is definitely a talking point that cannot be shrugged off as a mere happening that may or may not occur in the future. Though the condition is more prominent in men over the age of forty, there have been cases reported involving men below this golden number.
ED is a condition wherein a man is unable to achieve or sustain an erection which then becomes a direct cause of low self-esteem, depression, and guilt. Before we proceed to list of home remedies for erectile dysfunction, let’s take a look at the types of ED.
Types of ED
There are two main categories of erectile dysfunction, mainly physical and mental.
Physical This involves the narrowing of blood vessels for a number of reasons, including the likes of high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, hormonal changes, thyroid problems, obesity, heavy drinking, certain prescription medications, and so on.
Psychological This includes anxiety, stress, depression, mental health issues, and not to forget relationship problems as well.
The key is to identify the underlying cause and then treat it. This could be treated with a few home remedies, though it is best that you follow them up after you consult a doctor for the right diagnosis. Here are few home remedies for erectile dysfunction.
8 Tried & Tested Home Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction
Almonds are considered to be natural aphrodisiacs which have left millions of people satisfied without a doubt. This is mainly due to the vitamin E present in them, that promote healthy blood flow and circulation all over the body. As an added bonus, almonds are rich in zinc, manganese, and copper, which your body could definitely use.
Here are a few remedies for you to experiment with:
To a glass of warm milk, add a tablespoon of powdered almond. Consume this before you go to bed every day.
Soak a handful of almonds in water for a couple of hours. Eat these every day roughly thirty minutes before you hit the sack.
You would have to follow up with either of these remedies every day for a month to notice an improvement.
One of the best home remedies for erectile dysfunction is the antioxidant-rich fruit, pomegranate. In addition to improving blood circulation, it helps to reduce stress to some extent. Also, it increases the nitrite oxide levels in the body which is proportional to an increase in blood circulation.
Here are remedies you could try out:
Consume a glass of pomegranate juice on a regular basis.
You could also opt for pomegranate supplements. But you know the golden rule about supplements, make sure you pop them in only if your doctor advises it.
L-arginine is essentially an amino acid which increases the nitric oxide levels in the body. Nitric oxide, in turn, increases blood circulation and facilitates erections by dilating blood vessels in the penis.
Eat protein-rich foods such as meat, chicken, fish, peas, and nuts that contain L-arginine in high amounts. You can also take L-arginine supplements after consulting your doctor.
Ginger is one of the most effective home remedies for erectile dysfunction. It has aphrodisiac properties that help relieve impotency and premature ejaculation as well. Also, the active compounds in ginger such as gingerol, shogaol, and zingiberene stimulate blood circulation.
Acupuncture has also been used to treat problems such as ED for a while now. It is said to improve the quality of erection in men. This is basically an ancient Chinese practice wherein a practitioner inserts hair-thin needles into specific points on the wall of the abdomen. This, in turn, restores the proper flow of energy in the body. If you do decide to go ahead with this treatment, make sure to have it done by a trained practitioner.
While the buzz seems to be heating up around the ketogenic diet, the eating philosophy isn’t new. In fact, it’s been used as a treatment for epilepsy since the 1920s and came back into the spotlight in the ‘90s when Dateline ran a segment highlighting it as a treatment option. But how did it go from epilepsy treatment to weight-loss regimen? Well, for starters, more and more celebs — including Vanessa Hudgens and Halle Berry — have recently praised its weight-loss results publicly.
So what is the ketogenic diet? It’s a high-fat, low-carb diet that sends your body into a state of ketosis, during which it uses stored fat as energy. When you eat this way — typically we’re talking less than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day — “you’ll consume an enormous amount of fat,” says Shahzadi Devje, RD, CDE, a dietitian in Toronto, Canada. In fact, by following the keto diet, about 60 to 80 percent of your daily calories will come from fat. When you restrict carbs this way and eat more fat, your body takes about 24 to 48 hours to begin producing ketones, which are created when your body metabolizes fat for energy, says Pegah Jalali, MS, RD, a clinical coordinator at the New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, where she counsels patients on the ketogenic diet. Normally, your body would metabolize carbohydrates as a primary source of energy.
By following the keto diet, about 60 to 80 percent of your daily calories will come from fat.
When most people hear “diet” they think calories, but on the keto diet specific caloric intake isn’t the focus. “Mostly, I encourage my patients to eat according to their appetites,” says Jalali. “Your body can be in a ketogenic state at a range of calorie levels, and individual needs fluctuate day to day depending on activity and other factors.” But you won’t want to add a latte to your morning routine or even an extra piece of fruit to your afternoon snack, if those weren’t on your meal plan, says Jalali. “If you eat a lot more, then you risk coming out of ketosis — and if you do not eat enough fat, you also risk coming out of ketosis.” Bottom line: When you follow the keto diet, you must do so to a T for it to be effective. If you introduce cheat meals or cheat days, you’d be eating a high-fat diet and bringing your body out of that fat-burning ketosis state, which could have negative health consequences.
What does a day on the diet look like?
As an example of what a day in the life of the ketogenic diet may look like, here is a sample meal plan that Jalali shares with her patients.
2 eggs, cooked in 1 tablespoon of butter or ghee
½ cup cooked spinach, in 1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup coffee, blended with 1 tablespoon butter and a dash of cinnamon
6 macadamia nuts
Tuna salad (4-5 ounces canned light tuna, mixed with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, ¼ cup chopped celery, ¼ cup chopped green apple, and salt and black pepper to taste), served over 1 cup Romaine lettuce
Salad (½ cup steamed green beans and 8-10 olives), topped with a mixture of 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ lemon, juiced
½ avocado, sprinkled with 1 tablespoon hemp seeds or 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
8-12 ounces cooked steak, in 1 tablespoon butter
1 cup cauliflower, roasted in 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
1 ounce 90 percent dark chocolate
1 tablespoon crunchy salted almond butter, sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon
The pros of the Keto Diet
A main benefit of the diet, and why many of its followers praise the eating plan, is weight loss. Multiple studies show promising results: In a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, obese men dropped about 14 pounds after following the diet for a month. And in a longer-term study published in Clinical Cardiology, obese adults adhering to a ketogenic diet for about six months noticed significant weight loss — on average, 32 pounds — as well as reductions in total cholesterol and increases in beneficial HDL cholesterol. A review study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that the weight loss seen within the first three to six months of following the keto diet was greater than the loss from following a regular balanced eating style.
Weight loss often occurs on the keto diet because your body is utilizing fat stores for energy — and you may also notice a decreased appetite that often results from the diet. “We don’t know exactly why ketones suppress appetite,” says Jalali. “But my theory is that ketosis is the state we are in during starvation and prolonged fasting, so it might be an evolutionary response to help humans cope.” Plus, your body digests fat a lot more slowly than carbs. “Fat has a longer intestinal transit time compared with carbs,” she says. “So it will prolong that feeling of fullness, especially in between meals.”
While some say following the diet claim it is limiting at food-related social occasions, Lara Clevenger, MSH, RDN, a dietitian in Edgewater, Florida, says you can easily plan ahead. “I currently follow a ketogenic diet, and eating out is a lot easier than people think,” she says. “You can ask for a burger minus the bun and fries, plus a side of veggies. Or order a chef salad and ask for olive oil as your dressing, minus the croutons. The options are plentiful!” Clevenger says she first started the keto diet for its anti-inflammatory benefits, due to a family history of obesity, hypertension, breast cancer, diabetes and dementia. “I will stay on a ketogenic diet for the foreseeable future,” she says. “I now have two to three times more energy, I no longer have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, I am better in tune with my hunger and satiety, and I am no longer addicted to sugar. The diet has had more of an impact than I could have imagined!”
In addition to weight loss, studies show that the ketogenic diet may also be helpful in treating many other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), acne and more.
The cons of the Keto Diet
“As with any diet, there are always pros and cons,” says Devje. If you follow the ketogenic diet, you may notice side effects such as bad breath, headaches, nausea and fatigue. The negative symptoms some experience when first starting the diet is often referred to as the “keto flu.” This feeling of tiredness is due to a drop in blood sugar that can cause lethargy, which usually passes in 24 to 48 hours, notes Jalali. You might also feel bloated or constipated — and you may feel the need to urinate more frequently, since ketosis acts as a diuretic, says Jalali.
Because the ketogenic diet is limited in terms of food groups, you’ll be at risk for nutrient deficiencies. “The diet requires a robust supplement regimen, since you can develop certain deficiencies on a ketogenic diet that can inhibit your ability to stay in ketosis,” says Jalali. “You can also develop micronutrient deficiencies that can cause hair loss, and a lot of people become constipated on a ketogenic diet.” Jalali recommends discussing the diet with both a physician and a ketogenic dietitian to work to prevent these side effects.
And if you’re following the diet for weight loss, it’s important to know that you may gain weight back when and if you go back to your normal eating habits. “A ketogenic diet is fantastic for some people, but it’s not a lifelong diet for everyone,” says Jalali, who says she sees benefits for people with chronic conditions such as epilepsy, type 2 diabetes and PCOS — but sometimes negative effects for people who go on the diet for weight loss. “A lot of patients find that when they come off the diet, they regain weight very easily,” she says. “The theory is that by being on the ketogenic diet for a prolonged period of time, their bodies become very sensitive and efficient at metabolizing carbohydrates.” Jalali notes that these patients may be able to maintain the weight loss by sticking with a low-carbohydrate diet. While more research on weight-loss maintenance after following the keto diet is needed, research shows that cycles of brief ketogenic Mediterranean diet periods, separated by longer periods of the Mediterranean diet, over one year helped obese adults maintain weight loss.
There are some groups who shouldn’t take the keto diet for a test drive. It can be dangerous for people with type 1 diabetes, as it can increase the risk for life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Even people with type 2 diabetes following a ketogenic diet should regularly test their blood sugar and ketone levels to prevent DKA. If you have kidney disease, you’d want to skip this diet because you’d need to limit your protein intake. And if you have a history of disordered eating, the diet severely limits carbs and takes a lot of control to follow — which may increase the risk of bingeing or compulsive overeating. Consult with your doctor to determine if this is the right diet for you.
What’s the bottom line?
If you’re planning to follow the keto diet, consider consulting with a registered dietitian to determine the most balanced diet possible, as well as any supplements you may need to take. “Without monitoring by a licensed healthcare professional, challenges like poor bone health, gastrointestinal reflux, and changes in cholesterol levels can go unchecked,” says Julie Stefanski, RD, a registered dietitian in York, Pennsylvania. Getting a balance of nutrients on the ketogenic diet can be challenging, which is “no surprise because you’re essentially cutting out healthy whole grains, fruits and some vegetables,” says Devje.
And daily carbohydrate allowances on the keto diet will vary from person to person. “Some adults will have to consume 15 grams of net carbohydrates to stay in ketosis, whereas some professional athletes may be able to consume more than 120 grams of net carbs and be in a ketogenic state,” says Jalali. “This is another reason why it is best to work with a professional to design the diet.”
Because the keto diet is high in fat, you’ll want to make sure to incorporate more healthy fats into your eating plan. These include omega-3s, such as those found in salmon and sardines, as well as monounsaturated fats present in avocado, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds.
We don’t have a clear picture on the long-term benefits of the keto diet for weight loss. “Although there seems to be a short-term advantage of the ketogenic diet for weight loss, the advantage seems to shrink at the one-year mark,” says Devje. “The long-term safety of the ketogenic diet is yet to be determined.”
Hemp oil can refer to a full-spectrum oil from the Cannabis sativa plant or hemp seed oil, which is oil that comes from just the seeds of the hemp plant.
There is very little risk of intoxication from hemp oil as all forms of hemp oil come from food-grain strains of hemp. The authors of a study in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research note that food-grain strains of hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound that causes the so-called “high” of marijuana.
Hemp oil is not the same as cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The production of CBD oil uses the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant, which contain a higher concentration of CBD, another potentially beneficial compound in the plant.
Hemp seed oil comes from the small seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds do not contain the same levels of compounds as the plant itself, but they still have a rich profile of nutrients, fatty acids, and useful bioactive compounds.
Full-spectrum hemp oil that also contains plant matter may add other effective compounds, which may help with certain health issues, such as inflammation.
The oil from the hemp seed is highly nutritious and may be especially helpful for the skin.
The vitamins and fatty acids in this oil may help keep the skin healthy and prevent breakouts.
A 2014 study looking at the lipid profile of hemp seed oil found that it is rich in healthful oils and fatty acids.
The abundance of fatty acids may make the oil an excellent choice for nourishing the skin and protecting it from inflammation, oxidation, and other causes of aging.
The authors of a 2014 review note that the topical application of hemp seed oil strengthens the skin and makes it better able to resist infection. The authors also suggest that hemp seed oil may be a helpful treatment for a range of skin issues, including:
The fatty acid content of hemp seed oil may also be good for the brain, which requires plenty of healthful fats to operate properly. Hemp seed oil is also rich in other compounds that may help protect the brain.
A recent study in mice found that a hemp seed extract containing these active compounds was able to help protect the brain against inflammation. The authors note that hemp seed oil contains polyphenols, which may play a role in protecting the brain.
Although these initial results look promising, scientists need to carry out studies in humans to confirm the benefits of this oil.
The comprehensive nutrient profile of hemp seed oil means that it may also be good for the heart. However, much of the information that is currently available comes from older studies or research that uses animal models.
A 2014 review concludes that an increase in alpha-linolenic acid, one of the fatty acids in hemp oil, appears to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This fatty acid, which doctors call linolenic acid, is also present in fish oils and flaxseed oil. However, the researchers call for more clinical trials to confirm these results.
Full-spectrum hemp oil also includes plant matter, which adds additional compounds, such as CBD.
Although hemp seeds contain small amounts of these compounds, a higher concentration may bring some additional benefits to the body.
Natural pain relief
Many people use hemp or CBD oil as a form of natural pain relief, especially if the pain is a result of inflammation.
Those who do not want to take over-the-counter or prescription pain medications may turn to a high-quality hemp oil for relief.
A 2018 review notes that CBD, one of the main compounds in full-spectrum hemp oil, and other cannabinoids show promise for the treatment of many types of pain.
However, most of the research to date is on mice.
While the current research suggests that CBD may be a helpful natural treatment for pain, more human studies could give these results more credibility.
The fatty acids in hemp seed oil may help balance the skin and prevent inflammation that can result in acne. The addition of CBD from the plant matter may also help clear acne.
A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigationfound that CBD may affect the sebum glands in people with chronic acne, leading to reduced sebum production and potentially helping clear or prevent acne breakouts.
Full-spectrum hemp oil that contains CBD may also help with general stress and tension in the muscles.
Like fatty acids, CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, which may help relieve the tension that many people carry from stress and promote recovery from exercise.
Rubbing a bit of hemp seed oil or full-spectrum hemp oil into tight muscles may help release tension and relax them.
The research on hemp oil is still relatively new, particularly in the United States and other places where restrictive laws have prevented researchers from fully exploring the potential of cannabis plants until recently.
As CBD comes into more common use in an increasing number of areas, research into the potential benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil may expand. As a result, scientists may find more evidence to support the potential benefits of the plant or even reveal new benefits. In any case, the future of research on hemp oil looks promising.
There is also still a small risk of THC getting into the system, even from hemp seeds, which normally contain no THC. The THC could be present as a result of contamination with other plant matter. The results of a 2017 study show that some commercial brands of food-grade hemp seeds can have a THC concentration that is as much as 1,250 percent higher than the legal limit.
It is essential to ensure that hemp seed oil comes from a reliable manufacturer. The seeds and oil should be free of plant matter that may add additional compounds, such as THC.
La sciatique est le terme utilisé pour décrire la douleur venant des nerfs situés dans le bas du dos, dans les jambes et dans les pieds. Elle se manifeste lorsque le nerf sciatique – le plus long nerf du corps – se comprime ou est irrité. Si vous souffrez d’une douleur qui vous brûle le dos de votre jambe et dans vos pieds, il se peut que ce soit la sciatique.
Quel est le nerf sciatique ?
Le nerf sciatique commence en bas de la colonne vertébrale et va dans la fesse, à l’arrière de la cuisse et dans le pied. Il s’agit d’un nerf important qui envoie des signaux de la moelle épinière à l’ensemble du bas du corps.
En raison de son emplacement et de la longueur de celui-ci, le nerf sciatique dispose d’un certain nombre de fonctions. Voilà pourquoi la sciatique peut entraîner des douleurs dans toute la partie inférieure du corps, et peut même conduire à la toux, aux éternuements et aux contractions musculaires.
La sciatique n’est pas une maladie en soi, mais le signe que le nerf est irrité. Une hernie discale ou même un lumbago en est souvent la cause.
Quelles sont les causes de la sciatique ?
Il existe un certain nombre de causes potentielles expliquant que le nerf sciatique soit comprimé ou irrité. Parmi les plus courantes, on trouve:
Une hernie discale. Si l’enveloppe extérieure d’un disque de votre colonne vertébrale forme une hernie, l’intérieur du disque deviendra davantage bombé qu’il ne le devrait. Cela peut conduire à la compression du nerf sciatique, qui entraîne des douleurs et de l’inconfort.
Une lésion de la moelle épinière . Si vous vous blessez au niveau de la colonne vertébrale ou des muscles qui soutiennent la colonne vertébrale, l’inflammation peut appuyer sur le nerf sciatique.
La sténose spinale. Parfois, le passage maintenant la moelle épinière peut se rétrécir – souvent en raison de ligaments relativement longs. Dans certains cas, cela peut créer une compression sur le nerf sciatique. La sténose spinale se traduit souvent par des douleurs dans le bas du dos.
Spondylolisthésis. Il s’agit d’un problème que l’on rencontre lorsqu’une vertèbre se déplace plus que ce qu’elle ne devrait. Ceci peut être causée par le vieillissement ou par plusieurs flexion de la colonne vertébrale d’une manière naturelle.
L’infection de la colonne vertébrale. Cette cause est moins fréquente, mais c’est une cause potentielle de la sciatique.
D’autres causes peuvent être à l’origine de la sciatique :
Un rétrécissement (surtout chez les personnes âgées) du canal (où se logent les nerfs et notamment le nerf sciatique) qui comprime les racines nerveuses dans la région lombaire.
Le syndrome du piriforme qui provoque l’inflammation du muscle piriforme ou pyramidal, qui peut une pression et irriter le nerf sciatique, notamment chez les sportifs.
Un syndrome facettaire, provoqué par une mauvaise posture ou un faux mouvement, engendrant des douleurs de dos et/ou une sciatique.
Un traumatisme, accident, chute,… provoquant un coup causant dommage aux racines nerveuses.
De l’arthrose faisant pression sur le nerf, principalement chez des personnes âgées.
Le niveau de douleur, la perte de sensation ou les picotements peuvent varier en fonction de la manière dont le nerf est comprimé ou irrité. L’emplacement de la compression du nerf peut également affecter l’endroit où la douleur est ressentie.
Quels sont les facteurs favorisants ?
pratique d’un sport ou un travail lourd, où on se courbe ou fait des torsions du tronc.
position assise prolongée
manque d’exercice physique et de marche à pieds
excès de poids, femme enceinte
Comment se traite la sciatique ?
Chaque cause de sciatique nécessite un traitement spécifique pour réduire efficacement la compression du nerf sciatique et soulager la douleur. Le traitement classique d’une sciatique implique généralement une combinaison de médicaments et d’autres analgésiques. Cela peut parfois être efficace pour réduire la douleur à court terme. Le problème, c’est qu’il ne traite que les symptômes de la sciatique, ce qui signifie que la douleur revient souvent à une date ultérieure. Si vous souhaitez apprendre à résoudre la douleur sciatique en seulement sept jours – sans médicaments ou traitements coûteux.
You can treat your arthritis pain topically, but follow these steps to use the right product for you.
When your joints are stiffy and achy, your first instinct may be to pop a pain reliever, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. For some, that’s the right move. But for others, arthritis cream might be a another way to ease the pain.
Are Arthritis Creams Right for You?
If you have mild to moderate osteoarthritis (OA) in your hands or knees, perhaps yes. The same may be true for arthritis pain in your ankle or elbow. Topical pain relievers — like over-the-counter arthritis creams and gels — are rubbed on the skin, right on the spot where your joint hurts. Because the ingredients are absorbed through your skin, these creams tend to work best on more superficial joints, or ones close to the surface of your skin.
Where arthritis creams don’t work as well: if the source of your osteoarthritis pain lies deep within your body — like the hip joint, which is surrounded by a thick layer of muscle and fat; on a larger area, like your lower back; or if arthritis affects multiple parts of your body.
Can Arthritis Creams Treat Inflammatory Arthritis?
And if you have inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis creams are likely not for you.
“Medications that mainly provide pain relief — like topical drugs — have a limited role in most patients with active RA,” says Justin Owensby, PharmD, PhD, a research pharmacist with the department of clinical immunology and rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Arthritis creams may be helpful in patients with end-stage RA (when the joint stops working but you still have pain and stiffness), he explains; and occasionally during disease flares in some patients, along with their other RA meds.
Before adding any arthritis creams to your arthritis treatment arsenal, talk to your doctor to make sure they are appropriate and safe for you.
How OTC Creams Relieve Arthritis Pain
The active symptom-easing ingredients in arthritis creams can include:
This is the stuff that makes chili peppers hot. It has the potential to alleviate pain by working on pain sensors in your body, says Dr. Owensby. Capsaicin is thought to stimulate the release of substance P, a chemical that sends pain signals to the brain.
After a few uses, it depletes your nerve cells of that chemical, so fewer pain signals can be sent. One small study found that nearly 80 percent of patients experienced arthritis pain relief after using capsaicin cream for two weeks. The first few times you apply capsaicin cream, it may burn or sting; then the discomfort gradually lessens. You may need to wear latex gloves when applying the cream and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Some brands include Capzasin and Zostrix.
These chemicals are similar to aspirin, so they have a mild anti-inflammatory effect. Creams that contain salicylates may provide some pain relief. Salicylates could be a good choice if your arthritis tends to bother you at night, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But if you are allergic to aspirin or are taking blood thinners, talk to your doctor to make sure these products are safe for you. Overusing these creams may also be toxic. Some brands include Aspercreme and Bengay.
Substances like menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor oil are counterirritants — rub them into your skin over a painful joint and they create a temporary feeling of hot or cold. These sensations can interrupt pain signals to the brain. In other words, they distract the brain from sensing pain in the joint below. Some brand names include Icy Hot and Biofreeze.
Always talk to your doctor before trying an OTC arthritis cream — they can alert you to any potential side effects and safety precautions. Don’t use topical pain relievers on broken or irritated skin or with a heating pad or bandage. And stop using the cream if your skin gets irritated.
What About Prescription vs. OTC Arthritis Creams?
Prescription creams typically come in stronger concentrations than OTC versions and are made with NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). NSAIDs are usually taken by mouth to relieve arthritis pain, but they can cause stomach upset, bleeding, or ulcers, as well as heart, liver, or kidney problems. With topically applied NSAIDs, the risk of such side effects is lower, says Dr. Owensby. “That’s because topical NSAIDs work locally, on the application site, and don’t really get absorbed in your system like oral versions,” he explains.
Cochrane reviews suggest some topical NSAIDs work as well as their oral counterparts for knee and hand OA.
If you have mild OA in a joint that’s close to the skin, especially in your knee or hand, your doctor may prescribe topical NSAIDs, says Dr. Owensby. They may also be used for older people or those who can’t tolerate oral NSAIDs. One topical NSAID currently available is called Voltaren, which contains the prescription NSAID diclofenac. Talk to your doctor to see if a topical NSAIDs is right for you, and how to use it safely.
Are you one of the thousands of people living with chronic arthritis pain? Is your arthritis acting up despite using hot and cold therapy? Do you find that your current treatment method is no longer effective? Are you tired of painful joints? If any of this sounds like something you are dealing with you need to consider using the best arthritis cream. Using the best arthritis cream is just a small part of your therapy, but it is an important part. Keep on reading to find out more about the best arthritis cream for your needs.
As we just mentioned arthritis cream makes a great addition to your current arthritis therapy plan. One of the worst things about dealing with arthritis is how big of a role the joint pain plays in your daily routine. When dealing with arthritis on a daily basis it can severely limit what you can do. The pain in your joints can often be enough to prevent you from taking part in the activities you love and enjoy.
Using arthritis cream as a part of your therapy can provide you with fast and effective relief in the areas that hurt most. Most arthritis creams are designed to offer short-term relief, but some have been shown to work long-term. Many arthritis sufferers report that arthritis cream is especially beneficial for the hands due to the pain and stiffness in several joints at once.
How to choose arthritis cream
If you have ever walked into a drugstore or even performed an online search for arthritis cream you are already well aware of how many choices there are. With the sheer number of choices available how do you know that you are choosing the best one for your needs. Unfortunately choosing the best arthritis cream is not as simple as it might seem, you cannot just walk into a store or go to a website and grab the first one you see. Well you can do it that way, but that doesn’t mean you will be selecting the best one for your needs. Different topical creams will work differently and some are better suited for different types of arthritis. One way to choose the best arthritis cream is to talk to your doctor as soon as they have diagnosed you.
If you haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor or perhaps your current cream is no longer as effective as it was there are some things you can look for to choose the best arthritis cream. One of the things you need to look at when selecting from the various arthritis creams is their ingredients. The point behind all arthritis cream is to relieve pain and reduce swelling in joints. The main ingredient in the arthritis cream varies as each works differently.
Is The Way You Walk A Reason For Calluses?
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One of the most commonly used ingredients inside arthritis creams are something called counterirritants. This includes things like cinnamon oil, camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, or capsaicin. The main job of the counterirritants is to relieve arthritis pain by heating or cooling the skin. These counterirritants work by distracting or tricking the brain. By heating or cooling the skin your brain shifts its focus away from the pain to provide your swollen joints with much needed relief.
Arthritis creams that contain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can sometimes be found over the counter in the US. For the most part thee creams will have to be prescribed for you through a doctor. Creams that contain NSAIDs, including ibuprofen or naproxen, work to reduce the swelling in the joints. Creams containing these ingredients are applied topically and are less damaging than taking the same medication orally.
Another popular and effective ingredient found in the best arthritis creams are salicylates. For those who are unfamiliar with this ingredient it is very similar to aspirin, so if using these creams you will want to avoid using products that contain aspirin. Like creams that contain NSAIDs as a main ingredient, creams that use salicylates allows users to reap the benefits of aspirin without dealing with the side effects from ingesting the aspirin orally.
Steroids are an effective way to combat inflammation due to arthritis. Cortisone is a steroid that can be found in different arthritis creams and is used to reduce pain and swelling. Since it is a steroid, cortisone works in the same manner as oral steroids, but in creams it is applied topically.
Herbal based creams.
Not everybody wants to use creams that contain chemical medications because of the side effects involved. Some chemicals have more damaging side effects than others, so always read the labels before using. Herbal based creams use natural ingredients that are not known for their side effects. These ingredients are also easier on the skin, so less of a risk of irritation. One of the most popular herbs used in herbal based arthritis cream is arnica as it has been used for years to reduce arthritis pain.
Top 5 of Arthritis Creams.
We listed 5 products at the beginning of this review article, so let’s take a few minutes to go through each of them for an evaluation that can hopefully help you make up your own mind.
Biofreeze does not contain any NSAID pain relievers and is also steroid free. The main ingredient found in Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel is menthol at 4%. The menthol acts as a cooling pain relief and has been shown to be fast-acting. Biofreeze also contains an herbal blend of USP-grade herbal ingredients including arnica, camphor, vitamin E, and several others. According to the manufacturers of Biofreeze the topical analgesic provides the best results when used in combination with a recommended healthcare professional. The cream is used by numerous professionals from the healthcare field to provide almost immediate relief from a variety of conditions, including arthritis. Biofreeze comes in a gel style formula that features a small hint of color. The color is used to help you see the cream as it is being applied to your skin allowing for a through and proper application. You can also find a dye-free version of Biofreeze that works just as well. The paraben and propylene-glycol free product is greaseless and offers a vanishing scent so it can be used on the go. The product is very well suited for a massage style application for those areas that do better with a hands-on approach.Click For Price
If you are looking for a safe alternative to oral pain relievers Topricin is one of the safest choices available. The cream is so safe it can be used by everyone in the family, including those with sensitive skin or health conditions such as diabetes. Topricin works with your body’s natural desire to heal itself using a unique formula. Topricin is made up of 11 natural biomedicines that are designed to deliver reliable pain relief without any harmful side effects. These natural biomedicines are also safe to use with other prescribed and over the counter medications.
The moisturizing formula of Topricin is a non-irritating, odorless cream that is also non-staining and has been made in the USA for over 22 years. The effective pain relieving cream can be applied up to 4 times a day. To apply the cream massage into the affected area plus the surrounding three inches until fully absorbed. For best results always apply in the morning and then again before bedtime. Click For Price
Arnicare Cream is one of the best creams to use to fell better faster when you are dealing with painful and swollen joints due to arthritis. The cream doesn’t use any NSAID pain relievers and is steroid free. Rather than using medications, including camphor and methyl salicylate, Arnicare uses Arnica Montana at HPUS 7%. This natural ingredient works naturally with your body to reduce swelling and relieve pain. As it is a natural ingredient the risk of side effects are very low if you use it as directed. With Arnicare there is absolutely no risk of drug interactions, contraindications or chemical overdose because it contains only natural ingredients.
Boiron’s Arnicare, like many other Boiron products, is paraben free, but it is also free of any fragrances and dyes making it a great choice for those with senestive skin. Using Boiron’s Arnicare cream requires you to apply a thin layer to the problem area. Gently massage the cream into your skin until fully absorbed. The cream can be applied 3 times a day, but can also be applied more if needed.Click For Price
Castiva Arthritis Pain Relief uses capsaicin at 0.0035% as its main active ingredient. Capsaicin is a topical analgesic used to provide short-term pain relief. One of the ways that Castiva stands out from other arthritis creams is it pairs its main ingredient capsaicin with castor oil for even better results. Pairing the capsaicin with the finest castor oil the capsaicin is able to deeply penetrate the body to get to the source of the problem. The cream doesn’t just stay on top of the skin to provide relief; it gets down deep into the skin to immediately go to work.
Castiva is supposed to be applied to the affected area up to four times a day. To apply the cream simply massage into the affected area until fully absorbed. Castiva Arthritis Pain Relief should only be used on adults or children over the age of 12; it is not suitable for children under 12 years of age. For the best results you will want to apply daily. Transient burning may occur with this product. Always wash hands after use. If you are apply the cream to your hands wait 30 minutes before washing your hands for the best results.Click For Price
Australian Dream Arthritis Pain Relief Cream is the ideal choice for those seeking relief from their painful arthritis without the burning sensation other creams provide. With the Australian Dream Cream users will find the main active ingredient is histamine Dihydrochloride at 0.025%. This topical analgesic works by increasing the blood flow to the area, which is how your body naturally works to relieve pain. With Australian Dream Cream there is no odor or greasy residue left behind so it can be used even when you are on the go.
Australian Cream Arthritis Pain Relief Cream can be used by adults and children over the age of 12. Children younger than 12 years of age should not use the product without first consulting with their doctor. The cream should be applied in a thin layer to the affected area. The cream needs to be massaged into the affected area until fully absorbed. Do not apply the cream more than four times a day.Click For Price
Conclusion and Recommendation.
The best arthritis creams have been shown to be quite effective in providing short-term relief in swollen and painful joints. If you are tired of dealing with painful or swollen joints it is time to start using one of the best arthritis creams as part of your ongoing arthritis therapy.
Not all arthritis creams are created the same, so the end results are never the same. In addition to the main ingredients you also want to think about how messy they are to use, how greasy they will be on your skin, and how strong of an odor they emit.
As you see everywhere in the news, the Hemp industry is the fastest growing natural remedy on the market today and for a good reason. But you may be asking does it work? And, what may it help with? CBD oil is made from hemp. But not just any old plant. Good CBD oils or Cannabidiol, is made from high Cannabidiol CBD content, low tetrahydrocannabinol hemp extract. Unlike medicinal Marijuana based products that are produced from different plants containing large amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol and are considered illegal. However, because us of CBD oil products are derived from the purposely grown hemp, unlike medical marijuana there are only trace amounts of that comes from industrial hemp plant extract. Tetrahydrocannabinol THC is the psychoactive ingredient found in Marijuana based products. There are currently over 85 known cannabinoids, with THC and Cannabidiol being the most comm on in Marijuana.
WHAT EXACTLY IS CBD?
Just like THC, a CBD tincture contains a chemical compound extracted from industrial hemp products plants. Both industrial Hemp and cannabis contain cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive substance. however, is the substance that gives users that “high” or psychoactive effect. Cannabidiol has many similarities to Tetrahydrocannabinol when it comes to potential health benefits, but the main difference is that it’s a non-psychoactive substance, so it doesn’t give a natural high to users. It also does not cause anxiety, paranoia, or the mouth and eye dryness associated with THC, even when one uses pure CBD oil and consumed in higher concentrations. Due to these inherent advantages, a high-quality CBD tincture product on the market today is extracted from the Hemp plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol, on the other hand, is derived from the marijuana plant, so it contains larger levels of THC and low levels of CBD. On the other hand, industrially produced Hemp extract contains higher concentrations of a CBD tincture with only trace amounts of THC (0.3), so it’s safer to come from industrial hemp products and offers fewer symptoms for users.
Research reveals that pure Cannabidiol can is an effective treatment option with a wide array of natural health properties that is can treat. Studies are still ongoing about the other positive characteristics of Cannabidiol, but it has been proven that the consumption of this compound is relatively safe. Just as important, a CBD tincture is also approved in all 50 states without a prescription. Cannabis oil, however, does not enjoy the same umbrella due to its Tetrahydrocannabinol content and psychoactive properties. Therefore, one who purchases or use cannabis oil in states where even medical marijuana is illegal may be breaking the law.
HOW DOES CBD WORK?
The cannabinoids found in cannabidiol CBD oil provide and mimic the endocannabinoids that our bodies naturally uses and produce. Endocannabinoids are compounds that help regulate vital functions such as sleep, anxiety, pain regulation, and other important functions. Whether the body produces them or they are obtained from the cannabis plant, cannabinoids facilitate communication on a cellular level between cells to trigger various bodily processes. Therefore, a deficiency of cannabinoids can result in a system thrown out of balance, manifesting in unwanted symptoms and other health complications.
Furthermore, THC vs. CBD oil also differs in their effects when interacting with our systems. Cannabinoids typically bind to receptor sites located in the brain, called CB-1, and various parts of the human body called CB-2. But different cannabinoids produce different effects depending on which type of receptor they bind to. Tetrahydrocannabinol mostly binds to receptors in the brain, but Cannabidiol unlocks the receptors scattered throughout the body making it far more useful for our overall wellness.
CBD vs. THC
Like Cannabidiol, THC is also able to provide numerous health benefits; however, Tetrahydrocannabinol psychoactive properties responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis. On the other hand, a CBD tincture that customers use produces no mind-altering effects, so its properties are only medicinal. This is a good article if you would like to read about THC vs. CBD.
CBD vs CBN
Short for Cannabidiol, CBN is non-psychoactive just like cannabidiol. Research on CBN is not as comprehensive as a CBD tincture or Tetrahydrocannabinol, but studies suggest it has strong sedative properties. Studies also show CBN might have anti-inflammatory and appetite-stimulating effects.
CBG vs CBD
Cannabigerol, also known as CBG, is believed to have potential health benefits similar to those provided by other cannabinoids. However, as of 2018, no clinical research has been conducted to determine the specific effects of CBG on humans.
CBDa vs CBD
Cannabidiolic acid, abbreviated CBDa, is found in plants in which cannabidiol is produced. After a process called decarboxylation, CBDa turns into CBD. Decarboxylation can occur naturally as cannabis plants age or induced in laboratories where cannabidiol CBD oil is manufactured. CBDa and CBD have similar properties, though not enough research has been conducted on CBDa alone.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CBD OIL?
Over the last decade, the medical world has been scrutinizing and studying the science and the benefits hemp products have to offer. Especially in helping individuals with specific ailments. In the past two years, there has been immense excitement and massive press coverage of different use of hemp CBD tincture oils. Dr. Sanjay Gupta (Barack Obama’s first choice for Surgeon General) produced a documentary called ” WEED”, first shown on CNN. This groundbreaking documentary painted a picture of the power cannabidiol has to fight disease, take away the chronic pain and so much more.
Dating back to 2900 BC medical Marijuana has been known to treat and help with pain management. Recent discoveries in the medical field and documented in medical journals around the world have concluded Cannabidiol Oil as being a key component to relieving pain. Your body contains a system called the endocannabinoid system. This system is vitally important as it helps regulate sleep, appetite, immune system and pain. The body creates endocannabinoids, and these endocannabinoids bind themselves to cannabinoids receptors that are neurotransmitters in your nervous system. Fundamentally, they help carry messages around your body via the nervous system. With this being said, research has shown Cannabidiol Oil may reduce chronic pain by influencing endocannabinoid receptor action. Cannabidiol may have the power to reduce inflammation that directly interacts with neurotransmitters.
Anxiety And Depression
The World Health Organisation has stated depression as the most significant disability in the world and anxiety ranks 6th. We all know anxiety and depression are typically treated with pharmaceutical drugs. These drugs often come with unwanted side effects like insomnia, sexual dysfunction, drowsiness and these are just a few of them. Furthermore, and probably the worst effect of these pharmaceutical drugs is everyone become dependent upon them. This dependency is severe and unwanted by most people suffering from anxiety or depression, but something that’s unavoidable.
A small medical research study took a small group who suffer from social anxiety and gave them 600mg of CBD oil or placebo. The study wanted to see if hemp CBD has any effect on certain individuals with a fear of public speaking. The CBD oil group performed significantly better than the placebo group. The CBD hemp oil group had less anxiety and less cognitive impairment. Also, the hemp CBD oil group was happier. Cannabidiol Oil has also shown great promise in helping children with PTSD. And it has also been said pure CBD oil have almost antidepressant qualities.
As explained earlier, hemp CBD has potent anti-inflammatory effects. And thanks to this, hemp CBD may give arthritis relief and joint pain relief. Cannabidiol does this by reducing pain, swelling and you may see reduced joint destruction, along with slower disease progression of your arthritis. Ina few animal studies, CBD hemp oil was able to protect joints from severe damage and showed an improvement in arthritis symptoms. Another controlled study ran for five weeks and showed excellent improvements in lowering pain, improving sleep quality and inflammation.
This breakthrough is one of the most exciting discoveries in the field of epileptic seizures. A survey conducted with parents of children who have epilepsy reported a jaw-dropping outcome. 84% of parents reported seeing fewer seizures in their children. In fact, the children also experienced better alertness, better moods, and improved sleep quality.
Acne affects almost 1 in 10 people throughout the world. Although acne is caused by many different factors such as genetics, bacteria, inflammation and the overproduction of sebum. Thanks to recent studies it appears hemp CBD may help with Acne due to its inflammatory qualities and its ability to lessen the production of sebum. Two separate studies found that Cannabidiol stopped sebaceous gland cells from producing excess sebum, utilizing hemp CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties to prevent the activation of pro-acne agents such as inflammatory cytokines.
Neuroprotective PropertiesStudies have started to lead researchers to believe that CBD’s ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other neuro systems in the brain, may lead to giving people neurological disorders some help. In recent time medical journals have started to publish papers involving using CBD and neurological disorders like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Albeit research in this field is in its infancy the results from several studies do look promising. One study gave 214 people who have severe epilepsy of 0.9 to 2.3 grams of CBD hemp oil per pound of body weight. The results were quite remarkable with a reduction in seizures by a median of 36.5%. Another study showed children with Dravet Syndrome (a complex childhood epilepsy disorder) saw reduced seizure activity compared to the placebo group. Another area where CBD hemp oil is showing promising results in helping a specific group of neurological disorder is in the field of Parkinson’s disease. Several studies have shown Cannabidiol may help with sleep quality for people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
OTHER POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF CBD HEMP OIL
Below are some early signs CBD may be able to help with the following medical conditions. It must be noted these areas of study of any medical condition, are in their infancy and should be taken lightly and does not constitute any medical advice what so ever.
Anti-psychotic Effects: Early studies are seeing signs that CBD hemp oil may help schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
Substance Abuse: In rats with drug addiction CBD oil has been shown to be able to tweak circuits in the brain to reduce drug dependency and drug-seeking behavior.
Diabetes: Mice with diabetes saw CBD hemp oil decrease the incidence of diabetes by 56% and massively reduce inflammation.
Cannabinoids are agonists that bind themselves to specific receptors in the human body called cannabinoid receptors. Specific receptors are found throughout the body with the bulk of them located in the nervous system, but receptors can be found in just about every organ of the body. Cannabinoid receptors can be found in your skin, digestive tract and even in the sexual organs. The cannabinoid agonists interact with the cannabinoid receptors, a little bit like how a key can activate a lock. This interaction makes up the larger endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a big network of receptor proteins which all have different functions.
It has been said the ECS is the most significant neurotransmitter system in the human body. The ECS helps with main quality bodily function, such as:
From what we understand Cannabinoids seem to tap into the ECS and produce extremely positive effects. CBD has this effectiveness because it can interact with cells in our body because the CBD molecule is akin to a chemical the body produces naturally called endocannabinoids.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CANNABIS OIL AND CBD OIL
Cannabis oil and CBD have similarities but some important differences for users. Both are cannabinoids that can be found in all cannabis plants including hemp and marijuana. Cannabinoids are the substances secreted by the flowers of the cannabis plant and contain natural medicinal properties, offering relief from conditions including anxiety, pain, nausea, and inflammation.
Now that you understand what cannabinoids are and their potential positive effects on aiding your bodily systems, let’s examine cannabidiol oil produced from Cannabis, not CBD. As we mentioned, Tetrahydrocannabinol oil works by binding to cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and central nervous system, but not throughout the body like CBD oils.
Since Cannabis oils contain a higher percentage of Tetrahydrocannabinol, it still causes users euphoric and psychoactive reactions, similar to the feelings when people take marijuana recreationally. Besides the high that you experience, the oil delivers a long list of short-term effects, which are similarly present when you smoke or ingest marijuana. Each person’s reaction may vary in the symptoms it causes and their degree.
For instance, some people, that take a low to moderate dosage of CBD, report a sense of calm and peace; others report increased anxiety levels and unpleasant sensations. The intensity of these symptoms will largely depend on an individual’s body composition. In addition, when comparing CBD products vs. marijuana, it’s crucial to understand marijuana strains feature different levels of oil concentration which determines the intensity of effects a user feels upon consumption. Some strains are recommended to produce less profound symptoms and reactions.
But when someone takes the oil for its intended health benefits, they have no control over their reaction and the other symptoms they may experience. They want the health but Tetrahydrocannabinol oil comes with the major drawback of sometimes inducing anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia.
Cannabis – whether smoked, ingested, or administered as oil – can result in positive and negative outcomes for the user. For you to experience maximum medicinal effects as a natural option, it’s recommended to research each strain and look into their cannabinoid profile.
HEMP OIL CBD VS. CANNABIS CBD
One important thing to clarify is that CBD can be found either in Cannabis plants or hemp(under 0.3 THC %). Hemp and marijuana fall under the same genus, Cannabis. So marijuana oil refers to either the Cannabis Sativa or Indica plants that are cultivated and grown to produce resinous trichomes. These trichomes contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol so these plants are bred for their psychoactive qualities.
Hemp Oil CBD, on the other hand, comes from the engineered Cannabis Sativa strain. Although hemp falls under the cannabis category, it’s different from the cannabis plant that’s grown for medicinal or recreational purposes. Hemp Oil CBD from industrial hemp doesn’t produce the euphoric buzz that’s commonly associated with intake of marijuana-based CBD oil.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF CBD OIL?
As with any substance, there can be side effects (even with water). You should consult with your doctor before you buy CBD oil or taking any new dietary supplements. CBD is probably the best-known cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. The medical community has also published dozens of studies measuring the effectiveness of CBD and potential side effects. There are only a few known side effects of CBD, and most of them are minor. Some of the known side effects are:
Inhibition Of Hepatic Drug Metabolism
A research paper on the NCBI website concluded some potential side effects for CBD. One such side effect is the inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism, and the decreased activity of glycoprotein. Cannabinoids can influence some pharmaceutical drugs through the process of inhibiting liver enzymes called cytochrome p450. It’s important to consult with your doctor because this effect is not always considered an adverse side effect.
Some people can potentially get a dry mouth or the sensation of a dry mouth. It is thought the endocannabinoid system may cause this through the restriction of saliva discretion.
It has been reported high doses of CBD results in a decrease in blood pressure. This effect on blood pressure can be seen in just a few minutes of taking CBD. If you’re on medications for your blood pressure, you should consult with your doctor before taking CBD.
Because Cannabinoids has the potential to lower your blood pressure, this may result in the feeling of lightheadedness. If you do experience the feeling lightheadedness drinking a cup of tea or coffee may help.
DOES CBD OIL SHOW UP ON DRUG TESTS?
CBD products may affect drug test results differently. In order to grasp how CBD products interact with drug tests, it’s crucial you understand the differences between hemp-derived CBD vs. marijuana CBD and how drug tests work. Drug tests for marijuana check for Tetrahydrocannabinol, not CBD. While CBD derived from hemp often contains less than 0.3% THC, hemp-derived CBD extracts from marijuana may contain detectable amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol. That is why it’s important you understand this difference and buy hemp-derived CBD only.
WHO SHOULD BE USING CBD OIL?
Anyone who wants a safe, natural health supplement can use hemp-derived CBD. Some people take it just to boost their body’s systems and balance their general health. Others take it to treat specific ailments, such as anxiety, pain, inflammation, and even epilepsy and some nerve and muscle afflictions. While the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t’ approved using hemp-derived CBD oil to treat at the federal level, and it shouldn’t be considered a medicine, an increasing number of people all over the world have discovered the healing properties of high CBD liquid. Everyone wonders what the future may hold when it comes the the decision of the Food and Drug Administration at the federal level. With so many uses for people, we will soon find out.
In fact, the use of pure CBD oil is growing popular among professional and collegiate athletes, who take it for muscle relaxation, recovery, chronic pain relief, other health benefits and medical advice and any medical condition they think it could help. Since it’s a safe, natural, and legal way to enhance your health and a viable alternative therapy, people young and old from all walks of life are trying CBD. Consult a physician before you begin taking hemp-derived CBD oil, and always purchase from a trusted source of American Hemp Oil.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU BUY CBD OIL
CBD oil is made in various forms. Choosing between CBD products can be a daunting and challenging task for first-time buyers. With so many products and brands in the market, buying your first batch of can be overwhelming.
Given the vast array of CBD oil for sale that is made, the ultimate question is: Which one is the best for your needs? In order to come up with the best buying decision, you need to learn how to compare products. Here are the four criteria that you need to consider when buying CBD.
CBD Hemp oil is essentially judged based on these three critical factors:
The concentration of CBD oil is the most important factor when choosing Cannabidiol CBD products. Although hemp oil has its own set of health benefits, CBD is known to have most of the therapeutic effects that consumers need to treat conditions.
Percentage Volume of Cannabidiol Oil
The CBD percentage volume is customarily placed on the label and is most commonly expressed as the total percentage of the volume of the product. Typically, the percentage volume ranges between 0.1% and 0.26%. The concentration will depend on the amount of cannabidiol you want to begin your healing regimen with as well as the type of product.
To get the purity is a critical factor you need to look at when buying CBD oil. The purity level will depend on the other ingredients added to the formulation. There are Cannabidiol Oil products that contain preservatives, sweeteners, artificial coloring, and solvents. CBD oils are extracted from the different parts of hemp, including the stalk, flowers, and leaves. As farming practices differ in different locations, there are cannabidiol Oil products that may contain chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and pesticides. Make sure to get your CBD hemp oil from a trusted industrial hemp producer like American Hemp Oil.
IS CBD OIL SAFE?
This is one of the biggest questions out there right now. YES, IT IS! Over the past decade and especially in recent years the medical field has invested a lot of time and resources into the study of CBD oil with some astounding results being discovered. Though it must be stated there is still much to uncover about the safety and efficacy of CBD products. But recent results from several studies from well respected medical institutions are suggesting CBD may help improve the quality of life for many people by providing a safe, powerful and natural treatment for many different health conditions.
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The use of so-called ‘smart drugs’, bought on the internet, to boost mental performance is rife in British universities. So can we all benefit from ‘having an edge’, or is it just a form of cheating that should be banned?
Sat 14 Feb 2015 19.05 ESTLast modified on Wed 21 Mar 2018 20.17 EDT
It’s still more than three months until finals, but there’s a whiff of panic in the air of the Edinburgh student flat where I’m having dinner. “Everybody’s feeling it,” says Suzy. Feeling what? “The pressure. There’s just so much pressure.” About what? Your exams? Or what to do next?
“Everything. I shouldn’t even be here. I didn’t even want to go to university but everyone said I should. And the work! It’s just… there’s so much of it! I feel like I wouldn’t even have a chance if it wasn’t for modafinil.”
Modafinil: a prescription-only medication for narcolepsy that the NHS’s website describes as “a central nervous system stimulant” that prevents “excessive sleepiness during daytime hours”. Or, used off-label, bought via some off-shore pharmaceutical retailer, it’s what’s known as a “smart drug”. I hadn’t even heard of it a week ago, but it turns out they’re all on it, the students. They’ve all taken it on at least a couple of occasions, all five of the female final-year students who live in this particular flat, and all five of the male final-year students they’ve invited over to dinner.
“It’s not that it makes you more intelligent,” says Phoebe, a history student. “It’s just that it helps you work. You can study for longer. You don’t get distracted. You’re actually happy to go to the library and you don’t even want to stop for lunch. And then it’s like 7pm, and you’re still, ‘Actually, you know what? I could do another hour.’”
But isn’t it cheating? Or like doping in cycling? If lots of people are doing it, it’s too much of a disadvantage not to join in?
“My ex-girlfriend used to say that to me,” says Johnny, another history student. “She was like, ‘I don’t agree with it. It’s unfair.’ And then when the pressure was on, she was like, ‘Can you give me some?’”
Everyone’s taking it, they say. What do you mean everyone? “Everyone!” says Phoebe. “Everyone I know, anyway. It’s rife.”
You do have to be to be careful though, says Johnny. “It gives you this amazing concentration but you have to make sure you’re actually in front of your books. I spent five hours in my room rearranging my iTunes library on it once.”
The talk moves on, but later when I ask them what they’re going to do next year, they tense up. The ones who do know what they want to do next year worry about how they’re going to get there. And the ones who don’t know just go into a state of mild panic and ask questions like, “How did you know what you wanted to do?”
“My parents don’t have a clue what it’s like these days,” says Daniel. “My dad is really successful. And he got to where he is today with a 2:2 from Hull University. You wouldn’t get a look in the door with most jobs with that these days.”
Student life has changed. But it’s not that it’s changed from what it was like when I was a student a generation ago, it’s that it’s changed from what it was even five years ago. Jack Rivlin, who’s the founder and editor of the Tab, a national network of student news sites, says it’s obvious from the traffic stats on his website.
“We can track it from the change in stories that interest students these days. It’s stories about CVs, jobs, fees… much more so than it used to be. We can see it. Students are much more career-conscious than they were even five years ago when I was a student. They’re much more conscious of getting value out of their degree. The atmosphere is definitely careerist and competitive and getting more so.”
And, this is where modafinil, and the other smart drugs that have become increasingly common in universities across Britain – Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), all of which are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications – start to look like a symptom rather than a cause.
Because this year’s final students are the first to graduate into a brave new world of massive debt. They’re the first cohort to come through who will experience the full force of the impact of the coalition’s decision to introduce tuition fees: they’ll owe an average of £44,000 a head by the time they leave in just a few months. This is at a time when stories about graduate unemployment and exploited interns are never far from the news pages – last week a media group admitted that it was charging students to write for it, and before that it was a thinktank making its unpaid interns pay £300 for a reference.
And in this scenario, if you were offered a small white pill that held the promise of enhanced productivity, greater focus, more hours in the library, and, ultimately, the potential of a better degree, well… it’s not hard to see the attraction.
Though, it’s not quite as simple as that. Everyone’s brain chemistry is different. Everyone reacts in a different way. There are no medical checks when you click a button on the internet. And no controls over what you’re actually sent. I hear story after story about essay deadlines achieved against all odds and then when I’m leaving, one of the quieter women says to me: “It’s awful. I just got… very anxious. Depressed.”
There have always been drugs, of course. Every generation has had its narcotic of choice. LSD provided the mind-expanding backdrop to the 60s and the appearance of ecstasy in the late 80s kickstarted rave culture and another summer of love. But this use of drugs to work harder, to gain a competitive advantage, to produce more – this is new, at least in Britain. Anjan Chatterjee, a professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, who has published several influential papers on the ethics of smart drugs, tells me that he sometimes makes jokes about it. “When I was young, students would use drugs to check out. Now they’re using them to check in.”
He’s witnessed the rise, in the last 10 years, of a generation of American students doping themselves up on various medications they believe will give them a competitive edge. “It’s even in high schools now, especially in the more affluent suburbs. Students call them ‘study aids’; they don’t even think of them as drugs. There’s an entire grey market on campuses. But then, the current estimate is that a third of all students have a prescription for some sort of psychoactive medication anyway: antidepressants, or medication for ADHD, or for anxiety, so the availability is quite high. Often, they’ll just sell on the medication in the library.”
He believes that cognitive enhancement – or cosmetic neurology, as he calls it – is likely to become viewed as normal over time, in much the same way as cosmetic surgery has been. If it’s available, people will avail themselves of it. And his intuition “is that this use of drugs is not the cause of this sense of competition. It’s a phenomenon of it.” Smart drugs are part of a “parcel of broader cultural trends” that tap into something that is already within our culture. “And this is what does give me pause. It’s this relentless pursuit of productivity, and material productivity in particular that seems to be at the root of this. Going after drugs is a symptom of that underlying impulse.”
His account of the pattern of use of these drugs tallies with what the students in Edinburgh tell me too. I meet with a smaller group of them the day after our dinner: Phoebe and Johnny from the night before and Annie, who’s studying English, and they talk me through how and when they started taking them. What’s noticeable is that they’re all high performers, all on target for high 2:1s or firsts, academically bright but also articulate and sociable and trying to fit everything in. They’re all working hard while maintaining fairly full-on social lives: a large network of friends, nights out clubbing, nights in having people around for dinner.
“I didn’t know anything about it in my first year,” says Phoebe. “It’s all coming from the international students. It was the American students that we discovered it from. They’re all medicated and they’ve got prescriptions and they sell them on.”
Johnny describes his first experience with Adderall, which he bought off an American student. “It made you feel weird. I remember sitting in an exam and thinking, ‘This is awful.’ And, ‘Oh my God, I feel like I’m going to faint.’ But at that same time I was remembering stuff… I could remember whole paragraphs, word for word. It was amazing.”
It enhanced your memory? “It did. But the whole thing was so unpleasant. And then, last year someone had a prescription for modafinil and started selling them and then we started buying them from a website in Singapore.”
Annie has only taken it when she’s at what she calls “crisis point”. “I had two major essays to deliver within four days of each other and it was such a huge amount of work that I just needed something. And it got me through. I did it. But I have to say my work wasn’t as good as it could have been. It was just quite… shallow. It makes you focus very narrowly and I really zoned in on something which turned out to be quite minor.”
Phoebe has taken such drugs intermittently and lists the plus points: “You take it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and then you work really hard all day and it kills your appetite and then if you go to the gym, you do a really good workout. So you lose weight, nail your exams, and go hard at the gym all at once.”
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Phoebe gave them up because she didn’t like the side effects. “My stomach,” she says, holding her waist. “It wasn’t good.” Johnny describes how he was taking them every day for several months. “And then over Christmas I realised I was definitely dependent on them. And it wasn’t even that beneficial for my work. It’s just kind of like a feeling inside that I need to take some so I can perform.”
He’s cut down but then he reveals that he’s taken one that morning. “Have you?” asks Phoebe, surprised. There’s no burning deadline for any of them today. They’re happy to sit and chat over lunch. “Just a half,” he says. “It just… you know how the first few hours of the day, you struggle to wake up and get going? You take a modafinil and you’re singing R&B in the kitchen half an hour later. You’re just on it.”
You don’t know what’s actually in those pills you’re ordering over the internet from Singapore, though, do you? “No…” says Johnny slowly. “They’re in blister packs though. You know, they look real.”
Modafinil, which is prescribed in the UK and the US as Provigil, was created in a French laboratory in the late 70s and was licensed for use in the UK as a narcolepsy medication in 2002. In the US, that was extended to include excessive daytime sleepiness and shift work sleep disorder. It apes some of the effects of classic stimulants such as amphetamines but without the classic stimulant side-effects: jitters, anxiety and so on. It’s not considered addictive, but some studies have shown that it appears to increase dopamine in the brain’s reward centre, which has been correlated with addictive behaviours.
And while the side effects of modafinil are considered relatively minor – a headache, most frequently, or stomach upset, or relatively rare, serious skin reactions have occurred in a handful of patients – perhaps the biggest issue is that there simply haven’t been any long-term studies into its effects.
Barbara Sahakian is a leading authority on the effects of smart drugs on the brain and she’s continually making just this point. She’s a professor of clinical neuropsychology at Cambridge University and she was one of the first people to realise that the drugs she was studying in her laboratory, drugs to ameliorate the effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, or to enhance the cognition of stroke sufferers, were being used for very different reasons.
“I was over in Florida where I was due to speak on my research and I hadn’t been scheduled until late in the day and I turned to my colleague and said, ‘It’s such a shame I’m so jetlagged.’ And he said, ‘Would you like some of my modafinil?’ It was a drug we used in the lab but I’d never thought of it in any other context and I was totally shocked. And then at the break I started asking other colleagues if they took any of these drugs and one said, ‘Yes, I use Adderall.’ And another was using modafinil and somebody else was taking Ritalin. I was quite amazed. At least half the people around the table were using them.”
She wrote about it for Nature magazine. “And they conducted an online survey and out of 1,400 people who responded, one in five was using something. I mean this is people who are [choosing] to fill in a survey on it, but it was still very surprising.”
There are ways that the drug is useful and could be even more useful, she believes. It’s been shown to improve surgeons’ performances. “They’re like shift workers essentially. They work late into the night and they mainly use caffeine and you get serious tremor with that, which is not ideal. It’s been shown to reduce impulsivity in the sleep-deprived, to improve problem-solving ability. If it reduces accidents in the workplace or bus drivers who fall asleep at the wheel, this has to be a good thing.”
What’s more, some of her most recent work has shown that it increases “task motivation. It motivates you to do the things you’ve been putting off. They become more pleasurable. It makes boring things more interesting. It’s the tax return drug.”
But she’s worried about the increasing number of students who come up to her after she gives talks. “Some of them are quite angry – they don’t want to use the drug but they feel they’ll be at a disadvantage.” More than that though is the lack of proper research into the effects over time.
“We just don’t have any long-term studies. That’s why it’s so inadvisable to use them until that’s done and that’s why I’ve been pushing the government to work with the pharmaceutical industry to do that. The other thing with young people is that their brains are still in development. If you have severe ADHD then you need a treatment like Ritalin to be able to function, but if you are a healthy young person… and you are putting these drugs into a developing brain. Well, we just don’t know enough about what this does.”
In the absence of hard facts, there are stories. I email back and forth with a young woman in New York called Kate Miller, who wrote a gripping account of her life on, and coming off, Adderall for the New York Times. Of how she discovered it in her final year at university and continued to use it as she started in a junior position at a law firm doing 60-hour weeks, until she finally realised she had become dependent and quit. Her withdrawal was long and difficult: “I slept through appointments and was unable to stay up to meet deadlines. The drug had curbed my appetite and… without it I was ravenous.” She found she was “sensitive and emotional from the new chemical imbalance” and “gaining weight and falling behind at work” only exacerbated it.
But the person I most want to speak to about his experience of taking smart drugs won’t talk to me about it: Johann Hari. He was a prolific and well-regarded columnist for the Independent until his career was consumed by a media firestorm in 2011. It was revealed that he’d written interviews with people that contained quotes he’d lifted from other sources and that he’d made malevolent remarks, pseudonymously, on other journalists’ Wikipedia pages.
Before that though, in 2008, he’d written an article about modafinil that extolled its unique and wondrous properties.
“Normally, one day out of seven I have a day when I’m working at my best – I’ve slept really well and everything comes easily and fast. Provigil makes every day into that kind of day,” he wrote. It enabled him to “glide into a state of concentration – deep, cool, effortless concentration”. And the upshot is that he “inhales books” and “exhales articles” effortlessly.
Eventually, though, he concludes that “taking narcolepsy drugs when you don’t have narcolepsy is just stupid”. And he cuts a deal with himself. He’ll put away the “gorgeous temptress” Provigil and only take it when “I’m really knackered” and not “more than two or three a month”.
Except that wasn’t it. He didn’t throw off the gorgeous temptress. He was still taking the pills when he lifted the quotes and when he anonymously took to Wikipedia to make his feelings known about his fellow journalists. He gave them up the week his disgrace came to light (along with the antidepressants he was also taking) as he explained to the Guardian in an interview he gave last month to promote his first post-scandal work: a book on drugs called Chasing the Scream.
“I had been swallowing fistfuls of white narcolepsy pills for years… I had read that if you take them you can write in long, manic weeks without pause and without rest and it worked – I was wired,” he writes in the foreword to the book. But he found he had begun to wonder “if I was becoming an addict myself. My long drugged writing binges would stop only when I collapsed with exhaustion and I wouldn’t be able to wake for days.”
Hari’s special subject is drugs. Chasing the Scream is the result of extensive research and has garnered serious critical attention. But he won’t talk about them with me. “It was a terribly painful period of my life and I find it too distressing to discuss in detail in public,” he emails. And he still won’t talk to me when I email back and point out that his article on the joys of Provigil is still all over the internet and is quoted on multiple sites by people who have used it as a reason to try it themselves, so it might be useful for them to know what he thinks of it now. And anyway, I’m interested in the cultural landscape in which these drugs exist, but he won’t be drawn.
He’s made it clear in various interviews that he doesn’t want to blame his behaviour on drugs or to invite sympathy for himself. And correlation is not causation and he, more than anyone, perhaps, is aware of the politics that make any discussion of drugs so fraught and open to misinterpretation. But still. In the absence of proper studies, personal experience, stories, are all that anyone has to go on and he obviously has an interesting one about modafinil that he’s simply not telling.
In the US, surveys have shown the highest levels of usage are at elite universities in the north-east, where academic pressure is at its most acute; where students are most competitive; where intelligence, and all the things that supposedly come from it, jobs, money, success, are perhaps most highly valued, most highly desired.
Sahakian also makes a comparison with cosmetic surgery. “We are already enhancing ourselves in all sorts of ways. I was shocked when those problems with those French breast implants came to light and the number of women who had to have them removed by the NHS. But it just all depends what you’re valuing. And if you go to a good university and expect a high salary, it’s likely you are going to be valuing certain things and if you can enhance these things that’s going to be attractive.”
And in Britain, informal surveys, such as one carried out by student website the Tab, have suggested the highest levels of usage are in the more academic universities – Oxford came top of its poll – and students of subjects with the highest workloads tended to show the highest usage. Rivlin, the editor of the Tab, was studying at Cambridge in 2010 when he first heard about modafinil and started using it. “It was my third year and it suddenly appeared and people were like, ‘It’s amazing. It allows you to concentrate.’ And, you know, there’s a lot of pressure to perform and it was very useful for mechanical academic work when you’re just trying to do a lot of notes or something.
“It probably says a lot about Oxbridge that it seemed to take off there. I remember my friends at other unis hadn’t really heard about it at the time but it’s now certainly bigger everywhere.”
Not that any university I get in touch with wishes to acknowledge this. It’s partly because there is a danger that articles like this, even with all the caveats, might encourage more people to try these drugs. Partly because there’s no good research being done into the numbers of students taking them, though there are all sorts of indices. In October, a record haul of smart drugs being traded over the internet was seized by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority.
And Sahakian points to the increasing lifestyle use of cognitive enhancing drugs, or smart drugs, by healthy people. Published figures suggest a large discrepancy between the number of diagnosed narcoleptics and the amount of anti-narcoleptic drugs sold (Cephalon, makers of Provigil, made $1.2bn in worldwide sales in 2012), and the ever increasing amounts of ADHD medications being prescribed (Dexamphetamine is the second most privately prescribed drug in Britain).
But, more than this, it’s a can of worms. Duke University in North Carolina has amended its academic honesty policy to include “unauthorised use of a prescription medication” and Sue Wasiolek, the dean of students, tells me that it was students themselves who lobbied for this. They “wanted it noted for the student community that using drugs to enhance academic performance constitutes cheating”. It’s only gone as far as noting it, though. Without drug testing, it’s hard to see how it could be enforced, though several academics have started calling for that too.
In Britain, the official policy of most universities seems to be to pretend it isn’t happening. When I email Oxford University in search of somebody in student services to talk to about whether they’d encountered any students struggling with these drugs, I get varying sorts of brush-offs before an official statement is issued. But then, it is a tangled, morally difficult subject with no easy answers. Even if you ban it in exams, what’s to stop students using it for revision? And there are cognitive enhancers that have been around for hundreds of years that no one considers “cheating”. Caffeine is one; nicotine another.
But we may all have to consider these ethical questions one day. Because cognitive enhancement isn’t going away. Which is good news for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s sufferers. And possibly for the rest of us too. “We live in a global society that is very competitive and where there’s a lot of pressure and stress,” says Sahakian. “And there are lots of difficult questions. If you’re older and your pension is not performing and you have to compete against younger colleagues, what’s the pressure there? If you take one of these drugs, are you enhancing yourself? Or restoring yourself to what you were?”
The Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University was set up to consider just this sort of question and Anders Sandberg, a computational neuroscientist there, tells me how they look at the biggest threats humanity is facing, as well as opportunities; what emergent technologies may offer us as humans.
And cognitive enhancement, whether it’s a drug, or an electric current across the brain, or a form of brain training on computers, is absolutely part of our future, he says. The difficulty is doing research. “Ethics committees shy away from it. They get nervous. Part of the problem is the word ‘pill’. If you said it was a herb that gave you a better memory, rather than little white pills, people wouldn’t be so scared.”
But, he’s upbeat about their democratising potential. “University is a cognitive enhancement but it’s rather an expensive one. Smart drugs are relatively inexpensive and if they help people increase their opportunities then I think this is a good outcome. The smart people get more competition but a cognitively enhanced society would help us all.”
When I talk to Sandberg, he’s at a conference in Florida, due to deliver the keynote lecture the next day. “So I will take a modafinil after breakfast just to give me that extra edge.” He started taking it about 10 years ago and mostly uses it when “I am trying to solve really hard problems. I think it helps. Though quite often I find I’m not working on the right problem and I would actually probably really benefit from a good time-management course.”
He finds it suppresses divergent thinking, which is one part of intelligence, “but I think I’m too divergent. I never finish stuff. This helps me focus.” Mostly, though, he compares it to a “really good cup of coffee that lasts all day”.
What interests him too is what people say they want to enhance. People take smart drugs to get ahead in their career, or there’s enough of a placebo effect to make them believe that they are. Silicon Valley thrums with it. And Richard Kingdon, who runs a rehab clinic, City Beacon, in London’s Square Mile, tells me that people who come to him with addictions to cocaine and alcohol are often on it too.
“But we could be thinking about enhancements that make our lives happier and more fulfilled,” says Sandberg. “We asked people if they’d take a supplement that enhanced their kindness and empathy and only 9% wanted that.”
It isn’t the drugs. It’s us. We’re medicating ourselves against what used to be considered the problems of everyday life. Sadness, anxiety, overwork. “We really have to look at ourselves as a society,” says Sahakian. “We used to have a childhood. What is causing such stress? And it’s a problem with all types of drugs. If you look at the use of painkillers, it’s enormous. We all believe in the power of the little white pill.”
Danny Lee-Forest, head of operations in the enforcement division of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, tells me that smart drugs are just one part of a huge online business. His team seized £11m worth of drugs last year “and it’s mostly stuff that either people don’t want to go to their doctor about or they do, and he tells them something they don’t want to hear, like go on a diet, or do some exercise. It’s slimming pills or erectile dysfunction pills or hair loss.” Or, increasingly, pills to block out the competing distractions of everyday life. Pills to get ahead.
Mike Power, the author of Drugs 2.0: The Online Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High, points out that ADHD drugs are amphetamines. “That’s what Adderall and Ritalin are. Those American students are all just speeding off their heads.” And while, it isn’t quite yet that bad here, we are living in a “more narcotised society generally. From the idea of celebrities ‘partying’ or people talking about ‘a big night out’, there is an unacknowledged ubiquity to drugs from the boardroom to the street, but we just don’t have the political or intellectual maturity to discuss it rationally. We just get various moral panics. For better or worse, the internet has opened up access to any number of drugs and we’re just not dealing with it.”
And it’s young people who are caught in the frame. “We have a generation of young people leaving university with mortgage-sized debts and the growth in prescription drugs and appetite for enhancement drugs mirrors that almost exactly.”
In the 60s, tranquillisers were known as mother’s little helpers. Smart drugs are capitalism’s little helpers. Just another symptom of the aching gap in equality that’s opened up: a product of scarcity, of the ever-increasing competition for resources, of a world in which everyone’s looking for an edge.
There’s something that I’ve so far failed to mention. And that is that I researched and wrote most of this article on modafinil. I ordered it from a UK website and received it the next day by Royal Mail special delivery, disguised inside a pouch for “rosehip supplements”. It’s not illegal to buy, only to sell on to others, and I took it in decreasing amounts over three days.
It was only going to be two, but I felt so out of sorts by the third day – dehydrated, headachy, poorly rested, a bit panicked – that I took some to feel halfway normal again. Which is pretty much the definition of dependency. I got a lot of work done. But I would have without modafinil: that’s why deadlines were invented.
And I can’t help thinking about Johann Hari. We’ve all done stupid things, made poor judgments. My suspicion, and it’s only a suspicion since he won’t talk to me about it, is that he doesn’t know what role modafinil played in his own cautionary tale. Did the small white pills have an effect on his behaviour? Did the gorgeous temptress play a role in his downfall? Or was it an accessory after the fact? It’s impossible to know. But I’m not tempted to continue my own experiment.
Young people, students, take it from the expert. Sahakian points out that one of the most effective, best documented and certainly safest cognitive enhancers is entirely free: exercise. Go for a walk, lift some weights, dance. The drugs may work. But they’re not the answer. It’s the world that needs changing, not your brain chemistry.
Anxiety is not literally my middle name (it’s Alexandra) but it could be. Like my name, anxiety has been with me always. And until I had kids, everyone — including me — thought that I was simply a really good planner, a hyper-conscientious worker, and one of those 10-steps-ahead people who wards off problems before they occur.
No one tells you this, but having children can ratchet up the mind-grind exponentially, turning it into a major liability. When my twins came along 16 years ago, my constant mind-grind became a liability — it was hard to simply enjoy their adorableness, because I was so distracted by the next thing I urgently needed to make happen or that could go horribly, catastrophically wrong.
For those who are not anxious puppies: Anxiety physically feels like fear, except that what you’re afraid of isn’t actually happening. Let’s say the pediatrician sat you down and told you that your kid had a serious illness. Understandably, you’d freak — your heart would beat faster, your face would flush or go pale and your chest might tighten, making it hard to breathe. Perhaps your brain would even glitch briefly, making you feel far away. That’s how it is to have anxiety, except that you’re reacting to the idea that your child could conceivably become sick one day in the future, and it’s hard to shake the thought — it feels as bad as if it were happening in that moment. Anxiety can be triggered by some-thing obvious, like reading a news report, or seemingly nothing at all.
For me, anxiety drained a lot of the pleasure out of being a mom. When my kids were little and ran out giggling ahead of me in the playground, I’d flash to the thought of them splatting out and permanently marring their wee soft faces. If our food didn’t arrive quicklyat a restaurant, I’d sit, braced for a screaming melt down and the wrath of other diners — even as the kids sat bliss-fully coloring. Now that they’re older, my anxiety swirls around what could happen to them if they do the dumbass, risk-taking things I did as a teenager. Never mind that they have decent judgment and most teens survive into adulthood — I obviously did. Tell that to my anxiety.
And then, three years ago, my unquiet mind — which I had learned to manage fairly well through exercise, meditation, an antidepressant, and therapy — really turned up the volume. What’s going on in the news, especially politics, can send me into a state, and all the #MeToo stories roused some sleeping PTSD around events that I’d shoved into the recesses of my brain. I slept poorly, which kept me on edge during the day. My doctor prescribed lorazepam, the generic form of the anti-anxiety drug Ativan, and that helped in a pinch, but it also made me spacey. So I asked her what she knew about cannabidiol (CBD), one of hundreds of compounds in the cannabis plant
What is CBD oil, and is it legal?
The answer: not much. This was just over a year ago, before CBD was being sold everywhere from the organic manicurist’s office to the local bodega. But she did know a fair amount about marijuana, CBD’s more famous cousin: She said some patients found that pot helped their anxiety, allowing them to relax and sleep better, but others said it made their anxiety much worse. Having tried it decades ago (see “dumbass teenage antics” mentioned earlier), I knew it turned me into a giant Oreo-sucking slug who panicked that she’d drown if she didn’t swallow her saliva faster. So fun.
THC, short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the best-known compound in cannabis — the one that makes you high (and, in my case, paranoid). But straight CBD oil, I’d read, does not. It was said to provide only the chill factor, and for some a sense of alertness, with none of the disorientation.
I decided to do some research. I called a friend of a friend, Lynn Parodneck, MD, a former OB/GYN in Bedford, New York, who now exclusively treats medical marijuana patients for things like chronic pain, Parkinson’s, and PTSD. She explained that CBD is found in both marijuana (illegal on a federal level, but legal in certain states) and hemp (now legal everywhere on a federal level, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill; but there are some grey areas, which I’ll explain in a sec).
Whichever type of cannabis plant it comes from, generally speaking, “if it has less than 0.3% THC, it’s considered hemp-derived CBD, and in general it is being sold over the counter,” Dr. Parodneck explains. It can also be shipped to all 50 states if ordered online. But there is a caveat: There are still areas in which CBD is not considered legal, as it is taking time for local laws to catch up with federal law, so be aware of the rules where you live. In some areas, folks have occasionally been busted for having CBD products, either because it comes from a species of the cannabis plant, which remains illegal in some places, or because even the tiniest amounts of THC are entirely illegal — so check the rules where you live and travel. (Aaaannnd… as if that’s not complicated enough, now that the FDA has approved the first CBD-based prescription medication for rare forms of epilepsy, CBD is considered a drug and — guess what? — it’s illegal to sell food products containing drugs, such as CBD-infused coffee or juice shots. How strictly that’s enforced can also be wonky, depending on where you live.) Oh, and you should know that it’s possible for CBD to show up on drug tests for up to 30 days, because even if it says “pure CBD” on the label, it may still contain a teensy-tiny bit of THC.
In any case, CBD derived from pot, she says, contains other compounds that are thought to enhance the effectiveness of the CBD, something known as “the entourage effect.” But CBD from hemp can also be effective, she says.
How does CBD oil work?
Effective for what, you ask? Research is preliminary, but CBD seems to help with pain and certain neurological conditions. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and more, says Joseph Cohen, D.O., a cannabis doctor in Boulder, CO. Taken orally — as a tincture, in a capsule or vaped — some find that it can also alleviate anxiety and depression by working on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in self-regulation, mood and relaxation.
Here’s the deal with the endocannabinoid system: Our bodies produce endocannabinoids every day, says JosephMaroon, M.D., clinical professor and vice chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. These bind to receptors all over our bodies, says Dr. Parodneck; it may be that people who don’t produce enough cannabinoids themselves are the ones who benefit from exogenous phytocannabinoids — i.e., taking CBD from plants — which then bind to those receptors. Another theory is that taking CBD allows our bodies’ naturally produced cannabinoids to stick around longer, prolonging the calming effect, says Dr. Maroon.
The thing is, there is not a lot of clinical data on CBD, because until the Farm Bill was passed last year, all cannabis (whether it contained lots of THC or not) was classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency, along with heroin and Ecstasy, as a Schedule 1 drug — the most restrictive classification. That made it hard for medical researchers to study it (though the FDA recently approved the first CBD-based drug for rare forms of epilepsy).
But doctors in states where cannabis is legal are hearing positive reports from their patients about CBD helping with anxiety, and scientists feel confident that it is not dangerous: It won’t damage vital organs even at doses as high as 5,000 mg a day, says Jahan Marcu, Ph.D., director of experimental pharmacology and behavioral research at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York City, and nobody has died simply from overdosing on a cannabis product, including marijuana.
Are there side effects to CBD oil?
That information convinced me to at least try it, but I wanted to know what side effects to look out for. While CBD is tolerated well by most people, Dr. Parodneck advised me to “start low and go slow.” “Everybody is different and what kind of effects they’ll see depends on what their underlying condition is, as well as their tolerance,” she says.
“Anxiety is not something you can just snap out of,” says the author..
If you have a history of smoking marijuana, some strains of which are relatively high in CBD, you may develop a tolerance, meaning you have to ingest more to get the same effect. “When the body gets used to CBD, it makes fewer endogenous cannabinoids,” so you may need more CBD to feel anything. Too much, however, can give you stomach upset or make you tired. Some people feel a big fat nothing.
For me, a non-pothead, and for most adults, “10 milligrams is fine to start,” says Dr. Parodneck. If that amount doesn’t help, she advised, I was to increase my dose in a week. “If it’s too much, you’ll feel sleepy or have diarrhea, which means you should go back to where you were the week before.” She recommended I write down what I took when and how I felt, to see if it was working. (If you are going to try CBD, be sure to tell your doctor, because it may interact with certain medications such as blood thinners.)
What form of CBD is best and how much should I take?
So off I went, first trying a brand a friend recommended. I took 10mg of a CBD tincture at around 11 a.m., held it under my tongue for a minute as advised, and then waited to feel like the secretly chill person I know I am deep down inside. Nada. I did this every day for a week and didn’t notice a difference.
The next week I tried the same thing, but also bit a 10mg CBD gummy in half, bringing my dosage up to 15mg. After a week of this, I thought maybe I felt a bit calmer an hour or two after taking it…but I couldn’t be sure.
Then one day the following week, another friend gave me a hit from a CBD-oil vape pen at a moment when I was starting to panic about being late to our movie. Within less than a minute, I felt a de-escalation, and after a few minutes, I felt noticeably, appreciably calmer. I reported back to Dr. Parodneck. “That makes sense,” she said. “When you vape, 50% of the product gets utilized. With edibles, it’s between 10 and 20%, and it takes longer to kick in because your body must metabolize it.”
Does CBD work for anxiety?
Since then, I’ve been vaping between one and three hits each morning, which helps me feel subtly but noticeably calmer as I organize and set out for my day, and I also keep my vape pen on hand for emergencies. If something happens that amplifies my panic, I step outside and take a hit. The CBD also seems to help me with the dramatic, intrusive thoughts that come with my PTSD, and it lets me be more in the moment, because I’m not constantly anticipating what might go terribly, horribly wrong. I still meditate and do all the other stuff, but CBD is one more thing that helps me.
Where can I find CBD oil?
But here’s the thing: It’s not for everyone and all CBD products are not created equal — not by a long shot. I get my vape cartridges from a small vendor Dr. Parodneck recommended, but she cautions that because CBD quality varies wildly depending on the manufacturer, it’s buyer beware. A 2017 Journal of the American Medical Associationstudy found 43% of the CBD products that the researchers ordered online had more CBD than indicated, while 26% had less. Some even had more than a trace of THC.
“There’s a 75% chance of getting a product ordered or available online where the CBD is mislabeled,” says Marcu, one of the study’s coauthors. Adds Dr. Maroon, “Buying from a reputable manufacturer is crucial, because it matters how the plant is cultivated and processed.” One clue is cost: If it’s too cheap, it may not be the real deal. My half-gram vape cartridge is $50, but it lasts a long while, and for me that’s a very small price to pay to be able to enjoy my kiddos.
The wisest thing to do is to buy CBD made from American-grown hemp, ideally from a state such as California or Colorado (Dr. Parodneck likes this one). Why? If you purchase CBD oil in the U.S. from one of the 10 states where both recreational and medical cannabis use is legal, there’s a better chance you’ll get a higher-quality product than if you buy one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research on CBD.
Also note the amount of CBD and THC per dose. There’s no definitive amount that’s appropriate for everyone, but the ratio of CBD to THC will indicate how psychoactive the product is and if it’s legal in your state. The more CBD compared with THC, the less of a high, and vice versa. “Managing psychoactivity is key to successful cannabis therapy,” says Lee, author of Smoke Signals. “Amounts should be made clear on the label and lab-certified so people know what’s helping them and what’s not.” Finally, look for “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum.” These terms mean that all or most of the components that can be extracted from the hemp plant are in the oil. The wider the range included, versus just CBD, the greater the potential medicinal benefit of the product, says Lee.
In no way would a few hits of CBD from my vape pen be enough to manage my world-class worrying on its own, but I’m grateful to have another figurative chill pill in my figurative medicine cabinet. I’m still a little self-conscious about taking a toke in front of other people — I’m a health editor and don’t want anyone to think I vape anything harmful! — so I step outside my office and skulk in the doorway feeling like a sneaky teenager. At some point, however, I predict that CBD-using anxious puppies like yours truly will be able to live out loud and proud.