What is known about cannabidiol (CBD) and what is unknown

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Cannabidiol (CBD) is frequently discussed in the media, and you might see it promoted as a supplement to your morning coffee or post-workout smoothie. Even a sports bra with CBD in it is available. But precisely what is CBD? Why is it so well-liked, then?

What distinguishes cannabidiol from hemp, cannabis, and marijuana?

The second most common active component in cannabis (marijuana) is CBD, often known as cannabidiol. While CBD is a crucial component of medicinal marijuana, it is either produced in a lab or is taken straight from the hemp plant, a relative of the marijuana plant. CBD, one of marijuana’s many ingredients, does not by itself produce a “high.” A World Health Organization assessment states that CBD “in humans exhibits no effects suggestive of any abuse or dependence potential.” There is currently no proof that using pure CBD has any negative effects on public health.

Is CBD permitted?

The majority of the United States enjoys easy access to CBD, despite the fact that its actual legal status has been up for debate. With different degrees of limitation, CBD is allowed in all 50 states. The FDA loosened the rules in December 2015 to allow researchers to undertake CBD experiments. It became practically difficult to keep CBD illegal once the Farm Bill of 2018 legalized hemp in the US; it would be analogous to legalizing oranges but keeping orange juice unlawful.

All CBD-derived products were taken off of the Controlled Substances Act, which makes it illegal to possess narcotics, by the Farm Bill. In essence, this means that, despite being the same molecule, CBD is illegal if it comes from cannabis (marijuana), but permissible if it comes from hemp. Many people now buy CBD online, which is legal in most states and does not require a medical marijuana card.

The proof of cannabidiol’s health advantages

The best scientific evidence supports the use of CBD for treating some of the cruelest childhood epileptic syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which often don’t react to anti-seizure drugs. CBD has been promoted for a wide range of health conditions. Numerous studies have shown that CBD can both lessen and, in some circumstances, completely halt seizures. The first cannabis-derived medication approved by the FDA for these diseases is Epidiolex, which contains CBD.

Self-reports from users and human research indicate that CBD may also be beneficial for:

  • Anxiety Studies and clinical studies are looking at the widely reported ability of CBD to lessen anxiety.
  • Insomnia. According to studies, CBD may assist with both getting to sleep and staying asleep.
  • ache that lasts for a long time. Additional human research are required to support claims that CBD reduces pain. According to an animal study published in the European Journal of Pain, using CBD topically may help reduce arthritis-related pain and inflammation. The difficult-to-treat inflammatory and neuropathic pain may be inhibited by CBD, according to additional studies.
  • Addiction. According to certain human study, there are some circumstances where CBD can assist reduce cravings for drugs like heroin and tobacco. It may also aid in reducing cravings for alcohol, cannabis, opioids, and stimulants, according to animal models of addiction.

How safe is CBD?

CBD can cause nauseousness, tiredness, and irritability as side effects. By vying for the liver enzymes that break down blood thinners and other medications, CBD can boost their concentration in your blood. Similar results are seen while using grapefruit and several medications.

Blood tests relating to the liver may reveal abnormalities in those taking large dosages of CBD. This effect is shared by several over-the-counter medications, including acetaminophen (Tylenol). So, if you consistently use CBD, you should inform your doctor.

The fact that CBD is largely marketed and sold as a supplement rather than a medicine raises serious safety concerns. The FDA does not currently have any laws governing the purity and safety of dietary supplements. As a result, you cannot be certain that the product you purchase has the active chemicals in the dosage indicated on the label. The item may also include unidentified components. The optimal therapeutic dose of CBD for any specific medical condition is likewise unknown.

How is CBD administered?

There are numerous ways to consume CBD, including oils, extracts, pills, patches, vape pens, and topical skin preparations. A topical CBD-infused oil, lotion, cream, or even bath bomb may be your best bet if you’re looking to reduce inflammation and treat muscle and joint pain. As an alternative, CBD can enter the bloodstream directly through a CBC patch, tincture, or spray that is meant to be applied under the tongue.

The prescription medication Sativex, which contains CBD as an active component, is authorized for the treatment of cancer pain and the muscle stiffness brought on by multiple sclerosis outside of the United States. Epidiolex has received approval in the US to treat specific forms of epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis.

Conclusions regarding cannabidiol

Some CBD producers have come under government scrutiny for making outrageous, unjustifiable claims, like that CBD is a panacea for COVID-19 or cancer, which it is not. More research is required, but CBD may prove to be a valuable, relatively safe choice for treating chronic pain, sleeplessness, and anxiety. We are unable to determine effective amounts because there is insufficient high-quality information from human research, and it is difficult to know exactly what you are getting because CBD is now most frequently sold as an unregulated supplement.

If you choose to experiment with CBD, be careful to purchase it from a reliable supplier. Additionally, check with your physician to be sure it won’t interfere with any other medications you take.