CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, and you may have even seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. What exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So, you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.
The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
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Grinspoon, P. (2018 August 24). Cannabidiol (CBD) – what we know and what we don’t. Harvard Health Blog. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476.
The best course of action, then, might be to wait as the body of research grows and the legality and regulations around CBD are streamlined before trying CBD oil to manage a health condition.
But if you really want to try it now, here is what the Mayo Clinic’s Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils recommends:
There might also be benefits to using CBD.
Since 2018, one product has exploded onto the market in the United States more than any other, advertising itself as an antidote to sleeplessness, anxiety, stress, pain, and even acne. From tinctures to infused lotions and dog treats, cannabidiol (CBD) has made its way into hundreds of products that claim to enhance wellbeing. But is the hype real? And should you try CBD for yourself?
While excitement over this potentially beneficial treatment is growing, there are a few reasons why you should exercise caution when considering it:
While there are many anecdotal reports of CBD’s positive effect on everything from insomnia to pain to HIV, the scientific evidence doesn’t yet match the hype.
Most experts agree that there needs to be more research on the impact of CBD oil on health conditions, because many of the current studies don’t use a placebo, have mixed results, or are solely based on animal research. However, many also argue that even though the studies are early, they are promising, and that CBD is generally safe. A 2015 systematic review found moderate evidence for the use of cannabinoids to treat chronic pain, but low-quality evidence to support its effect on nausea, vomiting, weight gain in HIV, sleep disorders, or Tourette’s.