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does cbd oil do anything

But, uh, what is it that CBD is supposed to do? I visited a cannabis dispensary in Boulder to find out what the hype was all about. After passing an ID check, I was introduced to a “budtender” who pointed me to an impressive array of CBD products — tinctures, skin patches, drink powders, candies, salves, massage oil, lotions, “sexy time personal intimacy oil” and even vaginal suppositories to treat menstrual cramps.

Still, as the saying goes, absence of evidence isn’t necessarily evidence of absence, and there’s a reason we don’t have a ton of solid research on CBDs yet — “to study it, we need a good source, ” said Ziva Cooper, who is an associate professor at Columbia University and was on the National Academies committee. CBD is hard to get because it’s still technically a Schedule I drug, which limits its availability, Cooper said.

In the meantime, some physicians are forging ahead — and cashing in. Joe Cohen is a doctor at Holos Health, a medical marijuana clinic in Boulder. I asked him what CBD is good for, and he read me a long list of conditions: pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, intestinal cramping, anxiety, psychosis, muscle spasms, hyperactive immune systems, nervous system degeneration, elevated blood sugar and more. He also claimed that CBD has anti-cancer properties and can regenerate brain cells and reduce the brain’s levels of amyloid beta — a kind of protein that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. I asked for references, noting that most of these weren’t listed in the Academies report or a similar review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “I think you just have to Google search it,” he said. It’s true that a preliminary study found hints that cannabinoids might reduce beta amyloid proteins in human brain cells, but the study was done in cells grown in a lab, not in people. As for cancer, the FDA sent warning letters last year to four companies that were selling products that claimed to “prevent, diagnose, treat or cure” cancer.

Cannabinoids are a class of compounds that interact with receptors throughout your body. CBD is just one of dozens of cannabinoids found in cannabis, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the one responsible for marijuana’s famous high. Medical cannabis is technically any cannabis product used for medicinal purposes, and these can contain THC or CBD or both, said Nick Jikomes, a neuroscientist at Leafly, a website that provides information about legal cannabis. “A common mistake people make is to think that CBD is ‘the medical cannabinoid’ and THC is ‘the recreational cannabinoid.’” That’s inaccurate, he said, because THC is a potent anti-inflammatory and can be helpful for pain.

What makes CBD so appealing is that it’s non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high, though it “is technically psychoactive, because it can influence things like anxiety,” Jikomes said. Although much of the marketing blitz around CBD centers on the fact that you can take it without getting stoned, there isn’t much research looking at the effects of CBD when used in isolation, with a couple of exceptions. One is the use of CBD to treat seizures: CBD is the active ingredient in the only cannabis product that the Food and Drug Administration has signed off on — a drug called Epidiolex, which is approved for treating two rare forms of epilepsy. Animal models and a few human studies suggest that CBD can help with anxiety, but those are the only conditions with much research on CBD in isolation.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD use skews towards the young and female, but Horn at LDN CBD hasn’t found a gender divide and he has lots of older customers in his shop. He often hears that CBD oil helps with their arthritis, and sometimes that they have been able to open jars for the first time in years. Horn has even got his granny on CBD. He is currently raising funding for two more stores in London, and he would like to have another 10 stores in the major cities of the UK. “Most towns with a Holland & Barrett could have a shop like this,” he predicts.

A aron Horn first came across cannabidiol, or CBD, about three years ago in Glastonbury – the town, not the festival. “I found it at this amazing hemp shop, Hemp in Avalon,” recalls Horn, a musician who is now 35. “It’s run by a guy called Free. His last name is Cannabis. He changed his name by deed poll to Free Cannabis.” Horn bought a tube of high-concentration CBD paste – “it comes out like a brown toothpaste, almost” – and it was recommended he put a tiny dot on his finger and pop it in his mouth.

But does it work? And does taking CBD do us any good? Philip McGuire is a professor of psychiatry and cognitive neuroscience at King’s College London; he has a special interest in psychosis and started looking into cannabidiol about 15 years ago. One of the first experiments he worked on looked at how cannabidiol works in the brains of healthy people in comparison with the impact that THC has. The results were categoric. “We basically showed that the two compounds have opposite effects on brain function,” says McGuire. “So when THC is making you psychotic, it stimulates certain bits of the brain. And in these areas of the brain, CBD has the opposite effect, essentially, in the same people.” To boil it down: “CBD and THC seem to be pushing in opposite directions.”

Fayed, the 34-year-old daughter of former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, first came across CBD in the US in an oil made by Charlotte’s Web. The company is named after Charlotte Figi, a 12-year-old with Dravet syndrome, whose story has many echoes of Billy Caldwell’s. Figi, too, found that her seizures were significantly reduced by taking medical cannabis. Charlotte’s Web was developed in 2011 by six brothers (Joel, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Jared and Josh Stanley) who crossbred a strain of marijuana with industrial hemp to make products that are high in cannabidiol and low in THC. Its oils start with the entry-level “full strength”, which claims 6.65mg of CBD per ml, and go up to “maximum strength”, which has 60mg of CBD per ml.

Horn is bouncy and enthusiastic; for someone who spends a fair amount of time meditating, he seems to have a hard time standing still. Our conversation takes place in his shop, LDN CBD, which he opened in Camden last July with a friend, Joe Oliver. CBD has been available to buy for a while – not only in independent shops such as Hemp in Avalon but also, since early 2018, in nationwide chains such as Holland & Barrett – but Horn contends that this is the elixir’s first dedicated boutique in the UK. It is certainly a long way from the traditional head shop: bongs and Rizlas have been swapped for white walls, reclaimed-wood floors and uncluttered shelves sparsely dotted with CBD oils, pastes and pills, and on-trend houseplants. A 10ml bottle of 3% CBD oil costs £25. Horn sees his target customer as anyone interested in wellness, more than counter-culture stoners. Downstairs are two studios for yoga, reiki and CBD massages.

One suspicion about cannabidiol is that it is an impossible panacea: some, for example, claim CBD makes them more relaxed; others that it sharpens their mind to focus on complex work problems. Can it really do both? But, for McGuire, this is less a contradiction and more an indication that we don’t yet know what CBD is capable of and how best to use it. “One of the interesting things about the endocannabinoid system in the body is that it’s not just in the brain but also all over the body,” he explains. “And cannabidiol also appears to have beneficial effects on metabolism, on the immune system and liver function, in addition to its mental health effects.”

“I’m not trying to be a killjoy,” says McGuire, “but, especially in mental health, the size of the placebo effect is enormous. That’s not to dismiss it, but that’s why in clinical trials, if you don’t give half the people in the trial a placebo, it’s considered junk. It’s not publishable, it’s not taken seriously because, in mental health, the placebo effect can produce a 40% change in symptoms.

Lastly, as it could not be any other way with cannabis, you can also inhale it. However, instead of rolling a joint, you can vape CBD oil. Vaporized CBD will make you feel the effects very fast since CBD goes straight to the bloodstream through your lungs.

A few users prone to allergy report some discomfort and allergic reaction when applying cannabidiol on the skin. Vaporized CBD contains vegetable glycerin, which can cause an allergic reaction too. You may end up feeling nauseous, dizzy, and have shortness of breath if you are allergic to it. Unfortunately, you cannot know how your body will react to CBD before you actually take it CBD.

May Help Insomnia Patients.

There are early indications that cannabidiol might delay the growth of tumors when taken regularly, yet research is ongoing. However, CBD may also serve as a support for cancer treatment by assuaging some of chemotherapy’s side effects.

Also, make sure that you mention any underlying conditions that you may be having to know whether you are fit to take cannabidiol.

Alternatively, you can take CBD in capsules and pills. There’s even a prescription medicine to treat epilepsy that contains cannabidiol: it’s called Epidiolex. It just goes to show you how rapidly the CBD market is growing.