“If you take pure CBD, it’s pretty safe,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Side effects in the Epidiolex trial included diarrhea, sleepiness, fatigue, weakness, rash, decreased appetite and elevated liver enzymes. Also, the safe amount to consume in a day, or at all during pregnancy, is still not known.
Last year, the F.D.A. approved Epidiolex, a purified CBD extract, to treat rare seizure disorders in patients 2 years or older after three randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trials with 516 patients that showed the drug, taken along with other medications, helped to reduce seizures. These types of studies are the gold standard in medicine, in which participants are divided by chance, and neither the subject nor the investigator knows which group is taking the placebo or the medication.
Will these trends change your life — or
Does CBD help sleep and depression?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the lesser-known child of the cannabis sativa plant; its more famous sibling, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the active ingredient in pot that catapults users’ “high.” With roots in Central Asia, the plant is believed to have been first used medicinally — or for rituals — around 750 B.C., though there are other estimates too.
Cannabis containing 0.3 percent or less of THC is hemp. Although last year’s Farm Bill legalized hemp under federal law, it also preserved the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of products derived from cannabis.
“It’s promising in a lot of different therapeutic avenues because it’s relatively safe,” said James MacKillop, co-director of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in Hamilton, Ontario.
This year, 1,090 people have contacted poison control centers about CBD, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Over a third are estimated to have received medical attention, and 46 were admitted into a critical care unit, possibly because of exposure to other products, or drug interactions. In addition, concern over 318 animals poured into the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center.
Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties and will not give you a “high”. There is no evidence it has any abuse or dependence potential and to date, there is no evidence that it is associated with any serious side effects, according to the World Health Organization.
CBD derived from hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC and is legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. Cannabis-derived CBD products, on the other hand, are illegal federally but legal under some state laws.
What is CBD?
Pretreatment with 300mg CBD significantly relieved anxiety in 57 healthy males who undertook a simulated public speaking test. However, dosages of 150mg CBD and 600mg CBD did not make any difference to the men’s anxiety levels. 7
Beneficial effects on anxiety after taking CBD were reported in an observational study where 21 patients out of 400 had anxiety. 8
Animal studies have shown that CBD has a positive effect on serotonin levels in the brain, and serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are thought to play a key role in mood as well as pain. 11
Not only can you, but for the best effects, in most cases you actually should take CBD on a daily basis. “You can’t overdose on CBD, and it’s lipophilic (or fat soluble), which means it compounds in your body over time, adding to potential health benefits,” says Capano.
For the non-scientists among us, by blocking FAAH, CBD can help increase your level of anandamide. And that’s a big deal when you’re looking for a mood boost. This neurotransmitter (the same one that leads to the elusive runner’s high) is named after the Sanskrit word for joy, bliss, or happiness. Basically, says Capano, “CBD makes our natural bliss molecule work better for us.”
If your needs are not quite so urgent, you might opt for a tincture; you’ll still feel the effects soon—usually within 20 minutes to an hour—since the liquid quickly absorbs into your bloodstream after you drop it under your tongue. This usage allows the CBD to bypass a first pass through your liver that capsules require before you feel their effects.
How long is CBD in my system?
To make sure you’re getting a legit product, research the brand before purchasing from it and find out where it sources its CBD. If you can find a company that’s vertically integrated—meaning they have control over the growth of their plants—that’s ideal, notes Capano. (It’s not essential, though, and might be difficult to find a vertically integrated brand, as only a handful of companies in the U.S. are.)
The bad news: Your body metabolizes CBD through a pathway in your liver known as CYP 450, where enzymes break up potentially harmful compounds—and it’s the same pathway in your liver that metabolizes most common prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, says Capano.
Whenever you’re starting out with a new product, the best time to try it is right before bed—just in case it makes you drowsy, says Capano. Even if it doesn’t, you’re pretty much guaranteed a good night’s sleep.
For oils, creams, and other topical treatments—which are a great option for eczema, burns, or other skin conditions—“dosage depends on the concentration of the product, but generally just apply a small amount, as needed,” suggests Capano. Topicals also can help with headaches or migraines if you apply it at onset. And if getting your CBD with a vaporizer, start small. “You need less from a vaporizer and will have a very rapid onset,” she says. For this reason, she recommends trying just 2.5 mg at first.