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what is cannabidiol

Cannabidiol may have a number of uses. Some evidence suggests that it might have therapeutic applications in the treatment of conditions including:

In contrast, “high potency” strains of marijuana that have been developed more recently have been reported to contain 16-22% of THC and less than 0.1% CBD. This might explain the recent increase in cannabis-related cases of psychosis.

Types of Cannabidiol

It is important to note that while cannabidiol shows promise in the treatment of some symptoms and conditions, further research is needed. Additional studies may explore variations in dosages and administration as well as how treatment with cannabidiol compares to other medications and treatment options.

It is also important to consider the quality of the product itself. One 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that only 30.95% of cannabidiol products sold on the internet were labeled correctly. Many contained less CBD than advertised or had significant amounts of THC.

Products that may contain cannabidiol include oils, sprays, capsules, lotions, candies, and beverages. It can be administered in oral, topical, edible, or inhaled forms.

Malfait AM, Gallily R, Sumariwalla PF, et al. The non-psychoactive cannabis-constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2000;97:9561-6. View abstract.

Cannabidiol Now Showing Up In Dietary Supplements. Natural Medicines Web site. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/news/news-items/2015/march/cannabidiol-now-showing-up-in-dietary-supplements.aspx. (Accessed May 31, 2015).

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Harvey DJ. Absorption, distribution, and biotransformation of the cannabinoids. Marijuana and Medicine. 1999;91-103.

Epidiolex (cannabidiol) prescribing information. Greenwich Biosciences, Inc., Carlsbad, CA, 2019. Available at: https://www.epidiolex.com/sites/default/files/EPIDIOLEX_Full_Prescribing_Information.pdf (accessed 5/9/2019)

Zuardi AW, Crippa JA, Hallak JE, et al. Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease. J Psychopharmacol 2009;23(8):979-83. View abstract.

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a "high." According to a report from the World Health Organization, "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD."

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.

Is cannabidiol legal?

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.

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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