What is cannabidiol (CBD) and what do we know about it?

What are the advantages of CBD, and is it safe to use?

A prescription cannabidiol (CBD) oil is thought to be an effective anti-seizure medication. However, further study is needed to determine CBD’s additional advantages and safety.

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a chemical present in marijuana. CBD does not include the psychoactive component found in marijuana, which is THC. CBD is available in a variety of forms, including oil, extract, vaporized liquid, and oil-based capsule. Food, beverages, and cosmetics are just a few of the many CBD-infused items available online.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any CBD products for sale in the United States. Epidiolex, a prescription oil, is the only CBD product authorized by the FDA at this time. It’s meant to treat two types of epilepsy. Other than Epidiolex, state laws on CBD usage vary widely. CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of illnesses, including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety. Although there is research demonstrating the advantages of CBD, it is still limited.

Although CBD is one of the most studied cannabinoids, there are some drawbacks to using it. CBD can cause side effects including dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced hunger, drowsiness, and tiredness. CBD can also react with other medicines you’re taking, such as blood thinners.

Another worry is the unreliability of CBD purity and dosage in consumables. According to a recent study of 84 CBD goods purchased online, over a quarter had less CBD than claimed. Furthermore, THC was discovered in 18 products.

We know and what we don’t

Cannabidiol (CBD) is frequently discussed in the media, and it’s often marketed as a post-workout smoothie or morning coffee supplement. You may even buy a CBD-infused sports bra. But what exactly is CBD, and why is it so popular?

How is cannabidiol different from marijuana, cannabis and hemp?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prevalent active component in cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an important element of medical marijuana, it is extracted from hemp plant or manufactured in a lab. CBD is one of hundreds of chemicals found in marijuana; it does not cause a “high” on its own. According to the World Health Organization, “CBD has no indication of abuse or dependence potential in humans…. There is presently no evidence that CBD use poses a risk to public health.”

Is cannabidiol legal?

CBD is readily available in most parts of the United States, although its legality has been up in the air. CBD is lawful in all 50 states, with varying restrictions. The FDA relaxed regulatory restrictions in December 2015 to allow researchers to do CBD studies. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp lawful in the United States, making it near-impossible to keep CBD illegal – akin to legalizing oranges but prohibiting orange juice.

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CBD has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act, which makes it illegal to possess any medications derived from cannabis. In other words, CBD is legal if it comes from hemp, but not if it comes from marijuana (even though they are the same molecule). Many people now buy CBD online without a medical marijuana license, which is permissible in most states.

The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits

The most compelling scientific evidence suggests that CBD may help with a range of health problems, but the most significant medical research supports its use in treating some of the cruelest epileptic disorders, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which do not respond to antiepileptic drugs. CBD was found in several studies to reduce the number of seizures and, in some circumstances, even eliminate them. Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication, is the first cannabis-derived drug approved by the FDA for these conditions.

CBD has been shown to help with:

  • Anxiety: CBD has been shown to help people with anxiety. CBD is currently being studied and conducted on humans in order to determine if it can help relieve anxiety.
  • Insomnia: CBD has been found to help with both falling asleep and sleeping well.
  • Chronic pain: Human studies are required to verify CBD’s pain-relieving abilities. According to a study from the European Journal of Pain, CBD applied topically to skin may help reduce discomfort and inflammation in arthritis patients. CBD’s ability to inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain was discovered in additional research.
  • Addiction: According to certain research on humans, cannabidiol (CBD) might assist decrease tobacco and heroin cravings under particular circumstances. According to animal model addiction, it may also aid in the reduction of alcohol, cannabis, opiates, and stimulant cravings.

Is CBD safe?

CBD may cause nausea, tiredness, and irritability in some people. CBD competes for liver enzymes that break down certain medications, raising the amount of blood thinners and other medicines in your blood. Grapefruit has a similar impact on specific drugs.

Taking a large quantity of CBD has been shown to alter liver function tests in some people. This is caused by the fact that many non-prescription medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), have this same effect. If you take CBD on a daily basis, you should notify your doctor.

CBD is a popular nutritional supplement, not a drug, which raises significant safety concerns. The FDA does not regulate the safety and quality of dietary supplements at this time. You can’t be sure that the goods you’re buying include active compounds at the dosages stated on the label. Additionally, other unknown materials may be included in the product. We also don’t know what constitutes the optimal therapeutic dose of CBD for each condition.

How can CBD be taken?

Hemp-derived CBD comes in a variety of forms including oils, extracts, capsules, patches, vapes, and topical treatments. A topical CBD-infused oil, lotion, or cream – or even a bath bomb – could be the best choice if you want to alleviate muscular and joint pain. A supplement with high levels of CBD or another THC-free cannabinoid may also be utilized for the same purpose. Alternatively, a CBC patch or tincture or spray that is meant to be placed under the tongue allows CBD to enter the circulation directly.

Outside the United States, Sativex, a medication that incorporates CBD as a active component, is authorized for muscular spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis and cancer pain. Epidiolex is licensed to treat certain types of epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis in the United States.

The bottom line on cannabidiol

CBD companies have been accused of making deceptive claims, such as that CBD is a cure-all for cancer or COVID-19, which it is not. CBD may be a useful, relatively non-toxic alternative for treating anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. We can’t pinpoint effective dosages because there isn’t enough high-quality evidence in human studies, and because CBD is commonly sold as an unapproved supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you’re getting.

If you decide to experiment with CBD, make sure you get it from a reliable vendor. Also, talk to your doctor to ensure that it will not interfere with any other medications you are taking.

 

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