Cannabidiol (CBD) is featured a lot in the media, and you may see it touted as a booster for your post-workout shake or morning coffee. You can even buy a sports bra with CBD, the vast majority of these products are of plant origin, vegan and without animal cruelty, therefore acts to be consumed by vegans, but some of them have passed, before going on the market, by tests on animals, so you must be very careful or attentive to the labeling.
But what exactly is CBD? And why is it so popular?
How is cannabidiol different from marijuana, cannabis, and hemp?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most common active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). Although CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is obtained directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or manufactured in a laboratory. CBD, one of the hundreds of components in marijuana, does not cause a “high” by itself. According to a report by the World Health Organization, “in humans, CBD does not show effects indicative of any potential for abuse or dependence…. To date, there is no evidence of public health problems associated with the use of pure CBD. “
The evidence for the health benefits of cannabidiol
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health problems, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its efficacy in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox syndrome. Gastaut (LGS), which normally do not respond to anti-seizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures and, in some cases, stop them completely. Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is the first cannabis-derived drug approved by the FDA for these diseases.
Animal studies, and patient reports or human research, suggest that CBD may also help with:
Studies and clinical trials are exploring the common report that CBD can reduce anxiety .
Studies suggest that CBD can help both to fall asleep and to keep it off.
More studies are needed to substantiate the claims that CBD helps control pain , some already claiming that it could help reduce pain and inflammation due to arthritis when applied to the skin. Other research identifies how CBD can inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are difficult to treat.
CBD can help reduce the desire for tobacco and heroin under certain conditions, according to some human research, but it may also help reduce the desire for alcohol, cannabis, opiates, and stimulants.
How can you take CBD?
CBD comes in many forms, including oils, extracts, capsules, patches, vaping, and topical preparations for use on the skin. If you want to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle and joint pain, a topical CBD-infused oil, lotion, or cream – or even a bath bomb – may be the best option. Alternatively, a CBD patch or solution or spray designed to be placed under the tongue allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream directly.
Outside of the US, the prescription drug Sativex, which uses CBD as an active ingredient, is approved for muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and for cancer pain. In the United States, Epidiolex is approved for certain types of epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis.
Is CBD Safe?
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue, and irritability. CBD can increase the level of blood thinners and other medications by competing with the liver enzymes that break down these drugs. Grapefruit has a similar effect with certain medications.
People taking high doses of CBD may show liver-related blood test abnormalities. Many over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), have this same effect. Therefore, you should inform your doctor if you regularly consume CBD
A major safety issue with CBD is that it is marketed and sold primarily as a supplement, not as a drug. Currently, in virtually no country is the safety and purity of dietary supplements fully regulated. Therefore, you cannot be sure that the product you buy has active ingredients in the dosage indicated on the label. Also, the product may contain other unknown elements. We also don’t know what the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD is for any particular medical condition.
Is cannabidiol legal?
Although in general the laws of all countries move towards the legalization of marijuana in the future (in some places more distant than in others), steps are being taken in which “parts or components” of it are being legalized. For example, CBD is readily available in most parts of the United States, although its exact legal status has been changing. All 50 states have laws that legalize CBD with varying degrees of restriction. In December 2015, the FDA relaxed regulatory requirements to allow researchers to test CBD. In 2018, the Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, making it virtually impossible to keep CBD illegal – that would be like making oranges legal, but keeping orange juice illegal.
The bottom line of cannabidiol
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild and indefensible claims, such as CBD being a cure for cancer or COVID-19, which it is not. We need more research, but CBD may prove to be a useful and relatively non-toxic option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain . Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies, we cannot pin down effective dosages, and since CBD is currently available as an unregulated supplement, it is difficult to know exactly what you are getting.
If you decide to try CBD, make sure you get it from a reputable source. And talk to your doctor to make sure it won’t affect any other medications you take.