Is CBD Helpful or Just Hype
CBD, of late, has been researched upon because of many of the medicinal benefits that it offers like anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, pain reliever, stress and anxiety reduction, etc. Derived from the non-psychotic components of the hemp plant, it is being promoted as the latest miracle cure.
CBD is available in many forms like tincture oils, edibles like gummies and honey, pain relief balms and lotions, CBD infused beverages like tea and coffee, and is available widely over the counter and even online.
Indeed, sales are predicted to reach $22 billion by 2022, according to the Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research firm.
I first encountered CBD while on sabbatical a few years back. As I drove up the Oregon Coast Highway, it was hard to miss all the cannabis shops along the Pacific. I stopped in one, perused the menu, and selected two marijuana specials — Nine-Pound Hammer and Trainwreck — and some CBD gummy bears. The cannabis was, well, as advertised, and the CBD candy, as far as I could tell, was a fruit-flavored placebo.
Many of my patients have tried it or want to learn more about it. One of them, an educated, successful and anxious man in his 40s, recently told me he tried mixing CBD oil in his tea, but it didn’t make him calmer. Then he rubbed the oil on his injured knee and pronounced it a magic cure..
WHAT CAN CBD CURE AND WHAT ARE ITS EFFECTS?
Cannabidiol or CBD can cure many ailments like pain, inflammations, anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, etc., by interacting with the receptors present in the Endocannabinoid System of our body. Cannabidiol has little direct effect on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, so it is largely devoid of the euphoric effects of THC, the major intoxicant in marijuana.
In 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine convened a panel of experts to review the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. They examined more than 10,000 studies, most of which examined marijuana, not CBD. They found evidence that some cannabinoids — not including CBD — are effective for pain, nausea from chemotherapy and muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis.
When it comes to CBD, the panel found only a few small randomized clinical trials and concluded that there was insufficient evidence that CBD was effective in treating conditions like insomnia, addiction to cigarettes and Parkinson’s disease, and limited evidence in its ability to treat anxiety.
This year, the Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, a CBD concentrate, for two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, on the basis of several clinical trials..
Since CBD is a Schedule I drug, a licence is needed from the Drug Enforcement Administration to research on it. In 2017, the National Institutes of Health funded cannabinoid research to the tune of $140 million, including $15 million on CBD.
The F.D.A. also loosened restrictions on CBD research in 2015 and has announced that it is considering “pathways” to allow the sale across state lines of CBD in food and beverages, sales now confined to states that have approved CBD use.
A 2017 study in JAMA reported that only 26 of 84 samples of CBD oils, tinctures and liquids purchased online contained the amount of CBD claimed on their labels. Eighteen of them contained THC, which could lead to intoxication or impairment in some individuals. And a quarter had less CBD than advertised. The F.D.A. has likewise found many products that did not contain the amount of CBD they were claiming.
CBD: TRUTH OR HYPE?
Since the rave about CBD is increasing, many wonder whether it can actually offer health benefits, or is it just hype. CBD can actually reduce the effects of many psychological ailments like Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, ADHD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress, etc. It can also cure physical ailments such as pain, inflammation, nausea, etc.
CBD is available in many forms like tincture oils, balms, sprays, lotions, gummies, honey, beverages, etc. You can use these products to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.