What We Do and Do Not Know about CBD

CBD or cannabidiol has become quite popular in recent years. Hype surrounding this product is continually growing and with it are more claims to fame. To hear many marketers, this is a miracle cure for just about anything that ails you, even terminal illnesses. CBD does have some important benefits, but it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s fake. Here is some information about what experts do and don’t know about CBD.

CBD and Marijuana

Most people associate CBD with marijuana and rightly so. It is the second most abundant active ingredient in marijuana, along with THC. It’s derived from the hemp plant that is a relative of the marijuana plant. CBD is one of the ingredients in the drug, but it isn’t the one that makes you high. It doesn’t cause you to become addicted or dependent.

CBD and Legality

With more states legalizing marijuana either for medical or recreational purposes and others still banning the substance, it can be difficult to understand the legality of CBD. All of the states have legalized CBD in some degree. There are often restrictions associated with the ingredient, but they vary by state.

Even though the federal government still places CBD in the same classification as marijuana and has a ban against it, the government doesn’t usually enforce it. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has eased up on the regulations for researchers to use CBD in clinical trials.

Does CBD Provide Health Benefits?

With so many companies and marketers praising CBD for its ability to help or cure all kinds of health conditions, you may wonder what it really does. The FDA hasn’t approved the use of CBD for most of the conditions linked to it, but they have approved the first medication for epilepsy in children.

Epilepsy syndromes often don’t respond to regular medications given for seizures. Clinical studies showed where CBD reduced the number and frequency of the episodes and even stopped them completely in some cases. The FDA approved Epidiolex, which has CBD as one of the ingredients.

While the FDA has only approved one product containing CBD for the treatment of one class of medical issues, studies show it has other benefits. Some studies indicate it may help with insomnia and anxiety. People who have taken it say they can fall asleep faster and stay asleep.

Another study that was published in the European Journal of Pain showed that it could reduce pain and inflammation of arthritis. Other studies have seen positive results when CBD is used to treat chronic pain. More studies must be done to determine the effectiveness of CBD on pain.

Safety of CBD

Marketers also tout the safety of using CBD over other medications. Because it is sold as a supplement and not a medication, the FDA doesn’t regulate the safety of the ingredients. Known side effects of CBD include fatigue and nausea as well as irritability. It can also raise levels of certain medications similar to the effects of grapefruit. It can also change your blood level with coumadin, which is a blood thinner.

Because it isn’t regulated, products with CBD may contain other ingredients. You also don’t know that what is listed is what is inside at the same level. There is also no known correct dosage to be given for a medical condition to ensure it is effective.

Since there are so many undocumented claims and not enough research, there is no evidence as to what CBD can do. It has potential to aid in managing chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety and there may be other benefits yet to be discovered, but it’s important to be careful when starting a product that contains this ingredient. Talk to your doctor to make sure it doesn’t impact any other medications you are on.