C.B.D. You might have noticed those three letters cropping up online or in your social media feeds.
Lotions, oils, vapes… So what is CBD? It’s cannabis, and people are turning to it to treat all kinds of things, but scientists worry about the lack of research and about the lack of regulation.
Some of them said that a lot of the perceptions of the ability of cannabidiol to have a wide range of disease states and symptoms really come from media and marketing.
America has a complicated history with cannabis, but to be honest, until recently, most of us have no idea what CBD even is.
CBD cannabidiol is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant, but it’s not the chemical that cannabis is traditionally known for. That’s THC. You might not recognize the name, but that’s the stuff that gets you high.
CBD, however, doesn’t have any psychoactive effect, and it’s now legal for American farmers to grow cannabis, also known as hemp, that can be used to manufacture CBD. But the THC content has to be lower than noir 0.3%.
Bree Rafael, co-owner a CBD shop in Charlottesville Virginia shared her thoughts about CBD products:
“I struggled severely with depression and anxiety, and I respond negatively to pharmaceuticals, even something as simple as ibuprofen.
My body is just hypersensitive, and any time I’ve tried taking medicine to treat mental health, the side effects have been far worse than the mental health itself.
With CBD, I can come in here and spend it’s about $200 a month, where I have to spend 250 just to see my physician, let alone the medication and follow-up appointments.
I will take the tinctures morning and night that you’ll take directly under your tongue, and if I am having spikes of anxiety, I’ll smoke some of the CBD flower.”
Manufacturers are seizing on the commercial potential of the cannabis plant, but the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t yet created regulations for the CBD industry. This is where it gets complicated.
Recent changes in US federal law mean the hemp is no longer classified as an illegal substance, but the FDA says it is illegal to put CBD in food or claim that it has a therapeutic benefit. So why all these products allow appearing in shops and online?
Well, the FDA is focusing on businesses making really bold medical claims they’ve sent warning letters to companies advertising CBD as a treatment for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
To get FDA approval products, you ‘ll have to go through rigorous scientific testing like Epidiolex, a CBD pharmaceutical drug designed to treat epileptic seizures.
So, how does CBD actually work? Cannabidiol is a very messy drug, and it’s hypothesized to have tens of different actions on different parts of the brain and the body. If it can be acting through all these different parts, it can potentially have lots of different effects at the end of the day.
People are taking cannabidiol supplements, and they’re reporting that it helps them sleep; they’re reporting that it helps them with the pain; they’re reporting that helps them with a wide range of conditions. But to date, there’s been a very little controlled study of cannabidiol.
So it seems scientists aren’t exactly sure how CBD acts in the body, but there are plenty of people out there who believe it works and is eager to invest.
However, you should be really careful in choosing the company which sells CBD products.
In a study that looked at 84 items bought online 58 that’s nearly 70% were incorrectly labeled 36 products actually contained higher levels of CBD and 22 contained lower levels than the labels stated. None of the products listed THC as an ingredient, but it did appear in 18 of the samples.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that CBD in its pure state doesn’t appear to cause harm, and people who use it are emphatic about its benefits, but without regulation, consumers aren’t currently protected, and demand is only increasing.
While science has shown that CBD can treat certain epilepsy types, more research needs to be done to see if it can be effective for other conditions.