Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don't

Cannabidiol (CBD)

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Cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont 2Several news outlets have covered cannabidiol (CBD) recently, and you may have seen it as a boost for your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. CBD – what is it? Could that be the reason for its sudden popularity?

What is the difference between marijuana and cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol is the chemical name for CBD. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, but it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is found in marijuana (among hundreds of different compounds), it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD shows no signs of abuse or dependence. To date, no public health problems have been associated with pure CBD.”

Does cannabidiol have legal status?Cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont 3

While the exact status of CBD is in flux in the United States, it is readily available in most areas. CBD is legal in all 50 states, with varying degrees of restrictions, and despite the fact that the federal government still considers CBD the same as marijuana, it does not routinely enforce against it. Research on CBD was allowed to start in December 2015 when the FDA loosened regulatory requirements. The majority of CBD obtained online does not require a license for medical marijuana use. According to the government, CBD comes from either hemp or marijuana, depending on the source of the CBD. As a result of bipartisan support in Congress for legalizing hemp, CBD is likely to become more widespread and could even be difficult to prohibit.

Cannabidiol has health benefits, according to the evidence

Despite the many health benefits CBD has been touted for, the strongest scientific evidence has to do with treating those epilepsy syndromes that do not respond to antiseizure medications, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Many studies have shown that CBD can reduce the number of seizures, and it can even stop them in some cases. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet and are quite impressive. Epidiolex, a cannabis-derived medicine containing CBD, was approved recently by the FDA for treating these conditions.

Resource Center on Coronavirus COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in parts of the world, but is slowly receding in the United States. Three vaccines are now FDA-approved, including one for children as young as 12. In the real world, the vaccines are proving to be nearly as effective as they were in clinical trials. For those who are 100% vaccinated and people who spend a lot of time outdoors, some precautions have been relaxed by the CDC. The scientific community is also researching viral variants and treatments.


View Coronavirus COVID-19 Resource Center

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CBD is commonly used to address anxiety and studies suggest that CBD may help patients suffering from insomnia fall asleep and stay asleep.

Different types of chronic pain may be treated with CBD. A study in the European Journal of Pain found that CBD applied to the skin could help reduce pain and inflammation related to arthritis. Another study demonstrated that CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. CBD proponents need to conduct more studies in humans to support their pain-relieving claims.

CBD: Is it safe?Cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont 5

CBD can cause nausea, fatigue, and irritability as side effects. CBD can increase your blood levels of the blood thinner coumadin, as well as certain other medications, by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. CBD is mostly marketed and sold as a supplement, not as a medication, which poses a significant safety concern. There is no regulation of dietary supplements by the FDA at the moment. Therefore, you can’t be sure the product you buy contains the stated amount of active ingredients. Additional (unknown) elements may be present in the product. Moreover, we do not know the most effective dosage of CBD to treat specific medical conditions.

An overview of cannabidiol

Several CBD manufacturers have come under scrutiny for making wild, indefensible claims, including that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. More research is needed, but CBD may prove to be helpful in treating anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. We cannot pin down effective doses without high-quality human studies, and since CBD is mostly available as a supplement, it’s hard to know exactly what you are getting. Consult your doctor before taking CBD – if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t interfere with other medications you are taking.

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April 15, 2020


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