CBD: Concern, or no Big Deal?

You’ve probably heard of THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), the cannabis compound that is responsible for the “high” with cannabis use. But, THC is just one of 80 different “cannabinoids,” or natural chemical compounds in the cannabis plant that interact with the body’s central nervous system. Perhaps the second most well-known cannabinoid is CBD (cannabidiol).

But, what is CBD? We’ve weeded through the evidence to tell you some of what’s known so far. 

Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high or intoxication. Some data suggest that it may actually offset some of the intensity and unwanted psychoactive effects of THC, such as anxiety, paranoia, memory loss, and euphoria. 

Image source: epidiolex.com

Research on the medicinal uses of CBD is ongoing, but little is currently known. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first cannabis-derived CBD drug (Epidiolex) for treatment of seizures in patients age 2 years and older. Beyond that, pre-clinical (cell and animal) studies suggest that CBD may be therapeutically useful by containing antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-psychotic, and an anti-anxiety properties. However, these effects are only just beginning to be more broadly studied in humans.

Commercial CBD products aren’t well researched. Products containing CBD are sold by retail cannabis stores, supermarkets, and health stores as tinctures, edibles, sprays, capsules, lotions, and more. Since little is known about how to dose CBD for various potential medicinal effects, we don’t know if these commercial products contain the right amount of CBD to produce any medicinal effects. Currently, Epidiolex is the only CBD-based product approved by the FDA for medical use in the U.S., and it is only approved for treatment of seizures.

Commercial CBD products aren’t well regulated. There are a lot of different CBD products out there, and those that are found outside of a licensed cannabis retail shop are unregulated and may not be tested. This means product quality is uncertain; some commercial CBD products may contain contaminants, other dangerous chemicals, or synthetic CBD oil, and the concentrations of CBD in the products may not be reliable.

CBD can interact with other drugs. It can cause the body to metabolize some drugs differently, which may result in an adverse reaction. Drug interactions can occur, for example, with a number of commonly used medications including steroids, antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, immune modulators, benzodiazepines, antibiotics, anesthetics, antipsychotics, antidepressants, anti-epileptics, and beta blockers.

A CBD-infused gummy a day does not keep the doctor away. Here’s the bottom line: CBD may eventually prove to have medical benefits, but there is still a lot that we don’t know. While research catches up on its uses, correct dosage, and long-term effects, it’s important to consider potential risks. People who are interested in trying CBD should talk to their healthcare providers first, and should purchase products from a licensed retail cannabis store.

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2 thoughts on “CBD: Concern, or no Big Deal?

  1. Although this article is short, I think it provides a good foundation of what CBD is, the uses, and concerns–something that I wanted to learn about since I know some of my friends that use CBD products for its therapeutic effects. It is obvious that CBD needs to be researched more to discover the long term effects and the correct dosages to feel the therapeutic effects. The CBD market reminds me a lot of the vitamin industry in that there is a lack of regulation and proof of what is ~really~ in such products. For people who take supplements everyday, I would recommend checking out labdoor.com where they test over-the-counter vitamins and supplements to check for how true their products match up to their labeling and other important factors.

  2. CBD really has a great potential in treating numerous health problems, but it is true, that commercial CBD products aren’t well regulated, especially on Amazon, where they found out that a product was labeled as 1000mg CBD, but it cointained only 8mg of CBD in it. It is always recommended to ask for COA (certificate of analysis) before buying CBD products or maybe even get them analysed by yourself.
    In one study (with synthetic CBD) they found out that it metabolizes through liver enzymes, Cytochromes P450, as well as numerous medicines do. This can lead to “unpredictable” effects of medicines as its effects can be enhanced, diminished or can stay the same.
    Many people think off CBD as a magic cure for everything, but that is definitely not the case. It can help ease, prevent and even cure some diseases, but it definitely isn’t a miracle compound as many would like to hear.

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