What Advantages Does CBD Offer?

The CBD market is booming, with conservative estimates putting its value in the US at $16 billion by 2025. The plant extract is already present in toothpicks, breath sprays, and cheeseburgers. A study by cannabis market research firm Brightfield Group, which polled 5,000 people, found that over 60% of CBD consumers have used it to treat anxiety. Depression, sleeplessness, and chronic pain come next. For instance, Kim Kardashian West used the lotion after “freaking out” about the arrival of her fourth child. Bubba Watson, a professional golfer, uses it to fall asleep. Additionally, Martha Stewart’s French bulldog indulges.

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CBD: What is it?

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the main element in marijuana that gives users a powerful “high.” Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the less well-known sister of the cannabis sativa plant. The herb, which has roots in Central Asia, is said to have been utilized for rituals or medical purposes for the first time about 750 B.C., though alternative estimates exist as well.

There are over 100 cannabinoids in the plant, THC and cannabidiol being only two. THC is psychotropic; there is controversy about whether or not CBD is as well. THC has the potential to exacerbate anxiety; it is unclear if CBD is helping to lessen anxiety. CBD is being researched to assist individuals in recovery because THC may cause addiction and cravings.

Hemp is defined as cannabis with 0.3 percent or less THC. While the Farm Bill of last year made hemp legal under federal law, it kept the FDA’s control over cannabis-derived goods intact.

What assertions are made?

In the advertising, CBD is portrayed as offering treatment for PTSD, anxiety, and despair. Additionally, it is promoted as a sleep aid. The claim that CBD is “nonpsychoactive” and that users may obtain health advantages from the plant without getting high (or getting the midnight pizza cravings) contributes to its appeal.

The commercialization of hemp is expanding across the country at the same rate as the plant’s seeds. Whether it’s oils, nasal sprays, lollipops, or suppositories, it seems like CBD can be found everywhere. Regarding all the bizarre applications for CBD these days, Dr. Brad Ingram, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, stated, “It’s the monster that has taken over the room.” He is in charge of a clinical study that will provide children and teens with drug-resistant epilepsy CBD.

Is CBD effective?

According to James MacKillop, co-director of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in Hamilton, Ontario, “it’s promising in a lot of different therapeutic avenues because it’s relatively safe.”

Following three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving 516 patients, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a purified CBD extract, last year to treat rare seizure disorders in patients 2 years of age or older. The trials demonstrated that the drug, when taken in conjunction with other medications, helped to reduce seizures. These investigations, in which participants are randomly assigned to groups, are the gold standard in medicine. Neither the subject nor the researcher is aware of which group is receiving the treatment or the placebo.

While Epidiolex is still the only CBD-derived medication that has received FDA approval, there is promise for using the plant extract to treat other illnesses. Cannabidiol has been studied mostly in animals, and its present appeal has surpassed scientific understanding. Ryan Vandrey, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, stated, “We don’t have the 101 course on CBD quite figured out yet.”

Can CBD aid with PTSD and anxiety?

A four-minute conversation with little preparation time might be crippling for kids who suffer from generalized social anxiety disorder. However, a brief trial published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology indicated that when individuals with social anxiety performed a simulated public speaking assignment, CBD appeared to lessen their anxiety and cognitive impairment.

In contrast to the placebo group, healthy volunteers given CBD showed little to no change in their emotional response to unpleasant words or images in a double-blind research. Professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago Harriet de Wit, a co-author of the study, stated, “If it’s a calming drug, it should change their responses to the stimuli.” However, it didn’t.

Many soldiers return home with PTSD and combat wounds, and they frequently shun the things, people, or places that remind them of their horrific experiences. Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the first trial combines CBD with psychotherapy.

Principal investigator of the study and associate adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego, Mallory Loflin, stated, “Our top therapies attempt to break the association between reminders of the trauma and the fear response.” “We believe that CBD can accelerate that process significantly, at least in animal models.” Although extensive clinical trials are in progress, psychologists assert that there is now insufficient information to conclude if this is a workable treatment.

Can CBD aid with depression and sleep?

Dozing off in the early hours of the night while viewing puppy videos? According to Mr. MacKillop, a co-author of a study on cannabinoids and sleep, tiredness was one of the adverse effects of the Epidiolex studies for epilepsy. This suggests that CBD may be promising as a sleep aid. “That might be a clue if you’re looking for new sleep treatments,” he added.

He does, however, issue a warning that the negative effects could have resulted from a drug interaction with other prescriptions the kids were receiving to manage their seizures. There hasn’t yet been a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study—the gold standard—on CBD and sleep disturbances.

Anxiety but not sleep improved, according to a recent record study of 72 psychiatric patients receiving CBD treatment. Dr. Scott Shannon, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, Denver, and the primary author of the review published in The Permanente Journal, stated, “Overall, we did not find that it panned out as a useful treatment for sleep.”

Depression is one of the numerous conditions that can cause sleep disturbances. A review published in the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy found that rats given CBD showed reduced depressive-like behavior and improved stress adaptation. In an email conversation, Sâmia Joca, an associate professor at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and a fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies in Denmark, said as one of the authors of a recent study, “Surprisingly, CBD seems to act faster than conventional antidepressants.” While it is naturally challenging to identify depression in animals, the research that Ms. Joca and her colleagues examined revealed that the mice and rats given CBD treatment fared better in models of long-term stress exposure.

However, psychologists assert that the impact of CBD on depression remains a theory and not an empirically supported treatment in the absence of human clinical trials.

Is CBD dangerous?

Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, stated that taking pure CBD is generally safe. Diarrhea, drowsiness, lethargy, weakness, rash, reduced appetite, and increased liver enzymes were among the side effects seen in the Epidiolex experiment. Furthermore, it is still unknown how much is safe to eat during pregnancy—either daily or altogether.

Curaleaf Inc. received a warning letter from the FDA recently over its “unsubstantiated claims” that the plant extract heals anything from cancer and opiate addiction to pet anxiety and melancholy. (The business claimed in a statement that it was in cooperation with the FDA and that some of the items in issue had been withdrawn.)

CBD is not suggested for anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, or depression, according to Dr. Smita Das, head of the cannabis work group of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Addiction Psychiatry. She is afraid that patients may put off getting proper mental health care because they are resorting to these untested medications: “I’m dual concerned with how exposure to CBD products can lead somebody into continuing to cannabis products.”