Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is considered the hot new product in states which have legalized medical marijuana. The non-intoxicating marijuana extract is being credited with helping treat a host of medical conditions — everything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. But experts say the evidence is scant for most of these touted benefits.
Worse, CBD will be produced without any regulation, resulting in items that vary widely in quality, said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry on the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “It really is the Wild West,” Bonn-Miller said. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say whatever the hell he wants on a label and then sell it to individuals.”
Cannabidiol is taken from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. It can not produce intoxication; marijuana’s “high” is brought on by the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD oil is legal in 30 states where medicinal and/or recreational marijuana is legal, in accordance with Governing magazine.
Seventeen additional states have CBD-specific laws on the books, according to Prevention magazine. Those are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, N . C ., Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Strong Evidence for Treating Epilepsy – Just one purported use for cannabidiol, to deal with epilepsy, has significant scientific evidence supporting it. Last month, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval in the CBD medication Epidiolex to take care of two rare types of childhood epilepsy. “That’s truly the only area where evidence has risen to the stage where the FDA has said this really is acceptable to approve a new drug,” said Timothy Welty, chair of the department of clinical sciences at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in Des Moines, Iowa.
For the remainder of CBD’s potential uses, there exists simply too little evidence to produce a firm conclusion. For example, some human clinical studies advise that CBD could be effective in treating signs and symptoms of anxiety, particularly social anxiety, Bonn-Miller said. This is the potential use for CBD with the most evidence after usefulness in epilepsy, but “there’s a decent gap between those two,” he stated. “There have been clinical trials in adults, but a lot smaller compared to the epilepsy studies that were done in kids,” Bonn-Miller said. CBD’s usefulness as being an anti-inflammatory medicine is another most promising, but those results come mostly from animal studies, experts said.
Most Other Uses Largely Unproven – The remainder of the potential uses — being an antipsychotic, antidepressant or sleep aid “have all been studied in animals, with only 1 or 2 samples of studies in humans,” Bonn-Miller said. And Welty said the studies which have featured humans for these other CBD uses have either been case reports or studies that did not compare results against a control group that failed to use the oil. “There’s no control, so it’s basically how do you know if we’re dealing with the true effect from the drug or simply merely a placebo effect because somebody thinks they’ve been given a drug that might be beneficial?” Welty said. There are also concerns about both the standard of CBD oil being produced and its potential side effects, the specialists added.
Insufficient Regulation Also Concerning – Due to the legally murky nature of marijuana, the FDA has not yet stepped in to regulate goods like CBD oil, Bonn-Miller said. States are struggling to put regulations set up, however they don’t possess the deep pockets of the federal government. Meanwhile, a 2017 study led by Bonn-Miller found that nearly 7 of 10 CBD products didn’t contain the volume of marijuana extract promised on the label. Nearly 43 percent of the products contained not enough CBD, while about 26 percent contained too much, Bonn-Miller said.
“CBD is type of a difficult drug because it’s not too well absorbed orally,” Welty explained. “Lower than 20 percent of the drug is absorbed orally. If it isn’t made correctly, you might not receive much drug in your rheudv circulation.” Worse, about 1 in 5 CBD products contained the intoxicating pot chemical THC, Bonn-Miller and his awesome colleagues found.
“That’s an issue because THC can increase anxiety. It can can even make seizures worse. These are the types of things you should be careful about,” Bonn-Miller said. “Basically If I were a consumer, purchasing it for myself or my kid, I would want to test it in order that I knew exactly what it actually had within it, because I couldn’t trust that which was on the label,” Bonn-Miller concluded.
Potential Interactions With Some Other Meds – Studies on CBD likewise have raised concerns about possible interactions with other drugs. As an example, epilepsy studies discovered that “there have been very clearly increases inside the blood degrees of various other anti-epileptic drugs whenever people were on CBD,” Welty said.