Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is one of 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 — anything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. But experts say the evidence is scant for most of these touted benefits.
Worse, CBD is being produced with no regulation, causing items that vary widely in quality, said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “It is actually the Wild West,” Bonn-Miller said. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say no matter what the hell he wants over a label then sell it to folks.”
Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. It does not produce intoxication; marijuana’s “high” is due to 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 take care of epilepsy, has significant scientific evidence supporting it. Last month, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of the CBD medication Epidiolex to deal with two rare kinds of childhood epilepsy. “That’s really the only area where the evidence has risen to the stage in which the FDA has said this can be acceptable to approve a new drug,” said Timothy Welty, chair in the department of clinical sciences at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Throughout CBD’s potential uses, there exists simply not enough evidence to create a firm conclusion. As an example, some human numerous studies suggest that CBD may be good at treating symptoms of anxiety, particularly social anxiety, Bonn-Miller said. Here is the potential use for CBD with all the most evidence after usefulness in epilepsy, but “there’s a decent gap between the two,” he explained. “There have been clinical studies in adults, but a whole lot smaller compared to the epilepsy studies which have been done in kids,” Bonn-Miller said. CBD’s usefulness as an anti-inflammatory medicine is another most promising, but those results come mostly from animal studies, experts said.
Most Other Uses Largely Unproven – The rest of the potential uses — as being an antipsychotic, antidepressant or sleep aid “have got all been studied in animals, with only 1 or 2 examples of studies in humans,” Bonn-Miller said. And Welty said the studies which have featured humans for these particular other CBD uses have either been case reports or studies that failed to compare results against a control group that did not use the oil. “There’s no control, so it’s basically how can you tell if we’re coping with the real effect of the drug or simply just a placebo effect because somebody thinks they’ve been given a drug that will be beneficial?” Welty said. There also are concerns about both the caliber of CBD oil being produced and its potential unwanted effects, the specialists added.
Absence of Regulation Also Concerning – As a result of 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 set regulations in place, nevertheless they don’t hold the deep pockets of the federal government. Meanwhile, a 2017 study led by Bonn-Miller discovered that nearly 7 of 10 CBD products didn’t contain the quantity of marijuana extract promised on the label. Nearly 43 percent in the products contained inadequate CBD, while about 26 percent contained too much, Bonn-Miller said.
“CBD is sort of a tricky drug because it’s not very well absorbed orally,” Welty explained. “Lower than twenty percent of the drug is absorbed orally. If it isn’t made in the right way, you possibly will not receive much drug into your rheudv circulation.” Worse, about 1 in five CBD products contained the intoxicating pot chemical THC, Bonn-Miller and his colleagues found.
“That’s an issue because THC can increase anxiety. It may actually make seizures worse. Those are the sorts of things you should be careful about,” Bonn-Miller said. “Should I were a consumer, purchasing it for myself or my kid, I would like to test it to ensure that I knew exactly what it actually had inside it, because I couldn’t trust that which was on the label,” Bonn-Miller concluded.
Potential Interactions With Other Meds – Studies on CBD also provide raised concerns about possible interactions along with other drugs. As an example, epilepsy studies learned that “there have been very clearly increases inside the blood levels of some other anti-epileptic drugs when individuals were on CBD,” Welty said.