Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become 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 problems — 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, leading to 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 really is the Wild West,” Bonn-Miller said. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say no matter what the hell he wants on the label and sell it to people.”
Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. It will not produce intoxication; marijuana’s “high” is brought on by the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD oil is legal in 30 states where medicinal 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 the treatment of Epilepsy – Just one single 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 take care of two rare types of childhood epilepsy. “That’s truly the only area in which the evidence has risen to the level in which the FDA has said this really is acceptable to approve a whole new drug,” said Timothy Welty, chair from 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 is simply too little evidence to create a firm conclusion. As an example, some human clinical trials claim that CBD might be good at treating signs of anxiety, particularly social anxiety, Bonn-Miller said. This is actually the potential use for CBD with all the most evidence after usefulness in epilepsy, but “there’s a good gap between the two,” he stated. “There has been clinical studies in adults, but a lot small compared to the epilepsy studies that have been carried out in kids,” Bonn-Miller said. CBD’s usefulness being an anti-inflammatory medicine is the next most promising, but those results come mostly from animal studies, experts said.
Many Other Uses Largely Unproven – The rest of the potential uses — as being an antipsychotic, antidepressant or sleep aid “have all been studied in animals, with only 1 or 2 types of studies in humans,” Bonn-Miller said. And Welty said the studies who 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 failed to use the oil. “There’s no control, so it’s basically how can you tell if we’re dealing with the real effect in the drug or perhaps just a placebo effect because somebody thinks they’ve been given a drug that will be beneficial?” Welty said. There are also concerns about both the standard of CBD oil being produced and its potential negative effects, professionals added.
Insufficient Regulation Also Concerning – As a result of legally murky nature of marijuana, the FDA has not yet stepped into regulate items like CBD oil, Bonn-Miller said. States are struggling to put regulations in position, nevertheless they don’t have the deep pockets of the 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 from the products contained not enough CBD, while about 26 percent contained too much, Bonn-Miller said.
“CBD is kind of a difficult drug because it’s not very well absorbed orally,” Welty explained. “Under 20 % from the drug is absorbed orally. If it isn’t made in the right way, you may not be getting much drug in 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 can can even make seizures worse. Those are the types of things you need to be careful about,” Bonn-Miller said. “Should I were a consumer, purchasing it personally or my kid, I would like to test it in order that I knew what it actually had inside it, because I couldn’t trust that which was on the label,” Bonn-Miller concluded.
Potential Interactions Along With Other Meds – Studies on CBD also provide raised concerns about possible interactions with some other drugs. For instance, epilepsy studies found that “there were very clearly increases within the blood degrees of various other anti-epileptic drugs whenever people were on CBD,” Welty said.