Many products contain Cannabidiol (CBD), including skincare, food, and medications. Consumers use CBD in the treatment of epilepsy, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and other conditions. The beauty industry embraces CBD and shows the potential to become the next big thing.
With more research studies funded, there is an increased likelihood that the FDA will approve more uses of CBD. However, even without FDA approval, candies, gummies, cosmetics, cocktails, ointments, tinctures, and food include CBD.
Many questions remain about what CBD can do and cannot do. Therefore, we decided to look at the 15 facts you may want to know about CBD. As always, do not start a new product without checking in with your health care provider.
1. CBD is one of the ingredients in the Cannabis plant
CBD is one of the naturally occurring compounds found in the Cannabis plant. It accounts for up to 40% of the plants’ extract. Alongside Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the two compounds are among the most studied compounds found in the cannabis plant. Yes, THC is the substance that is psychoactive, meaning it causes the high associated with cannabis.
Many use the term cannabis, marijuana, and hemp interchangeable. Therefore, it is essential to understand where the differences lay. Hemp and Marijuana are both species of the plant Cannabis Sativa, with hemp containing more CBD than THC. The dried, unfertilized female cannabis flowers are the raw source for CBD. Heating, smoking, vaporization, or baking extracts the CBD.
2. CBD is not psychoactive
Psychoactive drugs, like those that contain THC, alter brain functions and can lead to chemical dependency, substance abuse, and withdrawal syndrome. CBD effects are not the same. CBD and THC do not have the same effect on brain functions, even though related and derived from the same plant.
THC will cause a high, CBD, on the other hand, will not. What is the difference? Credit the difference in effects to the variance in the placement of their atoms. The structure of THC makes it bind more strongly with the receptors in the brain. On the other hand, the structure of CBD leads to weaker bonds.
3. CBD has medical benefits
One of the most notable medical benefits of CBD is in the treatment of two severe forms of epilepsy in children: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. Currently, this is the only FDA approved medical use of CBD. CBD demonstrate promise in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, depression, and acne.
Evidence from studies also shows that CBD may reduce cancer-related symptoms and adverse side effects related to cancer treatment. A study involving 16 people concluded that CBD could help reduce chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. Studies in mice revealed that CBD might inhibit the spread of breast cancer cells.
4. Research suggests that CBD may be an effective treatment for PTSD
PTSD is one of the main reasons why people seek cannabis for medicinal purposes. Studies done in both rodents and humans determine that CBD can alter aspects of adverse traumatic memories. Unlike the currently approved medications for PTSD, CBD has the potential to target memory processes. What makes interventions such as CBD more compelling is their ability to act on both the emotional and cognitive aspects of the disorder.
Is CBD a definite solution to PTSD? Though proponents argue that CBD effectively treats PTSD, available literature shows that the evidence in support of the theory is still under analysis. The Health Services Research & Development Service within the Department of Veterans Affairs did not find sufficient proof after conducting a review concerning the subject. Clearly, there is a need for more controlled trials targeted at examining specific PTSD symptoms.
5. Medicinal CBD treatment is not cheap
The cost of CBD is generally higher due to the processes involved in its production. Illegal in most countries in the world, Cannabis importation occurs from countries where it is legally grown. Government’s approval and transportation of Cannabis come at a high cost.
In addition to importation costs, supplementary expensed are manufacturing and purification. CBD is a scarce commodity, which further escalates its price. In some cases, estimates of the cost of CBD treatment are around $36,000 per patient annually.
There are, however, cheaper brands of CBD oil available on the market. Are these cheap brands safe? Maybe not in that, inexpensive CBD does not usually go through proper purifying and safety procedures, in an effort to trim manufacturing costs. It is also possible that some dubious businesses can claim that a product contains CBD when, in fact, it does not.
6. CBD has been demonstrated as an effective treatment of epilepsy in several clinical trials
More than 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy. Characterized by recurrent seizures, epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder. Since the 1970s, published studies tested CBD’s ability to work as an anti-seizure drug.
A three-month research investigation with four patients showed that two patients had no seizures the entire time, and one patient partially improved. The fourth patient, who was on placebo, showed no improvement.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, CBD helped reduce the number of seizures significantly in both adults and children. This and more research done over the years support CBD use in the treatment of epilepsy.
7. CBD can be used in substance abuse treatment
Some studies done on rats demonstrated that CBD has long-lasting therapeutic effects. They also show that it also has the potential to improve the vulnerability that causes a relapse. These studies show that CBD also has the potential to treat addiction across many often-abused drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin.
A study involving 42 people with heroin addiction, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, concluded those participants given CBD experienced lower drug cravings. The effects of the CBD lasted up to a week.
8. New evidence suggests that Cannabidiol acts against Gram-positive bacteria
Research has shown that CBD is also useful when it comes to killing a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria. In collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd, The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions, led by Dr. Mark Blaskovich, has been at the helm of the current findings.
Unlike other antibiotics that lose their effectiveness over time, CBD continues to be effective even after extended exposure. Although data on CBDs’ ability to kill bacteria is limited, current findings warrant further investigations.
9. The FDA has approved one CBD drug called Epidiolex
On 25 June 2018, the FDA approved the use of Epidiolex in the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome are two rare and devastating forms of epilepsy with high morbidity and mortality rates.
The approval came after five years of clinical studies. One of the dispensing requirements from the FDA is that Epidiolex comes with a patient medication guide. This contains essential information regarding indications, contraindications, risks, benefits, and side effects.
10. CBD has side effects
Like grapefruit, CBD can raise the levels of other medications within the body. This can have adverse effects on an individual, depending on the kind of drugs they have taken. Therefore, caution is required when CBD is administered with other medication.
Recognized CBD side effects include nausea, fatigue, irritability, diarrhea, as well as changes in appetite and weight. One study, done in mice, revealed that massive doses of CBD have the potential to cause liver toxicity.
11. CBD is used to make cosmetic products
Positioned to be the next big thing in the cosmetic industry, CBD takes center stage. It is expected to influence the industry in the same way as Shea Butter and Aloe Vera. “High Expectations,” a facial oil, and “High Five,” a facial moisturizer, by the French beauty label Sephora are among some of the CBD infused cosmetic products on the market.
Hora Skin Care, a California company, also manufactures skin care products containing CBD. According to the company’s founder Samantha Czubak, CBD contains more antioxidants than vitamin C, making it suitable for the skin.
12. CBD can be added to food
It is now easy to find food and beverages that contain CBD on the market. Some restaurants such as Inday in Manhattan give their customers an option of having food that contains CBD as part of their order. CBD is included in some cocktails and types of gummies and caramel candies.
13. To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD
Unlike THC, limited studies done in humans have shown that CBD is not associated with abuse potential. In comparison to oral placebo and active smoked cannabis, CBD does not produce abuse-related effects. Due to its lack of brain-altering impact and inability to cause a “high,” CBD is not popular for recreational purposes.
14. CBD has been found to have relatively low toxicity
Studies done on animals have so far indicated that CBD has relatively low toxicity. However, reports suggest that some studies have shown that if taken in large quantities, CBD can have damaging effects on the liver.
15. CBD’s legal status is in flux
Although obtained online, there are still questions about whether CBD use is legal. While CBD is in the same class as Marijuana, there no apparent enforcement when it comes to laws regulating its use.
CBD pills, edibles, and oils remain being sold on the market, while evidence about their effectiveness is still under debate. In the US, the legality of CBD changes from state to state. In places where it is legal, the expectation is that CBD not contain more than 0.3% of THC.
You are not alone in the confusing world of CBD. Basic questions from advocates, researchers, and consumers contain contradictory information. CBD enthusiasts and consumers must exercise caution when it comes to dosing, as hard, evidence-based documentation is lacking.
CBD’s place in our culture is here to stay. Therefore, look for the reputable sources, products tested by a third party, and credible companies, before making your selections. Be one-step above with knowledge.