The CBD sector is booming, with a conservative estimate of $16 billion in sales in the United States by 2025. Cheeseburgers, toothpicks, and breath spray already contain the plant extract. According to a poll of 5,000 people performed by the Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research agency, more than 60% of CBD consumers have used it to treat anxiety. Chronic pain, sleeplessness, and depression are all common side effects. When Kim Kardashian West was “freaking out” over the birth of her fourth child, she resorted to the product. Bubba Watson, a professional golfer, falls asleep with it. Martha Stewart’s French bulldog is also a participant.
What exactly is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a lesser-known component of the cannabis sativa plant; its more well-known brother, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive component of marijuana. The plant’s origins are said to be in Central Asia, and it was initially used medicinally — or for ceremonies — approximately 750 B.C., though there are various estimations.
THC and cannabidiol are just two of the plant’s over 100 cannabinoids. THC is psychoactive, and CBD may or may not be, depending on the research. THC has been shown to raise anxiety; however, it is unclear whether CBD has the same impact. CBD is being explored to help persons in recovery from THC addiction and cravings.
So, what exactly are the claims?
Anxiety, sadness, and post-traumatic stress disorder are all said to be relieved by CBD. It’s also advertised as a sleep aid. CBD’s popularity stems from the fact that it is “nonpsychoactive,” meaning that users can benefit from the plant’s medicinal advantages without getting high (or the midnight pizza munchies).
Hemp seedlings are growing up all over the country, and so is hemp marketing. CBD seemed to be everywhere, from oils and nasal sprays to lollipops and suppositories. Dr. Brad Ingram, an associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, described all the new CBD uses as “the monster that has taken over the room.” He’s leading a study to see if CBD can help children and teenagers with drug-resistant epilepsy.
Is CBD effective?
“Because it’s pretty safe, it’s promising in a lot of different therapeutic paths,” James MacKillop, co-director of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in Hamilton, Ontario, said.
After three randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials with 516 patients, the Food and Drug Administration authorised Epidiolex, a refined CBD extract, to treat uncommon seizure disorders in patients 2 years and older last year. These trials are the gold standard in medicine, as participants are randomly assigned to one of two groups, with neither the subject nor the investigator knowing whether group is taking the placebo or the treatment.
While there is potential for other illnesses to be treated with the plant extract, Epidiolex remains the sole FDA-approved CBD-derived medicine. The majority of cannabidiol research has been conducted on animals, and its present popularity has surpassed science. Ryan Vandrey, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said, “We don’t have the 101 course on CBD exactly figured out yet.”
Is CBD effective for anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
A four-minute lecture with little time to prepare might be exhausting for students with generalised social anxiety. In a simulated public speaking test, a small study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology reported that CBD seems to improve uneasiness and cognitive impairment in patients with social anxiety.
In contrast to the placebo group, healthy volunteers who were given CBD exhibited little to no change in their emotional response to unpleasant images or phrases in a double-blind research. “If it’s a calming medicine, it should affect their responses to the stimuli,” said Harriet de Wit, co-author of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioural neuroscience at the University of Chicago. “However, it did not.”
Many troops return home plagued by combat and PTSD, and they frequently avoid activities, locations, or people who remind them of their traumatic experiences. The Veterans Affairs Department is supporting the first CBD trial, which will combine CBD with psychotherapy.
The study’s primary investigator, Mallory Loflin, an assistant adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego, said, “Our top therapies try to disrupt the relationship between recollections of the trauma and the fear response.” “We believe that CBD, at least in animal models, can help speed up that process.” Despite the fact that large clinical trials are currently ongoing, psychologists say there isn’t enough data to suggest that this is a viable treatment.
Is CBD beneficial for sleep and depression?
Do you ever find yourself up late at night watching puppy videos? CBD could be useful as a sleep aid; according to Mr. MacKillop, a co-author of a paper on cannabinoids and sleep, drowsiness was one of the side effects of the Epidiolex epilepsy trials. “If you’re seeking for novel sleep therapies, that could be a hint,” he said.
However, he warns that the negative effects could have been caused by a drug interaction with other seizure treatments the kids were receiving. There hasn’t been a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial on sleep disorders with CBD yet (the gold standard).
Anxiety improved, but not sleep, according to a recent chart study of 72 psychiatric patients treated with CBD. Dr. Scott Shannon, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, Denver, and the lead author of the review published in The Permanente Journal, said, “Overall, we did not find that it panned out as a good treatment for sleep.”
Sleep disturbances can occur for a variety of reasons, including depression. According to a review published in the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, after consuming CBD, rats seemed to adapt better to stressful situations and exhibited less depressive-like behaviour. In an email conversation, Sâmia Joca, a fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies in Denmark and an associate professor at the University of So Paulo in Brazil, stated, “Surprisingly, CBD appears to act faster than traditional antidepressants.” Of course, it’s difficult to detect sadness in animals, but the research Ms. Joca and her colleagues looked at revealed that mice and rats given CBD were more resilient in chronic stress situations.
However, psychologists argue CBD’s effect on depression is still a hypothesis, not an evidence-based treatment, due to the lack of human clinical trials.
Is CBD dangerous?
“If you take pure CBD, it’s pretty safe,” Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said. In the Epidiolex trial, diarrhoea, sleepiness, lethargy, weakness, rash, decreased appetite, and increased liver enzymes were all reported as side effects. Furthermore, the safe daily amount to ingest, or whether to consume any at all during pregnancy, is unknown.
Curaleaf Inc. was recently issued a warning letter by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for making “unsubstantiated claims” that the plant extract heals everything from pet anxiety and depression to cancer and opioid withdrawal. (The business claimed in a statement that some of the affected items had been stopped and that it was working with the FDA.)
CBD is not recommended for anxiety, PTSD, sleep, or depression, according to Dr. Smita Das, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Addiction Psychiatry’s cannabis work group. She is concerned that patients will postpone obtaining adequate mental health care if they resort to these unproven medications: “I’m dually concerned with how exposure to CBD products can cause someone to continue to use cannabis products.”
Unwanted surprises may be present in certain CBD products. Virginia Commonwealth University forensic toxicologists tested nine e-liquids that claimed to be 100 percent natural CBD extracts. According to a study published last year in Forensic Science International, they discovered one with dextromethorphan, or DXM, an over-the-counter cough medicine that can cause anxiety, psychosis, tachycardia, and death when abused; and four with Spice, a synthetic cannabinoid that can cause anxiety, psychosis, tachycardia, and death when abused.
According to previous studies, only around a third of the 84 items tested had the quantity of CBD listed on the label. Some CBD users have also failed drug tests because the medication included more THC than stated on the label.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 1,090 people have contacted poison control centres about CBD this year. Over a third were thought to have sought medical help, with 46 being admitted to a critical care unit, possibly as a result of exposure to other products or drug combinations. Concerns about 318 animals also flooded into the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Is CBD a rip-off or a legitimate product?
Researchers claim that a few drops of CBD oil in a mocha or smoothie will have no effect. Another factor, according to doctors, could be the placebo effect, which makes patients feel wonderful. When a person believes a drug is working and their symptoms are improving, they are said to be “on the mend.”
“CBD is not a sham,” said Yasmin Hurd, head of Mount Sinai’s Addiction Institute in New York City, who led a double-blind trial of 42 recovered heroin addicts and discovered that CBD reduced cravings and cue-based anxiety, both of which can lead to relapse. “It has possible medicinal value,” she says, “but putting it in mascara and tampons, for God’s sake, that’s a swindle to me.”