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 problems — from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. But experts say the evidence is scant for many of these touted benefits.
Worse, CBD has been produced with no regulation, causing products which 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 truly is the Wild West,” Bonn-Miller said. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say regardless of the hell he wants on 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, North Carolina, 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 treat 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 kinds of childhood epilepsy. “That’s truly the only area where evidence has risen to the stage where the FDA has said this 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 inadequate evidence to create a firm conclusion. As an example, some human numerous studies advise that CBD may be great at treating signs 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 reliable gap between those two,” he stated. “There were clinical trials in adults, but a great deal smaller compared to the epilepsy studies which have been carried out in kids,” Bonn-Miller said. CBD’s usefulness as being an anti-inflammatory medication is another most promising, but those results come mostly from animal studies, experts said.
The Majority Of Uses Largely Unproven – All of those other potential uses — as being an antipsychotic, antidepressant or sleep aid “have been studied in animals, with only 1 or 2 types of studies in humans,” Bonn-Miller said. And Welty said the studies that have featured humans for such other CBD uses have either been case reports or studies that failed to compare results against a control group that failed to utilize the oil. “There’s no control, so it’s basically how can you tell if we’re working with the actual effect from the drug or simply just a placebo effect because somebody thinks they’ve been given a drug which will be beneficial?” Welty said. There are also concerns about both the quality of CBD oil being produced along with its potential side effects, the experts added.
Insufficient Regulation Also Concerning – Due to the legally murky nature of marijuana, the FDA has not yet stepped directly into regulate items like CBD oil, Bonn-Miller said. States are struggling to set regulations in place, but they don’t have the deep pockets of the federal government. Meanwhile, a 2017 study led by Bonn-Miller learned that nearly 7 of 10 CBD products didn’t contain the volume 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 type of a tricky drug because it’s not too well absorbed orally,” Welty explained. “Under 20 % of the drug is absorbed orally. When it isn’t made properly, you possibly will not be getting much drug in your rheudv circulation.” Worse, about 1 in 5 CBD products contained the intoxicating pot chemical THC, Bonn-Miller and his colleagues found.
“That’s a difficulty because THC can increase anxiety. It can actually 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 for myself or my kid, I may wish to test it to ensure that I knew what it really actually had in 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 along with other drugs. As an example, epilepsy studies learned that “there were very clearly increases inside the blood amounts of a few other anti-epileptic drugs when individuals were on CBD,” Welty said.