CBD - What we know and whats still unknown

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been on almost every news segment on TV, in many magazines and almost everywhere you look. So, what exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?

Is Cannabidiol different from marijuana?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. This comes from the Industrial Hemp plant, which is a cousin (if you will) to the Marijuana plant. While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Is Cannabidiol legal?

CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, and was made federally legal with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill. With that bill came the legalization of CBD from the hemp plant. All CBD sold legally must have less than 0.3% THC. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction. Currently, many people obtain CBD without a medical cannabis license. Many states, Florida included, have legalized CBD and many more are expected to follow.

What are the health benefits of using cannabidiol?

CBD has been praised for a wide variety of health concerns but the strongest scientific evidence for its effectiveness is treatment of childhood epilepsy syndromes. Some of these syndromes do not respond well to anti-seizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures and in some instances, the seizures ceased all together. Recently, the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medication for these symptoms.

One of the leading reasons people are turning to CBD is to address anxiety and for insomnia. Many people are finding that they are not only falling asleep but also staying asleep.

When it comes to chronic pain, CBD offers an all-natural option. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed that CBD applied to the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study shows the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain which are two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. The Hemp plant is an anti-inflammatory plant by nature making it a great alternative.

Is cannabidiol safe?

Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A frequently asked question is "Can I take too much or can I overdose on CBD? There have been no findings that anyone has ever overdosed using CBD. As with other medications, everyone is different when it comes to dosing. Some people require a lower amount while others require a much higher amount. Dosing should start low and slow, increasing every few days if needed.

The bottom line

Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.