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cbd does it work

Donald Abrams was a member of the committee that reviewed the evidence that went into producing the report, and he said that the studies they reviewed overwhelmingly used pharmaceutically available preparations that contain THC, including dronabinol, nabilone and the whole-plant extract spray nabiximols, which contains equal parts CBD and THC. It’s impossible to know whether the benefits of cannabis can also be obtained from CBD alone, Abrams said, because CBD is just one of 400 chemicals present in the plant. So far, CBD in isolation has been studied in only a handful of randomized, placebo-controlled trials (considered the gold standard of evidence in medical research), and the evidence remains sparse.

What makes CBD so appealing is that it’s non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high, though it “is technically psychoactive, because it can influence things like anxiety,” Jikomes said. Although much of the marketing blitz around CBD centers on the fact that you can take it without getting stoned, there isn’t much research looking at the effects of CBD when used in isolation, with a couple of exceptions. One is the use of CBD to treat seizures: CBD is the active ingredient in the only cannabis product that the Food and Drug Administration has signed off on — a drug called Epidiolex, which is approved for treating two rare forms of epilepsy. Animal models and a few human studies suggest that CBD can help with anxiety, but those are the only conditions with much research on CBD in isolation.

Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a nearly 500-page report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. A committee of 16 experts from a variety of scientific and medical fields analyzed the available evidence — more than 10,000 scientific abstracts in all. Because so few studies examine the effects of CBD on its own, the panel did not issue any findings about CBD specifically, but it did reach some conclusions about cannabis and cannabinoids more generally. The researchers determined that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” supporting the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic pain in adults, multiple sclerosis-related spasticity (a kind of stiffness and muscle spasms), and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The committee also found “moderate” evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can reduce sleep disturbances in people with obstructive sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, as well as “limited” evidence that these substances can improve symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, increase appetite and stem weight loss in people with HIV/AIDs, and improve symptoms of PTSD and anxiety.

Although there’s enticing evidence that good ol’ cannabis can ease chronic pain and possibly treat some medical conditions, whether CBD alone can deliver the same benefits remains an open question. What is clear, at this point, is that the marketing has gotten way ahead of the science.

Cannabinoids are a class of compounds that interact with receptors throughout your body. CBD is just one of dozens of cannabinoids found in cannabis, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the one responsible for marijuana’s famous high. Medical cannabis is technically any cannabis product used for medicinal purposes, and these can contain THC or CBD or both, said Nick Jikomes, a neuroscientist at Leafly, a website that provides information about legal cannabis. “A common mistake people make is to think that CBD is ‘the medical cannabinoid’ and THC is ‘the recreational cannabinoid.’” That’s inaccurate, he said, because THC is a potent anti-inflammatory and can be helpful for pain.

But, uh, what is it that CBD is supposed to do? I visited a cannabis dispensary in Boulder to find out what the hype was all about. After passing an ID check, I was introduced to a “budtender” who pointed me to an impressive array of CBD products — tinctures, skin patches, drink powders, candies, salves, massage oil, lotions, “sexy time personal intimacy oil” and even vaginal suppositories to treat menstrual cramps.

Cooper recently got funding from the National Institutes of Health for a study looking at cannabinoids — including CBD in isolation — as a substitute for opioids, and numerous other 2 come from products that contain THC as well as CBD, Cooper said, but we need to do more studies to find out for sure whether CBD has fewer risks. Studies are also needed to identify the best way to administer and dose CBD. “I get emails from people asking me what dose of CBD to use, and the truth is, we really don’t know,” Cooper said.

If LDN CBD is the first, it certainly won’t be the last. Interest in CBD products is exploding: it is 2019’s avocado toast, this moment’s turmeric shot. Except there is a crucial difference. If CBD does what its advocates suggest – or even a fraction of it – this all-natural, side-effect-free, widely available chemical could genuinely be the wonder drug of our age. Adherents claim it is “adaptogenic” – that is, a natural, non-toxic substance that regulates your stress response – and it’s not hard to find people who will tell you it has helped with anxiety, acne, schizophrenia, menstrual pain, insomnia and even cancer. There are also dozens of CBD cosmetics products, CBD juices and coffees are now a thing, and some find it useful as a sexual lubricant. Bizarrely, it has taken off in pet products, too: everything from chews for anxious dogs to treating life-threatening ailments. New products include truffles, bath bombs, moisturisers, ice cream, CBD-infused spring water (available from Ocado) and, naturally, CBD turmeric oil. CBD doesn’t have an especially strong taste – fans call it “nutty”, others “boggy” – which means it can be added to food without overpowering it.

“I’m not trying to be a killjoy,” says McGuire, “but, especially in mental health, the size of the placebo effect is enormous. That’s not to dismiss it, but that’s why in clinical trials, if you don’t give half the people in the trial a placebo, it’s considered junk. It’s not publishable, it’s not taken seriously because, in mental health, the placebo effect can produce a 40% change in symptoms.

Mental health is just one area of investigation for those studying cannabidiol. Perhaps the best-known user of CBD – if you discount Gwyneth Paltrow, who has collaborated through her lifestyle website Goop with the MedMen cannabis store, and a handful of Hollywood actresses who have said they use the oil to reduce the discomfort from wearing high heels on the red carpet – is Billy Caldwell. The 13-year-old from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, who has epilepsy, made headlines last summer when his cannabidiol medicine was confiscated at Heathrow. After a public outcry, the home secretary, Sajid Javid, intervened and medicinal cannabis oil can now legally be prescribed in the UK. It’s been far from straightforward for the family: Billy recently spent three months in Canada, where medicinal cannabis use is less regulated, but he finally returned home in February.

A longer-term danger, however, is that people will lose interest in cannabidiol, perhaps because they don’t find it has any effect in the product they try, and it will languish as one of those trends we like to make fun of. “I’m slightly anxious that the confusion will muddy the water,” says McGuire. “People will try these homeopathic versions and find that it doesn’t do anything, and then they assume that cannabidiol doesn’t work. Then it will damage the therapeutic potential of what could be a very useful new medicine. It’s a bit like if somebody sold Nurofen at one-hundredth of the effective dose and then found it didn’t work. You could end up dismissing Nurofen as a useful treatment.”

Almost immediately, Horn found using CBD lifted his mood. Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana and hemp plants. It will be present if you smoke a joint, but is often overwhelmed by one of the other 100-plus cannabinoids found in cannabis: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This is the ingredient that mainly has mind-altering properties, but also now has worrying links with mental illness and violence. CBD products are allowed to contain only traces of THC, which makes them legal, and devotees claim that they have many of the benefits of cannabis with none of the drawbacks.

A review of the research on insomnia and cannabis up to 2014 concluded that “preliminary research into cannabis and insomnia suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia.” It also found evidence that CBD may help treat REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness. That said, the study echoed Cooper’s disclaimers about the need for more controlled studies and said research on cannabis and sleep was “in its infancy.”

In rats, studies have shown that CBD helps to alleviate various sorts of pain, when administered both orally and topically—popular ways for humans to medicate with CBD, via tinctures, edibles, and topicals.

Could CBD help relieve my anxiety and stress?

Evelyn Nussenbaum, the mother of the first patient to receive Epidiolex, remembered reading a study about treating seizures with CBD in (you guessed it) rats in 2011, and thinking, “My son needs access to that.” Her son Sam became part of a one-person trial at the University of California-San Francisco. His seizures were drastically reduced without side effects, and in 2015, the doctor overseeing his care co-authored a study of 214 patients with severe childhood-onset epilepsy that showed a 36.5% median decrease in seizures over a 12-week treatment period with oral CBD.

It could if it’s mixed with THC. A small human study showed that nabiximols (brand name Sativex) an oral spray which contains an approximately 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD and is prescribed outside the US for muscle spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, also helped to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

For humans, the research is thinner. A couple of studies have shown CBD to have an anti-anxiety effect in very specific situations. In one of those, researchers gave 60 people either a placebo, the anti-anxiety drug clonazepam (sold under the brand name Klonopin), or one of three doses of CBD (100 mg, 300 mg, or 900 mg) before a public speaking test. Those who took the medium dose (300 mg) of CBD showed lower anxiety than those who took the lowest and highest doses of CBD, or the placebo. (The clonazepam worked well, too, though it also generated a more sedative effect than the medium-dose CBD.)