Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is one of the hot new product in states that 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 will be produced with no regulation, leading to products which vary widely in quality, said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “It really is the Wild West,” Bonn-Miller said. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say no matter what the hell he wants on the label and 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 brought on by the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD oil is legal in 30 states where medicinal or recreational marijuana is legal, in accordance with Governing magazine.
Seventeen additional states have CBD-specific laws on the books, in accordance with Prevention magazine. Those are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, N . C ., Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Strong Evidence for the treatment of Epilepsy – Only one 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 deal with two rare types of childhood epilepsy. “That’s truly the only area in which the evidence has risen to the level where FDA has said this can be acceptable to approve a new drug,” said Timothy Welty, chair of the department of clinical sciences at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in Des Moines, Iowa.
For the remainder of CBD’s potential uses, there is certainly simply inadequate evidence to make a firm conclusion. For example, some human numerous studies suggest that CBD might 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 decent gap between those two,” he stated. “There have been clinical trials in adults, but a whole lot small compared to the epilepsy studies that have been done in kids,” Bonn-Miller said. CBD’s usefulness being an anti-inflammatory medicine is another most promising, but those results come mostly from animal studies, experts said.
Many Other Uses Largely Unproven – The rest of the potential uses — as an antipsychotic, antidepressant or sleep aid “have been studied in animals, with only 1 or 2 examples of studies in humans,” Bonn-Miller said. And Welty said the studies who have featured humans for these other CBD uses have either been case reports or studies that failed to compare results against a control group that did not make use of the oil. “There’s no control, so it’s basically how can you determine if we’re dealing with the real effect of the drug or perhaps simply a placebo effect because somebody thinks they’ve been given a drug that might be beneficial?” Welty said. There are concerns about both the caliber of CBD oil being produced and its potential negative effects, professionals added.
Lack of Regulation Also Concerning – Because of the legally murky nature of marijuana, the FDA has not stepped into regulate items like CBD oil, Bonn-Miller said. States are struggling to place regulations in place, but they don’t possess the deep pockets of the federal government. Meanwhile, a 2017 study led by Bonn-Miller found that nearly 7 of 10 CBD products didn’t contain the amount of marijuana extract promised on the label. Nearly 43 percent in the products contained too little CBD, while about 26 percent contained a lot of, Bonn-Miller said.
“CBD is kind of a tricky drug because it’s not very well absorbed orally,” Welty explained. “Under twenty percent of the drug is absorbed orally. If this isn’t made properly, you may not be getting much drug to your rheudv circulation.” Worse, about 1 in five CBD products contained the intoxicating pot chemical THC, Bonn-Miller along with his colleagues found.
“That’s a difficulty because THC can increase anxiety. It may can even make seizures worse. Those are the types of things you have to be careful about,” Bonn-Miller said. “Basically If I were a consumer, purchasing it for myself or my kid, I would want to test it in order that I knew what it really actually had inside 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 with some other drugs. As an example, epilepsy studies discovered that “there was very clearly increases inside the blood amounts of some other anti-epileptic drugs when individuals were on CBD,” Welty said.