The cannabinoid compound probably isn’t harmful, and it may have health benefits, but we don’t know what they are yet.
How one molecule from the cannabis plant came to be seen as a therapeutic cure-all.
The CBD craze started in 2018, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, the first drug containing CBD, used to treat two rare and severe types of childhood epilepsy. Since that approval, research on the possible medical applications of CBD has risen sharply.
But while the ads boasting its benefits are ubiquitous, there is still much we scientists don’t know, including whether CBD can actually reduce stress and anxiety.
The cannabis-derived compound is popping up in everything from mineral water to bath bombs. We ask experts and users if it actually works.
The new cannabis consumer isn’t zoned out on their couch eating pizza—they’re serious about holistic health. As cannabis takes the wellness world by storm, you’re more likely than ever to see it in fancy day spas and natural-foods stores. Nevertheless, many people are still asking questions. To break it down, the cannabis plant has two well-known cannabinoids that occur in it naturally, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis, while its more widely available cousin, CBD, has no mind-altering effects. Users will not get the “high” effect if they consume CBD.
Cannabidiol is being touted as a magical elixir, a cure-all now available in bath bombs, dog treats and even pharmaceuticals. But maybe it’s just a fix for our anxious times.
"One of the main caveats I tell my patients who use a CBD supplement is that we cannot guarantee what's in it," Carson explains. "We can't guarantee the consistency."
Supplements aren't regulated as strictly as pharmaceuticals, and can vary widely from bottle to bottle or brand to brand.
And there's another issue would-be users face: Though CBD supplements are widely available for sale, a legal murkiness surrounds marijuana extracts.
Corporate lobbyists in more than 20 states are currently pushing to make sure the pharmaceutical industry has the only legal supply of CBD.
Truth is, it’s unknown what its real effects are because there’s not enough research, says Patel. Most of the CBD studies going on right now are focus on cases such as childhood epilepsy that haven’t responded to traditional treatment, or schizophrenia and anxiety. Some rodent studies suggest that CBD might interact with the chemical serotonin, he added. Anti-depressants work with serotonin as well, so perhaps CBD might also interact with serotonin to be effective at reducing anxiety.
CBD isn’t BS. But CBD products probably are.
“There really isn’t very much evidence in humans with respect to its effectiveness,” says Ziva Cooper, the research director at the University of California-Los Angeles Cannabis Research Initiative. “And when I say evidence in humans, I’m really talking about rigorous, double-blind placebo-controlled studies.” On the other hand, Cooper says, there’s also not much research showing that cannabidiol doesn’t work for things. “There is just a general lack of studies—period.”
As CBD consumption is on the rise, many have concerns about the quality and purity of their products. Without FDA regulations in place, making sure your CBD oil is legal and of high quality is essential.
The latest hubbub is an example of both the promise of cannabinoids — components of cannabis — as potential therapies, but also the hype around them, which can far outpace the evidence that they work. It’s left researchers and consumer advocates scrambling to warn people that patients shouldn’t be turning to over-the-counter products or recreational marijuana in hopes that it might protect them from Covid-19.
Martha Stewart is now an advisor to the world’s biggest weed company.
Today (Feb. 28) the Canada-based cannabis producer Canopy announced that Stewart is joining the company as an advisor working on hemp-derived CBD products.
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN growing and smoking marijuana for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until 1964 that anyone knew why it got you high. That year, the Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam isolated tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, and went on to do groundbreaking studies on how and why marijuana affects the brain. But all along, he had his eye on another of cannabis’ chemical components, one that he had discovered a year before: cannabidiol, or CBD.
CBD oil is finding its way into a variety of products, from tinctures and drops to CBD-infused edibles and CBD balms, as well as a wide range of cosmetics. CBD oil is even becoming popular among pet owners who wish to help their pets live healthier lives.
Scientists are rapidly discovering more and more about the rather amazing abilities of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Most of them have shown therapeutic value, as have the terpenes, which give the plant its distinct odors. There are over 125 terpenes and over 80 cannabinoids in cannabis and each strain has its own unique blend that create its distinct effects.
CBD is just one cannabinoid.
The bigger prob is that reefer retail has no regulator to monitor what goes into CBD products. "It’s the Wild West out there," says Bonn-Miller, who in 2017 tested 84 CBD products and found that 26 percent contained less CBD than they claimed to while 42 percent had more.
Charlotte Figi helped bring needed attention to Dravet Syndome, but it remains a largely unknown syndrome. Yet, much of the support for cannabidiol’s efficacy in treating seizures, which has received considerable media attention, stems from patients with Dravet Syndome. This, in part, is because its cause is well-known, allowing researchers to study underlying mechanisms and potential therapies for seizures which are caused by a single genetic mutation.
It is an exciting time with respect to the study of phytochemicals in their application to the treatment of epilepsy and in particular intractable pediatric epilepsies. It is particularly satisfying to see that the grassroots experiences of families who have children suffering from severe intractable epilepsy have been able to move the field forward so rapidly.
The mainstreaming of CBD in food is newer to New York, where cannabis culture isn’t as far along as in states like Colorado and Oregon. Thanks in part to a growing number of U.S. states decriminalizing the plant’s consumption, and ongoing scientific research linking the botanical to an ever-growing laundry list of health benefits, the until-just-recently frowned upon “drug” is being recast in a positive new light.
From vegan gummies to cannabis teas, marijuana edibles are becoming the newest product in the “wellness” market.
Indeed, hemp oil products have grown out of a market largely devoid of regulations or safety protocols. The state of the CBD industry harks back to the age of elixirs and potions hawked from covered wagons to the awed denizens of pioneer towns. There are no industrywide standards in place to ensure that CBD oils are consistently formulated batch-to-batch. There is no regulatory body screening products for pesticides, heavy metals, solvent residues, and other dangerous contaminants.
"It's the inconsistency from product to product that concerns me as a researcher," Lubbers said. "You may get good results with one product and then go back to that dispensary and buy the same product and find that it may have a different effect."
The FDA is likely to approve this cannabis byproduct as a drug, but lots of beauty and wellness products — from mascara to bath bombs — already claim to use it.
While studies have shown CBD to have anti-inflammatory, anti-pain and anti-psychotic properties, it has seen only minimal testing in human clinical trials, where scientists determine what a drug does, how much patients should take, its side effects and so on.
Just because cannabidiol is a compound found in marijuana people assume it is bad for you. Let’s get something straight: CBD is NON-PSYCHOACTIVE. It doesn’t get you “high”, that is THC – another natural compound of cannabis. In fact, cannabidiol reduces the effect of THC.
Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, is developing a reputation as a trendy cure-all. But science knows very little about what it does in the human body, so much about the workings of this drug—including whether it works at all—is something of a mystery.
The medical use of marijuana has brought some attention to the subject of using cannabis-derived products for health, but it’s important to understand how CBD oil differs. We’ll get into this more in a bit, but the key difference lies in the parts of the plant being used to make the product. For example, CBD oil is also different from hemp seed oil, since it is extracted not from the seed but from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of hemp.
We have spent several years conducting research to understand how and why CBD works. All our products are produced in clean, modern facilities, every ingredient is lab-tested, and our local hemp source comes from the beautiful state of Kentucky. It is our mission to protect the CBD industry by only providing the highest quality.