CBD stands for Cannabidiol which is one of the two major compounds found in the marijuana plant. Unlike THC though, CBD doesn’t produce a euphoric high and it was legalized in 2018 under the Farm Bill.
CBD regulation however is still a little murky as food and beverages containing CBD are still technically illegal in some states. The FDA is in the process of creating standardized guidelines which will regulate the use of CBD in food and beverages.
CBD belongs to a class of compounds known as cannabinoids. There are 120 of them and they exist in many plants not just cannabis. This non-intoxicating compound has become very popular in the past few years and it can be found in everything from sunscreen to cocktails to coffee.
Some of the more outstanding CBD claims include that it can help fix leaky gut syndrome, can be used to treat multiple sclerosis and can cure cancer.
However, there are no human studies supporting those assertions. We’re gonna move right along to the more plausible and clinically tested claims about CBD. Clinical research means it was performed on humans.
There is currently solid research supporting the use of CBD for at least one condition; intractable epilepsy which is a condition where drugs are ineffective. One study showed a 42% reduction in seizure frequency and children and adults taking twenty milligrams of CBD per kilogram of body weight per day for 28 days.
In fact CBD is the key ingredient in the only cannabis based drug approved by the FDA called Epidiolex. Many studies have also looked at the effects of CBD on neurocognitive disorders such as anxiety and depression.
In one small study on adults with social anxiety disorder, a single 600 milligram dose of CBD reduced anxiety and cognitive impairment on a simulated public speaking test.
In another study, a single 300 milligram dose of CBD oil also reduced symptoms of anxiety during public speaking but not a 100 or 900 milligram dose. This suggests that too much or too little CBD influences the efficacy against anxiety.
Several studies have also shown that CBD may possess antipsychotic properties. In one study, CBD was as effective at reducing psychotic symptoms as the most commonly prescribed drug used to treat schizophrenia.
Unfortunately according to a recent review of eleven systematic reviews and observational studies there’s insufficient evidence to suggest that CBD is effective at reducing pain related to cancer or GI.
There is also limited evidence to suggest efficacy for neuropathic pain. Studies have shown that while cannabinoids may increase one’s pain threshold they don’t decrease pain intensity.
Another understandably believable claim that I’ve heard about CBD is that it can help improve sleep. I have a lot of trouble sleeping so I wish this were true but unfortunately research doesn’t entirely support this claim, although some studies show that CBD has a mildly stimulating effect.
Other research indicates that the dose determines the effect and suggests that while low-dose CBD promotes arousal, high dose CBD may increase total sleep time and decrease the number of nighttime wake ups.
More research in this area is clearly needed. We do know that CBD is non-toxic and safe. The World Health Organization report found that CBD is safe and non addictive up to 1500 milligrams per day has been shown to be well tolerated.