There’s an increasing number of research surrounding the cannabis plant, including the benefits of CBD. After the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the use of hemp-derived CBD products, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the industry. From CBD oil tinctures to vape products, manufacturers utilize this compound in multiple ways.
The promising therapeutic effects of CBD are the reason behind its popularity. What are the health benefits? Are there studies to back them up?
Read on the find out the many conditions where the use of CBD may be beneficial. Also, we’ll cover how to use CBD and the possible health risks linked to this compound. Are you wondering if CBD will show up on a drug test? We’ll answer that too.
Let’s get started.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an element of the cannabis sativa plant. It’s one of the two famous compounds in cannabis. The other is THC. THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the popular ingredient that causes a high.
The cannabis plant isn’t a discovery. It’s been in existence and has also been used for medicinal purposes since Ancient China.
CBD and THC aren’t the only compounds in cannabis plants. The plant has over a hundred more cannabinoids. While THC is known as the compound that gives a high, CBD doesn’t. Currently, studies show that CBD might help decrease the psychoactive effects of THC.
The cannabis plant has varieties, which include marijuana and hemp plants. The hemp plant has low amounts of THC – 0.3 percent or less. On the other hand, marijuana has higher levels of THC. Because of this, most manufacturers use hemp plants in creating CBD products.
CBD products are available in different forms, ranging from oil tinctures to edibles to topical products. Recently, we’ve seen brands incorporate CBD into breath sprays, food items, cosmetics, and so on. There are also dedicated lines of CBD products for pets.
Does CBD Work?
In 2018, the FDA approved the use of Epidiolex for treating two rare forms of seizures in patients two years or older. Epidiolex is a CBD-derived drug and proves effective in reducing seizures.
The FDA approved Epidiolex after a series of double-blind and placebo-controlled trials with over 500 patients.
CBD may show promising results for many conditions, but Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved CBD drug. A majority of the studies on CBD are on animals, and its popular use gets ahead of science.
What Are The Claims?
The CBD industry is flourishing, thanks to the countless purported benefits of CBD. Marketers advertise CBD as a relief agent for chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, there are claims that CBD treats inflammation and autoimmune diseases and helps with sleep problems.
One of the reasons for the high interest in CBD is its non-psychoactive property. So, customers can experience the full benefits of the hemp plant without worrying about getting high.
As many CBD brands spring up in the United States, so does the rate of marketing. Currently, it looks like there is no item that cannot be CBD-infused. From candies and cookies to suppositories and bath bombs, CBD is undoubtedly taking over.
Benefits of CBD
There’s still so much we don’t about CBD, but researchers are working hard to find out. Research into the full benefits of CBD is ongoing. Below are some areas where the use of CBD looks encouraging.
CBD for epilepsy: The FDA approved the drug Epidiolex for two kinds of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome. Compared to placebos, this CBD-containing drug effectively reduced the frequency of seizures.
CBD for pain: Research on the benefits of CBD and its effectiveness for pain is ongoing. Initial studies found evidence that the use of CBD-THC products showed a reduction in pain. These studies look into both oral CBD use and topical application.
For instance, a double-blind trial looked at the effects of the topical application of CBD. The participants had temporomandibular disorder (TMD). This condition is characterized by jaw pain, difficulty moving the jaw and surrounding muscles. Participants noticed less pain and discomfort after two weeks.
CBD for anxiety: In 2015, a medical journal reviewed all the studies on the effects of CBD for anxiety. The authors looked at the effect and benefits of CBD for multiple anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder
Results from their review showed there was strong evidence to back up the use of CBD for anxiety disorders. However, the authors stated that there’s a need for further research on long-term CBD dosing.
CBD for sleep: CBD may also help people with sleep problems. Some studies suggest that CBD improves sleep quality and total sleep time in participants. However, further research is still paramount.
Other Potential Benefits
There are potential benefits of CBD asides from the ones mentioned above. An example is its help with addiction: Early research showed that CBD might help people with substance addiction. It does this by reducing their desire for the compound.
Researchers also suggested that CBD may prevent opioid users from having a relapse. In 2015, a study looked into a group of addicted opioid users. Results showed there were lower cravings after a week of CBD intake.
Other health conditions where CBD seems effective are the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease
- Neurological diseases
- Skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis
- Diabetic complications
Is it Safe?
CBD is a relatively safe compound. However, as with any wellness substance, it’s essential you read labels. Also, always discuss with a health professional.
Another safety concern is the quality of CBD products. The FDA doesn’t regulate the safety of these products. So, you have to research the quality brands in the industry. If you want to enjoy the benefits of CBD, it’s crucial to use an effective and safe product.
How to Use
One of the benefits of CBD in terms of usability is how versatile it is. You can use CBD in different ways. You can take it by mouth through CBD oils, tinctures, edibles, capsules, and oral CBD sprays.
Also, there are topical products you can apply directly to the affected area. Some topical products include lotions, balms, creams, ointments, and selves. Vape products are also another way to use CBD.
The general guideline for dosing CBD products is to start low and go slow. The CBD dosage for an effective result varies from one individual to another. Start with a low dose and increase gradually until you find a dosage that works for you.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Research around the use of CBD and its long-term side effects is ongoing. Currently, there are no reported severe effects from users. Also, studies show that it’s well-tolerated.
Although most consumers tolerate CBD, some common side effects can occur. They include the following:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Changes in weight
Another potential side effect with using CBD is its interaction with other medications. When you take CBD with any medication, CBD can impact its efficacy. It can interact with drugs or supplements and lead to side effects. To avoid this, always consult with a doctor before using CBD if you’re taking medications.
Additionally, some studies suggest there may be a negative relationship between cannabis and male fertility. Keep in mind that these studies were all on animal participants. So, further research is essential to determine if the case holds for humans.
Also, note that none of the studies looked specifically at the relationship between CBD and Male fertility. But, you should be aware of this potential side effect of cannabis.
Does It Show Up on A Drug Test?
Drug tests don’t screen for CBD because it’s not an intoxicating substance. So, naturally, it shouldn’t show up on a drug test.
However, full-spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of THC. And THC is the substance screened for in the test. If you use full-spectrum CBD frequently, the THC can build up in your system over time.
It’s best to prepare in advance if you take drug tests. Stay away from full-spectrum CBD products until after your test. Another option would be to stick to CBD isolate. This type of CBD product contains only CBD and nothing more.
Overall, there’s so much we don’t know about CBD and the benefits of CBD. But early research is promising. Studies show that CBD may help with a range of conditions, from treating seizures to pain relief.
However, the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products. So it can be difficult to dose since there are no standards. When using CBD, it’s best to start from low doses and slowly make increments.
Currently, CBD doesn’t cause any known severe health risks. But, some side effects like drowsiness and nausea may occur, especially if you take high doses. As with any supplement or treatment plan, it’s always best to notify your doctor first.