Just as hemp seedlings are sprouting up across the United States, so is the marketing. From oils and nasal sprays to lollipops and suppositories, it seems no place is too sacred for CBD. “It’s the monster that has taken over the room,” Dr. Brad Ingram, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said about all the wild uses for CBD now. He is leading a clinical trial into administering CBD to children and teenagers with drug-resistant epilepsy.
For students with generalized social anxiety, a four-minute talk, with minimal time to prepare, can be debilitating. Yet a small experiment in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that CBD seemed to reduce nervousness and cognitive impairment in patients with social anxiety in a simulated public speaking task.
Is This A Scam?
Cannabis containing 0.3 percent or less of THC is hemp. Although last year’s Farm Bill legalized hemp under federal law, it also preserved the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of products derived from cannabis.
Cannabidiol and THC are just two of the plant’s more than 100 cannabinoids. THC is psychoactive, and CBD may or may not be, which is a matter of debate. THC can increase anxiety; it is not clear what effect CBD is having, if any, in reducing it. THC can lead to addiction and cravings; CBD is being studied to help those in recovery.
Recently, the F.D.A. sent a warning letter to Curaleaf Inc. about its “unsubstantiated claims” that the plant extract treats a variety of conditions from pet anxiety and depression to cancer and opioid withdrawal. (In a statement, the company said that some of the products in question had been discontinued and that it was working with the F.D.A.)
There’s also a growing body of evidence suggesting that CBD may actually facilitate cancer cell death and slow the spread of aggressive cancer cells for breast cancer, although the research is still in early stages.
Marijuana derives from either variety of cannabis, but hemp only comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp plants contain very little THC, the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Instead, they contain a much higher concentration of CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. The majority of CBD products are sourced from hemp.
CBD Benefits for Cancer Patients
In addition to genetics and other factors, one possible cause for acne is the overproduction of oil sebum by inflamed sebaceous glands in the skin. Studies have found that CBD is particularly effective at slowing or inhibiting production of human sebocytes.
The research looking into the benefits of CBD continues to grow as scientists uncover more benefits of cannabidiol. The research is still in development, but early findings include:
The cannabis plant comes in two main varieties: Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Either subspecies contains over 100 chemical compounds (called cannabinoids), including CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Unlike its cousin THC, CBD is not intoxicating or psychoactive. Proponents of CBD oil claim that it can be used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, depression, and anxiety.
Though we need more research, a 2015 medical journal review article looked at CBD and its effect on multiple anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, seasonal affective disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
During drug trials for Epidiolex, the FDA determined liver injury to be a side effect of CBD. Signs of liver injury showed up on blood work used to detect early problems with the liver. You can manage this risk by only taking CBD under the supervision of your doctor.
Interaction with Other Medications
Most of these studies have focused on animal participants, and further research is needed. Experts recommend awareness around these potential side effects when prescribing cannabis to patients who are of reproductive age.