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does cbd work

Although there’s enticing evidence that good ol’ cannabis can ease chronic pain and possibly treat some medical conditions, whether CBD alone can deliver the same benefits remains an open question. What is clear, at this point, is that the marketing has gotten way ahead of the science.

Those warning letters aside, there’s not a lot of federal oversight right now over the claims being made or the products that are being sold. Cohen warned against buying CBD products online, because “there’s a lot of scams out there.” Yet his clinic sells CBD, and he admits, “I say ‘Don’t buy online,’ but ours is worth doing, because we know what we’re doing. We ship all over.”

Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a nearly 500-page report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. A committee of 16 experts from a variety of scientific and medical fields analyzed the available evidence — more than 10,000 scientific abstracts in all. Because so few studies examine the effects of CBD on its own, the panel did not issue any findings about CBD specifically, but it did reach some conclusions about cannabis and cannabinoids more generally. The researchers determined that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” supporting the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic pain in adults, multiple sclerosis-related spasticity (a kind of stiffness and muscle spasms), and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The committee also found “moderate” evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can reduce sleep disturbances in people with obstructive sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, as well as “limited” evidence that these substances can improve symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, increase appetite and stem weight loss in people with HIV/AIDs, and improve symptoms of PTSD and anxiety.

Cooper recently got funding from the National Institutes of Health for a study looking at cannabinoids — including CBD in isolation — as a substitute for opioids, and numerous other 2 come from products that contain THC as well as CBD, Cooper said, but we need to do more studies to find out for sure whether CBD has fewer risks. Studies are also needed to identify the best way to administer and dose CBD. “I get emails from people asking me what dose of CBD to use, and the truth is, we really don’t know,” Cooper said.

Right now, there’s a good chance that you don’t really know what you’re getting from any source. Testing and labeling rules vary by state, but many states that allow legal cannabis also require some kind of testing to verify that the THC and CBD levels listed on the label are accurate. However, this testing is controversial, and results can vary widely between labs, Jikomes said. A study published in March found measurable variations in test results, with some labs consistently reporting higher or lower levels of cannabinoids than others. There are no guarantees that the label accurately reflects what’s in the product. For a 2015 study published in JAMA, researchers tested 75 products purchased in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle and found that only 17 percent were accurately labeled. More than half of the products contained significantly lower levels of cannabinoids than the label promised, and some of them contained only negligible amounts of the compounds. “We need to come up with ways to confidently verify the composition of cannabis products and make this information available to consumers,” Jikomes said.

There is research on CBD, but the setups of the studies are only distantly related to the scenarios in which people use over-the-counter CBD products. Sometimes the studies will administer a massive dose of CBD that’s out of the average person’s budget for regular use, or they’ll test CBD/THC combination products—and even then, the results aren’t necessarily clear. The studies are also often looking at patients with cancer or specific medical conditions, rather than people who want to treat everyday aches and pains. This 2020 review paper on CBD for chronic pain sums up the state of the science:

While these [CBD + THC] products have shown some promising results as a treatment for chronic pain, the efficacy of CBD must be questioned since the product contains THC as well as CBD. Furthermore, the safety profile of current CBD products, specifically non-pharmaceuticals, should be questioned due to their false advertising and variable quantities of CBD in the product. Therefore, careful selection of a CBD product should be made by physicians and patients to ensure patients are taking a high- quality product. Despite these concerns, CBD is a promising area for the treatment of chronic pain, and further studies need to be performed to evaluate the role of CBD in chronic pain management.

Does CBD do anything for pain?

If you use a CBD product and you think it’s working, I certainly won’t tell you to stop . But the FDA may come for the manufacturer eventually.

One medication made from CBD, called Epidiolex, is an FDA-approved drug for treating a certain type of epilepsy. Otherwise, CBD falls into a very bizarre legal grey area .

It is Cannabidiol, which comes from cannabis. It’s not the part of the plant that gets you high, and the 2018 Farm Bill opened a loophole that sorta-kinda-maybe-technically allows it to be sold even where cannabis is otherwise illegal. As the CBD market subsequently boomed, the compound h as been added to everything from lotions to lattes , with implied promises of relaxation, pain relief, and generally curing of whatever ails you.