There’s a growing body of scientific evidence to support the use of topical CBD products to ease pain, inflammation, and the symptoms of arthritis. One study using rats found that topical CBD has “therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.” More scientific research on humans is needed to confirm all of CBD’s benefits, but the initial research into topical use in humans is also promising.
As it turns out, CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a phenomenal natural therapy for literally dozens and dozens of different ailments. General pain relief is probably the single most common reason that people take CBD, but it’s also proven to be extremely effective for psychological conditions like anxiety and depression, as well as for things like chronic seizures/epilepsy, diabetes, migraines, neurodegenerative disease (multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia), digestive issues, and even menstrual cramps.
Another interesting observation was the presence of high levels of non-decarboxylated cannabinoids in multiple samples. It is well known that CBD and THC are not produced as such by the metabolism of the cannabis plant. Instead, cannabinoids are excreted in the form of carboxylic acids such as CBD-acid and THC-acid . The physiological effects of these “acidic” cannabinoids have been studied only to a very limited extent. Only after proper heating (e.g., during smoking, vaporizing, or baking with cannabis) are these natural precursors rapidly converted into the more well-known CBD and THC, respectively. This process is called decarboxylation . Although decarboxylation also takes place during the production of cannabis oils (e.g., during the evaporation of solvents, or during a separate decarboxylation step as part of the production process), 7/46 samples (15%) contained > 25% of its cannabinoid content in the form of acidic cannabinoids, indicating poor control over the decarboxylation process. To address the issue, some producers simply add up the content of CBD and CBD-acid in order to boast a higher “total CBD” content on the label, while advertising this as “raw CBD.”
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While the CBD latte dosage varies from coffee shop to coffee shop, the range seems to fall between two to 15 drops, or approximately 20 to 30 milligrams, says Blessing. That’s a lot less than what’s been shown to work in clinical trials for various conditions, which makes Blessing skeptical that a CBD latte could produce any noticeable effect. “There’s no evidence whatsoever that a small amount of CBD is actually doing anything at all,” she says. “An analogy I give sometimes is, you wouldn’t take 2 mg of ibuprofen. It doesn’t do anything.”
What makes CBD so appealing is that it’s non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high, though it “is technically psychoactive, because it can influence things like anxiety,” Jikomes said. Although much of the marketing blitz around CBD centers on the fact that you can take it without getting stoned, there isn’t much research looking at the effects of CBD when used in isolation, with a couple of exceptions. One is the use of CBD to treat seizures: CBD is the active ingredient in the only cannabis product that the Food and Drug Administration has signed off on — a drug called Epidiolex, which is approved for treating two rare forms of epilepsy. Animal models and a few human studies suggest that CBD can help with anxiety, but those are the only conditions with much research on CBD in isolation.
Determining risks and benefits through proper clinical trials remains highly desired, but these will take considerable time and funds. As a result, clinical data will not appear any time soon, while patients will not simply stop using the many CBD products to which they have become accustomed. Taking back regulatory control over CBD could therefore start with a more short-term and achievable approach, i.e., demanding accurate and proper labeling, reflecting in detail what each product does and does not contain, and how it was manufactured. For a clearer judgment of the potential therapeutic effects, the risks, but also the legality of a cannabis extract, it is important to know its exact composition. After all, published data from around the world has taught us that misleading labels as well as harmful contaminants are real and actual problems for CBD products. The analytical methodology and the third-party labs needed for this approach largely already exist, and could easily be optimized to quickly get a better grip on the unrestrained cannabinoid market. This approach would hold each producer strictly accountable for the quality and safety of their own products, as long as there are real legal consequences for those businesses that break the rules. Add to this a system for regular professional audits and inspections, and a crackdown on unsubstantiated health claims, and we have a reasonable system to ensure that CBD can be used responsibly by those who need it, until much needed clinical data become available.
Flower Power, which sells CBD-infused coffee to cafes like Caffeine Underground in New York City, puts 5 mg of CBD in each serving of coffee. The company, like many involved in the sale of CBD, is extremely careful about what it says regarding CBD’s effects for fear of FDA intervention. The standard language for CBD packaging and website documentation is similar to that of many supplements (think: milk thistle, echinacea, elderberry, turmeric) and is some variation on: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.”
The fact that the maximum CBD content in an oil is limited by the THC present in the herbal material used makes it attractive to add an additional amount of purified CBD to boost the percentage advertised on the label. Unfortunately, the Novel Food Catalogue of the EU states that “extracts of Cannabis sativa L. in which CBD levels are higher than the CBD levels in the plant source are novel in food” . This means that enriching a natural hemp extract with pure (often synthetic) CBD makes it a Novel Food product, with the consequence that it must undergo significant safety assessment prior to being marketed. However, it is still unclear in many EU countries if extracts with no added CBD also fall under this regime.
In just a few years, cannabidiol (CBD) has become immensely popular around the world. After initially being discovered as an effective self-medication for Dravet syndrome in children, CBD is now sold and used to treat a wide range of medical conditions and lifestyle diseases. The cannabinoid CBD, a non-psychoactive isomer of the more infamous tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is available in a growing number of administration modes, but the most commonly known is CBD oil. There are currently dozens, if not hundreds, of producers and sellers of CBD oils active in the market, and their number is increasing rapidly. Those involved vary from individuals who prepare oils on a small scale for family and (Facebook) friends to compounding pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, and licensed cannabis producers. Despite the growing availability of CBD, many uncertainties remain about the legality, quality, and safety of this new “miracle cure.” As a result, CBD is under scrutiny on many levels, ranging from national health organizations and agricultural lobbyists to the WHO and FDA. The central question is whether CBD is simply a food supplement, an investigational new medicine, or even a narcotic. This overview paper looks into the known risks and issues related to the composition of CBD products, and makes recommendations for better regulatory control based on accurate labeling and more scientifically supported health claims. The intention of this paper is to create a better understanding of the benefits versus the risks of the current way CBD products are produced, used, and advertised.
I tried the CBD oil that comes from hemp cause that’s all that’s legal where I live and was really hoping it would help with my back pain but it does absolutely nothing. Might as well have bought a bottle of vegetable oil & saved $150. I think it’s the THC that’s in medical marijuana that offers true pain relief, looking forward to it being legal across the country not just in 30 states.
I have a brother in law who has been diagnosed with cataplexy and narcoplexy, where he starts quivering and slowly loses control of his body and goes into a sleep, which causes him to drop to the ground with mild seizures while he is out. He lives alone (59 years old), but has smoked cannabis since he (we) were teenagers. He still smokes, and is on medication twice a day for this condition, but if he misses those meds by even half an hour, he is at risk of these seizures. The sad part is, these seizures are usually brought on by the smallest emotional change, usually tension, excitement or, the worst thing, if something he finds funny and is the least bit tickled about and starts to laugh, this process will immediately begin. Does anyone know if this kind of condition is treatable with cbd oil’s or concentrates? As I said, he smokes weed, and often grows his own, but he does it for the high and relaxation advantage, since he is basically home-bound due to this condition ending his work career about 4 years ago. Thanks for any replies. I’d be overjoyed if I could tell him there’s a possible solution to the problem other than his prescriptions. Or even if it worked WITH his meds to keep from having to live such a sedentary life.