What’s CBD? >
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant.Aug 27, 2019
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. In 2018, clinical research on cannabidiol included preliminary studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.
Cannabidiol can be taken into the body in multiple ways, including by inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapor, as an aerosol spray into the cheek, and by mouth. It may be supplied as CBD oil containing only CBD as the active ingredient (no included tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] or terpenes), a full-plant CBD-dominant hemp extract oil, capsules, dried cannabis, or as a prescription liquid solution. CBD does not have the same psychoactivity as THC, and may change the effects of THC on the body if both are present. As of 2018, the mechanism of action for its biological effects has not been determined.
In the United States, the cannabidiol drug Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018 for the treatment of two epilepsy disorders. Since cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, other CBD formulations remain illegal to prescribe for medical use or to use as an ingredient in foods or dietary supplements.
Answers to the top questions about cannabis extract
Sales of cannabidiol-infused products are expected to top $2 billion by 2021. But is CBD right for you?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is touted as a natural wonder that can help treat symptoms of everything from anxiety to arthritis pain. The plant extract comes from two varieties of cannabis — hemp and marijuana — and is available in creams, tinctures, oils, patches, gummy bears, capsules, and more. You can even add CBD to a latte if you walk into a coffee shop in some cities.
But is CBD safe for older adults? There haven’t been a lot of large studies of CBD’s safety, but more traditional medicines for pain and anxiety are not free of adverse effects, either. “I think CBD is likely safer than many other treatments people use for pain, insomnia, or anxiety,” says Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Other physicians don’t think we know enough about the safety profile of CBD to be sure.
A flurry of recent news reports would make you think so — here are a few examples:
Coke plans to brew weed drink
Coca-Cola In Talks To Make Marijuana-Infused Drink
Coca-Cola eyes cannabis market
The truth turns out to be a bit less dramatic. Here’s how the company’s statement put it:
“We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis. Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world…. No decisions have been made at this time.”
A few clarifications are in order here:
“CBD” is short for cannabidiol; it’s found in marijuana but also in hemp, and there are claims that it can provide a number of health benefits (see below).
“Non-psychoactive” means that it does not cause a person to feel intoxicated or “high.” As such, CBD is not considered to be addictive or prone to abuse; that’s why it is legal in all 50 states (though with some restrictions).
“Functional wellness beverages” are those that provide some health benefit above and beyond nutrition or hydration. Gatorade is one example, as it is ‘fortified’ with electrolytes lost during intense exercise. There are many others, such as Pom Wonderful, which describes its products as “the Antioxidant Superpower” and “the perfect fuel to get you to CrazyHealthy;” or Red Bull, which “Vitalizes Body and Mind.” It’s worth emphasizing that in the US, functional beverages do not have to prove that their health claims are true; as with conventional foods, they only have to have ingredients that are “generally recognized as safe.”
There was no mention in this statement of actually putting CBD or other marijuana-related substance in Coca-Cola.
Why would the Coca-Cola Company put CBD in its beverages?
Soda sales are down, while functional wellness beverage consumption and the respectability of CBD are on the rise; industry experts see this as a financial opportunity.
And what is CBD good for? The list of supposed health benefits of CBD is long and includes the treatment of:
- anxiety and depression
- chronic pain
- symptoms related to cancer and its treatment, such as nausea
- symptoms related to neurologic disease, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Most of these claims are considered unproven, based on preliminary evidence such as animal research, or human studies involving a very small number of people. The only approved use of CBD is for certain childhood seizure disorders (called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome); the FDA approved the first-ever medication containing CBD for these conditions in June of 2018, and then in September the FDA reclassified CBD from Schedule I (“drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” such as heroin) to Schedule V (drugs with a low potential for abuse)
Side effects of CBD are generally minor and include diarrhea, fatigue, and anxiety. It can also interact with medications you take, so it’s important for your doctor to know if you’re taking it.
Is pot going mainstream?
The news about the Coca-Cola Company follows recent announcements by Coors and Constellation Brands (makers of Corona beer) about developing marijuana-containing products. And a few CBD-containing beverages are already on the market.
So, it seems like this is only the beginning. In fact, the time could soon come when CBD (and, perhaps, marijuana) make it into widely available foods and beverages, including those sold in supermarkets. With the legalization of marijuana spreading like a weed (sorry, couldn’t resist!), it may be just a matter of time before it’s viewed a bit like alcohol. And that means it could soon be in the food supply. I just hope that by the time that happens, we have a better understanding of its risks and benefits.
As for CBD, you can expect claims of health benefits to multiply as it morphs from a component of an illicit drug to a financial opportunity in the growing “wellness” food and beverage industry. But I’ll still be looking for more studies confirming its safety and health benefits before I’ll buy anything containing CBD.
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CBD products are everywhere. But do they work?
Experts say cannabidiol products are likely a good choice for some conditions, but evidence is lacking for others.
By now, you’ve probably run into a product containing cannabidiol, also known as CBD. It’s in everything from drinks and pet products to lotions and chewable gummies. Even major drugstore chains have announced they will start carrying CBD products in certain states.
But many people still don’t really know what CBD is. Is it marijuana? Is it legal? Does it actually work? Is it safe?
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, and you may have even seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. What exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?
How is cannabidiol different from marijuana?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Is cannabidiol legal?
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
Is cannabidiol safe?
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.
The bottom line on cannabidiol
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.
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BJ’s Final Thought:
Too many to list here…
Try Prof. Google for further information and research updates.
This is our final posting of the year 2019. See you next year.