What is CBD oil, and what is it effective for?

What is CBD oil?

 CBD oil is cannabidiol oil.  It has become the latest rage in the marijuana market, and is credited with everything from helping epileptic seizures, anxiety, insomnia and more.

 What does the science show to date?

 CBD oil is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana.  It does not produce intoxication (the “high” of marijuana is caused by the chemical THC or tetrahydrocannabinol).

 There has been a study that showed that CBD oil may be helpful for two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, and approval was recommended by the FDA for this purpose with the CBD medication Epidiolex. 

 Early studies show CBD may be helpful as an anti-inflammatory, but those studies are mostly from animal research.  Further studies are needed. 

 Other potential benefits such as use as an antipsychotic, antidepressant, or for insomnia are being studied, but research to date again is largely in animal studies.

 One of the issues that makes the research difficult for CBD oil is that the FDA is not regulating the ingredients in this product. So even though the FDA approves it, they don’t check the purity of the ingredients.

It has been found that 7 out of 10 CBD products don’t contain the amount of marijuana extract that the label states.  Of the CBD products investigated, 43 percent contained too little CBD, and 26 percent contained too much.  That makes it difficult for researchers as it makes it difficult to compare outcomes if the drug is inconsistent.

 Are there any risks to CBD oil?  About 1 in 5 CBD products actually does contain the intoxicating pot chemical THC, which can cause anxiety in some patients. 

In addition, for patients who may try it for epilepsy, there is a risk it will change the levels of their other seizure medications, which could potentially result in harm.

 The bottom line?  At this point CBD oil may be beneficial for two rare types of childhood epilepsy, but for other conditions further studies are needed.

cbc

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