gums, tinctures, ointments and pills. Lip balm, toothpick, shampoo and lubricant. CBD is practically everything these days. And if you listen to the hype, this non-psychoactive compound, found in various cannabis strains, can cure almost anything from pain and depression to insomnia. Last year, CBD sales in the US exceeded $ 600 million. According to estimates by the Chicago-based research firm Brightfield Group, they will reach just under 22 billion US dollars by 2022. But is CBD the panacea that consumers sell? Is the intake safe at all? And is it legal? We have contacted researchers and industry experts to answer all these questions and more.
What is it?
If you are not invested in a CBD company ̵
Will I go up if I take it?
No. You should not. Again, CBD is derived from cannabis plants. If you are taking CBD derived from hemp that contains only traces of THC, the chemical compound in cannabis that produces a high content. However, marijuana CBD products still contain some THC, and there may be enough to make them a bit too stoned.
What does it matter then?
Nobody really knows. How CBD interacts with the human brain and body is a mystery. One theory is that CBD raises serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that affects a variety of human functions, including mood, appetite, and pain. Another possibility is that CBD prevents the destruction of endocannabinoids, which, among other things, regulate the inflammation responsible for hundreds of diseases.
Regardless of the mechanism, CBD seems to help relieve certain ailments. In June 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD tincture for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes, two childhood severe seizures. Recent tests have also shown that CBD significantly reduces the seizure rate in patients with tuberculosis complex, a disease that leads to the formation of tumors in the brain and other organs. Brazilian scientists have found that CBD reduces anxiety. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (19459011) in May found that heroin addicts given CBD had significantly less desire for heroin. Researchers at King's College in London found that administering 600 milligrams of CBD in high-risk patients helped normalize parts of the brain that are no longer functioning properly during psychotic episodes. These are just a few of the many promising early-stage studies of the effects of CBD. But even these are all early stage studies, so we do not know how effective it is or how the right dosage could be.
So why is it everywhere?
Until 2018, cannabis was considered a List I drug along with heroin and ecstasy (to name but a few), making the manufacture, sale or use of cannabis illegal. But last December, President Trump signed a bill to legalize industrial hemp farming. The new law allowed the nationwide sale of CBD derived from hemp, as long as it contained less than 0.3 percent THC. Within months, CBD products appeared on the shelves of CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Nordstrom and GNC, as well as on the websites of hundreds of online retailers. Even Carl's Jr., the fast food chain, sold a CBD-enriched burger as a marketing ploy. Prominent endorsers, including golfer Bubba Watson, Mike Tyson and Lamar Odom, began advertising and even selling CBD products, as did Gwyneth Paltrow on their hugely popular Goop website
Good question. Because cannabis has been banned for so long, CBD has not been rigorously tested to know if regular intake could be good or terribly bad for you. "There is no data on toxicity," says Daniele Piomelli, director of the Irvine Center for the Study of Cannabis at the University of California. "Drugs come back in a strange way to hurt you, especially if you use them for a very long time. If you take aspirin for a week, it's a great medicine. If you take it for two months, you need to replace your stomach. "
A recent animal study found that three quarters of the mice that took a human equivalent Epidiolex dose died or died within four days. Many of them suffer from signs of liver damage. Obviously, further investigation of the cause is required.
Ziva Cooper, director of research at the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, also fears that people can administer CBD freely and without guidance. "When a drug is tested," she says, "it goes through very thorough tests to investigate possible side effects and to see how they affect other medicines people take." Except for epidiolex, none of these tests were performed on CBD.
Another problem is quality control. Hemp farmers often use pesticides and it has been found that some CBD products contain heavy metals and potentially harmful microbes. Colorado is one of the few states with strict quality control guidelines. The US Department of Hemp is testing the participating manufacturers for toxins. (If you buy CBD products, they will have a label from the hemp authority stating that companies will comply with strict Test Guidelines.)
Is it really worth the risk?
This is not a popular assumption, but probably not at this time. It can be effective or you spend a lot of money on a placebo effect. Granted, that may be worth it for some people. In the worst case, taking regular amounts of untested CBD products can lead to serious health concerns.
Why do people swear by that? Much of the hype is based solely on anecdotes-people who overcome insomnia, relieve their acne, and even relieve their pain after breaking bones, all through CBD products. None of this is rooted in science, but it's hard to convince others. It might work for them, but we just do not know that yet.
How much should or can I take?
"The levels of CBD that are contained in commercial products – perhaps a gram in a whole bottle of oil – that are supposed to be this or that are probably too small to be pharmacologically active," says Daniele Piomelli of the University of California. "Studies show that it takes between 600 milligrams and one gram of CBD per day to have a biological effect on people." However, if you take so much you need to worry about possible side effects.
Can I travel with them?
Only when it comes to CBD, which comes from hemp. If your CBD is derived from marijuana plants, you will be subject to various state laws governing marijuana, and the TSA may confiscate it at the security checkpoint.
What's next with CBD?
Nearly 100 clinical trials are underway, including a detailed look at the effects of CBD on pain that will be performed by Ziva Cooper at UCLA and will take a year. The FDA is considering allowing CBD as a dietary supplement and food additive, and the industry is confident it will do so in a year or two. And we may be faced with the answer to the question of how CBD works and whether it is safe, thanks to all the interest – and let's face it, money – to CBD.
"Many pharmaceutical companies have a motivation to do research. Says Piomelli. "But it's a tough nut to crack, it could be luck, or it could be tomorrow."
A Guide for CBD Buyers
Four Things to Look Out for When Buying CBD.
- Find the label of the hemp authority. This ensures that it has been tested by an independent laboratory and is free of heavy metals or hazardous microbes.
- Buy only hemp-extracted CBD. Marijuana CBD products often contain higher THC levels and are illegal in states where they have not been decriminalized.
- Pay attention to the THC percentage. It should say something like "0.3 percent or less," which means it does not bring you up.
- Do you know the dosage. Each product should indicate how much CBD is included in each serving. Despite recommendations frequently made on the bottles, no one yet knows how safe the dosage is.