CBD is everywhere — it’s in foods, in drugs, in supplements, you name it. But those who hail it as a new wonder drug are getting way ahead of themselves. There have been some promising studies carried out on CBD, but few have been carefully designed — and even fewer have been carried out on humans. This means that there’s a chance that CBD has a number of positive health effects, but we don’t know that yet.
If you turn to the internet to learn more about CBD, you’re in for a pretty wild ride. There are conflicting opinions, studies are blown out of proportion or misrepresented, and if you look directly at the studies, it can be quite difficult to make sense of it all.
It’s hard to say exactly what’s true and what’s not because there’s surprisingly little research on CBD. It’s not FDA-approved, and it’s considered a Schedule 1 drug, and again — there is little human research on it.
Thankfully, many states are now accepting human trials with cannabis products, so we’re gaining more and more research to back up the truth and misconceptions about CBD.
Here are some of the basics of CBD.
- CBD is not marijuana
The first and most common misconception about CBD is that it’s the same as marijuana. While CBD can be derived from marijuana, it’s not the same. In fact, most CBD is derived from hemp. It doesn’t have the active ingredient THC, it will not get you high.
It shares some of the medicinal benefits as marijuana, but it differs in that it has no psychoactive properties. It’s also non-addictive, and it has very few side effects. Also, make sure you don’t get CBD confused with hemp oil.
- CBD is not a cure-all for anxiety
Most CBD users utilize the substance to treat anxiety. Many studies on both rodents and humans have shown a significant decrease in stressful, anxious feelings when the subject is under the influence of CBD. But it won’t cure your anxiety. It can make it more bearable, comparable to other anti-anxiety medications on the market.
Most of the talk around CBD and anxiety is anecdotal. Individuals who have seen success in calming their anxiety can’t stop talking about how it’s changed their lives. More than half of those who have used CBD say that it’s just as effective if not more so than their anti-anxiety medications. Those in this group who can afford it actually replace their prescriptions with CBD because they like the effect and the minimal side effects.
- CBD can reduce pain and inflammation for some diseases
Convincing research shows a positive correlation between CBD and the relief of pain and inflammation in some conditions. Doctors who support the use of CBD often recommend it to their patients who suffer from chronic pain.
Arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other patients who deal with pain daily report a noticeable reduction in the pain and inflammation at the site. It’s particularly effective when used in a cream, oil, or ointment rubbed into the skin.
- CBD might treat some seizures
For the most part, the FDA and other government health organizations have stayed out of the CBD industry. However, growing positive research on CBD and seizures forced them to enter the scene — this is the case with the effects of CBD in treating the severity, frequency, and lasting symptoms of seizures.
In 2018, the FDA approved the first-ever CBD-based drug called Epidiolex. It’s commonly used to treat severe forms of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, both of which start in children and can involve hundreds of seizures a day. CBD has been integral in helping these individuals live normal lives.
- You should ask your doctor about CBD
It’s true that CBD is more of a supplement than a medication and that it can be safely used in many instances without doctor supervision. However, you’ll still want to bring it up with a doctor if you’ve started using CBD. There’s minimal research on negative side effects of CBD, but it can interact negatively with certain medications.
Some doctors might not be aware of recent CBD-related research. However, given the scale that CBD products have taken, more and more doctors are becoming familiar with them. It’s not guaranteed, but you have a good chance of finding one who can give you an informed recommendation.
- CBD is non-addictive
Not only is CBD non-addictive, but it can also be used as an effective tool to help combat addictions. It’s been used to curb cravings.
One study done by Addiction Journal found that when participants used an inhaler with nicotine, they were less likely to crave cigarettes. They smoked fewer cigarettes week by week and were able to handle the withdrawal symptoms better.
- CBD can have side effects
Because CBD is so beloved among avid users, many claim that there are no side effects when using CBD. Some people do enjoy the effects of CBD without any negative side effects, but that can’t be said for all.
Common side effects include nausea, sleepiness, weakness, dry mouth, lightheadedness, and more. It’s important to monitor the way you feel when under the influence of CBD and adjust your dosage if the side effects get too strong. Most people report minimal side effects that are worthwhile when compared with the positive benefits.
- CBD can be expensive
If you’re looking for a low-cost treatment for your problems, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Over the counter pain relief, many anti-anxiety medications, and other treatments are often more cost-effective.
However, CBD is worth the cost for many individuals who have been unable to find relief with other remedies. Many who have tried it can’t let it go because they fall in love with the effectiveness of it, no matter the cost.