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.
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.
While overstimulation of the CB1 receptor may lead to symptoms such as high blood pressure and abnormally high cholesterol levels, CBD is a CB1 antagonist, so it is not likely to cause such issues. Furthermore, the World Health Organization has recently issued a global report on CBD, claiming that it has a good safety profile and minimal adverse public health effects.
Both of these substances have therapeutic features. While THC has been legalized for medical and recreational uses in a number of states, it is not legal everywhere. By contrast, CBD can be derived from hemp plants that contain very little THC and is legal to purchase in all 50 states. It is non-intoxicating and easy to ingest as oil, making it a good treatment choice for people who want the health and weight loss benefits without feeling high.
I recently was a guest at a medical marijuana educational event that highlighted the work of researcher Michael Backes. During his presentation he made a statement about CBD that I have never heard anywhere else that CBD is “regulating” (my word) the effects of THC. I asked the Nurse Practitioner at the event, Ivy Lou Hibbitt of Certicann.com, what he meant by that and she said it was her understanding of Michael’s comment that he takes CBD to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. Has this property of CBD, that it can lessen psychoactive effects, ever been researched elsewhere?
CBD oil is most readily available as a tincture. This can be taken by applying a few drops under your tongue, holding in your mouth for a few moments so it can be absorbed, before swallowing. It can also be added to water or smoothies. A spray form is available (simply spritz under your tongue), as are capsules, gummies, creams that can be applied topically, and e-liquid for vape pens.
In one survey, parents of children who suffer from treatment-resistant epilepsy and use CBD were asked about the benefits. 19 parents were included, 84% of which said that CBD reduced the frequency of seizures. Two parents said that CBD completely resolved seizures. Parents also reported improved alertness, sleep, and mood. Some side effects were drowsiness and fatigue .
'If the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medication says to avoid grapefruit juice, for instance, then do not take CBD, as the same type of interaction can affect circulating blood levels of your medicine. Even if the leaflet does not mention grapefruit juice, you should still check with your doctor before taking CBD. You should also not take CBD if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.’
Correcting a calorie excess with a calorie deficit sometimes works for weight loss, but it can be difficult. First of all, reducing calories leaves people feeling hungry, which can be incredibly uncomfortable. Second of all, weight gain can cause changes to hormone levels and balance, metabolic patterns, inflammation status, and balance within the endocannabinoid system.
While this should by no means be taken as direct clinical evidence that CBD for weight loss is a tried-and-true remedy for obesity, the studies mentioned above should certainly warrant more investigation into the topic. And to be sure, many folks are already using CBD products to help control their appetite and lose weight. Do a little research online for customer feedback and reviews, and you’ll see what we mean.
Topical solutions: Topical CBD products include lotions, salves and lip balms. They are meant to benefit skin, joint and muscle health, and work when they are absorbed into the skin and through the dermal layers. CBD patches are also available for topical delivery of the compound. This allows the cannabinoids to be delivered directly to your bloodstream.
There are likely very complex relationships also occurring between various Cannabinoids in Cannabis that may lead to certain medical efficacy. That is important to remember when considering the consumption of products that contain Cannabinoids. There is an attractiveness to isolating a specific chemical, researching it, patenting synthetic derivatives, and marketing specific drugs. That said, the relationships are complex, will likely take years to understand, and many patients I’ve met appear to find the most medical benefit from a diverse group of Cannabinoids whose interactions are not particularly well understand, but the results are hard to argue with.
Current studies, including one carried out by the UC San Diego School of Medicine, are looking into how the endocannabinoid system may be linked to reducing symptoms associated with autism. This is due to its role in social reward responsivity, neural development and circadian rhythm and anxiety regulation – all of which are often affected by autism. (52)