Under federal law, cannabis (from which both CBD and marijuana are derived) is illegal everywhere, although the laws against it aren’t generally enforced in states that have legalized marijuana. Some manufacturers claim that CBD culled from legally imported industrial hemp, which has little to no THC, is fine to ship across the U.S., but many experts disagree, noting that because hemp comes from the same species as marijuana, cannabis sativa, all CBD falls under the DEA’s Schedule 1 designation. “This creative interpretation of the law runs afoul of reality,” says the Brookings Institution, a Washington, DC, think tank.
At present, we have the following classification of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body, mainly from fatty acid precursors), phytocannabinoids (compounds that have a plant origin, with the cannabis plant being the best-studied source of phytocannabinoids though not the only one), and artificial cannabinoids (created while studying THC, to garner the benefits of marijuana without the recreational component).
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.
Then there is the matter of which part of the plant is used. THC tends to be more concentrated in the leaves of the plant, while CBD in its stem and seeds. It should be noted that these aspects are relative. Some degree of agreement exists that for the purest CBD, the stalk of a hemp plant (varieties of cannabis generally grown for fiber manufacturing, low in THC), or much less often the seeds. Taking into account the fact that CBD supplements are usually in an oil form, one may fathom the origins of the nearly ubiquitous hemp oil dietary supplements.
Before using CBD for weight loss, it is vital to ensure that you are using a quality product, as this has a significant impact on how much it can aid you in losing weight and maintaining what you lose. A company using domestically sourced organic hemp that has been grown in clean soil is your best choice. You also want to make sure third-party lab testing is done on a regular basis and that the extraction methods used in the manufacturing process are clean and solvent-free.
Scam CBD sellers tend to manufacture low-grade oils via ethanol (or other solvent-based) extraction, in what is little better than trying to do it yourself in your basement. The result is a liquid that contains a little CBD (along with some other cannabinoids and terpenes), but not in the quantities needed to be effective in terms of any legitimate medicinal function. Moreover, these solvent-based extracts can contain unnecessary and potentially harmful components — after all, scam artists are not going to reveal the REAL ingredients, are they?
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Neuroendocrinology has suggested that the ECS is capable of stimulating specific areas of the body involved in metabolism, such as the skeletal muscles and GI tract. This happens due to the presence of anandamide and 2-AG, which are two naturally-occurring compounds in the body that interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
If you haven’t been bombarded with CBD marketing or raves about it from friends, get ready. This extract—which comes from either marijuana or its industrial cousin, hemp—is popping up everywhere. There are CBD capsules, tinctures, and liquids for vaping plus CBD-infused lotions, beauty products, snacks, coffee, and even vaginal suppositories. Already some 1,000 brands of CBD products are available in stores—and online in states that don’t have lenient cannabis laws. This is a tiny fraction of what’s to come: The CBD market is poised to exceed $22 billion by 2022, per the Chicago-based research firm Brightfield Group.
I have read about studies from Europe (not very specific I know) that suggest CBD might work better for some people if combined with some level of THC. Also, the getting high part can be helpful, although not for everybody, of course. A second point – I don’t hear very much about CBD eliminating or almost eliminating pain for people with severe pain. Helpful, but, so far at least, it doesn’t seem that CBDs can replace opioids or substantially reduce pain for all chronic pain patients. Maybe someday.
As one might expect from the information presented in the previous sections of this article, the position of cannabidiol (both from a medical and from an institutional point of view) is one of uncertainty. To add insult to injury, private companies (especially those targeting immediate profit with a minimum of investment) take advantage of the loopholes in legislation to gain from the media exposure that CBD has had in the past few years.
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.
The disturbing problem regarding the current status of cannabidiol is expressed in the same source. Institutional endeavors by the Food and Drug Administration to classify it as a drug are in its infancy. Nevertheless, this should mean that CBD could no longer be marketed as a dietary supplement, as that class of products is subject to ridiculously lax regulation. However, there are countless companies (some no larger than a newsstand, while others are listed on the stock exchange) that sell supplements containing cannabidiol (as oil, capsules, sprays, etc.) unencumbered by either state or federal authorities.
‘The media has no doubt helped drive this popularity,’ says Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director at Healthspan. ‘However, the main drive is because people who take it experience the benefits very quickly, and “word of mouth” is a powerful thing. CBD oil also has such a wide range of benefits, reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation, ensuring a good night’s sleep, reducing pain perception and improving general feelings of wellbeing. It therefore appeals to a wide range of people.’
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.