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CBD Products are the New Buzz: Do They Actually Work?

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CBD is everywhere lately- in healthcare and wellness products, skincare, drinks, and even pet treats. But is it really worth the hype?

Researchers say CBD, or cannabidiol- a hemp-derived compound, can help with pain, stress, and anxiety relief, promote sleep, and provide many other health benefits. While many experts agree CBD to be beneficial for individuals’ health, there are still a lot of unknowns.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has legalized only a single CBD product, Epidiolex- a prescription drug developed as a treatment for two rare forms of epilepsy. The interest and demand for CBD products continues to grow.

But do CBD products really work? This article is the right place to uncover the answer to this question.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the two best-known active compounds in marijuana and hemp. The other compound is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a marihuana substance and produces ‘high’ effects.

Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get a person high or stoned. However, people consuming the cannabis compound might feel mellow, experience less pain, and be in a more comfortable zone. In addition, you can find some CBD products containing small amounts of THC.

While CBD is obtained from marijuana, you can also get it from hemp plants. Hemp is a related plant containing 0.3% or less of tetrahydrocannabinol.

Is Marijuana-Derived CBD Legal?

The answer to this question can be yes or no, depending on where you live in the U.S. In some states of the United States, marijuana is legal for recreational and medical use. However, some states only allow the use of marijuana for medical use. Moreover, in some states, marijuana is not legal for both recreational and medical use.

Does CBD Work?

The medication Epidiolex is the only CBD product approved by the U.S. FDA for severe seizure disorder treatment. Epidiolex is a twice-daily oral solution proven to be effective in multiple clinical trials. A 2021 study on Epidiolex found a median decrease in certain seizures ranging between early 50% and over 70%.

There are many other studies suggesting the following health benefits of hemp-derived CBD products:

Relieving anxiety

A handful of studies show the potential of CBD in addressing social anxiety. In one study, individuals treated ninety minutes before a public speaking exercise with CBD products were less stressed than peers who received a placebo.

You can also find a few studies showing the potential of CBD in treating general anxiety, but these studies have some limitations. For instance, one longer-term observational study produced a complicated outcome. During the study, it was found that people with moderate to severe anxiety experienced a reduction in their anxiety, but those suffering from milder anxiety became slightly more anxious.

Furthermore, a 2022 Nature publication reported that symptoms in individuals with moderate to severe anxiety were reduced by 60% to 70% after four weeks of treatment after consuming CBD products that contain high CBD content.

Promoting better sleep

Published case reports and uncontrolled clinical trials discovered that CBD products have the potential to promote better sleep. In one unblinded study involving 23 patients with epilepsy, 85% of those patients were treated daily for three months with CBD. The sleep of these patients significantly improved.

Moreover, one study of healthy volunteers found no effect when given a single dose of CBD. Still, another set of individuals with insomnia reported sleeping better after consuming a single dose of CBD.

Relieving pain

Studies involving participants administering CBD orally for pain have produced mixed findings. However, these studies didn’t explore the efficacy of high doses of CBD. Topical hemp derived CBD products looks more promising when it comes to pain relief.

In one 2020 study, patients with peripheral neuropathy were given a topical CBD oil, and they reported experiencing a significant reduction in sharp pain and cold, itchy sensations compared to another set of patients who were given a placebo.

Reduces addictions

CBD is researched to have promising effects in terms of reducing drug cravings for patients with opioid use disorder. One study reported that former heroin users experienced a two to three-fold decrease in their cravings after taking CBD compared to those users who received a placebo.

Moreover, early research suggests that CBD can potentially help treat alcohol use disorder.

Is it Safe to Use CBD?

A 2018 World Health Organization report stated that CBD is generally well-tolerated by people and, thus, has a good safety profile. Moreover, it has been researched that CBD is not addictive. The compound doesn’t seem to change individuals’ respiration or other vital signs, and it doesn’t make one feel sedated or high.

However, some studies have suggested the possible side effects of CBD when taken in a high dosage. Therefore, to avoid these side effects, it’s advisable to consume CBD gummies with THC or any other CBD products in the correct dosage.

The safest way to take CBD is orally, as a tincture, chewable gummy, and tablet. Moreover, for adults, CBD appears to be safe when used correctly. But for kids under age 21, it’s not clear if any amount of CBD is appropriate for them.

Where Should You Purchase CBD Products?

If you want to try a CBD product, consider purchasing it from a dispensary legally licensed to sell marijuana. CBD products sold in such dispensaries are labeled so that you can see what ingredients they contain, how much CBD they contain, and whether they contain THC. Remember that a small amount of THC in a CBD product will not cause any harm. But larger amounts can get you high or stoned.

In addition, remember that CBD products are not standardized and can vary. So, consider keeping a journal recording what type of CBD product and dosage suits you better.

Bottom Line

Evidence regarding whether CBD works and what health conditions it can treat is still building. Now that the use of CBD is legalized in the United States, scientists are finding it easier to research the cannabis compound. The world can know more about CBD in the next five to ten years. Still, people are using CBD products like CBD oils, tinctures, capsules, CBD gummies with THC, skincare products, and more for different health conditions.

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