These days, many of us could certainly seek miraculous cures, especially those of us who struggle with chronic pain, overwhelming anxiety, cancer-related symptoms, and / or difficult-to-treat neurological disorders. Therefore, it is not uncommon for CBD oil to appear in our search results. But can we really count on CBD oil to positively affect our symptoms the way we expect? Internal medicine specialist Paul Terpeluk, DO, explains why CBD oil may not be as effective as we would like.
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What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is just one of more than 100 chemical compounds found in the sativa cannabis plant. But it is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), no CBD, this is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that gives you a euphoric effect.
CBD is extracted from hemp, a type of cannabis plant that contains very low levels of THC, so it doesn’t make you soak. CBD oil is simply a product that contains CBD extract and an oil, such as coconut oil, usually for topical use.
It is important to know that since the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, the production and sale of CBD products in the US has been legalized at the federal level as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC. However, it is still illegal under some state laws.
In addition, Dr. Terpeluk explains that the market has been oversaturated with CBD products, from bath pumps to jelly beans, lotions, creams, tinctures and oil, none of which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). and may not be 100% pure CBD. As of mid-December 2021, the FDA has only approved one cannabis product and three cannabis-related products, all of which you can safely obtain with a prescription from an authorized healthcare provider.
“There is no oversight of most CBD products by a regulatory authority,” says Dr. Terpeluk. “Most of the CBD you’re buying, unless they have a rigorous marketing campaign and quality control that says it’s 100% CBD oil, is more than likely to be contaminated with other cannabinoids, including THC.”
What are some of the benefits of CBD?
Several studies show that the benefits of pure CBD can have far-reaching positive effects, however. To understand these benefits, it is important to consider our body’s endocannabinoid system, a complex system of enzymes, neurotransmitters, and receptors that plays an important role in the development of our central nervous system. This system helps regulate a variety of functions, such as pain, motor control, memory, appetite, inflammation, and more. If we look more closely at the effects of CBD in these specific areas, we can better understand how CBD affects a variety of conditions and disorders.
Helps with neurological disorders
The FDA has approved Epidiolex as a treatment for several seizure disorders, including two rare disorders known as Duvet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Several case studies suggest that CBD may also be beneficial for patients who are resistant to antiepileptic drugs. “With epilepsy, there is a threshold in the brain that gets excited and goes into a seizure,” says Dr. Terpeluk. “CBD raises that threshold.”
Other studies suggest that CBD may also be helpful in controlling the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, as it has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. More studies are needed, however, as many suggest that it is not just CBD alone, but a combination of CBD and other cannabinoids, that can help reduce many of these symptoms.
It can help relieve pain
By interacting with central nervous system neurotransmitters, CBD could relieve pain related to inflammation, arthritis, and nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy). In a four-week trial, people who had nerve damage to the lower half of their body reported a significant reduction in severe, acute pain after using a topical CBD oil.
“All of our different painkillers affect some section of our pain system, whether it’s Tylenol®, Aspirin®, morphine or opioids,” says Dr. Terpeluk. “No one wants to be addicted to opioids, so if there’s one cannabinoid you can take that isn’t addictive but can suppress pain, this would be the Holy Grail with chronic pain.”
However, he warns that much remains to be studied, including whether there are significant long-term adverse effects of CBD when used to relieve pain.
“If you take it in an unregulated way, you don’t know how much is inside and you’re not quite sure how it affects you outside of your particular pain,” says Dr. Terpeluk.
It can help with anxiety and mood disorders
Anxiety and mood disorders such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder can have a serious effect on your daily life and can often cause physical and emotional stress that can lead to other underlying conditions such as depression. sleep, high blood pressure, chronic pain and heart disease. . It is too early to understand the full range of effects that CBD can have on anxiety and mood disorders, but individual studies seem to suggest different positive results. In a study of 57 men who received oral CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before participating in a mock public speaking trial, the researchers found that a 300 mg dose of CBD significantly reduced social anxiety during the trial. .
And while there are a variety of treatments available for anxiety and mood disorders, ranging from conversation therapy and counseling to prescription medications, Dr. Terpeluk suggests that the most important thing is to get to the root of the underlying causes of the anxiety you suffer. experimenting.
“It’s better to address anxiety by looking at what’s causing it in your life rather than trying to figure out what medications can reduce it,” says Dr. Terpeluk.
It can help with cancer-related symptoms
CBD can help with nausea, vomiting, and weight loss caused by chemotherapy treatments. The FDA has approved three cannabis-related products to help relieve these symptoms, as well as help increase appetite for those with AIDS. All of these drugs contain some level of THC or synthetic THC and are not just CBD.
But some studies seem to suggest that CBD may help decrease the size of tumors and help stop the spread of cancer cells in skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and more. As with other areas of study, more human clinical trials are needed to understand the full effect of CBD on various types of cancer.
What are the side effects or risks of CBD?
If you buy CBD oil and other products online or from a local seller, Dr. Terpeluk says there is no real way to know the purity of CBD you are using, as it could be mixed with other cannabinoids, such as dangerous. delta-8 or THC.
“It’s a bit of a mystery. It’s not as harmless as you think,” says Dr. Terpeluk. could actually contain THC “.
CBD can also affect a variety of medications, such as painkillers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and more. It can also cause several side effects which may include:
The best advice? Before considering CBD oil or other CBD products, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider to decide if it is safe for you and to make sure that it does not interfere with the medications you are taking. currently taking.