According to a study of 5,000 people, more than 60% of CBD users used it for anxiety. Is it real? What are the CBD oil benefits?
The CBD market is exploding, with some analysts predicting that sales will reach $16 billion in the United States by 2025. The plant extract is already being used to flavor cheeseburgers, toothpicks, and breath sprays. According to a survey of 5,000 people conducted by the Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research firm, more than 60% of CBD users have used it for anxiety. Chronic pain and sleeplessness are also common. When “freaking out” over the birth of her fourth kid, Kim Kardashian West turned to CBD. Bubba Watson falls asleep to it. And the French bulldog of Martha Stewart also likes it.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the lesser-known offspring of cannabis sativa; its more well-known sibling, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the active component in marijuana that causes users to “high.” The plant is thought to have been utilized for medicinal purposes, or for rituals, about 750 B.C., although there are other estimates as well. The plant is from Central Asia and has roots dating back to around 750 B.C., when it was first used medicinally – or for religious ceremonies – according on folklore.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are only two of the plant’s over 100 cannabinoids. THC is psychoactive, although it’s unclear if CBD affects this. THC can make you anxious; however, whether CBD has an impact on anxiety reduction is debatable. There are a number of negative effects associated with marijuana use. THC, for example, can induce addiction and cravings; CBD is being researched to aid people in recovery.
Hemp is a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Hemp is a type of cannabis that has been legalized under federal law, but the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of substances produced from cannabis was maintained in 2017’s Farm Bill.
“It’s promising in a variety of therapeutic areas because it is relatively safe,” said James MacKillop, co-director of the McMaster University Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in Hamilton, Ontario.
Epidiolex, a pure CBD extract that the F.D.A. has just approved to treat rare seizure disorders in children 2 years of age and older after three randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled clinical trials with 516 patients that demonstrated the drug’s effectiveness when combined with other medicines in reducing seizures. Placebo-controlled studies are the gold standard in medicine, with participants randomly assigned and neither the participant nor the researcher aware which group is taking placebo or medication.
Epidiolex is the first cannabis-derived CBD medication to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.). The majority of cannabidiol research has been done in animals, with its current popularity outpacing science. “We don’t have a good grip on CBD’s 101 course yet,” says Ryan Vandrey, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Johns Hopkins University.
For students suffering from generalized social anxiety, a four-minute speech with little time to prepare may be frightful. CBD, however, appeared to alleviate nervousness and cognitive impairment in people with social anxiety during a simulated public speaking scenario in a limited research published in Neuropsychopharmacology.
A double-blind study found that CBD administration had little to no impact on emotional reactions to negative pictures or words in healthy people, when compared with the placebo group. “If it’s a calming drug, it should change their responses to the stimuli,” said Harriet de Wit, co-author of the study and a professor in the University of Chicago’s department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience. “But it didn’t.”
Many veterans return from war traumatized, and many of them avoid certain pastimes, locations, or people linked with their distressing experiences. CBD is being researched by the Department of Veterans Affairs in conjunction with psychotherapy for the first time.
“Reminders of the trauma and the fear response are linked in our top therapies,” said Mallory Loflin, an assistant adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego and study co-author. “We think that CBD, at least in animal models, can help that process happen a lot faster.” While large clinical trials are underway, psychologists say there isn’t compelling evidence yet as to whether this is a viable treatment.
Stuck on YouTube videos of puppies in the middle of the night? CBD may be useful as a sleep aid, according to Mr. MacKillop, a co-author of a study on cannabis and sleep problems. “If you’re seeking for new ways to sleep, that’s something to consider,” he added.
However, he warns that the undesirable effects were most likely caused by a combination of other medications used to treat their seizures. There hasn’t been a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (the gold standard) on sleep problems and CBD yet.
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