Many tout cannabidiol – or CBD oil – as the next big thing in health and wellness. Proponents claim it can help with everything from anxiety and insomnia to chronic pain. According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabinoids can slow the growth of some cancer cells. But what exactly is CBD oil and does it really have any benefits?
What is CBD oil?
Hemp plants, which include hemp, contain numerous chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – which produces psychoactive effects – and CBD – which does not.
CBD products-from oils and tinctures to salves and edibles can be derived from hemp. Hemp contains a high level of CBD but a low level of THC, with a maximum of .3 percent. Hemp contains low levels of CBD, but its THC level can range from .3 percent to 30 percent.
According to TheStreet.com, CBD oil is the most common form. CBD is mixed with carrier oil, such as coconut oil, so it can be ingested or vaped. It should be noted that vaping has been linked to acute lung injury and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against the use of vape products or e-cigarettes.
What is the history of CBD in medicine?
The first medicinal use of hemp dates back to 400 AD, according to a report by Pharmacy & Therapeutics. It first appears in U.S. medical literature in 1850.
Federal restrictions on hemp products in the United States began in 1937 with a ban on its use for medicinal purposes and academic research. Medical hemp resurfaced in 1996, when California passed the Compassionate Use Act, becoming the first state to legalize the use of botanical hemp under the supervision of a physician.
Since then, a total of 46 states have adopted comprehensive medical hemp programs or have begun allowing low-THC, high-CBD products for medicinal use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The legal hemp industry has become big business in many of these states, with sales of about $9 billion in 2017, according to a CNN Money report. And social media has helped spread the word that medical hemp and especially CBD oil may be the cure for your problems. But is it? For additional tips and information, check out this helpful site to learn more.
What are the benefits of CBD oil?
Consumer interest in medicinal CBD far outstrips the science behind it. Most of the research has been conducted on cells in a laboratory, or in rats or mice. Studies and clinical trials are underway to determine the actual efficacy of CBD in treating anxiety, pain, depression, and other health problems. Its potential to reduce opioid addiction is also being examined. For now, however, there is still no evidence.
Is CBD oil safe?
The short- and long-term health effects of CBD oil are not yet known. There are no accepted safety standards or dosing guidelines, which is a major public health concern, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Unlike traditional pharmaceutical drugs, CBD products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, making it difficult for consumers to know what they are getting. And while CBD companies are legally prohibited from making health claims, that hasn’t stopped many from doing so.