CBD is going mainstream, but what does science say it’s actually good for?

In Florida alone, the average monthly search volume for the word CBD is almost 400,000.

It’s no secret that a lot of buzz is surrounding CBD, especially in the world of consumer medicine.

But what exactly is CBD, and what does the research and science actually say it’s good for? Well, depending on who you ask, there is either a ton of information, or not very much at all.

“No, I do not” replied a woman walking through the yellow green market one morning when I asked her if she knew what CBD was. “Isn’t that weed?” said another man to the same question. 

There just isn’t very much information being pushed to the public yet. “There is research but most of it is happening overseas,” Dr. Harrison Weed, an internal medicine specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Executive Committee, said.

Dr. Weed said research is happening mostly overseas because cannabis is still in a legal haze, here in the United States. On top of that, a good number of those studies have been on animals. However, there are a few things we scientifically know about CBD.

CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, is found in both marijuana and hemp.

“Interestingly, there are receptors for CBD throughout the body,” Dr. Weed said. “Those receptors seem to be concentrated on the immune system cells and on the nervous system cells.”

One 2017 study has shown CBD reduces joint swelling and pain from arthritis; and has some positive neurological effects in terms of Alzheimers, in rats. Doctors and researchers, including at the Harvard Medical School, have said that the research that is being done for humans, has shown the most promise in terms of treating seizures and epilepsy.

In 2018, the FDA approved the use of Epidiolex, the first drug with an active ingredient derived from marijuana (CBD), specifically for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy mostly in children; Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. More-so, the FDA is requiring the manufacturer to keep studying the drug and make sure it’s safe for livers.

So, how much of CBD’s track record of soothing aches and pains could be a placebo effect? Dr. Weed has an answer for that.

“One of the difficulties of studying pain is there can be a large placebo effect with almost any treatment,” he said. And that comes because we can generate our own pain medication; little neurotransmitters that basically act the same as morphine inside our bodies so if we feel something that’s going to make us feel better, it probably will.”

However, some people stand by CBD as the next frontier in pain and anxiety management, and as a way to veer from traditional medication and the big pharma many have started to frown on.

One way to make sure you’re getting a quality product and not something fake or dangerous is to avoid brands that are advertising magic cures. Also, look for products made in the U.S. and look for certificates of analysis certifying how much CBD is inside the product.

Check out our COA page here to get a good idea of what to look for. 

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