Social media is blasting this one out lately, showing that different parents have been treating their children illegally (in states that are not classed as medical states) to help prevent their children from having seizures or deal with epilepsy. While there has been limited scientific evidence on the topic, 2016 was a major turning point for the plant as a major study was conducted by Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, showing profound results.
CBD is a chemical found in marijuana. CBD doesn't contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. The usual CBD formulation is oil, but CBD is also sold as an extract, a vaporized liquid and an oil-based capsule. Food, drinks and beauty products are among the many CBD-infused products available online.
Tinctures – Typically tinctures are small glass or plastic “dropper” bottles that have cannabidiol oil mixed with a preserving solution such as alcohol. Tinctures were very a very common way to ingest botanical oils prior to the industrial revolution and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity as more people are looking for natural remedies. Tinctures with droppers allow you to put a few drops in your tea, under your tongue, or to bake the oil directly into your food.
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
There’s a growing consensus that cannabis is a highly effective treatment for many kinds of neuropathic pain. A 2015 study published in Neurotherapeutics states, “Clinical studies largely affirm that neuropathic pain patients derive benefits from cannabinoid treatment.” But much of the human-based research (like this study) on CBD and nerve pain has centered around the efficacy of the FDA-approved medication Sativex, which includes both THC and CBD. Research on the best CBD for pain isolated from THC is still limited when it comes to neuropathic pain. There are exceptions, though:
Dr. Cohen has found that chronic conditions including autoimmune diseases and pain syndromes can be helped with a 6-mg under-the-tongue tincture (the fastest delivery system) or a 25-mg capsule taken twice a day. Dosages for topical products like lotions are especially hard to determine—there’s no clarity on how much CBD gets into the system through the skin.
Numerous studies have found results that confirm the ability of marijuana to help anxiety and stress. In 2013 an Israeli study demonstrated that treatment with cannabinoids helped to control emotional responses and prevent stress-related responses for those that had experienced a traumatic experience. In 2015 a group of researchers found that cannabis treatments were effective in reducing anxiety in those suffering from PTSD.
Unlike THC, which primarily binds to CB-1 receptors located in the brain, CBD works in the body by manipulating receptors throughout organ tissues, the immune system, the pain response system, the hormonal system, and other whole-body regulatory systems. Basically, since its receptors have been found to exist in virtually every cell and tissue type in the body, CBD is believed to work on every aspect of human health and behavior – from the subcellular level to the whole-body leve and beyond.
Since it started becoming popular roughly two years or so ago, the general consensus has always been that since CBD oil from top brands does not contain the psychoactive properties of THC, it is therefore legal. Unfortunately, its legality is much more nuanced because of conflicting federal laws and new court cases. What is clear is that in one of the most recent court decisions on the topic, Hemp Industries Assoc. v. DEA, which came out on April 30, 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that Section 7606 of the 2014 US Farm Bill (the “Farm Bill”) preempts the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the federal law which designates marijuana as a Schedule I substance (along with heroin and cocaine) making it illegal to possess or use. This means that when there is conflict between the CSA and the Farm Bill, the Farm Bill wins out.
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.