Overview about CBD Research

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Overview about CBD Research

DISCLAIMERThe FDA has not issued guidelines for using CBD although they’ve approved pharmaceutical products with CBD for specific uses like epilepsy. The FDA is still evaluating the efficacy of CBD. Their current position is that CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Following is an overview about CBD Research as part of our CBD News educational series. Does CBD help people and what have we learned from research studies? A study in 2018 found that almost 62 percent of CBD users reported they used CBD to treat a specific medical condition. The top seven medical conditions noted by the sample of 2,409 respondents included chronic pain, arthritis and joint pain, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders including insomnia, and PTSD. Almost 36 percent of respondents reported that CBD treated their medical conditions very well by itself with no serious side effects, while 4.3 percent reported no value. 

Many adults have reported using CBD for nausea, seizures, migraines, anxiety, chronic itch, muscle pain, joint pain, depression, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and more. CBD has been shown to have multiple anti-inflammatory effects due to its antioxidant qualities. This could make CBD helpful for the treatment of oxidation diseases such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Even with widespread anecdotal evidence, the clinical research about the use of CBD involving human subjects is modest. Many of the early preclinical studies focus on mice and other animals. One of the issues is that the science supporting the therapeutic uses and benefits of CBD is relatively new. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system occurred in the early 1990s. 

A key factor that has limited CBD research is the U.S. government’s decision to define cannabis as a Schedule I drug in 1970. Choosing to focus on its potential for abuse inhibited research on sister compounds like CBD. It also fostered the false assumption that cannabis and hemp are universally bad for human health. Public perceptions are changing, and patients are experiencing fewer side effects from CBD and other cannabinoids compared to FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs. Fortunately, the U.S. position hasn’t stopped CBD research in Europe, Israel, and other nations. 

Even with an estimated 20,000 scientific articles written about CBD, researchers have much to learn about the complexity and uses of CBD and other cannabinoids. The next big wave of research is moving out of lab studies focused on animals to clinical studies focused on humans. This includes an effort to better understand how cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system and other organs and systems in the body.

ClinicalTrials.gov provides a comprehensive list of current studies focused on the medicinal application of cannabinoids including CBD. Several hundred papers focused on CBD research are noted on the website PubMed.gov. This database of scientific studies and reviews is maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine with the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The Cannabis Health Index Rating System (CHI) establishes a score from an evidence-based rating system developed by Dr. Uwe Blesching. The rating shows degrees of confidence for specific conditions. Most of the 40 plus health conditions noted in our E-Book titled CBD Naturally are rated as having possible-to-probable efficacy.

The CHI focuses on cannabis and not just CBD. Some studies focus on CBD or THC, and other studies focus on both compounds along with other cannabinoids. Research has revealed the synergy between CBD and THC in accentuating their curative qualities. For example, CBD enhances the painkilling and anti-cancer properties of THC. It also mitigates the anxiety some THC users experience. CBD appears to lessen the impact of THC.

Future clinical studies with human subjects is necessary to substantiate or challenge anecdotal reports by CBD users. Clinical studies can also help us understand the limitations and possible side effects of CBD and other cannabinoids. One of the current trends is studying some of CBD’s sister cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, CBC, CBDA, and THCV. There are more than 112 different cannabinoids.

Thank you for reading our Overview about CBD Research. Please check our CBD News page for other educational and informational posts about CBD.

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