Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is one of the hot new product in states that have legalized medical marijuana. The non-intoxicating marijuana extract is being credited with helping treat a host of medical problems — anything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. But experts say the evidence is scant for many of these touted benefits.

Worse, CBD will be produced without any regulation, causing products which vary widely in quality, said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “It really is the Wild West,” Bonn-Miller said. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say no matter what the hell he wants on a label and then sell it to people.”

Cannabidiol is taken from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. It will not produce intoxication; marijuana’s “high” is brought on by the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD oil is legal in 30 states where medicinal or recreational marijuana is legal, in accordance with Governing magazine.

Seventeen additional states have CBD-specific laws on the books, in accordance with Prevention magazine. Those are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, N . C ., Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Strong Evidence for the treatment of Epilepsy – Just one single purported use for cannabidiol, to treat epilepsy, has significant scientific evidence supporting it. Last month, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of the CBD medication Epidiolex to treat two rare types of childhood epilepsy. “That’s really the only area where the evidence has risen to the point where the FDA has said this really is acceptable to approve a whole new drug,” said Timothy Welty, chair in the department of clinical sciences at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in Des Moines, Iowa.

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For the remainder of CBD’s potential uses, there is simply inadequate evidence to make a firm conclusion. For instance, some human numerous studies advise that CBD may be effective in treating symptoms of anxiety, particularly social anxiety, Bonn-Miller said. Here is the potential use for CBD with all the most evidence after usefulness in epilepsy, but “there’s a good gap between those two,” he stated. “There has been numerous studies in adults, but a great deal small compared to the epilepsy studies that were carried out in kids,” Bonn-Miller said. CBD’s usefulness being an anti-inflammatory medication is the following most promising, but those results come mostly from animal studies, experts said.

Many Other Uses Largely Unproven – The rest of the potential uses — as being an antipsychotic, antidepressant or sleep aid “have got all been studied in animals, with only a couple of types of studies in humans,” Bonn-Miller said. And Welty said the studies who have featured humans for these particular other CBD uses have either been case reports or studies that failed to compare results against a control group that did not use the oil. “There’s no control, so it’s basically how can you tell if we’re coping with the true effect of the drug or just simply a placebo effect because somebody thinks they’ve been given a drug that might be beneficial?” Welty said. There also are concerns about both the standard of CBD oil being produced and its potential side effects, the experts added.

Absence of Regulation Also Concerning – As a result of legally murky nature of marijuana, the FDA has not yet stepped into regulate items like CBD oil, Bonn-Miller said. States are struggling to put regulations in position, but they don’t hold the deep pockets of the government. Meanwhile, a 2017 study led by Bonn-Miller learned that nearly 7 of 10 CBD products didn’t contain the volume of marijuana extract promised on the label. Nearly 43 percent from the products contained inadequate CBD, while about 26 percent contained excessive, Bonn-Miller said.

“CBD is type of a tricky drug because it’s not too well absorbed orally,” Welty explained. “Under twenty percent in the drug is absorbed orally. When it isn’t made properly, you may not receive much drug to your rheudv circulation.” Worse, about 1 in 5 CBD products contained the intoxicating pot chemical THC, Bonn-Miller and his colleagues found.

“That’s a difficulty because THC can increase anxiety. It may can even make seizures worse. These are the sorts of things you need to be careful about,” Bonn-Miller said. “If I were a consumer, purchasing it personally or my kid, I would want to test it in order that I knew exactly what it actually had in it, because I couldn’t trust that which was on the label,” Bonn-Miller concluded.

Potential Interactions With Some Other Meds – Studies on CBD also provide raised concerns about possible interactions with some other drugs. For instance, epilepsy studies found that “there have been very clearly increases inside the blood levels of a few other anti-epileptic drugs when individuals were on CBD,” Welty said.

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