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Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in Hemp plants. Not to be confused with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive ingredient found in Cannabis which gets you ‘high’, CBD is a non-psychoactive component from the Hemp plant.
Cannabidiol has been getting a lot of press lately as it claims to have many health benefits ranging from clearing acne to treating symptoms related to epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, but to be clear on what research is tried and tested takes a little more digging in to.
• Is CBD Legal?
• 5 Benefits of CBD
How CBD works with our bodies isn’t fully yet understood, however, some research has shown it works with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps us sleep, controls appetite, pain, and immune system response. In some studies on the effects of CBD on animals, serotonin levels have been affected, which is important for mental health - people with low serotonin levels commonly have depression and anxiety.
While many people have claimed they have personally benefited from taking CBD oil, only one purported use for cannabidiol, to treat epilepsy, has significant scientific evidence supporting it. In July 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA, approved the prescription use of Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD oil, for treating two types of epilepsy in the USA.
CBD oil has been studied for its potential role in treating many common health issues, including anxiety (particularly social anxiety), depression, pain, sleeplessness, anti-tumor effects, addiction, acne, and heart disease to name a few. While many people have seen results from taking CBD to treat these ailments, there is little scientific evidence to show a strong positive conclusion at this stage. Only a few human trials have taken place, however, some studies on the effects of CBD on animals with these problems have had promising results. It’s also important to note that while it is mainly well tolerated, in some studies there have been side effects of CBD oil noted - tiredness, diarrhea, or changes in appetite.
Without CBD being fully legalized yet there is no legislation on the products available, which poses a problem to the buyer. Not enough CBD = no effect, and too much CBD = side effects. Marcel Bonn-Miller, a Cannabidiol researcher from the University of Pennsylvania wants people to research more into where their CBD products are actually coming from and how much CBD is actually in the products. In Bonn-Millers 2017 study, he found that nearly 7 of 10 CBD products didn't contain the amount of Hemp extract promised on the label. Nearly 43 percent of the products contained too little CBD, while about 26 percent contained too much.
While it’s clear that CBD is a rising trend amongst the health and wellbeing community, even Forbes named it one of the Food Trends for 2019, at this stage, there is little scientific evidence to back up the superfood claims.