What is cbd what to know now about this cannabis product wear

The other news relates to the Senate’s passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Tucked into its 1,000-plus pages is a provision that makes it easier for farmers to legally grow hemp, something long restricted because of the plant’s association with marijuana. It also includes language that could help clarify the uncertain legal status of CBD that comes from hemp.

So, is there potential for CBD to treat disease and improve health? Yes, just look at Epidiolex, says Donald Abrams, M.D., a cancer specialist and practitioner of integrative medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and a co-author of a report on the medical benefits of cannabis published last year by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

Cannabidiol comes from one of two related forms of the cannabis plant: marijuana and hemp.


The main difference between the two is that marijuana has much more THC than hemp, and often more CBD, too. It’s also harder to extract CBD from hemp than marijuana. But the chemical structure is the same, regardless of the source, say medical and industry experts, so its effect on the body should be the same, too.

So hemp oil and other products made from the plant, such as rope and fabric, have no or only trace amounts of both CBD and THC. But hemp cultivation in the U.S. has long been severely restricted by the federal government, making it hard for U.S. companies to make and sell those products. One goal of the new Farm Bill is to loosen those restrictions.

One important area: opioid addiction. Some animal studies and early research in humans suggest that CBD may help treat that problem and other forms of substance abuse. And other reports have shown that states with medical marijuana laws have seen drops in the rates of opioid deaths and use, possibly as people turn to cannabis products (which include CBD) as alternatives.

And he worries that excessive enthusiasm may be leading people to expect more from CBD than it can deliver. “States are approving CBD to treat conditions based on anecdotal reports and preliminary data,” he says. “I understand that desire, of wanting to help people who think they don’t have any other option. But it may also be false hope.”

Abrams, the cancer specialist who was on the National Academy of Science’s committee on cannabis, agrees. When he and 15 other experts prepared their report, examining more than 10,000 studies in the process, they found only three conditions for which the evidence in humans, not lab animals or other forms of preliminary research, was strong: pain, nausea related to chemotherapy, and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. (The epilepsy studies were published after the NAS report.) And for those conditions, the research wasn’t for CBD in particular but cannabis in general, Abrams says.

For CBD itself, the evidence is even sparser. Abrams says the NAS report could identify only three small published randomized trials—the gold standard for medical research—that looked at just CBD. And for none of those conditions—anxiety, smoking cessation, and Parkinson’s disease—was the evidence strong enough for the NAS report to conclude that CBD clearly helps.

It’s also unclear what doses or forms of CBD might work best for which conditions, notes Joseph Maroon, M.D., a clinical professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who authored a recent review of the neurological benefits of CBD alone and with THC. He writes that with more than 1,000 CBD and cannabis products on the market, in multiple forms, “dosing recommendations are nearly impossible.” And most medical studies have used doses of CBD much higher than that what’s included in products consumers typically purchase, according to ConsumerLab, a company that tests health and beauty products.

Finally, while it’s unclear what dosage might work best for your health problem, it’s still worth looking for products that specifically say they contain CBD, not just “cannabinoids.” Products that say they contain that broader class of compounds may not have much if any CBD. Instead they’re likely to contain other compounds found in cannabis plants, especially the stem. In addition, look for products that list the amount of CBD per serving, not just per bottle.

Under its interpretation of the 2014 Farm Bill, the DEA says CBD from hemp is illegal. Unless, that is, the grower raised the plant “under the auspices of a state agricultural pilot program” for research purposes. Or possibly if it comes not from the flower but the stem. Though in that case, if the CBD is an “extracted resin,” it could be illegal again.

For another, those products could violate other government rules, particularly from the FDA. For example, products that claim to treat or cure any disease, ranging from migraine to cancer, run afoul of FDA rules saying that such statement can only be made for approved drugs. In other words, Epidiolex can make those claims, but other CBD products cannot.

And CBD products could still be in violation even if they only make more general claims about health, such as the ability to reduce inflammation or improve immune function. While dietary supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, can say such things, the FDA says CBD products aren’t supplements. Why not? Because CBD has been investigated as a drug—and in fact is now approved as one—and therefore can’t be sold as a supplement.

But among those states, standards vary substantially, with some regulating cannabis products, including CBD-only ones, as if they are pharmaceutical products and others as if they are agricultural ones, says Jennifer Liebreich, at the Association of Public Health Laboratories, which works with states and federal agencies on strengthening laboratory systems and testing programs, including those for cannabis.

Research backs her up. For example, a November 2017 study in JAMA, authored by Vandrey, at Johns Hopkins, found that only 26 of 84 samples of CBD oils, tinctures, and vaporization liquids purchased online contained the amount of CBD claimed on their labels. Eighteen of them had THC levels possibly high enough to result in intoxication or impairment, especially among children. And a quarter had less CBD than advertised. Similarly, FDA testing has found several “CBD” products with no CBD at all.

Some companies that make CBD products say they also contract with third-party testers to do additional analysis, beyond the state requirements. Kevin Liebrock, chief operating officer at Bluebird Botanicals in Louisville, Colo., says that’s what his company does. And, he says that they post the results online, so customers can check to see that they are “getting the advertised amounts of cannabinoids, like CBD, and that the product is free of contaminants.”