Possibly the most discussed new supplement to hit the market in the past year is Cannabidiol, better known by the initials CBD. In this article Tim Webb of GoCBDHealth, based in Nashville look at its benefits, and the concerns that surround it.
The 2014 Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) allowed the growth and harvesting of agricultural Hemp, a crop that had once seen widespread usage in the US, but due to its close association with its high-inducing twin sister “Marijuana”, had faded from use in the US for over 70 years. Hemp has thousands of agricultural and industrial uses and was a foundational crop in the American Colonies, (both Washington and Jefferson grew hemp. Henry Ford built an early car from hemp fiber and used hemp oil to fuel it.) You may have noticed hemp protein, hemp cereals, and all sorts of clothing in the past year made from hemp.
The 2014 Bill mandated that agricultural, or “Industrial” hemp, must contain less than .3% THC to be legal. By comparison, Marijuana contains 15-20% THC, 50-60 times more THC than that found in hemp. Hemp cannot get a person “high” due to the minute amount of THC.
CBD is not “Medical Marijuana” nor is it a controlled substance. It is legal in all 50 states as a nutritional supplement. Tennessee passed legislation in May of 2017 reaffirming Federal guidelines regarding Industrial/Agricultural Hemp. In 2017 the DEA also affirmed that CBD is not a controlled substance.
Both the Marijuana and Hemp plants contain hundreds of potential therapeutic agents, with THC and CBD being the most prominent. CBD has the capability to put the body back in homeostasis (state of balance) and offers many potential therapeutic benefits including: anti-tumor, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, anti-emetic (nausea and vomiting), anti-inflammatory, anxiolytyc, anti-diabetic, and neuro-protective properties.
CBD activates serotonin receptors, giving it potential anti-depressant properties as well.
CBD has been utilized in clinical trials to treat chronic pain, anxiety, ADHD, autism, diabetes, dementia, seizure disorders, auto-immune disorders, MS, Crohns/colitis, depression, PTSD, and numerous other chronic conditions. (A note about CBD and cancer. Both THC and CBD have shown potential benefit in cancer, but at “doses” several times higher than most of the commercial CBD supplements sold.)
Many integrative and holistic health care practitioners are now utilizing CBD oil therapy in patients who have not responded to conventional medical therapy, or who do not wish to subject their body to long term pharmaceutical usage.
CBD is not a drug. It is considered a nutritional supplement, containing as many as 400 therapeutic compounds. CBD appears to be able to allow the body to ‘heal” itself via its balancing effect on the endocannibinoid system, which is found in humans and mammals. (Both dogs and cats tend to respond very positively to CBD in regard to pain and anxiety.)
CBD cannot be patented as a drug as pharmaceutical companies cannot patent a plant, although there are synthetic versions that may be on the market soon.
There are numerous marketers of CBD, with more coming online monthly it seems. One thing to note is that Hemp Oil and CBD oil are not necessarily the same thing. Hemp oil is derived from the stalk and may be used as part of the supplement, but Hemp oil does not necessarily contain any CBD. A 2017 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that 70% of CBD supplements sold online were mislabeled, with over 21% containing measurable levels of THC (which may make the product illegal in many states, as well as potentially causing failed drug tests.)
Be careful to select an organic, non-GMO product from a company that tells you exactly where their CBD is farmed and provides independent, third-party certificate of analysis. If a company does not offer this third party validation you quite possibly may pay a lot of money for an inferior product with little or no potential health benefit.
Some companies import inexpensive industrial hemp from abroad. The CO2 extraction method ensures that the full spectrum of the CBD is preserved. Beware of companies that add fillers. A premium product will contain only the CBD packaged in hemp oil with possibly a flavoring agent for taste.
Considerations and precautions
Many people ask about potential drug test issues. A company cannot guarantee you that CBD oil will not trigger a “false positive” on a drug test. However, if you are purchasing from a reputable, hemp-derived source you would have to consume the CBD at incredibly high levels to possibly fail a drug test. If you have a concern ask your physician to document that you are using CBD oil for a legitimate medical condition. WADA (The World Anti Doping Agency) placed CBD on it’s approved list in 2018 as many competitive athletes use it for recovery and pain relief.
As with any supplement or vitamin, always consult your health care professional before adding CBD to your health care regimen. Potential side effects include GI upset, loss of appetite, and somnolence. CBD is non-addictive and does not appear to have any potential for overdose.
Dosing, or serving size, is very individualized. In looking at numerous studies via PubMed, studies using CBD have utilized from 10mg to over 2 grams per day. CBD is biphasic, meaning, it can have different effects at different doses. For instance, a low dose may actually stimulate a person while a higher dose may make them sleepy. Start slowly with a small amount (2-4mg a day), and increase as needed. CBD has about a nine hour half life, therefore it should be taken twice a day for maximum benefit.
CBD is sold in all sort of different sources, from edibles to capsules to liquids to vaping liquids. Vaping may allow the highest percentage of the CBD to enter the body but vaping can cause significant lung injury (popcorn lung) and is discouraged by most healthcare providers. Capsules are easy to use but do not allow a high percentage of the CBD to reach the blood stream. Liquids, which are taken sublingually (under the tongue) appear to be the best method of delivery, with creams allowing direct application to areas of chronic pain and inflammation.
-CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Marijuana. Leinow and Birnbaum
Tim is a multi-generation Nashville native and a graduate of MTSU, he has worked as a pharmaceutical and nutrition consultant for over 20 years. He is a writer, speaker, and health enthusiast. Please contact via email at GoCBDHealth@comcast.net, or visit his site at www.GoCBDHealth.com