CBD oil, a marijuana derivative, has been getting lots of attention because proponents claim it helps numerous conditions. But does it work, and is it safe?
Is CBD oil the answer to what ails you? This home remedy is made from cannabidiol, one of more than 80 chemicals found in cannabis plants. Fans claim that CBD oil can help everything from insomnia to pain management to epilepsy – without causing intoxication.
Marijuana and hemp are two varieties of the plant that contain cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD.
Does CBD Oil Work?
Most people want to know if CBD oil is a magic bullet for multiple ailments or just over-hyped snake oil. The answer: It depends.
Lack of scientific studies
Much of the evidence that supports CBD oil is anecdotal, which isn't as thorough or objective as scientific research. And while there have been lab and animal studies and even smaller studies with humans, there's insufficient evidence to determine whether or not CBD oil is effective. (See a list of conditions and the CBD oil research on them.)
For example, several animal studies suggest that CBD oil may help relieve anxiety, but whether the effect is the same in humans remains to be determined.
Approved for epilepsy treatment
The exception? Epilepsy treatment. The FDA recently approved a new drug, Epidiolex, made with purified CBD, to treat two severe and rare forms of epilepsy for people ages 2 and up.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
CBD oil can be made from either hemp or marijuana. The purchase of hemp-derived CBD oil that contains only a negligible amount of THC (the intoxicating compound that creates the "high") is legal across the United States.
However, the law varies from state to state regarding marijuana-derived CBD oil. Currently, Illinois residents can purchase marijuana-based CBD oil for medical use. In Indiana, anyone can buy it. But check with your doctor or pharmacist for the most up-to-date information.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
The primary concern about CBD oil and products made with CBD is that it isn't regulated. There are no standards or oversight when it comes to manufacturing it, which means you won't know if the dosage is reliable from batch to batch or even the product's ingredients. It's a buyer beware situation that involves a level of risk. Recently 52 people in Utah became ill after using fake CBD oil.
Another consideration: CBD oil can negatively interact with other medications and supplements that you take. Real CBD oil may provide benefits for you – but talk to your doctor before taking CBD oil to avoid dangerous drug interactions.
Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?
Side effects from using CBD oil include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Changes in appetite and weight
If you’re experiencing physical or emotional health problems, consider talking to a specialist who can help you find proven ways to address your condition. Search for a Franciscan Health doctor in your area today.
Learn More About CBD Oil Safety and Legal Use