Does CBD really do everything it claims?

Over the past few years, CBD has entered the mainstream and is showing up in the form of CBD-infused foods, including coffee, and is starting to make its way into personal care items as well. It has a long list of purported benefits, like aiding pain, anxiety, depression, and epilepsy, among other things. “It’s promising in a lot of different therapeutic avenues because it’s relatively safe,” James MacKillop, co-director of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in Hamilton, Ontario, told The New York Times. But does CBD really do everything it claims?

According to Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai in New York City, CBD itself is not a scam as it has medicinal properties that could mean it does a lot of what it claims to do, especially in the form of oil in products you consume. However, there are certain applications where it’s not really going to do you any good. “It has a potential medicinal value, but when we are putting it into mascara and putting it into tampons, for God’s sake, to me, that’s a scam,” Hurd revealed to The New York Times

Taz Bhatia, M.D., an integrative health expert, agrees with the first part, telling Women’s Health, “Several studies show that CBD reduces chronic pain with muscle spasms, arthritis, and nerve pain.”

Research into the benefits of CBD is minimal

Research into the benefits of CBD, though, is minimal. “There are small studies and case theories, but they’re not well-designed,” Timothy Welty, PharmD, chair of the department of clinical sciences at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, explained to Women’s Health. “The problem is that you’re not using a standardized product. Only the epilepsy studies are highly-controlled in different settings.” 

Welty also notes that CBD is not FDA regulated and the dosage amount is inconsistent, varying from product to product. “There’s no real control, and there’s no requirement for content or dose in the generally-available dispensaries sold or distributed in the states where it’s legal,” he continued.

The good news is that we will know more soon. “There are ongoing, well-designed studies for pain and anxiety using new pharma-grade CBD products,” said Welty. “They will show us pretty clearly whether or not the drug is effective

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