Following the 2018 federal approval of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), its popularity and recognition have surged. Now, it’s commonplace to find CBD products ranging from oils, creams, gummies, patches to even CBD-infused beverages. While many promote CBD’s therapeutic benefits for conditions like anxiety, inflammation, and pain, scientific validation remains pending.
Dr. Todd Vanderah, head of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center, commented on the curiosity surrounding CBD. “There’s considerable interest in CBD’s potential healing properties,” said Dr. Vanderah. “While it’s tempting to explain its mechanism, the complete picture remains elusive.”
In a conversation with The Healthy Dose, Dr. Vanderah, a respected figure in the College of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology, delved into CBD insights.
Q: Can you explain CBD?
A: The Cannabis sativa plant houses a myriad of chemicals, with CBD being one of them. With over 500 components in cannabis, CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most prominent. The slight structural difference between CBD and THC results in their diverse therapeutic activities. Notably, CBD doesn’t induce a psychoactive effect, unlike THC. This distinction, given their structural similarities, underscores the mysteries surrounding cannabinoids.
Q: Does the medical community use CBD therapeutically?
A: One promising application of CBD is its ability to reduce specific seizure activities in epileptic children. Epidiolex, the sole FDA-approved pure CBD prescription, has been beneficial for many of these children. However, the underlying mechanisms remain a subject of research.
Q: Is CBD consumption safe?
A: I often recommend trying CBD, given its safety profile in clinical trials. Most users either benefit from it or discontinue due to its high cost. However, the unregulated nature of the CBD market poses challenges. Despite product labels, the actual CBD content may vary, sometimes containing THC, leading to unintended effects.
A person examining a CBD product.
Q: How do consumers select the right CBD product?
A: The CBD market has matured, with companies now offering detailed product analyses. It’s advisable to research a product’s purity and consistency before making a purchase. If a particular brand works for you, it’s best to stick to it, as not all CBD products are created equal.