Cannabidiol and Why it is SO POPULAR

Cannabidiol and Why it is SO POPULAR

Cannabidiol and Why it is SO POPULAR

by Dr. Rebecca Butler

of Lantana Pediatrics

Cannabidiol can now be found as an ingredient in all sorts of over-the-counter products, including body lotion, face scrub, bath bombs, lip balm, bottled water, beer, vape oil, olive oil, gummy candies, coffee, jam, and even dog treats. But what is it? And why is it suddenly so popular?

Cannabidiol is not cannabis. But it is one of the many chemical components of the cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as marijuana. The psychoactive compound in marijuana that causes a “high,” tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is not in cannabidiol. Most manufacturers that put cannabidiol as an ingredient in their products source it from the hemp plant, a botanical cousin to marijuana that yields cannabidiol. Recently the US Drug Enforcement Administration approved cannabidiol as a classification of drugs with an approved medical use and low potential for abuse.

“In humans, cannabidiol exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential,” according to a report on cannabidiol by the World Health Organization. “To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure cannabidiol.” Proponents of cannabidiol claim it has all sorts of benefits, such as lowering inflammation, reducing anxiety, relieving chronic pain, treating PTSD, improving sleep, easing cravings for harmful drugs, and other benefits that are making it popular among patients. But many of these claims come from websites selling cannabidiol products.

Thus far the scientific research on cannabidiol’s effects in different conditions are as follows:

Epilepsy. The most research on cannabidiol’s effectiveness has focused on its use to treat epilepsy.The FDA has approved an oral solution of cannabidiol (Epidiolex) for the treatment of seizures.

Chronic pain. Given the current opioid crisis, researchers are looking for newer therapies for chronic pain because so many of the current drugs produce unwanted side effects. In one trial in mice, researchers showed that cannabidiol lowered inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing significant psychoactive side effects or analgesic tolerance. Clinical trials investigating cannabidiol’s effect on chronic pain in humans have just begun.

Anxiety. Preclinical evidence “conclusively demonstrates” that cannabidiol effectively reduces symptoms of a variety of anxiety disorders—including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder. These studies mostly involved acute dosing, so further research is needed to determine whether chronic dosing of cannabidiol is similarly effective.

Just like any parent, I am sure you are concerned about the safety of CBD oil for your children. As I read through online forums, I couldn’t unearth any reputable site that points to negative side effects of CBD among children.

However, it is important that you do not administer just any CBD product to your children. Ensure that you only buy from trusted, reputable, and reliable sources. More than anything else, prioritize your child’s safety rather than the price and talk with your pediatrician regarding uses and dosing. CBD oil is most effective when administered sublingually, but parents should choose the best mode of delivery depending on their child and preference. It is important to note that any product that goes through the digestive system loses some of its efficacy.

Research is ongoing and more and more products are becoming readily available, so talk with trusted sources and always tell your doctor what supplements you are using when other prescription medications and supplements are being considered.


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