You’ve probably heard of CBD. It’s been in the news as a treatment for just about everything: anxiety, pain, addiction, even epilepsy. You can even find celebrities using it in luxury beauty products. But is it a modern day snake oil, or actually useful?
The truth is, some CBD claims could be overblown. CBD has a lot of hype right now, and people looking for profits might stretch the truth of what CBD can and can’t actually do. After all, you can’t trust everything you read on the internet.
But behind the hype, there is real research that supports the safety and effectiveness of using CBD therapeutically. CBD can be used to treat a number of symptoms, and research indicates it is overall useful and you shouldn’t be concerned with its safety. In other words, be critical of the hype, but open minded to what CBD might be able to do for you — because there’s little risk in giving it a try.
What Exactly is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s one of more than 100 cannabinoids — you’ve probably heard about another cannabinoid, THC, which is sourced from marijuana and used for both therapy and recreation.
But unlike THC, CBD is typically sourced from industrial hemp. And it won’t get you high, but it might make you feel better.
What Does CBD Do?
You may have heard of the many ways CBD can improve your life, whether it’s alleviating inflammation on your skin or soothing pain. And it’s true, it can do those things.
A review of research from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that cannabis and cannabinoids have a long list of potential therapeutic benefits. For example, it can soothe nausea in adults with chemotherapy, or a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.
Some of the benefits of CBD include:
- Pain relief
- Arthritis relief
- Reduction of inflammation
- Calms multiple sclerosis symptoms
- Alleviates nausea for chemotherapy patients
- Relief of anxiety or depression
- Relief of insomnia
- Treatment for acne and other skin irritations
- Reduction in withdrawal symptoms for recovering addicts
Is It Safe to Take CBD?
While CBD is largely unregulated, it is generally safe to trust CBD products. However, it’s important to read reviews of suppliers, and make sure you’re checking for third party testing of purity and CBD concentration.
According to a critical review of CBD by the World Health Organization, CBD has a good safety profile. That means it has little risk of side effects, is generally well tolerated, and has little risk of dependency and addiction.
Should You Take CBD?
CBD has a lot of potential as a therapeutic treatment. If you’re suffering from a chronic condition, such as pain, insomnia, or anxiety, CBD is worth a shot, especially if the alternative is a more serious pharmaceutical. Talk to your doctor about how you can integrate CBD in your treatment plan to see if it’s a good option for you.
Amelia Noble is a researcher with the CBD Awareness Project. When she’s not working, you can find her playing board games.