But he cautions that the side effects could have been because of an interaction with other medications the children were taking to control the seizures. So far, there hasn’t been a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (the gold standard) on sleep disorders and CBD.
Some CBD products may contain unwanted surprises. Forensic toxicologists at Virginia Commonwealth University examined nine e-liquids advertised as being 100 percent natural CBD extracts. They found one with dextromethorphan, or DXM, used in over-the counter cough medications and considered addictive when abused; and four with a synthetic cannabinoid, sometimes called Spice, that can cause anxiety, psychosis, tachycardia and death, according to a study last year in Forensic Science International.
Recently, the F.D.A. sent a warning letter to Curaleaf Inc. about its “unsubstantiated claims” that the plant extract treats a variety of conditions from pet anxiety and depression to cancer and opioid withdrawal. (In a statement, the company said that some of the products in question had been discontinued and that it was working with the F.D.A.)
Does CBD help anxiety and PTSD?
More than 60 percent of CBD users were taking it for anxiety, according to a survey of 5,000 people. Does it help?
Dr. Smita Das, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Addiction Psychiatry’s cannabis work group, does not recommend CBD for anxiety, PTSD, sleep or depression. With patients turning to these to unproven products, she is worried that they may delay seeking appropriate mental health care: “I’m dually concerned with how exposure to CBD products can lead somebody into continuing to cannabis products.”
An At-Home Face-Lift
Is CBD harmful?
A recent chart review of 72 psychiatric patients treated with CBD found that anxiety improved, but not sleep. “Over all, we did not find that it panned out as a useful treatment for sleep,” said Dr. Scott Shannon, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, Denver and the lead author of the review in The Permanente Journal.
Cannabis containing 0.3 percent or less of THC is hemp. Although last year’s Farm Bill legalized hemp under federal law, it also preserved the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of products derived from cannabis.
For all the above uses of CBD, more human studies are needed to draw conclusive results.
Supporters of CBD oil believe it may help a number of clinical conditions, including refractory epilepsy, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and acne. However, further robust evidence is required as much of the research is carried out on animal models.
There are some suggestions from animal studies that CBD may be beneficial for osteoarthritis, through topical application for inflammation or joint pain.
What is CBD oil used for?
A small number of patients in the UK may be prescribed a cannabis-based medicine to treat epilepsy or nausea during chemotherapy. Visit the NHS website for more information on medical cannabis.
Although the use of CBD is controversial, it does seem to be tolerated by most people. It has, however, caused hypotension and light-headedness in a small number of patients. As it does not contain the THC part of the cannabis plant, the oil will not induce a ‘high’.
Is CBD oil legal in the UK?
CBD may also have the potential to help reduce acne; however, it is important to note that this research is still in its infancy.
If you're considering using CBD oil, you should speak to your GP or other healthcare professional to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for you to do so.