The Science of CBD
One of the questions I’m frequently asked is “CBD is everywhere- but where is the proven science behind it?’ or “Does CBD really work?”
While it’s sometimes frustrating to be under so much scrutiny, with all the hype surrounding hemp, and all the claims made by less-scrupulous CBD companies, we always welcome the opportunity to educate and help clients feel comfortable with their health choices.
Personally, even after hearing powerful stories of CBD’s benefits, I was skeptical. CBD enthusiasts came across like snake oil salespeople, and it wasn’t until one day when I felt awful and reached for a bottle of Nyquil that I had my “AHA” moment. How could something with synthetic dyes and high fructose corn syrup (the 2nd ingredient!!) make you better? My point is, each one of us is somewhere different along the health journey- you’re here and you’re reading this article- and that’s great. The team at Eleven Acres is here to offer honest information and support.
The truth is that there really aren’t many completed studies on CBD. While scientists have been interested in studying CBD for decades, CBD was considered to be the same as marijuana, and marijuana was a Schedule I drug. So federal funding was entirely unavailable. There are credible CBD trials from Europe that prove efficacy, and we have listed some below.
What are We Looking to Prove?From BBC Science, “The human body has two currently-known types of points where cannabinoids can bind, called CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cannabinoids can attach to the CB1 and CB2 docking points since they have a similar structure to the body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids. From here, CBD can impact movement, pain, emotions, mood and other functions regulated by endocannabinoids.”
In a nutshell, can one plant really (really!?!?) help with insomnia, anxiety, arthritis, epilepsy AND inflammation?
The Existing Medical Facts
CBD may alleviate arthritis pain (clinical info here). Applying CBD topically (directly on your skin) via a salve or cream may help with pain.
CBD may alleviate symptoms of multiply anxiety disorders (clinical info here). "Current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations."
CBD may alleviate pain from inflammation and neuropathic pain (clinical info here). "Cannabinoids may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases."
CBD may lessen the frequency and severity of Epileptic seizures. From Harvard Health Publishing, “The strongest scientific evidence is for CBD’s effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether.”
Importantly, according to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Is Anecdotal Good Enough?
When is comes to health, we like facts, figures and guidelines. Without many completed studies, and without FDA regulation, many of us are hearing about CBD through friends or news articles.
While it’s awesome that plant-based medicine is gaining acceptance in the mainstream, we are placing a lot of trust in the sources of this information.
The good news is that the more people take CBD, the clearer the picture becomes. While it may not be a double-blind clinical study, it’s hard to walk into a coffee shop without overhearing someone preach the benefits of CBD.
There is enough evidence pointing to CBD alleviating the following symptoms that funded clinical trials are being run for: chronic pain, epilepsy, cancer, dementia/Alzheimer's, arthritis, drug dependency and depression- among others.
Interested in incorporating CBD into your wellness routine?
Start by running this by your physician. While there are no signs that CBD is addictive and “To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”, there are some studies that suggest CBD may interfere with blood-thinning drugs.
Check in with your employer’s health administrator. Many products that say “THC Free” actually have 0.3%, which is the legal limit. If you work in an industry with strict drug testing, such as a pilot or doctor, for instance, it’s a good idea to see how they test for CBD.
Then do your homework- make sure you buy a CBD product from a reputable company- preferably grown in the US (or Colorado!), using organic, regenerative practices. Make sure the company has a published Certificate of Analysis (CoA) from a third-party testing lab, verifying there are no pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals or glyphosates.
Decide which delivery method will work best for you- tinctures, softgels or salves. Bioavailability and relief areas are different for each type.
And once you have the CBD product in hand, start with a low MG serving and then work your way up if needed. Keep in mind that it may take a few weeks to feel any effect.