CBD has become quite the medical miracle since the United States legalized hemp-derived cannabinoids and removed it from the list of Controlled Substances back in December 2018. More and more countries seem to take a step forward into a future of better medical treatments with enhanced potency to cure life threatening ailments like Cancer.
Though many people have resorted to CBD for reducing stress, anxiety, depression, swelling, pain, inflammation and even speedy recovery from accidents, it is not established as a fact how impactful CBD really is.
From consumers to scientists, everyone acknowledges and credits CBD to be a useful substance with plenty of medical benefits. However, it hasn’t been confirmed as to whether or not it has the power to replace conventional medical treatments completely.
People suffering from severe ailments are opting for CBD instead of consulting professional doctors and relying on their natural, self-medicating treatments which heavily consists CBD oil.
Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a psychiatrist at McGill University’s faculty of medicine and the McGill University Health Centre said that a lot of her patients have contacted her all over from Canada, and confessed that they are using CBD to treat their anxiety, depression and mental health disorders.
CBD is non-psychoactive and an anti-inflammatory compound which is widely popular for its medical benefits. Since CBD is not psychoactive in nature, it does not produce any hallucinations or ‘high’ which users usually experience after smoking pot or weed due to THC.
The psychoactive compound in cannabis, THC is restricted to a maximum of 0.3% per unit product by the federal government in the United States. Tetrahydro cannabinoid or THC can often lead to addiction, permanent memory loss and disorders if used for a prolonged period in high potency, which is why governments all around the world have restricted or completely banned its use in any consumer goods.
On the other hand, CBD has been touted as a relief for almost every ailment, ranging from chronic pain to insomnia. Gobbi has spoken about how patients have been using CBD oil without any medical supervision in her research. She has warned patients that there has been minimal research on the effects of CBD on humans till now and there isn’t much scientific and medical proof to back up the medical claims CBD makes.
While she could convince some patients, others were stubborn on their decision to choose CBD oil over conventional medical treatments that have been proven to be effective in treating medical conditions like bipolar disorder.
Retailers were struggling to keep CBD products on their store shelves earlier this year, after endorsements with the message of medical treatment promises were made to boost CBD’s popularity, thereby targeting customers. Gobbi warned that without much scientific testing and effects, CBD could wind up in a “placebo effect.”
Gobbi’s research in January into the compound’s effects on anxiety and pain was published in the scientific journal Pain.
She said that they found cannabinoid could actually alleviate chronic pain and also showed anti-stress effects, but the tests were carried out on animals and not humans. She further said that there’s a possibility that only a subgroup of patients could have benefitted from cannabidiol.
For now, until a thorough research and studies are conducted, it is suggested to patients to keep away from CBD products that are not clinically tested and to incorporate CBD but not completely replace prescription medication. CBD is effective for anxiety, pain, insomnia and stress, but using it as a one-stop solution for every ailment isn’t the correct way to go forward.
Popularity helped by ‘rebel component’
Tim Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta said that CBD oil has garnered immense popularity in a very short period of time. And the reason for this is majorly because of brand endorsements with celebrities marketing CBD products throughout the consumer space like wildfire. Along with endorsements and heavy marketing tactics, people have also experienced real-life changes and a significant improvement in their health after taking CBD which has drawn more attention and has attracted more customers for the industry.
CBD is presented in a pop culture manner – in a way that it seems so alluring and effective to the customers. The efficacy is taken for granted and there’s nobody who is doing any critical reviews about it.
Also, there is a certain “rebel component” to CBD’s popularity. Initially the compound was illegal, although it was available in shady areas and was being sold illegally, now that it has become legal, there’s a certain exotic feel to it. While CBD is legal in Canada, it needs to be regulated properly.
Any substance with medical claims needs to be approved by Health Canada first, and if the claims are found to be vague- “increases stamina”, “revitalizing” – then these claims become really difficult to cope with and regulate.