There’s evidence that CBD can help a range of mental and physical illnesses. Is it only a matter of time before you can buy CBD face cream at the local supermarket?
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Cannabidiol (CBD) has exploded as a consumer product in the US over the last 18 months.
CBD is one of the cannabinoid molecules found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its psychoactive cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not make people high.
WHAT CAN CBD DO?
Over the last 20 years, researchers have been able to identify the natural cannabinoid receptors in the human body.
The discovery of these internal receptors (aka the endocannabinoid system) has encouraged a growing body of evidence around what effect CBD can have on various psychological disorders as well as medical diseases.
A 2012 study published by the Journal of Experimental Medicine claims CBD can provide pain relief for people with multiple sclerosis by blocking pain transmitters to the brain and reducing inflammation in the body.
The chemical has shown also to reduce seizures in epileptic patients. The US Food and Drug Administration approved a cannabidiol drug, Epidiolex, for the treatment of two epileptic disorders in 2018.
CBD AND MENTAL DISORDERS
What’s really kicked off the CBD obsession in the US and UK is the evidence of its use to combat anxiety and depression.
In preclinical and animal trials, CBD has shown to boost serotonin receptors in a similar way to antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac.
Because CBD is not under the same legislation as products containing THC, it is legal for companies to sell CBD-infused products over the counter in the UK and various states in the US.
Everything from CBD gummies to face creams to dog treats are available and claim to induce relaxation and calm.
University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics is conducting several studies into CBD’s effect on mental disorders.
Senior project manager Rhys Cohen says that “calming” commercial CBD products are mostly hype.
“There’s good evidence that CDB can treat the symptoms of some mental illnesses but if you’re looking at treating anxiety or pain, you’d need to be taking hundreds of milligrams daily,” Cohen told The Feed.