CBD is absolutely everywhere in 2019 – from oils and gummies to snacks and coffees, if there’s a way to ram CBD into a product, you can guarantee that there’s someone in a lab trying it right this second. But with all the hype surrounding the magical liquid, it seems like very few of us have actually sat down and questioned the facts.
There are countless first-hand experiences, anecdotes and success stories littered around the web, but how much of these are down to placebo? What if we’ve been so badly blinded by the marketing surrounding CBD that we’re convinced it’s helping when it’s actually doing the complete opposite.
There have already been plenty of questions surrounding the capabilities of the oils, but with cannabis being used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes, there must be something in the water, right?
This got us thinking, what proof is there scattered around the web that gives solid scientific proof that CBD oil actually works? Is there anything we can accurately pinpoint to show that CBD actually works?
Here’s what we managed to find and pull together:
Proof and evidence for treating epilepsy
One of the main advertised points of CBD is its ability to treat epilepsy, which, you’ll be happy to hear, has a significant amount of scientific evidence to support.
In April of 2018, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) unanimously recommended approval of the CBD based medication of Epidiolex, permitting the treatment of two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. It’s a big step for those interested in the use of CBD for health benefits, but it’s far from the full potential that the oils have to offer.
At the time of the announcement, Timothy Welty, chair of the department of clinical sciences at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences was quoted in saying:
“That’s really the only area where the evidence has risen to the point where the FDA has said this is acceptable to approve a new drug”
So although the CBD got off to a pretty good start, it’s still seemingly being held back with a lack of adequate research for the FDA to pass judgement for human consumption. But despite the testing and approval for epilepsy, there are very few other areas of research in CBD.
The placebo effect
One of the biggest issues with CBD proof is the issues with the huge lacking of testing when it comes to the placebo effect.
As of current, there has been very few mass scale placebo vs CBD experiments, meaning that it’s still possible that all of the positive effects that we’ve been seeing from CBD are nothing but a placebo. This is something that would make a lot of sense for some of the suggested benefits of the oils, including that of reduced anxiety and increased mood in its users – but with such little testing, it’s hard to tell.
Much of the existing testing with CBD comes from labs, whether that be work from cells or from animals and although these tests do give a good indication, there’s no telling how the substance will react with humans. But it’s not to say that CBD is going to be useless – far from it.
In fact, it’s expected that CBD is going to be absolutely fantastic for a wide variety of functions, but not quite as many as we’re currently led to believe. The breakthrough with epilepsy is evidencing enough that we’re onto a potentially powerful medication, but with tests still pending to find out what else it’s great for, we’re just going to have to let time take its course.
A tale of testimonials
CBD is a very unique substance in the world of medicine in that it’s running almost entirely off its testimonials as proof of function.
It’s almost like a blast from the past with witches and fortune-tellers informing us on the best practice for our health – but it’s seemingly everyone that’s ever tried CBD instead. The thing is, it’s very rare for this many people to all report the same or very similar benefits without there at least be a loose link between them.
It’s the testimonials that have changed the CBD industry, but the reasoning for this might be found where CBD comes from – cannabis. With a push in the US to legalise cannabis in all states, it’s no surprise that CBD (a product of the plant) should be gaining the traction that it is. With the legalisation and approval of CBD, who’s to state the future of cannabis too?
It’s an exciting time for the cannabis business.
The long term effects
Perhaps he most concerning lack of evidence lies in the long term effects of prolonged CBD use with very little information surrounding just what may happen with long term consumption.
Although it seems like there’s going to be very little to worry about, it’s never certain and with the evidence still pending, it’s important for researchers to get the verdict out as quickly as possible. It may not be the biggest priority for those thinking about trying CBD out – but it’s definitely something worth giving consideration to.
The bottom line
Ultimately, there’s arguably not enough evidence to say confidently whether or not CBD oil actually works, that is, for all purposes other than the epilepsy research.
However, with countless testimonials and inspiring anecdotes, it’s going to be of very little surprise to find out the expected benefits match with the scientific proof when/if the time comes. The good news is that it may be sooner than we expect with the FDA registering their interest with CBD with scientific testing and proof the goal for a whole host of purposes.
For the time being, the proof stands in the word of mouth, but that many people can’t be wrong. It’s just a case of being wary and making your own judgements.