Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of the 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis plants, together with tetrahydrocannabinol, and makes up to 40% of the plant's extract. Unlike THC, the other main active compound in cannabis, CBD does not produce a psychoactive effect when consumed. CBD has recently gained a lot of attention for its purported physical and mental health benefits.
People have been promoting products containing CBD for helping with pain, sleep, and even skin conditions. However, scientific evidence is limited and many of the relevant studies were done on mice, not humans. This has led many to question if the increasing attention that CBD is receiving means that it is a true ally of health or just another much-hyped natural remedy. To ensure the quality of CBD products, it is important to have them tested by a private laboratory not associated with a manufacturer or distributor.
The FDA has warned companies to stop selling CBD products that they claim are intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate, or cure serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, psychiatric disorders and diabetes. In addition to safety risks and unproven claims, the quality of many CBD products may also be in question. Studies on CBD dependence conducted on mice showed that while there was evidence of THC dependence, there was no evidence to suggest the same with CBD. This suggests that the effects of CBD are indirect and it does not heal the body but rather boosts an important regulatory system for the body to function properly.
The FDA is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, in particular CBD. Misleading or false claims associated with CBD products can lead consumers to postpone obtaining important medical care such as diagnosis, treatment, and appropriate supportive care. Experiments on dosing CBD for depression have shown that small doses of CBD have an “active effect” which helps you stay active and focused. Overall, hundreds of peer-reviewed studies indicate that CBD has almost incredible clinical potential. However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products that contain CBD.