Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of several compounds found in the cannabis plant, and it is not subject to strict international controls. Some countries have eased regulations on cannabidiol to consider products containing CBD to be medical products, but the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend its use. Despite this, initial testing of animal and human studies has shown that it could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions, as well as for calming spasms during seizures. A survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that CBD is more often used as a specific therapy for medical conditions than for general health and well-being.
The survey found that people are learning about CBD through the Internet, friends or family, rather than from health professionals. CBD is used as a specific therapy for a variety of medical conditions, in particular pain and inflammatory disorders, in addition to anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. A large percentage of respondents indicate that CBD treats their condition(s) effectively in the absence of conventional medications and with non-serious adverse effects. Some research has found that men and women who use CBD oil experienced fewer cravings in people who abstained from using drugs.
In a short-term study, 42 patients taking CBD oil reported a reduction in cravings up to one week after their CBD dose. Scientists believe that CBD oil helps suppress seizures by slowing the sending of messages to the brain, changing calcium levels in brain cells, and decreasing inflammation in the brain. The potential effects of CBD as an adjunct therapy for social anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease and substance use disorders have been studied. Clinical procedure dictates that all products with a ratio of CBD (mg) to THC (mg) greater than 10 are considered CBD-rich products.
The Burnout and Distress Prevention With Cannabidiol in Front-line Health Care Workers Dealing With COVID-19 (BONSAI) study was a randomized, parallel-group, single-site clinical trial designed to assess whether the efficacy and safety of oral CBD, 300 mg, plus standard care given daily for 28 days exceeds standard care alone for the prevention or reduction of emotional exhaustion and symptoms of burnout among healthcare professionals working with patients with COVID-19. However, they warn that the COVID-19 blocking effects of CBD come only from a specially formulated, high-purity dose taken in situations. Researchers now say clinical trials should be conducted to determine if CBD could eventually be used as a preventive or early treatment for COVID-19. Real World Evidence (RWE) provides valuable information and complementary information on the use, safety and efficacy of CBD-based treatments. Clearly, more research is needed, but as of now the touted, and often illegal, marketed claims of CBD as a wellness product are not substantiated. Additional clinical trials are needed to investigate the role of inflammatory mediators in the beneficial effects of CBD on mental health.