OSHKOSH PUBLIC LIBRARY
Join us on Thurs., Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. under the Dome when Pharmacist JJ Allen will be on hand to continue this discussion and answer your questions.
Q: What does the research data say about CBD oil and its effectiveness in treating health issues?
A: Research is still in its infancy, but there’s evidence to support the use of CBD for two rare seizure disorders:
Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. There is promising research in other areas, but it’s safe to say the hype is out in front of the science.
In December 2015, the FDA made regulatory changes that allowed many labs to start researching the compound. Funding for CBD research exploded, and researchers are getting a little bit clearer picture of how various exogenous cannabinoids affect the body.
Promising areas of research include: social anxiety disorder, sleep disturbances, traumatic brain injury and pain management. It’s important to note a lot of the data is based on animal models and retrospective data looking at marijuana use.
One theory about why some people respond well to exogenous cannabinoids and others don’t is that some people may have what researchers are calling endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome. An easy way to think about this is to compare it to Vitamin D deficiency, but instead of having inadequate Vitamin D, your body has inadequate cannabinoid levels. Like Vitamin D receptors, cannabinoid receptors are all over the body. It’s important to realize this is only a theory, but it’s remarkably interesting.
Q: What are potential risks and benefits in taking CBD?
A. In general (and when used appropriately), properly manufactured CBD products appear to be relatively safe. The most common side effects include: nausea, drowsiness and irritability.
However, CBD does interact with many enzymes, which handle metabolizing various medications. Thus, I strongly encourage individuals who are considering a CBD product to first consult with their pharmacist before starting a CBD product.
Other potential risks include taking a CBD product that fails to have the amount of cannabinoids listed on the product label or, on an equally alarming note, taking a product that is contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, etc.
Q: How is CBD oil regulated?
A: The FDA is responsible for regulating CBD containing products. After the United States Senate passed the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products were removed from the Controlled Substances Act as long as Q: Will the use of CBD oil result in a positive drug test?
A: Testing positive is a legitimate concern with CBD oil. It ‘s possible to fail a drug test while using ANY CBD product. I’ve seen companies making guarantees that users will not fail a drug test. That is concerning.
Drug tests look for high levels of the intoxicating molecule, THC. THC-free products do exist; however, it is important to know that one always runs the risk of testing positive, even while on a THC-free product due to the following reasons:
1. The product is not actually THC-free despite label claims. For this reason, I can’t stress enough the importance of buying CBD from a reputable company who provides certificates of analysis for every product they sell.
2. The testing procedure misidentifies one of the other cannabinoids/compounds present in the product as THC. This is a ‘false positive’ test result since it incorrectly gave you a positive test result.
If you’re regularly tested, I strongly encourage you to talk with the people responsible for administering the drug test. Inform them that you are considering taking a CBD product and ask how they will handle any potential results which may show trace amounts of cannabinoids in your system.
Q: If someone decides to buy CBD oil, what should they know?
A: First, be sure not to confuse active cannabinoids with hemp oil. These are two very different things. Just because something contains hemp does not mean it contains active cannabinoids.
Second, choose a full or broad-spectrum product that has a diverse cannabinoid profile as opposed to an isolate. The former appears to provide much better results/patient outcomes.
Third, it’s the wild west out there. Many products sold online or over the counter have inaccurate product labels. In a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers discovered that out of 84 products bought online from 31 different companies, the frequency of accurate labeling for CBD tinctures and oils was only 25 and 45 percent!
This underscores the importance of buying CBD from companies who make third party test results available for each product batch as well as from an individual who has thoroughly vetted each company.
As a reminder, consult with your physician or pharmacist to ensure taking a CBD containing product will not interfere with any of your medications.
OSHKOSH PUBLIC LIBRARY Join us on Thurs., Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. under the Dome when Pharmacist JJ Allen will be on hand to continue this discussion and answer your questions. Q: What does
Wonder Drug? Separating CBD Oil Fact From Fiction
There’s so much confusion about CBD oil. Can you separate the fact from the fiction?
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Few subjects in the health space these days generate as much controversy—and are the cause of as much confusion—as medical marijuana. But marijuana is having a moment. As more states legalize its use, it’s more important than ever to understand exactly what medical marijuana is, what it is not, and why it matters. (Hint: The answer to why it matters is simple: cannabinoids.)
Cannabis is a genus of plants that includes different species: Cannabis sativa (also known as marijuana) is one of them; hemp is another. And this is where it sometimes gets confusing. Because while hemp and marijuana are indeed species of the same plant, chemically, they are entirely different.
All cannabis plants—including hemp and marijuana—contain an array of healthy plant compounds called cannabinoids. These are to the cannabis plant what flavonoids are to fruits and vegetables—powerful plant compounds with multiple healing properties. There are about 100 cannabinoids, all native to the various cannabis species. The two most famous are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the cannabinoid responsible for getting marijuana users stoned.
What Is CBD?
CBD is found in both hemp and pot, but THC is found only in pot. And hemp is richer in CBD than marijuana. Legally, THC can’t be found in anything labeled “hemp.” CBD doesn’t get you high at all. (If you want to try CBD, hemp oil is the best way to go, and it’s legal everywhere. And CBD is CBD—it’s identical whether you get it from pot or hemp, and the body sees it the same way regardless of origin.)
In U.S. law, the difference between marijuana and hemp is very clear and has everything to do with THC content. To be classified as hemp, there must be 0.3 percent or less of THC (less than one-third of one percent). Marijuana can have a THC content as high as 20 percent.
Cannabinoids don’t just come from the cannabis plant—we also make them in our bodies. The ones we make are called endocannabinoids (endo meaning coming from within). The well-known “runner’s high” is actually an endocannabinoid, which increases in the blood during aerobic exercise and then crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
We have a network of cannabinoids and receptors in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system (ES). One of the primary jobs of the ES is to keep the body in balance, a state known as homeostasis. The ES has a profound effect on sleep, appetite, exercise, pain, inflammation, female reproduction, metabolism, anxiety, and immunity.
Research-Backed Benefits of Cannabinoids
Scientists have known there was potential for medicine in the world of plant cannabinoids, but the demonization of pot prevented any real research from getting done in the U.S. But that’s changing. The one place in which it’s legal to grow pot for federally approved research (on the campus of the University of Mississippi) was barren more than a year ago. Today, the farm is full of blooming cannabis plants. And scientists are excited about the emerging research.
Researchers at the University of Southern Florida Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute believe that low-dose THC may “slow the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.” (Beta-amyloid plaque is typical in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.) There is also preliminary research suggesting that cannabinoids, particularly CBD, may be neuroprotective.
Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD oil is a well-established anti-inflammatory. Anecdotal reports confirm its ability to moderate pain and inflammation. I have personal experience with this. As a tennis player, I’ve had chronic shoulder pain for years, and I’m pretty skeptical about over-the-counter drugs. Yet adding CBD oil to my supplement regimen made a noticeable difference, reducing pain by 25–50 percent, allowing me to continue with physical therapy.
There’s research showing that CBD makes a difference in inflammatory bowel disease, attenuates cardiac dysfunction and oxidative stress, and induces antidepressant-like effects. It has also been shown to have a promising role in the management of ALS symptoms.
Uma Dhanabalan, MD, MPH, was so impressed with medical marijuana that she became an outspoken advocate for cannabis and CBD oil. Dr. Dhanabalan became interested in the healing powers of cannabinoids when her mother, who suffered with a chronic illness, urged her physician daughter to get some to help with the discomfort. Dr. Dhanabalan thought this was crazy—but looked into it anyway. What she found excited her. “Cannabis isn’t for everyone,” she said, “yet it should be a first-line option, not the last resort.”
Should You Try CBD Hemp Oil?
People who have been curious about CBD hemp oil may have been reluctant to try it—if they could even find it. One study, in 2015, found that nearly 50 percent of CBD products sold tested negative for CBD; another, more recent study, found that nearly 70 percent of online CBD products were mislabeled.
And that’s why the entrance of a company like Barlean’s into the CBD market is significant. Many people feel that if they’re going to try a new product like this, the safest thing to do is go with a company they trust. The new CBD oil products make it possible to do that.
I say there’s virtually no downside to trying CBD oil from a reputable source, if for no other reason than its proven ability to reduce pain and inflammation.
Remember, virtually every degenerative disease we know has an inflammatory component, and CBD is a known and established anti-inflammatory.
CBD Oil Products
From supplements to beverages to beauty products, there are many choices at health food stores for CBD oil. Here are our favorites:
As more states legalize its use, it’s more important than ever to understand exactly what medical marijuana is, what it is not, and why it matters.