Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural compound that has gained popularity in recent years. Here are some frequently asked questions about CBD answered by two mental health professionals who are working in this area:
1. What exactly is CBD? Is it the same as Cannabis? Hemp? Marijuana plant?
CBD is cannabidiol. It is one of almost 200 cannabinoids that can be found in marijuana plants. Unlike many other cannabinoids, CBD is not psychoactive and has a different pharmacologic profile than other psychoactive cannabinoids. CBD can be extracted from both marijuana plants and from hemp.
2. Is CBD (and CBD products) safe to use?
If there are adequate safety studies of a product, it would be considered safe. However, the CBD products flooding the market are not likely to have undergone any safety testing. In fact, the FDA has issued several warning letters to firms that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain cannabidiol. As part of these actions, the FDA has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD they claimed to contain. It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.
3. It seems like CBD is now being used in lots of products (shampoos, cosmetics, oils, bath salts, etc.). Does it really help when it is part of a product?
There is no evidence that CBD has beneficial effects as part of various products. Furthermore, the amount of CBD in any of these products is unclear.
4. Does CBD based medication really help with anxiety and depression and has it been scientifically proven to help with anxiety and depression?
5. Is there current research in the US for CBD? Are other countries using CBD?
6. Is CBD FDA approved and can doctors prescribe it?
Purified CBD extract (GW Pharmaceuticals) was approved by the FDA in 2018 as a treatment for 2 rare forms of epilepsy – Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome – as a Schedule 5 compound. The brand name is Epidiolex.
7. Are there pricing regulations for CBD?
Only for the FDA approved product.
8. How can I be sure that what I am reading about CBD (articles, etc.) is providing truthful information?
Look for scientific evidence to support any claims – controlled trials, evidence that the product under discussion has been assayed by some legitimate source to verify chemical constituents. Engage in a conversation with a medical professional.
ADAA offers a free online search tool to find mental health professionals from the ADAA member community. Click here to learn more.
The information in this post was graciously provided by Kathleen T. Brady, MD, PhD, Vice President for Research, Medical University of South Carolina, and Christopher D. Verrico, PhD, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry Research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
September 2019 Is Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Anxiety - What the Research Shows Anxiety.org (ADAA member Jeremy Tyler, PsyD quoted)
July 16, 2019. Public Comments Submission Scientific Data and Information About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-Derived Compounds. In response to the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) request for comments dated April 3, 2019.