Mayo Clinic Minute: Is CBD safe to use?
CBD has surpassed all other supplements in history in terms of rapid rise in sales and use in the U.S., says Dr. Brent Bauer, director of the Mayo Clinic Integrative Medicine and Health Research Program. It’s being marketed to help with a myriad of aliments and diseases.
Before considering CBD, Dr. Bauer says it’s important to speak with your health care provider. CBD may interact with other medications that you’re taking, such as blood thinners.
CBD comes from Cannabis sativa, which is the plant from which we get marijuana, which has THC, which is the effect that gets people high,” says Dr. Bauer.
CBD is being touted to help treat nausea, anxiety, cancer, arthritis and even Alzheimer’s. But does it work?
“We know in animal studies and some test-tube studies, it seems to be pretty good for anti-inflammatory, may have some anti-pain (properties), and it certainly has some effect on mood,” says Dr. Bauer.
Patients, such as those being treated with cancer, should talk with their care team before using CBD.
“It can interfere with the metabolism of some chemotherapy agents,” says Dr. Bauer.
He says there needs to be more research on CBD. Early indicators show that it’s safe, but many questions remain.
“If it’s strong enough to help you, it’s strong enough to hurt you,” says Dr. Bauer.
So does this mean avoid it? Dr. Bauer says that he tells his patients to do their homework and be sure to talk with their health care provider.
What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
A prescription cannabidiol (CBD) oil is considered an effective anti-seizure medication. However, further research is needed to determine CBD’s other benefits and safety.
CBD is a chemical found in marijuana. CBD doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. The usual CBD formulation is oil, but CBD is also sold as an extract, a vaporized liquid and an oil-based capsule. Food, drinks and beauty products are among the many CBD-infused products available online.
Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It’s approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug’s benefits is still limited.
CBD use also carries some risks. Though it’s often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you’re taking, such as blood thinners.
Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products. A recent study of 84 CBD products bought online showed that more than a quarter of the products contained less CBD than labeled. In addition, THC was found in 18 products.