But he cautions that the side effects could have been because of an interaction with other medications the children were taking to control the seizures. So far, there hasn’t been a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (the gold standard) on sleep disorders and CBD.
By Dawn MacKeen
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Does CBD help anxiety and PTSD?
More than 60 percent of CBD users were taking it for anxiety, according to a survey of 5,000 people. Does it help?
Cannabis containing 0.3 percent or less of THC is hemp. Although last year’s Farm Bill legalized hemp under federal law, it also preserved the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of products derived from cannabis.
Many soldiers return home haunted by war and PTSD and often avoid certain activities, places or people associated with their traumatic events. The Department of Veterans Affairs is funding its first study on CBD, pairing it with psychotherapy.
What is CBD?
CBD is advertised as providing relief for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also marketed to promote sleep. Part of CBD’s popularity is that it purports to be “nonpsychoactive,” and that consumers can reap health benefits from the plant without the high (or the midnight pizza munchies).
“If you take pure CBD, it’s pretty safe,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Side effects in the Epidiolex trial included diarrhea, sleepiness, fatigue, weakness, rash, decreased appetite and elevated liver enzymes. Also, the safe amount to consume in a day, or at all during pregnancy, is still not known.
CAUTION: CBD should not be used with medicines that are prescribed to control seizures.
CAUTION: CBD should not be taken by people with liver disease or Parkinson's disease.
There are many other medicines that should not be taken with CBD. Doing so may increase the effects of those medicines. As an example, taking CBD with medicines that cause drowsiness may cause the person to be even more sleepy.
Marijuana contains more THC than CBD. Hemp has a very small amount of THC, less than 0.3 percent, and not enough to cause a high. As of 2018, CBD from hemp became legal in the U.S.
Another review with meta-analysis of 104 studies evaluated cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain. Within this review and analysis, the effect of cannabinoids on sleep was also examined. There was low-quality evidence of improved sleep.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD?
Studies looked at the use of cannabinoids (THC alone and CBD combined with THC) in people with chronic pain. In general, there were improvements in pain measures, but they were not statistically significant.
A review of clinical trials of the effect of cannabinoids on sleep suggested that cannabinoids could improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. However there were many limiting factors such as a small number of people studied and they evaluated sleep within studies of other illnesses.