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.
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Does CBD work?
A recent chart review of 72 psychiatric patients treated with CBD found that anxiety improved, but not sleep. “Over all, we did not find that it panned out as a useful treatment for sleep,” said Dr. Scott Shannon, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, Denver and the lead author of the review in The Permanente Journal.
While there is hope for treating other conditions with the plant extract, Epidiolex remains the only CBD-derived drug approved by the F.D.A. Most of the research on cannabidiol has been in animals, and its current popularity has outpaced science. “We don’t have the 101 course on CBD quite figured out yet,” said Ryan Vandrey, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
What is CBD?
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Sleep can be disrupted for many reasons, including depression. Rodents seemed to adapt better to stressful conditions and exhibited less depressive-like behavior after taking CBD, according to a review in Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. “Surprisingly, CBD seems to act faster than conventional antidepressants,” wrote one of the authors of a new review, Sâmia Joca, a fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies in Denmark and an associate professor at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, in an email interview. Of course, it’s difficult to detect depression in animals, but the studies that Ms. Joca and her colleagues reviewed suggested that in models of chronic stress exposure, the mice and rats treated with CBD were more resilient.
During drug trials for Epidiolex, the FDA determined liver injury to be a side effect of CBD. Signs of liver injury showed up on blood work used to detect early problems with the liver. You can manage this risk by only taking CBD under the supervision of your doctor.
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabinoid. Cannabinoid is a natural substance found in cannabis, also known as marijuana, and also in hemp plants. Today, you can find CBD oil in capsules, oil bases for vaporizers, tinctures, food items, and beauty products such as bath bombs or lotions.
The results showed that there was “strong preclinical evidence” to support the treatment of anxiety disorders with CBD, though more research is needed on long-term dosing.
Here is a list of a few potential risks and side effects that come with CBD. Some of these risks are controllable if taking CBD under the guidance of your doctor.
Research into some of these claims is ongoing, and there is still a lot about CBD that we don’t know but researchers are trying to find out.
Because there is limited research on how CBD interacts with prescription drugs and with standard over-the-counter supplements, it is best to talk to your doctor before taking CBD if you are taking other medications.