The Growing Popularity of CBD: A Need for Further Research on Safety and Efficacy

Key Takeaways:

  • While CBD and hemp oil might possess beneficial anti-inflammatory properties and contribute to enhanced sleep quality and reduced anxiety, additional human trials are needed to confirm their safety and efficacy.
  • There is an increase in reported cases of liver damage among individuals who have taken CBD products. As such, extreme caution should be taken when choosing health products.
  • Given the widespread usage of CBD products, medical professionals are encouraged to continually educate themselves about these products and maintain a balanced stance of curiosity and skepticism.
  • The lack of regulation of CBD products is a rising concern among healthcare providers. Except for Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD, the FDA has not approved any other forms of CBD.
  • It’s essential to consult a physician before using CBD or hemp oils due to potentially associated side effects and possible interference with other medications.

CBD, or Cannabidiol, has gained rapid traction and can be readily found in many stores, promising potential benefits for chronic pain, opioid addiction, and a variety of other ailments. However, a newly conducted review asserts the imperative need for additional human clinical trials assessing the safety and efficacy of CBD products.

A promising area of research

“Many intriguing pre-clinical examinations imply that CBD and hemp oil might possess anti-inflammatory properties while contributing to sleep quality enhancement and reduction of anxiety,” stated Dr. Brent Bauer, the head of research for a noteworthy Integrative Medicine program.

“However, human trials remain limited, making it too soon to definitively confirm its effectiveness and safety,” he added in a public statement.

Potential health risks

Simultaneously, there is a rising incidence of reported liver damage among individuals who have taken CBD products, as noted by Bauer.

“Selecting a health product requires considerable scrutiny. Although these products lack official FDA approval for medicinal use, patients continue to request them and consume them,” he stated. “It is crucial for physicians to acquire better knowledge of these products while addressing the need for human trials that verify their efficacy and safety.”

The need for doctors to stay informed

Given the widespread embracement of CBD products by a significant number of Americans, Bauer advocates for doctors to continually acquire knowledge about these products. He further broached the topic of maintaining clinical curiosity and healthy skepticism about the product.

Chronic pain management continues to perplex patients and physicians, and these therapies are a promising area that needs further exploration. Taking time to attentively listen to patients and address their inquiries empathetically and scientifically can help them make knowledgeable decisions,” Bauer added.

Matters of concern for the healthcare industry

The review brought forth that the scarce regulation of CBD products has become a rising concern among healthcare providers.

According to Dr. Karen Mauck, a review co-author and internist, “Except for Epidiolex, a plant derived purified version of CBD, approved in 2018 for treating severe forms of epilepsy, the FDA has not approved any extraneous forms of CBD.” This substance is found in various formulations, such as oral or topical oils, creams, sprays and tablets. Unfortunately, these come in variant measures of CBD, may contain other active ingredients and the labels may be inaccurate.

“Before using CBD or hemp oils, it’s crucial to consult a physician about potentially associated side effects and potential interference with other medications,” Mauck advised.

Publication of the review

The review was featured in the September issue of an esteemed healthcare journal.

More information

For those seeking more information on cannabidiol, resources such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s page on CBD can provide a more in-depth exploration.

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