CBD is hyped as a ‘miracle cure’ for just about everything. Here is the reality

Credit: Gabriel Alcala/NBC
Credit: Gabriel Alcala/NBC

So, is CBD a miracle cure? Despite its promise, if you’re someone who hopes to read that science proves CBD is a wonder product, I’m afraid this isn’t the place to look.

The truth is unforgiving. The studies around pure CBD—that is, CBD without THC—are limited due to the fact that some are small and inconsistently designed.

[Most studies are] multiple small trials that yield conflicting results, along with RCTs and meta-analyses that too often include marijuana and mixed THC/CBD compounds rather than just pure CBD products—many of them in varying amounts. These certainly influence the results, and they also leave consumers rightly wondering what the proper dose for them might be.

“You don’t know the dose, you don’t know the formulation and therefore [you don’t know] the absorption,” [WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence chair Jason] White told me.

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The lack of high-quality studies reflects the hoops one has to jump though to conduct marijuana research. Regulatory barriers need to be streamlined and funding sources need to be identified so that large, well-designed RCTs can be conducted to explore the beneficial and harmful health effects of CBD use, which ultimately would better inform states, the FDA and the public. Currently, there are 120 clinical trials registered (planned, recruiting, or active) which are investigating CBD; hopefully, some of these trials can provide much needed answers.

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