In answering the question of “what are the benefits of CBD?” it’s important to look at all available studies on CBD that have been conducted. There have been high-quality studies utilizing lab mice, which is a step in the right direction to study CBD effects. With CBD being considered a schedule I drug until recently, it has been very difficult for scientists to conduct human research. Recent changes in the laws have opened the door to many more accurate studies and trials of Hemp and CBD. A lot of the current claims of the health benefits of CBD are extrapolated from the known effects of areas where there are CBD receptor sites in the body. However, as has been discovered in many different studies, that does not always lead to the same, repeatable effects in people. Future clinical trials will help the medical community move towards a cohesive agreement on the benefits of CBD. As more data is gathered, we are finding that many of the therapeutic benefits of hemp and CBD originate from activity at receptors other than those located in the ECS. There are just so many avenues of research to follow up on and consider.
Due to its trending popularity and broad availability, many people are using CBD products to treat their pain, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, etc. As a medical provider, I would always recommend checking with your primary medical professional prior to starting any new supplement or medication, especially CBD. Be aware that benefits vary by each person, method of delivery, and type of product used. Different people’s ECS will require different dosages, and anecdotally I have seen gut health play a large role in a patient’s response to CBD. Because of the potential for interactions with other medications, it is always important that your medical professionals are made aware of any CBD use.
CBD is relatively safe if taken on its own, and it has a low and tolerable side effect profile. There have been published reports about interactions between CBD and prescription medications, especially blood thinners and seizure medications. CBD is metabolized by the same enzymes in the liver that these medications utilize, and if CBD is being metabolized over these medications, it can render the other medications ineffective or increase their side effects. There have been some reports of elevated liver enzymes, showing some transient liver damage, in patients who used CBD supplements, but the effect subsided once the CBD use was halted.
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