CBD recently had an early upsurge in the wellness marketplace prior to the widespread legalization of marijuana, boasting a wide range of health benefits for potential users who want an alternative to typical baseline medications for a host of health issues ranging from mild to relatively severe. All of these benefits are without the intoxicating effects of CBD’s festival-going sister, marijuana.
Now that marijuana is becoming a legal recreational choice in numerous states, CBD is undergoing yet another upswing.
It is with this in mind that the question of CBD’s efficacy comes into question.
First, what are the benefits?
CBD has an entire laundry list of purported benefits, including (but not limited to): treatment for anxiety and depression: treatment of select epileptic symptoms; reduction of PTSD symptoms; alleviation of ALS symptoms; a treatment for opioid addiction; management of pain; management of diabetic complications; etc. CBD really is marketed as a super supplement.
It can be used topically, smoked, taken as an oil, or consumed in food…the methods really appear to be endless.
Not to mention the marketing machine behind the whole thing. Social media influencers, as well as cultural wellness brands (such as Gweneth Paltrow’s GOOP), have glommed onto the trend; the latter launching a separate retail website, targeting their female customer base with numerous products, including CBD-infused skincare products and oils aimed at easing menstrual pain.
With all of this excitement around one product, one might wonder what the science has to say about CBD.
In a Harvard study, moderate evidence was found supporting claims that CBD will improve sleep disorders, fibromyalgia pain, muscle spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, and anxiety. Even in this case, these benefits were tied to oral applications with CBD. The paper noted that topical CBD might also tout some of these benefits, but more research needs to be done.
Even in this case, it seems that it is highly advisable that potential customers pay for high-quality CBD rather than the lower-quality gas station supplements popping up around the country if they are truly concerned with efficacy.
As always, check with a medical professional before you introduce CBD into your wellness regimen.