When Dr. Oz had four audience members on his show reveal their month-long experience with CBD — cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis plants — they reported mixed results.
That’s not surprising. When it comes to this compound derived from hemp (which is federally legal) and cannabis (not federally legal), there’s no clear consensus about its effectiveness from users or researchers.
What is CBD? It’s a chemical that interacts with your body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain, sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and fertility.
What are you getting when you buy an oral or topical CBD product? It’s hard to know; the market is unregulated.
There have been cases of contaminated CBD products, and tests have found others containing little or no CBD. If those products work, their benefit comes from the placebo effect.
But does the real thing work?
An animal study indicated that topical CBD can ease arthritis-related pain. Sleep studies are mixed. The Food and Drug Administration has approved only one CBD product: a medicine for treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy.
On downside, CBD may increase the blood concentration of some statins and high blood pressure meds, benzodiazepines, sildenafil, antihistamines, and more. Some studies have shown liver toxicity. Check with your doctor before using any CBD product.
And before buying anything, go to the CBD company’s website; look for dosage information and a certificate of analysis that provides test results on heavy metals, pesticides, and contaminants.
If you can’t find one, don’t buy the product. Research online for product reviews from companies like Consumer Labs.