Cannabidiol (CBD), the compound derived from the cannabis plant, is increasingly being used in a multitude of products, including drinks, now that regulations governing its use have subsided and consumer interest in the compound and its benefits have grown.
Capitalising on a growing trend
CBD started to appear on the menu of cafes, such as Mamacha, which opened in Manhattan last spring. The cafe’s CBD drink was so well-received it led to a reworking of the company’s entire menu as well as plans to expand CBD to functional drinks for improved sleep, anti-inflammation and even focus.
President Trump’s Farm Bill made most forms of CBD legal in the US through the legalisation of hemp, though companies are not permitted to add the compound to food, drinks or diet supplements. Many companies are flouting this rule, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has pledged to crack down on the use of CBD in such products, while also looking for ways to legally commercialise CBD products.
Clinical studies are needed
Some people claim CBD has helped them with anxiety, sleep and pain management, and studies examining its benefits are ongoing. Ken Mackie from the Indiana University said CBD has been found to lower abnormal signals in the brain, but how this happens is unclear.
CBD has also been found to protect against degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, according to Depression Alliance. It is thought to be beneficial to sufferers of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as for the treatment of depression, psychosis and multiple sclerosis.
Other uses for CBD currently being researched include the potential treatment of social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
CBD should not be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which contains the compound that causes a feeling of elation in its users. Furthermore, CBD is not addictive, so there are no concerns about developing a dependency on the compound.
Cannabis has not been legalised under US federal law, so researchers have difficulty in studying its benefits. What is needed is adaptive phase 1 clinical studies, which a specialist such as richmondpharmacology.com/specialist-services/adaptive-phase-i-studies can undertake.
Clinical studies of GW Pharma’s CBD-derived drug Epidiolex led to its approval by the FDA last year for the treatment of seizures in children suffering from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome.