CBD (Cannabidiol) is all over the internet, social media platforms, and mainstream media. It can’t be denied that the use of CBD became popular. It is legal in most parts of the U.S. with varying restrictions.
But are there clinical trials to back up the health and therapeutic claims of CBD? There are many ongoing CBD clinical trials, and the results are promising.
What Research Currently Exists Around CBD?
The public’s increasing interest regarding the effectiveness and safety of cannabis can only be answered through proven clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even eased CBD research’s regulatory requirements to gain more scientific evidence.
There is a lot of existing research surrounding CBD’s use, but the most common health claims are what this post will talk about. These are CBD clinical trials are for the control or alleviating the symptoms of Epileptic Seizures, Parkinson’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Schizophrenia, musculoskeletal pain, and Covid-19.
FDA has approved these cannabis-derived drugs for the treatment or alleviating the symptoms of its indicated disease:
- Epidiolex: For the treatment of epilepsy caused by Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
- Marinol or Syndros (generic name: dronabinol): Marinol is used to control or treat nausea and vomiting episodes for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It is also indicated for patients with HIV infection who has weight loss problems and loss of appetite.
- Cesamet (generic name: nabilone): Cesamet is also indicated for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to control and prevent nausea and vomiting.
These FDA-approved cannabis-derived drugs have proven clinical trials, and these are prescription drugs. But how about other forms like the CBD oils, tinctures, gummies, or e-cigarette juices? How about the claims on CBD treating other diseases like Parkinson’s Disease? Is CBD safe and does it have side effects? These
Current CBD Clinical Trials
One of them talked about clinical trials of CBD is its treatment for epileptic seizures. As mentioned earlier, Epidiolex, a cannabis-derived drug, is approved by the FDA to treat childhood epileptic seizures. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome are childhood epilepsy syndromes that can’t be controlled with antiseizure medications.
Numerous clinical trials have shown that Epidiolex reduces or stops the seizure episodes. The FDA approved Epidiolex oral solution for these children at least two years old and older. CBD saved this childhood epilepsy with no known treatment, and it has been a great relief for parents.
Parkinson’s Disease Tremors and Psychosis
Another clinical trial of CBD is for the long-term management of Parkinson’s Disease. The research started decades ago, and it is limited.
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive type of brain disorder that leads to tremors, stiffness, shaking, imbalance gait, walking, and coordination. The disease may progress over time, and the patient may have difficulty walking and experience psychosis. There is no known cure for Parkinson’s Disease, only medications, surgical procedures, or therapy to control the symptoms.
How are the CBD clinical trials for the control of tremors and psychosis of Parkinson’s Disease? Scientists and researchers are unable to come up with a definite conclusion. However, through the years, CBD has been found to affect patients with Parkinson’s Disease positively.
CBD for Parkinson’s Disease was found to help alleviate nonmotor symptoms like anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. As for the pain, tremors, psychosis, further CBD clinical trials are needed to prove it’s long-term management for Parkinson’s Disease.
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a type of chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis are abdominal cramping, pain, diarrhea with pus or blood, rectal bleeding or pain, and urgency to defecate.
Ulcerative colitis can be cured through surgical removal of the inflamed part of the colon. At the same time, symptoms can be relieved through diet and medications. Can CBD help with ulcerative colitis?
There is an ongoing CBD clinical trial for ulcerative colitis. The participants took 50mg of CBD oil, two times a day, slowly increasing the dose to 250mg as tolerated. The research shows that patients with ulcerative colitis have an improved quality of life than those under placebo.
There are no confirmed conclusions with the efficiency and safety of CBD products for people with Ulcerative Colitis. Further CBD clinical trials are needed to prove its effectiveness.
Recent talks linked CBD with its potential to treat or control alcohol and illegal drug abuse. Researchers can see the potential of CBD to prevent relapse in drug use. CBD was found to reduce anxiety and stress related to drug abuse.
- Heroin: A study published by Yasmin Hurd of the American Journal of Psychiatry demonstrates CBD’s potential to reduce the cravings of people with heroin addiction.
- Cocaine and Methamphetamine: A pre-clinical study on rats was conducted to see if CBD can treat cocaine and methamphetamine cravings. There is limited evidence on CBD to treat cocaine and methamphetamine addiction. To date, the clinical trials are administered mostly on animals but only a few studies on humans.
- Alcohol Use Disorder: A study shows that CBD can reduce alcohol cravings for persons with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Also, CBD can improve liver and neurocognitive functions (if there is alcohol-related liver damage or brain damage)
Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The symptoms of schizophrenia may include hallucinations, delusions, erratic behaviors, flat affect, social withdrawal, and cognitive symptoms like concentration, memory, and attention.
There is no known cure for schizophrenia, only managing the symptoms, medications, and therapy. There is a promising and ongoing study on how CBD can reduce the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. The study showed that high levels of CBD could reduce psychotic symptoms and improve cognitive functions among schizophrenia patients.
However, the studies could not support CBD’s use as the treatment of other symptoms of schizophrenia. The evidence points towards its efficiency with cognitive symptoms alone.
Low Dose of Cannabidiol (CBD) to Treat Mild to Moderate Musculoskeletal Pain
Musculoskeletal pain affects the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves of the body. It can be localized (located in one area) or widespread (different parts of the body). So how does CBD help decrease musculoskeletal pain?
A study linked CBD from stopping the body from absorbing the compound called anandamide. Anandamide is responsible for regulating pain levels in the body, and when it’s not absorbed in the body and remains in the bloodstream only, the person feels less pain.
CBD clinical trials for topical use also limits inflammatory diseases, acute and chronic pain. It was found to reduce pain and signs of inflammation in patients with arthritis. Another study also found that short-term use of CBD reduces the spasm of people with Multiple Sclerosis.
There are options with chronic musculoskeletal pain that claim the topical application of CBD oil has promising effects. Although substantial scientific data is needed to support CBD’s benefits and safety for people with musculoskeletal pain, the studies to date are showing promising results.
CBD for COVID-19 Patients (Mild to Moderate Symptoms)
In patients with Covid-19, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is one of the major killers. This includes lung inflammation and cytokine storm formation.
Although there is limited research of CBD linked to the management of mild and moderate symptoms of Covid-19, researchers are hopeful. CBD was found to prevent lung inflammation and cytokine storm formation in patients with Covid-19, thus preventing ARDS.
There is however, no conclusive direct benefit of CBD for COVID-19.
Everyone is hopeful about how CBD can positively contribute to a human’s health. Other than CBD clinical trials on epileptic seizures, Parkinson’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Schizophrenia, musculoskeletal pain, and Covid-19, there is much ongoing research.
The use of CBD has risks but is well-tolerated. So is CBD safe? Yes, CBD is safe, but there are minor concerns users should be aware of. There are CBD products out in the market now that have unreliable dosage preparations. Some products contain less CBD as advertised on its label and vice versa.
For individuals who have blood thinner medications like Warfarin or those who are taking aspirin, consult your physician before any CBD therapy. CBD is shown to increase the blood thinner coumadin on your body. So if you’re taking blood thinner medications and CBD simultaneously, this may cause reduced clotting factors and prolonged bleeding period.
CBD Side Effects
CBD clinical trials have proven over time, the side effects of the therapy. The side effects of CBD include:
- Dry mouth
Other than these side effects, CBD has not shown life-threatening adverse effects. CBD does not produce euphoric effects and is not addictive.
Euphoric effects are attributed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another compound found in cannabis. Further, this is mainly for the systemic intake of CBD. Topical application, including that of CBD lip balm, has been proven safe.
Final Thoughts on CBD
There are many wonders left on what CBD can do. Some people claim it to be a gift from nature for healing.
Remember that we have different bodies, genetic formation, and what work for others might not work for you. That’s what clinical trials are for, and we are excited about the outcome. In fact, the FDA is encouraging more clinical trials and research for CBD. Of course, do not forget to consult your physician before any CBD therapy.
As we continue to seek additional answers to prove this point, testimonials and reviews somehow will provide information and more confidence.