Cannabidiol is a chemical that is also known as marijuana or hemp in the Cannabis sativa plant. The Cannabis sativa plant has reported over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids. While delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active ingredient in marijuana, cannabidiol is also derived from hemp, which only contains very small amounts of THC.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill made the selling of hemp and hemp products in the U.S. legally. But that is not to imply that all cannabidiol products extracted from hemp are legal. Since cannabidiol has been researched as a new drug, it can not be used legally in food or nutritional supplements. Also, cannabidiol can not be included in products that have therapeutic claims. Only if it contains less than 0.3 percent THC can Cannabidiol be included in “cosmetic” products. But there are still products on the market that contain cannabidiol that is branded as dietary supplements. The amount of cannabidiol in those items is not always accurately reported on the product label.
Cannabidiol is most widely used for an epileptic seizure disorder. This is also used for anxiety, pain, dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and many other disorders but there is no clear scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work?
Cannabidiol has brain side effects. It is not clear the exact cause of those results. However, cannabidiol tends to prevent the breakdown of a chemical that affects pain, mood, and mental function within the brain. Preventing this chemical’s degradation and increasing its blood levels seems to reduce the psychotic symptoms associated with disorders such as schizophrenia. Also, cannabidiol can block some of the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) psychoactive effects. Also, cannabidiol seems to reduce pain and anxiety.
Side Effects & Safety
When taken by mouth: when taken by mouth or sprayed under the tongue, cannabidiol is Probably Healthy. Cannabidiol has been safely taken by mouth in doses up to 300 mg daily for up to 6 months. Over up to 4 weeks, higher doses of 1200-1500 mg daily were administered safely by mouth. A prescription cannabidiol (Epidiolex) drug is approved to be taken by mouth in doses up to 10-20 mg/kg per day. Cannabidiol sprays that are applied under the tongue were used for up to 2 weeks in doses of 2.5 mg.
Many reported cannabidiol side effects include dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness and drowsiness. Several patients have also reported symptoms of liver damage but this is less common.
When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if cannabidiol is safe or what the side effects might be.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Cannabidiol is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to be used when you are pregnant or lactating. Cannabidiol products may become contaminated with other ingredients that may damage the fetus or baby.
Children: When taken daily by mouth a prescription cannabidiol product (Epidiolex) is POSSIBLY SAFE. The most widely used dose is 10 mg/kg per day. Many children may use higher doses of 15-20 mg/kg per day but much higher doses are more likely to cause side effects. The drug is licensed for use in certain kids 2 years of age and older, but has been used in kids as young as 1 year.
Liver disease: People with liver disease may need to take lower cannabidiol doses compared with healthy patients.
Parkinson disease: Some early research indicates that taking high doses of cannabidiol in humans with Parkinson’s disease may cause muscle weakness and tremors worse.
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