As the use of cannabidiol, or CBD, grows in popularity, people continue to find new uses for it. The product is being marketed as a treatment for a variety of health conditions. But does CBD live up to the hype?
For some, it’s beneficial. But health care experts are concerned that people may be substituting CBD for proven treatments for a variety of conditions, without consulting a physician or fully understanding the possible consequences.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego turned to social media to find out how and why people are using CBD. They tracked nearly 400 posts on Reddit that were labeled as testimonials from people who used CBD to treat a number of diagnosed conditions. Mental health conditions were mentioned the most, followed by orthopedic concerns, sleep problems and neurological issues. Others said they used CBD to help with dermatological, cardiac and sexual health conditions.
While CBD is a component of marijuana, it does not cause a “high.” It is readily available in most of the U.S., though its legal status is in flux. All 50 states have legalized CBD, but the federal government still considers it in the same class as marijuana, while rarely enforcing the law.
Many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license, and that’s where some of the concerns arise. CBD users may unnecessarily prolong illnesses that would otherwise be alleviated with proven treatments. Also, CBD has been associated with health risks, including liver damage, and its interactions with other drugs is not fully understood.
With so much more to learn, health experts advise caution before people dive too deep into the CBD pool.