Is CBD Helpful, or Just Hype?
The good news is that in 2017, the National Institutes of Health funded cannabinoid research to the tune of $140 million, including $15 million on CBD. The F.D.A. also loosened restrictions on CBD research in 2015 and has announced that it is considering “pathways” to allow the sale across state lines of CBD in food and beverages, sales now confined to states that have approved CBD use.
Still, the explosive popularity of CBD is way ahead of any evidence to support its efficacy — or reliable reassurances that it has no serious adverse effects. Where is the healthy skepticism when we need it?
Here, the evidence is not going to make them happy. A 2017 study in JAMA reported that only 26 of 84 samples of CBD oils, tinctures and liquids purchased online contained the amount of CBD claimed on their labels. Eighteen of them contained THC, which could lead to intoxication or impairment in some individuals. And a quarter had less CBD than advertised. The F.D.A. has likewise found many products that did not contain the amount of CBD they were claiming.
Future studies may show otherwise, but at present CBD looks more like an expensive placebo than a panacea.”