Cannabidiol, sometimes known as CBD, has long been hailed for its many health advantages.
It's becoming a popular go-to for individuals looking for alternative therapies, with benefits ranging from anxiety and sleep to pain relief.
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes the interest in cannabis (particularly CBD), it emphasizes that additional study is required. So far, there is just one FDA-approved prescription CBD medication for epilepsy therapy.
This implies that any over-the-counter (OTC) CBD product you purchase does not have FDA clearance.
That is why it is important to take your time when selecting a CBD product, whether full-spectrum or broad-spectrum. Here's what you should know before making your decision.
How do full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD differ?
CBD products are available in three varieties:
- Broad-spectrum, and
- CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD includes multiple cannabis plant components, including trace quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC levels in federally approved full-spectrum products will always be less than 0.3 percent. Full-spectrum products with greater THC levels may be available in jurisdictions where cannabis is completely legal.
Broad-spectrum CBD: THC is not present in this CBD. It does, however, include other components of the cannabis plant, so it will not be 100 percent CBD. Consider it the middle child of the CBD options.
Isolate of CBD: Except for the CBD, your pure CBD isolate product has no additional chemicals present in cannabis.
The Benefits and Drawbacks
One of the most significant advantages of full-spectrum CBD is what is known as the entourage effect. This is a notion that states that when different components of cannabis operate together, the effects are greater than when taken separately.
These elements are as follows:
- Phytocannabinoids (like CBD and THC)
- Terpenes (compounds that impact the fragrance and taste of cannabis) flavonoids
- Full-spectrum CBD may be your best choice for maximizing the advantages of cannabis.
According to Trusted Source, phytocannabinoids and terpenes together may aid with pain, inflammation, and anxiety. CBD showed the greatest potential for some brain illnesses and skin issues, according to the researchers.
However, one disadvantage of full-spectrum CBD is that if you take a big enough amount of a powerful enough product, you may get a "high" from the THC.
However, not all full-spectrum products will make you feel inebriated. Small dosages of lesser strength products are unlikely to cause euphoria.
Finally, since full-spectrum products include THC, you may be more likely to test positive for cannabis if you take a drug test.
One possible advantage of broad-spectrum CBD is that you have the best chance of staying focused – no THC means no "high" sensation.
One disadvantage is that CBD without THC may not be as effective as the two together. More study is required, although the entourage effect indicates they may be most effective when working together.
That is not to argue that broad-spectrum products will not provide any entourage effect advantages. Broad-spectrum CBD still includes cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, which may provide advantages in addition to CBD.
What is the scientific evidence for CBD?
Although there are several claims regarding the advantages of CBD, clinical research is still limited. At the moment, scientific data supports the health advantages in these areas. Remember that, apart from seizures, all of them are off-label usage. The only CBD product authorized by the FDA is the prescription drug Epidiolex.
A 2018 CBD study review examined studies conducted between 1975 and early 2018, finding that cannabis, including both CBD and THC, has demonstrated some effectiveness in animal tests for pain.
Human research on CBD for pain, on the other hand, is very restricted.
CBD alleviated pain and lowered opioid usage in a small trial of adults with chronic pain released in 2019. Another research, also published in 2019, validated CBD's ability to lower opiate cravings. It featured people who had a heroin use problem but were drug-free.
Another human trial published in 2018 indicated that taking 250 milligrams (mg) of CBD daily resulted in a statistically significant decrease in knee pain when compared to a placebo. CBD was delivered daily in this trial using a transdermal patch containing synthetic CBD gel.
An early trial of 75 persons with rheumatoid arthritis indicated that Sativex, a medicine that includes both THC and CBD but is not licensed for use in the US, was beneficial in alleviating pain.
Depression and anxiety
CBD may aid with a variety of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (PTSD).
CBD was shown to significantly lower anxiety levels in persons with SAD in two research, one from 2011 and one from 2019Trusted Source, while many studies have indicated that CBD may aid with PTSD symptoms.
Because studies have shown that CBD has the ability to alleviate feelings of pain and anxiety, it may enhance sleep quality if those are difficulties that keep you awake at night.
The FDA has authorized the CBD-based Epidiolex from Trusted Source to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two uncommon types of epilepsy. It may be used to treat diseases in adults and children over the age of one year.
Are there various forms of CBD that are helpful for different purposes?
According to ongoing research, both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD may assist particular illnesses. Because of the entourage effect, full-spectrum CBD may be most suited for illnesses such as chronic pain or anxiety.
However, there may be reasons why someone wants to avoid THC entirely. In such an instance, broad-spectrum CBD products will still provide the majority of the cannabis plant's naturally occurring cannabinoids and chemicals.
Keep in mind that utilizing CBD is a trial-and-error procedure. It may be worthwhile to investigate both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products to see which works best for you.
Side effects and safety
According to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source, CBD is usually deemed safe, but it does not imply it is without adverse effects.
A few adverse effects were observed in research on persons with epilepsy and mental illnesses, including:
- changes in appetite
- weight changes
Remember that if you consume a significant amount of a powerful full-spectrum product, you may experience some THC effects, particularly if you're new to cannabis.
Before using CBD, consult with your doctor. Because CBD may interact with certain drugs, your doctor should be able to guide you through any potentially hazardous interactions.
According to research, eating a heavy fat meal might actually boost CBD levels in the blood, increasing your chance of negative effects. So keep that in mind when consuming CBD around dinner.