Does CBD really work?

UC experts join WVXU's Cincinnati Edition

As recreational marijuana sales are coming to Ohio, more CBD shops are springing up in the meantime selling a variety of tinctures, topicals and tonics with various claims of health benefits. CBD is claimed to relieve pain, anxiety, insomnia and more, but what does the research say?

The University of Cincinnati's LaTrice Montgomery, PhD, and Michael Privitera, MD, joined WVXU's Cincinnati Edition to discuss how CBD claims stack up to scientific research.

Privitera said Epidiolex, a CBD medication for epilepsy, is currently the only Food and Drug Administration approved CBD treatment. Epidiolex contains more than 10 to 20 times the CBD concentration of products that can be purchased in health food stores or gas stations. 

"There’s a lot of other information out there, but...the FDA has not approved CBD for anything other than epilepsy," said Privitera, professor and division chief for epilepsy in UC's Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine in UC's College of Medicine and director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute Epilepsy Center. "If you look at for example medical marijuana laws in the state of Ohio, there’s lots of conditions...But there’s not been good randomized clinical trial data about most of the indications including pain, anxiety and sleep." 

Montgomery said in Ohio, hemp products are certified by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, but it is not strictly regulated. Studies have found the actual concentration of CBD in consumer products can vary widely compared to what is on its label.

"So it may suggest there’s a low level of THC in hemp products when actually there might be higher levels, and vice versa," said Montgomery, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience in UC's College of Medicine and a licensed clinical psychologist. "So it’s not very well regulated." 

Listen to the Cincinnati Edition segment.

Featured photo at top of CBD oil. Photo/CBD Infos/Unsplash.

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