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64 million Americans have tried CBD in the past two years One in seven uses it daily 63% claim to find it effective Source: Consumer Reports

is available regarding the effects in pregnant women, so see a physician before using CBD during pregnancy or lactation. CBD abuse? The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) ranks drugs according to their potential for abuse and places them on Schedules I-V. Schedule I controlled substances have high potential for abuse and no recognized medical use. Schedule II have high potential for abuse but have a recognized medical use. Schedules III, IV and V have recognized medical uses with less potential abuse as the designation increases. So where does CBD fall in the DEA rankings? The oral prescription-only form of CBD (Epidiolex) is a Schedule V controlled substance. Still, in tests, CBD did not produce drug-seeking behavior in animals or subjective effects similar to THC in humans. Tests also produced no evidence of dependence in humans who took CBD for 28 days. Taking CBD CBD comes as an oil, in capsules, as a sublingual tincture (an alcohol-based solution dropped under the tongue), cartridges for vaping pens, edibles and topical creams. Making definitive statements about dosing is difficult for two reasons: The amount of CBD in these products varies greatly, and clinical data for most of the proposed uses of CBD remains scarce. In addition, data is derived from studies of only one- or two-dose levels, so complete dosing information isn’t available. When it comes to dietary supplements and medications, more doesn’t equal better. Users should choose the lowest effective dose to decrease the chances of unwanted side effects. Deciding on CBD Except for treating two specific, rare forms of

epilepsy in children, the clinical evidence for using CBD remains sketchy. Given the potential side effects and drug interactions, it’s difficult to justify using it. Pharmacokinetic studies have shown people can absorb a significant amount of CBD into the bloodstream after application to the skin, so even topical application of CBD products may have adverse effects. CBD products also have uncertain legal status. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 legalized the growing of hemp in the United States. The Hemp Farming Act was passed as part of the larger farm bill The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. However, in April 2018, The Ninth District Court of Appeals ruled that CBD is a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law (meaning it has abuse potential and no recognized medical use). Schedule I substances are regulated by the DEA and the FDA.
CBD is legal in states that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana. However, the Health Department of the State of Hawaii issued a statement in May that says selling CBD products to anyone without a medical marijuana card is illegal. The FDA and some states are working to develop regulations governing sales and safety monitoring for CBD products. CBD in urine tests Urine tests for marijuana detect a metabolite (breakdown product) of THC. The most commonly used tests should not detect CBD. In addition, all CBD products must contain less than 0.1% THC, so CBD products that comply with regulations should not produce positive results on urine drug tests for marijuana. CBD hype? Is the clamor over CBD overblown? The short answer is “no.” CBD is popping up everywhere in almost anything. But the hype for CBD for uses other than epilepsy seems premature. Other claims need more supporting data. Wider acceptance and use should come only after more studies with larger numbers of subjects demonstrate that CBD works. Unless researchers pick up the pace and begin producing more test data, or CBD develops into a true cultural phenomenon, expect to see a “For Lease” sign on that little CBD shop on the corner. Mike James, Ph.D., a pharmacologist who’s published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles, has researched neuropharmacology, endocrinology, metabolic, oncology and cardiovascular diseases.

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August 2019