As cannabis becomes more acceptable socially and legally, the ingredient within which does not get the user high is being touted as a cure for many ails, and is available in a diverse range of products. There are cannabidiol oils, lotions, pills, teas, drink supplements, gummies, tinctures, vaporizers, creams, and probably even transmission fluid by this point.
Some purveyors go beyond CBD’s putative health benefits and endorse a conspiracy angle by touting cannabidiol as a panacea that terrifies Big Pharma.
This makes no sense, as if there is money to be made by selling a cure or mitigation, the pharmaceutical industry will be all over it. Right now, that is limited to the prescription drug Epidiolex, which treats some epilepsy disorders. If CBD is proven in double-blind studies to have other medicinal uses, that would titillate, not terrify, Big Pharma.
Such evidence isn’t there yet, but that has failed to rein in the enthusiasm with which some persons promote and buy CBD products. This usually means over-the-counter sells not backed by standards, safety, research, or known efficiency.
While only THC will get users high, CBD remains an active ingredient, meaning it can impact the body. Just how much impact claimed depends on who is hawking the product. Skeptic leader Brian Dunning wrote that mercola.org lists this cattle-call of conditions it says CBD can alleviate: COVID-19, migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders, brain and mood disorders, high blood pressure, muscle spasms, nausea, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, opioid addiction, and animal cancer.
Claims like this take advantage of persons and family members desperate for a mitigation or cure.
Genuine medicine treats a specific condition and doctors and scientists understand the method behind how the active ingredient works. The proper dose is determined in the laboratory and patients dispense the right amount in a resultant pill, syrup, or lotion.
Assertions that virtually any condition can be cured by an unspecified amount of a solitary product without a given timetable for success is a pseudo-science giveaway.
To avoid fraud charges, companies and advertisers use vague or meaningless terms like “clinically tested” or they post anonymous anecdotes testifying to its rousing success. Dunning notes that everyone has mood swings and some hours, days, and months are better than others. Our senses are prone to error and inconsistency and everyone has selective memory. This is why anecdotes are useless from a medical research perspective and why repeated double blind studies are necessary to determine a prospective medicine’s efficiency.
Further, the CBD products are not only mostly unproven, but their dosages and purities vary wildly and could therefore never be part of a meaningful treatment plan. Moreover, since it’s a pharmacologically active, CBD may have deleterious side effects in large doses and could pose drug interaction dangers.