CBD: Health craze or proven medicine?
There are 28 kinds of marijuana growing here at Sol Cannabis in Washoe Valley.
When you think of CBD, marijuana plants growing in a greenhouse may come to mind.
But let that thought go.
CBD is made of hemp, a cousin to Marijuana. It does not have THC which is the substance that makes you high.
“So CBD is a non-psychoactive, one of the non-psychoactive components to marijuana and hemp,” says Ed Alexander, the co-owner for SOL Cannabis. “So THC is the psychoactive brother to CBD,” he says.
Alexander says CBD has been used for centuries as far back as 1800 B.C.
These days, people turn to it to relieve arthritis, high blood pressure and anxiety.
There aren't many medical studies here in the U.S. because CBD was, until recently, considered illegal.
But that doesn't mean medical research hasn't been done on CBD elsewhere.
”Israel is probably 20 to 25 years ahead of the U.S. in terms of scientific research. There are a ton of great documents that exist,” says Alexander.
We do know CBD works on the brain and throughout the body.
The agent interacts with receptors helping the body relax, fall asleep or block pain signals.
Alexander says here in Nevada CBD is considered a marijuana product.
That's because at dispensaries the product has a slight amount of THC in it.
“Research would support the fact that you need an incremental amount of THC with your CBD to maximize the efficacy or the effectiveness of CBD as a treatment of medicine,” he says of the THC additive.
“It is not going to register on a drug screening. It is not going to be psychoactive in nature,” Alexander adds.
There is one medical condition in which CBD is proven effective.
The drug reduces severe mostly untreatable epileptic seizures in children.
A prescription drug is now available in the U.S. for treatment of those patients.
But that means CBD is now regulated by the FDA.
“And anytime the FDA gets involved and approved as a medicine, it can't have a form factor in either food or beverage. You know I like to use the example you can't get a Xanax-infused bear claw,” says Alexander.
Alexander says this means if you want to put CBD in food or drink, you'll have to do it yourself under FDA guidelines.
As far as the CBD products sold in gas stations or other unconventional outlets he says, it’s buyer beware in terms of how much CBD is in the actual product
CBD, he says, can be taken reactively or as a maintenance drug depending upon the medical need.
While some people may want more proof, or are unsure if they want to try CBD, there is one big promise that is not in dispute: CBD is non-addictive.