WHEN DR. OZ had four audience members on the show reveal their monthlong experience with CBD — that’s cannabidiol — they reported mixed results. Not surprising. When it comes to this product, derived from hemp (federally legal) and cannabis (not federally legal; it delivers some get-you-high THC with CBD), there’s no clear consensus about its effectiveness from users or researchers.
What is CBD? It’s a chemical that interacts with your body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain, sleep, mood, appetite, memory and fertility.
What are you getting when you buy an oral or topical CBD product? It’s hard to know; the market is unregulated. There have been cases of contaminated CBD products, and tests have found others containing little or no CBD. If they work, their benefit comes from the placebo effect. But does the real thing work?
The pros: An animal study indicated that topical CBD can ease arthritis-related pain. Sleep studies are mixed. The Food and Drug Administration has approved only one CBD product: a medicine for treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy.
The cons: CBD may increase the blood concentration of some statins and high blood pressure meds, benzodiazepines, sildenafil, antihistamines and more. Some studies have shown liver toxicity. Check with your doctor before using any CBD product.
The smart consumer: Go to the CBD company’s website; look for dosage info and a certificate of analysis that provides test results on heavy metals, pesticides and contaminants. If you can’t find one, don’t buy the product. Research online for product reviews from companies like Consumer Labs that test products.