Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 1-800-239-2901

Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
'Green Prescriptions' May Backfire for SomePreventive Health Care Falls by Wayside During PandemicSmoking Bans Don't Work If Not Enforced, NYC Study FindsTelemedicine Out of Reach for Those Who Can't Get OnlineLies Spread on Social Media May Mean Fewer Vaccinations1 in 3 Americans Prescribed Inappropriate DrugsColon Cancer Screening Should Start at Age 45: Task ForceWhat Will It Take for People to Embrace a COVID Vaccine?What Will Convince Americans to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?CDC Recommends Face Masks in All Public Transportation SettingsInsured Patients Are Getting Surprise Bills After ColonoscopiesBogus 'Cure' Claims Have U.S. Consumers Snapping Up CBD ProductsPediatricians' Group Tackles Racism in Health CareAs Virtual Doctor Visits Spike, Concerns About Equity, Missed Diagnoses GrowWas FDA Lax in Approving Opioids Too Easily?Allowing More Gay Men to Donate Corneas Could Save Sight for Thousands: StudyAccuracy of COVID-19 Antibody Tests Varies Widely, Study FindsCould Drones Delivering Defibrillators Save Lives?Statins Going Generic Saved Medicare BillionsAHA News: Looming Wave of Evictions, Housing Instability Pose Threat to HealthAHA News: Health Apps Pose Privacy Risks, But Experts Offer This AdviceCould You Save a Life After Mass Violence? Most Americans Say NoGun Violence Costs U.S. Health Care System $170 Billion AnnuallyWith COVID Vaccine in Works, 1 in 5 Americans Doesn't Believe in ShotsTelehealth Skyrocketing Among Older AdultsPharmacists in All U.S. States Can Give Kids Childhood ShotsAHA News: COVID-19's Economic Fallout Expands Food Insecurity, as Groups Scramble to HelpCOVID-19 Clinical Trials Lack Diversity, Researchers SayLook Beyond Fossil Fuels to Curb Air PollutionTelemedicine Is Here: Experts Offer Tips for SeniorsMany Older Adults Can't Connect With Telehealth: StudyAHA News: High-Speed Internet Offers Key Connection to Health, But Millions Lack It11 States Could Face ICU Doc Shortages as Coronavirus Cases SurgeWill the Telemedicine Boom Outlast the Pandemic?Yet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are SafeIn Rush to Publish, Most COVID-19 Research Isn't Reliable, Experts SayWith Tighter Handgun Laws, U.S. Would See Fewer Suicides by Young PeoplePandemic Has ER Docs Stressed Out and Weary: SurveyU.S. Air Quality Got Better During Pandemic: StudyColon Cancer Tests by Mail Might Boost ScreeningWill CPR Save Your Life? Study Offers a Surprising AnswerWill COVID Pandemic's Environmental Benefit Last?AHA News: As Pandemic Disrupts Research, Scientists Look for New Ways ForwardAmericans Lag Behind Brits When It Comes to HealthBan Menthol Cigarettes, Lower Smoking Rates?Tech Is Keeping More Americans in Touch With DoctorsEven Small Reductions in Air Pollution Help The HeartHigh Costs Lead Millions of Americans to Shop Abroad for Rx DrugsPandemic Hits Primary Care Practices Hard Across the U.S.: StudyOne-Time Treatment Eases Parkinson's -- in Mice
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

Don't Believe All the 'Science' on CBD Products

HealthDay News
by By Amy NortonHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 16th 2020

new article illustration

MONDAY, March 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabidiol -- commonly known as CBD -- might not be all it is touted to be, new research suggests.

Instead, existing evidence on the potential benefits of the compound found in marijuana and hemp has often been backed by industry, scientists said.

The researchers found that of 99 human CBD studies done since 2014, about 62% had some conflict of interest -- including industry funding, or a study author employed by a company that markets CBD products.

And those studies were more likely to reach positive conclusions, versus research with no industry ties.

The findings are not surprising, experts said. It's known from drug studies that industry funding is linked to a greater likelihood of positive results.

But at a time when CBD is showing up in everything from oils and lotions to coffee and cookies -- and consumers tend to see it as "natural" -- the findings may serve as a reminder to remain savvy.

"This gives consumers an idea of where the research is coming from," said study author Joshua Wallach, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, in New Haven, Conn.

So when you hear or read that a study supports CBD for a particular use, he said, you might want to "think critically" about the source of that research.

Wallach also suggested keeping the "bigger picture" in mind. At this point, CBD is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for only one indication: certain rare forms of epilepsy. In 2018, Epidiolex -- a purified, pharmaceutical-grade CBD -- got the nod for treating the seizure disorders Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

As for the array of other CBD health claims -- easing conditions like chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia -- the jury is still out. The CBD products being sold in capsules, food and cosmetics have not been evaluated by the FDA.

CBD is one of hundreds of chemicals found in marijuana. It differs from THC, the source of the famous marijuana "high." CBD is present in marijuana but is more abundant in hemp -- cannabis plants that have little THC.

The recent explosion in consumer CBD products is not the result of research evidence, but of a change in federal law. In 2018, Congress lifted a decades-old ban on growing hemp. Licensed farmers can now grow the plant, provided it contains less than 0.3% THC.

For the new study, published online March 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Wallach's team found 417 CBD-related articles published in medical journals between 2014 and 2019.

Most -- 318 -- were either based on lab studies or were commentaries or reviews on existing research. The remaining 99 articles described human studies.

Of those, most focused on neurological conditions (52.5%) or mental health (17%). (Wallach and his colleagues did not break them down by specific indication.) And the majority -- nearly two-thirds -- had some kind of industry involvement, Wallach said.

Industry links, in turn, were related to the likelihood of "supportive" conclusions -- where authors either reported that CBD treatment was effective, or made recommendations on using the compound.

Overall, 74% of those publications came to supportive conclusions, versus about 65% of those without industry involvement, and 55% of articles that made no disclosures about conflicts of interest.

According to Wallach, it all suggests there "could be some spin going on," with some CBD research essentially being used as a marketing tool.

It is also possible that industry-backed research is better done and more likely to yield positive results, according to Dr. Peter Lurie, president of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.

It's also unclear how much of the research was specifically related to Epidiolex, he noted.

That said, Lurie agreed that consumers should be aware of who is funding CBD research. "You want research to be conducted," he said. "But whether you want it to be supported by industry is another thing."

Like Wallach, Lurie pointed to the broader issue. "There are health claims about CBD that are completely unfounded," he said. "Outside of its use for epilepsy, I would see everything else as speculative."

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more on CBD.