Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are increasingly known as a natural and effective way to handle a wide range of health issues. Use cases include improving sleep and mood to easing hot flashes and improving sex as a lubricant. But is CBD really effective in all of these scenarios?
CBD is found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. Unlike its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component in marijuana, CBD does not make people high. It is instead known for its calming effects and can be taken internally with pills, powders and edibles, as well as by inhalation as a vapour, or topically on the skin as a cream or lotion.
Despite claims by companies touting CBD-laced products on their efficacy across the board for many women's health issues, as cannabis is still a scheduled drug, there is limited research on how effective it may actually be.
That said, some early research has found that CBD may have positive effects on pain. Other studies have concluded that it may also improve anxiety, although they were taken with small sample sizes. Meanwhile, further research suggests that the compound may have anti-inflammatory properties on oil-secreting glands, potentially improving acne and other related skin disorders.
Beyond this limited research, other CBD can benefit people are not so clear. For example, until now there has been no high qiality research demonstrating that the compiund improves sex drive, treats depression and mood disroders, reduces PMS symptoms such as cramps and bloating, or menopause symptoms like hot flashes. Anecdotal reports of course exist, however until these are certified by clinical research, they can not be regarded as fact.
Despite this, studies so far suggest that CBD is safe to use for most people. Again however, due to limitations in research, no long term data on the compound’s safety is available meaning that although early studies suggest it to be safe, this may not remain the case as more findings emerge. All in all, this means that it may still be wise to exercise caution before consuming CBD products, especially if pregnant, breastfeeding or immunocompromised.