Although cannabidiol (CBD) is widely sold online and in retail stores, this non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, is illegal on a federal level. Studies have shown that CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and analgesic properties without the high that THC gives you.
While there are plenty of studies that suggest CBD has therapeutic properties, there aren’t a lot of studies that definitively prove the effectiveness of CBD in humans. Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine published a rigorous study to definitively prove that CBD is a potent and real medicine.
The Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
When it comes to clinical trials, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is the gold standard. Clinical trials that involve human volunteers can be tricky to assess. In order to prevent bias from the researchers and the participants, multiple factors must be controlled to get accurate results. When studies involve “double-blinding” it means both the researcher and participants are unaware of what treatment they are being given.
Placebos are inactive substances that are given in place of real medication. In order to assess the effects of a drug, one group of patients must receive a placebo and one must receive the actual treatment to compare the drug’s effectiveness. In this ground-breaking double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, CBD proved to be a real medicine when challenged with scientific rigor.
CBD Reduced Seizures in Dravet Syndrome Patients
120 children and young adults with treatment-resistant Dravet Syndrome participated in a 14-week trial to assess the effectiveness of CBD on their convulsions. When given an oral CBD solution of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight plus traditional treatment, 43% had at least a 50% reduction in seizures. 5% of patients who took CBD treatment became seizure-free.
While positive results were achieved, some people experience adverse effects when taking CBD. Children experience loss of appetite, drowsiness, and diarrhea. When the CBD dosage was lowered, all side effects disappeared in all but one patient who still had a loss of appetite.
In a world where scientific facts on cannabis are hard to come by, researchers have proven, without a doubt, that CBD in cannabis shows remarkable results in those with Dravet Syndrome. Current research is testing whether CBD may also help in autism, anxiety, and inflammatory diseases.
Patients who have found no relief with current medication, especially children with treatment-resistant epilepsy, can find solace knowing that CBD can help. While we don’t know exactly how CBD helps many diseases, this study confirms what many people already believe, that CBD is a real medicine.