Do Doctors Think CBD Oil Is The Secret To Calming Anxiety & Pain?

Photo: Oleg Zharsky

CBD oil is gaining major traction in the wellness world, as people praise its ability to transform a person's sleep and temper anxiety. There are even hemp-infused topical products popping up on the market. But despite its growing popularity, there is still a lot of misinformation and even stigma associated with CBD. Will it get you high? Is it safe? Is it even legal?

It's important to know that CBD does not have any of the psychoactive effects associated with THC, which is found in high quantities in marijuana. Instead, CBD contains many of the healing properties—without "the high." CBD is generally considered safe and is legal in most states. That being said, it's always important to talk to your doctor about trying a new supplement and a lot more research is needed on the long-term use of CBD.

The existing information is super promising for various conditions ranging from insomnia to epilepsy to chronic pain. Not to mention, top integrative and functional medicine experts are getting behind this amazing natural chemical. Here's what excites the pros most about CBD, plus, how they're using it on themselves and their patients:

It can be the missing piece of the health puzzle.

"I have been using CBD on various patients at my functional medicine center for some time now, and we are loving the clinical results! I use it to support healthy balanced inflammation levels in people with autoimmunity, pain, and anxiety. For some, CBD has truly been the missing link in their health puzzle. It's one of the few things that I, too, take every day." William Cole, D.C.

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There's a lot of potential for chronic pain.

"Ultimately there is a role for CBD in a variety of conditions. It decreases anxiety, is anti-inflammatory, and can help with sleep. It does also have some positive impact on pain. Some of it may be for the reasons I listed above. It doesn’t have the psychotropic effects of THC, and it is legal (for now). The tricky part is that we don’t have robust studies fully clarifying dose, interactions, and contraindications. I do have patients who anecdotally find that it is helpful when used topically for arthritis and orally (spray) for pain. I think often it is beneficial because it helps with sleep and anxiety, which both can be an issue with both acute and chronic pain. I have other patients who have no response."Carrie Diulus, M.D.

I'm wary of recommending it before more research is done.

"Recently a lot of patients have asked me about CBD oil, which seems to reflect a growing interest in CBD oil nationwide as a remedy for many different ailments. While many people have told me individually that they have gained a lot of personal pain/anxiety/depression/psychosis relief from the use of CBD oil, research is still ongoing and has not definitively determined either clear benefits or harm. There is definitely some interesting research that is being conducted on the treatment of psychosis with CBD oil. I am wary of recommending CBD oil at this point for these reasons and also because there has not been much regulation of the product, which is concerning when I want to make sure that my patients are getting a safe product." Aparna Iyer, M.D.

It looks promising for a ton of health ailments, but talk to your doctor first.

"CBD varies per concentration, so getting a reliable brand and source is key. It doesn’t alter the person's state of mind who uses it like marijuana does, but it does produce many positive changes and has many medical benefits including improving the immune system, being anti-inflammatory, improving mood, appetite, cognitive function, anxiety, depression, insomnia, addiction, epilepsy, improves cancer, Crohn's disease, and even acne. Physicians recommend it for their chronic pain patients as well as fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. Studies have shown the use of CBD oil in mice reducing inflammation significantly. Physicians also recommend CBD oil in patients who want to quit smoking as well as decrease opioid usage. It seems to be the wonder drug everyone wants! You can inhale it, rub in on the skin, or put drops in your food. My personal reservations for CBD oil are there are still no long-term safety data studies and studies haven’t been done in children yet. Some side effects include diarrhea and weight and appetite changes. Talk to your doctor if this is a good alternative and to see if CBD is right for you." —Bindiya Gandhi

Psst: Everyone's favorite CBD oil brand just launched a line of topical products.

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