The effectiveness of CBD wellness products for issues such as anxiety, insomnia and pain relief is still largely not known, a prominent researcher on the health effects of CBD has told The Guardian.
A lecturer at the Department of Psychology at King’s College London who has studied the health effects of CBD, Dr Will Lawn made the comments in a discussion with the Guardian’s science correspondent, Ian Sample.
Setting the scene, Law said that the UK CBD wellness products market was now worth “around £700 million, more than the entire vitamins and mineral market combined”. Round 10% of UK adults use CBD products on a ‘somewhat regular basis’, he added.
Asked about the veracity of widely made claims for CBD, Lawn said: “We just don’t know. There was a study last year that was a randomised, but that was an open-label study (a clinical trial in which information is not withheld from trial participants) with OTC CBD products which did show a positive impact on anxiety, insomnia and types of pain. But we just haven’t done the types of gold standard randomised placebo controlled studies to test the effects of low dose, non-prescribed CBD products. We need more studies to show this and to understand the long-term safety of (these) products”.
We really are still in the dark about how CBD is pharmacologically affecting the body”
Law said that research in this area is made more challenging by the fact that CBD “is so complex pharmacologically”. He added: “It’s not just acting on cannabinoid receptors – in fact it doesn’t do so very much at all. It’s acting on all sorts of different targets – dopamine, serotonin and so on. So at different doses CBD may have a multitude of different effects. We really are still in the dark about how CBD is pharmacologically affecting the body and which of those mechanisms of action are behind its effectiveness in medical treatment of psychosis, epilepsy potentially treating addiction”.