A recent Gallup poll revealed that almost 15% of Americans are using cannabidiol (CBD) products. This hemp-derived compound is garnering a lot of interest across the US. However, its safety and efficacy have been questioned, with concerns about insufficient scientific evidence to support anecdotal claims being raised.
Hemp was legalized in the US barely two years ago, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Before this, hemp was illegal, and consequently, it wasn’t easy to conduct hemp-based research. Now that things have changed, there is increasing demand for hemp-based products and a greater need for clinical research in this area.
CBD American Shaman, the nation’s largest brick and mortar CBD retailer with over 360 locations, recently conducted three studies to investigate the safety and efficacy of CBD and other phytocannabinoids. The results were published and released at The International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) conference, one of the most prestigious events in cannabis.
In summary, the results showed the following:
- The effectiveness of CBN in providing relief from sleeplessness
- The effectiveness of CBG/CBD in the management of pain, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and chronic fatigue
- The safe consumption of CBD, citing no harmful effects on the liver
Here is a synopsis of the studies:
Study 1: Use of a Water-Soluble Form of CBN for the Treatment of Sleeplessness
This study analyzed the use and effects of nano-treated water-soluble CBN in relieving sleep disorders. CBN improved both the length and quality of sleep and enabled individuals to progress well through the various stages of sleep. Doses of 1 to 4 mg of nano-treated CBN was sufficient to produce these results.
Study 2: Nano-Processed CBG/CBD: Effect on Pain, ADHD, IBS, and Chronic Fatigue
This study analyzed how combining 5 mg/ml CBD with 15 mg/ml CBG improved chronic conditions for some individuals. The results indicated the CBG/CBD solution helped those suffering from pain and IBS symptoms, enhanced thinking and attention levels for patients suffering from ADHD, and improved energy levels for chronic fatigue. For IBS, CBD/CBG was able to help over 50% of patients to stop their pain medication.
Study 3: Observed Impact of Long-Term Consumption of Oral CBD on Liver Function of Healthy Adults
This study analyzed how CBD impacts liver function with consumption. The study results found that CBD did not elevate liver function tests and did not result in liver failure, making it safe for consumption.
Terpenes & Testing Magazine Spoke to Vince Sanders, the president and founder of CBD American Shaman, about these studies, the results, and the future of CBD.
Here is what we found out.
T&T: What motivated you to do these studies?
Vince: Our approach to cannabinoid-based medicines has always been evidence-based. These were not the first studies that we have conducted, but they were the first human studies. We have been offering water-soluble CBD, CBG, and CBN to our customers, and hence we wanted to research to validate the science that backs what we do. Science is what drives and motivates us.
T&T: What are your personal feelings about the results? Did you expect anything different?
Vince: We were not in the least surprised by what these studies revealed. That said, a few aspects caught our attention. For example, there has been a lot of research on CBG’s effects on gut health, which we expected to see. However, we didn’t anticipate the level of increased energy and focus experienced when CBD was offered to participants.
As for water soluble (nano) cannabinoids, we were anticipating the results that were observed. Nano-emulsification breaks down the cannabinoids into nanoparticles, making it possible for the cannabinoids to be absorbed across the gastrointestinal tract and into the bloodstream. In these studies, individuals taking nano-treated CBD (from CBD American Shaman) used seven times less CBD per day than regular CBD (7.6 mg versus 54.0 mg).
Generally, we are delighted with the results.
T&T: What’s next for the CBD industry?
Vince: It’s our hope that the FDA will greenlight the ingestion of reasonable amounts of cannabinoids. We also expect fewer restrictions on human trials that investigate cannabinoid-based therapies.
We also spoke to Dr. Robert Kaufmann, the primary author and designer of the studies. In his view, these studies demonstrated the safety of CBD and the therapeutic efficacy of nano-treated cannabinoids. Our conversation revealed that the research team anticipated these results, even though part of the results caught them by surprise.
T&T: Did any of the results catch you by surprise?
Dr. Kaufman: Not precisely. You see, I’ve been using CBD with a number of my patients, and I’ve seen this sort of response with them.
For example, patients with cancer usually have their liver enzymes checked from time to time. When such patients have elevated liver enzymes with CBD, it is usually because they are taking another drug with the CBD. When they stop taking the other drug, they do not have elevated liver enzymes. The study showed that CBD doses that people consume for self-medication are unlikely to cause elevated liver enzymes. This is what we have been observing clinically.
T&T: What outcome did surprise you?
Dr. Kaufmann: The number of people that had IBS that benefitted from CBG. This type of therapy seemed to work for most patients. I was also surprised by CBN’s effect on sleep. Most people who were put on CBN were already taking CBD, but not all of them benefited from it. CBD does not help everyone with sleep disorders, but CBN seems to do that. It lowered the incidence of all types of sleep disorders, which was striking. With all five categories of sleep disorders, CBN significantly decreased the problems that people were having. Patients think that it’s magic because of how well it works.
T&T: What positive change do you expect to see after this study?
Dr. Kaufmann: I expect to see more people embracing cannabinoid-based medicine. I hope that these studies will help to open people’s eyes to see that cannabinoids help people and cause no harm if used correctly. Hopefully, more people will embrace this.
The studies conducted by CBD American Shaman explored the use and efficacy of CBD, CBN, and CBG, representing cannabinoids already in the market. The studies also validated the use of nano-based products to improve the bioavailability and absorption of cannabinoids. However, as noted by Dr. Kaufmann, it will take at least another year before the specific effects of water-soluble cannabinoids can be confirmed; this will have to be a different study. Meanwhile, we hope that these studies will pave the way for another human trial to explore the full potential of cannabinoid-based therapies.