Managing Expectations with CBD
The wellness industry is always on a lookout for new natural ingredients that provide health benefits, and cannabidiol has taken the market by storm. Ever since CBD first burst onto the scene in recent years, more and more people started to tout its efficacy in treating various ailments and improving the daily lives of so many individuals who have otherwise suffered from maladies that couldn’t be addressed by conventional drugs.
However, while all of those stories make it seem like CBD is a miracle substance that can seemingly bring light to darkness and life to the lifeless, we must stem our expectations. CBD is indeed wonderful, but it’s far from being a panacea. Our expectations should be grounded by scientific evidence so we don’t end up being disappointed by reality.
Let’s take a look at how the CBD hype is being jumped on by brands and how you should keep yourself from being taken by that hype. While CBD is indeed beneficial, do know that it may also have potential side effects and it works differently for different people.
More Research Into Cannabis is Still Needed
There are still plenty of gaps in cannabis research, which is why the government recently granted $3 million through the National Institutes of Health for the exploration of cannabinoids. The one thing that has elevated CBD to the position it’s in now is the strong scientific evidence that shows it being an effective treatment for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in young children.
Other than that, there’s so little that’s known about all the other complex cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other numerous compounds in cannabis. Science has lagged behind public interest for a long time, likely due to the taboo that has surrounded cannabis for decades. As more of that taboo is being lifted, the drive to study the plant will soon become desirable and commonplace throughout the world.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has determined that the absence of adequate cannabis research constitutes a public health risk. There’s a need for a more precise scientific understanding of how THC and CBD benefit one’s health, and that’s only possible with more medical research.
Also, the studies that are there have small sample sizes, which means their results are bound to not be conclusive enough. For example, a recent study on CBD’s effectiveness in fighting opiate addiction only had 42 adults as its sample size. While the findings will still somewhat matter, it won’t be as conclusive since they were only able to study it on 42 people to determine their results.
Clash of FDA and Federal Guidelines
We do see a variety of CBD products coming out of the woodwork, but what most don’t notice is how it varies from region to region. While there hasn’t been any further changes to how US federal law sees cannabis ever since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill that approved the use of hemp (cannabis with THC content below 0.3%), attitudes still differ from state to state.
You can say that a rule of thumb is that if you see CBD foods and beverages on the shelf, you’re likely in a state where it’s all legal, despite what federal guidelines suggest. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is trying their best to put their proverbial foot down when it comes to cannabis and CBD products. Cannabis is still in Schedule I, most CBD products are unapproved, and the only one they fully approve is Epidiolex—the childhood epilepsy drug.
CBD has been found to be useful for many conditions beyond epilepsy, and market demand for products with CBD has been steadily increasing in recent years. However, until there are even more conclusive studies to make CBD undeniable as a health boon, the FDA is not likely to give it full approval. But that has been changing slowly but surely with the continuing growth of the market and star athletes and celebrities endorsing CBD products.
CBD Is Not a Cure-All
Despite all the hype surrounding CBD as both medicine and health supplement, it’s not a panacea that can cure everything. Continuing to advertise it as such only contributes to it being seen as more like snake oil. Overselling its benefits raises expectations for it well above what’s reasonable, and that can then lead to disappointment, which then creates unreasonable backlash against CBD for not performing as well as the hype suggests.
On the other hand, current conditions are mostly positive for the rise of CBD as the next big thing. More studies are now being funded, thanks to companies and governments showing interest in CBD. There is also more research being conducted on the endocannabinoid system, seeking to understand more of this part of the human body and how it affects our health and daily lives. That can then lead to even more powerful discoveries.
However, we must stem our expectations and understand that CBD and other cannabis-derived products are not cure-alls. Sooner or later, we’ll get to a point wherein CBD becomes truly mainstream and is an integral part of daily life, and everyone will have an inherent understanding of its uses and benefits. Until then, proper education on CBD is crucial to make sure that people know exactly what they’re getting into when they decide to try out CBD.
There seems to be a myth going around that the effects of CBD manifest as soon as it’s consumed, and that’s mostly not true. Perhaps that does happen with CBD vapes, but there are caveats to that. As for other methods of consumption like sublingual application of CBD oil or tincture, eating CBD edibles, or so on, it takes time for you to feel its effects as the CBD gets absorbed into the bloodstream and your body gets used to it.
In fact, if you’re entirely new to CBD, you may not experience anything at all until your body gets used to having it for up to several weeks. That’s why expectations have to be stemmed as everyone is different—some may react to it strongly, while others may barely feel a thing until a lot later. There’s also the concern of people taking higher and higher dosages out of frustration to feel an effect, which is certainly not recommended.
Even if there have been no reports of there ever being a case of severely adverse effects from “overdosing” CBD, it may still put strain on your body to process all that CBD at once. After all, CBD isn’t going to automatically reduce anxiety as soon as you take it, and worrying about whether it’s actually working is only making your anxiety worse.
Most people who take CBD regularly report their expectations with anxiety relief and pain management to be mostly fulfilled. CBD does work, but it does take some patience to truly reap its benefits.
We need to manage our expectations when it comes to CBD, as with everything else in life. So, whenever you take a CBD tincture or eat some CBD gummies, just relax and let it take you wherever it will.