• Utile ou pas, le CBD ?
  • Utile ou pas, le CBD ?
  • Utile ou pas, le CBD ?

Is CBD useful or not?Canada

Published 7 February 2024

The buzz around the possible health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) continues unabated. A national consultation conducted by Health Canada in 2019 revealed that 93% of respondents were interested in health products containing cannabis. Among other things, they considered CBD to be a less risky natural remedy than pharmaceutical products.

Yet, scientists know very little about CBD. "There's a lack of information to communicate to the public because there's still a lot of research to be done to better understand its effects," confirms Dr. Didier Jutras-Aswad, Head of the CHUM Department of Psychiatry and clinical researcher. There's even a lot of misinformation circulating about CBD," noted Health Canada in its 2022 report on the substance.

What is CBD?

Cannabis contains over a hundred substances that can activate certain receptors in our body and cause different effects. Like THC, CBD is one of these active ingredients.

While THC primarily targets cannabinoid receptors in the brain, CBD acts through a wide variety of mechanisms, and these appear to be much more complex. "The effects of CBD on health, body function and behavior are therefore different from those of THC," observes Dr. Jutras-Aswad.

For example, THC is thought to be responsible for the euphoria associated with cannabis. CBD, on the other hand, causes no buzz. For a long time, it was thought that CBD had no psychoactive effects and no real behavioral effects," explains Dr. Jutras-Aswad. However, preliminary data suggest that at certain dosages, CBD can induce drowsiness and may have positive effects on anxiety."

Are its medicinal virtues scientifically proven?

People who consume products containing CBD note an expansive range of positive effects, notes Dr. Jutras-Aswad. "They say it's relaxing, gives them a sense of well-being and helps them sleep," he lists. According to a document published in 2022 by the Association des pharmaciens des établissements de santé du Québec, CBD may also have analgesic effects.

The efficacy of CBD in treating health problems, however, is not very well proven scientifically. In fact, there are few high-quality clinical trials in which results have been replicated several times in different patient groups.

To date, CBD's efficacy has only been confirmed for epilepsy. "The data indicate strongly that CBD has a positive effect on convulsive seizures," notes Dr. Jutras-Aswad. It reduces their frequency, according to a meta-analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Last November, Health Canada approved Epidiolex®, an oral CBD solution for the treatment of seizures associated with three rare forms of epilepsy.

These epilepsy studies, however, use very high doses of up to 1,000 mg of CBD. These are doses that can only be reached with pharmaceutical-type products," stresses the doctor. It has nothing to do with the products sold at SQDC." The latter are usually 30 to 100 times less concentrated.

According to Health Canada, preliminary data show that CBD is effective in the short-term treatment of mild symptoms of stress and nervousness. There is no consensus on the dose required (which varies from product to product and from individual to individual), but it appears to be lower, with less than 20 mg being sufficient in some cases.

"We also have some studies on the treatment of cannabis dependence, but the level of evidence is not yet sufficient to use this intervention routinely," notes Dr. Jutras-Aswad. Furthermore, Health Canada considers that there is insufficient data to draw conclusions about the beneficial effects of CBD on sleep or mild pain.

What type of product should I choose?

Determining the efficacy of CBD is difficult because it comes in many forms, each with its own particularities. Most studies have been conducted with highly concentrated oil taken orally, in capsule or drop form. The oral route allows us to control the dose administered more precisely," notes Dr. Jutras-Aswad. If food is ingested at the same time, however, this can influence the amount of CBD that is actually absorbed by the body." A fatty meal, for example, increases absorption.

CBD can also be inhaled, but due to the chemicals associated with smoking and the possible risks of vaping, Health Canada does not recommend consuming CBD by inhalation.

At SQDC, CBD is also available in food, oil, capsule, oral spray, infusion and beverage form. Some products also contain a mix of THC and CBD. "If a person wants to experiment with cannabis products to explore or relax, but without treating specific symptoms, they should use a product with a low THC concentration," advises Dr. Jutras-Aswad. The Crown corporation is mandated to sell cannabis for non-therapeutic purposes only.

"If someone has a medical problem, they should instead consult a healthcare professional to determine whether CBD is among the therapeutic options," the doctor adds. If the doctor deems that a product containing CBD would be appropriate, that person will be able to obtain it from a pharmacy with a prescription.

Can CBD be dangerous?

CBD is safer than THC," notes Dr. Jutras-Aswad. It's a fairly well-tolerated substance with relatively few side effects." Still, according to Health Canada, some users have reported experiencing effects such as confused thinking, nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth and eyes, and lack of energy, with less than 200 mg per day. "At high doses, we sometimes see drowsiness and liver effects," adds the doctor. CBD may also interact with other medications.

Health Canada considers CBD safe and tolerable for use for less than 30 days in healthy adults. In many studies, CBD has only been administered for a few weeks or months," explains Dr. Jutras-Aswad. So very little is known about its long-term use."

What's more, serious disorders such as severe anxiety, severe pain and chronic insomnia require medical follow-up. Someone with a medical problem really shouldn't be seeking advice from SQDC," confirms Dr. Jutras-Aswad. Instead, they should consult a health professional."

CBD does not appear to be addictive. "A number of studies have been done on it, and the level of concern is low," notes the doctor.

Source : Utile ou pas, le CBD ? : https://lactualite.com/sante-et-science/si-les-humains-disparaissaient-que-deviendraient-les-chiens/