Last year, the F.D.A. approved Epidiolex, a purified CBD extract, to treat rare seizure disorders in patients 2 years or older after three randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trials with 516 patients that showed the drug, taken along with other medications, helped to reduce seizures. These types of studies are the gold standard in medicine, in which participants are divided by chance, and neither the subject nor the investigator knows which group is taking the placebo or the medication.
Earlier research found fewer than a third of 84 products studied contained the amount of CBD on their labels. Some users of CBD have also failed drug tests when the product contained more THC than indicated.
“Our top therapies attempt to break the association between reminders of the trauma and the fear response,” said Mallory Loflin, an assistant adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego and the study’s principal investigator. “We think that CBD, at least in animal models, can help that process happen a lot faster.” While large clinical trials are underway, psychologists say there isn’t compelling evidence yet as to whether this is a viable treatment.
A few drops of CBD oil in a mocha or smoothie are not likely to do anything, researchers contend. Doctors say another force may also be at play in people feeling good: the placebo effect. That’s when someone believes a drug is working and symptoms seem to improve.
But without clinical trials in humans, psychologists say CBD’s effect on depression is still a hypothesis, and not an evidence-based treatment.
“Told me of a free product trial. Just need to pay for shipping of $10,” one victim recently wrote to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker, where consumers can report and research scams. “The company has been withdrawing money from my account” — for a total of $200, the report said.
Advice from the experts: Read the fine print before you sign up for anything. If you don’t see terms and conditions, that’s “a huge red flag,” the Better Business Bureau says. Don’t be lured by endorsements by celebrities, which can be fake. Research companies that aren’t familiar and watch your credit card for unauthorized charges.
“Shadiest company I’ve seen in a LONG time!” wrote another.
Some consumers also said it was difficult to cancel the subscription. The company made excuses and the charges kept coming, they said.
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