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Thirty-four national and international laboratories participated in the ring trial. The results have shown that there is good agreement of results between most laboratories. The data includes instrument types and limits of detection which helped assess the capability of testing laboratories and which will be invaluable information to determine the UK capability in analysing CBD products and controlled cannabinoids.
CBD and controlled cannabinoids – Ring trial report
The project has been funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Home Office and the Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS) and has been carried out in collaboration with Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).
Cannabidiol (CBD) products have rapidly entered the UK market in a variety of forms, including food and cosmetics. Laboratories across the UK need to be able to accurately measure the CBD content as well as the controlled cannabinoid content in commercially available products. CBD and cannabinoids have been highlighted as difficult compounds to analyse. The aim of the ring trial was to share and compare methods for quantifying CBD and controlled cannabinoids in food and cosmetics among testing laboratories
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CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
Is cannabidiol legal?
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So, you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
Exploring the effects of combined CBD and THC (20:1) on sleep and brain activation in patients with insomnia disorder. Eligible participants undergo two overnight sleep studies receiving randomised active and placebo treatments. This study is being led by Professor Ron Grunstein. See here for more information.
Study site: Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Glebe, NSW 2037
Exploring the effect of combined THC and CBD (1:1) on tics in patients with Tourette syndrome. Eligible participants will undergo two 8-week treatment periods receiving either active or placebo treatment. This study is being led by Dr Philip Mosley. See here for more information.