Alternate Title

  • Cannabidiol

Related Terms

  • Ageef, ageeve, almindelig hamp (Danish), anashca, asa (Japanese), asanomi, bang (Arabic – Egypt), banji, bhaang (Hindi, Nepali), bhaango (Nepali), bhang (Hindi), blunt, bud, cáñamo (Spanish), canapa (Italian), canapa indiana (Italian), canapa indica (Italian), canape (Italian), cânhamo (Portuguese), Cannabaceae (family), cannabidiols, cannabinoid, cannabis, Cannabis sativa spp., cares (Nepali), CBD-DMH, Cesamet®, chanvre (French), chanvre cultivé (French), chanvre de l’Inde (French), chanvre indien (French), chanvrier (French), charas (Hindi), churras (Hindi), dà má (Chinese), da ma cao (Chinese), da ma ren (Chinese), dagga (Afrikaans), delta-9THC-cannabidiol, dope, dronabinol, echter Hanf (German), esrar, Finola®, gaanjaa (Nepali), gaga, gajiimaa (Nepali), ganja (Sanskrit, Hindi, Nepali, Urdu), ganjika (Sanskrit), grass, grifa (Spanish), hachís (Spanish), hamp (Danish, Norwegian), hampa (Swedish), hampjurt (Icelandic), hamppu (Finnish), Hanf (German), harilik kanep (Estonian), Haschischpflanze (German), hash, hashish, hashish qinnib (Arabic), hemp, hemp ale, hemp flour, Hemp Foods Australia®, Hemp Liquid Gold, hemp nut butter, hemp oil, Hemp Organics, hemp plant, hemp protein powder, hemp seed meal, hemp seed nut butter spread, hemp seed nuts, hemp seed oil, hempseed, hempseed oil, hemp-seeds, hempzels, hennep (Dutch), HU-331, huo ma (Chinese), huo ma cao (Chinese), huo ma ren (Chinese), Indian hamp, Indian hemp, indiiskaia konoplia (Russian), indische hennep (Dutch), indisk hamp (Danish), industrial hemp, joint, kannabisu (Japanese), kenevir (Turkish), kendir (Turkish), kief, kif (Arabic – Morocco), konopí seté (Czech), konopie (Polish), konopie siewne (Polish), konoplia sornaia (Russian), konoplja (Slovenian), Kultur-Hanf (German), maconha (Portuguese), Manitoba Harvest, mariguana, marihuana, marijuana, Marinol®, Mary Jane, mashinin (Japanese), nabilone, navadna konoplja (Slovenian), Nutiva®, O-1918, Organic Hemp Protein Powder, porkanchaa (Thai), pot, PVL’s Certified Organic Protein Powders, qinnib (Arabic), riesen Hanf (German), roasted hemp, Sativex®, sawi, shâhdânag (Arabic), sharâneq (Arabic), shelled hempseed, sinsemilla, taima (Japanese), tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, tîl (Arabic), unika-b, vadkender (Hungarian), vetési kinder (Hungarian), weed, wild hemp, wilder Hanf (German), ye da ma (Chiense), ye ma (Chinese).

Background

  • Marijuana, hemp, and cannabis are common names for plants of the genus Cannabis. The term hemp is often used for cannabis strains grown specifically for production of paper, rope, and cloth. Other cannabis strains are used to make recreational and medicinal drugs. The major difference between the main types of cannabis plants is the amount of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) they contain.
  • Cannabis has been used medicinally for approximately 5,000 years. The most widely used components of the herb in traditional medicine are the seed and seed oil. Cannabis sativa is widely used recreationally (inhaled or taken by mouth) to achieve increased feelings of well-being.
  • Cannabis has been studied for the treatment of a number of conditions, including eczema, epilepsy, chronic pain, insomnia, and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. The most significant benefits have been found in the treatment of chronic pain and symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
  • The two most studied cannabinoid compounds of Cannabis sativa are the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the nonpsychoactive cannabidiol (CBD).

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    Chronic pain

    Cannabinoids have been reported to reduce chronic pain associated with a variety of conditions. Cannabinoids have also been used in patients for whom other pain relief medications are not working. The active components in cannabis exert their effects on the central nervous system and immune cells. Cannabis is approved in some European countries and Canada. In the United States, it is an investigational drug for pain relief in cancer patients.

    Multiple sclerosis (symptoms)

    Research suggests that cannabinoids may improve some symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), specifically neuropathic pain, muscle spasms, and urinary symptoms.

    Eczema

    Early studies suggest that taking hemp seed oil by mouth may reduce symptoms of eczema, a skin rash also referred to as atopic dermatitis. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

    Epilepsy

    Early research suggests that epileptic patients may experience fewer seizures when taking cannabidiol (CBD) together with antiseizure medication. Further studies are required before a conclusion can be made.

    Glaucoma (high fluid pressure inside the eye)

    Glaucoma can result in optic nerve damage and blindness. Limited evidence suggests that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) taken under the tongue may reduce eye pressure. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

    Huntington’s disease

    Huntington’s disease is a degenerative nerve disorder associated with uncoordinated, jerky body movements and mental deterioration. Early studies suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) may not aid in reducing the severity of uncoordinated body movements associated with Huntington’s disease. Further studies are needed before a firm conclusion can be made.

    Insomnia

    Limited research suggests that cannabidiol may improve sleep quality in those with insomnia (difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep). More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

    Appetite/weight loss in cancer patients

    Clinical studies have shown no effect of cannabis-based therapies in the treatment of weight loss associated with cancer. Further studies are necessary before a conclusion can be made.

    Schizophrenia

    In limited research, no effect of cannabidiol (CBD) was seen on symptoms of schizophrenia in patients for whom other treatments were not working. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older)

    • For nausea and vomiting, five milligrams/m of body mass of dronabinol (Marinol®) has been taken by mouth before and after chemotherapy, for a total of 4-6 doses daily.
    • For weight loss and malnutrition associated with cancer, 2.5 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with or without one milligram of cannabidiol has been taken by mouth for six weeks.
    • For eczema, hemp seed oil has been taken by mouth for 20 weeks.
    • For chronic pain, 2.5-120 milligrams of cannabis has been taken by mouth in divided doses.
    • For epilepsy, 200-300 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) has been taken by mouth daily for up to 4.5 months.
    • For insomnia, 160 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) has been taken by mouth.
    • For symptoms of multiple sclerosis, 2.5-10 milligrams of dronabinol (Marinol®) has been taken by mouth daily for three weeks. Capsules containing 15-30 milligrams of cannabis extract has been taken by mouth for 14 days. Two and one-half milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), together with 0.9 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD), has been taken by mouth. Cannabinoid-based Sativex® mouth spray has been used at a dose of 2.5-120 milligrams in divided doses. Eight sprays in three hours and up to 48 sprays in 24 hours have been used.
    • For schizophrenia, 40-1,280 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) has been taken by mouth daily for up to four weeks.
    • For glaucoma (high fluid pressure in the eye), single doses of five milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or 40 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) placed under the tongue have been used.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for cannabis or cannabis-containing products in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to cannabis, cannabinoids, or plants of the Cannabaceae family. Symptoms similar to hay fever and asthma have been reported.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Cannabis may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Cannabis may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
    • Cannabis may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
    • Drowsiness or sedation may occur. Use caution if driving or operating heavy machinery, if taking sedatives, barbiturates, or central nervous system depressants, or if consuming alcohol.
    • Cannabis may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs, herbs, or supplements using the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these agents may change in the blood and may cause increased or decreased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients taking any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
    • Use with caution in foods or supplements containing cannabis seeds or oil.
    • Use with caution in patients with liver disease, glaucoma, immune disorders, or a history of drug abuse or addictive behavior, or in patients taking agents for any of these conditions.
    • Use with caution in patients taking estrogen therapy, agents that may damage the liver, antipyrine, or p-glycoprotein-regulated drugs.
    • Avoid in individuals with asthma or byssinosis (lung disease).
    • Avoid inhalation or intravenous injection of cannabis.
    • Avoid use of cannabis products obtained illegally.
    • Avoid in patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
    • Avoid in patients with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to cannabis, cannabinoids, or plants of the Cannabaceae family.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Avoid in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Research suggests the presence of significant risks to the fetus or developing infant or child.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Cannabis may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Cannabis may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
    • Cannabis may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
    • Cannabis may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, central nervous system depressants, sedatives, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
    • Cannabis may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may change in the blood and may cause increased or decreased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients taking any medication should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
    • Because cannabis contains estrogen-like chemicals, the effects of other agents believed to have hormonal or estrogen-like properties may be altered.
    • Cannabis may also interact with agents that affect the immune system, agents that affect the respiratory system, agents that may damage the liver, agents that treat nausea and vomiting, anticancer agents, anti-HIV agents, antipyrine, antiseizure agents, corticosteroids, painkillers, p-glycoprotein-regulated drugs, and agents that widen blood vessels.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Cannabis may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
    • Cannabis may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
    • Cannabis may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
    • Cannabis may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements with central nervous system depressant or sedative properties.
    • Cannabis may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may change in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements potentially may have on the P450 system.
    • Because cannabis contains estrogen-like chemicals, the effects of other herbs or supplements believed to have hormonal or estrogen-like properties may be altered.
    • Cannabis may also interact with anticancer herbs and supplements, antioxidants, antiseizure herbs and supplements, antivirals, herbs and supplements that affect the immune system, herbs and supplements that affect the respiratory system, herbs and supplements that may damage the liver, herbs and supplements that treat nausea and vomiting, painkillers, p-glycoprotein modulators, and herbs or supplements that widen blood vessels.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

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