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What you should ask before trying CBD

Promising new research with real results happening in Houston

HOUSTON – CBD is all the rage right now. You’ll find it in lotions, creams, sprays, tinctures and even in candy. Some see it as a miracle cure for pain, stress, anxiety and insomnia. But its popularity is outpacing the research.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound that comes in two forms of the cannabis plant, marijuana and hemp. It is said to have all the benefits of marijuana without getting the person who is taking it high.

What type of research is being done on CBD?

Other than one prescription drug to treat a rare form of epilepsy, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any CBD products. Local researchers say only when we have well-thought-out and controlled human clinical trials with the FDA’s stamp of approval will we finally get a much clearer picture of CBD’s potential medicinal benefits.

Dr. Matthew Halpert, an instructor of immunology at Baylor College of Medicine, recently partnered with Sunset Animal Hospital on a controlled CBD trial involving a group of 25 dogs prediagnosed with arthritis.

A beef-flavored tincture was squirted on their food, and after a month, Halpert said the results were staggering.

“On average, about a 40% to 50% reduction in symptoms. We saw a really good safety profile," he said. "No adverse events were reported. These dogs were moving around easier, more willing and able to run, to jump and play. The owner said the dogs were actually very happy. I’m much more of a believer now."

Questions you should ask before trying CBD

The National Arthritis Foundation recommends you check with your doctor first. Buy from a reputable company, start with a low dose and slowly increase the amount until you feel better.

“One thing a lot of people aren’t aware of is that CBD actually has a lot of drug interactions, so, as a pharmacist, my No. 1 priority is consumer safety,” said Dr. Austin Delacruz, a clinical psychiatric pharmacist and assistant professor at the University of Houston.

Cindy Moulton, co-founder of Sacred Leaf Wellness in Rice Village, said make sure the CBD you’re buying is organic. Ask where and how the cannabis is grown.

It’s also important to know where it’s manufactured, processed and packaged.

“The important factors to me are consistency, reliability and transparency," she said. "We get a batch report for each product that we sell in the store, so you can actually look on the bottom of the product and you’ll see a batch number, and you can look up the batch report so you can see exactly what’s in the product."