This is a summary of a recent review article, published by O’Sullivan et al. in the Journal of Cannabis Research on June 13th. The review specifically focuses on the use of purified CBD products in clinical studies to determine potential indications for which purified CBD could be beneficial. The findings suggest that purified CBD can be used effectively in various conditions beyond epilepsy, which is currently the only approved indication for CBD medication. However, it is important to note that the evidence base is limited due to several factors. These include trials that primarily investigate the acute effects of CBD, trials conducted on healthy volunteers, and trials with small numbers of patients. To establish the efficacy of purified CBD across different indications, it is necessary to conduct large confirmatory phase 3 trials.
Below is a summary of the therapeutic benefits of purified CBD for several conditions, based on randomized controlled trials:
- Anxiety: Positive data from 7 uncontrolled studies and 17 randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
- Psychosis and schizophrenia: Positive data from 1 uncontrolled study and 8 RCTs.
- PTSD: Positive data from 2 uncontrolled studies and 4 RCTs.
- Substance abuse: Positive data from 2 uncontrolled studies and 3 RCTs.
- Sleep quality: Positive data from 1 small RCT.
- Parkinson’s: Positive data from 3 positive uncontrolled studies and 2 positive RCTs.
- Autism: Positive data from 3 positive RCTs.
- Smoking cessation: Positive data from 2 positive RCTs.
- Graft-versus-host disease: Positive data from 1 positive RCT.
- Intestinal permeability: Positive data from 1 positive RCT.
The review also indicates that current RCT evidence does not support the use of purified oral CBD for pain relief, at least as an acute analgesic, or for the treatment of COVID symptoms, cancer, Huntington’s disease, or type 2 diabetes.
Strengths of the review include providing a comprehensive summary of clinical studies that exclusively use purified CBD products. Additionally, the review presents a helpful summary table of randomized controlled clinical studies that demonstrate a significant effect of purified CBD in both patients and healthy volunteers.
However, the evidence base has certain weaknesses, as mentioned earlier, including limited trials that focus on acute effects, trials conducted on healthy volunteers, and trials with small patient populations. To address these limitations, it is crucial to conduct large confirmatory phase 3 trials across all indications.
The review does not appear to exhibit any significant bias. However, it is important to consider potential biases in future studies.
The implications of this review suggest that purified CBD products may offer therapeutic benefits for various conditions beyond epilepsy. However, it is necessary to conduct large confirmatory phase 3 trials to establish the efficacy of purified CBD products across multiple indications.
Stefan Broselid, Ph.D.
Editor-In-Chief, Aurea Care Medical Science Journal
O’Sullivan SE, Jensen SS, Nikolajsen GN, Bruun HZ, Bhuller R, Hoeng J. The therapeutic potential of purified cannabidiol. J Cannabis Res. 2023;5(1):21. Published 2023 Jun 13. doi:10.1186/s42238-023-00186-9