Let’s Talk: CBD - medicine or drug?

November 15, 2019
CBD graphic

The use of CBD (short for cannabidiol) is an emerging trend due to claims of medicinal benefits and its recent legal status from the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, allowing hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC. While there is emerging evidence that suggests some strains and dosages of CBD can be effective in the treatment of specific medical conditions, CBD’s therapeutic benefits are unsubstantiated, except Epidiolex (for the treatment of rare, severe forms of epilepsy).

Many individuals, including young people, are claiming that the use of CBD gives them relief from their anxiety. While this may be their lived experience, it’s important to remember that CBD used in this way has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unlike drug products approved by the FDA, unapproved CBD drug products have not been subject to FDA review regarding whether they are safe and effective to treat a particular disease, what the proper dosage is, how they could interact with other drugs or foods, or whether they have side effects or other safety concerns.

If you suspect your child is using CBD without a medical professional’s permission, open a dialogue with them about CBD. Remember to have a conversation and NOT a confrontation -- ask them how it makes them feel, the reasons they feel a need to use it, and what other ways they’ve tried to manage their anxiety, stress, and related symptoms. Most importantly, try to listen without judgement. Encourage healthy coping skills as described here, including deep breathing, gratitude, and exercise. And, speak with a medical profession to get a proper diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care. Attend the Angst Documentary at Stillwater High School for more information on anxiety and resources and tools!