A significant source of confusion for many healthcare professionals is that cannabidiol (CBD) is automatically associated with many naturopathic supplements such as St. John’s Wort and Ashwagandha. While there is plenty of opinions and research regarding the use of these substances, there is very little empirical data to prove that they are effective for treating the conditions for which they’re often marketed. On the contrary, CBD is an FDA approved prescription drug used in the treatment of epilepsy in children. Let’s explore some of the other differences between CBD and the plant-based compounds with which it is often associated.
While active alkaloids have been isolated from the vast majority of whole-plant supplements, scientific research has struggled to identify the properties of those alkaloids which definitively make them effective treatments. Here’s a brief sampling of popular supplements and their purported active ingredients:
Ashwagandha – Withaferin A
Withaferin A has affinity for several immune system enzymes in vitro, but has failed to demonstrate meaningful activity in the treatment of the immune conditions for which it is often marketed.
Turmeric – Curcumin
Curcumin is one of the most well-known natural supplements, but its effects in the body are disputed. Despite extensive scientific research and the fact that it has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, clinical data is lacking to support many of the claims surrounding Curcumin.
St. John’s Wort – Hyperforin; Hypericin
Comparable to SSRIs, hyperforin and hypericin have nanomolar affinities for all monoamine cellular transporters. However, very few recent studies have looked at their actual effects on depression in vivo, and most were short in duration with very small sample sizes.
Horny Goat Weed – Icariin
Icariin is known in traditional Chinese medicine to be useful for depression and joint inflammation, but to date, its clinical human trials have been limited, usually suffering from small sample sizes as well as not having control groups.
What sets CBD apart?
While the cannabis plant has been used for thousands of years to treat a myriad of different conditions, the cannabinoids which make up its active ingredients weren’t discovered until the last few decades. Once they were discovered, research into their properties was further hindered until very recently by its illegality.
Because CBD lacks psychoactivity, it wasn’t presumed to possess any useful pharmaceutical value until the last couple decades, when it was discovered that CBD has more than 60 biological targets in humans. While claims regarding many other natural supplements are largely pseudoscientific, CBD has empirically demonstrated effectiveness in the treatment of Dravet syndrome and LGS, the two severe forms of childhood epilepsy referred to earlier.
Furthermore, while the FDA hasn’t yet approved its use in the treatment of other conditions, hundreds of studies have demonstrated the activity of CBD in diverse body systems and functions; from the CNS to the Immune System, from the inflammatory cascade to sleep regulation.
This data has led to several FDA-sanctioned clinical trials which are either already underway, or set to commence in the near future. As a trusted healthcare provider in your community, we know that you want to stay ahead of these developments into CBD research, so that you can confidently counsel customers on the benefits of CBD, especially when compared to the natural supplements found in the busiest aisle of most pharmacies across the country.
To learn more about CBD’s uniqueness, we invite you to discover NCPACBDSource.com today!