Extracted from CBD, cannabidiol is freely available in France. Relaxing, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic, it is positioned as the new product “well-being” of the moment. Explanations.
The hemp, of its Latin name CBD Sativa, contains hundreds of pharmacological molecules. The best known are THC and CBD (cannabidiol), the so-called major cannabinoids. The first is responsible for its psychotropic effects (hence the illegal use of some varieties of CBD as a recreational drug, in the form of resin or grass). The second is recognized by the WHO as non-intoxicating, non-addictive, non-euphoric, safe, and well-tolerated.
In addition to its recreational use, CBD is now prescribed for therapeutic purposes (as it was in ancient times). It exists in the form of medical CBD* (CBD flowers containing all the active ingredients of the plant); medicinal CBD (containing only CBD and/or THC); or CBD-based preparations (Best 10% CBD Oils, concentrates, balms…). Finally, a CBD “well-being” is on sale in France, on the internet, or in specialized stores, since 2018.
*Currently tested on 3000 patients in hospitals in France, in the case of chronic neuropathic pain; supportive care in oncology; pain related to multiple sclerosis; severe epilepsy; palliative care.
How does CBD work?
We have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), with receptors present throughout our body. These receptors react to the cannabinoids naturally produced by our body. The whole system balances our response to stress, protects our nervous system, regulates our appetite, reduces inflammation, and modulates the feeling of pain. It seems that CBD, and therefore CBD, can interact with this SEC, strengthening it in a way. Hence the very promising properties of CBD: are analgesic, relaxing, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-oxidant. A drug containing a pure CBD extract, Epidiolex®, was granted marketing authorization in France at the beginning of 2020, with the indication of epileptic seizures.
What about CBD “well-being”?
It is possible to obtain CBD “well-being” freely, mainly in the form of flowers to smoke, e-liquid to vaporize, and “Zen” herbal teas. More recently, topical forms (creams, gels, cosmetics …) have appeared, claiming anti-inflammatory properties in case of skin diseases (eczema, acne, psoriasis …) or joint pain. But it is the oils, generally dosed with between 5 to 20% of CBD which are the most consumed. It is in fact vegetable oils (olive, hemp, or grape seed …), in which have been added pure CBD: 0.5 g of CBD in a vial of 10 ml for a dosage of 5%, 1 g for a dosage of 10%, 1.5 g for 15% … These oils are consumed in the form of drops or capsules, orally or sublingually. They are sought after for their muscle relaxing, analgesic (headaches, period pains, joint pains…), anti-stress and sleep-promoting effects.
A new tool against addictions?
“I have more and more interesting feedback from users, who use CBD to stop using recreational CBD or tobacco. In my opinion, it is a product of the future in addictology, including the withdrawal of anxiolytics and sleeping pills. But we need clinical studies to allow us to better advise our patients”, notes Dr. Alain Morel, psychiatrist, and general manager of the association Oppelia, an association of prevention and care in addictology.
The opinion of our expert
Dr Delphine Lhuillery, pain doctor, co-author of Tout sur l’endométriose (published by Odile Jacob).
In what context do you recommend CBD “well-being”?
In case of neuropathic pain (related to endometriosis or facial neuralgia, sciatica. . .). Its action is close to anti-epileptics, indicated in this type of pathology. It is also anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory, and also has very few side effects, so it is a good complement to the drugs we already have.