September 24, 2019; Today
Today, the Arthritis Foundation finally released some guidance for its constituents about the use of cannabidiol (CBD), becoming the first major patient advocacy group to do so.
It makes good sense for them to do so; the use of CBD in reducing inflammatory pain is growing quite common.
“It was important to acknowledge the public’s interest and put out some guidelines on the state of the science,” said Kevin Boehnke, a research investigator who helped develop the new guidelines—which still stop short of advocating its use.
“The guidelines are not saying, ‘you should try this.’ They’re saying, ‘if you want to try, here’s how you should do it,’” said Boehnke.
The Farm Bill passed by Congress in 2018 removed hemp from the controlled substance list, but guidance from official sources on its use has been scarce, with the FDA sitting blessedly idle on the issue. The establishment position, as NBC’s Today reports, is that “any guidelines on a substance for which there is no regulatory guidance” are “irresponsible.”
“Before CBD supplements are recommended, we need to have a marketplace where the label actually reflects what’s inside them, and we know that the dose is safe,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, who studies drug ingredients in the marketplace at the Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance. “We don’t have any of that in place right now.”
Meanwhile, the Arthritis Foundation found that an astounding 80 percent of 2,600 patients it surveyed either used it or considered using it for their joint pain. But the foundation is going further, making recommendations that include the use of THC where it is legal, though they recommend starting with low doses.
The Arthritis Foundation recommends that patients hold CBD oil under their tongues for at least one minute.—Ruth McCambridge