Over the past few years, over the counter Cannabidiol (CBD) products have gained popularity in the UK and across the world. We have seen unprecedented growth in the quantity and range of CBD products available for purchase on the high street and from online retailers.
CBD appears to have caught the imagination of the general public, who are using it for a number of health conditions ranging from pain and anxiety to depression and sleep. According to the Centre for Medical Cannabis, surveys conducted in 2019 by Dynata and YouGov indicates that between 8- 11% of UK adults respectively – approximately 4-6 million people – have tried CBD products.
Currently, doctors report receiving mixed messages as to whether these products are legal, safe and effective and clinicians are largely unfamiliar with what patients are using. Given this widespread use of CBD, it is crucial that doctors are confident in understanding the properties of CBD and how it may affect our patients – including therapeutic effects, dosing, side effects and potential drug interactions.
GP Dr Leon Barron, with support from Prof Mike Barnes & Dr Dani Gordon and the MCCS Committee, has authored a guide for doctors on CBD. The guide provides straightforward information about CBD & its effects, drug interactions, the legalities and safety profile as well as providing information about helping patients to select quality products.
This guide provides an overview of CBD for clinicians, including its modes of action and therapeutic effects, pharmacodynamics and dosing. We also summarise the current legal status of CBD in the UK. We hope that the information contained in this publication will help doctors understand CBD and help guide their patients to the safest and most effective and evidence-based products available.