In shop windows, small jars with dried cannabis flowers: you have seen CBD stores blooming in your street… But what is CBD? What is it for? Is it dangerous? Legal? Specialists advise you on cannabidiol.
The journalist at L’Obs Dominique Nora, the addictologist Laurent Karila, the botanist Laurent Chevallier, president of the Union of CBD professionals, Charles Morel, the author of a CBD cookbook, and Ivan Tozzi were the guests of the program“Great good do you do” Ali Rebeihi. They answered questions raised by the explosion in the use of cannabidiol, a relaxing but non-psychotropic compound in hemp.
What is CBD?
Laurent Chevallier explains that there are several components in the hemp flower: “THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active molecule), CBD (cannabidiol), minor canabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes… Hemp has a real action on the body because we have receptors in the brain.”
Laurent Karila: ‘THC has a psychotropic effect, and is addictive, while that CBD is anxiolytic, and soothing. It has a psychoactive effect. Like a drug, an herb, or an herbal tea, it’s going to have small effects on the brain with inconsequential behavioral impacts.”
Charles Morel specifies: “It is necessary to know that there remain traces of THC in CBD because these substances are difficult to separate. But no more than 0.2%.”
Dominique Nora: “We must distinguish between three very different uses of cannabis:
- Recreational use is currently considered a drug with a lot of THC
- CBD, which is relaxing, a product of well-being
- And medical cannabis that will be sold in pharmacies.”
What are the effects of CBD?
Dominique Nora: “A few drops of CBD before going to sleep helps to have a better sleep. CBD is a plant: it is healthier than a sleeping pill and has zero side effects.
Laurent Karila: “There is a whole procession of effects of cannabidiol: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic, antidepressant … But beware do not start by consuming, but by consulting! And it does not a priori have an addictive effect.”
Is CBD legal?
Ali Rebeihi recalls that on June 23, the Court of Cassation issued an important ruling on CBD: the judiciary can not consider illegal the marketing of a good legally produced within the European Union as CBD.
Charles Morel: “CBD is not a narcotic, it is a commodity that can circulate freely. As long as it is legally produced in a European Union member state, it can be marketed in France.”
The problem, explains Dominique Nora, is that “the Ministry of the Interior is rather cautious on this issue. It considers that it is a gateway to THC and to drugs. But this is not true. On the contrary, people who smoke CBD, often use it to get rid of cannabis. But in a pre-election year, the government wants to give a pledge of firmness towards a product that could be assimilated to a drug. The police deplore greater difficulties in identifying whether they are joints with CBD or without. But the Swiss police already use tests that reveal in 30 seconds which molecule it is.”
Is CBD a health product?
Laurent Karila: “Besides the CBD trade, there is real scientific research. We are working on the effect of CBD in addictions as a potential treatment. And we see that even if they are not proven, there are encouraging signals. But we don’t know yet: we haven’t done enough testing.”
Laurent Chevallier : “It will be used against certain pains, against undernutrition for example in the elderly. In some people who have cancer, it is a health product. And if it is a health product, it must remain in the hands of health professionals and notably be sold in pharmacies. The prescription of CBD will also depend on the concentration of THC. When the ratio THC CBD is high, CBD has a rather analgesic effect and acts against nausea and vomiting. Conversely, if the ratio THC CBD is low it has an anticonvulsant effect. And when it’s balanced, we use it in painful spasticity.”
What are the risks of CBD?
Ali Rebeihi: “The World Health Organization’s expert committee on drugs believes that CBD has no abuse potential and is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”
Laurent Karila is formal: “Even with cannabis with THC, pot smokers do not switch to harder drugs. Consuming CBD is not a gateway to cannabis use.
On the other hand, I would like to remind you of a public health issue: smoking any kind of product is harmful to your health. Tobacco or cannabis, it does not matter, combustion is toxic for the blood, for the muscles and for the lungs.
It’s better to go with vapor, CBD vaping instead.”
Laurent Chevallier : “Beware of overpromising! Who advises the products in the stores? Salespeople are not doctors. And the risks of incompatibility with drugs have not yet been measured.”