Recent Research Into Pain, Anxiety, Sleep, & Parkinson's
Better Nutrition|January 2020
CBD is everywhere these days—in products from supplements to sparkling water to shampoo. What’s the best way to benefit? A doctor and a pharmacist explain
Vera Tweed

“Hemp-derived CBD has a very large therapeutic potential to help in a multiplicity of ways,” says Joseph Maroon, MD, a neurological surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh, a pioneer in nutritional healing, and co-author of a recent scientific review of CBD published in Surgical Neurology International. “It is a significant anti-inflammatory; it’s an analgesic—a pain reliever; and it’s an antianxiety agent.”

And it does these things safely. In using CBD with hundreds of patients, Maroon has found no side effects other than some gastrointestinal upset in one or two cases. He recommends it for neck pain, back pain, degenerative disk disease, osteoarthritis, trauma, sleep problems, anxiety, and peripheral neuropathy, such as burning, painful feet that are a common complication of diabetes.

For any type of pain, CBD is a safer alternative to over-the-counter remedies such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. “Ibuprofen kills 16,000 to 17,000 people a year from gastric hemorrhage, and it hospitalizes over another 100,000 for gastrointestinal bleeds,” says Maroon. And acetaminophen, when used longterm, is a common cause of liver failure and the need for a liver transplant.

However, says Maroon, “CBD is not a cure-all.” Rather, it works best when used much like aspirin or the other over-the-counter pharmaceutical remedies, as a safer, plant-derived alternative.

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