Mayo Clinic: CBD Products & Hemp Oil May Be Helpful but More Research Is Needed

CBD Hemp Oil

Cannabidiol (CBD) oils and products have become increasingly popular with consumers as ways to find relief from aches and pains, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and other chronic issues. But are these products safe, and are they helpful?

A review of the latest research, to be published in September in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, finds there’s a growing body of preclinical and clinical evidence to suggest that CBD oils may hold promise for treating conditions such as chronic pain and opioid addiction. But few clinical studies on the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol have been reported, and more research involving humans is needed before healthcare providers can say definitely that they’re helpful and safe, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.

“There are many intriguing findings in pre-clinical studies that suggest CBD and hemp oil have anti-inflammatory effects and may be helpful with improving sleep and anxiety,” says Brent Bauer, M.D., an internist and director of research for the Mayo Clinic Integrative Medicine program. “But trials in humans are still limited, so it is too early to be definitive about efficacy and safety.”

Dr. Bauer says there’s a reason for concern about a growing number of reports of liver injury in patients who have used CBD products. With greatly increasing patient interest in CBD and hemp oil products, it’s important that clinical research moves ahead to better understand their potential value and safety, he says.

“Careful selection of a healthcare product is crucial, and though these products do not have Food and Drug Administration approval for therapeutic use, patients continue to ask for them and use them. Physicians need to become better informed about these products, and it’s important that human trials examine issues of efficacy and safety.”

Watch Dr. Brent Bauer and Dr. Karen Mauck discuss CBD research:

The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes has spurred intense interest by consumers in over-the-counter products containing CBD and hemp oil, especially for chronic pain relief. The review in Mayo Clinic Proceedings summarizes the latest research, as well as the current legal status of CBD and hemp oils, and concludes that the products are potentially useful for chronic pain and addiction management. The study’s lead author is Harrison J. VanDolah, a third-year medical student at Creighton University School of Medicine.

With CBD a hot consumer trend, physicians may find it easy to dismiss them as unproven and untested. Dr. Bauer encourages healthcare professionals to learn as much as possible and develop an expertise about these products, and take their patients’ interests seriously.

“We encourage physicians to not disregard their patients’ interests in these products and keep both a clinical curiosity and a healthy skepticism about the claims made,” he says. “Chronic pain management continues to challenge patients and physicians, and these therapies are a promising area that needs more research. For patients struggling with chronic pain, physicians taking time to listen to them and address their questions compassionately but with an evidence-based approach can help them make informed decisions.

The variety of CBD and hemp oil products, and the limited regulation of these products, is a concern for healthcare professionals, according to the study. No rigorous safety studies have been done on “full spectrum” CBD oils, which contain a variety of compounds found in the hemp plant, not just CBD. The variability of state laws regarding the production and distribution of hemp and CBD products adds to the complexity of decision-making for consumers and physicians.

Co-author Karen Mauck, M.D., an internist at Mayo Clinic, says there are important distinctions between marijuana, hemp, and the different components of CBD and hemp oil, and some clinicians may not be aware of them.

“Other than Epidiolex, a purified form of plant-derived CBD which was approved in 2018 for treatment of severe forms of epilepsy, all other forms of CBD are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration but are sold in a variety of formulations, including oral or topical oils, creams, sprays, and tablets,” Dr. Mauck says. “They contain variable amounts of CBD, may contain other active compounds, and may have labeling inaccuracies. Before using CBD or hemp oils, it’s important to consult with your physician about potential side effects and interactions with other medications.”

38 Comments on "Mayo Clinic: CBD Products & Hemp Oil May Be Helpful but More Research Is Needed"

  1. Patricia Carpenter | August 22, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Reply

    I am a seventy year old woman who has used Fentanyl patches for 22yrs. I have tried to stop. I found CBD , and it’s truly helping. I have been off the fentanyl ! I know I can continue my recovery from many years of the patch, with the help of CBD. My only problem is the cost of the oil. This product will help so many older people,

  2. I am 83 and have arthritis and fibromyology. I have taken CBD drops for 3 years and with mostly complete relief of the pain I have stopped both my pharmaceutical drugs. While CBD is not covered under insurance I believe the health benefits are worth the expense. I hope I can continue to take the products. The pain cream is wonderful.

  3. I’ve had lower chronic back pain(nerve and swelling) for more than 10 years. I’ve had MRI, which didn’t show a problem. Went through physical therapy without success. Tried several different types of supplements but cbd gave me my life back. After the first couple days I thought I was imagining the pain going away. After a week it 75% of the pain faded away. I’ve been taking it for 5 months now and I can hardly notice any pain.

  4. There’s no such thing as “marijuana”. There is only cannabis. Marijuana is a racist term borrowed to denigrate Mexican laborers in the 1930s. It was further used to keep communities of color under police control. Please stop using this racist, facsist word and call it by its real name, cannabis.

  5. I have Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis and anxiety. I have been using CBD oil for over a year. I can honestly say that I can tell a difference when I don’t use it. When I forget to use the oil my pain level and anxiety level goes up.

  6. Jennifer Martinez | August 22, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Reply

    I’ve been using a tincture of CBD and THC combined, sublingual, for arthritis pain and anxiety. I buy it from a medical dispensary and I can honestly say it really helps. I’ve tried going without it and I can tell.

  7. My wife was crippled with chronic pain and suffered terribly with Crohn’s disease. All medications including immune suppressants had no effect. After a two year flare up she tried 14% sativa CBD paste, within one month, the flare up was gone! One year on, she’s off all medications, only doing CBD and she has her life back.

  8. I have spinel stnosnos with three disk laying down on spinal cord causing nerve issues in in pain 24/7 then on top of that I have torn labrum of the hips I use cbd oil the jello form cbd/thc it helps but not all time so one in a while I use a pain pill now Medicare says I have to take the pills regularly or it will not be payed for I don’t like taking them all the time nobody wants to help I’m 70 years old and doctors say I’m to old I pay for the cbd oil now Medicare says pay for others too. Well I got news for them many ways to get around it Anyway none of the new government rules are interested in the people. I saw my ct scan of my back it looks horrible they say I as slowly dieing the spinal cord will become closed off. And my government don’t want to help all the test been done x rays ct scans and mri proves the kind of pain I am in but I still have to pay for my cbd oil now pay for your own pain medication oh by the way since my county says the know nothing about cbd. Well I buy mine from Europe they been using it for many many years so is say we had enough time to know how cbd works we spend the money to buy the cbd oil the government spends the tax payers money to talk about it

    Thank you for listening

  9. It’s a shame you didn’t do more research on pharmaceuticals, like opioids.
    Big pharma hates CBD and thc…medicine for thousands of years with very little side effects.
    These types of article really upset me. You would rather poison people, then let a natural process help people..
    How about those cigarettes… should have done more research….oh, yeah, I forgot…tax dollars involved…hehe

  10. I have tried cbd oil and patches and have had no relief for chronic back pain and sleeplessness. To me it is the 21st century snake oil. Expensive and did nothing.

    • It is because u have bought a snake oil. There are many good companies out there and they are helping millions of people. check these guys out knockoutcbd all of their cbd product are made in usa and lab tested

  11. I think BIGPHARMA is behind this article and not science.

  12. Carolina Monaco | August 23, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Reply

    Pleeease stop lying!!!! Theres enough studies and YEARS of research ALL OVER THE WORLD!! Canada for example with Rick Simpson Oil…check his you tube story. They need to aknowledge these studies and STOP ALL THESE NONSENSE!!

  13. I 100% agree with Carolina and Mejia. There has been thousands of studies showing that it works. this will hurt BIGPHARMA companies. They want our money they dont care about our lives. crippled with chronic pain and suffered terribly. Nothing worked until i came across Knockout CBD cartridges I take couple of puffs ever morning and complete relief of the pain I have stopped both my pharmaceutical drugs.

  14. Some time back, I was suffering from chronic pain and I didn’t want to live by pain killers. Then someone recommended CBD oil. I bout it online from and since then I keep it with me all the time. Now I came to know that CBD oil can be used to treat several health conditions effectively. This is really a great product. It is true that careful selection of a health care product is very important. One should gather as much information as possible before trying out a product.

  15. Several human studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

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    With this change in status, hemp is now utilized for many purposes including CBD for humans and animals. The Hemp Feed Coalition and AAFCO are currently working together on a study, gathering samples. They started with hemp seed oil and its benefits, to get it approved for animal feed. Azriel from

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