Is CBD Safe Or Addictive?

This information material is for educational purposes based on the drafted World Health Organization CBD Report. Click Here

A World Health Organization (WHO) report has concluded and found no adverse health outcomes but in fact rather several medical applications for cannabidiol, [CBD], despite U.S. federal policy on the cannabinoid. 

WHO report published and announced naturally occurring CBD is safe and well tolerated in both humans and animals, and is not associated with any negative public health effects. 

Experts further stated that CBD, a  non-psychoactive chemical found in the  cannabis/ hemp plant, does not induce physical dependence and is "not associated with abuse potential." The WHO also identified that unlike THC, people are not getting "high" off of the use and consumption of CBD. 

WHO also wrote, "at present no public health problems misuse, abuse and dependance (e.g. driving under the influence of drugs cases) have been associated with the use of pure CBD."

"At present, there are no case reports of abuse or dependence relating to the use of pure CBD. There are also no published statistics on non-medical use of pure CBD. There is unsanctioned medical use of CBD based products. These are produced from high CBD content plants and distributed in a variety of forms, including oils and capsules. These products are sold online as unapproved treatments for a variety of disorders including epilepsy, cancer, AIDS/HIV, anxiety, arthritis, pain, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, CBD is being used in skin and beauty products such as shampoos and skin creams."

Currently Cannabidiol [CBD] is not listed on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines or the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children

Table 1. Overview of diseases for which CBD may have therapeutic benefits taken from Pisanti et al (2017) [69]

Disease & Effects

Alzheimer's Disease Antinflammatory, antioxidant, antiapoptotic in in vitro and in vivo models of Aβ-evoked neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative responses.

Parkinson's Disease Attenuation of the dopaminergic impairment in vivo; neuroprotection; improvement of psychiatric rating and reduction of agitation, nightmare and aggressive behaviour in patients.

Multiple Sclerosis Improved signs of EAE in mice, antinflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.

Huntington's Disease Neuroprotective and antioxidant in mice transgenic models; no significant clinically important differences in patients.

Hypoxia-ischemia injury Short term neuroprotective effects; inhibition of excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and inflammation in vitro and in rodent models.

Pain Analgesic effect in patients with neuropathic pain resistant to other treatments.

Psychosis Attenuation of the behavioural and glial changes in animal models of schizophrenia; anti-psychotic properties on ketamine-induced symptoms

Anxiety Reduction of muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, improvement of social interactions in rodent models of anxiety and stress; reduced social anxiety in patients.

Depression Anti-depressant effect in genetic rodent model of depression.

Cancer Antiproliferative and anti-invasive actions in a large range of cancer types; induction of autophagy-mediated cancer cell death; chemopreventive effects.

Nausea Suppression of nausea and conditioned gaping in rats

Inflammatory diseases Ant-inflammatory properties in several in vitro and in vivo models; inhibition of inflammatory cytokines and pathways.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Inhibition of TNF-α in an animal model

Infection Activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Inflammatory Bowel and Crohn's Diseases Inhibition of macrophage recruitment and TNF-α secretion in vivo and ex vivo; reduction in disease activity index in Crohn's patients.

Cardiovascular Diseases Reduced infarct size through anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo.

Diabetic Complications Attenuation of fibrosis and myocardial dysfunction