When drug companies are trying to get the US Food and Drug Administration to approve a new pharmaceutical product, they have to run several testing phases. One of the most important phases is the clinical phase involving human beings.
Usually, these tests are set up with the actual drug on one end, and the placebo drug on the other end. The idea is that these placebo drugs are just sugar pills. And when people ingest them, they’re not getting the active ingredient in the drug that’s actually being tested.
The idea is that placebos are essentially worthless. Well, after several decades of intense scientific research into the placebo effect, it turns out that belief is powerful.
It’s very easy for people in Western Europe and North America to think that there is some sort of dividing line between mind and body. What happens in the mind is all mental and spiritual or emotional, and what happens in the body can be sliced and diced, and is the province of hard sciences.
Well, if things were only that simple. They’re not. It turns out that the placebo effect is all too real.
There are many cases of people who have serious physiological problems like paralysis, near blindness, and other conditions, who were given placebos. The researchers who gave them those placebo drugs had no reason to believe that these people would get better. After all, they were given placebos.
Now, of course, a well-designed study would be a double-blind study. You don’t really know who you’re giving a placebo to, and you don’t know who you’re giving the actual drug to.
Well, it turns out that a significant percentage of people given placebos end up recovering, and guess what? This recovery is permanent.
Crazy stuff, right? Well, that just highlights the fact that belief can heal.
If you think that the sugar pill that you’re ingesting is this revolutionary cutting-edge drug that can make your cancer go away, there’s a good chance that it would actually work. It’s as if your mind healed your body. Amazing stuff, right?
Well, a lot of people who are somewhat critical or lukewarm to CBD are saying that the benefits people claim to get are from the placebo effect. I understand that there’s a lot of drama regarding cannabidiol. It is, of course, derived from the Marijuana plant.
As you can imagine, it has a lot of baggage. Some people are just emotionally triggered by marijuana, despite the fact that a large number of US states have now legalized marijuana for medical purposes as well as recreational purposes.
In fact, the recreational decriminalization of marijuana in the US will continue each election cycle. It’s only a matter of time until all fifty states have fully legalized weed.
Still, there’s a tremendous amount of criticism for CBD saying that this is just all a placebo effect. Well, that may be true, depending on the condition.
If your condition is mental or emotional, the placebo effect is more likely. Why? There’s a direct connection between your condition and the placebo effect.
For example, if you’re taking CBD for insomnia, depression, anxiety, tremors or epilepsy, the placebo effect may be more likely.
At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t matter. Seriously. To quote the famous Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, “I don’t care if a cat is black or white. As long as it catches mice, I’m happy.”
The same thing goes with placebo effect and CBD. If people are taking CBD and they’re getting the benefits that they bargained for due exclusively to the placebo effect, then who’s being harmed? At the end of the day, people are being helped.
Still, if you are looking for a solid scientific relief, look at the FDA approvals that are currently on the record. As of this writing, the FDA has approved CBD or cannabidiol only for epilepsy, seizure, and nausea.