Interview. With the sale of CBD, “we are playing sorcerer’s apprentice”, warns a researcher in Bordeaux

The sale of CBD foods will still be allowed (©News Bordeaux / Jonas Denis)

Is CBD dangerous for health? “No” answered the World Health Organization (WHO) in a report published at the end of 2018.

“Cannabidiol is present in cannabis and cannabis resin, but it has no psychoactive properties, it cannot be abused and its addictive potential is nil. It also has no significant harmful effects. »

An opinion that does not share the doctor Pier-Vincenzo Piazza, doctor, psychiatrist and neurobiologist specialized in addictology and psychiatric diseases, who notably founded the Magendie neuro-center in Bordeaux. Now at the head of the start-up Aelis Farma, he has developed, with his teams, a treatment for cannabis addiction.

Actu : Is CBD dangerous in your opinion?

Pier-Vincenzo Piazza: I will answer you frankly, I have no idea. For the simple reason that we are sorely lacking in data on this substance.

What I do know, however, is that CBD acts, if consumed, on 50 targets in the brain. And, to date, we do not know the adverse effects. Maybe there is none, maybe there is. But as I tell you, we don’t know.

From experience, I can nevertheless say that something that acts on your organism in a significant way is rarely devoid of it.

How come it’s still on sale?

P.V. : It is incomprehensible to me. A real delirium. Our society is governed by a precautionary principle. Have you seen the different stages we go through to bring a drug to market? It is extremely complex and controlled. For me, there are double standards.

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There is also in the minds of consumers the idea that what is natural is not dangerous. So indeed CBD is a product contained in a plant, of natural origin. The villain in cannabis is THC, but in CBD there is very little of it. But there are commercially available oils, which are very highly concentrated in CBD. And we don’t know what it does at all.

On December 30, the government issued an order prohibiting any possession and gross sale of the plant containing cannabidiol – another name for CBD. A decision canceled in stride by the Council of State. How to explain it?

P.V. : In my opinion, trading in this plant is a first step before legalizing cannabis. Personally, I do not consume it and I will not consume it.

If it is sold today it is also a category problem. CBD has not yet entered the category of controlled products. It’s allowed a whole economy to come together around that, and when it’s all in place, they become very difficult to dislodge. MILDECA has tried to block the sale of a plant that contains CBD, because it cannot be distinguished from one that contains THC. It was revoked.

Some suggest that it could help with cannabis withdrawal. What do you think?

P.V. : It’s a marketing argument. We have no scientific evidence of this phenomenon. There was a time when CBD was said to inhibit, and block the effects of THC. Once the manipulation was done, we realized that this was not the case.

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