Cannabidiol (CBD) is often covered in the media, and you may see it touted as an add-in booster to your smoothie or morning coffee. You can even purchase a CBD-infused sports bra. But what exactly is CBD? And why is it so popular?
How is cannabidiol different from marijuana, cannabis and hemp?
CBD or cannabidiol is the second most common active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential ingredient in medical marijuana , it is produced directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or in a laboratory. One of hundreds of components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a "high" per se. According to a World Health Organization report, "CBD does not show any effects that indicate abuse or dependence potential...To date, there is no evidence of public health problems associated with the use of pure CBD."
Is cannabidiol legal?
CBD is readily available in most of the United States, although its exact legal status has been in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying restrictions. In December 2015, the FDA relaxed regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD studies. In 2018, the Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, making it virtually impossible to keep CBD illegal - that would be like making oranges legal but making orange juice illegal.
The Farm Bill removed all hemp-derived products, including CBD, from the Controlled Substances Act, which criminalizes drug possession. Essentially, this means that CBD is legal if it comes from hemp, but not if it comes from cannabis (marijuana) - even though it is the exact same molecule. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical marijuana license, which is legal in most states.
The Evidence for Cannabidiol Health Benefits
CBD has been touted for a variety of health problems, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which are not normally found Anti-seizure medications react. In numerous studies, CBD has been able to reduce the number of seizures and, in some cases, stop them altogether. Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is the first FDA-approved drug from .
Animal studies and self-reports or human research suggest that CBD also helps with:
Anxiety Anxiety studies and clinical trials examine the common report that CBD can reduce anxiety.
Insomnia. Studies suggest that CBD can help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
Chronic pain . More human studies are needed to support claims that CBD helps control pain. An animal study from the European Journal of Pain suggests that CBD may help reduce pain and inflammation due to arthritis when applied to the skin. Other research identifies how CBD can inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain that is difficult to treat.
Seeks . CBD may help reduce cravings for tobacco and heroin under certain conditions, according to some research in humans. Animal models of addiction suggest it may also help reduce cravings for alcohol, cannabis, opiates and stimulants.
Is CBD safe?
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase blood thinning and other medications in the blood by competing for the liver enzymes that break down these medications. Grapefruit has a similar effect on certain medications.
People who take high doses of CBD may show abnormalities in liver blood tests. Many over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tynol), have the same effect. So you should let your doctor know if you use CBD regularly.
How to take CBD?
CBD comes in many forms, including oils, extracts, capsules, patches, vapes, and topicals for use on the skin. If you're hoping to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle and joint pain, a topical CBD-infused oil, lotion, or cream—or even a bath bomb—is your best option. Alternatively, a CBC patch or tincture or spray placed under the tongue allows CBD to enter the bloodstream directly.
Outside the United States, the prescription drug Sativex, which uses CBD as an active ingredient, is approved for muscle spasm associated with multiple sclerosis and cancer pain. In the United States, Epidiolex is approved for certain types of epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis.