What Is CBD? What You Need to Know About Cannabidiol, its Benefits, and its Safety

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about
cannabidiol — more commonly referred to as CBD or CBD oil. Although technically
discovered in the 1940s, CBD has recently become popular as all kinds of people
tout its benefits. As with any “new” item on the market, having a lot of
information available means there is also a lot of disinformation floating
around. Here’s what you need to know about CBD before making a decision on
whether it’s right for you or your kids.

What Is
CBD?

To put it succinctly, CBD is one of many
compounds (cannabinoids) present in cannabis
sativa,
otherwise known as marijuana (or hemp). However, the most important
distinction between CBD and marijuana’s more famous compound — THC — is that
CBD does not have psychotropic effects. In other words, it doesn’t get you
high. So, what does it do then? Well, according
to proponents
, CBD can help people treat and/or manage a
variety of ailments and health concerns (mental and physical). CBD is the
compound, while CBD oil is the end result of extracting CBD and infusing it in
a neutral oil.

For more on the basics of CBD, check out this overview from Remedy Review —
it’ll help to answer additional questions you may have. It’s important to have
all the facts before you or anyone you care for considers using CBD oil.

Really?
It Doesn’t Get You High?

No. You’d need enough CBD to fill a bathtub to
give you any psychoactive effects. The most “euphoria” CBD can give you is
similar to what you feel after exercise (a runner’s high). On the other hand,
CBD users report that it is more useful as a relaxant.

What
Are the Benefits?

The short answer: it depends. The long answer
is that there are plenty of users, researchers, and doctors who will report myriad positive benefits — but
harnessing the power of pure CBD (as opposed to the power of marijuana on the
whole) is new. We are still figuring out its effects.

But as Greatist points out, due to the FDA
approval of a particular medication containing CBD, we know for a fact that it
helps with epilepsy — specifically pediatric epilepsy. The following potential
benefits have been supported anecdotally or in limited research:

  • Anxiety relief
  • Help with depression
  • PTSD management
  • Pain relief
  • Nausea relief
  • Improved skin
  • Heart and brain health
  • Help during substance abuse
    recovery

Is It
Safe?

Once again, research into CBD is in a nascent stage (furthermore,
research into marijuana, in general, is hampered by governmental restrictions).
This means we don’t yet know everything there is to know about CBD’s effects.
CBD derivatives are safe enough to gain FDA approval in
some seizure drugs, but that doesn’t mean you can give it to your child. Signs
point to it being safe (the World Health Organization has recently claimed as much), but you
should consult your doctor before using CBD oil on yourself or your children.

Finally,
Is It legal?

Due to conflicting regulations on the state
and federal levels, this question can be complicated. For the most part, as of
this writing, CBD oil should be fully legal in all US
states except for Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Marijuana has been used in a medicinal capacity for centuries,
and its recent legalization in many places has made it even more popular. CBD
offers many of the same health benefits without the high. Because of this, many
are hailing it as a “wonder drug” of sorts for people of all ages. While it is
certainly promising, the research is not yet conclusive. Do your own research,
learn as much as you can, and talk to people you trust before making any decisions.

Photo by Rick Proctor on Unsplash

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