What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical produced from the cannabis plant. Its potential health advantages include reducing inflammation and pain. However, it is not allowed in all states, and there may be some concerns. Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD oil derived from the marijuana plant, was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration as a prescription medicine for two types of epilepsy in June 2018. Cannabis-related products are permitted in various states due to state legislation.

Cannabis contains a range of chemicals with different effects. Some, but not all, are beneficial as a therapy. Certain types, but not all, are legal in some areas. This article will look at what CBD is and how it may benefit your health, as well as any potential risks and its legality in the United States.

About CBD oil

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis that interact with the same cell receptors as THC. CBD is one of at least 113 cannabinoids (compounds) present in cannabis. Researchers have looked into CBD’s possible therapeutic applications.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two of the chemicals found in cannabis. These chemicals have diverse effects.

THC was formerly the most well-known component in cannabis, and it had a psychological impact. It is the most powerful alkaloid and has a psychotropic effect. When smokers consume THC or cook with it, they get a mind-altering “high.” This occurs because THC decomposes when heated and is introduced into the body.

CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive. It does not alter a person’s mood when they take it. However, it may affect the body significantly and has already shown to have numerous medical advantages.

Where does CBD come from?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis plants are categorized as hemp or marijuana based on the amount of THC they contain. Hemp plants that meet the 0.3 percent THC limit are legal under the Farm Bill, according to the FDA.

Marijuana growers have developed plants that are high in THC and other compounds to meet their needs over time. Hemp farmers, on the other hand, do not usually modify the plant’s genome. CBD oil is derived from lawful hemp plants.

How CBD works

Cannabinoids affect the body by binding to cannabinoid receptors, which are components of the endocannabinoid system.

The body is equipped with two receptors:

CB1 receptors are found in the brain and throughout the body, especially in the nervous system. They control movement, pain, emotion, mood, thought, hunger, memory, and a variety of other activities.

CB2 receptors are more abundant in the immune system. Inflammation and pain are affected.

THC binds to CB1 receptors, while CBD activates them, causing the body’s own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) to be produced. Endocannabinoids are made in the body by activating cannabinoid receptors. Please visit our comprehensive hub for additional information and sources on CBD and CBD products.


CBD may benefit a person’s health in various ways.

According to a 2018 study, reasons for taking CBD oil include:

  • chronic pain
  • arthritis or joint pain
  • anxiety and depression
  • sleep disorder
  • migraine
  • cluster and other headaches
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • nausea
  • cancer
  • allergies or asthma
  • epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • lung conditions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties

Conventional medicines may assist with stiffness and discomfort, although some individuals believe that CBD is a more natural choice. Non-psychoactive components in marijuana, such as CBD, have been shown to help treat chronic pain. According to a 2018 research, CBD prevented the formation of compounds that cause inflammation in the body when applied topically as an ointment. According to a 2019 study published in Phytotherapy Research, topical CBD application reduced inflammatory skin disease and scarring.

Quitting smoking and drug withdrawal

Traditional CBD products, on the other hand, have shown to help smokers quit smoking. A 2013 pilot study found that individuals who used CBD inhalers reduced their cigarette consumption when compared to those who didn’t use any treatment. This implies that CBD may aid in the reduction of nicotine dependence. CBD was found to help with withdrawal-related cravings because of its relaxing effect in a 2018 research.

A 2015 study found evidence that particular cannabinoids, such as CBD, may help people addicted to opioids. The researchers observed that CBD diminished some symptoms associated with substance use disorders, including anxiety, mood-related issues, pain, and sleeplessness. CBD’s efficacy in treating withdrawal symptoms continues to be supported by research.


The FDA has approved the use of Epidiolex, a refined form of CBD, to treat epilepsy. The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in February 2018 that it had completed its evaluation on Epidiolex, which was applied as a pharmaceutical product containing purified CBD from GW Pharmaceuticals plc’s Sativex chronic pain treatment for adults with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). They approved it for treating the following in people aged 3 years and over:

  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
  • Dravet syndrome

Epilepsy in these unusual forms is characterized by seizures that are difficult to manage with other drugs. CBD’s ability to block seizures without the drowsy side effects of existing medicines has begun to be understood. Synthetic medications that target the endocannabinoid system as effectively as CBD do not yet exist. Learn more about Epidiolex (cannabidiol) here.

Alzheimer’s disease

CBD has been studied for its impact on Alzheimer’s disease in a number of ways.

CBD may help memory retention, according to a study of rats published in 2014. This feature is lost as a result of Alzheimer’s disease.

CBD may be beneficial in slowing the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, according to one 2019 study. More study is being done to determine the proper dosage. Some researchers believe that a therapy containing THC along with CHD might be more successful.

Other neurological symptoms and disorders

CBD has been shown in studies to help cure epilepsy-related issues including neurodegeneration, brain injury, and psychiatric disorders. CBD was found in a 2012 study to have effects comparable to those of certain antipsychotic medications. NOW Foods

Fighting cancer

A 2012 study found evidence that CBD may help prevent the spread of certain types of cancer. The substance appears to hamper cancer cell growth and encourage their demise. The researchers noted that CBD has low toxicity. They suggested additional research into how CBD might aid conventional cancer therapies. A 2020 review article discusses incorporating CBD into chemotherapy drugs to better boost the immune system’s response to treatment.

Other research has been looking at how CBD might help:

  • prevent the growth of cancer cells
  • reduce anxiety
  • improve the action of chemotherapy
  • lessen the side effects of conventional chemotherapy

Learn more here about CBD and cancer.

Anxiety disorders

THC has been linked to or may cause anxiety in some patients. THC, on the other hand, might increase or promote feelings of anxiety and paranoia in individuals suffering from chronic anxiety. CBD, on the other hand, has been shown to help reduce anxiety. CBD reduced anxiousness symptoms considerably in mice as part of a 2019 study.

According to a 2015 study published in the journal Neurotherapeutics, CBD may help with anxiety-related symptoms in people who suffer from the following conditions:

  • PTSD
  • general anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • panic disorder
  • social anxiety disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

According to the authors, current therapies might have negative consequences, and some people stop using them as a result. There is no proof that CBD has any significant side effects.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys cells in the pancreas, causing inflammation. CBD has been found to reduce inflammation and protect against or delay type 1 diabetes onset, according to researchers in 2016.

CBD was found in a 2018 research to have neuroprotective effects on rats with diabetes, including improving memory and reducing nerve inflammation.


Another interesting application for CBD is in the treatment of acne. Acne is linked, in part, to inflammation and inflamed sebaceous glands in the body. CBD was discovered to help reduce sebum production, which causes acne, according to a 2014 study. According to research, applying CBD topically may help decrease inflammation in psoriasis and other inflammatory skin disorders.

There is a lot of research showing that CBD ointment has some benefits, such as reduced pain and inflammation. It’s also been shown to help with skin conditions like eczema. However, owing to concerns around the lack of proof about its effectiveness and the absence of oversight, certain experts are cautious.


CBD’s legal position in the United States is a bit convoluted. Hemp and hemp-derived products are lawful under the Farm Bill as long as they have less than 0.3 percent THC. Although there seems to be little confusion, some uncertainty lingers among consumers regarding the details. People should double check their state’s laws and any travel destination where they intend to use CBD oil. It’s worth noting that because the FDA has yet to approve any non prescription items, customers can’t always know what’s in their product.

CBD Risks and side effects

CBD has the potential to help people who suffer from pain, but it also poses some risks. It may affect other medications and supplements. CBD products sold on the market do not have FDA approval, therefore they haven’t been thoroughly investigated.

It is not possible to know if a product:

  • is safe and effective for everyone to use
  • has the properties or contents stated on the packaging

Anyone who uses CBD, whether as a prescription or non-prescription product, should first speak with their doctor.

Possible adverse effects include:

  • liver damage
  • interactions with other drugs and alcohol
  • changes in alertness, which can make driving dangerous
  • gastrointestinal problems and loss of appetite
  • mood changes, including irritability and irritation
  • a reduction in fertility for males

CBD’s future may show that it has a role in the treatment of other diseases. However, for now, the FDA urges individuals not to rely on CBD as an alternative to standard medical therapy.

During pregnancy

The developmental process of neurons in the fetus may be affected by marijuana use during pregnancy, according to studies. Regular cannabis use among teenagers has been linked to memory problems, conduct issues, and intellectual deficits. The FDA recommends that pregnant women and nursing mothers steer clear of CBD.

How to use CBD

CBD oil may be used in a variety of ways. These are not the same as smoking or consuming whole cannabis. If a physician recommends CBD for epilepsy, it is crucial to follow their instructions carefully.

Ways of using CBD products include:

  • mixing them into food or drink
  • taking them with a pipette or dropper
  • swallowing capsules
  • massaging a paste into the skin
  • spraying it under the tongue

Recommended dosages vary between individuals and depend on factors such as:

  • body weight
  • the concentration of the product
  • the reason for using CBD

CBD is becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for several illnesses, although only one product has FDA approval at the moment. Unapproved drugs are lawful in some but not all jurisdictions. As federal regulation improves, more particular dosages and prescriptions will emerge. For the time being, individuals should get guidance from a medical professional on which product to use and how much to take. They should also conduct research to ensure that they are adhering to their local and state regulations. The FDA offers information regarding a variety of CBD-related questions.

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