Can CBD Really Make Everything in Your Life Better?
Everyone seems to be vaping oils and drinking CBD tinctures these days. Here’s what to know before you try.
By Christine Flammia
You’ve probably heard the term “CBD” before. From bud and vape oils to bath bombs and body lotions, everything is getting infused with the stuff. Cannabidiol — its real name — is said to relieve pain, anxiety, and a range of disorders. Just last month, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug, to treat two major forms of epilepsy.
And while that’s great news for the future of CBD products, it’s also important to recognize what this means: There’s only one FDA-approved product on the market. Everything else out there isn’t held to any one standard, which makes choosing a CBD product a rather complex venture. Here’s what you should know before opting in.
What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid, which is a compound found in cannabis plants. There are upwards of 100 cannabinoids within the plant, including CBD and THC (the one that gets you high). CBD is shorthand for cannabidiol; THC, the psychoactive compound, is shorthand for tetrahydrocannabinol. Most CBD products on the market right now come from hemp, which is a variety of the cannabis plant that has less than .3 percent THC. (The marijuana variety, on the other hand, has a higher THC count that varies depending on the strain.) You’ll often see it referred to as “industrial hemp” to distinguish that it’s legal in all states.
What’s the point of CBD?
We’re just beginning to understand the true science behind CBD. Anecdotally, however, people are touting its medicinal-like benefits: They’re using it in oral drops to relax, in lotions to calm muscles, and in concentrated pill form to quell out-of-balance nerves. The list of ailments it has helped is lengthy, and (of course) varies from person to person. Anxiety, pain, arthritis, drug cravings, convulsions, and inflammation are among the most notable things CBD is said to help relieve. It’s also being tested to treat chronic conditions, including epilepsy (the only ailment with the FDA stamp of approval), PTSD, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, Parkinson’s, and M.S.