Here is what you need to know about CBD and why it is in the news

Why is everybody talking about CBD — we’re mixing it into foods and rubbing it into our skin – but is it safe? Is it legal? And will it get you, well, buzzed?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC,(tetrahydrocannabinol), which also comes from cannabis, it is not psychoactive – so it doesn’t get you high.

But CBD, a naturally occurring compound, might just get you high on life, proponents say, when it frees you of nagging chronic pain, stress and anxiety.

You’ll find it on shelves as supplements and in oils and lotions, and the CBD market is predicted by analysts to reach $20 billion by 2024.

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It can also be consumed safely via vape cartridges, though there has been a recent surge in hospitalizations among people who vape cheap and illegal synthetic marijuana sold to them as natural CBD, an Associated Press investigation has found.

It’s also largely unregulated, so it is more important than ever to do research and make sure you are only purchasing CBD products from legitimate and tested brands like the ones on this site.

Here’s the lowdown on CBD, THC and hemp:

What’s the difference?

While CBD, THC and hemp all come from cannabis plants, they come from different parts of the plant and have very different properties. Only THC gets you high. It is THC (and not CBD) that is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.

Oils and other products derived from CBD and hemp oil contain very low THC levels, so also have no mind-altering effects.

CBD oil is produced by using the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant, while hemp seed oil comes from the small seeds of the cannabis sativa plant and contains lower levels of CBD. Hemp seed oils contain a plethora of nutrients and fatty acids, and are mainly used in food and skincare, but are different from CBD.

Is CBD legal?

Yes!  The 2018 Farm Bill that overwhelmingly passed in the U.S. Senate has now become law. For hemp growers and CBD-product manufacturers the big news is hemp will no longer be equated under drug laws with its psychotropic cousin, marijuana.

Health benefits of CBD

CBD has been touted as a treatment for anxiety and depression, chronic pain and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Proponents say they suddenly just feel better after using products containing CBD.

In ointments and lotions, it is said to relieve muscle pain, with a result similar to the use of ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Athletes swear it relieves inflammation and joint pain. Golfer Bubba Watson uses it regularly and is sponsored by cbdMD

FDA is not sold on it

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t yet given its approval for CBD to be used use in the treatment of pain, anxiety or depression, although the agency is currently gathering data from health professionals, patients and the cannabis industry.

So far, the FDA has only approved the use of CBD in one specific prescription medication, Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, and is produced by a large pharma company. 

Why is it suddenly everywhere?

The recent surge in the number of CBD products was spurred by recent changes in state law and because the 2018 Farm Act determined that hemp is no longer considered marijuana because of its low levels of THC.

Side effects

Side effects, such as nausea, sleepiness and dizziness, have been associated with CBD use, but doses may be different for each person.  It is best to start with a smaller dose and work your way up.   The affects can sometimes take a few days to feel depending on what you are using it for.  

“Cannabis-based CBD can be used to treat chronic pain, but it could take more time to feel the affects.

Will I fail a drug test?

While CBD alone won’t cause you to fail a drug test for marijuana use (TCH), there have been very few studies on the subject. And since it is available in largely unregulated supplements, it’s tough to know what you’re getting. There is a risk of using a product containing traces of THC, which will produce a positive result.

“If you are concerned about passing a drug test, you should consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for you.”