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With so many articles and influencers discussing CBD and their experience with the products (for better or worse), it can be confusing to decipher fact from fiction. So let’s dive into the facts!

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is an active component that is highly concentrated in both the hemp and marijuana plants. CBD on its own boasts some medicinal properties, without the psychoactive effects caused by marijuana’s THC. So, using CBD alone will not induce the same out of body high produced by THC.

How is CBD consumed?

The “nutty and earthy” taste of CBD oil, accompanied by its distinct smell, is unappealing to some people, so producers have become creative when formulating new CBD products. It can be inhaled by grinding the flowering part of the hemp plant and rolling it into a cigarette or placing the extracted oil into a vaporizer pen; however, smoke inhalation in general poses risks to the body. Alternately, the oil can be placed in pill capsules, or dropped underneath the tongue to be swallowed. For people using CBD to fight inflammation or pain, it can be infused into a topical lotion that cannot enter the bloodstream, but targets its effectiveness on one specific area. Lastly, you can get creative with it in your kitchen! Many people choose to incorporate CBD oil into recipes to mask its taste. Some hide it in nut-butter based energy balls or smoothies!

CBD is promising, but where is the proof?

Epilepsy is the most well known and arguably, the only condition for which CBD’s effectiveness has been scientifically supported, and the only FDA approved medication containing CBD is used for treatment-resistant epilepsy strains. As for anxiety, inflammation, pain reduction, and sleep improvement, the potential of CBD is promising, but not proven. Since the only scientific research on these claims has been done on animals, its effect on and interaction with human function lacks solid evidence. However, many people who use CBD products claim to have experienced decreased symptoms of the aforementioned conditions.

Is CBD regulated by the government?

Because CBD is a supplement, it is not regulated by the government. This lack of regulation means that many products boasting pure CBD contain traces of psychoactive THC. Consumers purchasing CBD products should ensure that the CBD has been derived from hemp, rather than marijuana plants, and that the product has been tested by a third-party.

Where can I get CBD products?

As with most things these days, CBD is sold in the largest quantities online. Amazon alone sells CBD oils, gummies, and lotions, and as of this past April, even mainstream drugstores like CVS and Walgreens made some shelf space for the popular product. Locally, health food and supplement stores, as well as dispensaries are likely to carry CBD items.