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CBD oil can be found everywhere: in supermarkets, in beauty products, and as supplements for people and animals. It is marketed a cure all for a wide variety of issues. However, many people still have questions regarding what CBD oil is and the legality of it.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol. Which is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis is also the plant marijuana comes from. There are 113 identified cannabinoids, one of which is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive properties -- meaning no THC, no high.
CBD is extracted from the flowers and buds of hemp. Hemp is the same plant species as cannabis, but is produced in a way that reduces the amount of THC present in the plant.
Is CBD Legal?CBD is derived from hemp. Hemp is specifically excluded from being listed as a controlled substance in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (21 USC § 802(16)(B))
(B) The term "marihuana" does not include— (i) hemp, as defined in section 1639o of title 7;
The 2018 Farm Bill goes on to specifically define was constitutes hemp:
The term "hemp" means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
Both hemp and cannabis/marijuana derive from the same plant, Cannabis sativa. However, hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, which is the substance that creates the "high" marijuana is known for. For that reason, hemp and CBD are not illegal and are not controlled substances.
Proposed Medical Uses of CBD OilCBD has been used in recent years as a wellness supplement. The proponents of CBD claim it helps with a variety of health issues. However, more research is needed to definitively prove these claims, which include:
- Anxiety Relief
- Research is being performed to determine CBD’s effect on brain receptor response to serotonin.
- One 2011 study found that a 600mg dose of CBD helped people with social anxiety give a speech.
- A great deal of research is going on regarding CBD use for treating and reducing seizures.
- A 2016 study published in the Lancet worked with 214 people with epilepsy. The study's participants added oral doses of 2 to 5 mg of CBD per day to their existing anti-epilepsy medications. After 12 weeks of monitoring, overall, participants had 36.5 percent fewer seizures per month. However, severe adverse effects were recorded in 12 percent of the participants. More research is needed into CBD’s uses for epilepsy.
- Research is currently looking into how CBD effects a receptor located in the brain to learn how it might help people with neurodegenerative disorders. Neurodegenerative disorders are diseases that cause the brain and nerves to deteriorate over time, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease.
- Pain Relief
- Research has found that CBD can effect the brain’s receptors for pain. Research is looking at CBD’s uses in connection with arthritis, chronic pain, MS pain, muscle pain and spinal cord injuries. However, nothing has been proven yet regarding CBD’s uses with theses injuries.
- There has been some research to show that CBD effects receptors in the immune system that may help reduce overall inflammation in the body. If so, CBD may be beneficial for acne management.
- A human study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD oil prevented activity in sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for producing sebum, a natural oily substance that hydrates the skin and can cause acne.
- Cancer Treatment
- Some preliminary studies have found that CBD helps in preventing cancer cell growth. However, significantly more research is needed.
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) states that CBD may help alleviate cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects. However, the NCI doesn’t fully endorse any form of cannabis as a cancer treatment.
CBD’s popularity has increased astronomically in recent years. It is being marketed in a variety of forms including: oils, pills, gummies, and smokable leaves. It is being marketed as a supplement to aid in a wide variety of ailments from epilepsy to pain to sleep disorders and anxiety.
Many of the claims regarding CBD’s effectiveness are unproven by research as of yet. However, that has not stopped CBD from being wily utilized by the general public.