Submitted Date 01/14/2019

Lately, you may have been hearing about a new craze in the health supplement market: CBD. Proponents of CBD have made some wild claims, and critics have been equally vocal. Consumer CBD products are being sold all over the country with the annual sales being measured in hundreds of millions of dollars. But many, including the experts, still have some big questions about this controversial compound.


CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a natural organic compound that comes from the Marijuana plant. Recently, in America and abroad, medical communities have been increasingly willing to study the medicinal qualities of this contraband herb. In the past several decades we have seen a cascading effect as state after state has legalized medical marijuana. Now the drug is legal for medicinal usage in thirty-three states and several territories (including Washington, D.C.). And with that legal status has come a tidal wave of products looking to capitalize on this burgeoning new market. Some of the most popular and widely available of these products contain the compound CBD.


Medicinal marijuana has been widely studied and found to have impressive curative properties. But many are still reluctant to try it due to nearly a century of stigma, as well as its psychoactive effects. The beauty of CBD is that it has no psychoactive effects at all—which is to say, it doesn’t get you “high.” It is simply a nutritional supplement like any other, for instance vitamin D or colloidal silver. And yet, much like medical cannabis, those who use it swear by its effects.


It seems that if you can name a problem, someone will recommend CBD to fix it. Among the most commonly cited are anxiety disorders, alcoholism, IBS, chronic pain, inflammation, depression, seizures, and arthritis. Research indicates it may have applications in treating a host of psychological and neurological disorders. And like a daily multi-vitamin, many report that CBD is great for a feeling of overall “wellness.” Unfortunately, CBD has little official research to support many of these claims. In fact, the only CBD drug that is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration is used to treat a rare form of epilepsy. So, for the moment, the majority of evidence relating to CBD is anecdotal. With that being said, very few products on the market have quite as much anecdotal evidence as CBD.




CBD products come in all shapes and sizes. For many years (and possibly to this day) the most popular among them was CBD oil. CBD oil is taken orally by dropper; a few drops under the tongue once or more per day. You can also find CBD in pill form, as well as gummies—again very similar to other over-the-counter dietary aids. Another interesting product is CBD vape oil, made to be used with a vaporizer. CBD inhaled in this way enters the bloodstream very quickly and has been said to aid in the cessation of smoking. And in recent years all manner of food and drink products featuring CBD have been made available. If you’re interested in trying CBD, there is almost certainly a product that suits your needs.


Unfortunately, one of the main arguments against CBD is that there is no formal regulation in place. This means that products claiming to contain CBD may not have as much as advertised (and in some cases, much more). While CBD is not strictly speaking a dangerous drug, it can have some nasty side effects if too much is taken. The most commonly reported involve sleep cycle disruption and gastro-intestinal distress. Therefore each CBD product must be tested individually to determine which ones work best for you. That said, many dietary supplements have similar side effects when too much is taken, and many users claim the benefits far outweigh any discomfort they experienced.


Another drawback is CBD’s unique legal situation. At the federal level, marijuana and all its constituent compounds are still illegal. Therefore, you’re not technically allowed to buy, sell or own CBD. At the state level, however, CBD is legal in many states, including those that currently do not have medical marijuana laws. And regardless of all this, CBD is widely sold all over the country and is an extremely lucrative business. The odds of being arrested for having a CBD product are virtually zero, especially considering that big corporations producing it have not been penalized for doing so.


A final caution to mention is that CBD can interact with existing medication. Though somewhat uncommon, CBD has been found to have negative or inhibiting effects when it comes to certain prescription drugs. If you are currently taking any prescriptions, especially those relating to mental health or liver disease, it would be wise to check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking any CBD supplements.


The bottom line on CBD goes something like this: although there is little research on this new trend, many people sing its praises. Some claim that CBD cures their problems better than any other treatment they’ve tried, and the sales figures demonstrate that there is a big demand for it across the nation. It’s been sold as a consumer product for decades and in that time hasn’t show itself to be seriously dangerous. If anything it may only be a neutral placebo—but according to many thousands of individuals, CBD has powerful curative properties. If you’ve had mixed results with more traditional pharmaceuticals, CBD may be able to help you. If you’re interested in giving it a try, ask around. You may be surprised by what you find.


Please login to post comments on this story

  • Miranda Fotia 5 years, 4 months ago

    Very well-written and informative!