The news has been filled with all things cannabis for years now. From the "experiments" with legalization in Washington and Colorado that have led to other states legalizing cannabis, to the potential medical uses discovered in researching this formerly off-limits plant, to speculation about which state will decriminalize it next, it seems that cannabis always has something new going on. One of the latest additions to the cycle is CBD oil, which is not new by any stretch of the imagination, but which is getting a lot of time in the spotlight as it grows in popularity.
So what is CBD oil? And why are so many people making such a big deal out of CBD tinctures and other CBD oil online purchases?
First things first, CBD stands for cannabidiol. This material is harvested (according to Medical Marijuana Inc.) from hemp plants, not marijuana. This material interacts with the body's cannabinoid receptors, and creates a variety of effects in those who take it. CBD can have effects on mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, pain, and in other regulatory systems of the body.
While CBD oil and marijuana are often talked about as if they're close cousins, they're actually quite different in terms of the effects users get. Marijuana contains large amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive component that gives users a high. Because CBD oil is harvested from hemp, though, there are only trace amounts of THC in it. So while users may experience similar effects in terms of controlling pain, or balancing mood or appetite, CBD oil cannot give someone the high marijuana can. As such, many states do not regulate it as a drug at all, and it can be legally purchased over-the-counter, and used by anyone who wishes to.
CBD oil is used by countless people as an alternative treatment for a variety of conditions. Those who suffer from chronic pain, for example, may use CBD as a way to avoid using more addictive prescription painkillers. Those who suffer from mood disorders such as anxiety or depression may be able to help control their conditions by using CBD in combination with other forms of therapy. Some people use CBD to recover from particularly hard physical labor or exercise, and others use it to deal with headaches rather than reaching for a bottle of aspirin.
With all of that said, though, every individual is unique. So while a certain dose of CBD oil may work for one person, there is no guarantee that the same dose will work for someone else. While everyone's body has an endocannabinoid system, it's important to try CBD oil with realistic expectations.
Whether you can purchase and use CBD oil legally depends entirely on what state you're in. As Hemp Meds points out, there are 33 states at time of writing that have laws specifically about hemp and products made from hemp. 24 other states treat industrial hemp as a separate plant, and have removed barriers to its production, as well as products made from it. Additionally, depending on the political winds in your state, there may be local ordinances and state laws regarding CBD oil. A fight over the product raged in Indiana for some time, where CBD's status as a legal product was in question for months until the state legislature finally clarified that it was, in fact, legal.
As to whether it's safe, the answer is yes. CBD oil should be used in controlled doses, but as long as you follow both common sense and recommended use protocols, you will be perfectly fine.