In short, Cannabidiol – or CBD – is a cannabis compound that has many therapeutic benefits. Usually extracted from the leaves and flowers of hemp plants – though marijuana can also be a source – CBD oil is then incorporated into an array of marketable products. These products vary from the most common, like sublingual oils and topical lotions, to the less common (think CBD lattes). Basically, if you can dream it, you can buy it.
Everywhere you click these days, it seems like someone on the internet is talking about cannabidiol—also known as CBD, a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant. Online retailers market the extract (also known as hemp oil) as a remedy for a variety of ailments, celebrities swear by its healing powers, and the ingredient is popping up in nutritional supplements and beauty products, as well. There’s even a new FDA-approved drug derived from CBD.
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In the meantime, some physicians are forging ahead — and cashing in. Joe Cohen is a doctor at Holos Health, a medical marijuana clinic in Boulder. I asked him what CBD is good for, and he read me a long list of conditions: pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, intestinal cramping, anxiety, psychosis, muscle spasms, hyperactive immune systems, nervous system degeneration, elevated blood sugar and more. He also claimed that CBD has anti-cancer properties and can regenerate brain cells and reduce the brain’s levels of amyloid beta — a kind of protein that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. I asked for references, noting that most of these weren’t listed in the Academies report or a similar review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “I think you just have to Google search it,” he said. It’s true that a preliminary study found hints that cannabinoids might reduce beta amyloid proteins in human brain cells, but the study was done in cells grown in a lab, not in people. As for cancer, the FDA sent warning letters last year to four companies that were selling products that claimed to “prevent, diagnose, treat or cure” cancer.

For anxiety, CBD products with a ratio of 20:1 or higher are recommended and administered as drops, capsules, or edibles. High-CBD cannabinoids can be very effective in reducing chronic anxiety, treating temporary stress, and protecting the body from the physiological effects of both. Varieties high in linalool, a terpene shared with lavender, are known to be effective for relieving anxiety. In particular the strain AC/DC is very effective.
CBD oil has a wide range of effects on health and has been connected to a diverse number of health problems, ranging from migraines and stress to lack of appetite and sex drive. CBD oil has even been connected to reducing the risk of certain cancers, as well as reducing pain, improving the conditions of the heart, and helping people get a good night’s sleep. There are a number of ways to use CBD oil, depending on what you want relief from.
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