One area where CBD is clearly helpful: the treatment of seizures associated with one form of epilepsy. A 2017 New England Journal of Medicine study found ingesting oral CBD dramatically cut down most patients’ seizure frequency—a finding that prompted the FDA to support the approval of one CBD drug for use in the treatment of some epilepsy patients.
CBD also appears to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC. This is what makes CBD so appealing to the medical community, as the cause of psychoactive side effects has been a major barrier in the acceptance of medical marijuana. (20) While THC is known to cause anxiety and paranoia in some people, CBD works to counteract those side effects. For this reason, CBD benefits extend to being used in clinical trials on young children with epilepsy.
In the United States, non-FDA approved CBD products are classified as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that production, distribution, and possession of non-FDA approved CBD products is illegal under federal law. In addition, in 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration added "marijuana extracts" to the list of Schedule I drugs, which it defined as "an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant." Previously, CBD had simply been considered "marijuana", which is a Schedule I drug.