Watch out, penicillin, there’s a new miracle drug in town. In the last year, CBD oil has gone from stoner niche to marketing buzzword, ending up in everything from bath bombs to dog treats (yes, really). It’s the new gluten-free. Everyone from country singers to your cousin on Reddit is claiming CBD oil is the answer to inflammation, pain, acne, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and even cancer! But does it really live up to the hype?
What is CBD oil?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a chemical found in cannabis. CBD isn’t the part of cannabis that leads to “That 70s Show” style circles — that’s tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). A non-psychotropic cannabis extract, CBD doesn’t interact with the same receptors as THC, so users don’t get high from it. However, CBD seems to positively interact with serotonin and pain receptors in the human brain, leading to the perceived health benefits. The keyword here is seems : Dr. Marcel Bonn-Miller from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine said, “We still don’t fully understand all of the mechanisms involved in CBD’s actions. We know some pieces but definitely not the whole story at this point.”
Is CBD Just Another Fad?
While CBD oil seems to have replaced charcoal as the trendy new cure-all, unlike charcoal, CBD might have legitimate benefits for some people. AARP has published that a greater number of baby boomers have started using CBD oil to treat arthritis pain, the FDA has approved a CBD medication to treat certain forms of childhood epilepsy, and there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence to support the claim that CBD oil can help treat depression and anxiety.
As more states legalize the use of medical cannabis or start to regulate CBD oil, we will continue to see a rise in CBD products. But before you jump on the bandwagon, remember: Medical experts agree that more research is needed to determine if CBD is more than a placebo — and if you do decide to try it, you might want to make sure your CBD oil is legal first.
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