Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world. A safe, non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.
Possible health benefits include reducing inflammation and pain. However, it is not legal in all states, and there may also be some risks. When we discuss CBD we focus on products produced from hemp. These products follow the FDA note that hemp plants are legal under the Farm Bill, as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.
Both hemp and marijuana belong to the same species, Cannabis sativa, and the two plants look somewhat similar. However, substantial variation can exist within a species. After all, great Danes and chihuahuas are both dogs, but they have obvious differences.
As with most therapies, CBD use may entail some risks. It may interact with supplements and other drugs. Most CBD products do not have FDA approval, which also means they have not undergone thorough tests.