Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It's approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug's benefits is still limited.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a phyto-cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. However, it does not cause the same psychoactive effects as other naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). CBD induces feelings of sleepiness and tranquility, making it suitable for insomnia and other sleep disorders; CBD can be used to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, as well. Legality is an issue for some; all 50 states have laws governing the sale, possession, and use of CBD, and they vary significantly (see the table below for a full analysis).
Dry Mouth: As is the case with many other hemp- and marijuana-based products, CBD oil often leads to a condition known as dry mouth (or cottonmouth). This is likely due to cannabinoids altering receptors in the lower jaw that trigger salivation. In most cases, mild discomfort and stronger-than-average thirst are the only issues associated with dry mouth.
The endocannabinoid system is spread throughout your brain and body, but primarily throughout your central nervous system. The interaction between cannabinoids and receptors is what produces effects like the regulation of mood, pain, appetite, inflammation, and memory. Plant-based cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants, also interact with the receptors (whimsically named CB1 and CB2) in the endocannabinoid system, and each affects your body in different ways. CBD and its infamous cousin THC are the 2 most well-known cannabinoids.
There are more than 80 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, with THC being the primary one, followed by CBD. However, in the hemp plant, which is a different strain of the species Cannabis sativa, CBD is the main active ingredient, and THC is barely present, making its use and legality more widespread. The reason that CBD is such an effective form of support for human health is due to the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system. This regulatory structure of the body has millions of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system, which react not only to plant-derived cannabinoids (such as hemp and marijuana) but also to natural cannabinoids produced within our body. When hemp oil is used and processed by the body, it is effectively boosting the function of the endocannabinoid system, helping our body regulate itself in many different ways.
CBD is a chemical found in marijuana. CBD doesn't contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. The usual CBD formulation is oil, but CBD is also sold as an extract, a vaporized liquid and an oil-based capsule. Food, drinks and beauty products are among the many CBD-infused products available online.
Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that.
CBD works by attaching itself to specific receptors of the body’s own endocannabinoid system. The human body is known to produce cannabinoids of its own, which affect the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are generally found in the brain, and deal with pain, mood and emotions, movement, appetite, among others. THC acts upon the CB1 receptors. Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are more commonly found throughout the immune system, affecting inflammation and thus pain. CBD is thought to act upon these receptors, by influencing the body to produce its own cannabinoids in order to rebalance itself.
REM Behavior Disorder: REM behavior disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia disorder characterized by shouting, becoming physically agitated, or otherwise acting out during sleep. For many, RBD is a symptom of a larger, more serious condition or disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease or PTSD. CBD oil minimizes the symptoms of RBD, and also alleviates the anxiety and painful symptoms that often accompany disorders that lead to RBD.
CBD derived from marijuana is a different story, and the law varies from state to state. But as long as you’re using CBD oil that contains less than 0.3 percent THC, you have nothing to be concerned about anywhere in the United States. On the other hand, if you want to take your CBD on a trip outside the country, definitely look into local laws to avoid getting into awkward situations while you’re away.