Under federal law, cannabis (from which both CBD and marijuana are derived) is illegal everywhere, although the laws against it aren’t generally enforced in states that have legalized marijuana. Some manufacturers claim that CBD culled from legally imported industrial hemp, which has little to no THC, is fine to ship across the U.S., but many experts disagree, noting that because hemp comes from the same species as marijuana, cannabis sativa, all CBD falls under the DEA’s Schedule 1 designation. “This creative interpretation of the law runs afoul of reality,” says the Brookings Institution, a Washington, DC, think tank.
If you haven’t been bombarded with CBD marketing or raves about it from friends, get ready. This extract—which comes from either marijuana or its industrial cousin, hemp—is popping up everywhere. There are CBD capsules, tinctures, and liquids for vaping plus CBD-infused lotions, beauty products, snacks, coffee, and even vaginal suppositories. Already some 1,000 brands of CBD products are available in stores—and online in states that don’t have lenient cannabis laws. This is a tiny fraction of what’s to come: The CBD market is poised to exceed $22 billion by 2022, per the Chicago-based research firm Brightfield Group.
The human body also produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, in a bodily system known as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). The ECS promotes homeostasis by regulating a wide range of functions, including motor skills, mood, appetite, and sleep. As we age, our ECS produces fewer endocannabinoids; they may also decrease due to physical injury or disease. Replenishing depleted endocannabinoids with phytocannabinoids like CBD can help restore balance to the body.
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.
CBD oil is not legal everywhere. It is banned/restricted by countries such as UAE, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. Although CBD oil is illegal in many of the US states too, some have legalized its use for medicinal purposes. While the number would be ever-changing, as of 2016 there are 17 states in the US which have legalized the use of low THC, high CBD products for medical reasons in limited situations. These states include Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. It is advisable to consult your local health specialist before use.
Of course, there is a different side to the story also. It is true that the studies concluded so far have their limitations, and there is no saying what effects supplementation with CBD for more than 6 months could have. However, they suggest cannabidiol has the potential for treating some mental disorders, like anxiety and depression, seizure disorders like epilepsy, insomnia, and chronic pain.
Thank you for your questions. Marijuana and hemp are two extremely different strains of the same cannabis sativa plant that have been bred over thousands of years to have entirely different purposes. (Hemp is not the male version of the marijuana plant.) They both contain CBD. Hemp only contains CBD whereas marijuana contains CBD and perhaps a hundred or so other chemicals with a variety of functions, such as THC, the molecule that makes people “high”. Any medicine can have different effects on different people. For example, Benadryl makes some people sleepy yet can make others wide-awake. So, it is not inconsistent for a particular medicine to cause a symptom in one person and to help alleviate it in another. So while many people experience relaxation with CBD, so people do experience the “paradoxical” effect of irritability.

Since 2014, NuLeaf Naturals – our Editor’s Pick – has been committed to creating high-quality CBD oil products. As one of the oldest and most reviewed companies in the industry, NuLeaf Naturals has established themselves as a trustworthy CBD manufacturer. All of their products are tested by third party labs and their cannabinoid profile is impressive. They offer a unique range of concentrations for their organic CBD products ranging from 240mg to 4,850mg.

A newcomer to our CBD oils ranking, RE: Botanicals is no stranger to hemp. Founded by John Roulac, a long-time hemp advocate and founder of the organic superfoods brand Nutiva, RE: Botanicals is one of the only CBD brands to earn the USDA organic seal. They deserve a shout-out for prioritizing regenerative agriculture, while keeping prices reasonable.   
The furry subjects, 277 Wistar rats, were given a dose of CBD immediately after receiving a small electric shock. The CBD-treated subjects were found to spend less time frozen in fear when reintroduced to the context of the fearful event. This means the CBD disrupted consolidation (or more simply put: memory strengthening) of their specific and long-term fear memory.
Researchers at the Department of Pharmacognosy, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, UK, basis the study conducted on mice found that CBD oil has analgesic properties and may relieve chronic pain of all kinds . It can disrupt the activity of pain receptors in the body and instead cause a release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine – “feel good” compounds that can ease discomfort and pain, even if the pharmaceutical painkillers have no effect.
There is a strong sedative quality to CBD hemp oil, making it a popular remedy for people with insomnia, sleeplessness, interrupted sleep, post-traumatic stress disorder, restless leg disorder, and other night-time issues. Dr. Scott Shannon, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA, published a report in the Permanete Journal, in which he recommended either inhaling a small amount of CBD oil, applying it to one’s chest, or even putting a few drops on one’s pillow to help get a good night’s sleep.
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