The reason so many people are interested in cannabis products that don’t make them high, proponents say, is that CBD helps with everything from pain and nausea to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and dementia. CBD is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antibacterial, immunosuppressive, and more, says Joseph Cohen, DO, a cannabis doctor in Boulder, CO.
Such broad claims might sound like a snake oil sales pitch, but preliminary research does suggest that the compound may have wide-ranging effects on the body. So, is CBD the wonder product its advocates claim it is? Is it safe? And though it’s available everywhere, is it even legal? The answers are more complex than you might imagine.
What is CBD, exactly?
Along with its better-known counterpart, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces the marijuana high), CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of more than 400 compounds found in the oils of cannabis plant species, which include marijuana and hemp.
Does CBD get you high?
Unlike THC, CBD will not make you high. That said, this doesn’t mean CBD is not at all psychoactive, as many assert, says Jahan Marcu, PhD, director of experimental pharmacology and behavior at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York City: “CBD does change cognition. It affects mood, which is why people take it for anxiety. And some find that it makes them more alert.”
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