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- Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the compound in cannabis that doesn’t get you high. It’s surging in popularity, with sellers touting a range of wellness benefits.
- CBD is also the active ingredient in an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex.
- Wall Street thinks the CBD industry could be worth $16 billion by 2025, but that may depend on how federal regulators decide to police it. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Friday.
- Here’s what we know about the science of CBD, from its potential clinical applications to its limitations.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
I knew I’d arrived in California when a friend offered me an edible — for my dog.
The treat didn’t contain THC, the component of marijuana that’s responsible for getting you high. Instead, it was made with cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis that is surging in popularity.
These days, you’ll find everything from cupcakes to lattes made with CBD. Sellers claim CBD can do everything from relieve anxiety to help with sleep and pain. But so far, there’s little solid evidence to back up those claims.
Wall Street thinks the industry could be worth $16 billion by 2025, depending on how the federal government decides to regulate the compound. CBD’s legal status is currently hazy. It can vary based on everything from the state in which it’s sold to whether it comes from hemp or marijuana plants.
On Friday, regulators at the Food and Drug Administration are holding a public hearing to gather feedback on how to police foods, drinks, and drugs made with CBD or other cannabis compounds.
CBD does appears to have some limited clinical uses, and FDA has already approved one drug using the compound.
Last summer, federal regulators approved the first prescription drug made with the compound — an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex that’s used to treat seizures linked with two rare forms of the disease.
Beyond those specific therapeutic benefits, however, it remains unclear whether CBD has any broader benefits.
Scientists believe CBD could play a role in helping to produce many of marijuana’s therapeutic effects, from relieving pain to curbing inflammation. But overall, the research on cannabis itself is early, it’s too soon to say for sure whether CBD is useful for most people, or for our furry friends.
Here’s what you need to know about the health benefits and limitations of the trendy cannabis compound that’s showing up in everything from bottled teas and beer-like drinks to creams and dog treats.
These days, CBD is everywhere. But its legality may depend on several factors, including the type of plant it comes from.
By Chloe/Leslie Kirchoff
CBD can either be manufactured from hemp, which President Donald Trump recently made legal for farmers to grow and harvest, or from marijuana, which remains illegal nationally.
A handful of boutique companies are now making lotions, creams, cupcakes, and cookies infused with hemp-derived CBD. The products are being sold everywhere from traditional marijuana dispensaries (in states where the drug is legal) to traditional stores (sometimes even in states where marijuana remains off-limits).
Los Angeles-based Humble Flower Co. sells its lotions, creams, and massage oils at select California marijuana dispensaries only, but several other companies, like Blue Ridge Hemp, sell their goods online as well as in stores across the country. Last summer, the trendy vegan fast-food chain By Chloe added a line of CBD-infused products to its menus in New York and called the new offering "Feelz by Chloe."
But starting in February, health department officials in New York City began to crack down on some CBD vendors, warning of bans and fines.
CBD has some limited — and very specific — clinical uses. But it’s still unclear whether it could have health benefits for most people.
Courtesy GW Pharmaceuticals
Last June, a prescription, CBD-based epilepsy drug called Epidiolex became the first of its kind to be approved by the federal government.
Taken as a syrup and made by British-based drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals, the drug is designed to treat seizures linked with two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. The drug is made with CBD harvested from marijuana plants.
Epidiolex contains very high levels of CBD — far higher than the amounts found in treats and drinks being sold today. For example, the average dose for an 8-year-old child taking Epidiolex is roughly 650 milligrams of CBD per day. By comparison, most CBD cookies, coffees, and creams contain about 5-20 milligrams of CBD.
Still, many scientists believe CBD could play a role in helping to produce many of the therapeutic effects tied to marijuana.
Darrin Harris Frisby / Drug Policy Alliance
In marijuana plants, CBD exists alongside THC, the ingredient that’s believed to produce most of cannabis’ commonly-known effects, including its characteristic high.
Researchers generally believe that when taken together in the plant, the two compounds produce their strongest effects. But they also believe that CBD alone could play a key role in everything from relieving pain to curbing inflammation.
These benefits have yet to be borne out by solid scientific research. Scientists are now exploring the potential of CBD to treat things like pain and inflammation.
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