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cbd for anxiety and pain

A row of bottles of CBD oil as seen in a branch of the health chain Planet Organic, in the UK.

The use of CBD products has been one of the fastest growing wellness trends in recent years, in part because the variety of these products, derived from a naturally occurring compound in the hemp plant, is vast and ever increasing. And they all seem to offer remedies to common problems like insomnia, anxiety and stress caused by travel or even pain relief. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is just one of many cannabinoids that is extracted from hemp plants and then infused into all sorts of products. CBD is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties and an excellent, all-natural alternative to prescription medications.

A hemp plant, the source of CBD oil

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CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in the hemp plant. While CBD is also in marijuana plants, legal CBD products must contain CBD extracted from hemp to avoid the psychoactive effects (the “high”) caused by the THC in marijuana. CBD has no psychoactive properties; it’s known to calm, soothe and relax the mind and body and decrease inflammation that can cause chronic pain. Products with CBD oil include gummies, vapes and capsules but consuming CBD oil in a tincture form has actually been shown to be more effective. In order to absorb most quickly into the bloodstream, CBD oil should be taken sublingually where you place an appropriate dosage under your tongue and hold it there for 60-90 seconds, swallowing any oil remaining. Pure CBD oil does have a strong earthy taste from the hemp but if its suspended in alcohol in a flavored tincture, it’s much more pleasant to consume. Here are five of the best and tastiest CBD oil brands that can alleviate sleep, pain, anxiety and travel woes.

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a "high." According to a report from the World Health Organization, "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD."

CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.

How is cannabidiol different from marijuana?

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.

Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, and you may have even seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. What exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?