What is CBD Oil and How Does It Work?Q: There’s so much confusion about CBD oil. Can you separate the fact from the fiction?

A: Few subjects in the health space these days generate as much controversy—and are the cause of as much confusion—as medical marijuana. But marijuana is having a moment. As more states legalize its use, it’s more important than ever to understand exactly what medical marijuana is, what it is not, and why it matters. (Hint: The answer to why it matters is simple: cannabinoids.)

Cannabis is a genus of plants that includes different species: cannabis sativa (also known as marijuana) is one of them; hemp is another. And this is where it sometimes gets confusing. Because while hemp and marijuana are indeed species of the same plant, chemically, they are entirely different.

All cannabis plants—including hemp and marijuana—contain an array of healthy plant compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are to the cannabis plant what flavonoids are to fruits and vegetables—powerful plant compounds with multiple healing properties. There are about 100 cannabinoids, all native to the various cannabis species. The two most famous are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the cannabinoid responsible for getting marijuana users stoned.

Did you know…

Evidence suggests that CBD oil has potential to treat everything from anxiety to chronic pain.

What is CBD oil?

CBD is found in both hemp and pot, but THC is found only in pot. Legally, THC can’t be found in anything labeled “hemp.” CBD doesn’t get you high at all, but has a number of other properties that we’ll discuss. (If you want to try CBD, hemp oil is the best way to go, and it’s legal everywhere. And CBD is CBD—it’s molecularly identical whether you get it from pot or hemp, and the body sees it exactly the same way regardless of origin.)


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