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Guide to CBD Oil

Cannabis seeds and CBD oil with green hemp leaf.  

CBD oil is a hot product on the market these days. In some places, it seems to be available in every corner gas station and convenience store. However, for all of its growing popularity, it has left some people with questions. What exactly is CBD oil, and what is it used for? Is it dangerous or a potential new therapeutic? Is it even legal? Read this CBD oil guide to learn more about this trendy, marijuana-derived product.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a product made from marijuana plants, and is high in cannabidiol, one of the active ingredients in cannabis. There is a growing interest in CBD oil as a potential therapeutic agent for several conditions. Cannabidiol differs from the primary active ingredient in marijuana (THC) in that is is not psychoactive, meaning that it will not result in a “high.” CBD hemp oil refers to cannabidiol that has been extracted from marijuana plants and delivered via hemp oil. Hemp oil is a non psychoactive product derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is related, but not identical to the marijuana plant. Cannabidiol can be delivered with oils other than hemp oil, and hemp oil is available without added cannabidiol.

What is CBD Oil Used for?

Of all the potential CBD oil uses, the only one with FDA approval is the use of cannabidiol (under the brand name Epidiolex) for treating seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Beyond this application, there is quite a bit of interest in using CBD oil for anxiety and depression, cognitive decline, inflammation, pain and more. Although there is interesting evidence that CBD could have considerable potential as a therapeutic for multiple anxiety disorders as well as other conditions, it would be wise to exercise caution in this arena until the proper clinical studies have been performed.

Until science and the FDA can provide us with reliable information on the effects (and side effects) of CBD oil, its use as a medical treatment should be approached skeptically, especially if it is being considered in lieu of more established therapies.

Can Teens Take CBD Oil?

Since people are hearing more and more about CBD oil, both in the form of anecdotal stories and marketing information, it might be tempting to view it as some kind of amazing new health panacea. The fact is that, while it may be medically approved for use in mental health issues in teens, right now it isn’t. If an individual is really interested in trying CBD for teen depression or other conditions, it is best to consult with a physician about potential dangers and interactions.

How Do You Use CBD Oil?

CBD oil is most commonly used sublingually, that is, administered in drops beneath the tongue. Alternatively, CBD oil is also available in tablets, gummies, creams and a variety of other products (including CBD vape pens) for both humans and animals.

Can You Get Addicted to CBD?

There is no evidence that CBD or CBD oil plays a role in teen substance abuse or addiction at this time.

Is CBD Oil Legal in All 50 States?

The legal status of CBD oil depends on the source of the CBD oil. The 2018 Farm Bill removed “hemp” (hemp being defined as plants containing less than 0.3% dry weight of THC) from the list of controlled substances. This created a legal distinction between it and the marijuana plants grown for recreational use (i.e. getting high), which are still illegal federally despite legalization in some states.

This would seem to suggest that CBD oil that uses marijuana as the source would be federally illegal, while CBD oil using hemp as the source ought not to be. In reality, a very careful analysis of the chemical composition of the plant and its farming conditions would be required to reliably distinguish between a plant being “hemp” or “marijuana” and those tests are not always done. For this reason, while it is probably possible to produce a CBD oil that is legal at the federal level, it is definitely NOT true to state that all CBD oil is, generally, legal in all 50 states.

Even in states that have decided to allow medical or recreational marijuana use, the use of cannabis products is still prohibited in anyone under 21 years of age. The only exception to this is, of course, the FDA-approved drug Epidiolex, which is approved for use in patients two and older.

Although CBD oil has not been demonstrated to be habit-forming, drug abuse among teenagers is sadly quite common. If you have a loved one dealing with substance abuse or addiction, contact Next Generation Village to learn about treatment options.

Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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