CBD is an extremely common product you’ll see these days. It comes in various forms and is said to have thousands of uses, hence its popularity. You can see CBD products everywhere – from new age stores to grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, or even stand-alone CBD stores. But what many people don’t know is what CBD is and does. 

So let’s explore what it is, dispel some rumors around CBD, why it is so popular, and address any safety concerns.


What Does CBD Stand For?

Cannabidiol (shortened to CBD) is actually a chemical produced in cannabis plants called a cannabinoid. However, the psychoactive ingredient that a cannabis plant is famous for, called tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), is not present in CBD. THC (the main ingredient in cannabis plants) is what produces the ‘high’ that users of marijuana enjoy, but unlike THC, CBD does not do this. Cannabidiol can provide many health benefits without the high that accompanies other cannabis products.


What Does CBD Look Like?

Cannabidiol is often in the form of CBD oil and can be transformed into many different products when extracted. So unlike marijuana, which is commonly depicted by large green leaves and bushy flowers, CBD is a deep, yellow-coloured oil. It is often said to resemble olive oil, but is much thicker and stickier to the touch.

As mentioned, CBD oil can be transformed into many other products. It can be found in vape oil, capsules, liquid cannabidiol extracts, CBD Serenity gummies, CBD roll-ons, CBD for PMS menstrual cramps, and CBD skincare products sold online. But it is extremely popular in teas, beauty products, food and drinks, and even candy.


What Does CBD Do?

Uses of CBD

This is where much of the debate around CBD stems from. Many regular users of CBD swear by its health benefits in many ways. However, the professional medical community is still not 100% convinced of its effectiveness, so official research is ongoing.

Generally speaking, CBD has varying degrees of pain masking properties.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the only CBD product approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration is a CBD oil called Epidiolex. This is used for people living with epilepsy and seizure disorders. However, in the future, more FDA-approved drugs may enter the market after the drug approval process completes for the following FDA-approved drug.

Apart from Epidiolex, local or state governments largely govern CBD products. As a result, it would be improbable to be officially prescribed (or recommended) by a doctor for treatment.

CBD is currently being tested to see if it can treat conditions such as Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and even cancer treatments. So as you can see, it can potentially have a vast range of benefits if research proves its effectiveness to treat diseases.

CBD is commonly used for pain relief, anxiety disorders, controlled substance succession, and pain management. 


What Risks Exist With CBD?

Because the medical community is not 100% convinced of CBD Oil’s effectiveness as a medical treatment (with research ongoing), they are also unsure of the risks associated with taking CBD products. Some adverse effects of CBD that have emerged in minor cases include a dry mouth, diarrhea (or other irregular bowel movements), a reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. While these side effects are minor, it warrants further research into CBD’s actual medical effectiveness compared with other medications. 



WebMd. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD). Available at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1439/cannabidiol-cbd

Bauer, B. A. (M.D.). (2022). What are the benefits of CBD – and is it safe to use? Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700

Hazekamp A. (2018) The Trouble With CBD Oil. Karger. Available at: https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/489287

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