Simplifying Science

Cannabinoid Confusion

Who's confused about CBD? If so, it's for good reason! The stuff is everywhere — in drinks, foods, oils, capsules — but there's very little consensus on what it actually does inside the body. CBD is not psychoactive like it's cannabinoid cousin THC. But is it as anti-inflammatory as advocates claim? Does it really improve health? Believe what you want, but the truth is that there's too little research to know. And as with any chemical, it runs the risk of side effects. A good rule of thumb to follow in every corner of your life: educate yourself before jumping on the bandwagon.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, a nonintoxicating component of the marijuana plant, is touted as a magic bullet that eases pain, anxiety, insomnia and depression. Salves, sprays, tinctures and oils containing CBD are marketed as aphrodisiacs that boost desire; as balms for eczema, pimples and hot flashes; and even as treatments for serious diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Unlike THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the “psychoactive” component of the cannabis plant, CBD won’t get you “high.” But scientists know little about what it can...READ MORE