Are you in the know when it comes to cannabidiol (CBD) oil­?

From gas stations to department stores, everywhere seems to be selling products containing CBD oil. Many people claim CBD oil can help with several different health conditions, such as anxiety, digestive issues and schizophrenia. There are a lot of CBD products. However, the potential effects need more research.

CBD comes from the cannabis plant. There are many strains of cannabis, which contain variable amounts of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical that makes people feel high. Plants with low levels of THC are called hemp strains, which are used to make CBD products. Plants with higher levels of THC are marijuana.  

“In theory, CBD products should have extremely low levels of THC,” says Jennifer Griffith, MD, PhD, Washington University pediatric neurologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “Medical marijuana has high levels of THC, and that is what separates it from CBD products.”

Patients have told Dr. Griffith they use CBD oil for a number of conditions, and a form of CBD has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for epilepsy. Dr. Griffith states, however, that there is not yet scientific evidence that CBD oil is effective to treat conditions other than seizures.

“CBD oil gets touted as a natural product, but natural does not automatically mean safe,” she says. “CBD is a drug, like any other medical drug. There may be a role for CBD and other cannabis products in medicine in the future, but I need to be extremely clear—more research is necessary.”