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what can you use cbd oil for

“The animal data are very promising for a number of conditions, but rigorous randomized clinical trials have yet to be done,” says Kevin Hill, MD , director of the division of addiction psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “That is one of the frustrating aspects of the current state of cannabis: There are many companies and states profiting from the sale of cannabis and cannabinoids, but those same companies and states are not putting financial resources toward advancing the science.”

Marijuana-derived CBD oil is extracted from high-THC cannabis plants, which can contain varying amounts of THC. (The ratio of CBD to THC is typically listed on the product label.) Any product with more than 0.3 percent THC is considered a controlled substance and can only be bought in a state where medical or recreational marijuana is legal. ( 4 )

On the other hand, no studies have shown that CBD is harmful, says Debra Jaliman, MD , author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist . While research into CBD’s usefulness in skin-care products is admittedly limited, some facts point to its potential benefits. “CBD has been shown to be rich in amino acids , [which] provide nutrients to nourish the hair, skin, and nails ,” Dr. Jaliman notes. "CBD’s also a powerful antioxidant . Antioxidants protect the skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells. And CBD contains fatty acids , which help in keeping the skin healthy.”

Is There Any Proof CBD Works?

Although the FDA has not approved using CBD to treat any of those conditions, there are signs CBD could be beneficial.

CBD-infused products fall into four basic categories, according to the book CBD: A Patient's Guide to Medicinal Cannabis — Healing Without the High : ( 3 )

The strongest scientific evidence of CBD’s efficacy in humans is for reducing seizures in two rare types of epilepsy that occur in children: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Based on that evidence, a liquid CBD anti-seizure drug, Epidiolex , obtained approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2018. (7)

1. Pain So far, most of the evidence for CBD’s ability to reduce pain comes from animal-based research, including a study published in December 2017 in the journal Pain, which found that CBD applied on the skin of rats with osteoarthritis significantly reduced joint pain and inflammation. (10) Continued use of CBD also prevented further pain and nerve damage in those same joints.

The findings suggest that CBD oil may be a suitable complementary therapy for people whose hypertension is complicated by stress and anxiety. However, there is no evidence that CBD oil can treat hypertension on its own or prevent hypertension in people at risk. While stress is known to complicate high blood pressure, it cannot cause hypertension.

Clinical research has shown that CBD oil can trigger side effects. Severity and type can vary from one person to the next.

Human studies evaluating the use of CBD in treating chronic pain are lacking. Those that do exist almost invariably include THC, making it difficult to isolate CBD’s distinct effects.

Seizures

According to the investigators, men provided 300 mg of CBD exhibited less anxiety than those given a placebo. Interestingly, those provided 100 mg or 600 mg of CBD oil did not.

CBD oil is an extract of Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa—the same plants that, when dried, make marijuana. CBD oil is believed by some to treat pain, reduce anxiety, and stimulate appetite in the same way that marijuana does, but without its psychoactive effects. CBD has also shown promise in treating certain types of seizures.

Common symptoms include:

There is some evidence that CBD interacts with seizure medications such as Onfi (clobazam) and boosts their concentration in the blood. Further research is needed.