The Farm Bill removed all hemp-derived products, including CBD, from the Controlled Substances Act, which criminalizes the possession of drugs. In essence, this means that CBD is legal if it comes from hemp, but not if it comes from cannabis (marijuana) – even though it is the exact same molecule. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical marijuana license, which is legal in most states.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is often covered in the media, and you may see it touted as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. You can even buy a CBD-infused sports bra. But what exactly is CBD? And why is it so popular?
Is cannabidiol legal?
Outside of the US, the prescription drug Sativex, which uses CBD as an active ingredient, is approved for muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and for cancer pain. Within the US, Epidiolex is approved for certain types of epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis.
How is cannabidiol different from marijuana, cannabis and hemp?
CBD comes in many forms, including oils, extracts, capsules, patches, vapes, and topical preparations for use on skin. If you’re hoping to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle and joint pain, a topical CBD-infused oil, lotion or cream – or even a bath bomb — may be the best option. Alternatively, a CBC patch or a tincture or spray designed to be placed under the tongue allows CBD to directly enter the bloodstream.
CBD is one of a group of substances called cannabinoids derived from the cannabis sativa plant.
(name=interactions)CAUTION: CBD should not be taken by people with liver disease or Parkinson's disease.
By acting on the ECS, CBD may have many different effects on the body. Examples include: balancing the body’s overall physical functions (homeostasis), reducing pain sensation, and lessening the body’s reaction to injury or inflammation.
So then, how are retailers selling hemp-derived CBD products? Ultimately, they’re just willing to take on some risk. The FDA is keeping close watch on the CBD market and is developing regulations for the legality of CBD as both a drug and as a food ingredient.
Evidence-based tools to empower you to live a healthier, longer life.
Michelle is a Nutrition Science Intern at InsideTracker. Complete with her dietetic internship, you’ll find Michelle analyzing the research behind recent nutrition trends to inform novel food and supplement recommendations.
- Based on currently available science, InsideTracker cannot recommend with certainty that you will benefit from recreational CBD use.
- The science does look promising, and clinical trials investigating the impact of CBD are underway.
- Based on preliminary evidence, CBD may reduce anxiety, particularly in individuals with social anxiety.
- CBD may reduce pain in individuals with chronic pain and reduce symptoms of frequent opioid consumption.
- CBD may impart anti-inflammatory effects.
Michelle Darian, MS, MPH
 Pisanti S, Malfitano AM, Ciaglia E, Lamberti A, Ranieri R, Cuomo G, et al. Cannabidiol: State of the art and new challenges for therapeutic applications. Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Jul;175:133–50.