CBD use grows as does confusion over labels, health benefits

Ken Baker, Ph.D.

Driving through town, it sometimes looks like every third retail store has a “CBD Sold Here” sign out front, and it does seem like almost everyone is either already a user or at least CBD-curious.

And there’s a lot to be curious about. What ailments is CBD supposed to address? Are there important differences between available commercial preparations? How do you know how much to take?

CBD, cannabidiol, is one of over 500 chemicals that have been identified in plants belonging to the genus Cannabis. Of these, some 113 to 144 (depending on your reference) are classified as “cannabinoids” of which the two most abundant are THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolan) and CBD.

THC gets you high, CBD doesn’t. (They affect different parts of the nervous system.) Both have well-documented health benefits and both are touted by some as miracle cure-alls for everything from cancer to acne, making researchers and reputable manufacturers squirm in their seats.

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