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CBD’s exact mechanism of action is unclear. Unlike THC, CBD has a relatively low affinity for cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These are the molecules to which THC binds to elicit its psychoactive effects.

To determine an exact dose of CBD, remember that each drop of oil equals 0.05 mL of fluid. This means that a 30-mL bottle of CBD oil will have roughly 600 drops. If the concentration of the tincture is 1,500 mg/mL, one drop would contain 2.5 mg of CBD (1,500 mg ÷ 600 drops = 2.5 mg).

Health Benefits

There have also been suggestions that CBD may aid in the treatment of cannabis and nicotine addiction. Further research is needed.

There are no guidelines for the appropriate use of CBD oil. CBD oil is usually delivered sublingually (under the tongue). Most oils are sold in 30-milliliter (mL) bottles with a dropper cap.

CBD oil contains CBD mixed with an inert carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. The bottled oil, called a tincture, is sold in various concentrations. There are also CBD capsules, CBD gummies, and under-the-tongue CBD sprays.

Zuardi AW, Crippa JA, Hallak JE, et al. Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug. Braz J Med Biol Res 2006;39(4):421-9. View abstract.

Zuardi A, Crippa J, Dursun S, et al. Cannabidiol was ineffective for manic episode of bipolar affective disorder. J Psychopharmacol 2010;24(1):135-7. View abstract.

Hurd YL, Spriggs S, Alishayev J, et al. Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Am J Psychiatry. 2019:appiajp201918101191. View abstract.

Interactions ?

Massi P, Valenti M, Vaccani A, et al. 5-Lipoxygenase and anandamide hydrolase (FAAH) mediate the antitumor activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. J Neurochem 2008;104(4):1091-100. View abstract.

Hussain SA, Dlugos DJ, Cilio MR, Parikh N, Oh A, Sankar R. Synthetic pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol for treatment of refractory infantile spasms: A multicenter phase-2 study. Epilepsy Behav. 2020 Jan;102:106826. View abstract.

Laux LC, Bebin EM, Checketts D, et al. Long-term safety and efficacy of cannabidiol in children and adults with treatment resistant Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome: Expanded access program results. Epilepsy Res. 2019;154:13-20. View abstract.

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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.”

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)

Because it’s not intoxicating, hemp-derived CBD is what’s fueling the CBD craze. What once was called “hippie’s disappointment” is now being embraced precisely because it can induce the relaxing effects of marijuana without any worry that it will impact your consciousness, explains psychologist Lara Fielding, PsyD, author of Mastering Adulthood: Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grown-Up .

Doctors React to News That States With Legal Marijuana Prescribe Fewer Opioids

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 )

“I’ll confess, I tried CBD, and my whole life I’ve been an adamant anti-drug person because people I’ve known and loved have ruined their lives with drugs,” Dr. Fielding says. “And I’ve been converted. It triggered a wonderful feeling of going from tension and pain and distress to feeling fine without altering me in any other way.”

2. Anxiety While there haven’t been any large-scale clinical trials testing CBD oil as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder , social anxiety , panic disorder , or phobias , a small study published in January 2019 in The Permanente Journal showed promising results. ( 2 )

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.