The Lowdown on CBD Oil

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You've likely heard about CBD oil recently and seen it being infused in everyday items such as dog treats, gummies, skincare—even ice cream. But, what is it?

If you're one of the people out there who's still pondering this question, you're not alone.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, an abundant chemical in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more famous cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not get you stoned. Still, it's important to note you're not going to be walking around feeling completely normal, either. Expect an overall "body high" feeling.

Some say CBD oil melts away stress and enables them to get through their day feeling less anxiety than they normally would; research suggests it may be able to help relieve headaches. The FDA even recently approved a cannabidiol-based drug—Epidiolex—as a treatment option for seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

While you're likely to see it in dropper bottles sold at your local health stores and other similar retail locations, CBD oil also can be found in the form of tinctures, concentrates, creams, liquids for vaporizers and a wide variety of edible forms.

Its popularity is evident, with the Brightfield Group predicting the CBD market to reach $22 billion by 2022. This isn't too hard to believe, especially with Congress recently passing the new Farm Bill—making it easier for farmers to grow hemp, the plant CBD oil is derived from.

Think it's merely a fad among younger generations? Think again. AARP indicates that CBD oil has become a popular treatment for pain and arthritis among the baby boomer generation.

Additional Considerations ...

Is it legal?
Both marijuana- and hemp-derived CBD are legal for medicinal and recreational use in Michigan, though laws vary state-to-state.

Does it show up on drug tests?
Drug tests and the substances they test for vary. Traditional tests usually screen for THC, so it's unlikely that use of CDB oil would be detected in a typical drug test. Yet it's important to be aware that some CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC. And although it isn't yet standard to test specifically for CBD use, your employer may commission a test that does.

One West Michigan woman notes:

"My initial interest was piqued after making a decision to forgo the wine hangover, but also allow myself to participate in some stress release. Further education revealed a variety of additional benefits for me: better rest, less anxiety and ability to consistently function as a working mother within all capacities required of me. Opening up a dialogue and destigmatizing this is crucial for other women looking to explore a lifestyle that incorporates these products and achieve their best life! I've been so pleased with my ability to manage life with a more level head and clarity." 
—Sarah T.

Ultimately, you're the only one who can decide if using CBD oil and products is right for you. Be sure to inform yourself through further research from reputable studies and talk to your doctor.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.

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