CBD oil, derived from cannabis, growing in popularity

Published: Apr. 12, 2018 at 4:03 PM EDT
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Jules Hunt, 26, is a New York-based wellness blogger. About two months ago, she started taking cannabidiol or CBD oil once a day.

"You put it under your tongue," she explained.

Hunt says her doctor recommended the oil to help her stomach problems and the anxiety that comes with them.

"I think you start to feel it a bit over time and then you start to realize, 'Oh, wow, I slept a lot better that evening,'" Hunt said.

CBD is one of many compounds derived from cannabis. Another is THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Unlike THC, pure CBD products won't produce a euphoric effect.

But Drake University Clinical Sciences Chair Tim Welty says it's difficult to know how well the supplements work. Although limited studies show CBD helps with epilepsy, he says there are potential side effects.

"Drowsiness is common. And GI complaints," Welty said. "There's a potential concern about damage to the liver."

Last year, the FDA sent letters to four CBD manufacturers alleging some products didn't "contain the levels of CBD they claimed" to have.

Despite the unknown, the CBD industry is growing.

Rob Rosenheck and his wife, Cindy Capobianco, are co-founders of the California-based company Lord Jones. The company's wellness lotion is a customer favorite.

"They'll use it for skin conditions from eczema to psoriasis to sunburn... headaches, neck aches, joint pain," Capobianco said.

Though Hunt is feeling the benefits of CBD, she doesn't think it's the only reason her health has improved.

"I think with a really healthy diet, avoiding my allergens and taking CBD oil and following the supplements that my doctor prescribed to me," she said.

Hunt's doctor says the oil is often a last resort for people who have unsuccessfully tried other solutions. And doctors urge patients to be careful about using CBD if they're already taking other medications.

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