CBD is the abbreviation of cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is an extract of the cannabis plant. There are about 60 cannabinoids (chemicals derived from cannabis that mostly interact with the human endocannabinoid system) in cannabis, the second most abundant is cannabidiol (the first being THC, the chemical that gets you high). Cannabidiol itself is not an oil. When cannabidiol is extracted from cannabis to make cannabidiol oil, there are three main forms you can buy:
As well as being non-psychoactive, CBD has a whole host of properties that make it an effective medicine in its own rights. It is not toxic, so it can be used in high concentrations with complications, the side effects are minimal and rare, so as an alternative therapeutic medication, it can be a sensible choice.
With any of the oils, you should always try to get organically and fairly traded cannabidiol oil. There are companies that independently test and verify the advertised concentrations of different cannabis oils, so if you can get a certified supply you will be more able to get consistent results. Full spectrum cannabidiol oil would be likely to have psychoactive effects, so should be avoided for people who cannot or do not want to tolerate that. However, if you are applying the oil topically, it is very unlikely you will feel any psychoactive effects.
Cannabidiol oil is a drug. It should therefore be treated with the respect that any drug should be afforded. That is to say, you should read up on all the effects and possible side effects before you try it. Always keep someone informed of what you are taking it in the unlikely event of a bad reaction, they will know what you have taken and be able to inform the emergency services. This is extremely unlikely and as far as this author can tell, nobody has ever died from taking CBD. It is highly tolerable and a very safe drug. Side effects can include dry mouth, diarrhoea, nausea, tiredness, and discomfort. These are rare and will stop when you either stop the therapy or develop a tolerance to the drug.
The legality of CBD is a complex and confusing issue. It depends entirely on where you live. Some states in the USA have legalized recreational and medicinal marijuana https://www.vox.com/cards/marijuana-legalization/where-is-marijuana-legal , so cannabidiol is included in that. Others have not. Currently, the Federal government prohibits cannabis products but tolerates states’ right to make their own decisions. In Canada, CBD was recently legalized alongside cannabis for medicinal and recreational use. In the UK and most of Europe, CBD can be obtained in some products but is illegal if it is a part of the cannabis plant or alongside THC in certain concentrations.
There is no clear answer to whether it is legal or not, so this site’s advice is to look up the legislation that applies to your country or state online and be very sure about the exact legality of CBD. There can be severe penalties, regardless of how you intend to use it and regardless of the fact that it is a relatively safe medication. If you are obtaining CBD for a child, be very sure about the legality of it. It might be legal for adults in some places but not for children. There are places where it is prescribed to children but giving them it otherwise could end that person in jail.
Talking to your Doctor
In some states and countries, your doctor is legally obliged to report you to the relevant authorities if you disclose you are using an illicit drug. In other states, there is no obligation. If you have obtained the drug illegally, which is never endorsed by this site, make sure you know about your doctor’s legal obligations to disclose such activity before you discuss it with them.
Talking to your doctor about the medications you are taking is essential. They need to be able to monitor your condition as best they can and they cannot do this without knowing everything you are taking. Taking CBD when it is illegal is not recommended not just because you might get hauled off to jail for a long time, but that you need to be open about your medications if you are taking them.