By Julia Martin
The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) While CBD oil is technically illegal on the federal level, it is sold freely online and in stores.
We’re in the midst of a CBD craze.
Cannabidiol, CBD, is a compound in the marijuana plant with purported medical benefits but very little (0.3 percent or less) THC, the plant’s psychoactive ingredient.
In other words, it won’t make you feel high or stoned.
Dozens of online companies sell it as a supplement. And it can be found in everything from cosmetics to bottled water to coffee. You can pick it up it in health food stores and smoke shops, even in New Jersey, where pot hasn’t been legalized.
The most common reason for using CBD oil is to alleviate anxiety and depression, said Martin A. Lee, director of the non-profit cannabis research group Project CBD and author of “Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana.”
It’s also popular for pain and is being used to treat cancer, Crohn’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, cardiovascular disease, antibiotic-resistant infections, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia.
Because marijuana is illegal at the federal level, there’s a dearth of clinical trials on the medical effects of CBD oil in the U.S., but, Lee said, there is “extensive pre-clinical research” here and more definitive studies abroad. It’s approved for chronic pain in more than two dozen countries, he said.
Recently, the drug Epidiolex, whose active ingredient is CBD oil, was approved by the FDA for use in controlling seizures in children.
But is it legal?
Despite its widespread use, the short answer is no, CBD oil is not legal.
That’s because the oil comes from the marijuana plant, which is classified by the DEA as a substance with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” requiring strict control, according to Lee.