If you haven’t seen the ads for CBD I assure you your child has seen them. CBD is short for cannabidiol.

Cannabidiol is not new. It has been mentioned in tablet writings in Asia as far back as 1800 B.C. It also has been mentioned in American medical journals as far back as the 1700s when it was used to treat incontinence and skin conditions.

Cannabidiol is found in cannabis (yes, that means marijuana). It is also found in hemp. Hemp is related to cannabis botanically, but related does not mean the same.

Hemp was removed from the list of banned substances in the 2018 Farm Bill. However, three states, Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota, still ban hemp. Some of hemp’s common uses are in producing paper, rope, clothing and other everyday items.

Many youth, and not a few adults, are interested because they see ‘cannabidiol’ and think that means ‘cannabis’ (marijuana). This myth is further enhanced by advertisers stating that cannabidiol is able to be ‘purchased legally.’

The bad news for those seeking a ‘legal’ cannabis high is that CBD won’t make you high. The substance in marijuana that makes you high is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There is little to no THC in hemp. The distinction is in the end of the word. There is a difference between — binol and — bidiol.

The legal amount of THC allowed is 0.3 percent. In states where marijuana is legal for medicinal or recreational use it can be used for CBD products but cannot be shipped to other states because they might contain more than the legal limit of CBD. The amount of THC in marijuana varies so greatly from plant to plant that the dosage cannot be regulated. This inability to standardize marijuana has been an issue for many years.

CBD is usually taken as a liquid placed under the tongue. It is also sold in cartridges used in vaping, pills, topical creams, bath bombs, ice cream, mixed in cocktails and added to specialty coffees.

The National Institutes of Health calls CBD ‘neuroprotective.’ This means it affects the nervous system. The nervous system includes your brain. However, instead of giving you a high it is more likely to make you relax and go to sleep.

One report, by Consumer Reports, found that 26 percent of Americans in their survey indicated they had tried CBD. Most reported it helped them with anxiety, pain, sleep and assorted other issues. However, since it has only been recently made legal there is very little scientific data. Results may, or may not be placebo effect.

The few scientific studies that have been done have ‘shown promise’ (research talk for we have to do a lot more studies to be sure) for relief with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and anxiety. While no serious side effects are known, there is the danger of fatigue, weight loss, and diarrhea.

To date the only condition known to be helped by CBD is epilepsy. The FDA has approved a drug, Epidiolex, which contains CBD and is used for children with severe epileptic seizures.

Buying CBD is a buyer beware situation. CBD is not regulated by the FDA. Therefore, you may not get what you pay for. In 2017 the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that almost 70 percent of CBD products sold online did not contain the amount of CBD stated on the label.

Mrs. Theil is a child advocate in Wayne and Holmes counties. She can be contacted at BeverlyVT@aol.com.