Is CBD Really The Miracle Drug That Marketers Claim?
Mother Jones|November/December 2018

Is CBD really the miracle drug that marketers claim?

Jackie Mogensen

The wellness world has long been inundated with health trends—“raw” water, probiotics, juicing, you name it—but cannabidiol, or CBD, a marijuana-derived chemical, has taken things to new heights. Retailers market it as a “miracle molecule,” claiming it can treat ailments including nausea, anxiety, cancer, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s disease. It’s commonly sold as an oil or added to products like candies, teas, and lotions you can find in health food stores, in pet depots, or even on Amazon.

Some celebrities have become cbd believers: ufc fighter Nate Diaz once said it will “make your life a better place,” while Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness blog, Goop, recommends a cbd-spiked mint julep “for kicking relaxation mode into overdrive.”

Experts estimate the CBD market is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and it’s projected to surpass $1 billion by 2020. But what do science and the law really say about this new “miracle molecule”? We’ve fact-checked some common claims so you don’t have to.

It’s totally legal. False. CBD is illegal under the federal 1970 Controlled Substances Act. As a Schedule I drug, it’s in the same category as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy—even when it’s derived from hemp, a variety of cannabis that, unlike marijuana, contains only trace amounts of THC, the compound that gets you high.

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