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CBD oil is derived from a plant called cannabis sativa. The plant has over 100 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, that have a range of effects, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) qualities.

The cannabis sativa plant has two main varieties that are grown for specific purposes:

What Is CBD?

While CBD is present in both varieties, many of the CBD products available to consumers are from the hemp plant. CBD does not come with the high or psychogenic effects of marijuana.

Some studies suggest that CBD can have an effect on how an individual perceives pain, but more robust research is needed. CBD is generally considered a full-body treatment, which means that it does not target back pain specifically—except in the case of topical products—but contributes to an overall feeling of relaxation and pain relief.

Cannabidiol, even in high amounts, is generally safe. Side effects from CBD may include:

Guimaraes VM, Zuardi AW, Del Bel EA, Guimaraes FS. Cannabidiol increases Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens but not in the dorsal striatum. Life Sci 2004;75(5):633-8. View abstract.

Children: A prescription cannabidiol product (Epidiolex) is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in doses up to 25 mg/kg daily. This product is approved for use in certain children 1 year of age and older.

Masataka N. Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders. Front Psychol. 2019 Nov 8;10:2466. View abstract.

Insufficient Evidence for

Crippa JA, Derenusson GN, Ferrari TB, et al. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J Psychopharmacol 2011;25(1):121-30. View abstract.

Wade, D. T., Collin, C., Stott, C., and Duncombe, P. Meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of Sativex (nabiximols), on spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. Mult.Scler. 2010;16(6):707-714. View abstract.

Geffrey AL, Pollack SF, Bruno PL, Thiele EA. Drug-drug interaction between clobazam and cannabidiol in children with refractory epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2015 Aug;56(8):1246-51. View abstract.

Yamaori S, Maeda C, Yamamoto I, Watanabe K. Differential inhibition of human cytochrome P450 2A6 and 2B6 by major phytocannabinoids. Forensic Toxicol 2011;29:117-24.