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Cousin to marijuana helps heal without the high

June 28, 2018 06:50 PM

CBD oil is touted a treatment for a wide range of ailments. While it can be derived from marijuana, the products you buy over the counter are from hemp.

Since hemp doesn't contain much THC, the psychoactive property in marijuana, you don't get high, just relief from what ails you, say proponents. 

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"It flies off of our shelves," explained Pharmacist Dr. Erika Fallon.

Legal in all 50 states, the over-the-counter product is made from hemp, a cousin to marijuana.

"Our body has receptors all throughout it, ready to receive these CBDs," noted Fallon.

When stimulated, they activate other receptors that can regulate mood, pain sensation, appetite and memory. Just don't expect to get high like you would from marijuana, because the ingredient causing that -- THC, is barely present in hemp derived CBD oil. That also means it's not effective for certain conditions.

"One of the most common things people come in for -- and I say this isn't going to be the correct product for you -- is nausea induced by chemotherapy. This is not the part of the cannabis plant you're looking for," she noted.

However, people using CBD oil report it helps with anxiety, depression and pain.

"I wouldn't call it a cure-all. People who are looking for an opioid alternative -- try it out, see how it helps you," suggested Fallon.

CBD oil comes in a couple of forms. You can get it in a cream and use it topically on the area that hurts you. Most commonly, people take it in an oil and you use it under your tongue and it's swallowed. However, if you don't like the taste, it also comes in a capsule.

"It's typically going to be a well-tolerated product," assured Fallon.

However, as with all supplements, Fallon says check with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure there's no interaction with any prescribed medications you are taking.

The FDA recently approved CBD oil from marijuana and those products may contain greater concentrations of THC -- but without producing the high -- and you need a prescription.

To ensure the CBD oil you're buying over-the-counter is a quality product, Fallon says third-party testing is important.

"I also recommend either certified organic or organically grown hemp oil and non-GMO," advised Fallon.

She's also a believer. Fallon uses CBD oil for general wellness.

While the safety profile is high, the National Institutes of Health says some people will experience light-headedness, low blood pressure and fatigue.   

The hemp-derived oil isn't just for humans. Many people say their pets are getting relief from it as well.

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Benita Zahn

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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