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Erika Hobbs of the Sun-Times wrote the following article:

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, it’s a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis plants — marijuana and hemp. While it contains trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the amounts are too small — or less than .3 percent — to make you high.

CBD oil has been noted anecdotally for its health benefits, and it is touted to treat a wide range of ailments, including anxiety, pain, sleeplessness, depression, and eczema. Research is beginning to back those claims. Some studies, for example, indicate that oral forms of CBD may be an effective pain treatment. In 2018, the Federal Drug Administration approved a CBD-based drug to treat epilepsy.

And last year, a World Health Organization report noted its promise, saying that CBD appears to be safe and tolerated well by the people who take it. The author of the report began researching CBD and uses it to treat her 4-year-old son who is on the autism spectrum. Her son wouldn’t talk, couldn’t sleep and was often frustrated; he demonstrated his frustration with aggressive behavior. She uses a coconut oil-based CBD treatment, and everything changed – he started sleeping through the night, says his alphabet out loud, and even smiles.

CBD’s cult-like status is skyrocketing sales. In 2017, New Frontier Data estimated that the CBD-product market grew 40 percent to $367 million in sales. By 2022, economists estimate, sales for hemp-based CBD products alone will reach $647 million.

Melinda Ring, the executive director of Northwestern Medicine’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine prescribes CBD for patients who want alternatives to prescription medications for anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain.

“The strongest data is for the treatment of seizures in some rare epilepsy disorders,” she said. “For other conditions, ranging from glaucoma to movement disorders, the data is promising.” But is still limited, she said.

CBD’s legal status also is open to interpretation. Under federal law, it’s technically illegal, although a 2014 amendment permitted the cultivation of hemp in some cases, as well as the marketing of its products.

Hemp-based CBD oil, however, is widely available across the country. A few states ban it outright. There also is no law permitting or criminalizing hemp-based CBD products, and selling hemp-based products is generally considered legal.

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