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CBD – What Is It And Why Do People Use It?

BOSTON (CBS) - CBD products are a best seller at Wicked Chronic in Natick. A variety of tinctures, oils, vaping cartridges, edible candies, and dog treats take up the front corner of the store.

"CBD is cannabidiol. It's the second most prevalent chemical found in hemp, cannabis, marijuana," explained store owner Robert Barish.

CBD is not an hallucinogenic. It's that other chemical, THC, that gets users high. So, why use CBD?

"I'm able to stand here and work all day long just using CBD," Robert said. Both he and his wife, Beverly, run the store and use CBD to manage their chronic pain.

"I'm absolutely a believer," said Beverly. "It won't cure everything, but it can help you manage the symptoms of many ailments."

From anxiety and depression, to pain and inflammation there seems to be a CBD product on the market for just about any condition.

Dr. Kevin Hill, an addiction psychiatrist and marijuana expert at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told us that there is a whole lot of interest and use of CBD, but very little evidence to support the medicinal claims.

"I think cannabidiol has tremendous promise, so there's a great need for more research into this, this promise that it has. Overall, as a substance, it's pretty safe."

Similar to the supplement industry, CBD is not regulated, meaning claims on the label and ingredients in the product may or may not be verified.

"In an unregulated market, the risk is not so much in getting pure CBD. It's when you get things that you're not bargaining for. And that's the danger," said Dr. Hill.

This is also a concern at Wicked Chronic.

"Not only do we ask them [CBD companies] to provide us with a U.S. lab independent results, but we will also randomly check all these products to make sure it is what it is," explained Robert.

There is one drug containing CBD that has been approved by the FDA to treat seizure disorders in children. There are also a handful of small clinical trials underway right now, but it could be years before the science catches up with the hype.

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