NEW YORK (CBSMiami) - The popularity of a compound that comes from cannabis is growing.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is being used by some people to treat health problems like anxiety, insomnia, depression, and seizures.
Just asked 26-year-old Jules Hunt, a New York-based wellness blogger. About two months ago she started taking CBD oil once a day.
Hunt said the oil, which was recommended to her by her doctor, helps her stomach problems and the anxiety that comes with them.
"I think you start to feel it a bit over time and then you start to realize 'oh wow, I slept a lot better that evening'," she said.
CBD is one of many compounds derived from cannabis. Another is THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Unlike THC, pure CBD products won't produce a euphoric effect.
Drake University Clinical Sciences Chairman Tim Welty said it's difficult to know how well the supplements work, although limited studies show CBD helps with epilepsy.
Welty points out there are potential side effects.
"Drowsiness is common and gastrointestinal complaints," he said. "There's a potential concern about damage to the liver."
Last year the FDA sent letters to four CBD manufacturers alleging some products didn't "contain the levels of CBD they claimed" to have.
Despite the unknown, the CBD industry is growing.
Rob Rosenheck and his wife Cindy Capobianco are co-founders of the California based company Lord Jones. The company's wellness lotion is a customer favorite.
"They'll use it for skin conditions from eczema to psoriasis to sunburn, headaches, neck aches, and joint pain," said Capobianco.
While Hunt is feeling the benefits of CBD, she doesn't think it's the only reason her health has improved.
"I think it's a really healthy diet, avoiding my allergens, taking CBD oil, and following the supplements that my doctor prescribed to me," she said.
Doctors who prescribe CBD oil often do so as a last resort for people who have unsuccessfully tried other solutions. They urge patients to be careful when using it if they are already taking other medications.
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