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Cannabis Compound CBD May Offer Medical Marijuana Benefits Without The High

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As medical uses for marijuana continue to grow there are many people who might consider it but don't like the high that comes with it.

As CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reports, that's where a marijuana extract called CBD comes in.

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. But the compound cannabidol, or CBD oil, falls into a gray area that might be legal in other states, because it's not psychoactive – which may explain its expanding use.

Jules Hunt, 26, is a New York-based wellness blogger. About two months ago, she started taking CBD oil once a day.

"Put it under your tongue," she explained.

The oil, recommended to her by her doctor, helps her stomach problems and the anxiety that comes with them.

"You start to feel the benefits over time, and then you start to realize, 'oh wow, I slept a lot better that evening,'" said Hunt.

CBD is one of many compounds derived from cannabis. Another is THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Unlike TCH, pure CBD products won't produce a euphoric effect.

Drake University Clinical Sciences Chair Tim Welty said it's difficult to know how well the supplements work. There are limited studies suggesting CBD may help with epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety disorders, insomnia, acne, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

That's led companies to put CBD in all sorts of products.

"They'll use it for skin conditions from eczema to psoriasis to sunburn," Cindy Capobianco, of Lord Jones products, said. "Headaches, neck aches, joint pain."

But there are always potential side effects.

"Drowsiness... GI complaints," said Welty. "Then there's the potential concern about damage to the liver."

Though Hunt says she feels the benefit of CBD, she doesn't think it's the only reason her health has improved.

"A really healthy diet, avoiding my allergens, taking CBD oil and following the supplements that my doctor prescribed to me," she said.

One drawback to using CBD is the products are not well regulated or standardized. Last year, the FDA sent letters to four CBD manufacturers, alleging some products didn't contain the levels of CBD they claimed to have.

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