Ask a Doctor: What's the story with CBD oil?

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photo Matt McClanahan, D.O.

Q: I've seen lots of shops pop up in Chattanooga advertising "CBD oil" for pain management and health benefits. Isn't CBD related to marijuana? Is it addictive? Should I consider it for any health benefits?

A: Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana), but not the primary ingredient. By itself, it does not cause a "high" in the way smoking marijuana typically would. It is actually derived from the hemp plant, a near cousin of the marijuana plant. There have been no reported cases of dependence on pure CBD by itself. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the plant and then diluting it with coconut or hemp seed oil.