Chocolate bars, gummies, mints, perfume oil, skin care, anti-anxiety supplements or wellness products for dogs. We surely have come a long way since our hippie parents enjoyed that occasional high from smoking pot. After the US President passed The Farm Bill in 2018, which allocated billions of dollars in subsidies to US farmers, including the legalization of the production of hemp, a form of cannabis with lower THC levels than marijuana, the market for cannabis brands and products skyrocketed.
Now, before you condemn me as some flower child and free spirit, hold on, there is so much more to cannabis than getting high. Let's dive into the facts.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the flower of cannabis that contains therapeutic properties. CBD is a safe, non-addictive substance and is one of the more than a hundred ‘phytocannabinoids’ found in a cannabis plant. Hemp and Marijuana are both the same plant, but they’ve been bred to be either high in CBD and low in THC (hemp), or high in THC and low in CBD (marijuana). Most CBD oil is extracted from hemp, not marijuana.
If you've been using hemp seed oil for a long time like me, you might think that it's the same as CBD oil. But hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant, it won’t have the same benefits of a CBD oil. Hemp oil is a great oil for cooking and your skin, but the cannabinoids found in hemp oil are quite low - close to 0%.[source]
CBD as Therapy?
Scientists (currently 20 000 articles per year!) have uncovered potential anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and immunomodulatory properties of cannabidiol. But CBD research is at such an early stage that just figuring out the correct therapeutic dose to test is a challenge. 
Until now, the discovered benefits make a long list - CBD oil can have a positive effect on:
- Gut health (CBD decreases inflammation in the gut)
- Skin health
- Bone Health (increases bone formation)
- Heart Health
- Epilepsy (For epilepsy, a common dose is 600 mg/day  )
- Neurodegenerative Diseases and brain cancers
How Does it Work?
Our bodies all have something called an endocannabinoid system. It works to balance our hormones, which in turn regulates our endorphins, thyroid, adrenal function, and immunity. Scientific research has found that the result of a chronically deficient or overactive endocannabinoid system can be linked to pathological conditions. As CBD is a cannabinoid, it “switches on” the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, improving its performance.
Is it safe?
So far, studies have shown that adults tolerate a wide range of doses very well, and the most common side effect reported is tiredness. Some experts recommend taking your first doses in the evening, at home so you can safely gauge if CBD will make you sleepy. Another, less commonly reported side effect has been diarrhea.
Although the market in France is more strict than the US one, there is a possibility to buy CBD oil or powder in France under the condition that the end product does not contain any THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, can be used in US in smaller doses for medicinal purposes). To read more about the laws regarding cannabis in France check out this article (in French).
Disclaimer: It is not recommended to take any CBD product when you're pregnant or breastfeeding.