Cannabidiol, or CBD, one of many compounds found in the cannabis plant, appears to be the health industry's new shining star, with producers hawking it as a quick-fix for everything from anxiety to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), despite it only being recently becoming legal in the US. But, according to recent research, out of the 62 percent of people who use CBD to treat a medical condition, most use it to manage chronic pain, arthritis and joint pain.
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"I think there's definitely a lot of excitement about [medical marijuana]," says Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., research investigator in the department of anesthesiology and the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan. "It's always nice to have an extra tool in the toolbox, especially one that has been used for thousands of years and that people know to be relatively safe."
But safe and effective are two different things. When it comes to treating pain, does CBD actually work, and how well?