10 Big Questions You Have About CBD, Answered

CBD: You've heard of it. You've seen it featured in sponsored Instagram posts and in the windows of health and wellness shops as you stroll down the street. You know someone who's tried it — maybe you have, too. But questions about CBD (which is short for cannabidiol, by the way) still persist.

The cannabis compound comes in many forms, from CBD oils and capsules to CBD-infused gummies or coffee. The business is booming, and as the industry grows larger, you're going to keep hearing about it. But there's a lot of confusion around CBD, and if you're a bit stumped on what the terms associated with it mean or what it even does, you're not alone in that. Even some law enforcement officers aren't quite sure what they're supposed to enforce when it comes to cannabis.

Lauren Rudick, co-founder of the cannabis practice at law firm Hiller, PC, tells Bustle that one of her clients wanted to manufacture CBD in Texas. So Rudick reached out to four Texas governmental agencies to ask about state regulations surrounding CBD — and she says she received four different answers.

“You can’t necessarily rely on what state officials are telling you, because they’re not properly educated either,” she says. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and there’s a lot of really bad legal advice being given. It is somewhat of a moving target.”

The way law enforcement handles cannabis in its various forms has generally led to the criminalization of people of color — a crucial point many who are hopping on the CBD bandwagon may be forgetting.

Bustle has compiled answers to 10 of the biggest questions people often have about CBD, because there's a lot you should know about the cannabis compound.


Why Do I Keep Hearing About CBD?

The CBD boom and the (unproven) claims that the compound can treat dozens of ailments mean everyone from celebrities to skeptics has something to say about it. Factor in how murky CBD’s legal status is, and it makes sense that we can’t stop talking about it. Read more.

Is CBD Weed?

Cannabis is a term that encompasses hemp, marijuana, and their chemical compounds, and people sometimes mistake them for one another. Weed and CBD are two very different things. Read more.

What Are The Effects Of CBD?

If you listen to the raving testimonials from people who love CBD, you may wonder whether you’ll immediately feel a difference if you take it. Those who use it claim it relieves anxiety, helps them sleep better, alleviates soreness, and leads to better overall physical health. Experts say more research is needed before we actually know the true effects of CBD. Read more.

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Is CBD Scientifically Proven To Work?

Research on CBD is promising so far, and it has been proven to reduce seizures in children with two forms of childhood epilepsy. But there isn’t sufficient evidence for every other claim you may hear. We asked experts to evaluate the claims you may have heard from marketers and companies about CBD products. Read more.

How Is CBD Legal?

It’s a simple question with a surprisingly complicated answer. A farm bill that President Donald Trump signed in 2018 legalized the sale and growth of hemp plants, which most CBD is derived from. However, the fact that some CBD products may contain THC, the psychoactive cannabis compound that does give people who use it a high, mucks things up a bit. Read more.

Can States Criminalize CBD?

Some states aren't quite on board with the compound, even though it doesn’t get you high. A cannabis attorney tells Bustle that states can't criminalize it thanks to the farm bill, but a couple have done so anyway. Read more.

Has Anyone Been Arrested For CBD?

Yep. Your chances of getting in legal trouble for taking CBD are low, according to experts, but people have been arrested for possessing it. Read more.

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Can I Pass A Drug Test If I Take CBD?

Urine tests, the most common form of drug tests, are surprisingly unreliable. Even though it’s a legal cannabis compound, because the makeup of CBD and THC are similar, some unsophisticated drug tests could result in a false positive. Read more.

Can I Travel With CBD?

Cannabis lawyers say it’s pretty low-risk to take CBD with you on your next vacation in the United States. It depends on what route you're taking, but just because the farm bill legalized hemp at the federal level doesn't mean you're in the clear. Read more.

Who Benefits From The CBD Boom?

Yes, business is booming in the CBD industry. But that growth has come at a cost. More men are leading cannabis companies than women, and people of color are underrepresented in the industry as well. Stories about marijuana and hemp businesses must also be contrasted with the fact that American society that has historically punished people of color at disproportionate rates for cannabis possession. Read more.