Effective in January 2017, the DEA (which typically refers to marijuana by the plant’s scientific species name, Cannabis sativa, or the Reefer Madness-era spelling “marihuana”) made a rule stating its marijuana scheduling includes “marihuana extract.” In the rule, the agency defined “marihuana extract” as an “extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis”—which would include CBD.
So far, by far the best medicinal relief I have found for my systems is a particular strain of cannabis flower called Harlequin — it contains an almost 3:1 ratio of CBD:THC, which is extremely rare and unique in the cannabis world. There are multiple studies you can find online showing the SYNERGISTIC effects of CBD combined with THC. When they are used together, they are much more medicinally effective than other one is on their own. Most cannabis strains today have zero CBD because growers realized everyone just loves their THC, but the Harlequin strain is a god send.
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McGuire doesn’t advise buying CBD products. You need to differentiate, he says, between the extremely high doses of pharmaceutical-grade pure CBD that participants in the handful of successful studies were given and the dietary supplements available over the counter or online. “These may contain quite small amounts of CBD that might not have large enough concentrations to have any effects,” he says. “It’s the difference between a nutraceutical and a pharmaceutical.” These supplements aren’t allowed to make claims of any effects. “If you’re making creams or sports drinks with CBD, you can say anything you like as long as you don’t say it will do such and such,” he says.
Anyone who tells you anything definitive about what CBD — or THC, for that matter — does to your body is lying. Nobody knows. The legitimate research out there is extremely limited, and the slow drip of legalization — medical use, then personal use, federally illegal but permitted by certain states and cities — has made it incredibly hard for researchers to do their jobs.

If you read the ingredient list, often everything in the jar is straight from mother earth. As long as that's indeed the case with the cream you have your eye on, the formula is immensely safe, chemically, says Gregory Gerdeman, Ph.D., neurophysiologist who researches cannabinoid biology and pharmacology at Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, FL.. And since they're formulated to be topical—absorbing into the top layer of skin—and not transdermal—which would pass through the skin and into your bloodstream—there's no risk of getting high, Gerdeman explains. (P.S. Here's How Marijuana Affects Athletic Performance.)


The topical menthol ointment is our most common product for direct application to sore joints, muscle tissue, and damaged skin areas. Standard CBD oil drops can take up to an hour (or longer) to take effect (since they have to enter into the bloodstream), but with topical creams, effects are typically felt within minutes as the active cannabidiol simply has to diffuse across the dermal layers and to the site of inflammation.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of dozens of non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Cannabidiol, and all the other cannabinoids, were patented by the United States Government in 2003 as neuroprotectants and antioxidants (Patent No. 6,630,507). Cannabinoids are characterized by their ability to act on the cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the body. CBD and other cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that display potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They can promote the body’s healthy regulation of the central nervous, immune, and endocannabinoid systems.
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