Can CBD oil help your pain or anxiety? What you need to know about the latest health craze

We’re in the midst of a CBD craze.

Cannabidiol — CBD — is a compound in the marijuana plant with purported medical benefits but very little (0.3 percent or less) THC, the plant’s psychoactive ingredient.

In other words, it won’t make you feel high or stoned.

Dozens of online companies sell it as a supplement. And it can be found in everything from cosmetics to bottled water to coffee. You can pick it up it in health food stores and smoke shops — even in states like New Jersey, where non-medical pot isn’t legal.

The most common reason for using CBD oil is to alleviate anxiety and depression, said Martin A. Lee, director of the nonprofit cannabis research group Project CBD and author of “Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana.”  more

Depression Linked to Shortage of a Single Naturally Occurring Chemical

But don’t go trying to treat it with supplements.

Approximately one-third of people with major depression don’t experience relief from existing methods of treatment. It affects 3.2 million patients in the United States alone, which is why researchers are urgently trying to find depression-linked molecules in the brain to target with new drugs. On Monday, scientists revealed the identity of one particularly promising bio-marker, a molecule named acetyl-L-carnitine.

Acetyl-L-carnitine, or ALC, is naturally produced in the body and aids in the metabolism of food into energy. In the new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper, researchers reveal people with depression have lower levels of ALC in their blood. This link was previously established in animal studies, but this paper is the first to indicate that it exists in humans, too.  more