Answers to the top questions about cannabis extract

Sales of cannabidiol-infused products are expected to top $2 billion by 2021. But is CBD right for you?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is touted as a natural wonder that can help treat symptoms of everything from anxiety to arthritis pain. The plant extract comes from two varieties of cannabis — hemp and marijuana — and is available in creams, tinctures, oils, patches, gummy bears, capsules, and more. You can even add CBD to a latte if you walk into a coffee shop in some cities.

But is CBD safe for older adults? There haven't been a lot of large studies of CBD's safety, but more traditional medicines for pain and anxiety are not free of adverse effects, either. "I think CBD is likely safer than many other treatments people use for pain, insomnia, or anxiety," says Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Other physicians don't think we know enough about the safety profile of CBD to be sure.

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