Cannabidiol is currently a class B1 controlled drug in New Zealand under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is also a prescription medicine under the Medicines Act. In 2017 the rules were changed so that anyone wanting to use it could go to the Health Ministry for approval. Prior to this, the only way to obtain a prescription was to seek the personal approval of the Minister of Health.
High-CBD strains tend to deliver very clear-headed, functional effects without the euphoric high associated with high-THC strains. They’re typically preferred by consumers who are extremely sensitive to the side effects of THC (e.g., anxiety, paranoia, dizziness). A high-CBD strain would also be a great choice for someone needing to medicate throughout the day to control pain, inflammation, anxiety, or other chronic conditions.
“There is a huge void of research in terms of confirming most effective dosing for various symptoms, so most of this is done by trial and error and self-titration,” Eric Baron of the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute, who has written several papers about the effects of THC and CBD on headaches, told Vox in November. “Unfortunately we are nowhere near close to having any definitive trials on effectiveness for most symptoms claimed to benefit from CBD with trials that are scientifically relevant, such as prospective randomized placebo-controlled trials.”
 M. H. N. Chagas, A. L. Eckeli, A. W. Zuardi, M. A. Pena-Pereira, M. A. Sobreira-Neto, E. T. Sobreira, M. R. Camilo, M. M. Bergamaschi, C. H. Schenck, J. E. C. Hallak, V. Tumas, and J. A. S. Crippa, “Cannabidiol Can Improve Complex Sleep-Related Behaviours Associated with Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behaviour Disorder in Parkinson’s Disease Patients: A Case Series,” Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 39 (2014): 564–566. doi:10.1111/jcpt.12179.
First, let’s look at the differences between the plants that make CBD oil. To start with, the two plants look physically different. This is due to the different reasons that both of them are grown. Cannabis, grown for its flowering buds for reasons of smoking or THC extraction, are generally short and wide. Hemp, on the other hand, is tall and narrow as it is not grown for its buds. Hemp is low in THC and is often grown for a variety of purposes including the manufacture of materials.
In 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine convened a panel of experts to review the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. They examined more than 10,000 studies, most of which examined marijuana, not CBD. They found evidence that some cannabinoids — not including CBD — are effective for pain, nausea from chemotherapy and muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis.
Roocroft explained his company’s low dose by saying, “Everyone’s different, so when it comes to microdosing, they can control their cup of coffee, which is a 6-ounce serving per brew.” He’s not the only person I talked to who used the term “microdosing.” Blessing says he’s misusing the term. Microdosing means using very small amounts of very powerful drugs; sometimes, this can have extremely mild or even totally different effects from what is considered a full dose. But the key is microdosing still has a provable effect.
A 2012 research review assessed a number of international studies and concluded that CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety, and in particular social anxiety, in multiple studies and called for more clinical trials. Two years later, researchers in an animal study related to stress and the endocannabinoid system wrote that augmentation of the endocannabinoid system might be an effective strategy to mitigate behavioral and physical consequences of stress.
Cannabinoids are facilitative of the process of bone metabolism—the cycle in which old bone material is replaced by new at a rate of about 10 percent per year, crucial to maintaining strong, healthy bones over time. CBD in particular has been shown to block an enzyme that destroys bone-building compounds in the body, reducing the risk of age-related bone diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. In both of those diseases, the body is no longer creating new bone and cartilage cells. CBD helps spur the process of new bone-cell formation, which is why it has been found to speed the healing of broken bones and, due to a stronger fracture callus, decrease the likelihood of re-fracturing the bone (bones are 35–50 percent stronger than those of non-treated subjects).