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By Reecha Kulkarni/Sept. 12, 2021 6:32 pm EDT/Updated: Sept. 12, 2021 6:37 pm EDT

In 2020, Gwyneth Paltrow invested in a beverage company that infused THC and CBD, byproducts of cannabis, into its drinks. 

The actress then declared cannabis as the “hero ingredient of the future,” (via CNBC). As the CEO of “Goop”, a multimillion-dollar wellness empire and publication that experiments, promotes (and whitewashes) indigenous and traditional practices, the actress-turned-wellness aficionado’s endorsement for the ingredient is an important one. “We’re very clearly and definitively moving in the direction of cannabis being legalized, and I think it should be,” Paltrow said, per CNBC.

The transition from perceiving weed as an illegal drug you hide at home to casually smoking it outside a restaurant has definitely helped create a second identity for cannabis, one that includes pills, oils, and lattes. CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabid sativa (marijuana) plant and is a major player in that transition (via Health). From moisturizers to supplements, CBD is ever-present in the alternative wellness industry. Read on to know more about what it can and can’t do for you.

CBD can relieve anxiety

Touted by celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Olivia Wilde as a wellness must-have, CBD-infused products aren’t going anywhere. Most use it to relieve pain or anxiety. 

Alessandra Ambrosio told Well and Good, “It’s hard because the mind gets anxious, so I try CBD oil and I think it helps.” Dr. Junella Chin, an osteopathic physician, confirmed that it did. She told Health, “[CBD] mellows out the nervous system so you’re not in a heightened fight or flight response.” It can also help with pains that root from arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer (via Healthline). 

However, the research for CBD and its benefits are still relatively new, making it “very difficult to say” how effective CBD really is, according to Dr. Houman Danesh (via Health). The benefits are mainly anecdotal – one survey of 5000 people concluded that 60% of CBD users take it for anxiety (via New York Times). It’s also not FDA-regulated, which means you should speak to your doctor before taking it as it can interact with other medicines and lead to side effects like diarrhea or fatigue (via Health). Nevertheless, doctors like Danesh tell Health: “I think CBD is a safe thing to try,” and ultimately it’s trial and error that will help you figure out if it’s for you.

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