woman vaping vape e-cig Shutterstock
  • A small but blossoming corner of the marijuana industry is set for a boom.
  • Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a marijuana compound that has been linked to a range of potential health benefits but does not get you high.
  • The roughly $1 billion CBD industry is already shifting into high gear, with retailers selling everything from CBD teas and beer alternatives to CBD dog treats and coffee.

A small but blossoming corner of the marijuana industry is set for a boom.

The compound in marijuana that’s been linked to a range of potential health benefits — but doesn’t cause a high — is increasingly popping up in everything from beverages to salves, oils, balms, and even dog treats. It’s called cannabidiol, or CBD, and it’s also the active ingredient in a prescription drug that became the first federally-approved medicine of its kind last month.

CBD is estimated to make up a roughly $1 billion industry, but the recent federal approval could make it even more lucrative by jump-starting demand for CBD-based products— even those that have not been rigorously studied. Many of them are sourced from hemp, which is currently legal from the standpoint of the federal government. CBD can also be sourced from marijuana, however, and products made with marijuana-derived CBD are only legal in states where marijuana has been legalized.

Here’s a look at a handful of the CBD-based products that are already available.

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Lotions, balms, and creams infused with CBD are sold in dispensaries and corner shops.

Lotions, balms, and creams infused with CBD are sold in dispensaries and corner shops. Shutterstock

Advertised for its ability to help soothe pain (a claim that the scientific literature appears to support), CBD-based lotion and creams can be found in corner stores and dispensaries across the US.

As with all CBD products, lotions and creams derived from marijuana are only available in dispensaries where cannabis is legal, but hemp-derived products may be found in corner shops and grocery stores as well.

Although research on marijuana is limited, some of the most conclusive studies we have suggest that CBD may be helpful for pain relief. That said, most of the research has involved marijuana strains that have both THC and CBD, so it’s tough to say that the CBD on its own is what’s responsible for the benefits. Pain is also “by far the most common” reason people request medical marijuana, according to a recent report.

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Dispensaries offer a range of CBD-only and CBD-THC combination products, such as vape pens and gummies.

Dispensaries offer a range of...