CBD Oil: What is it? And is it really effective?

Some people swear by it.

CBD oil has become a popular product to help everything from inflammation to anxiety. You can find the product everywhere, and whatever your feeling is about it, business is booming.

“From food companies, beverage companies, beauty products, are jumping on the bandwagon,” said Dr. Melinda Ring, Executive Director for Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and Northwestern University.

New CBD products are popping up all the time. It’s expected to be a $16-billion-dollar market in just the next six years.

“I have many patients who come to me asking about CBD,” Dr. Ring said.

She said CBD is a component of a marijuana plant that doesn't get you high like THC might. But there's very little known about how it works.

“There's still a lot of confusion because people think that it could be this miracle compound that cures everything,” Dr. Ring said.

And that confusion isn't helped by products claiming to treat everything from anxiety to neurological issues, to inflammation.

“The CBD industry is kind of the Wild West,” Dr. Ring said.

While the FDA has oversight over CBD products, Dr. Ring warns you might not get what you think you're paying for.

“Studies from the FDA have shown that many products do not contain what they're supposed to contain in them. Products might not be accurate in terms of the amount of CBD that's in them,” she said.

But working mom Janet Gabrail says she found a CBD oil that works for her.

“I have to balance a home life, a baby, a husband, and you know, sometimes can be overwhelming and stressful,” Gabrail said.

She said the stress made her anxious and irritable, and she wanted a "natural" remedy.

“I decided to take CBD and it just overall improved my mood. I wake up happy, I go to sleep happy…it's made a huge difference,” Gabrail said.

She researched the CBD company she uses online and asked for quality testing reports.

Dr. Ring, who is not Gabrail's doctor, recommends asking for that along with visiting the site consumerlabs.com.

“It won't tell you if it works or not, but it will tell you if it's a good quality supplement. So I think that's a great starting point,” Dr. Ring said.

As far as how much to take, Dr. Ring says that's anyone's guess.

“We really don't have data yet to say that. So at this point, it's a very individual testing process,” she said.

Dr. Ring is doing her part to get more data through research study on patients, trying CBD products on their own.

“Right now, it is a little bit of a buyer beware. Be aware that just because it's promoted as helping something, doesn't mean that it's actually been shown to do that,” Dr. Ring said.