Chances are you've seen products containing CBD by now—this super-trendy stuff is making its way into everything from hand creams to cocktails. But is CBD worth the hype? TBH, the answer is a little murkier than we'd like: Because of complicated legal issues, there just haven't been enough studies yet to really and truly prove that CBD does anything except treat a rare form of childhood epilepsy. However, just because we're waiting on more studies for super-solid evidence to back up its potential uses doesn't mean this stuff doesn't work. (For more detail on exactly what CBD is and what it does, check this out.)
In addition to acting on the brain, CBD influences many body processes. That’s due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was discovered in the 1990s, after scientists started investigating why pot produces a high. Although much less well-known than the cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory systems, the ECS is critical. “The ECS helps us eat, sleep, relax, forget what we don’t need to remember, and protect our bodies from harm,” Marcu says. There are more ECS receptors in the brain than there are for opioids or serotonin, plus others in the intestines, liver, pancreas, ovaries, bone cells, and elsewhere.