The Verdict on CBD Is … Confusing – The Wall Street Journal

Cannabidiol advocates claim the nonpsychoactive ingredient of marijuana can treat maladies including anxiety and arthritis. Photo: mike segar/Reuters

Are you feeling anything yet?

Those in the mood to discuss a product’s merits or dangers can find no argument more fertile than that over marijuana, increasingly legal on a state level in the U.S. Is the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, addictive, a gateway drug, a miracle cure, no worse than alcohol or some combination of those?

As fraught as that issue has become, the debate is even more confusing over another ingredient of the plant, cannabidiol, or CBD. While it doesn’t get users high or, according to many who have tried it, do anything at all, supporters have made all sorts of claims about its benefits for maladies such as anxiety and arthritis. The substance has even made it into dog treats.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration convened a hearing on Friday with dozens of speakers, some pro and some con. And the verdict? A leading cannabis exchange-traded fund fell by a little over 5% between Friday’s open and Monday’s close. Then investors changed their minds and bid it up by 5%.

Perhaps a warning label is in order: “May cause confusion or indecision.”


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