But here’s why CBD appeals to some who would never smoke a joint after dinner: Take a few milligrams of CBD as, say, an oil slipped onto the tongue or a piece of candy, and it tastes unmistakably like cannabis, which is to say, slightly minty and herbaceous, and just a little funky. But cannabidiol’s effect is startlingly anticlimactic. It’s weed without the high.
According to the federal government, specific components of the marijuana plant (THC, CBD) have medical value, but the plant itself does not have medical value. Uncle Sam’s single-molecule blinders reflect a cultural and political bias that privileges Big Pharma products. Single-molecule medicine is the predominant corporate way, the FDA-approved way, but it’s not the only way, and it’s not necessarily the optimal way to benefit from cannabis therapeutics.
For ingested CBD, that fat solubility is a problem. “[Ingested] CBD has a very low bioavailability, something between 6 and 15 percent, which varies between people,” says Blessing. Because ingested CBD is so inefficient at actually getting to the brain to stimulate CB1 and other receptors, the doses shown to be effective have to be very high. “There’s no evidence that doses below 300 mg of CBD have any effect in any psychiatric measure,” says Blessing. “And in fact, dose-finding studies show that the lowest clinically effective dose of CBD for reducing anxiety is 300 mg.” Blessing is talking about induced anxiety in otherwise healthy patients, which is all we have studies on; studies of CBD’s efficacy in treating clinical anxiety, which would require regular doses, haven’t been published.
Like many of my fellow New York City residents, I’ve recently grown aware of the presence of CBD in my surroundings. In particular, CBD at coffee shops. It started when some friends of mine were discussing a pilgrimage out to Flower Power Coffee Co., known for its “artisanal CBD-infused coffee.” Then, at a fancy matcha cart I went to for Instagram-related purposes, I noticed that alongside health food add-ins like oat milk was the option to include a one-dollar shot of CBD. I didn’t do it, because weed in most forms tends to make me sleepy and it was 1 p.m. on a Saturday in the middle of Brooklyn's trendiest neighborhood.
Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J. A., Hallak, J. E., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., Martin-Santos, R., … & Guimarães, F. S. (2012). A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation [Abstract]. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(32), 5,131–5,140. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716160
CBD exists at the confluence of three huge consumer trends. The first is the herbal supplement boom, a $49 billion-a-year industry that has seen rapid expansion since about 2010. The second is the rise of the anxiety economy, in which all sorts of products, from fidget spinners to weighted blankets, are pitched as reducers of the mild panic of everyday life. And the third is the near-overnight creation of a legitimate cannabis industry, thanks to the spread of marijuana legalization.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become increasingly popular as a natural way to help people try to manage pain, reduce inflammation, and cope with anxiety.* Though the number of prescriptions has risen sharply in the United States over the past 20 years, many Americans are trying to limit the number of prescribed drugs they take – instead, searching for all-natural solutions to the aches, pains, and discomfort they begin to face as they age. For many of them, CBD oil is the solution they’ve been looking for. But not all CBD oil is created equal, meaning finding the right CBD oil could just be the most important part of their journey.
Because the extraction used to make our CBD oil yields a full spectrum extract, our hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids, including CBD, CBC, CBG, CBG-A, CBC-A, CBN and many others. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our industrial hemp extracts, there are many other types of natural molecules such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, omega fatty acids, and trace minerals. Additionally, beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavonoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes are all present in our CBD hemp.
The limited studies out there indicate that CBD has, in its various interactions with the brain and immune system, some anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects. It can balance out the effects of THC by reducing the anxiety THC sometimes brings, and many in the industry are big on “broad spectrum” or “full spectrum” configurations, which use many cannabinoids at once.
Our supplements are derived from industrial hemp, not to be confused with marijuana. Industrial hemp is a legal plant from which many popular foods are harvested. To create our products, we extract a full spectrum of compounds from the hemp plant. This full spectrum contains a stunningly varied array of phyto-cannabinoids, including CBD, CBC, CBG, CBN, and much more. Our extracts contain less than 0.3% concentration of THC, the component from Cannabis sativa L. that causes a high.
Ingesting — think CBD lattes, edibles, or just a drop of oil on the tongue — is likely much less effective than inhaling, says Blessing. When CBD-containing oil is ingested, it wants to join the other fat in your body; most of the CBD taken this way will just stay in that fat, inert and never getting to the brain. When inhaled, CBD bypasses the digestive system, which wants to store fat.
But one of the big differences between CBD and THC is, according to Jane West, cannabis activist, entrepreneur, and founder of the marijuana networking group Women Grow, that CBD is non-intoxicating. “Its potential benefits come with few or no adverse effects,” West tells MarieClaire.com. “So really, this is something that everyone, even those who are reluctant to consume cannabis, can try to incorporate beneficial cannabinoids into their lives without any sort of high or residual THC in their bloodstream.”
The exact legality of CBD is tricky. The Drug Enforcement Administration maintains that CBD is federally illegal but will not bother going after anyone for possessing or using it. Many argue that a provision in the 2014 farm bill allowing industrial hemp pilot programs, mostly aimed at the textile industry, actually makes non-THC use of cannabis legal; the much-delayed 2018 farm bill would make CBD and industrial hemp legal nationwide if passed as it stands.
CBD oil products can be somewhat expensive, which may be a barrier for individuals seeking treatment or relief from different conditions and disorders. cbdMD is a notable exception as far as price-point is concerned. cbdMD offers it’s premium, non-THC oils at a large variety of concentrations (300mg-5,00mg) as well as sizes (30mL and 60mL) . These oils are priced at $28 for 300mg oils and $90 for 1,500mg oils; both price-points are significantly below average.
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