Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of dozens of non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Cannabidiol, and all the other cannabinoids, were patented by the United States Government in 2003 as neuroprotectants and antioxidants (Patent No. 6,630,507). Cannabinoids are characterized by their ability to act on the cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the body. CBD and other cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that display potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They can promote the body’s healthy regulation of the central nervous, immune, and endocannabinoid systems.
On a sunny but unseasonably freezing April afternoon in New York, I walked the 10 or so minutes from the L train to Caffeine Underground, a coffee shop in Bushwick that triples as an art gallery and community center. The open-concept space serves lattes and espressos and a variety of milks (oat, almond, macadamia) and plenty of “wellness” options (Kava tea, Bulletproof-style coffee, activated charcoal add-ins). But there’s one totally unique item: Cannabidiol-infused (CBD) coffee.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a natural phyto-cannabinoid (or plant-based chemical compound) found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike other cannabinoids — namely tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, and will actually counteract these effects to a degree. CBD will induce feelings of sleepiness; for this reason, it can be an effective soporific for people who struggle to fall and/or remain asleep due to insomnia and other sleep disorders.
One of the few cocktail lounges carrying CBD extract sourced from hemp plants, Copper Spoon in Oakland uses it for mocktails and cocktails alike. The non-alcoholic New Day features tumeric honey, carrot shrub, lemon and soda water with CBD, or you can add it to any of their regularly featured cocktails for $2, like Kisses from Yayamu, made with gin, Chareau, rhubarb amaro, strawberry shrub and lemon.
So is it possible that despite all this anecdotal evidence, low-dose CBD is a placebo? Sure, because, say it with me: We don’t know anything about CBD. “Unfortunately,” says Baron, “we are nowhere near close to having any definitive trials on effectiveness for most symptoms claimed to benefit from CBD with trials that are scientifically relevant, such as prospective randomized placebo-controlled trials.”
The final advantage in the above list of a lower cost per milligram is one worth looking into further. As previously mentioned, because a full spectrum product is derived from a whole plant ex-tract it typically costs more (you the consumer are getting more than just CBD). Chase Terwilliger, CEO of CBDistillery, adds, "It is less expensive to manufacture isolate-based products com-pared to full-spectrum products. Rather than taking advantage of a larger margin, we decided to pass the savings along to the consumers." For those looking for a pure CBD product, you will al-so be delighted to find that CBD oil made from isolate is typically less expensive than a full-spectrum product. Which brings up a final point which is to do your research on the industry standard pricing for cost per milligram to ensure you are not paying an unnecessary premium.