That said, both Blessing and Carson warn that CBD should still be considered a drug, which means it can interact with other drugs. “CBD does interact with drugs that people are taking,” says Blessing. “So if you’re taking an opioid cough suppressant, or you’re taking serotonin-based medicine, like an SSRI, you can have strong drug interactions.” While most coffee shops are likely using doses too low to cause such interactions, Blessing says it’s something to be aware of. “If a coffee shop happened to have a way of making a product with a lot of CBD in it, then that could really interact with the medication this person is taking, and the effects they think are due to CBD could partly be due to that medication interaction,” she says.
Demand for CBD is rapidly rising, as scientists discover that CBD may potentially reduce seizures, pain, anxiety, and inflammation, and provide antioxidant and neuroprotective effects that could potentially be beneficial for neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and maybe even some cancers. While the findings on CBD have been promising, some patients remain hesitant to incorporate CBD oil into their treatment plan because of the presence of THC.
“If you use a tiny amount of psilocybin, it still does something,” says Blessing. “Microdosing with psilocybin still has effects biologically, but there isn’t any evidence that low doses of CBD, like 5 mg, do anything at all.” The only study I could find indicating that low doses of CBD have an effect concluded that a rare form of childhood epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is treatable using 10 mg of CBD. For anxiety in adults? Nothing.
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Sean McAllister, one of the researchers at California Pacific, was studying the effects of Cannabidiol(CBD). Pierre Desprez, a molecular biologist researcher, began studying ID-1, the gene that causes cancer to spread, about 20 years ago. The two combined their research and introduced CBD to cancer cells containing ID-1 in a petri dish. They found that CBD stopped the metastasis of the cancer cells.
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And that’s what’s maddening and fascinating about CBD: It isn’t bullshit. Crystals are bullshit. Himalayan salt ionizers are bullshit. SugarBearHair apparently doesn’t contain what it says it does, though it wouldn’t work better than a well-balanced diet even if it did. CBD, though wildly understudied, is not bullshit. In fact, the FDA just approved its very first cannabis-derived drug, a CBD-based epilepsy treatment called Epidiolex. The dosage for Epidiolex starts at around 2.5 mg/kg and is increased to 5 mg/kg, so a 150-pound adult would settle onto a dose of just over 340 mg per day, though the diseases it targets start in childhood.
This popular Divisadero cafe is known as one of the few spots in the Bay Area where you can try Kava, a Pacific island root made into tea. The drink has a similar effect as CBD — it makes you chill without making you feel like you’re floating above your body — so it’s no surprise to find CBD drinks on the menu. You can opt for nitro CBD coffee or a CBD elixir (expect rotating flavors like ginger lime) on tap and enjoy feeling all Zen under the funky lighting. They also offer both the CBD drink and the coffee in growlers to go if you’d prefer to melt into your couch solo with pizza and Netflix.
We gave the highest points to companies that use a CBD distillate for their tinctures. The process of distillation creates an extract that is pure on a molecular level. There are people who think distillate is too pure, and that a full spectrum decarb produces a more effective tincture. But in light of the inconclusive evidence, we prefer a distillate. The process allows for a high degree of control as to the finished product. It’s also odorless and tasteless, so those tinctures tend to taste better.

In terms of what’s actually legal, CBD operates in a gray area. Many Bay Area bars like Flore and Bottelón in the Castro started to offer alcoholic CBD drinks earlier this year until the laws got a little iffy this summer. Now you’re technically not allowed to put cannabis-based CBD oils and extracts into anything alcoholic due to slight traces of THC, but CBD derived from hemp is THC-free and thus OK for cocktails. At least that’s how establishments are operating for now.


In short, Cannabidiol – or CBD – is a cannabis compound that has many therapeutic benefits. Usually extracted from the leaves and flowers of hemp plants – though marijuana can also be a source – CBD oil is then incorporated into an array of marketable products. These products vary from the most common, like sublingual oils and topical lotions, to the less common (think CBD lattes). Basically, if you can dream it, you can buy it.

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