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.
Fad chasers looking for the next-next big thing may want to check out the CBD-infused ricotta-and-honey toast at Chillhouse, the Instagram-ready coffee shop, nail salon and massage studio on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. And then retreat to Inscape NYC, a meditation and relaxation studio in Chelsea, to unwind with a stress-busting CBD Saturday session.
There has been a fair amount of confusion surrounding the legality of CBD oil. But while the vast majority of cannabinoids are controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act, rest assured that CBD oil is legal across the UK for medicinal purposes, provided it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved. These strains contain very little to no THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid).
Again, the more studies and medical research that focus on CBD, the more will be known about its side effects and potential medical benefits. For what it's worth, in December 2017, the World Health Organization declared in a report that "cannabidiol does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm." The WHO also noted that CBD could have "therapeutic value" for epileptic seizures, but that further study is warranted to determine CBD's potential medical use.
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The theoretical logic is there, Gerdeman says. What exactly is that thinking? Well, there are a few different ways CBD could help regulate pain—by increasing your natural endocannabinoids, decreasing your inflammatory response, and desensitizing your pain receptors (although it’s still unclear whether this stands when absorbed topically compared to orally).
Marijuana is recreationally legal in nine states (and D.C.), but technically, CBD is legal in 43 states—as long as it has been derived from hemp, which contains very few traces of THC. But this also means a potentially less potent product. A 2015 study out of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, found that whole-plant CBD is superior to hemp-derived CBD for the treatment of inflammatory and anxiety conditions. Flower Power’s CBD coffee is derived from hemp and double-tested in a lab in Massachusetts to makes sure it’s THC-free. Leivent says that if he lived and worked in a state where marijuana were recreationally legal, he’d get whole-plant CBD rather than the hemp-derived stuff. “CBD from whole-plant marijuana has other chemicals in it, minute cannabinoids that work synergistically with the body to create an entourage effect,” says Leivent. “You get more of a medical effect with all of these chemicals working together rather than just one particular [hemp-based] isolate."