As marijuana is legalized in more and more states, the wellness world has whipped itself into a frenzy over a non-intoxicating cannabis derivative called cannabidiol. CBD products can be found on the internet and in health-food stores, wellness catalogs and even bookstores. (A bookstore in downtown Boulder, Colorado, displays a case of CBD products between the cash register and the stacks of new releases.) Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, disgraced cyclist1 Floyd Landis and former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer are all touting CBD products, and according to Bon Appétit, CBD-infused lattes have become “the wellness world’s new favorite drink.”
That lines up with one of the rare instances of FDA testing. In 2016, the FDA tested several “CBD oils,” ultimately issuing warnings to eight companies. Some of those oils were found to contain no or barely any CBD, and many contained illegal quantities of THC. For example, Healthy Hemp Oil’s “Herbal Renewals 25% CBD Hemp Oil Gold Label” contained 8.4 mg/g of THC. Sana Te Premium Oils, which sold 25 mg “CBD oil” capsules on Etsy, contained between 13 and 19 mg/g of THC and less than 0.1 mg/g of CBD.
But it’s not just that coffee shops don’t have to be specific about what CBD in a latte is supposed to do, and thus don’t — legally, they can’t. “Once anyone, outside of the one FDA-approved medication, says ‘Hey, if you drink this, it’ll cure your anxiety, or your seizures, the FDA is going to come knocking at that point,’” says Carson. When shops offer CBD-infused products, then, they are relying on the customer — and perhaps the placebo effect — to fill in the blanks.
The CBD present in oils and other products is usually derived from fiber-type varieties of cannabis (hemp), because these are naturally higher in CBD content than drug-type varieties (marijuana). Although cultivation of hemp is allowed in many countries around the world, this is usually governed by strict regulations. After being banned for decades, hemp cultivation in the USA has only recently been reintroduced, and is still gearing up for full industrial production .
Multiple studies showed that CBD has properties that reduce inflammation. As such, it can be used to decrease sebum production. In other words, CBD oil might be good for your acne problem. One test-tube study showed that CBD had a noticeable effect on the sebaceous cells. When they came into contact with CBD, these cells stopped secreting any excess sebum. On top of that, CBD also lowered inflammation and stopped the so-called inflammatory cytokinesis before it manifested. Another separate study yielded similar results.
Cannabis oil, whether CBD, THC, or both, is extracted from flowers, leaves, and the stalk of the plant mainly using different solvents – butane, CO2, ethanol, petroleum ether, naphtha, olive oil, or whole plant extraction (that makes Rick Simpson Oil). Depending on whether you’re extracting oils at home or getting them from a licensed producer, the process ranges from simple to incredibly complex.
Some manufacturers ship CBD products nationally, an illegal action which the FDA has not enforced in 2018, with CBD remaining as the subject of an FDA investigational new drug evaluation and is not considered legal as a dietary supplement or food ingredient as of November 2018. CBD is openly sold in head shops and health food stores in some states where such sales have not been explicitly legalized.
Our Editor’s Pick is the tincture from CBDistillery. This tincture is available in five strengths ranging from 250mg to 5,000mg, which accommodates a wide range of THC preferences, as well as 15 and 30 milliliter containers. The tincture has a price-point that is slightly below average, making it a good option for value seekers. The tincture, which is non-flavored, routinely undergoes third-party testing to ensure safety and high quality; the testing results are available on CBDistillery’s product pages.