Cooper recently got funding from the National Institutes of Health for a study looking at cannabinoids — including CBD in isolation — as a substitute for opioids, and numerous other clinical trials of CBD are underway. It will be several years before results are available, but these studies should help clarify both what benefits the substance may provide and any side effects it may come with. Most of the adverse effects so far associated with cannabis, such as impairments in short-term memory, coordination and judgment,2 come from products that contain THC as well as CBD, Cooper said, but we need to do more studies to find out for sure whether CBD has fewer risks. Studies are also needed to identify the best way to administer and dose CBD. “I get emails from people asking me what dose of CBD to use, and the truth is, we really don’t know,” Cooper said.
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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."
There is certainly substantial anecdotal evidence that CBD can help treat anxiety, but the scientific evidence remains very limited, says Blessing. “Probably the best evidence comes from studies on anxiety giving speeches, comparing normal subjects, and those with social anxiety disorder,” she says. “The doses that were found to reduce anxiety when someone’s giving a public speech experimentally were[approximately] 300 mg.”
Oils are hot in the beauty world. As a beauty editor, I’ve slathered everything short of butter onto my face: argan, coconut, rosehip, sandalwood, chia, neroli, calendula, mandarin, macadamia, rice bran, seabuckthorn, patchouli, grapefruit seed, sesame seed, soybean, sweet almond, pomegranate seed, lemon myrtle, sunflower seed—even extra virgin olive oil from my pantry when I was desperate. I’ve washed my face with oil-based cleansers, and dabbed expensive mixtures being sold as “face oils” onto my skin in hopes of achieving that Instagram-ready glow. Contrary to popular belief, the right oil is actually good for your face and won’t clog your pores. Your skin needs a reasonable amount of oil to do its business; as a matter of fact, if you scrub away all your natural face oil (as I was prone to do with rubbing alcohol as a frustrated and misguided pizza-faced teen), you may actually be prone to more breakouts as your skin tries to make up for the imbalance. As cannabis meets up with the mainstream beauty world, cannabidiol (CBD) oil may be the next big thing.
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“We’ve found that an effective dose for psychological issues, like stress anxiety, generally tends to start out at 6 mg and can go up to 20 mg,” says Zachary Clancy, a horticulturist and clinical herbalist at the Alchemist’s Kitchen, which sells a wide range of CBD goods at its retail store in lower Manhattan and also sells wholesale to restaurants. (Clinical herbalists can complete any of a variety of educational programs and apprenticeships to gain that title.)
While there are producers who will tell you the difference between legal and illegal CBD comes down to whether your batch is derived from marijuana or hemp—both are plants in the cannabis family, but hemp contains very little THC compared to marijuana—the truth is that even hemp isn’t legal everywhere. In Massachusetts, for example, you’re allowed to grow marijuana at home, but it’s still a crime to grow hemp.
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.
“I’ve got to be really careful what I say when it comes to preaching about benefits that CBD can bring,” says Richard Roocroft, the vice president of global sales and marketing for Flower Power. “We just say, have a cup of coffee once a day to keep the doctor away.” I ask about his dosage and whether he has information indicating it has any effect. “To answer your question, ‘Do we have the studies?’ No. We have nothing that would support that,” he tells me.
If your state has legalized both compounds, look for a cream with 1:1 CBD to THC as well as another cannabinoid BCP (beta-caryophyllene) if possible, which manufacturers have seen better results with, Gerdeman suggests. Try Apothecanna's Extra Strength Relieving Creme ($20; apothecanna.com) or Whoopi & Maya's Medical Cannabis Rub (yes, that's Whoopi Goldberg's line), which was designed specifically for menstrual aches and pains (whoopiandmaya.com).
Hemp Extract Oil* and Hemp Oil are from a different Cannabis plant called Cannabis Sativa. Hemp Extract is made from the entire plant including leaf, seed and stem. Most oils on the market selling as C B D oil are 97% or more Hemp Seed Oil, mct oil or vegetable glycerine and 3% Hemp Extract. This does not contain THC and is legal in all 50 states.
If you want a daily CBD therapy that actually tastes like a “proper” cup of java, on the other hand, you really do need to set yourself up with a well-made, properly infused CBD roast. The best cannabis-incorporating master roasters (which we’ll talk about below) have spent years devising and perfecting specific roasting processes that allow for efficient CBD infusion, without having to sacrifice any traditional coffee taste.
Another interesting observation was the presence of high levels of non-decarboxylated cannabinoids in multiple samples. It is well known that CBD and THC are not produced as such by the metabolism of the cannabis plant. Instead, cannabinoids are excreted in the form of carboxylic acids such as CBD-acid and THC-acid . The physiological effects of these “acidic” cannabinoids have been studied only to a very limited extent. Only after proper heating (e.g., during smoking, vaporizing, or baking with cannabis) are these natural precursors rapidly converted into the more well-known CBD and THC, respectively. This process is called decarboxylation . Although decarboxylation also takes place during the production of cannabis oils (e.g., during the evaporation of solvents, or during a separate decarboxylation step as part of the production process), 7/46 samples (15%) contained > 25% of its cannabinoid content in the form of acidic cannabinoids, indicating poor control over the decarboxylation process. To address the issue, some producers simply add up the content of CBD and CBD-acid in order to boast a higher “total CBD” content on the label, while advertising this as “raw CBD.”
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In the meantime, some physicians are forging ahead — and cashing in. Joe Cohen is a doctor at Holos Health, a medical marijuana clinic in Boulder. I asked him what CBD is good for, and he read me a long list of conditions: pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, intestinal cramping, anxiety, psychosis, muscle spasms, hyperactive immune systems, nervous system degeneration, elevated blood sugar and more. He also claimed that CBD has anti-cancer properties and can regenerate brain cells and reduce the brain’s levels of amyloid beta — a kind of protein that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. I asked for references, noting that most of these weren’t listed in the Academies report or a similar review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “I think you just have to Google search it,” he said. It’s true that a preliminary study found hints that cannabinoids might reduce beta amyloid proteins in human brain cells, but the study was done in cells grown in a lab, not in people. As for cancer, the FDA sent warning letters last year to four companies that were selling products that claimed to “prevent, diagnose, treat or cure” cancer.
I have been suffering from scalp pain, itching and scalp sores for more than 3 years. I have seen 6 dermatologists and 5 diagnosed me with folliculitis. The 6th dermatologist felt I did not have folliculitis, but dysesthesia. I am interested in trying a cannabis scalp cream, but know nothing about this product, and where I might get it, and if it might work for me. I have had 7/7 pain for 3.5 years and need some relief other than narcotics.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it is one of more than 60 compounds found in these plants. It acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system, creating physical changes in the body, which can be beneficial in many ways. In recent times, it has become increasingly understood that taking CBD oil, a product made from CBD, can have a positive influence on many aspects of life and health.
There are two preventative procedures you should be taking if you want to keep your skin as youthful for as long as possible: wear sunscreen and wear anti-aging cream at night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t source a reputable sunscreen with CBD, so you’ll have to trust me on the face cream, instead. This organic hemp CBD—sourced from Colorado—and vitamin E oil-enriched formula is too rich for daytime use (unless you have very dry skin and you don’t live in a humid climate), but it’s the perfect luxe treatment to massage into your face and neck before bed every night. After a week of wearing this cream every night, I, a very cystic acne-prone person, did not have any breakouts and had noticeably softer skin in the morning.
Still, as the saying goes, absence of evidence isn’t necessarily evidence of absence, and there’s a reason we don’t have a ton of solid research on CBDs yet — “to study it, we need a good source, ” said Ziva Cooper, who is an associate professor at Columbia University and was on the National Academies committee. CBD is hard to get because it’s still technically a Schedule I drug, which limits its availability, Cooper said.
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