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Meanwhile, so-called wellness drinks infused with CBD are gaining traction. The UK’s first has been launched by Botanic Lab, promoted as “Dutch courage with a difference”. Drinks giants Coca-Cola, Molson Coors Brewing Company and Diageo are all considering launching their own versions, while UK craft breweries such as Green Times Brewing (formerly Cloud 9 Brewing) and Stockton Brewing Company are offering cannabis-oil laced beers, and mixologists are spiking their cocktails with CBD mellowness. The fancy marshmallow maker, The Marshmallowist, has added CBD-oil flavour to its menu, promising that “you feel the effects immediately upon eating”, without specifying what those effects might be.
Currently, the only official, FDA-approved use of CBD is as a component in a drug named Epidiolex, which will be used to treat severe forms of epilepsy in children and adults, and which will be, Carson hopes, available to patients by the end of the year. Carson says he developed an interest in CBD because parents of kids with epilepsy came to him having read about CBD’s potential benefits on the internet. “There’s lots of data now that I think really supports that CBD helps for epilepsy,” particularly in reducing the frequency of seizures, he says. Anecdotally, he noticed that the same parents reported another potential benefit associated with CBD: reduced anxiety. “I got the sense that some children did get benefits in terms of anxiety, and I think that’s where I wonder if for example CBD in coffee could potentially be helpful,” he says.
However, cannabidiol as an anxiety reducer has almost none of these issues. One study had 24 participants who took either 600 mg of CBD or a placebo drug. In a speaking test that followed, the group which underwent CBD treatment showed less anxiety. They also had a smaller degree of cognitive impairment and felt less discomfort overall as they spoke. In other words, their results were better than those of the placebo group.
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.
Even some of the claims made by recreational CBD sellers aren’t bullshit, in the abstract. CBD really does show some anti-inflammatory properties. It really does have anxiolytic effects, in certain situations. Of course, it’s the scammy nature of herbal supplements that a seller can say something like “CBD has been indicated to reduce anxiety” (a true statement!), even though the actual product you’ve got in your hand has never been indicated to do so. Nutmeg, for example, will act as a dangerous psychoactive drug at high levels, but it would be deranged to put “scientific research has shown that nutmeg can get you high as hell” on a pumpkin spice latte. It’s correct, but it’s also incredibly misleading.
Cannabidiol is currently a class B1 controlled drug in New Zealand under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is also a prescription medicine under the Medicines Act. In 2017 the rules were changed so that anyone wanting to use it could go to the Health Ministry for approval. Prior to this, the only way to obtain a prescription was to seek the personal approval of the Minister of Health.