What makes CBD so appealing is that it’s non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high, though it “is technically psychoactive, because it can influence things like anxiety,” Jikomes said. Although much of the marketing blitz around CBD centers on the fact that you can take it without getting stoned, there isn’t much research looking at the effects of CBD when used in isolation, with a couple of exceptions. One is the use of CBD to treat seizures: CBD is the active ingredient in the only cannabis product that the Food and Drug Administration has signed off on — a drug called Epidiolex, which is approved for treating two rare forms of epilepsy. Animal models and a few human studies suggest that CBD can help with anxiety, but those are the only conditions with much research on CBD in isolation.
Ingesting — think CBD lattes, edibles, or just a drop of oil on the tongue — is likely much less effective than inhaling, says Blessing. When CBD-containing oil is ingested, it wants to join the other fat in your body; most of the CBD taken this way will just stay in that fat, inert and never getting to the brain. When inhaled, CBD bypasses the digestive system, which wants to store fat.
These products are from places like Xi’an Lyphar Biotech Co. Ltd., which doesn’t mention that it’s one of the largest CBD sellers on Alibaba on its website, let alone reveal where it’s sourcing its CBD from. There are big companies and small companies, companies that provide elaborate chemical charts and companies that have no online presence at all. There are companies that run their goods — either as raw materials or as consumer-stage final products — through lab tests. There are those that say they do but provide no information on what the labs found or which labs tested their products.
On a sunny but unseasonably freezing April afternoon in New York, I walked the 10 or so minutes from the L train to Caffeine Underground, a coffee shop in Bushwick that triples as an art gallery and community center. The open-concept space serves lattes and espressos and a variety of milks (oat, almond, macadamia) and plenty of “wellness” options (Kava tea, Bulletproof-style coffee, activated charcoal add-ins). But there’s one totally unique item: Cannabidiol-infused (CBD) coffee.
The coffee creation is the brainchild of chef Leighton Knowles, co-founder of the New York- and Ohio-based company, Flower Power Coffee Company. The beans are purchased from 70-year-old coffee purveyor D’Amico Coffee Roasters, a family-owned shop Brooklyn. Rather than dropping CBD oil into a drink, Flower Power’s formula is infused into ground beans before they’re brewed. Flower Power co-founder and Brooklyn pharmacist, Craig Leivent, says that the few other CBD-infused coffees on the market coat the whole bean with oil, which, he says, doesn’t provide a consistent measurement of CBD per cup. “When you drink our coffee,” says Leivent, who has a doctorate in pharmacology and an undergraduate degree in botany, “you get the alertness from the caffeine but without the jitters.”
CBD oil differs from CBD creams, ointments and salves, for it is produced in a different way and also is typically consumed orally, or with the mouth through a dropper. The oils vary in potency, depending upon the source of extraction. Both industrial hemp and cannabis can be used to extract amounts of CBD in order for the oil to exist, but oils generated from industrial hemp tend to hold a lower potency, although this is not always the case.
Right now, there’s a good chance that you don’t really know what you’re getting from any source. Testing and labeling rules vary by state, but many states that allow legal cannabis also require some kind of testing to verify that the THC and CBD levels listed on the label are accurate. However, this testing is controversial, and results can vary widely between labs, Jikomes said. A study published in March found measurable variations in test results, with some labs consistently reporting higher or lower levels of cannabinoids than others. There are no guarantees that the label accurately reflects what’s in the product. For a 2015 study published in JAMA, researchers tested 75 products purchased in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle and found that only 17 percent were accurately labeled. More than half of the products contained significantly lower levels of cannabinoids than the label promised, and some of them contained only negligible amounts of the compounds. “We need to come up with ways to confidently verify the composition of cannabis products and make this information available to consumers,” Jikomes said.
You may notice hemp seed oil as an ingredient in some of your beauty products or while shopping at the grocery store. Although hemp seed oil is very beneficial, it is not the same as CBD oil. Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD. Hemp seed oil is acquired by pressing only the hemp seeds. It is important that you are buying cold pressed, unrefined hemp seed oil because it hasn’t been depleted from its beneficial constituents. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to light green in color, with a nutty flavor. Refined hemp seed oil is clear and colorless, with little flavor and is depleted in natural vitamins and antioxidants.
Cannabis consumers have long prized potency (a high THC content) as one of the main factors that makes a particular strain more desirable. Though traditional demand for THC has caused an oversaturation of high-potency products, many consumers are starting to prefer less intense products that are lower in THC and higher in the non-intoxicating compound called cannabidiol (CBD).
In the United States, non-FDA approved CBD products are classified as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that production, distribution, and possession of non-FDA approved CBD products is illegal under federal law. In addition, in 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration added "marijuana extracts" to the list of Schedule I drugs, which it defined as "an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant." Previously, CBD had simply been considered "marijuana", which is a Schedule I drug.
A THC-rich rub infused with cooling menthol and peppermint is a perfect way to wind down from a brutal workout or hike. For intense localized pain, you may try a warming balm that combines the deep painkilling properties of cannabinoids with a tingling, soothing sensation. Inflammation symptoms may require a different chemical profile, as Cannabis Basics’ CEO Ah Warner explains:
CBD oil products can be somewhat expensive, which may be a barrier for individuals seeking treatment or relief from different conditions and disorders. cbdMD is a notable exception as far as price-point is concerned. cbdMD offers it’s premium, non-THC oils at a large variety of concentrations (300mg-5,00mg) as well as sizes (30mL and 60mL) . These oils are priced at $28 for 300mg oils and $90 for 1,500mg oils; both price-points are significantly below average.
Hemp Oil is also from the Cannabis Sativa plant but only the seed is cold-pressed to obtain the oil. It is also called Hemp Seed Oil. It is not tested for C B D content but most likely contains a small amount as it is from the Cannabis Sativa Plant. Hemp Oil is regulated in its production and is tested for THC amounts but is not tested for C B D amounts.