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.
Additionally, CBD oil can benefit people with other medical conditions. CBD oil may be prescribed for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of severe epilepsy; the medication Epidolex, a CBD oil oral solution, is typically prescribed in these instances. Many people with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health disorders have also found that CBD oil has a calming, therapeutic effect when they experience symptoms. Most medical experts agree that marijuana is not particularly beneficial for these individuals, as the THC can increase the symptoms of these disorders, making CBD oil a good alternative option.
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We live in partisan times, as anyone who had to sit through Thanksgiving dinner with distant relatives can probably attest. But even your crazy uncle would agree that the safety of our food shouldn't be a partisan issue. No one wants their child to get sick from eating a hamburger, chicken, or—in the case of the current E. coli outbreak—romaine lettuce. Yet last week's empty Thanksgiving salad bowls are a harbinger of what's to come if our federal government does not start taking food safety seriously.
There has been a lot of hype recently, especially throughout the media, regarding the rising-in-popularity CBD, but still plenty of confusion may exist regarding this naturally occurring chemical’s abilities, composition and why exactly it works. Probably the two most common topical forms of CBD are oils and creams, so these are the two products we will be focusing on.
Despite this, CBD is something nobody knows much about, and certainly nobody is monitoring it properly. CBD is widely marketed as a supplement, despite the Food and Drug Administration saying it does not qualify as such (this is because it is an active ingredient in drugs which are either approved or under investigation to be approved). CBD goes largely unregulated by the agency; on the FDA’s FAQ page, a vague answer maintains there are “many factors in deciding whether or not to initiate an enforcement action.” The Department of Agriculture handles research grants and pilot programs for hemp, but that’s where its involvement ends.
CBD Topical Creams