The exact legality of CBD is tricky. The Drug Enforcement Administration maintains that CBD is federally illegal but will not bother going after anyone for possessing or using it. Many argue that a provision in the 2014 farm bill allowing industrial hemp pilot programs, mostly aimed at the textile industry, actually makes non-THC use of cannabis legal; the much-delayed 2018 farm bill would make CBD and industrial hemp legal nationwide if passed as it stands.

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.

“If you’re taking Prozac or some other medication, you really need to think carefully about what you’re doing, because it can harm you, and you should talk to your doctor about it,” says Blessing. Blessing does note that while the drug interactions are potentially very serious, the doses in consumer CBD products are so low that the risk is likely minimal. Regardless, the fact that CBD has drug interactions should indicate that it is, at least sometimes, in some doses, actually doing something.
Anyone who tells you anything definitive about what CBD — or THC, for that matter — does to your body is lying. Nobody knows. The legitimate research out there is extremely limited, and the slow drip of legalization — medical use, then personal use, federally illegal but permitted by certain states and cities — has made it incredibly hard for researchers to do their jobs.
In most cases (and in all cases in which the coffee shop doesn’t want to risk being sued), coffee shops can’t advertise CBD as doing much of anything, one way or another. While clinical trials attempt to determine an effective dose for a particular condition, says Esther, the growing “wellness empire” is free to leave the effects to your imagination. “People who are selling CBD don’t even have to make specific claims. The relationship between the actual amount of CBD and the effect doesn’t have to be very specific, because there is no specific effect that they’re talking about,” says Blessing. “So if I have a CBD latte, I might feel a little relaxed, or a little less neurotic, or who knows.”
Look up Chris Shade (quicksilver scientific) on YouTube, specifically a webinar entitled ‘Cannabidiol: The Full Story pt.2’. He is a brilliant biochemist who has been studying the biochemical effects of cannabidiol. He says that CBD has the potential to be more therapeutic than THC as it up-regulates/down-regulates gene expression in over 400 genes each way (up and down). A great balancer and extremely helpful in treating Lyme, more specifically allowing for more aggressive detoxification of the Lyme and co-infections. There is also considerably symbiosis with heavy metals, molds, EMF’s, etc. so you must also address those aspects. It’s supremely complex and even most Lyme literate docs don’t deal with all aspects. Antibiotics are often counterproductive with persistent Lyme as the spirochetes protect themselves with a biofilm that must be broken down (Interfase Plus). Protocols must be comprehensive in order to make progress. If you have not checked your CD57, do that. It’s a marker for natural killer cells commonly associated with Lyme (a simplistic explanation). The reference range is 100-300. First time I had it checked 2 years ago, it was 48. Despite modest attempts to boost my CD57 with some of the Nutramedix products, I only got 6-7 point increase per year. In April of this year, I got more aggressive with a homeopathic regimen, taking a variety of the Cowden (Nutramedix), Buhner and other products. The next time I checked CD57, two months later, it jumped 70 points… remarkable by any measure. My western blot also went from 2 bands to 5 bands as my body as finally able to mount an antibody response. I can’t say for sure which products had the biggest impact, but if I had to guess, it would be the Biocidin LSF (liposomal) and perhaps DesBio Lyme Plus. But I was also taking Samento, Burbur, Cumanda, resveratrol, glutathione, phosphatidylcholine, NanoMojo, and a variety of other things and a good supplement regimen. There is no one product answer. Cannabinoids can help with the symptoms and support a more aggressive regimen, but addressing the Lyme must be a multi-faceted effort. Be very wary of pulsed antibiotic protocols with doxycycline. It’s not out of the question, but decimating your microbiome is counterproductive.
So far, by far the best medicinal relief I have found for my symptoms is a particular strain of cannabis flower called Harlequin — it contains an almost 3:1 ratio of CBD:THC, which is extremely rare and unique in the cannabis world. There are multiple studies you can find online showing the SYNERGISTIC effects of CBD combined with THC. When they are used together, they are much more medicinally effective than either one is on their own. Most cannabis strains today have zero CBD because growers realized everyone just loves their THC, but the Harlequin strain is a god send.
New methods of cannabis consumption are bringing us further away from the notion that marijuana belongs solely in a bong or joint – or that it has to get you high, for that matter. Cannabis-infused topicals are an example of how new modes of consumption are revolutionizing perceptions of marijuana as their accessibility, safety, and efficacy invite even the most unlikely patrons into the world of medical cannabis.
Though a CBD latte might not do much for you — at least not beyond what caffeine and the placebo effect combined can do, which isn’t nothing — it’s also probably harmless in most cases, says Carson, and may even have positive benefits we aren’t yet aware of. “I suspect there’s probably some antioxidant benefit to CBD like there is with coffee,” says Carson. “There’s tons of good things in coffee that we still don’t fully understand, and I think the marijuana plant is much the same way.”

CBD Topical Lotions