“Among the many benefits that Charlotte’s Web customers experience are: a sense of calm and focus; relief from everyday stresses; help in recovery from exercise-induced inflammation; and support for healthy sleep cycles,” says co-founder Jesse Stanley. But he is obliged to point out that the product is a dietary supplement, and no clinical claims can be made for it.
But, uh, what is it that CBD is supposed to do? I visited a cannabis dispensary in Boulder to find out what the hype was all about. After passing an ID check, I was introduced to a “budtender” who pointed me to an impressive array of CBD products — tinctures, skin patches, drink powders, candies, salves, massage oil, lotions, “sexy time personal intimacy oil” and even vaginal suppositories to treat menstrual cramps.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil has recently become a wellness-world darling, popping up in everything from mascara to bath bombs. But the science hasn’t caught up to the supply. A 2017 University of Pennsylvania study found “a lack of regulation and oversight” on cannabidiol extracts, and that 70 percent of CBD products sold online were mislabeled. So like many other products we consume or put on our skin daily (makeup, lotions, supplements, vitamins) none of it is regulated. If you live in a state where marijuana is not recreationally legal, your CBD will most likely be derived from hemp. And that’s okay, says Leivent. “Hemp-based CBD still works on the same issues like anxiety and anti-inflammatory conditions, there are just fewer amounts of the other chemicals that could enhance the effect of the CBD."
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Researchers like Blessing are legitimately excited about CBD. It shows real promise in treating previously intractable disorders like schizophrenia, and without the destructive side effects of existing drugs. Still, that doesn’t mean CBD is harmless. Research on drug interactions with CBD is in its infancy, but what is known within the medical community is that CBD can cause serious problems for people taking certain classes of drugs, namely SSRIs (a group of antidepressants including Zoloft and Prozac) and opioids.
There are thousands of unique varieties of hemp. The cultivars used for CBD oil contain significantly higher concentrations of CBD than others. Using these uniquely potent plants, it is possible to extract cannabis oil that contains significant levels of cannabidiol, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
“The standard dosage, I would say, is around 20 mg per serving,” says Joshua Tavares, the general manager of Clover Grocery, which sells a wide variety of CBD products including gummies, tinctures, and topical lotions. (Tavares describes the shop, which also sells artisanal potato chips, as a “bougie bodega.”) “The main benefits that we touch upon when selling the products are that CBD is helpful for anxiety and providing you with a sense of calm. I would say it’s our top seller since we brought it in. The CBD category in general is really booming right now for us.”
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Did you know that 83 percent of Americans drink coffee regularly? In a fast paced world, with the pressures of life pulling us down, it is no wonder we need coffee, but also carry anxiety. Not only does coffee help wake you up in the morning, but it actually has more lot of health benefits than you might realize. However, adding a little CBD oil can increase those benefits even more.
In any case, California’s decision to ban CBD oil from hemp seems like it may be informed more by legalistic hair-splitting. And to illustrate how finely that hair is split, recall that CBD is a controlled substance under federal law, regardless of what it is derived from. Yet federal policy is also contradictory. The FDA’s recent approval of the CBD medicine Epidiolex comes despite the fact that the DEA considers CBD a Schedule I substance, with no medical applications. A DEA rescheduling or de-scheduling of CBD would go a long way toward resolving these questions — and is coming in the next three months.
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.