They may be safe, but there's one massive problem: There's practically no scientific data to support the idea that a CBD-infused topical cream is any more effective than other topical pain relievers, like Tiger Balm, BenGay, or Icy Hot. Michelle Sexton, a San Diego-based naturopathic doctor and medical research director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy says that her patients do seem to have a great interest in CBD ointments, and roughly 40 percent of them have indeed tried one. However, these people are in her office now because the topicals didn’t work for them. "As a medical professional, my opinion is there’s little evidence to back up the claims being made—it’s all marketing for now," she says.
But one of the big differences between CBD and THC is, according to Jane West, cannabis activist, entrepreneur, and founder of the marijuana networking group Women Grow, that CBD is non-intoxicating. “Its potential benefits come with few or no adverse effects,” West tells MarieClaire.com. “So really, this is something that everyone, even those who are reluctant to consume cannabis, can try to incorporate beneficial cannabinoids into their lives without any sort of high or residual THC in their bloodstream.”
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.