The Health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: the current state of evidence and recommendations for research. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An evidence review and research agenda. Washington, National Academies Press, 2017.
There’s a growing body of scientific evidence to support the use of topical CBD products to ease pain, inflammation, and the symptoms of arthritis. One study using rats found that topical CBD has “therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.” More scientific research on humans is needed to confirm all of CBD’s benefits, but the initial research into topical use in humans is also promising.
Users speak of a “body” high, as opposed to a mind-altering one. “Physically, it’s like taking a warm bath, melting the tension away,” said Gabe Kennedy, 27, a founder of Plant People, a start-up in New York that sells CBD capsules and oils. “It is balancing; a leveling, smoothing sensation in the body mostly, and an evenness of attention in the mind.”
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.”
Then there’s the issue of vomiting and nausea after chemotherapy. Most people that underwent chemo know that there is proper medication for these side effects. However, these meds often don’t achieve the desired effect. It’s no wonder that people are looking for alternatives like CBD. During one study, 16 participants that had chemo treatment used a CBD-THC combination. This combo was administered through a spray. Nearly all participants agreed that this helped lower vomiting and nausea.
Cost is another consideration. Most CBD oils are sold in concentrations of 300 to 750 mg, although this may range from less than 100 mg to more than 2,000. A good indicator of price-point is the cost per milligram. Low-cost CBD oils usually fall between five and 10 cents per mg; mid-range prices are 11 to 15 cents per mg; and higher-end oils cost 16 cents per mg or higher. Given these varying per-milligram costs, a bottle of CBD oil may be priced anywhere from $10 or less to $150 or more.
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.