Recently, CNBC Make It profiled the New York City bar, Adriaen Block, where customers can choose from an entire menu of CBD-infused cocktails and food items, like a cheeseburger with CBD-infused sauce. (This reporter sampled the restaurant's CBD-infused menu items, which were tasty — the CBD oil did not overpower — and I did feel a bit relaxed afterward, though the alcohol could have played a role in that.)
Two dermatologists I consulted with, New York-based Whitney Bowe, MD and New Jersey-based Jeanette Jacknin, MD, both agreed that CBD’s anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits are clinically proven. “Studies have shown that the cannabinoids like CBD in marijuana are anti-inflammatory and anti-aging and topical CBD has proven helpful for acne, eczema, and psoriasis,” Jacknin told me. “Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom, so it is less pore clogging but a great moisturizer for dry, cracked skin.”
Either way, it would be hard to script a more of-the-moment salve for a nation on edge. With its proponents claiming that CBD treats ailments as diverse as inflammation, pain, acne, anxiety, insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stress and even cancer, it’s easy to wonder if this all natural, non-psychotropic and widely available cousin of marijuana represents a cure for the 21st century itself.
^ Hayakawa K, Mishima K, Hazekawa M, Sano K, Irie K, Orito K, Egawa T, Kitamura Y, Uchida N, Nishimura R, Egashira N, Iwasaki K, Fujiwara M (January 2008). "Cannabidiol potentiates pharmacological effects of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol via CB(1) receptor-dependent mechanism". Brain Research. 1188: 157–64. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.09.090. PMID 18021759.
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.
Let’s start by looking at THC. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound found in cannabis with psychotropic properties. Medical marijuana companies breed their plants to have the highest concentrations of this compound. It is associated with the feeling of being high that marijuana smokers experience. Effects include feelings of euphoria, pain relief and sometimes increased anxiety and paranoia.
“I’ve got to be really careful what I say when it comes to preaching about benefits that CBD can bring,” says Richard Roocroft, the vice president of global sales and marketing for Flower Power. “We just say, have a cup of coffee once a day to keep the doctor away.” I ask about his dosage and whether he has information indicating it has any effect. “To answer your question, ‘Do we have the studies?’ No. We have nothing that would support that,” he tells me.
FAAH breaks down and removes natural endocannabinoids. CBD stops this breakdown and in turn increases the natural endocannabinoids available to the body. Because endo- cannabinoids have a balancing and healing effect on the body’s numerous systems and functions, CBD’s ability to increase the amount of endocannabinoids available to the body may create a bevy of therapeutic benefits5
A THC-rich rub infused with cooling menthol and peppermint is a perfect way to wind down from a brutal workout or hike. For intense localized pain, you may try a warming balm that combines the deep painkilling properties of cannabinoids with a tingling, soothing sensation. Inflammation symptoms may require a different chemical profile, as Cannabis Basics’ CEO Ah Warner explains:
Here’s what we do know: The cannabis plant contains a wide variety of chemical compounds, many of which fall under the broad category of cannabinoids. There are more than 100 — exactly how many, we’re not sure. The best-known and certainly most profitable are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these compounds stimulate the same receptor in the brain, called CB1, but have differing effects on the brain. Researchers aren’t totally sure why.
The following medications and other supplements may interact with CBD. Effects may include increasing or decreasing sleepiness and drowsiness, interfering with the effectiveness of the medications or supplements, and interfering with the condition that is being treated by the medication or supplement. These are lists of commonly used medications and supplements that have scientifically identified interactions with CBD. People who take these or any other medications and supplements should consult with a physician before beginning to use CBD.
Marijuana is recreationally legal in nine states (and D.C.), but technically, CBD is legal in 43 states—as long as it has been derived from hemp, which contains very few traces of THC. But this also means a potentially less potent product. A 2015 study out of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, found that whole-plant CBD is superior to hemp-derived CBD for the treatment of inflammatory and anxiety conditions. Flower Power’s CBD coffee is derived from hemp and double-tested in a lab in Massachusetts to makes sure it’s THC-free. Leivent says that if he lived and worked in a state where marijuana were recreationally legal, he’d get whole-plant CBD rather than the hemp-derived stuff. “CBD from whole-plant marijuana has other chemicals in it, minute cannabinoids that work synergistically with the body to create an entourage effect,” says Leivent. “You get more of a medical effect with all of these chemicals working together rather than just one particular [hemp-based] isolate."
Cannabis consumers have long prized potency (a high THC content) as one of the main factors that makes a particular strain more desirable. Though traditional demand for THC has caused an oversaturation of high-potency products, many consumers are starting to prefer less intense products that are lower in THC and higher in the non-intoxicating compound called cannabidiol (CBD).
Determining risks and benefits through proper clinical trials remains highly desired, but these will take considerable time and funds. As a result, clinical data will not appear any time soon, while patients will not simply stop using the many CBD products to which they have become accustomed. Taking back regulatory control over CBD could therefore start with a more short-term and achievable approach, i.e., demanding accurate and proper labeling, reflecting in detail what each product does and does not contain, and how it was manufactured. For a clearer judgment of the potential therapeutic effects, the risks, but also the legality of a cannabis extract, it is important to know its exact composition. After all, published data from around the world has taught us that misleading labels as well as harmful contaminants are real and actual problems for CBD products. The analytical methodology and the third-party labs needed for this approach largely already exist, and could easily be optimized to quickly get a better grip on the unrestrained cannabinoid market. This approach would hold each producer strictly accountable for the quality and safety of their own products, as long as there are real legal consequences for those businesses that break the rules. Add to this a system for regular professional audits and inspections, and a crackdown on unsubstantiated health claims, and we have a reasonable system to ensure that CBD can be used responsibly by those who need it, until much needed clinical data become available.
Most CBD oils are available in round-number concentrations such as 250mg, 500mg, and 1,000mg. While these strengths accommodate many CBD users, they may not be sufficient for those with preferences that fall outside round numbers. NuLeaf Naturals offers a less conventional selection of concentrations: 240mg, 725mg, 1,450mg, 2,425mg, and 4,850mg. This range ensures that most users will find a strength that works for them.
The CBD present in oils and other products is usually derived from fiber-type varieties of cannabis (hemp), because these are naturally higher in CBD content than drug-type varieties (marijuana). Although cultivation of hemp is allowed in many countries around the world, this is usually governed by strict regulations. After being banned for decades, hemp cultivation in the USA has only recently been reintroduced, and is still gearing up for full industrial production .
Well, much like with other cannabis products, that's kind of a gray area. On the federal level, any CBD products derived from cannabis plants are completely illegal, unless they are approved by the FDA (which only includes Epidiolex at the moment), the Drug Enforcement Agency said in September. The DEA even told VICE recently that the federal law makes no distinction between CBD derived from cannabis or hemp (a cannabis plant species with an especially low concentration of THC grown legally in roughly 40 states, mostly for industrial purposes). In other words, the official stance of the federal government seems to be that CBD products are illegal whether they are derived from cannabis or hemp.
Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a nearly 500-page report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. A committee of 16 experts from a variety of scientific and medical fields analyzed the available evidence — more than 10,000 scientific abstracts in all. Because so few studies examine the effects of CBD on its own, the panel did not issue any findings about CBD specifically, but it did reach some conclusions about cannabis and cannabinoids more generally. The researchers determined that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” supporting the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic pain in adults, multiple sclerosis-related spasticity (a kind of stiffness and muscle spasms), and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The committee also found “moderate” evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can reduce sleep disturbances in people with obstructive sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, as well as “limited” evidence that these substances can improve symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, increase appetite and stem weight loss in people with HIV/AIDs, and improve symptoms of PTSD and anxiety.
Online retailers: Most CBD oils are sold through online retailers. These establishments tend to have the widest product range, and many offer free doorstep delivery. Online retailers also frequently post product reviews, allowing buyers to compare different oils based on customer experiences to determine which is best for them. These reviews can also be used to evaluate the retailer based on customer service, delivery, and product quality.
In September 2018, following its approval by the FDA for rare types of childhood epilepsy, Epidiolex was rescheduled (by the Drug Enforcement Administration) as a Schedule V drug to allow for its prescription use. This change applies only to FDA-approved products containing no more than 0.1 percent THC. This allows GW Pharmaceuticals to sell Epidiolex, but it does not apply broadly and all other CBD-containing products remain Schedule I drugs. Epidiolex still requires rescheduling in some states before it can be prescribed in those states.
Hemp Oil contains naturally occurring phyto-cannabinoids, including CBD. It is widely consumed for its numerous wellness properties: as mild analgesic, antiinflamatory, antioxidant and antiemetic to name a few. Sträva uses the finest, full-spectrum hemp oil sourced from respected growers in Europe and Colorado. This oil is naturally rich in phyto-cannabinoids, including CBD, as well as constituents such as amino acids, vitamins B1, B2 and D, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, minerals zinc, calcium and magnesium. Hemp Oil and CBD are non-psychoactive and do not produce a "high."
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.”
Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid (Vegetable Derived), Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut Alcohol), Sodium Hydroxide (non-GMO, mineral-salt), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Glycerin (non-GMO, vegetable-derived), Potassium Sorbate (non-GMO, mineral-salt), Xanthan Gum (non-GMO, vegetable-derived), Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Menthol (Mentha arvensis), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Ocimum basilicum (Basil) Leaf Oil*, Citrus aurantium bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil*, Whole Hemp Derived CBD Isolate, Montana (Arnica) Flower Oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Zingiber officinale (Ginger) Root Oil*, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil*, Citrus aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Oil*, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia sclarea (Clary) Oil*, Phenoxyethanol
There is certainly substantial anecdotal evidence that CBD can help treat anxiety, but the scientific evidence remains very limited, says Blessing. “Probably the best evidence comes from studies on anxiety giving speeches, comparing normal subjects, and those with social anxiety disorder,” she says. “The doses that were found to reduce anxiety when someone’s giving a public speech experimentally were[approximately] 300 mg.”
Various strains of "medical marijuana" are found to have a significant variation in the ratios of CBD-to-THC, and are known to contain other non-psychotropic cannabinoids. Any psychoactive marijuana, regardless of its CBD content, is derived from the flower (or bud) of the genus Cannabis. Non-psychoactive hemp (also commonly-termed industrial hemp), regardless of its CBD content, is any part of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, containing a ∆-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis. Certain standards are required for legal growing, cultivating and producing the hemp plant. The Colorado Industrial Hemp Program registers growers of industrial hemp and samples crops to verify that the THC concentration does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
In general, most people who’ve made the jump to drinking CBD coffee every morning claim they’ve done so because it allows them to simply have a better day and live a better quality of life. That is to say, their chronic pain is subdued, their mood and state of mind is elevated, and their general sense of physical and emotional well-being is improved.
While CBD oil, a non-psychedelic extract of industrial hemp, seems to offer healing benefits when ingested almost any way, for some types of chronic pain, skin conditions, and other localized problems, topical applications allow users to go right to the source. Topical CBD can also work faster, since it doesn’t have to travel through the digestive system first.
Different topicals have different benefits to offer depending on the way they are processed and the ingredients that are used, so experiment with various transdermal products to see what works for you. Medical marijuana states are seeing more and more options for topical remedies as time goes on, and for sufferers of pain and inflammation, it’s worth exploring. You’d be surprised the difference that one special ingredient makes.
CBD creams are produced with the extracted oils from cannabis or hemp infused into a topical base. They act upon the body’s naturally occurring CB2 receptors by binding with these components. The CB2 receptors are activated by either the body’s own, already present endocannabinoid system (ECS), or through the presence of phytocannabinoids, which are typically in the form of either CBD or THC.
CBD is derived by growing cannabis, drying it out, pulverizing it, and then, often, using a rotary evaporator filled with an ethanol solvent to extract the CBD. (There are some other methods, but the ethanol one is common.) It’s a pretty old and fairly low-tech technique, but it’s effective. What you end up with is, hopefully, about 99 percent pure CBD in the form of white powder, which is called CBD isolate. (Some CBD is billed as “full spectrum,” which means it contains other things from the cannabis plant, like a bunch of other cannabinoids, but there’s no formal definition for full spectrum.)
Look, I’m no square. I’m not here to rain on anybody’s parade. But damn, let’s call CBD coffee what it is: a phase that was brought to fruition by a newfound excitement for America turning green. There are plenty of solid CBD and THC-infused products out there (for what it’s worth, I think THC coffee is a total blast), but let’s be reasonable. So next time you’re at a painfully hip coffee shop in Bushwick that specializes in CBD coffee, ask yourself: do I want to feel weird today?
As noted in the previous section, CBD oil prices vary significantly by brand. The best practice for most is to determine a per-milligram budget for CBD oil, as well as a maximum price for the entire bottle. For example, you might decide that 10 cents per milligram or less is a reasonable budget; and that $45 (for a 450-mg concentration, based on the budget) is a maximum bottle price. Also, if ordering online, be sure to include potential shipping costs.
High-CBD strains can be smoked or vaporized for immediate effects with little to no high, depending on the strain’s THC content. A strain may contain only trace amounts of THC for clear-headed relief, or it may have balanced levels of THC and CBD, delivering a mild high but potent relief. Explore the menu of your nearby dispensary for a full list of the offerings near you, or browse high-CBD strains on Leafly for an idea of popular varieties to look out for.