In the meantime, some physicians are forging ahead — and cashing in. Joe Cohen is a doctor at Holos Health, a medical marijuana clinic in Boulder. I asked him what CBD is good for, and he read me a long list of conditions: pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, intestinal cramping, anxiety, psychosis, muscle spasms, hyperactive immune systems, nervous system degeneration, elevated blood sugar and more. He also claimed that CBD has anti-cancer properties and can regenerate brain cells and reduce the brain’s levels of amyloid beta — a kind of protein that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. I asked for references, noting that most of these weren’t listed in the Academies report or a similar review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “I think you just have to Google search it,” he said. It’s true that a preliminary study found hints that cannabinoids might reduce beta amyloid proteins in human brain cells, but the study was done in cells grown in a lab, not in people. As for cancer, the FDA sent warning letters last year to four companies that were selling products that claimed to “prevent, diagnose, treat or cure” cancer.
As CBD oil is non-psychoactive, applying it to the skin does not create mind-altering effects in the same manner that THC ingestion does.3 Therefore, the use of CBD in topical form is a useful alternative for those who wish to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC and those who would like options besides the over-the-counter steroid-based creams typically used for arthritis, joint pain, and similar ailments. This is especially true for aging users, parents, or adults who are concerned about practical matters (like failing drug tests, for example).
A study analysis in Journal of Pain Research confirms that topical use of certain cannabinoid topicals can reduce pain in animals with inflammation or neuropathic pain. And science has found topical creams with THC and CBD help relieve pain for conditions like multiple sclerosis. But for the vast majority of chronic pain—and most certainly for acute pain like post-workout—the scientific jury is 100 percent still out. "There's a little bit of data in support of CBD for pain relief, but to go from animal to human is a giant leap," Sexton says.
Using an oil tincture, Jamroz devised a crude, homemade CBD coffee concoction back in 2012 in order to find daily pain relief from a couple of slipped discs that he suffered during a snowboarding mishap. While the brew was relatively effective in terms of pain management, he claimed that the original cup tasted something like “hot, grassy swamp water.”
PTSD. My husband suffers chronic PTSD from active military service. We live not far from a large Army base and though my husband served with another counties military we hear stories constantly of family breakdowns over PTSD. It’s not a easy path but I’m hoping one day to find something to stop the endless trips to the psych ward. It’s just not right that those who serve come home to no government help.
It is for this reason that all the finished hemp goods that you see for sale in America, from food products to clothing to building materials, are part of an imported hemp industry that has surpassed $688 million annually. The size of this import industry is one of the major catalysts for hemp legalization in the U.S. As a renewable source of a range of products, hemp provides an exciting new step in American agriculture.
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.