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 .
Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils that are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. Because they’re non-intoxicating, topicals are often chosen by patients who want the therapeutic benefits of marijuana without the cerebral euphoria associated with other delivery methods. Other transdermal innovations are fast arriving in the cannabis market, including long-lasting patches and tingly lubricants for patients and recreational consumers alike.
A few weeks ago, in a bike shop–slash–coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I saw a little sign for a new product on offer: a CBD lavender latte. I didn’t get one, in part because it was 80 degrees outside, and also because my experiences with CBD are somewhat mixed. I have some gummy fruit candy that puts me straight to sleep, and I found using an oil dropper on my tongue too disgusting-tasting to be worth whatever marginal benefits it may have given me. But I knew other anxious people have had good experiences with CBD, and I like coffee, so I was interested — though I did wonder if coffee (a stimulant) and CBD (a cannabinoid thought to have relaxing properties) might just cancel each other out.
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As an alternative health regimen, CBD holds particular appeal to women, said Gretchen Lidicker, the health editor of Mindbodygreen, a wellness website based in New York, and the author of “CBD Oil Everyday Secrets.” Noting the preponderance of female-run CBD businesses, Ms. Lidicker, 26, said that it is “no surprise that women are leading the CBD movement.”
So far, by far the best medicinal relief I have found for my systems is a particular strain of cannabis flower called Harlequin — it contains an almost 3:1 ratio of CBD:THC, which is extremely rare and unique in the cannabis world. There are multiple studies you can find online showing the SYNERGISTIC effects of CBD combined with THC. When they are used together, they are much more medicinally effective than other one is on their own. Most cannabis strains today have zero CBD because growers realized everyone just loves their THC, but the Harlequin strain is a god send.
That's not to say CBD-infused creams definitely won't reduce your acute pain or muscle soreness. That's because pretty much all of these creams on the market right now have other scientifically-proven analgesic compounds, like menthol, camphor, and capsaicin which are also found in other, non-CBD topical pain relievers. "Any cream with a heating or cooling sensation desensitizes the nerves to pain by distracting them with stimuli on top," Dr. Colberg explains. Plus you're often massaging the area as you apply, which improves circulation and reduces muscle spasms, he adds.
Yes, there's a new type of topical ointment on the market, and it's infused with the cannabidiol (CBD) from marijuana. Manufacturers claim it can help alleviate acute pain and muscle soreness. CBD is similar to THC, except it's non-psychoactive, meaning some researchers view it as the golden child of medicinal use. (See also: Personal Trainers Reveal the Products They Use to Relieve Muscle Soreness)
Anyone who tells you anything definitive about what CBD — or THC, for that matter — does to your body is lying. Nobody knows. The legitimate research out there is extremely limited, and the slow drip of legalization — medical use, then personal use, federally illegal but permitted by certain states and cities — has made it incredibly hard for researchers to do their jobs.
Even some of the claims made by recreational CBD sellers aren’t bullshit, in the abstract. CBD really does show some anti-inflammatory properties. It really does have anxiolytic effects, in certain situations. Of course, it’s the scammy nature of herbal supplements that a seller can say something like “CBD has been indicated to reduce anxiety” (a true statement!), even though the actual product you’ve got in your hand has never been indicated to do so. Nutmeg, for example, will act as a dangerous psychoactive drug at high levels, but it would be deranged to put “scientific research has shown that nutmeg can get you high as hell” on a pumpkin spice latte. It’s correct, but it’s also incredibly misleading.
While the CBD latte dosage varies from coffee shop to coffee shop, the range seems to fall between two to 15 drops, or approximately 20 to 30 milligrams, says Blessing. That’s a lot less than what’s been shown to work in clinical trials for various conditions, which makes Blessing skeptical that a CBD latte could produce any noticeable effect. “There’s no evidence whatsoever that a small amount of CBD is actually doing anything at all,” she says. “An analogy I give sometimes is, you wouldn’t take 2 mg of ibuprofen. It doesn’t do anything.”
Those warning letters aside, there’s not a lot of federal oversight right now over the claims being made or the products that are being sold. Cohen warned against buying CBD products online, because “there’s a lot of scams out there.” Yet his clinic sells CBD, and he admits, “I say ‘Don’t buy online,’ but ours is worth doing, because we know what we’re doing. We ship all over.”
I suffered from severe eczema as a child and, thankfully, grew out of it for the most part. Eczema is skin with a weak barrier that makes the sufferer’s skin much more open to irritants and allergens, causing a lot of discomfort. This irritation/allergic reaction leads to itching, bacterial infections, over-moisturizing which can lead to yeast overgrowth, etc. Once the chain reaction is set off, it is very difficult to stop. As a child, my parents would come in after I went to sleep, slather my legs with aquaphor and wrap them in ace bandages. It was a sticky mess but somewhat effective. To soothe my dry and easily irritated adult skin (as well as my arthritis), I make a cannabis product wth beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and a handful of healing herbs. Beeswax is a great barrier/protectant and has other beneficial properties. The Shea butter is very similar to sebum in our skin so acts to supplement our natural protection.
Donald Abrams was a member of the committee that reviewed the evidence that went into producing the report, and he said that the studies they reviewed overwhelmingly used pharmaceutically available preparations that contain THC, including dronabinol, nabilone and the whole-plant extract spray nabiximols, which contains equal parts CBD and THC. It’s impossible to know whether the benefits of cannabis can also be obtained from CBD alone, Abrams said, because CBD is just one of 400 chemicals present in the plant. So far, CBD in isolation has been studied in only a handful of randomized, placebo-controlled trials (considered the gold standard of evidence in medical research), and the evidence remains sparse.
Among beauty products alone, CBD has already achieved cliché status, popping up in blemish creams, sleeping masks, shampoos, hair conditioners, eye serums, anti-acne lotions, mascaras, massage oils, soaps, lip balms, bath bombs, anti-wrinkle serums, muscle rubs and a Sephora aisle’s worth of moisturizers, face lotions and body creams. Even the bedroom is not safe from the CBD invasion, to judge by the spate of CBD sexual lubricants on shelves.
CBD oil products can be somewhat expensive, which may be a barrier for individuals seeking treatment or relief from different conditions and disorders. cbdMD is a notable exception as far as price-point is concerned. cbdMD offers it’s premium, non-THC oils at a large variety of concentrations (300mg-5,00mg) as well as sizes (30mL and 60mL) . These oils are priced at $28 for 300mg oils and $90 for 1,500mg oils; both price-points are significantly below average.
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.