Or maybe the question should be, “Has CBD already gone mainstream?” CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the primary compounds in the marijuana plant, along with the more famous THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the psychotropic compound of the marijuana plant, it’s directly responsible for getting people high, which also means that it’s indirectly responsible for the plethora of stoner movies.
CBD is not psychoactive like THC and will not make anyone who uses it feel high. It will make anyone who uses it feel good, or at least better than they did before. That is, according to all the preliminary research and anecdotal evidence. That research and evidence has shown that CBD has a lot of positive aspects such as it’s uses for anti-anxiety, pain relief, epilepsy treatment, neuroprotection, and more. The myriad uses of CBD and it’s legal to semi-legal status—because of the generally low THC content—has seen the CBD market flourish.
Is CBD the New Kale?
You can still use CBD in oil vaporizers but there are now myriad ways to ingest it. Here is a small sampling of the products in which CBD has been infused:
- Ice cream
- Lube (yes, really)
There are far more besides that and likely more to come. These aren’t just standard products with a few drops of CBD tossed into them. Some, like Hemp Bombs CBD Gummies, are pretty affordable. Others are expensive high-end products that you might see in a high street boutique or artisanal candy store. The Lord Jones company sells upscale—i.e. really expensive—CBD (and THC) infused edibles like gumdrops and espresso chews.
All these edibles and lotions are priced at a premium but, despite the expense, people seem to be buying them at increasing rates. The CBD market is booming and experts seem to think it will continue to grow. We don’t know what the ceiling for CBD is just yet but we definitely aren’t even close to reaching it.
What the Research Says
So is this green rush just an empty trend or is there any there there? As mentioned earlier, the research is preliminary but it has been positive so far. These studies have shown that the anti-inflammation properties of CBD makes it an effective treatment for diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus, asthma, and more. Other studies have shown that CBD can reduce chronic pain and it can do so without users developing a tolerance that could lead to an addiction as they could with opioids.
As far as anecdotal evidence of CBD’s effectiveness goes, a survey conducted by the Brightfield Group and HelloMD showed that 42% of users switched to CBD over traditional pharmaceutical medicines. The majority of those users found CBD to be highly effective in treating their maladies. This is not hard evidence of course, just proof that the general opinion of CBD is extremely positive.
There is more research to be done, especially when it comes to dosage types and amounts. Vaping CBD is one of the more effective methods of CBD ingestion but it is also one of the more difficult methods to dose. The downside of there being so many different ways to use CBD is that determining the dosage method and amount is difficult. More testing on humans needs to be done but that can be difficult because of CBD’s occasionally nebulous legal status.
Is CDB Legal?
That depends. Many in the marijuana industry cite the 2014 Farm Bill as proof that hemp with no more than 0.3% THC is legal in all 50 states. However, that hemp can only be used in a fairly narrow set of circumstances, basically, it can only be used for research. Some CBD oil manufacturers get their hemp from hemp growers operating under the 2014 Farm Bill but considering the prevalence of CBD products on the market, it’s safe to say that many of them don’t.
The DEA considers CBD to be illegal but, considering its many positive properties and non-psychoactive nature, they mostly look the other way when it comes to CBD products. DEA spokesman, Rusty Payne, told Indiana news station, WTHR, “it would not be an appropriate use of federal resources to go after a mother because her child has epileptic seizures and has found something that can help and has helped. Are they breaking the law? Yes, they are. Are we going to break her door down? Absolutely not. And I don’t think she’ll be charged by any U.S. Attorney.”
The widespread availability of CBD oil and the general lack of arrests or prosecution for the sale or ownership of said products suggests that the legal status of CBD is somewhat murky. That could soon change because of Senator Mitch McConnell, who has introduced a bill to legalize hemp on a federal level. Until that bill passes, hemp based CBD oil, and CBD products in general, are only legal on a state level.
The Wild West of CBD Sales
Hopefully legalization will come soon, not just so that people who need CBD can purchase it without fear, but also because the industry badly needs regulation and oversight. The reason is that some disreputable retailers are taking advantage of the CBD craze by selling products with very little CBD.
Many of these people sell their products as supplements, which means that they are not subject to FDA approval. Nevertheless, the FDA has sent warning letters to some retailers who claim that their CBD products can cure cancer or shrink cancerous tumors. Not all retailers are dishonest about what CBD can do or how much CBD their products contain. However, it is clear that something needs to be done about the unscrupulous individuals who prey on sick and vulnerable people.
Clearly CBD is here to stay, as to where it’s going, that’s hard to say but the future looks bright. If Senator Mitch McConnell’s bill passes then hemp could become legalized. That could mean that CBD might become even more widely available, making it easier for anyone who needs it to acquire it, even your pets!
Hemp’s legalization might also mean that research could advance past the preliminary stage so that serious tests can be done to determine the upper limits of CBD’s usefulness. It might also mean that the CBD industry would face increased regulation so that inauthentic products are no longer sold. Hemp’s legalization could also be the first step to getting marijuana legalized, or at least decriminalized, across the nation, not just in a few states. However, that’s a little far off and that road could be a lot bumpier. Let’s see where CBD takes us first.