What’s the deal with CBD? Have You Tried It?

Antidote to anxiety? Pain reliever? Sensual elixer? CBD, short for cannabidiol, is popping up everywhere, with promises to help. I confess I find it all a little confusing. What is it? And what can it do?

What is it? And does it make you high?

Many who are new to cannabinoids are confused about the difference between CBD and its counterpart cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The crucial lowdown? While THC will offer a high to its users, CBD will not. The now-ubiquitous CBD can be derived from both cannabis and hemp plants and, because of this, for regulatory purposes, the FDA treats CBD the same no matter which plant it comes from.

So why is everyone so excited about it?

Many claim that CBD does however offer a wide range of benefits—that it facilitates relaxation and can assist with numerous health issues. In fact, depending on how the CBD products are marketed, one will find claims that CBD aids with everything from chronic back pain, menstrual cramps, post workout muscle soreness, and dandruff, among numerous other maladies. Mandy Moore famously tried CBD oil to relieve the pain from wearing high heels at the Golden Globes. Jennifer Aniston told Us Weekly, “It has all the benefits of marijuana without the high.” Goop is publishing recipes for CBD-spiked cocktails, and now, it’s even in pet treats!

Does it work?

Little research has been done up to now due to legality issues surrounding cannabis at the federal level. Most all effectiveness claims are anecdotal, with the exception of one clinically proven remedy for the treatment of two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Some states, like New York, are now beginning to crack down on the use of CBD in beverages and food and the FDA recently stated it is illegal to market CBD products as dietary supplements. Because research has been denied at the federal level, companies have made numerous claims about their products without supplying the data to support the claims. According to a recent article in the New York Times looking into just this question: “CBD research is at such an early stage that just figuring out the correct therapeutic dose to test is a challenge.”

Still, with the anecdotal claims offering aid for those persistent aches and pains, its potential promise is intriguing. For example, a friend who has suffered from debilitating migraines since she was 13, recently told me she started taking five drops of a pure CBD tincture every night before bed. She made it five months without a visit to the ER or doctor for her typical IV cocktail or injection to relieve her pain—the longest she has gone in those twenty-five years without a full-blown migraine. She told me she has tried over twenty different medications, massage, acupressure and acupuncture, cranial sacral—seemingly everything—and nothing has worked this effectively before now. She swears by CBD oil.

Where is it sold?

In December, the farm bill passed, offering CBD a major boost when it legalized the production of hemp and the interstate transfer of hemp-derived goods, potentially paving the way for a legal CBD market that some believe could surpass $20 billion by 2022, up from around $600 million now. Bloomberg details in a recent article how, “Retail sales of CBD more than quadrupled last year, according to the data firm SPINS, with most purchases taking place at natural grocery stores.”

Some of the products getting the most, ahem, buzz…

Lord Jones everything (the body lotion is sold at Sephora, Busy Philipps loves the gumdrops); I. Pekar Face Serum; The Dosist “Calm” dose pen (this is a 10:1 CBD to THC recipe, so not purely Cannabidiol); Vertly Lip Balms and Bath Salts; Awaken Intimate massage oil; Kiki Health CBD Oil; and the Beboe Pen. As always, do your research.

What about you? Have you tried CBD? In what ways has it helped you, your friends or family?

P.S. My First Mud Bath; trying a juice cleanse; and six audiobooks to inspire you.

[Additional, non-cited sources: The Atlantic, “The CBD crackdown has begun”; Fortune, “Honest Co-Founder starting Prima to help clear up confusion about CBD oil”]

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category