Your Guide to Legit CBD
There’s a reason cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming a ubiquitous product nationwide. At the end of last year, health authorities removed hemp — a species of cannabis that doesn’t contain psychoactive qualities — from the controlled substance list, meaning the plant is no longer considered illegal under federal law. Since most CBD products are derived from hemp, that change meant new products could flood the market. And they did.
The CBD and cannabis market research firm Brightfield Group says the market for hemp-derived CBD products was about $591 million in 2018 and is on pace to grow into a $22 billion market by 2022.
You can now buy CBD-laced cookies at bakeries and CBD face masks at the pharmacy. It’s sold as tinctures at farmers markets and bougie wellness boutiques and infused into cocktails at bars. Walgreens and CVS announced in March they will begin selling CBD sprays, creams, and patches at hundreds of their stores.
“There are a million different products that didn’t exist a year ago,” says Anja Charbonneau, the founder and creative director of Broccoli, a print magazine focused on cannabis culture.
CBD is closely related to another active phytocannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and there’s evidence it could provide relief for a range of conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and arthritis. “Could” is the key word. “The enthusiasm for CBD has outpaced the hardcore scientific evidence in humans,” says Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician in the Boston area.
Preliminary research and ample anecdotal evidence suggest CBD may tamper down inflammation in the body and quell anxiety, but randomized clinical trials studying the health benefits of CBD in humans are few and far between. That hasn’t stopped companies from connecting the dots anyway. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters in April to three companies — Advanced Spine and Pain LLC, Nutra Pure LLC, and PotNetwork Holdings Inc. — for falsely claiming their products could cure cancer, neurodegenerative conditions, autoimmune diseases, and opioid use disorder.
There’s evidence CBD could provide relief for a range of conditions…