The 360 is a feature designed to show you diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories.
Who: The ever-growing number of CBD consumers in the U.S.
What: These days, CBD, or Cannabidiol oil, can be found in everything from anxiety, pain and insomnia remedies to beauty products, ice cream, coffee and dog treats. The cannabinoid, which is one of more than 100 that can be derived from the buds of marijuana or hemp plants, has become a hot item in the U.S., as more and more states have moved to legalize marijuana. As a nonpsychoactive substance, CBD is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in that a user will not “get high” from consuming the oil.
While CBD has been touted as a miracle cure for a host of ailments, including anxiety and depression and even certain neurological disorders — there have been few clinical trials to scientifically confirm these claims. Still, its popularity is growing, and many people testify to its positive effects.
Where: Throughout the U.S., but especially in states that have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Although CBD is gaining in popularity, some cities are cracking down. Earlier this month, New York City banned the selling of CBD-laced edibles in restaurants and bars because it has not been deemed a safe food additive by the FDA.
Why now: The marijuana industry, including the manufacturing of CBD, is currently unregulated by the FDA, and many critics say that lack of standards to properly vet new cannabidiol products has created a “wild West” culture. In other words, there is no consistency in the quality of any CBD produce consumed. That doesn’t seem to bother consumers too much: The industry is expected to grow, and, according to a report from Grand View Research, by 2025, the global legal marijuana market is expected to reach $146.6 billion.
With CBD, we should apply healthy skepticism.
“The explosive popularity of CBD is way ahead of any evidence to support its efficacy — or reliable reassurances that it has no serious adverse effects. Where is the healthy skepticism when we need it? The public, rightly, is quick to demand proof of safety and efficacy when it comes to synthetic pharmaceuticals. Why should natural products, like CBD, get a pass? … Consumers who are still keen on the idea of CBD might want to know exactly what they are getting for their money — considering that the manufacturing of CBD products is completely unregulated”. – Richard A. Friedman, New York Times
The “green gold rush” mentality is cause for concern about quality.
“There is a green gold rush going on right now in the United States,” said commercial hemp farmer Paul Glover, whose operation has grown to nearly 100 acres in the northern hills of Kentucky. But the rapid growth has its downside: “There are some very opportunistic individuals in the business,” Glover warns. “You have to know where your products are coming from.” – Scott Friedman and Jack Douglas Jr., NBC5 DFW
Regulated or not, CBD is helping to relieve pain and illness.
“I became disabled in 2009 due to Crohn’s disease and inflammatory arthritis when my pain level prevented me from even making it through a normal workday, as I was unwilling to accept and consume narcotics or opiates. I was homebound for years and started using CBD capsules to help manage my pain. For the first time in years, I got a restful night of sleep. I am not cured of my Crohn’s disease or arthritis, but I do enjoy reduced pain, free of opiates. And because of changing laws and increased public acceptance of genuine clinical data, I am able to share hope and treatment options with not only those in severe pain, but also veterans with PTSD, chemotherapy patients battling nausea, and opiate addicts seeking a way out of addiction. Every day my staff helps customers decide their path to help everything from pre-flight anxiety to their pet’s hip dysplasia. This isn’t lab science. It’s real life. Lives made better by safe access to natural health treatment designed by our Creator.” – Elisha Millan, Times Free Press
Without regulation, CBD users are guinea pigs.
“CBD has been gladly received despite its having avoided serious scientific scrutiny. Most will tell you that ‘it’s fine,’ and I hope it is. But the truth is, we don’t know what quantities are appropriate or what other effects CBD might produce. The Army recently banned all CBD oils. In essence, the public is serving as the guinea pig for a substance that hasn’t been comprehensively tested, while enriching not a few entrepreneurs who saw consumers such as me coming.” – Kathleen Parker, Washington Post
In a divisive, anxiety-inducing climate, people are easy prey for “miracles.”
“It would be hard to script a more of-the-moment salve for a nation on edge. With its proponents claiming that CBD treats ailments as diverse as inflammation, pain, acne, anxiety, insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stress and even cancer, it’s easy to wonder if this all-natural, nonpsychotropic and widely available cousin of marijuana represents a cure for the 21st century itself. The ice caps are melting, the Dow teeters, and a divided country seems headed for divorce court. Is it any wonder, then, that everyone seems to be reaching for the tincture?” – Alex Williams, New York Times
Scaremongering from physicians over CBD treatment is a real problem.
“Having witnessed success in some of my most challenging cases since I first started to prescribe Compassionate Cultivation’s CBD in February, my goal is to maintain access to treatment for all of my refractory epilepsy patients for sustainable care. If physicians dismiss this promising, state-sanctioned treatment option, they miss the opportunity to alleviate suffering and improve the quality of life for many patients.” – Child neurologist and epileptologist Dr. Karen Keough, Austin-American Statesman
How women are driving the rise of CBD.
“CBD’s meteoric rise comes at a time where the wellness industry is booming. Along with mindfulness and meditation, CBD is riding the wave of our current fixation on self care. It’s an antidote to our overly stimulated and overly stressed world, where anxiety is more prevalent than ever. … Women have traditionally been at the forefront of wellness movements, and they’re also the ones leading the CBD trend. According to 2018 State of Cannabis Report by Eaze, an on-demand cannabis delivery service, women and female baby boomers are driving the growth for cannabis and CBD demand, and the total number of CBD consumers doubled in 2018.” – Lesley Chen, Brit + Co.