Is CBD for Real? For the last few decades, the pro-legalization movement has touted the benefits of the cannabis plant for everything ranging from salves to soothe burns to hemp rope, general anesthetics, and everything in between. As such, much of the hype surrounding cannabis has simply been viewed as quackery, because nothing on Earth could have all of the purported benefits of cannabis- according to sources like High Times, weed does just about everything but wash your car.
In the last few years, much of the magic typically ascribed to the plant as a whole has been associated with its essential oil, CBD. Otherwise known as cannabidiol, CBD is the non-high producing essence of the cannabis plant- the part with which Cheech and Chong were forever unconcerned. They were interested in the THC content of the plant, tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the bit that makes you goofy, hungry, and otherwise “high.”
Removing the fun parts from the cannabis allows users to sneak past angry old men who shake their fists at the “damn” hippies as they mainline scotch and prescription pain pills, and potentially derive the more “medicinal” benefits. CBD is marketed to users who are seeking relief for anxiety, insomnia, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. From clinical trials, it appears to aid in sleep (though the sleep benefits may be from interactions with prescription medication for epilepsy), and it helps reduce the frequency of seizures in people with drug-resistent epilepsy. It has not been shown, however, to aid in stress reduction or PTSD.
But is it a scam?
“‘CBD is not a scam,’ said Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai in New York City who led a double-blind study of 42 recovering heroin addicts and found that CBD reduced both cravings and cue-based anxiety, both of which can cycle people back into using. ‘It has a potential medicinal value, but when we are putting it into mascara and putting it into tampons, for God’s sake, to me, that’s a scam’” (MacKean).
MacKean, Dawn. What are the benefits of CBD? New York Times. 16 Oct 2019. Web. 8 Dec 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/style/self-care/cbd-oil-benefits.html