Is CBD all that it is cracked up to be? No. Not to take away from the potential of CBD, there seems to be plenty of potential. But, in truth, many of the medical claims made by countless advocates and eager retailers are inaccurate or absolutely false. It does not cure cancer. It does not cure Alzheimer’s. In fact, the research on CBD is in such an infantile state that there are very few medical claims anyone can accurately make. I believe that the research will soon be able to clearly let everyone know how exactly CBD can help, but not yet.
It’s been over a full year since hemp became legal in the U.S. after around 80 years of prohibition. Enthusiasm flared in the beginning. Not only were people amazed that they could actually go off and buy hemp oil and other products legally, but another cannabinoid had surfaced worth talking about besides THC, CBD. With little research available to let everyone know how CBD could help, rumors and theories spread across the internet like wildfire. Beyond knowing that CBD is not psychoactive, people were not sure what it was good for, which made CBD mysterious.
CBD feeds perfectly into our need to pathologize every moment of discomfort we experience, and promises to fill in the chasm between how we think we should be feeling and how we actually feel, as loneliness nips at our heels and the demands of late-stage capitalism wring us out. But the idea that we’re all just a few well-timed CBD gummies or drops of a CBD tincture away from living our best lives flies in the face of reality. We’re stressed, tired, and experiencing at least some amount of inexplicable back pain because we live in stressful and exhausting times, rife with structural failures, uncertainty, and horror. CBD can’t fix that.
After news circulated that the FDA had sent out warning letters to companies making bold medical claims, the enthusiasm for CBD slowed. CBD’s first year in the modern era has been an absolute rollercoaster of a ride. Companies were accused of lying about the concentration of cannabinoids in their products, including THC, which cost some people their jobs. Nobody is clear on what the appropriate dose of CBD is for their individual needs either. It’s been a little crazy, but is anyone really surprised?
The list of banned natural substances is much shorter than the list of legal substances. After a lifetime of being told that growing, handling and using hemp made a person a loser, and worse, a criminal, how could it be surprising that CBD edibles and tinctures have had a tumultuous first year? To say that research was limited due to prohibition is an understatement. To say that there is still a stigma associated with anything related to the cannabis plant is an absolute truth. Distrust surrounds CBD products, but time will build that trust.
Read more at Vice.com.
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