CBD oil — “a powerful new form of medical marijuana without the high,” as a Washington Post headline put it a couple of years ago — is now making headlines daily in everything from business magazines to medical blogs to local newspapers and TV stations.
“Selling CBD oil is the new side hustle for moms,” a headline in the Peoria Journal Star tell us in a piece published this week. Kate Thayer writes: “Looking to relieve her miniature dachshund Parky’s arthritis, Plainfield mother of two Teressa Sworsky discovered hemp oil.
“After researching the exploding industry of products infused with cannabidiol, or CBD, Sworsky, 36, a registered nurse who works full time in the corporate office of a hospital system, soon learned about other uses for the substance, which is most often derived from hemp, a plant in the cannabis family, but without the mind-altering properties of THC. After giving the CBD oil to her dog, she decided to try it for herself as an alternative to her side effect-ridden anxiety medication.
“It worked, said Sworsky, who realized she could also sell it for side cash.”
She will not be alone. The Brightfield Group estimates that the CBD market will reach 22 billion by 2022, “outpacing the rest of the cannabis market combined.”
“A few years ago almost no one knew what hemp-derived CBD was, it was sold by mostly small brands of tinctures sold online and through head shops. All of a sudden, CBD is everywhere — it is both a trendy new ingredient in drinks, face creams and pet treats and an answer to the prayers of so many people suffering from medical conditions ranging from epilepsy to anxiety and chronic pain,” Brightfield’s Bethany Gomez wrote in a blog post last September.
“What is most notable is that this market has grown almost exclusively based on word-of-mouth, with marketing heavily restricted due to the legal gray area that hemp CBD operates in. But, if Mitch McConnell has his way, the Farm Bill will change that, officially descheduling hemp and paving the way for mass retailers, CPG, ingredients and healthcare companies to enter the space,” Gomez continued.
Congress did indeed make hemp legal in the U.S. in December — albeit “with serious restrictions,” as the The Brookings Institution’s John Hudak details in a blog post here .
“As legalization has spread, so has CBD’s fame. Depending on which marketing materials you read, it can provide relief for just about every malady known to modern humans: anxiety, chronic back pain, menstrual cramps, post-workout muscle soreness, dandruff, even chapped lips. Lack of regulation, however, gives some of these products the feeling of a late-night infomercial for oregano cleanses,” writes Bloomberg’s James Gaddy.
“‘Seventy percent of products don’t have what’s written on the label,” Davey Napoli, one of three co-founders of White Label, a site that sells CBD products, tells Gaddy.
“The non-intoxicating marijuana extract is being credited with helping treat a host of medical problems — everything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. But experts say the evidence is scant for most of these touted benefits,” WebMD’s Dennis Thompson reports.
“Worse, CBD is being produced without any regulation, resulting in products that vary widely in quality, said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine,” he adds.
“It really is the Wild West,” Bonn-Miller tells Thompson. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say whatever the hell he wants on a label and sell it to people.”
But Dr. Peter Bongiorno, a naturopathic physician and author of “Healing Depression: Integrated Naturopathic and Conventional Therapies for Depression,” writes that “CBD seems to be exceedingly safe,” in a blog post for Psychology Today.
Endeavoring to answer if CDB “is simply snake oil, or is … actually good for mental health?” he reports: “I have been working with CBD in my practice for about two years and have not seen a problem. Sometimes, when patients get more relaxed, it can give them a strange sensation. Understandably, that can be concerning to patients who are not used to feeling calm.”
KMAC has a piece about D&G Green Oils, a shop that opened recently in Lubbock, Tex., to provide CBD oils to cancer patients.
“Doctor Jehanzeb Riaz, a medical oncologist and hematologist at Covenant Health, said he has seen mixed results in his patients,” writes Victoria Larned on EverythingLubbock. “Some patients who come report they have seen improvements in appetite, level of fatigue and nausea, and vomiting and there are other patients it does not affect at all,” Riaz says.
Meanwhile, 25-year Army veteran Nichole Tavares-Gibbs, who was taking 23 pills a day — “opioids for pain, pills on top of pills to combat the side effects of other pills” — says she now is down down to seven daily, along with two drops a day of cannabidiol oil.
Heartened by the results, Tavares-Gibbs and her best friend, Latrice Belton, last month opened the Infusion 420 store to sell cannabidiol in Columbia, S.C., reports The State’s Sarah Ellis.
“I’m looking to help people that are suffering and not just to provide a product because it has the name ‘CBD’ on it,” Tavares-Gibbs says.