Can CBD Really Do All That?
May 15, 2019 9:01 PM   Subscribe

How one molecule from the cannabis plant came to be seen as a therapeutic cure-all. (SLNYT) "With more than 65 cellular targets, CBD may provide a kind of full-body massage at the molecular level. This biochemical promiscuity is one reason CBD seems so medically promising, according to Yasmin Hurd, a neuroscientist at Mount Sinai, in New York. Modern neuroscience often tries to target one pathway or receptor, Hurd told me; that approach is easier to study scientifically, but it may not address what are often network-wide problems. “The brain is about a symphony,” she says. And CBD, she suspects, can “bring the entire symphony into harmony.”"
posted by Little Dawn (82 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
After it was legalized here in Montreal, I bought a spray that's half CBD and half THC and I must confess that once week I'll spray a couple shots before bed and I do sleep much better. And I was quite well-rested. Though it does not seem like I sleep any longer. And that full-body massage quote is quite accurate. I actually am that relaxed after. This might not work for everyone though.
posted by Sully at 9:24 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


I'm more a THC fan, although I admit I have never tried just CBD. Flower is my favorite, although I find it much harder to titrate these days than "in the old days". But yeah, all that... Things are a-changin', and if CBD really is All That, maybe I'll even try it someday.

(I'm old and I work a physical job and I'm sore a lot. I don't like to take naproxen as much as I used to. So I sort of live with it. Also, I need to learn a stretching routine.)
posted by hippybear at 9:49 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


I too am on team THC.

And all the CBD stuff seems like it's a part of the same "scam", that I've felt "medical marijuana" was for many years...

That being said, there seems to be some science, so, you go CBD!

Just don't be selling snake oil.
posted by Windopaene at 10:25 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Science Vs podcast had a fascinating story about a specific CBD application, and some info about what is mostly (un)known about CBD.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:32 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


"With more than 65 cellular targets, CBD may provide a kind of full-body massage at the molecular level.

Let me first say that I think weed is fun and I don't have a problem with people doing it recreationally as much as they want.

Let me second-of-ly say that this is absolute gibberish. I don't know which is worse: that the author of that article actually thinks that "full-body massage" thing is true, or if they think they even know what that's supposed to mean.
posted by clockzero at 10:33 PM on May 15 [33 favorites]


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there is no way doing CBD makes you feel like you've had a full body massage. I've had many. I've smoked more weed than my current body weight across the decades. Never once....
posted by hippybear at 10:37 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Like, not even close.
posted by hippybear at 10:38 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


I don't know which is worse: that the author of that article actually thinks that "full-body massage" thing is true, or if they think they even know what that's supposed to mean.

I think the author was trying to create an analogy for how CBD interacts with the brain:
THC hits CB1 and CB2 receptors, but how CBD works is less clear. It seems to interact with multiple systems: increasing the quantity of native cannabinoids in the human body; binding with serotonin receptors, part of the “feel good” molecular machinery targeted by conventional S.S.R.I.s; and stimulating GABA receptors, responsible for calming the nervous system. With more than 65 cellular targets, CBD may provide a kind of full-body massage at the molecular level.
But yes, based on the rest of the article, the analogy seems to fall a bit flat, given all of the potential medicinal properties described.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:51 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


I've always assumed CBD is bullshit, but there's a lot more science in the article than I thought there would be.
posted by xammerboy at 11:19 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


I've *ACTUALLY TRIED* CBD. Tinctures, topicals, and vapes. It's not hard to get. If... ***IF*** you want to get it and try it it's *EASY* to obtain. And it's easy to take. Perhaps not quite as fun as NOT trying it and then sitting on the sidelines and throwing rocks, but I digress.

I'm 40 years old. I've likely smoked at least five pounds of cannabis flower in my lifetime and am quite familiar with all the various effects, etc. My life's passion is training and competing in the sport of weightlifting. Weightlifting is a young person's sport. I'm 40 years old. My body is sore and beat up pretty much every day.

Enough preamble? Ok let's cut to the chase. CBD is a goddamn wonder drug. It's pain relief and in particular, anti-inflammatory properties, are far superior to ibuprofen, acetominophen, or aspirin. It also has anxiolytic effects not dissimilar to that of xanax-including how fast it 'kicks in'. I find vaping to be the most effective route of administration. I also think there's a lot of, I dunno if it's fake, but I'll say questionable or low quality product on the market. Some brands are better than others and ymmv.

I'm a very skeptical person by nature. I hate wasting money. CBD for me is an investment in my weightlifting training. For what I get vs what I spend, it's a bargain. It speeds my recovery, helps me sleep better, and allows me to train at higher frequency/volume.

posted by MjrMjr at 11:19 PM on May 15 [47 favorites]


Great article, finally, on the subject but receiving the usual skeptical reception here - a bit odd considering the general enthusiasm for THC.
posted by blue shadows at 11:20 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


I started using CBD last summer. I bought a vape pen and got some "full spectrum" CBD oil. The first time I took a few puffs and voila! The "fully body massage" is fairly accurate. But it's not the same as a THC high. It's kind of hard to put the difference into words. The CBD "high" is mild, and has none of the euphoria, the head change, of THC. Very much a "body high," but subtle at the same time. It's like a diluted form of being high.

So for a few weeks I vaped CBD a few times a day. I slept well, but after the first few days the sleepiness stayed. I would get very sleepy in the middle of the afternoon, at work. Not good. Eliminating other factors, I concluded it was definitely the CBD causing this. So I took a break for a few weeks, and later, when I started up again, I noticed I didn't get as "high" as before, and I haven't since. I vape some every now and then, mainly as a sleep aid. I wonder if there is a threshold for efficacy. Or maybe if I use a different brand/kind/potency of oil level I'll have a stronger reaction.
posted by zardoz at 11:26 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


I think the author was trying to create an analogy for how CBD interacts with the brain:

Yeah, I realize that, I just think the analogy is a very bad one (though the clinical science underlying the topic of discussion might be quite interesting) because it obscures the truth more than reveals it.
posted by clockzero at 11:42 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


I really don't think that the sentence With more than 65 cellular targets, CBD may provide a kind of full-body massage at the molecular level is in any way meant to say that taking CBD makes a person feel like they just had a massage. CBD stimulates many chemical receptors that make us feel soothed, relaxed, and more cheerful. Getting hung up on the fact that doing fat bong rips is not like having someone manipulate one's naked body with their hands is missing the point.

I take a 1:16 THC:CBD oil every day to help with anxiety and depression and it's been very effective for me. Excellent for menstrual cramp pain as well (massages are nice too but they are not the same, and certainly more expensive). Not really a radical thing in a state that's had medical marijuana for over twelve years now, so I'm always surprised when people think CBD is bullshit.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:47 PM on May 15 [21 favorites]


From supplements to Gwyneth Paltrow and all the bullshit homeopathy in between, of course we're skeptical, and demanding actual clinical data does not invalidate that position.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:56 PM on May 15 [17 favorites]


I like weed. I like cbd tinctures, they felt quite relaxing.

I say this in the strongest terms possible.

fucking real, controlled, powered clinical trials or GTFO.

Epidiolex at least tried in a very limited sense. Most other OTC/supplement zero-regulation quality control CBD has no data associated with it. it has anecdata.

in contrast to "take this and feel a little mellower" in the context of a recommendation for large numbers of people "take this to help cure your disease", anecdata is bullshit. CBD is a DRUG (that happens to come from a plant) with a multi-billion dollar market, that is being touted as a cure all.

there are real harms when you say "it is natural, it can't hurt". people can take drugs which have side effects, harming them. people can take drugs which are ineffective, harming them by not being efficacious. if we spend money and societies resources on things that are harmful or ineffective, we causing damage to society by using its resources when other needs exist.

We have no evidence that the above is not happening with CBD to sub-classes of patients, because no-one is testing!

if you want proof of a bullshit factory that makes EEEEVIL CAPITALISTS billions, just look at the vast scam that is the "natural supplements industry".

despite the cries of "big pharma is out to get you and take your money", in fucking fact more than 90% of all developed drugs that make it it to clinical trials fail (and thus can't. be. sold.) in phase I, II and III trials costing pharma companies billions every year in real, spent cash and the fulltime multi-year efforts of THOUSANDS of scientists and clinicians, because they don't hit their desired toxicologies, targets or efficacies.

no such trials are required of "natural supplements" AT ALL.

medicine and science is hard and expensive. woo is easy.

if you want CBD to be more than another perhaps-effective snake oil for real, harmful measurable disease, then do the damn work. or we might as well as a society just fucking give up, and just go back to "prayer works, because it makes me feel better! and uncle joe got better after prayer!".
posted by lalochezia at 12:05 AM on May 16 [92 favorites]


There's little incentive to test naturally occurring drugs unless you modify them, because you can't get a patent and then charge extortionate amounts for your product. I dug into this with Valerian recently, there are some studies, it definitely does some things to sleep and perhaps anxiety. There's little incentive for a drug company to throw a lot at it and work out specifically what it doors and how though, because there's already a product that works reasonably well and it grows on trees.

On the CBD side of things, I can track my experience of weed helping anxiety and then causing it, a progression that took years, to the increasing THC percentage and decreasing CBD in the weed round here over that time. It's always made me wonder and I've a hunch I'd like to try CBD.
posted by deadwax at 1:04 AM on May 16 [14 favorites]


I can't be bothered right now to find a way round the NYT paywall so am not commenting on the article directly, but this seems pretty much par for the course in anything new and interesting in medicine:
Stage 1: This is amazing, there are almost no downsides, everybody/everybody with condition X should be taking it.
Stage 2: This is the worst thing ever, you're going to die/have terrible side effects.
Stage 3. Ok, so this treatment has these specific benefits and these specific risks/side effects, and it's particularly good/bad in these conditions/patient groups.
(Possibly slightly exaggerated; sometimes Stage 2 is "this has way more side effects than we were told" or "it's a lot less effective than we were told")

If it's something developed by a pharmaceutical company then Stage 1 is the initial research by interested parties, Stage 2 is usually when it's been on the market for a couple of years, and Stage 3 is a few years after that when you've had a goodly amount of good research from various people. The difference with CBD seems to be that it's everyday people and enthusiastic researchers who genuinely believe that it's wonderful who are generating Stage 1, rather than a commercial interest. I still think that we're going to go through the same pattern as we learn more about it.
posted by Vortisaur at 1:23 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]


For decades marijuana was more useful for putting black and brown people in prison than as a therapeutic drug. That's why there is so little research. For people who've always used it illicitly, the idea that it makes you relaxed and sleepy is ... well DUH.
posted by adept256 at 1:24 AM on May 16 [4 favorites]


For decades marijuana was more useful for putting black and brown people in prison than as a therapeutic drug.

Which means there's plenty of actual research that shows marijuana does indeed work. Well, for that particular purpose at least.
posted by DreamerFi at 1:34 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]


I was looking at CBD for anxiety but something I hadn't until then seen much about was drug interactions. Everything I currently take affects the CYP liver enzymes, and so does CBD, so I backed out of trying it - it's too complicated to do without well-informed advice, which I don't think I could find.
posted by lokta at 4:00 AM on May 16 [4 favorites]


For more anecdata, my friend Becca wrote about discovering, researching, and testing CBD in her Earthling’s Handbook and Kitchen Stewardship last winter. These seem as grounded and researched as anything else I’ve come across.
posted by meinvt at 4:26 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I have used both CBD oil and lotion to treat my fibromyalgia. The oil helps me sleep, and I don’t feel any sort of high. The lotion is like fucking magic. I get epic leg cramps that feel like someone is trying to pry my muscles off the bone with a butter knife. Within 15 minutes of applying the lotion, my leg cramps fade to a dull ache. Within an hour, I’ve forgotten my leg even hurt.
Personally, I prefer CBD because I can still function while no in pain. THC does knock out a lot of the pain, but the high is really hard to work through.

That said, I am 100% for testing and documentation.
posted by teleri025 at 5:12 AM on May 16 [9 favorites]


I don't have a dog in this fight, but it reminded me of a meme I saw that I went and tracked down again. Text version:

CBD guy: yeah there's this ingredient in weed that you can't feel if it's working, and you can't tell if it's even there and it doesn't do anything, but it basically cures all diseases.

Me: I'd like to purchase it from a trusted vendor such as a gas station or vape store.
posted by mister-o at 5:29 AM on May 16 [38 favorites]


The THC version isn’t legal here but, after reading available peer reviewed research, I started taking the oil version twice a day. It helps calm my generalized anxiety, ADD, and actually calms my mind so I can sleep through a night without any side effects I can document. I have since recommended it to friends and peers who experience a variety of nerve issues and they swear by it now. I would love to try some with more THC but that tends to exacerbate my anxiety.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:39 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Yeah gibberish and woo. If CBD did half of what people claim for it ....

I swear to god legal weed culture is making me want to quit after 40+ years. I preferred the company of criminals to the company of new age woo peddlers.

#TEAMTHC
posted by spitbull at 5:47 AM on May 16 [6 favorites]


I can get CBD chocolates now. I took one for mild-to-moderate hip pain. Its chief effects were a spaciness and a sudden interest in the work of Tangerine Dream. My hip pain didn’t reduce or disappear, but I lost interest in it. That was interesting.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:53 AM on May 16 [6 favorites]


Having dealt with short-term chronic pain (going on the 4th month of unabated sciatica, that is sure fun as all get-out) I read the article with interest. In my relatively brief bout of issues, life has become pretty miserable - on a good day I can sleep in an actual bed instead of crumpled up on a couch, or maybe walk 500 yards before the pain kicks in - I can’t imagine what it’s like to deal with this kind of pain long-term. I’m all for trying something like CBD, it can’t be worse for me than the loads of ibuprofen or naproxen or what is it I’m on, like the 4th round of prednisone now?

But I’m not in a state where it’s legal, and I’m a Federal employee, so there’s no chance of it happening soon.

It’s completely idiotic that cannabis is illegal in the first place. Especially when something as harmful to health as tobacco (or alcohol, for that matter) is legal. The shameful history of criminalization along racial lines is long overdue for reversal. The hype and woo I can do without, but we need a more rational and sane approach to this.

(Personally, I would like to see the whole naturopathy/homeopathy/supplement industry die in a fire; I’m a scientist, we shouldn’t allow people to sell shit that doesn’t work and have any kind of vague handwavey claims on the label. No actual peer-reviewed phase II double-blinded clinical trial, no legal ability to make any claim whatsoever.)
posted by caution live frogs at 5:58 AM on May 16 [7 favorites]


I used to live in Asheville, North Carolina. All my family is still there. I've gone back a few times in the 6 years since I moved away, and it's gotten more and more shitty. The playground of wealthy white people, independent stores being razed for Another Goddamn Brewpub, and the anti-science / anti-intellectual streak that has always been there and is often a part of your average white / liberal / granola town has increased dramatically.

I went back in October for 48 hours to surprise my sister for her 30th. The little tea shop that I used to LOVE going to to sit and have a nice cup of tea and read a book was offering CBD tea. The place was PACKED to the gills with white dudes wearing drug rugs loudly yammering on about the last festival they went to while drinking the stuff. There was CBD ice cream, CBD beers, CBD coffee...I just. Bleh. I look forward to pot being legal nationwide, and I REALLY look forward to things settling down a bit and pot / CBD / whatever being just a normal part of life.

It feels like the craft beer culture has quieted down a touch in the last couple years, so I have hope this can happen.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:11 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


I know nothing about the effects in humans, but my wife succumbed to the hype and tried it on her dog, which is ... excitable, and scared of storms. It made a small but noticeable change, but not one she felt was worth continuing the fussy dosing protocol. I was kind of amused to hear about the recommendation from her vet. She said she couldn’t recommend CBD, “but my techs went to a seminar and they can tell you all about it.”

At least people are capable of evaluating their own state when they use something. Pets are as bad as infants from the guessing-what-the-hell-is-happening direction.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:27 AM on May 16


It's funny how much the comments on CBD articles resemble the comments on essential oils or homeopathy. The expected (and right) call for proof, then twenty "IT CURED MY ACHES AND MY DEPRESSION AND MY BUNION AND MY BROKEN OVEN HOW DARE YOU QUESTION IT" comments following.

Thing is, even if there were any actual proof it did anything at all (hint: there is none), there is no way to purchase a reliable dose of it. It's completely unregulated. It's in the same market segment as gas station boner pills. There's no telling what is actually in any oil you buy. You may find one that does help your bum shoulder only to find out it was just vegetable glycerin with tylenol knockoff in it.
posted by FakeFreyja at 6:44 AM on May 16 [7 favorites]


MAPS is doing real research on this. Results coming out next month.

But we do have some other whitepapers demonstrating that there is something going on with CBD. When paired with THC, it enhances the pain killing properties of THC, as well as diminishes the mechanism causing paranoia or other anxieties when THC is taken alone. I agree research is thin, but that’s changing.

THC weed is fun like drinking is fun. I'm skeptical of anyone who's smoking 30% THC flower "for medicinal purposes."

I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years go, and while it's certainly not a wonder-drug, it's better than most of the other pharmacuticals I've tried to combat my symptoms. With cannabis containing higher ratios of CBD, I personally have found help with symptoms of PTSD where few other things have (and I have tried all but one SSRI, All the SNRIs, all the TCA's, several antihypertensive drugs, mood stabilizers, benzos, MAOI's....the list of medications for PTSD symptom control I have taken, is almost complete for what's legal an approved in the US- where's my merit badge?). CBD containing strains give this PTSD'd body a sense of rooted-ness, and give some serious relief from hyper-vigilance that no other med has really been able to do (except high dose benzos, and at those levels you have serious impairment and possible side effects to contend with). And thanks to the THC, you get a brief vacation from any depressive symptoms you're having. All in all, with a side effect profile consisting of possible weight gain from being super hungry (which so many other meds have as a side effect as well!!) it’s pretty reliable and low risk compared to heavier meds I’ve take.

Well, High ratio CBD strains have a sleepy-hangover much akin to hydroxizine, trazodone or other medications taken for sleep...but it doesn't have much other than that. Still. Not worse (and in some cases better) than traditional pharmaceuticals.

As a medical cure-all, I disagree with the notion. But it does have pain killing properties, we just don’t know by how much compared to NSAIDS and the like. And I really think that it should be regulated a little more than it is. I don't think it should be an additive in all sorts of things from tea, to coffee, to cookies to water. Treating it like a heath supplement bothers me, but I’m grateful that it’s available in my jurisdiction in whatever format.

Its quite regulated in Oregon, but I can’t speak for other areas where prohibition is still in effect. Testing requirements are pretty good, and finding products of all stripes that are consistent and quality isn’t hard if you do an even cursory search.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:57 AM on May 16 [15 favorites]


My first try with CBD tincture (trying it to treat anxiety) nearly gave me the giggles. I just felt totally lighthearted and unburdened for the rest of the day. It had been a long time since I felt that good. Made me wonder if there was more than the guaranteed minimum of THC in it (I've never had weed).

I've been mostly taking it since. That initial euphoria didn't continue, and it's hard for me to quantify what or how much it's doing -- I still have good and bad days with anxiety. But when I run out and don't take it for a few days, I notice more tension knots and pains showing up that don't otherwise. It doesn't stop or even really mitigate all the other various pains of being middle-aged and overweight and out of shape and alive, though.

So I think it does something useful for me. I would really love to see some real studies though.
posted by Foosnark at 7:03 AM on May 16


I decided to try CBD for insomnia, I've been relying on benadryl for too long.

So, after searching around I settled on one that claimed to be formulated especially for sleep. Yeah, whatever. Tried it on a Friday night since I could sleep in the next day. Nah, didn't work. Tried it again on Saturday, upped the dosage a little. Maybe it worked, I was pretty exhausted. Woke up the next day with endlessly running nose, frequent sneezing and a sore throat. Thought it was a cold. Spent the morning in bed reading. It finally occurred to me that it was hay/weed fever so I took an otc allergy pill and was fine within an hour.
posted by mareli at 7:10 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


“The brain is about a symphony,” she says. And CBD, she suspects, can “bring the entire symphony into harmony.”"

Does CBD still work if your brain is more boy band than symphony? Asking for a friend.
posted by srboisvert at 7:10 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


Does CBD still work if your brain is more boy band than symphony? Asking for a friend.

Only if you get the right stuff.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:15 AM on May 16 [17 favorites]


I preferred the company of criminals to the company of new age woo peddlers.

They feel like interlopers. Bandwagon jumpers. The people who just discovered your favourite band, which you've loved for years, and they act like the super-fan telling you why they're so great. Is goop onto this yet? Is Gwyneth going to descend from on high to enlighten me?

I can roll my eyes and wonder how they just figured this out. I guess this is better than the demonization.

btw, you are invited to my house spitbull. anytime.
posted by adept256 at 7:18 AM on May 16


Clicking through CBD ads brings up pages that just scream flashy scammer. How does the slightly interested identify a quality source of the oil or tincture? (smoke is not an option). And how does one estimate dosage? (the 1 part thc to 16 cbd above seems to make sense but really don't want to come out baked all day)
posted by sammyo at 7:20 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Anecdata: I am a nervous flier and use CBD to stay calm. Interestingly when we hit turbulence my heart rate still goes up, so the sympathetic nervous system is still engaging fight or flight, but I don't experience fear or panic.
posted by MillMan at 7:36 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


there is no way doing CBD makes you feel like you've had a full body massage

But maybe the real massage is the double layer tacos we eat along the way.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:45 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


Most of the interest in CBD seems to be for relaxation/pain mitigation, not to get "high."

In post-cancer pain management, one MD recommended I try "marijuana" and gave me an RX (in a state that required it to purchase). I knew I did not want to get "high" so I started with just CBD. It didn't do much for me. YMMV, here's what I found:

--Go to a licensed store for RX marijuana or "recreational" depending on your state (avoid gas station and vape store type places). Still, there are so many products in these stores it is difficult to navigate. I'd suggest avoiding anything you "smoke" (the big sellers in all stores). They all have ($) buds in glass jars with incredible names.

--Try to find a THC/CBD tincture, edible, oil, patch, whatever delivery system you prefer in a 1/4 THC/CBD ratio. Start from there (CBD seems to have a synergistic relationship with THC--you just need a little to enhance/activate the efficacy of CBD).

--Increase the CBD ratio (stick with 1 THC) until you acquire the effect you desire.

Everyone is different, YMMV, and it can take some experimentation to find what works for you...or if it does at all.

Fortunately, in my state (Oregon), certified laboratory testing and labeling is required and that makes it much easier to zero in on what works for you. "Bud Tenders" are not as educated as a Pharmacist so I wouldn't rely on their information. Do your research and investigation yourself.

Good luck and good night.
posted by CrowGoat at 7:48 AM on May 16 [7 favorites]


I tried CBD for mild anxiety and serious arthritis pain and inflammation, and found that it did absolutely nothing for me. To the extent that I just mentally categorized it under "placebo/scam." I know MeFi isn't really the place for this, but I have the same questions as sammyo — I'd love information from someone for whom it worked about finding a reputable source and starting dosage. I'm certainly willing to try it again; honestly I'll try anything.
posted by penduluum at 7:50 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I took some CBD while at a casino and grumpybearbride won big.

IT WILL MAKE YOU RICH
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:11 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]


I have a lot of empathy for the desperation to find cures for life-threatening disorders that the article describes, but then there's this:
One obvious solution to the uncertainties around legality, quality and safety of CBD products would be to force all CBD into the F.D.A. drug-approval pipeline, making it a prescription drug only. Somewhat surprisingly, Catherine Jacobson does not want that to happen. Her thinking on this issue has evolved, she told me. Early on, she thought all medical cannabis products should go through the F.D.A.’s approval process. But she realized that her primary concern, quality, could be assured without this expensive, time-consuming undertaking.
Quality is not efficacy, and I seriously doubt that I'll be able to convince doctors who already wave me off that, no worries, I can get *quality* CBD. It is frustrating to feel like there may be something that could help my particular condition, despite how blessed I am that allopathic medication has been working to control my seizures - the thing is, I've got no guarantees, and I've had a tiny glimpse into the hellscapes described by this article over the past several weeks, so I'm frustrated to not see a stronger call for more scientific testing and quality assurance NOW.
What about the uncertainties over whether CBD works for a given illness? Jacobson didn’t necessarily see the lack of evidence of effectiveness as a problem. When it comes to diseases like intractable epilepsy, she said, doctors often do their own experimenting.
It's true, there is a lot of experimentation on patients, and it's something I'm often told in the 'we'll try this and see if it works' kind of way, but it seems obvious that we can do better than that with CBD, particularly for things like seizure disorders.
Kristen Park, an epileptologist at Children’s Hospital in Colorado, told me that after Gupta’s CNN story aired, patients from around the country seeking medical cannabis inundated the hospital. She had no data at that point on its efficacy and did not recommend it. The Epidiolex trials have provided some evidence of effectiveness, Park told me, but she still frets over the phenomenon. Sometimes parents of patients refuse established epilepsy treatments in favor of cannabis products, she says, because these are perceived as somehow natural and thus superior to standard medicines. Other parents insist cannabis is helping their children when, in her view, it clearly isn’t — and they refuse to stop using it when they should move on to other treatments. “Because of all the hype, people somehow think this is a cure-all and a treatment that will fix everything,” she told me. What’s lost on many, she says, is that even if CBD helps, it’s still just another drug, and no drug works for everyone all the time.
That being said, my concerns are distinct after baseline quality can be established for people who can try to use it for other conditions, like pain management, and anxiety etc, although my preference would still be for it to be used under the care of a doctor, because 'it's still just another drug.' I hope one day that this medicine will be able to step out of the shadows and be available to everyone that needs it and can benefit from it, in a safe and effective manner.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:34 AM on May 16 [4 favorites]


I tried it briefly but like a couple of other posters I had an almost immediate hayfever response to it, whether I took it sublingually or applied it topically. I’m glad it’s available and working for other people, however.
posted by annathea at 8:35 AM on May 16


I was writing a comment about how hemp seed oil has been in soaps and lotions for years, but I googled and it turns out that hemp seed oil has no CBD in it whatsoever. So if you are like me and never got anything out of hemp seed oil lotion other than soft skin, that's why.
posted by domo at 8:57 AM on May 16


N=1 BUT
Having tried various benzos to help with anxiety and either 1.) feeling weird and high on lowest possible dose or 2.) awful boomerangs with full on suicidal ideation, I just recently came to the CBD tribe and...guys?

It's amazing.

My chest doesn't feel tight. My shoulders stay down in their own zipcode. I don't feel dull or dumb or high. I feel like me, able to take on my day calmly and roll with whatever shit sandwich is being served (yesterday was a two-fer!) And that's 20 tiny drops of CBD oil on my morning toast (I titrated up this week because l o r d y.) A bottle of oil costs ~$50 and lasts 30 days at that dose; I'm trying two new brands this weekend at different strengths so that cost might even drop at a comparable dosage.
posted by princessmonster at 8:58 AM on May 16 [7 favorites]


I dunno if anyone is saying anything about “curing” disease. Most people know say it HELPS symptoms of underlying diseases. There is scientific research on CBD. Maybe not large, randomized clinical trials yet, but it exists in the medical literature. The effects on conditions such as anxiety, nerve pain, autism, chronic pain, and nerve disorders is not at all on the level of natural oils woo. Go read it. I did. Obviously these studies suggest larger clinical trials but that doesn’t dismiss their findings as outright hooey.
posted by Young Kullervo at 9:35 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


Hell I’ve linked to them before but “no clinical trials” seems to be the new battle cry.
posted by Young Kullervo at 9:38 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


My anecdata is somewhat comparable to what the story outlines. CBD is kind of a low-level balancer for the brain/body system. It works in a subtle manner compared to the sledge hammer effects of pharmaceuticals. It doesn't make you drowsy, high or altered. Like micro-dosing, you can get a flashes of a altered state but it's momentary. Something is going on but you can't really point to anything profound happening.
My take - I feel more relaxed and productive overall, I feel less prone to my amygdala grabbing the wheel and pushing everything into fight/flight mode. I feel generally happier and have less deep depressive moments. I've found a provider in my state whose products I trust to be represented accurately. Could this all be placebo effect? Maybe so. I'm taking it daily and feel it provides a measurable benefit greater than any supplement I've taken to date.
posted by diode at 9:41 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I've been dealing with plantar fasciitis for several months now. I've tried physical therapy, cortisone shots, 30 minutes of stretching every day along with icing, and dry needling. So far nothing has worked. After reading this here I went out and got a tube of CBD cream. After trying pretty much everything else, I figure this is worth a shot.
posted by slogger at 10:14 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


I have a friend whose child takes Epidiolex (the CBD-based drug approved to treat two rare forms of epilepsy). It was an interesting process to watch second-hand; when the very early research became available, medical marijuana wasn't available in our state. She and other parents of children with her child's rare form of epilepsy (rare enough that there's only a handful of doctors nationwide who know a lot about it and everyone in the community ends up knowing each other) were passionate advocates for legalizing marijuana in the statehouse, and it was super-interesting to watch the public debate shift as anti-pot advocates would be all "somebody think of the children!" and then all these moms are getting up and going "YES GIVE US POT FOR OUR SUFFERING CHILDREN." She testified before a bunch of state and federal government bodies, and her child was I believe in the second phase of human trials for Epidiolex.

Anyway, they've been using it for a while now, and it's made a big difference in her child's quality of life. This form of epilepsy is progressive; her child began losing ground against peers at 6 months of age, and will never walk or talk and eventually (due to the seizures) will lose the ability to swallow and so forth, and not long after that, will die. The CBD oil seems to have slowed the progression, but much more importantly it's dramatically reduced the frequency and duration of the seizures, each of which causes brain damage. The reduction in seizures enables them to live a much more normal family life and take their child out into the community and have their child attending their siblings' events and so on, and their ill child spends a lot less time crying in pain and fright because the seizures are painful and frightening and as the child has a mental age of ~6 months, there is little that can be done to soothe or calm.

There are some side effects, but all of the drugs available have side effects, many of them very severe side effects. Their experience of Epidiolex side effects has been pretty minimal, and the Epidiolex works MILES better than any other seizure-control medication they've tried. (They are fortunate to be in the group of patients for whom it works extremely well.)

Anyway. Having watched all of this second-hand, and learned a lot about it from my friend as she did her advocacy work, I'm definitely curious to see further research into CBD for other conditions, and I fully expect (based on the research she shared with us as all of this was ongoing, and based on the change in her child) to see it does have fairly robust effects for some conditions.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:46 AM on May 16 [11 favorites]


"Excellent for menstrual cramp pain as well"

This is actually well-understood -- your uterus is absolutely lousy with cannibinoid receptors, and in labor your body floods itself with endocannibinoids that are thought to make it possible to tolerate the pain of labor and birth (and also contribute to our inability to remember intense pain accurately, thus ensuring people are willing to go through labor twice, thanks endocannibinoid system, which also makes pot enjoyable!).

Anyway cannibinoids, including smoking pot, have long been known to be particularly good for uterine pain, including menstrual cramps or pain caused by fibroids, because you are targeting the fuck out of the uterus by delivering it cannibinoids for pain or cramping. That is definitely one of the uses we'd expect cannibinoids to be uniquely great for because of the massive quantities of cannibinoid receptors on the uterus that assist with pregnancy, labor, and birth. (Imagine the glorious future when 13-year-olds go to the school nurse for uterine cramps and instead of tylenol can get a pill with a low dose of cannibinoids!)

This is also why it will be particularly important for studies on CBD oil and medical marijuana more generally to include adequate numbers of people with uteruses instead of focusing on people without (i.e., mostly men) as so many drug studies do. We would expect cannibinoids to affect people with uteri differently than those without; it may be effective for conditions in uterus-havers than it's not effective for in those without, or the dosing may be radically different, or the side effect profile may vary, due to the presence or absence of the uterus.

(I should add, I have never tried pot, I just learned a whole lot about it from my friend's turn as an advocate for her child with the rare form of epilepsy, and now I'm kind-of invested.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:01 AM on May 16 [19 favorites]


As someone with chronic pain and surrounded by disabled/chronically ill people, I find the attitude here about CBD honestly distressing.

I am FIRM believer in science. I won't trust stuff on just a whim without evidence.

For example, people comparing it to essential oils. Well, I agree, for the most part they're garbage and advertised in a false and harmful way. However there is something to be said about placebo effect as well as the fact that some extracts have applications. Mostly it's topical like for rashes or acne or stomach problems in the case of peppermint oil or just general relaxation/meditation from calming smells.

For example I have moderate to severe IBS. My doctor recommended peppermint... Just peppermint. He actually said, "If you can tolerate it chew a bunch of regular Altoids." (As an alternative to IBGuard, an expensive concentrated oil.) I was like.. no way. Then I did some research. For example:
Based on the combined data, the researchers estimated that one in 2.5 patients would get significant relief of symptoms if treated with peppermint oil, compared to one in five patients taking antispasmodics and one in 11 patients taking fiber.
And when I started taking a peppermint leaf capsule before eating, my symptoms improved. I didn't even believe it myself at first. So why are more GI doctors not at least recommending peppermint in addition to other treatment if it doesn't do enough? (Or for that matter as the article states, scopolamine which is derived from a tree.)

I don't think this article is saying it's a cure all. What the article is saying is that it may have more applications beyond seizures. That it may affect receptors that are connected to a variety of conditions. That it DOES have some research and needs more.

If you've never had chronic pain you can't fully understand the desperation. As someone shared recently it's like someone screaming in your ear 24/7. If someone said, "Hey, here's a plant that has minimal side effects. There's not a lot of research but it may help." Maybe another 20 of your friends said the same thing. Don't you think you would be interested? Wouldn't you want MORE research?

I have a friend with mast cell activation syndrome. A truly devilish condition where your body attacks itself in response to anything it sees as allergy. Even physical activity. Marijuana is the only thing she says consistently helps her flares. She doesn't react to it like she does the medication meant to treat the condition. I believe her. Another with the same condition relies on pure resins for her condition. I believe her. I have masses of friends who rely on marijuana or CBD. I do believe them. In some way it is helping.

At some point, you have to at least consider that if a mass of actually truely ill and in pain people are saying, "Yes. I see a difference here." That there may be something to it. At some point that IS evidence and research when the same people with similar ailments are saying the same thing. (Usually chronic pain, anxiety/depression, and stomach conditions. And if you aren't aware those systems are very interconnected. That's why what was supposed to be a depression medication is often prescribed for stomach conditions.)

Afterall, most people that I know wouldn't continue to spend money on something they thought was making them worse. Of course that means it could be neutral. But that's why we need research. That's why people need legal access if it doesn't do much harm.

And this doesn't even touch on the racist, disgusting criminalization of marijuana and CBD to begin with. It's astonishing when you consider what other substances are legal, and often what is prescribed by doctors.

So please, before coming at CBD and writing it off as just garbage, consider the environment we are in. People are dying without access to healthcare. They can't afford medicaiton. They are desperate. They aren't "real" prescribed treatments that WORK for these conditions. Medications are formulated from plants already! Maybe ENCOURAGE that exploration rather than outright dismissing that it has any application. Consider that the next time you're thankful to an opioid after a surgery or injury.
posted by Crystalinne at 11:05 AM on May 16 [17 favorites]


And I would like to mention, I have not tried weed. I don't think I would like the high at all. But I am interested in CBD and doing more research into it. I've had it recommended by more people than I can count that also take it and/or marijuana.
posted by Crystalinne at 11:09 AM on May 16


I can't handle THC and it never appealed to me anyway. But topical CBD does help the tendonitis in my elbows and the sublingual oil appears to have some effect on my anxiety. But I can't say for sure this isn't the placebo effect in action. I'd love to see more research done on it because holy crap it's expensive and I'd like to know if I'm wasting my money or not.
posted by tommasz at 11:16 AM on May 16


I know anecdotes are no substitute for a real scientific study, but I just wanted to add my own positive CBD story to the list. It helps with my anxiety and insomnia as well as headaches and tendonitis. I wish there was some way to get a precise dose of a consistent, quality product. Other than sketchy looking websites, my local options were a sketchy head shop, a sketchy vape shop, and some place with "shaman" in the name.
posted by bradf at 11:32 AM on May 16


It's funny how much the comments on CBD articles resemble the comments on essential oils or homeopathy. The expected (and right) call for proof, then twenty "IT CURED MY ACHES AND MY DEPRESSION AND MY BUNION AND MY BROKEN OVEN HOW DARE YOU QUESTION IT" comments following.

Yeah, no one here has said anything like this. Are you high?

Thing is, even if there were any actual proof it did anything at all (hint: there is none), there is no way to purchase a reliable dose of it.

Neither of these statements is true. 1.) RTFA; or you know, some published studies 2.) In California only licensed marijuana retailers may sell CBD oil, CBD oil from hemp is not legal to sell from dispensaries. That means CBD products purchased at dispensaries are subject to the same third party testing regulations and labeling as other cannabis products. Sure, if you buy CBD at vape shops or gas stations or health food stores it could be anything. Don't do that.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:40 AM on May 16 [11 favorites]


there is no way to purchase a reliable dose of it.

Actually, mr hippybear had a medical card while living in LA and the place he went do had these little, like, restaurant jelly packages of, well, CBD-laced jello. The package had a total amount of the active ingredient listed on the outside, and you took, like, a steak knife and you subdivided the jello in the tray into the subdivision of the total amount you wanted per square. It seemed like a fairly precise way to titrate dosage. Not completely accurate, but to within operational ballpark limits for what you're seeking as treatment.
posted by hippybear at 11:45 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


What some people are insinuating here, that ill people will grasp at any last straw at a miracle cure and believe in it/buy into any new (new-agey) hype is, in my experience, not really fair.

If you actually go deep into forums where people discuss difficult to treat/cure illnesses, such as depression, anxiety or atopic dermatitis, you would quickly realise something quite depressing, namely that someone may suggest some obscure new treatment that helped them but–far from being an echo chamber–most others will regretfully inform everyone that it did not, in fact, help them.
posted by 3zra at 11:57 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


I read Earl Mindel's CBD book before I made a purchase of a hemp-derived CBD oil product. It cleared up a lot of the confusion I had on the subject. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to understand the marketplace of CBD products and form a better judgement on what and where to buy.
posted by diode at 12:56 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I’ve been mail-ordering my CBD long before it (finally) became legal in Indiana. I feel it does good things for me, especially taking the edge off my anxiety, which, in turn, helps me better deal with the depression. I’m also very much a lover of THC.

It’s not an either/or thing. It’s well known that CBD needs some THC content to be its most effective. It’s called the entourage effect. You can certainly get CBD isolate that has zero THC, but my experience has been that it doesn’t quite work as well as a full-spectrum ticture.

Once CBD was made legal here, the market was flooded with a lot of overpriced crap. It was actually hard to find just hemp-oil-based CBD that wasn’t adulterated with various candy flavorings and various botanicals. Many of them resembled thin cake icing. Ugh. I still mail-order my tictures.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:03 PM on May 16


Those of you who have experience with CBD - how are you using it? Ingesting it? Rubbing on extracts in oil? How do you get a sense of the dosage? (I've only ever tried a single gummi and have no opinions one way or the other.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:17 PM on May 16


CBD has been a really pleasant discovery of living in Oregon. I was a high school stoner - I mean I did bong hits every day before school and all day after that, for years (and still mostly got really good grades except for geometry; I hate you geometry) but then, in my 20s as my anxiety worsened, I stopped being able to smoke. 30 years later and I still can't smoke weed; it almost always sends me immediately into full panic, so I stopped trying. Thus I gave up on ever trying CBD and my bullshit detector was also triggered by the IT CURED MY AUNTIE OF CANCER AND BOILS AND THE PLAGUE!!1! people. I too used to live in Asheville.

But then I moved here and discovered the 1:1 THC / CBD edibles , or, even better for me, the .5 / 1 . It has not cured me of anything. It doesn't feel like a full body massage. I still have anxiety. But for the first time in years, actually since entering perimenopause, I can sleep through the whole night. It's expensive so I don't do it every night but oh the difference it has made.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:28 PM on May 16 [5 favorites]


CBD has saved my life. It's a shame that there is so much misinformation about it.

Here's what I've learned:
  • there are two types of CBD, one comes from the hemp plant and one comes from the cannabis plant
    • this means that the first has trace THC (you can buy it in health food stores) and the second has more but not a lot, usually (and you have to buy it in a dispensary)
    • scientists currently believe that including a small amount of THC in CBD formulations allows your brain to fully open all of its cannabinoid receptors so that the CBD is better 'absorbed' into the brain--kind of like how black pepper helps amplify the effects of turmeric
    • this also means that no matter how much "weed" aka THC you've imbibed over your life that doesn't mean you know what CBD feels like in the body


  • even within cannabis-derived CBD there are differences in formulation depending on the prevalance of different terpenes, which is why people can experience different effects from different types of CBD and why once you find a pain formulation that works best for you you'll drive almost anywhere to get it

  • people who do not have chronic pain likely don't understand just how valuable CBD is. I was recently on a trip and didn't want to fly with CBD, even though it's legal where I live and legal where I was going. Instead I packed Aleve, turmeric, painkillers, and prescription muscle-relaxers. Sure enough, I have a flare while on my trip. After two days of literal sleepless nights because the pain was so intense, I finally dragged myself to a head shop and bought the strongest concentration of CBD they had. The pain that no amount of pharmacueticals could touch was GONE thanks to a super high concentration of CBD, which in my body actually does feel like all my nerves just got a soothing massage.

I am SO GRATEFUL that CBD is legal where I live, that it's being more accepted in mainstream society, and that it is being used to treat pain, anxiety, depression, and all the other diseases whose symptoms it can relieve. In the absence of doctors who give a shit about women's chronic pain and equitable health care for all our country's populations regardless of their socioeconomics or insured status, I'll take CBD anytime, anyplace.

(on preview: Definitely visit your local dispensary, the ones near me are really helpful and knowledgeable. The CBD you can buy in health food stores is useless for pain because it doesn't have the small amount of THC. I take one 5 mg CBD mint a few times a week if I sense a flare coming and when my pain is bad I either double up on my mint dosage or take a high-power 25 mg gummy. My advice would be to start with 5 mg and then take another 5 after an hour and a half to see how you react to that. I found mints and gummies easiest to dose out and easier on my stomach than tinctures. It is really important to note though that you don't actually feel anything, you're not actually getting high-- I just feel more at ease in my own body. Like I have to eat 25 mg before I can feel any effects and then it's like "holy shit, my body feels so relaxed and as a result I am in a very good mood--it doesn't feel like "getting high". I have been taking CBD for over a year and do not feel addicted in any way, just so very grateful that it exists and that it works in my body.)
posted by stellaluna at 1:32 PM on May 16 [13 favorites]


Huh, in London CBD is being touted in funny supplement jars in health food stores.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:32 PM on May 16


In California only licensed marijuana retailers may sell CBD oil, CBD oil from hemp is not legal to sell from dispensaries.

That is wacky tabbacky.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:34 PM on May 16


Those of you who have experience with CBD - how are you using it? Ingesting it? Rubbing on extracts in oil? How do you get a sense of the dosage? (I've only ever tried a single gummi and have no opinions one way or the other.)

I've been learning about it through my wife, who takes it for her IBS. She'll use different delivery methods depending on what balance of fast relief vs long lasting relief she's trying to get at the moment. Vaping is fastest by quite a bit, but she finds the process a bit unpleasant. She also has a tincture and some hard candies, which I believe are pretty similar in delivery profile, but the tincture she'll use at home whereas the candy is convenient to carry around in her purse for use as needed.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:41 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


As an adult for some reason THC gives me the weirds and the paranoid jim-jams and all-over body ache and I sure do not enjoy it. Recently I tried a full-spectrum CBD gelcap a couple of times and learned that I must be super sensitive to THC because it was not pleasant-- not as paranoid, but the weirds and pretty much not something I want to do. Might try the isolate or broad spectrum.

There really really needs in general to be more research on weed not only to find more out about its benefits, but also, just, like fuller data, because I think there are more people that react to THC like I do than many people who enjoy a mellow stony high realize, and the "THERE IS NO THC IN CBD OIL ok maybe a little in the full spectrum YOU CAN NOT GET HIGH" ... information? marketing? can't tell the difference here, but it is pretty dominant--I had to really go digging to find information to validate and clarify what I was experiencing.

Wanted to add an in-the-middle perspective.
posted by Capybara at 3:13 PM on May 16


Years ago it was THC cures all. Now it's CBD cures all. In a few more years they'll find a way to isolate some other part of weed and that will be the cures all.

If THC/WEED/CBD was so awesome at curing it all, your doctor would be writing scripts for it at $800 a bottle.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:27 PM on May 16


If THC/WEED/CBD was so awesome at curing it all, your doctor would be writing scripts for it at $800 a bottle.
Your doctor does.
posted by neroli at 8:55 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


I would like to remind people that the article, commenters here in favor of CBD, and most people in favor of it do NOT claim that it "cures" all or even cures anything. It may TREAT ailments and reduce symptoms. And beyond the studies that are being done specifically on epilepsy and seizures, it may affect more systems than previously thought, such as chronic pain, migraines, anxiety, stomach issues. Many of which have similar channels in the body that coordinate. My IBS medicaiton does not CURE my IBS. There is no cure for IBS. It treats the symptoms to reduce flares.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:50 PM on May 16 [9 favorites]


As someone who is adjacent to the woo economy I really feel like CBD has been different (at least until recently).

Unlike various products which mostly promise unspecified long term health benefits, CBD users generally use it for a specific purpose and report immediate success or failure. For example compare the CBD craze to the current kombucha craze or the old anti-oxidant one.

Also the people who report good results are not the usual suspects. Most of the good reports I see come from outside the usual community. Who have already been pushing the medicinal (and recreational) benefits of marijuana for a long long time.

Unfortunately the recent popularity along with the legal changes has the profit seekers circling. Since it is entirely unregulated in most places there is a glut of low quality, untested products flooding the market. I agree with those who say more regulation would help, but at the very least we need more testing, more studies, more research and all of that.
posted by iamnotangry at 9:57 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


I took some a few hours ago hoping to sleep. There's no effect I can detect.
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:19 PM on May 16


I would like to remind people that the article, commenters here in favor of CBD, and most people in favor of it do NOT claim that it "cures" all or even cures anything.

Indeed, but I think sometimes the symptoms of the various conditions described in the article can be so bad that if CBD is effective in treating those symptoms, it will feel like a "cure." For example, if CBD could consistently reduce inflammation and pain, and allow someone to live more independently, then they may feel 'cured,' and so grateful for the relief that they'll refer to it as a 'cure.'

But I definitely appreciate the attention to precision in the language, even though I misused it in my comment above. It is correct that CBD cures nothing, but it does appear to potentially offer an opportunity for relief from a variety of disabling conditions, and it is a shame that access is currently so limited and confused by the current state of medical testing, quality assurance, and legal status described in the article.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:50 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]


CBD is great for certain things, but wow is it great for scammers.
posted by odinsdream at 7:58 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]




Just last night, trying to score weed in Switzerland, I walk into what looks like a head shop and HOLY SHIT there is weed for sale right here in the head shop!!! I buy some!!! "I did not know it was legal here even," says my local friend.

Then I look at the packaging. <18% CBD, <1% THC it says. WTF? It smells like weed, smokes like weed, and it even kind of trips the mental switch to put me at ease, but I am not high at all. Sucks. And yet because it gives a super mild little buzz I am compelled to keep smoking it, about 5g in the last 24 hours.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:22 AM on May 17


I wrote an article about CDB a few months back, and did a lot of research for it. I also got a lot of samples from various sources and tried them. At this point, I think that:

1. CBD works as advertised, with a few caveats.

2. It's primarily an anti-inflammatory agent, and the other good stuff it does flows from that. There are some excellent CBD creams that are almost miraculous in their analgesic properties.

3. It works better for some people than other people. I think one factor is previous exposure to THC and CBD. Those of you who have used marijuana in the past may know that for most people it takes a few times smoking it to actually get high. I think CDB is similar. I talked to one person who took CDB oil for arthritis regularly for a month before it started to work, but once it started to work, it worked great.

4. There's a lot of bad CDB products out there. I am particularly suspicious of "full spectrum" claims. A lot of that stuff is basically just industrial hemp juice. The stuff refined from cannabis plants works a lot better.

I was taking high doses of CDB oil to help me sleep, but I eventually soured on the oil because it gave me heartburn and made me feel sluggish and (even more) depressed. I was previously taking hydroxizine. Now I take one PureCana 25 mg gummy about an hour before bed, and my sleep is better than its been since I was a teenager.

I will say that I had kidney stones, and that CBD does diddly squat for that pain. But it's a good replacement for NSAIDs.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:46 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


So.... what's a good one? Can someone make a recommendation? A cream or a vape I would be interested in.
posted by xammerboy at 3:49 PM on May 17


Family Video, a midwestern video rental store like Blockbuster, is now also selling CBD products! I feel like somewhere nearby is The Fonz, a couple of waterskis, and a shark.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 6:59 PM on May 17


Coming back late to reiterate what a few others have said: if you're going to try it, try to get it from a dispensary in a state where THC has been legal for a hot minute, or from your doctor. I split time between California and Minnesota and I won't bother with the stuff I see in the checkout aisle at the coops in Minneapolis (and yes, it's nice that I have the option of dispensaries in CA).
posted by MillMan at 10:12 AM on May 18


So.... what's a good one? Can someone make a recommendation?

So, it’s not one of the kinds that has a bit of THC included, but Charlotte’s Web - the origins of which are detailed in the linked article - seems widely available, and is one of the kinds I use. I use the oil, sublingually, about once a day. (I started with the lowest strength variety, up to 2 droppers of it, now I use one dropper of the next highest strength - slightly more economical as the bottle should last twice as long, but at the place I buy it locally it’s not twice the price.)

I take it for anxiety, not pain. Not the serious, daily Xanax level of anxiety - It’s just that about a year ago after therapy helped me with a long, low-simmering depression, I began to understand what long, low-simmering anxiety is. Like, years and years of tiny things had slowly ratcheted up the tension on my system. CBD changed that for me. Day to day I’m no longer tense either physically or mentally, and that’s freed me up to other new things that have made an even bigger difference. Which I never would’ve done if the CBD hadn’t cleared my head up in the first place.

(To the folks saying things like “there’s no regulation! Nobody knows what’s in ANY of it!” I just have to say - are you suggesting that, for example, folks like the makers of Charlotte’s Web, who worked to create the stuff for their own ailing daughter, are lying fakers? I mean, I get the need to be skeptical and do some research into brands and sources, but I’m bothered by a tone of dismissing the entire existence of CBD as if absolutely none of the producers has any integrity. I think it’s quite clear there are companies who are working hard to make real, quality products with this stuff. I don’t think we should be discouraging folks from trying it at all, just advising them to try it wisely.)
posted by dnash at 4:45 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


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