by Amber Myers, PharmD
Director of Clinical Development
Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a common product in homes over the last few years. More people are trying to see if the plant component can help alleviate common ailments and many are reporting positive results. If you haven’t tried CBD yet, it may be because you’ve seen it pop up in the grocery store, gas station, or worse and you’ve cringed at the idea of using something so taboo. Or you may think it’s not right for you. But I guarantee someone in your close circle has tried it.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp and its extracts (including CBD) from the controlled substances act, making CBD derived from agricultural hemp (not marijuana) federally legal. Hemp is the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC – the psychoactive component of marijuana. CBD containing even the maximum allowable amount of THC cannot get you high like marijuana. Interestingly, Americans used to grow hemp as one of their main crops. As states release the hold of growing hemp, you are going to see more of it grown across the country. The CBD industry is projected to hit $20 Billion by 2024, according to a report from Forbes. As we enter into a new year, and closer to that 2024 mark, here are some ways you’ll see CBD prominently in 2020:
Doctor Offices & Pharmacies
As a pharmacist, and knowing folks are trying to take CBD for wellness, I think it’s very important to have someone in the healthcare field working with patients and walking them through the safety of using CBD. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tell patients at the pharmacy that taking an herbal supplement can be just as dangerous as a pharmaceutical product if they’re not aware of what the plant does. Practitioners are all looking for reputable companies to source quality CBD, not just someone looking to make a buck. Companies that offer Certificates of Analysis with third party testing is the NUMBER ONE quality to look for when finding a CBD resource. As a patient, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist if they have access to the COA or if they can direct you to it.
Wood / Building Substitute
This may be one of my personal favorites: utilizing hemp as a wood substitute is going to be groundbreaking (get it). According to HempWood, their products are 20% stronger than oak, grown in the USA, and best of all, no deforestation. Plus, they already have third party companies interested in their hemp, which leads me to…
Patagonia has its Hemp Clothing line of shirts, shorts, and more. Currently, they have had to purchase their hemp fibers from China, but with the new 2018 Farm Bill opening up agricultural hemp in the US, they’re talking with farmers already about how to source domestic hemp- Hello, American jobs!
Government Funded Studies
This is a pretty big deal since this hasn’t been done before. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has granted $3 million towards 9 studies of CBD as an alternative for pain relief. Opioids have been the primary pharmaceutical for pain, and we are now facing an opioid crisis where patients are accidentally overdosing on opioids. Statewide agreements are in place for pharmacists to administer Narcan in the event of an overdose. Some of the NCCIH studies include evaluating CBD in chronic arthritis pain, the analgesic effects of the terpenes in hops, and learning about the rare cannabinoids found in hemp. There are over 113 cannabinoids known, but THC is the cannabinoid with the most extensive research. It’s time to learn about the rest of the plant.
A review in PubMed shows CBD has been studied quite a bit for anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties. More recent studies have focused on movement disorders, substance use disorders, PTSD and more. Of course, more research is needed before any specific claims can be made.
Hemp fiber is being recognized as an alternative to wood, and has shown to be even stronger. Why not utilize its fibers for rope as it was centuries ago? A recent search of patents shows elevator cables are of interest to inventors. Hemp has been reported to take less water than most crops to grow and weeds aren’t a problem due to how dense the plant grows. Hemp seems like a win-win, right?
CBD has been researched for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties on the skin, including against P acnes. This is a possible reason why CBD has popped up in so many cosmetic and skincare lines. A quick visit to Sephora’s Clean Skincare, and you’ll see that CBD is beginning to creep into many popular lines. Reviews of certain products indicate customers are reporting results of reduced acne breakouts.
These are just a few ways that CBD has infused itself into the general market. What ways have you seen CBD being used?