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Why CBD is Suddenly All Over Your Newsfeed

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

If you think you can smoke CBD, you need this article...

For some people, CBD cures everything from depression to achy muscles. For others, it's a dangerously unknown substance with too little regulation governing how businesses can market it. For most of us though, CBD is just that thing you were pretty sure was weed until it got legalized, and now keeps getting plastered all over your Instagram. If that last group includes you, don't go anywhere because I spent way too long trawling through CBD sites to answer the question you want the answer to, but don't have the energy to look up: What's up with CBD?

The Science

First things first, CBD is NOT weed. You can think of the difference between CBD and weed like the difference between your specific college, and college in general. All weed has some CBD in it, but that's only one component. A chemical called THC in weed gets you high, not the CBD itself. If you're nerdy like me and want to look this up, THC and CBD are both phytocannabinoids, which both produce effects due to their interactions with our bodies'endocannabinoid system. If you are not as nerdy as me, just think of it like this: the giggly, stupid, stoner stuff people do while they're high is from THC, but that general calm tingliness you feel comes mainly from the CBD.

The Law

Oof. If I tried to go into detail here, this article would be twenty pages long and unreadable, so here's a brief overview. Basically, because CBD and THC both come from the same source (the cannabis plant), which is a controlled substance, selling either was a no-go for a while. More recently, the law has changed to allow CBD medicines to be sold, as long as the product does not contain any THC beyond a certain percentage. How does this translate to CBD lattes popping up on your newsfeed? That is the problem advocates have run into. The law allowed CBD medicines to be sold, but with a rash of businesses recently adding CBD to menu items due to consumer demand, while simultaneously touting its health benefits, some lawmakers have called for stricter regulations or bans.

The Benefits

Advertisers have promoted CBD as the answer for every physical and mental problem that exists, and probably a few that don't. That is some obvious BS, but there are some genuinely studied potential benefits of taking CBD like relief from inflammation, joint pain, insomnia, and possibly even some forms of anxiety and depression. Other advocates have pushed CBD as protective against cancer, heart, and brain diseases, but more research definitely needs to happen there before anything can be said for sure. As far as side effects of CBD, some people have reported changes in appetite or energy levels, but that's about it.

Personally, here's my bottom line. CBD appears at worst, value-neutral: some people are really into it, and there don't seem to be many adverse health affects, sooooo just let them have it. If you don't like CBD, maybe just don't take it? On the other hand, if CBD has solved all your health problems, why shouldn't you be able to legally use it? The TL;DR answer to what the big deal about CBD is this: absolutely nothing for most of us, and more of a headache than it should be for the rest. But to me anyway, if our lawmakers are going to give CBD advocates migraines, they ought to at least allow them to treat those migraines with an $18 CBD mochaccino.

Originally published by Spoon University.


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