Thanks to the latest Farm Bill, cannabidiol is now federally legal. Better known by the acronym “CBD,” the compound is a derivative of the hemp plant, which is now classified as a crop to be managed by the Department of Agriculture. Previously, hemp and CBD were treated as controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Unsurprisingly, CBD’s legality has been a boon to the market. The Brightfield Group, an industry researcher, now expects the CBD market to top $22 billion by 2022 — making it the fastest growing sub-sector of the cannabis industry.
Although our business is healthy snacks, not cannabis, we’ve always been focused on wellness. When we surveyed our customers about the subject, we discovered that they wanted a second line of defense against stress. Our CBD fruit chews, which have been pre-launched with a waitlist, reflect that demand.
What to Know Before Trying CBD
It would be irresponsible of us, however, to sell CBD fruit chews without first providing our customers with the facts:
1. CBD won’t get you “high.”
The Farm Bill’s section 10113 stipulates that hemp, from which CBD is derived, cannot contain more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. In other words, hemp and its products cannot get you high.
Although it’s best to exercise caution any time you begin taking a new supplement, CBD consumers are consuming a botanical extract without side effects. They retain their mental faculties, typical reaction time, and critical thinking skills. In fact, it’s safe and legal for CBD consumers to go about their typical days after taking the supplement.
2. CBD is safe and well-tolerated by most people.
Unlike alcohol, nicotine, and many medications, CBD and other cannabinoids are non-toxic and have never been associated with a fatal overdose. In fact, according to a review published in the scientific journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, CBD has a better side-effect profile than most pharmaceuticals used to treat the conditions CBD can help with. Still, as with any supplement, consumers should talk to their doctor to make sure there aren’t any known drug interactions that they should be aware of.
3. CBD’s potential benefits are broad.
Although scientific research into CBD is ongoing, the compound seems to have benefits ranging from pain relief to acne reduction. A particularly promising use case is anxiety: In one study, 24 people with social anxiety took either a placebo or 600 mg of CBD. The CBD group showed significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort during their speech than the control group. CBD’s anxiety-reducing properties might also make it a heart-healthy supplement: A study that gave men stress tests found that taking a dose of CBD beforehand caused the men to exhibit a smaller increase in blood pressure than their peers. Other studies show CBD may one day even help treat substance abuse disorders and schizophrenia.
4. Not all CBD formulations are created equal.
In addition to dosage differences, CBD products differ by their source of cannabidiol. In its CBD chews, NatureBox uses broad-spectrum hemp extract, which contains additional non-psychoactive cannabinoids found naturally in the hemp plant. In addition, it contains trace vitamins and minerals, proteins, fatty acids, fiber, antioxidant terpenes, and more. Other CBD products contain CBD isolate, which is a white, crystalline powder that contains 99 percent CBD. Although some users claim to prefer the taste of CBD isolate, it contains almost none of the other cannabinoids that may be responsible for some of CBD’s reported benefits. Ingredient selection can be key to unlocking some of the potential benefits of CBD in what scientists call “the entourage effect.”
Although NatureBox’s CBD comes from the hemp plant, some CBD manufacturers start with marijuana instead. Federally speaking, marijuana-derived CBD remains illegal, though consumers in 10 states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington — can legally use it under state law. Scientifically speaking, the compounds are extremely similar. But legally speaking, hemp-derived CBD is the safest bet.
We know CBD is a new frontier in the supplement space, and we’re learning alongside with you. But we wouldn’t offer CBD snacks to our customers if we weren’t convinced they were legal, safe, and effective. If you’re not sure whether it’s right for you, reach out to [email protected] — we’re not medical professionals, but we’d be happy to explain how it’s helped our other customers.
FDA Disclaimer: Any statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No products we produce, manufacture, market, or distribute are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program or taking any supplements or botanical extracts.