Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a naturally occurring chemical compound called a cannabinoid found in cannabis. Unlike THC, there are no psychoactive effects from ingesting CBD, and the World Health Organization determined it “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” The sector of the burgeoning marijuana industry dedicated to CBD — often sold in the form of hemp extract oil — touts its myriad benefits for multiple maladies. However, the only FDA-approved CBD product is Epidiolex, which is used to treat a rare seizure disorder in children.
“The other CBD products currently being sold are not FDA approved and generally unregulated,” says Dr. Deepak D’Souza, staff psychiatrist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. “These products are highly variable in their CBD content and it is therefore difficult to draw conclusions about their purported beneficial effects.”
The WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence acknowledged “preliminary evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions” besides seizures. The committee also found “no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Is CBD oil legal in Connecticut? Yes, as long as it is derived from hemp.
What kinds are available? Edibles such as gummies, creams to apply to the skin, vape oils that can be smoked, and oral drops to be taken under the tongue.
How do I know I’m getting what it says on the label? For now, you don’t. CBD products are unregulated, and some recent tests have shown that amounts and ingredients are not always consistent with labeling.
New Haven-based InCann, a company name derived from “In Cannabis,” offers a CBD line sourced from organically grown Colorado hemp, and founder Sarah Paris says InCann only carries “products that are extracted with the full spectrum of naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoid, for maximum efficacy.” High-potency, vanilla-flavored tinctures and topical salves are among the most popular products.
Shirley Clark is the creator of Mago Green, a cannabinoid-infused massage cream. It is sold wholesale to chiropractors and spas including the Norwich Inn & Spa at Foxwoods. (“Mago” is a Korean deity whose name translates to “The Hemp Maiden.”) There are three products, all made with a full-spectrum oil and organic ingredients. The massage cream is said to have 150 milligrams of CBD, there’s a 75-mg non-greasy roll-on version, and a 1,000-mg pet oil which Clark says helps to reduce pain and inflammation and ease anxiety.
Jeff Wentzel of Niantic launched US HempCare in 2015, with growing primarily done at farms in Massachusetts and Maine. According to Wentzel, from seed to bottle, everything is tested by third-party labs at every phase for both contaminants and cannabinoids. His company features infused coconut oil (topicals), honey, capsules and terpy sublingual tinctures.