Do you know what CBD is? Cannabidiol, duh. It’s like Midol but it comes from hemp, apparently. I mean, it really does come from hemp, I just don’t know if it lives up to all its magical promises of easing pain, reducing anxiety and curing insomnia. Here’s the problem — time is linear so you can’t use yourself as a control in experiments about yourself. So, in all the instances when I’ve had the opportunity to add CBD to my diet, I’ve had no idea how I would have felt had I not indulged, so I don’t know if it’s working.
CBD is showing up on the menu from chocolate bars to infused white cheddar popcorn, but for the most part, it is available around town as an add in for beverages. In my self-experiments, I’ve made sure to show up at the Aspen Saturday Market this summer with varying degrees of hangovers.
Along with my Louis Swiss soft pretzel addiction, I have also made it a habit to stop by Elevated Elixirs to get a creatively flavored locally brewed kombucha with an add-in of CBD tincture.
In a way, the fact that I don’t know if it’s “kicked in” supports CBD fanatics' spiel, that unlike marijuana’s THC, hemp’s CBD is non-hallucinogenic, so it does not get you high.
There’s no way to know how crummy I would feel if I hadn't taken the tincture, but it’s fair to say it didn’t make me feel any worse. It doesn’t affect the flavor of the Kombucha, either, and so far has been worth the $3 roll of the dice that it does work.
However, you don’t need to go to an artisan fair to get your CBD on. You can bring it home in the form of powdered packets that dissolve in water. I was offered this before a yoga class recently in the form of lemon infused ice water, and the class went great. Again, I don’t know how I would have felt had I not sipped the refreshing beverage ahead of time, and who doesn’t step out of a yoga class onto the street with a goofy smile for the beauty of Aspen all around them? But again, didn’t make the day worse, so…
Plus, there is research. In 2017, the World Health Organization published a report concluding that CBD was not harmful or addictive and cited promising studies for its use to treat epilepsy in kids. Less reliable research has been shown that the substance can help ease chronic pain, drug addiction and insomnia.
Other inaccurate research shows that it cures cancer, which is indicative of how new and unregulated CBD is. Yes, you can get it in everything from cupcakes to empanadas, but you don’t know what you are really getting, how much is in there or if there is actually CBD in your food at all because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is characteristically way behind on deciding what to do about our food and drugs.
In an announcement last month, the FDA said it is now studying the effects that frequent sustained consumption of CBD could have on the liver and how ingesting CBD interacts with all of the other CBD products that are hitting the market, such as skin creams. They are even looking into how CBD dog treats really affect Fido. The FDA is also tackling dosage, noting that many products tested do not have the level of CBD claimed, and in some cases, no trace of the substance at all.
So, for you chefs at home that want to powder your pancakes with a new, chill topping, go for it. For those of you who show up to Saturday mornings a little foggy, go for it.
Yes, you might not know or believe that it is working, but the anti-anxiety effects of CBD will make it so that you don’t really care, either.