February of 2017, a Hawaii government committee passed a bill to decriminalize industrial hemp, removed it from the state’s list of controlled substances and excludes growing, possession, processing and the sale of industrial hemp from civil and criminal penalties. No license is needed to grow and the crop is treated as other plants such as tomatoes, fruits, and other vegetables.
CBD has been in the news before, as a possible treatment for epilepsy. Research is still in its early days. Researchers are testing how much CBD is able to reduce the number of seizures in people with epilepsy, as well as how safe it is. The American Epilepsy Society states that cannabidiol research offers hope for seizure disorders, and that research is currently being conducted to better understand safe use.
This is why Amanda Oliver, 31, a career consultant in Charleston, SC, pops a CBD gummy bear each night before bed. “I used to lie there tossing and turning as my mind raced from work projects to whether I had set the home alarm,” Oliver says. One piece of candy with 15 milligrams (mg) of CBD is enough to shut off her brain and facilitate sleep. She also swears by the CBD oil she takes at the height of her period, which she says quells her debilitating cramps.
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system; this system exists to keep our bodies in balance. Most of the time when someone is overweight there is one main culprit that leads to them struggling with weight loss: metabolism. Metabolism and weight loss are very connected because your metabolism is what converts food into energy in the body. It’s also responsible for the body’s ability to burn calories and the rate at which it does so.
The CB1 receptors are mostly present in the brain, but some are located throughout your body. These receptors deal with movement and coordination, emotions, thinking, memories, pain, mood, appetite, and other function. The CB2 receptors are mostly in the immune system. They affect pain and inflammation. CBD works in two ways. It attaches itself to these receptors while stimulating the body to produce more cannabinoids on its own naturally. Amazingly, CBD assists the body in learning to heal itself.
CBD’s effect on homeostasis is believed to be why those in need of nutrition can experience an appetite increase and those with excess weight can experience an appetite decrease. The reason for this is that CBD is an adaptogen. Referred to by some scientists as “the boy scout molecule” because it always does the right thing in any given situation. The Journal of Psychopharmacology tested this theory on rats in 2012. The researchers wanted to see how three common cannabinoids, including CBN, CBD, and CBG, affected the appetite of the rats. The study concluded that both CBD and CBG worked to reduce the rat’s appetite.
Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception. There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, but there appears to be a small risk of a false positive for some users. Avoiding full-spectrum products containing traces of THC can reduce your risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate the risk entirely.
Cannabis vs CBD legality. Generally speaking, countries or states where recreational cannabis use is legal or at least decriminalized also allow for CBD to be purchased without a prescription. The map below shows the current status of cannabis legality around the world. However, even some countries where cannabis is illegal might still allow CBD to be sold; for a detailed look at CBD legality, check out the table below.
When the endocannabinoid system becomes dysregulated, it often becomes overactive and too much fat is being stored, particularly in the intra-abdominal tissue. Cannabidiol is known to regulate the endocannabinoid system as it can restore balance in both directions. Therefore, the study concludes that, along with lifestyle changes cannabis could be a means of fighting obesity.
The FDA also issued a warning to these companies in 2015 for making false claims of effectiveness and medicinal benefits. “Your products are not generally recognized as safe and effective,” the letter read. “Additionally, your product is offered for conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners.”