In the wake of the rescheduling of CBD from a Schedule 1 (like heroin) to a Schedule 5 (like Sudafed), I went on a research quest to discover more about the popular uses of CBD, the so-called non-psychoactive component of cannabis. The second CBD dispensary I visited on my research was abuzz with activity on a hot Friday afternoon.
Inside were three employees and the store owner, a quiet-spoken young man who briefed me on his wares – vapes, buds, tinctures, gummy candies, even coffees infused with CBD. A few minutes later a camera man from a local television station showed up along with a high school student and his mother to film their story “from drugs to CBD.”
“This is our best-seller, “said one of the sales clerks, pointing to a brown vial called “Calm”. Also popular were formulas called “Focus “and “Energy” alongside another tincture promoting sleep. No surprise here – relief from stress, anxiety, distraction, and insomnia are the most common complaints I hear about every single day. Medicine doesn’t have good answers for these problems outside of a heavy reliance on prescription medications and sleep-apnea tests.
The energy in the CBD store was palpable as more customers crowded inside. The experience reminded me of shopping at the early Apple stores, the shiny objects beckoning from their neatly-arranged positions under glass counters.
The products are pricey, $30-$200 for a one-month-supply bottle. And the unflavored CBD oil I sampled can be kindly described as earthy, as if a plant stalk had been chopped up and pulsed in a food processor. (The shopkeeper told me “it’s an acquired taste.”) But business was brisk and few customers left empty-handed.
This CBD compound can interact in many processes of the human brain and body. That explains how it can be so many things for so many people. So my research continues.