Reportedly first used to help ease Queen Victoria’s menstrual cramps back in the 1800s, CBD is now available to the masses, popping up in restaurants, bars, cosmetic counters and even big retail chains across the country. Since cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant and doesn’t get you high like THC, it’s been a pretty no-brainer component of lots of food, beverages, and lotions. It pretty much markets itself.
More frequently, CBD is making its way into spa treatments to help alleviate the muscle tension and everyday aches and pains associated with an active lifestyle.
New York City massage therapist Demetri Travlos tells CBS News that “CBD is great for relieving inflammation and pain and it’s also good for relaxation and reduction of anxiety and stress.”
Personal trainer Breanna Arrington told CBS News that she turned to CBD massages to help an injured hip after physical therapy failed her. “An injury will definitely not only not allow me to do my ‘job-job’, but also it takes a little bit of me away, a little bit of me dies,” she said.
She now gets bi-monthly massages with CBD-infused creams and says it’s worked wonders. “I’m back doing the things that I like to do, back at Taekwondo, back lifting, using my body in dynamic ways.”
But some doctors aren’t this stoked on the chemical, saying all of these “healing” claims lack scientific back-up.
“We are still at the beginning of trying to understand what CBD does in the body,” Dr. Margaret Haney from Columbia University Medical Center told CBS News. Haney, who is well-known for her cannabis research, says there’s still many unanswered questions, like if CBD gets absorbed, how it’s acting, and what dose one needs. “I need placebo-controlled evidence to be convinced,” she said.
Haney and other experts say anyone who is currently using CBD or is interested in its touted benefits should know that while products containing CBD are legal in all 50 states, it’s not regulated by the FDA.
CBS News cites a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found 70 percent of the 84 CBD products tested were mislabeled.
“You’re really flying by the seat of your pants when you buy this stuff,” Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, told the Associated Press, adding, “I wouldn’t trust any of it until I knew independently it was safe.”