CBD Products Are the Market’s Hottest Legal Illegal Items
Since 2012, 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Illinois and Vermont were the first states to enact the item by legislative decree, leaving a handful of states in which the substance is prohibited in any form, including medicinal.
In October, Canada became the first major economic player to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.
Amid marijuana’s growing national and worldwide acceptance, the American CBD products industry has built a life of its own. The initials stand for cannabidiol, the compound in Cannabis plants that accounts for some 40 percent of the plants’ extract. CBD doesn’t appear to cause any psychotropic effect, or the “high” associated with marijuana; it enjoyed phenomenal sales growth in 2018 amid its alleged effectiveness against anxiety, sleep and seizure disorders, movement problems, pain, acne, drug withdrawals, cognition and cancer.
CBD products are found in a number of natural food stores, boutiques, clothing shops, health and wellness outlets, vape stores, pharmacies and a few mainstream retailers such as Kroger, Neiman Marcus and Barney’s New York. The substance allegedly driving the sales of CBD products as diverse as coffees, chocolates, rubs, humidifiers, vape pens, pet tinctures, raw honey, gummy bears and butter.
The Brighton Group, a Cannabis industry company, forecasts the CBD products trade could be valued at $22 billion by 2022.
CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant by soaking the plant in a solvent, such as grain alcohol or carbon dioxide, and distilling the extracted oil. The oil is then combined with 200-proof alcohol, frozen, filtered and prepared for removal of the alcohol. The extract is then heated so as to separate each compound for use by itself.
While studies on the effectiveness of CBD continue, advocates and marketers have divided CBD users into two factions — those who prefer full-spectrum CBD and the substance’s isolate version. According to personal finance magazine thestreet.com, full-spectrum CBD is derived from Cannabis plants that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive agent that causes the “high” from marijuana ingestion. Full-spectrum CBD is subject to less chemical processing than the isolate form, and it is integral to the so-called “entourage effect,” a term introduced in 1999 to describe the collective effect of Cannabis compounds versus their individual effectiveness.
Isolate, according to the site madebyhemp.com, is cannabidiol produced in its purest form. The CBD is isolated to strip out other cannabinoids and plant components. The final product is a white powder made of 99 percent cannabidiol. It’s preferred by those wary of drug testing or who opt to leave THC out of the equation.