In the past few years, cannabidiol (CBD) has become increasingly popular. It has made more and more star appearances as the secret ingredient in drinks, pastries, and other delicious eatables all over the United States. As an extra bonus, many people find CBD to be an extremely helpful treatment for a number of unpleasant ailments. However, CBD has recently encountered an obstacle on its path to fame. CBD infused foods are getting banned in restaurants and shops all over New York and Ohio. At the original time of this writing, Maine was also cracking down on CBD products.
A Background Check On CBD
CBD is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant. While related to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main component of marijuana, the main difference between the two is that CBD isn’t psychoactive. In other words, it doesn’t get consumers high. CBD can also treat many known conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, epilepsy, and chronic pain. (1, 2, 3)
But none of this makes much of a difference if CBD isn’t legal in the first place. So, is it? It’s a difficult question to answer. On one hand, a CBD prescription was approved in the past by the FDA to be sold in the United States. On the other hand, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) labeled CBD as an illegal drug since it comes from the cannabis plant. This leads us to the issue of whether CBD is derived from hemp or marijuana, an issue the United States government is still grappling with. From here, the whole deal sort of spirals. (4, 5, 6)
The bottom line is that although all 50 states have labeled CBD as legal, with varying levels of restrictions, the problem at hand recently escalated when three states took the FDA’s statement to heart that CBD cannot legally be sold as an ingredient in any food product. (7)
Three States Take A Stand Against CBD Edibles
The Department of Health in New York took this statement and ran with it at full speed by enforcing it in several restaurants around the state. C.J. Holm, co-owner of Fat Cat Kitchen in New York City said health department officials bagged up the majority of the shop’s CBD edibles and marked them “embargoed” during a routine inspection, without so much as an explanation. (8) Ohio has also seen a lot of backlash against CBD products from local and state authorities, although the state currently has a medical marijuana program. (9, 10)
In January 2019, State health officials took action in Maine too, where marijuana was legalized for recreational use. The state ordered several businesses to remove their CBD-infused edibles from stores. This was troubling to many whose business model depended on the ability to sell CBD infused items to meet skyrocketing demands. At the end of March, however, Governor Janet Mills signed an emergency bill allowing the popular byproduct of hemp to be produced and sold in edible form. The urgency of the bill seemed to be due to concerns for farmers, however, rather than retailers. Barnett said, “Farmers need time to prepare their crops and they also need to know that they’re going to have an end market for their product.” (11) Regardless of where the concern lay,
Lots of people are confused about the seemingly unnecessary crackdown against the next-to-harmless CBD. But while the regulations may seem unfair, there is a method to the madness. It is true that studies show CBD to have many positive effects on both humans and animals. However, researchers concluded that a larger number of human trials are needed before they are able to prescribe the substance as medication, much less deem it fit for every-day consumption. Just like your mother said, ‘better safe than sorry.’ (2)
Are CBD Goodies Worth The Risk?
CBD has shown extreme potential as a beneficial remedy for many ailments, and lots of people find it to be their holy grail when it comes to their lifelong battle with personal health conditions. Hopefully, more research on CBD will provide greater availability to those in need. But, at least for New York and Ohio, until officials can be sure that CBD is completely safe, you won’t be finding it in any delicious goodies.