The wellness craze for the cannabis compound CBD reached new heights last year after a fortunate sequence of celebrity endorsements, ranging from Mandy Moore to Dr. Sanjay Gupta. And as cafés across the United States began spiking lattes with the CBD oil, word spread that the substance could help ease anxiety, improve focus, aid sleep, and potentially increase creativity.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of about 200 compounds found in the cannabis plant, along with its psychoactive relative, THC. According to the federal government, a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC is considered industrial hemp and, along with its derivatives like CBD, is subject to minimal government regulation. (With more than 0.3% THC, a plant legally qualifies as marijuana and is thus subject to the ceaseless push and pull of weed legalization and criminalization.) So, with its legal status and purported benefits, CBD holds promise for not just coffee shop owners and dietary supplement distributors, but for consumers—including creatives.
Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician who has a specialty in medical cannabis, recommends CBD to help patients with anxiety, insomnia, and pain management. “CBD sort of has a foot in both worlds,” Dr. Grinspoon explained. “On the one hand, it’s associated with cannabis, so the research has been suppressed.” But on the other hand, there are no strong arguments against CBD; it’s widely considered a relatively harmless non-intoxicant.
In 2017, the World Health Organization concluded that CBD does “not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm.” And last June, the FDA approved the first drug to contain a purified cannabis derivative to help treat seizures caused by rare forms of epilepsy.
In the wake of such developments, CBD products and businesses have proliferated. According to Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research firm, the CBD market is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2022. In September, Coca Cola announced that “along with many others in the beverage industry,” it is watching CBD’s growth as “an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.” There are even specialized CBD brands that cater specifically to artists and other creative professionals.
Take for example, Recess, a CBD-infused seltzer that claims to boost creativity, which hit the market in October 2018. Recess founder Benjamin Witte told Adweek that after incorporating CBD into his own regimen, he was “more productive, more creative and less stressed out and anxious.”
Through its marketing—including an Instagram campaign featuring profiles of creatives—Recess aims to position itself as part of a “mindset of balance and clarity, being calm, cool, collected,” Witte said, noting that he hoped to establish a connection between “having a Recess and being creative and productive.”
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Published: February 26, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News