Not Everybody Must Get Stoned: Pot’s Nonintoxicating Future


New legislation could legalize every nonintoxicating cannabinoid in marijuana plants, opening a market for sleep aids, stimulants and more. Here, the compounds with the most buzz.

CBD, a nonintoxicating compound found in cannabis, is everywhere these days. Coffee shops across the country offer “calming” CBD infusions for your cappuccino. Boutique makeup brands are churning out CBD moisturizers, touting the compound’s anti-inflammatory properties. As of October, 46 states have passed some kind of CBD legalization; the use and sale of the compound is not explicitly allowed under federal law, but the law is not often enforced.

In June the Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol)—aka CBD—for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy. It’s the first FDA-approved drug to come from the cannabis plant.

Now, with support from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the 2018 farm bill might legalize every cannabinoid except the psychoactive compound THC. “Everyone knows that this is about to explode and is developing their own products and processes,” says Rod Kight, a cannabis business lawyer in Asheville, N.C. Companies hope to have CBD products on shelves at mainstream, big-box retailers within a year, which has triggered breeding, production and research into other cannabinoids.

Marijuana’s illegality has stymied research in much of the world; almost all peer-reviewed studies on cannabinoids published in respected journals involve mice, not humans. The clinical trials that do exist are mostly small, but a March report from the World Health Organization found no adverse health outcomes for CBD and no potential for abuse.

Most entrepreneurs looking to sell CBD and other minor cannabinoids hope to get over-the-counter products on shelves before more pharmaceutical versions appear. But to sell cannabinoids as legal supplements, companies need to avoid making claims about medical conditions—which poses a challenge when most consumers have never heard of these compounds, let alone their benefits.

We’re still in the early stages of research into minor cannabinoids, and many of the claims made by entrepreneurs require more studies to verify. Here, a guide to the compounds most likely to end up on shelves—or in your coffee.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Amanda Chicago Lewis on Wall Street Journal

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Published: October 25, 2018

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