CBD Is Everywhere. Is It Getting Out Of Control? 

“It’s got to be the sports bra,” says Mary Biles — a medical cannabis writer and author of the upcoming The CBD Book: A User's Guide — when I ask her about the most surprising CBD product she’s ever encountered. “It seemed too ridiculous to be true,” she continues.  

But, it was true. CBD-infused sports bras really do exist. And the insanity doesn’t end with our sweaty boobs, either. You can now find CBD mattresses, CBD pillows, CBD athleisure wear, and CBD eyeshadow

Hemp Plant flowered

When we see products like this, we have to ask ourselves: Has the CBD craze gone too far? 

The short answer is yes; yes it has. As Cade Turland, co-founder of CBD and hemp superfoods company Hemple explains: “A report estimated that CBD would be a $20 billion dollar market by 2022 — and everyone feels like they have to get in on it.”

Unfortunately, many of the companies entering the CBD market are more concerned with dollar signs than your health, and it’s hurting the credibility of CBD as a whole.

With that in mind, here are a few things to remember as we navigate the CBD craze. 

1. Be wary of CBD everything and anything 

Here’s the thing: Just because you can put CBD in everything, doesn’t mean you should. At the end of the day, infusing your clothes with CBD is just not the most effective way to take the compound. As Turland puts it: “From a product development side, people need to come back to basics and ask themselves: Is it necessary? Will it help people?Just because it’s different or new, doesn’t make it a good idea.” 

As a consumer, it’s important to be wary of the difference between a true CBD company and a company that’s jumping on the CBD bandwagon. You can start by getting back to basics. As a general rule “it should be what’s inside the bottle that excites you,” says Turland. “Be wary of something that’s beautiful and turns up in three decroative boxes. Sometimes you don’t need all that; instead, get a little bit real and focus on what’s in the bottle,” he continues.

2. Focus on the research  

“We've got scientific research that tells us that CBD is effective — when inhaled, consumed orally, or used topically — to some capacity,” says Ashlae Warner, founder of SUPERGOOD Hemp and the woman behind the brand OhLadyCakes. And that’s great news, but it doesn’t mean that all types of CBD are effective. In fact, as Warner explains: “We have zero (ZERO!) research that shows CBD to be even remotely beneficial when added to products like socks, pillows, mascara, and nail polish.” If you’re considering buying one of these products, you’ll be paying a premium for something that really doesn’t add any value. “Consumers should be skeptical of any company trying to push products like these, as they exist solely as a cash grab in a highly unregulated industry,” says Warner.

3. Don’t let silly CBD products distract you from CBD 

Maybe the worst thing about these products is how they distract us from the true value of CBD. “It seems to be doing a huge disservice to what CBD has to offer people,” says Biles. CBD has amazing potential for inflammatory disorders, chronic pain, mental health issues, and plenty of other conditions. “There are insane stories about people who were bed bound and now they’re traveling and running their own business [thanks to CBD],” she says. But instead of talking about those incredible benefits and stories, we’re talking about whether or not CBD mattresses are legit.  

“Part of why I’m in this industry is to defend patients and their right to access CBD and cannabis in general but also to protect the plant in a way,” says Biles. And when she sees capitalism take things to the point of folly, “I feel insulted for the plant,” she continues. 

4. It’s not just about CBD 

CBD may be center stage at the moment, but the whole hemp plant is really the star of the show. To Warner, this is one of the most critical points of all. “I’ve said it once and I'll say it as long as I'm a part of the cannabis space: There is so much more to hemp than CBD,” she says. This is important to keep in mind, especially when you’re selecting a product. “If you want to consume cannabinoids (like CBD) in a way that is actually conducive to your overall health and well-being, start with a full-spectrum sublingual oil and go from there,” she continues. 

Looking forward, we can only hope that the CBD madness will mellow out. The good news is that many experts think this will happen naturally. “I don’t think CBD mascara is what the future of hemp looks like,” says Turland. 

So what will it look like?  

“Let’s start making sure we’re still giving people something that works; something more bioavailable, more functional, easier to take, more precise to dose. Those are the things that we’re focused on as a business at Hemple,” he continues. 

In the coming years, consumers and brands and regulators will all have to take on the responsibility of making sure CBD doesn’t become a victim of its own success. 

Written by Gretchen Lidicker

Senior Health Editor & CBD Expert or Contributing Health Editor and CBD Expert. Gretchen is a writer, researcher, and author of the book CBD Oil Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide To Hemp-Derived Health & Wellness. She has a masters degree in physiology and complementary and alternative medicine from Georgetown University and is the former health editor at mindbodygreen. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Marie Claire, Forbes, SELF, The Times, Huffington Post, and Travel + Leisure.

1 comment

I can’t express how much I love this article. I’ve been a hemp grower since 2014, sit on the board of our Tennessee Hemp Industries Association and have seen CBD in its many phases over the year. The introduction of CBD incense (although I’ve adored the scents) and in mascara is just ludicrous to me. Thank you for speaking up!

Christie Tarleton August 03, 2020

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