Still, Ward estimated researchers could have a more complete understanding of CBD within as little as five years, thanks in part to the 2018 Farm Bill. Passed in December, it legalized hemp-derived CBD and included provisions for expanding hemp research. To Ward, that makes CBD research "infinitely more doable, fundable, approvable." ". Because I have a very good idea of knowing what's in there." – Dr.
"Then it will have to be motivation from these companies and a desire from the consumer to have this more rigorously tested so that we can answer these questions about safety, efficacy, dose," she said. "My expectation is that there's going to be an explosion (of research) in the next few years." Before using CBD products, Ward said people should consult their doctors, particularly to ensure it will interact well with any medications they're already taking. Still, several Philadelphia physicians who certify medical marijuana patients said they strongly favor using medical marijuana over CBD products, partly due to the lack of research. "People spend a lot of money ordering stuff off the internet and say, 'I don't think this did anything,'" said Dr. Brooke Worster, who runs a medical marijuana clinic at Jefferson Health. "I say, 'I can't confirm that there's actually any CBD in it.' That's why I steer people toward the medical cannabis. Because I have a very good idea of knowing what's in there." Judy Beck uses Nano Tincture, a CBD product from Anthology Wellness in Northern Liberties. Beck says CBD products relieve her pain better than the myriad prescription drugs she previously used. Despite the Wild West vibe of the CBD industry, some companies have attempted to maintain accountability. Soothe, the Philly-based company, is careful not to make any unsubstantiated claims about its various CBD products, which include edibles, vapes, topicals and tinctures.
Management takes the matter so seriously it distributes a set of compliance guidelines to social media influencers touting their products online. Influencers are urged not to claim Soothe products can cure, treat or prevent their ailments. Rather, they are encouraged to say that it regulates mood, alleviates discomfort or promotes gut health. "We stay away from any terminology that could be misconstrued," co-founder Brandon Bahr said. "That's a huge thing the industry, as a whole, lacks. Ninety-five percent of companies are extremely noncompliant. You literally can't even say the word 'pain.'" Soothe mostly sells its products online, though Bahr and co-founder Alex Grimm plan to open a retail outlet in the River Wards section of Philadelphia. Unlike many companies, Soothe provides detailed descriptions, including ingredients, and lab testing results for each product. "We initially got into the industry because we were consumers of cannabis, but CBD in particular," Bahr said. There was not many ways to prove that a product was good." "We're having people coming in with serious problems and coming back. It's been life-changing for a lot of people." – Michael Beck, Anthology Wellness proprietor. Soothe began selling CBD products about one year ago. Its gummies proved so popular that a new manufacturer had to be found to keep up with demand. Demand for CBD products has increased significantly in the last several years. Sales hit $390 million last year, according to New Frontier Data , a cannabis market intelligence company. Soothe's sales, for example, are split nearly evenly between millennials and older generations, Bahr said. Millennials tend to use their products for post-workout recovery and stress. Older generations are trying to alleviate discomfort and improve sleep. Similarly, most of the clientele at Anthology Wellness is middle-aged adults, according to Michael Beck, who opened the Northern Liberties store last fall after cannabidiol dramatically improved his mother's life. "We're having people coming in with serious problems and coming back," Beck said. "They're coming back because it's worked from the beginning. It's been life-changing for a lot of people." Anthology Wellness sells an array of products, including a tincture, lotion bar, salve and bath soak.
The company also posts its lab test results on its website. Many first-time customers spend as much as 30 minutes in the store, talking with employees who help them find the product that best fits their needs, Beck said. But the demand for both CBD products and medical marijuana also seemingly emanates from a growing distrust in prescription opioids, according to several manufacturers and medical dispensaries. "They're starting to see that Western medicine isn't all it's cracked up to be in a lot of situations," Beck said.
"They're also seeing people getting prescribed opioids for no reason. This lack of trust between health providers and patients started to build up.