Last week, Bruce Barcott, the editor of Leafly, published a righteous diatribe aimed at a product called Canna Bumps. Yes, it’s weed you can snort—or it was.
One could see, then, how the legal cannabis industry would be ripe for charlatanism of both types. Pot is an intoxicating substance that people use recreationally, much like booze. But it is also a health and wellness product that many people use, legitimately, to treat pain, seizures, nausea and other maladies. This presents vast opportunities for soulless marketeers and grifters of all stripes.
Booze you can snort or (as the marketing emphasized) mix into a beverage and drink anywhere, might not seem to have much in common with potato chips containing a purported depression remedy, but they are both stunt products sold on dicey claims.
Not a few companies market their weed based on how totally baked it will get you. Naming a cannabis strain “Green Crack,” for instance, isn’t meant to appeal to shamanistic seekers of enlightenment or people looking for a pleasant, after-work buzz. That is fine, of course, unless it’s taken too far. “Green Crack” proved to be too far for many sellers, so it’s often (though not always) marketed by other names now, including “Green Cush.”
As Barcott prepared to publish his broadside, the company that made Canna Bumps, Southern California-based THC Living, pulled the product from the market. The company is not talking to the media, but its lawyer issued a statement to Leafly, vaguely blaming a “third party” for creating the product based on THC Living’s technology.
There are “CBD candles” that are marketed for their supposed “aromatherapy” benefits. There are also CBD toothpicks, hand sanitizers and hair pomade. There is some minimal basis for the claims: research indicates that elements of the cannabis plant have some antimicrobial properties, for instance. Other elements (specifically fatty acids) in the plant might stimulate hair growth. But it’s quite a leap from that minimal research to the claims companies are making for these products.
Fast forward to 2014, when an outfit named Lipsmack briefly tried to market powdered booze, which it called Palcohol, until the feds told the company to get real and the product was pulled from the market.
That said, CBD is thought to be a safe and effective option for certain conditions. Below, we sort through the confusion by answering some of the most common questions about CBD.
Is marijuana-derived CBD legal?
For adults, CBD appears to be a very safe product. CBD does produce side effects for some people, including nausea, fatigue, and irritability. It may also interact with certain medications, so always check with your doctor before use.
The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious
Again, yes and no, depending on where you live. In some states marijuana is legal for both recreational use and medical use. In other states, it’s legal only for medical use. And in some areas, it’s not legal at all.