Let Them Eat Cookies

What The Media Misses When It Talks About Hype

By Marc Lewis

A recent piece in USA Today highlighted all the issues associated with an exploding market void of regulation: unchecked marketing, bad actors with sketchy products, and the false hopes that come with unfounded medical claims. With much of this concern we agree. It’s why we founded Remedy Review. This industry needs a measured voice putting forth articles and opinions on the emerging science of hemp. The space also desperately needs someone to check the countless brands that come online each month.

But when we focus only on the hype and the concerns associated with hemp, we minimize the stories of people who have found answers in natural remedies. We forget that the side effects, abuse potential, and reported adverse events associated with CBD are far less than many medicines we take every day. And we overlook the idea that people—especially young people—are losing faith in a system where regulators, legislators, and researchers drag their feet on cannabis while thousands die from prescription pain medicines.

From oils to capsules, patches to suppositories, the CBD market is growing very fast. Maybe too fast. The USA Today article called out these issues. We agree that consumers should take care. Soon we’ll have CBD Oreos, CBD Coke, and, likely, CBD baby shower cakes. You’ll be able to buy CBD in CVS and Walgreens, even at the Family Video, and one day at big box retailers. It’s not hard to imagine a silly late night infomercial in the not-too-distant future where some dunce sells CBD belts that “cure” back pain. But beneath this momentum is evidence that CBD can help people. And things that help people are good.

Studies show promise with CBD and pain relief. It may ease the mind and improve anxiety. It can help those who have trouble sleeping. A quick PubMed search reveals more than a little promise. There’s also a handy list here, here, and here. It’s not hard to find reputable sources about the benefits and risks of CBD. It’s just that fear is more likely to get people to open a USA Today during their continental breakfast or click from the News Feed. Nuance, it seems, died long ago. Possibly of a pharmaceutical.

Of course, we can qualify many of these studies with a reminder that humans aren’t mice. We can agree that more info is needed in every direction. Also, we should be careful not to give people facing serious conditions false hope. CBD will not destroy tumors, restore eyesight, or give a human the ability to fly. But when the approved/accepted/available drugs will kill you, lead to dependency, or cause you to drive and wreck your car while still asleep—let’s give CBD a chance.

Increasingly, parents whose children have difficult to manage conditions are finding that CBD offers a new, welcomed option. This includes hard to treat forms of epilepsy and issues related to Autism Spectrum Disorder. The authors of the next “beware CBD” article might spend the morning with the parents of a child who they feel was helped by cannabis. After you speak to families about the real potential of these products, the hard-to-prove lifestyle claims—everything from how CBD helps puffiness under the eyes, improves the coffee “experience,” and makes parents more mindful—seem frivolous, yes, but harmless.

In the context of people’s lives, “hype” feels less like hysteria and more like the culture leading a lumbering system along.

Yes, CBD Oreos are ridiculous. No, CBD is not a cure-all. Of course, consumers need to be smart.

But, having spoken to a veteran who was met with resistance when he asked for something other than opioids and parents who are engaging with their child on a new level thanks to CBD, if hype brings about better and quicker information, awareness, and access—pass me the cookies.

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