The Indiana General Assembly’s decision in 2018 to legalize the sale and use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil sparked a wave of innovation and creativity that saw vendors finding new and effective ways to incorporate the substance into their products.
Derived from cannabis plants, the appeal of CBD oil came from its ability to help people with a variety of different illnesses and disorders to find comfort from things such as aches and pains, anxiety or insomnia. Many have taken to it as an alternative from traditional medications that sometimes have concerning side effects.
“I think it’s just getting started here in America,” Kelley Marvin, a certified integrative nutritionist, said. “We are suffering from the consequences of over prescription use…this is a solution that is natural, non-addictive without side effects. If it didn’t work I don’t think people would be buying it so much.”
One of the most popular methods of consuming CBD oil is through edibles, or food products infused with the oil. Some may look to add the oil to things they already make such as salad dressings or a smoothie.
The Pure Dream, which has stores in both Fort Wayne and Kendallville, features plenty of traditional edibles such as baked goods and gummies. They also have a few products that one would not immediately think about adding CBD oil to, but make sense when packaged a sold to the public, such a chai tea, coffee pods and even coffee creamer.
The most popular form of consumption on the market right now is infused gummies.
“It’s chock full of great things,” Stevie Christian, co-owner of Pure Dream, said. “Five milligrams of CBD…added with 100 mg of caffeine, it counteracts the jitteriness…You can suck on them and the mouth absorbs the oil and you can feel the effect within 10-15 minutes.”
Not all edibles are created equal, though. Christian and Marvin both highlighted aspects that anyone should keep in mind before buying and/or consuming CBD products. While a brownie or cookie may be the first things to come to mind when thinking about edibles, they are often not the best way to enjoy the full effects of the oil.
“Something with more flour in it, that might take longer and you don’t get as much of the effects,” Christian said. “If you add it to brownie and cookies, people feel the effects, but not nearly as much.”
More importantly, buyers need to do their research. Not only should potential users talk to their doctors before taking CBD oil, but also they need to make sure the oil they buy is from a reliable source and does not include added substances, that may mess with its effectiveness of health benefits.
For example, according to Christian, propylene glycol is a common chemical in vape juice and can be used as a “carrier” for CBD oil. While initially harmless, when heated up, it can transform into formaldehyde.
Other products, especially gummies or other types of candies may be loaded with sugar or low-quality ingredients that make them deceptively unhealthy.
“We have an industry that’s booming so we have to be careful,” Marvin said. “Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and there’s junk food without quality that is just taking advantage of its popularity…Let’s look at the rest of the ingredients and the source…Where did it come from? How was it grown?”
There is still a slight question regarding the legality of foods that include CBD oil, but the overall legalization of the substance helps make the case for these edibles. Christian pointed out that technically CBD-infused edibles are not FDA approved, but the oil itself is protected under the 2018 Farm Bill Act.
Marvin believes that the only reason people are still hung up on the legality question is because of the controversy that still casts a haze around the world of marijuana use and legalization.
“If we were talking about garlic or ginger, no one would have a problem,” Marvin said. “But because it comes from something controversial, we start to have a problem. The fact is it’s a plant, an oil derived from a plant and as long as there isn’t THC we aren’t even worried about the controversy.”
While navigating the dos, don’ts and legal protections attached to CBD oil, the consistent sales of the oil show that people are willing to put in the work for potential relief.
“It’s wonderful to encourage people to take control of their own health,” Marvin said. “I think people can recognize they can find natural solutions and take responsibility for their own health rather than blindly relying on prescriptions.”