2020 has been a stressful year to say the least. As those wanting to relieve stress or anxiety look for alternatives to alcohol or binge eating, more people have tried CBD.
Local entrepreneur Barbara Biddle said her CBD businesses are booming. She owns District Hemp Botanicals with stores in Dupont Circle, Leesburg and Manassas, Virginia.
Biddle, who started using CBD to cope with postpartum depression, said people are just looking for relief.
"They’re at their wits' ends. They’ve tried this and that, it’s not working. They’re super stressed, working from home. Their schedules are all wonky. They don’t know what to do so they come to us,” Biddle said.
Biddle said since the peak of the pandemic, sales have increased by 33% and there is a 40% increase in new customers.
“It’s all walks of life, you know CBD does not discriminate on who it can help. We see mothers, grandparents, teachers, nurses, all kinds of people that need relief right now,” Biddle said.
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CBD does not contain THC which produces the high associated with marijuana use. Biddle says CBD users typically feel normal or balanced, not intoxicated or sedated.
Psychologist Roshonda Contee agrees. She is a licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor in Hanover, Maryland.
Contee explains CBD works with your endocannabinoid system to help regulate functions like sleep, appetite and pain.
“When the CBD is enters into the body, the body grasps onto it because we have these receptors. It’s like a cup and when the CBD enters into the body, it fills those cups,” Contee said.
She describes it as a way to help your body feel stable by relieving anxiety, stress or pain.
CBD itself comes from hemp plans. It’s been a growing business in the D.C. area and across the country since the Farm Bill Act in 2018 made it legal to plant.
Luke Greer owns Northern Virginia Hemp Company, one of 11 Hemp Farms in Loudon County. Greer said 23 licenses in total have been handed out in the area.
The World Health Organization says while the number of studies is limited, research evidence indicates CBD is not associated with abuse potential.
It’s important to note though that the Food and Drug Administration has seen only limited data about CBD safety and has only approved one CBD product, which treats epilepsy.
The FDA recommends talking to your doctor about the best way to treat diseases or conditions.