In her quest to solve her family’s sleep problems, Michelle Kronenberg Goodman, a teacher in Westchester County, NY, turned to an unlikely source: CBD oil. Her 17-year-old daughter is sleeping better than ever, she reports—without side effects: “Melatonin made her groggy the next day, but CBD doesn’t.” Goodman drops her own daily dose in her tea at night. “It calms me better than a glass of wine,” she says.
In Atlanta, educator Erin O’Connell takes CBD oil for anxiety, insomnia, and pain from endometriosis. “I also want to give it to my elderly dog for arthritis pain,” she says. After suffering from postpartum anxiety, O’Connell decided to give CBD oil a go; it worked so well she was able to wean herself off her prescription anxiety medication. “It helps me relax in the evening, and quiets my mind. It may be a placebo effect, but I feel it’s helping, and that’s all that matters.”
Goodman and O’Connell are just two of a growing number of people who are finding a cure for modern ills in an ancient remedy: CBD oil. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of more than 100 natural compounds with healing properties found in cannabis. CBD oil derived from hemp—a relative of marijuana—contains no THC, so it won’t make you high. And unlike marijuana, hemp is now completely legal, as a result of the U.S. Farm Bill passing Congress this month.
This natural remedy is popping up in everything from trendy cocktails and spa treatments to tasting menus and coffee. The hemp-CBD market is expected to reach an almost-unbelievable $22 billion by 2022, according to Brightfield Group, a marketing research firm focused on the CBD and cannabis industries. CBD is appealing to people who are burned out, stressed out, and in pain. Many, like O’Connell, try it after hearing that it worked for a friend.
“I get asked by patients about CBD oil about five times a day,” says internist and palliative care physician Diana Martins-Welch, MD, assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. “More and more people are educated about what they are putting in their bodies. They don't want to be on opioids and benzos, they want to be clear-minded, they want to be organic, so they’re looking toward cannabis.”
Dr. Martins-Welch usually encourages her patients who are curious to give it a try. “I much prefer to have someone using cannabis to help them sleep than Ambien or Xanax.”