Even so, the D.E.A.’s mission is to go after large-scale drug traffickers, not individual users, said Barbara Carreno, an agency spokeswoman. “We’re not swatting joints out of hands in Hilo, Hawaii, and we’re not going to focus on somebody who is buying lotion or ice cream that has CBD in it.”
Although there have been scattered raids of CBD retailers around the country, several states, including Alabama, Texas, Florida and Oklahoma, have passed laws approving specific CBD products to treat specific ailments. And CBD shops have cropped up nationwide, in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Austin, Tex., to name just a few cities.
In New York City, for example, CBD tinctures and other products can be bought at specialty shops, health food stores, yoga studios, flea markets, boutiques and even some corner delis. (The availability of CBD is perhaps not surprising, given Mayor Bill de Blasio’s continued efforts to reduce the penalties for low-level marijuana violations.)
Aside from a federal crackdown, the only thing that may eventually kill CBD’s momentum is hype itself, said Mr. DeLand of Dosist.
The frothy claims about CBD “sets up some false expectations that the molecule will never be able to live up to,” Mr. DeLand said. Not only are questionable claims an invitation for government regulation, but they risk making even legitimate applications seem dubious, he said.
“In isolation, CBD obviously does have some benefits, but it’s certainly not a catchall for all the world’s health problems,” he said. “We are at the tip of the iceberg on what its therapeutic applications are, and how to make those applications repeatable.”
“The future of this industry,” Mr. DeLand added, “is going to be based on fact, not fiction.”