Photo: Washington Post Photo by Marvin Joseph
In a brightly lit room at Joy's Spa in Washington, Dawn Franklin smoothes a cream mask on Jessica Osorio's face. The mask, she says, is enriched with chamomile and sage and aloe vera, plus an ingredient she still needs to explain to her clients: CBD.
Franklin started out as a beautician with an Oregon chemist to make CBD products for the skin, believing that a little of it could be stolen on the face to help repair the ravages of old age.
But Franklin also takes CBD in rubbery form, banging some in the morning and some at night. Like a magical pill, she wipes away the insomnia, stress, and agonizing pain in her back that makes her limp, though she's only in her thirties.
"It's crazy," she admits. But she insists that CBD can do anything. "It's just crazy, the different things that helped it."
For generation generation, attached to their phones and disrupted by news alerts, the mysterious substance CBD quickly becomes the new "it" drug.
Devotees whisper about CBD as a reassuring remedy for raging thoughts and aching Extremities – CBD for those troubled nights .. Also, anyway, CBD for those listless mornings. [Suddenlyyoucanfindsugar-coatedCBDgummiestonibbleandbalmtorubonimpulsepointsThere'sCBDforyourdog(CBDandgluten-free!)AndCBDforyourachingfeetyoucandrinkCBDbottledwaterintrendyseasonallyrunfast-casualrestaurantsandsacksofCBDcoffeeinshopsonbusystreetsinWashingtonColoradoSpringsLasVegasanddozens
Back at Joy's Osorio, the mask that still clings to her face tells of her own Her experiences with CBD seem to calm the back-cramps she has suffered since an accident years ago.
Plus, it's just her imagination, or doing her wrinkles seem to have faded.
Did we mention the relationship of CBD to the green gold mine, which is the American marijuana industry? (Surprise).
CBD is also known by the full name cannabidiol (pronounced Canna-Bid-EYE-ol) and is only one of hundreds of compounds that hide in the cannabis plant. It's a distant cousin of THC, the stuff in the pot that's notorious for stoning you and inciting the wrath of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
But while the term "cannabidiol" smells of grass, "CBD" sounds somehow. , , tame. Like something you can name – like turmeric and melatonin and charcoal and biotin or any of the other miracle elixirs that replaced Prozac in America's medicine cabinets.
The dizzying rise of CBD is a story of timing from branding. As more and more states deregulate marijuana, the Reefer Madness stigma that has been surrounding it for decades seems to have gone up in smoke.
But here CBD appeals to some who would never smoke a joint after dinner: take a few milligrams of CBD, an oil slipped on the tongue or a piece of candy, and it clearly tastes of cannabis, that is, slightly malty and herbicides, and just a bit funky. But the effect of cannabidiol is surprisingly anti-climactic. It's grass without the high.
And maybe that's why CBD is legal in many states, including some that do not allow legal recreational or medical marijuana.
An organic chemist named Roger Adams isolated cannabidiol in a research wave into the medical promise of marijuana in the 1930s and 1940s. He filed a patent, and in the decades that followed, marijuana breeders experimented with growing high-CBD plants and almost no THC, hoping that a train would trigger its own trippy bang.
It was not long before they realized they were wrong. So, so wrong.
"CBD has come to be known as the hippie's disappointment," says Stuart W. Titus, managing director of Medical Marijuana Inc., a manufacturer of several CBD oils and products launched in 2012.  Now the hippie's disappointment is back and is being renamed into the stressed-out modern bureau-ransom salvation.
Gwyneth Paltrow's obsessively-followed lifestyle site Goop, which should never miss the chance to rave about a wellness trend, recently released a guide to CBD cocktails. One of the many comfortable lounges offered by Coachella Swag next month promises CBD oils, yoga and vegan food for all guests. An author for the Cut's website wrote that a little CBD made her feel "adorable".
"Some people naturally want the high," says Titus. "But others are looking for the health and wellness benefits."
What many, according to the founding members of the Cannabidiol cult, are. Infinite, indeed.
"I like to call the super nutrient, the super plant," says Spike Mendelsohn, the Washington's former "Top Chef" candidate behind fast-casual restaurants including Good Stuff Eatery. More recently, he is a partner in the CBD-infused "wellness drink" Plnt Water, available in flavors such as turmeric and ginger, and matcha and mint, initially available in a healthy-leaning fast-casual restaurant chain.
"It's really breast milk," he says. "It is natural."
Of course, not everyone buys the hype.
Last year, the FDA criticized a number of companies that ran CBD on unfounded claims – mainly that it could cure or reverse cancer. … 1 / index.html The Agency has not evaluated all allegations about CBD, but some in the field of research already have their doubts.
"I think you are dealing with conditions in which people are looking for answers," says Timothy E. Welty Professor of Pharmacy at Drake University in Des Moines. "So turn to him and say, that's the answer." "
Welty has been involved in the use of CBD in patients with epilepsy, and at least two reputable studies have shown that it can relieve seizures, but as for the rest – the anxiety and sleep claims, all anecdotal – he is dubious "They're not science-based," he says.
So, is CBD only this year activated carbon or functional fungus? Harmless enough to burst without worries?
"I would be very careful," says Welty Control over sweets and water and food products that contain CBD, he says: "You're not sure what you really get."
For true believers, however, it pays to venture into the unknown when it means to throw out of the Aspirin and the painkillers and antidepressants.
"There have been a lot of people who have been working with cannabis and edibles for a long time," says Mendelsohn, "Weed seems like fun." But is it worth all the ande to risk the work I have? I'm in business with my family. I work a lot with children. I work a lot with politics. "
Drugs – Unwise – The spa – quite another ball game, he says – Besides, there's no market for CBD." People, "he says," buy it already. "
Franklin is convinced of his powers. "I had friends taking CBD for the first time and calling me and saying," Where have you been all my life? "" She says.