The previous decade has seen a boom in the popularity and recognition of the therapeuitic value of cannabis compounds.  One of the major nonpsychoactive components, cannabidiol, or CBD, has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent.  The increased cognizance of CBD’s value has lead to its widespread use to treat pain and inflammation, anxiety, nausea, epilepsy and some forms of cancer.

Despite the popularity and acceptance of CBD’s medical benefits, Alaska cannabis retailers were previously prohibited from selling CBD extracts produced outside of the regulated market. However, recent legislation clarifying the regulation of nonpsychoactive hemp and cannabis compounds has cleared the way for retailers to provide these beneficial products to their customers.

CBD is often found as an oil based extract. It can be smoked or vaporized like other cannabis concentrates.  For individuals interested in consuming CBD but hesitant about inhalation, it is also commonly available as tinctures, edibles, topical lotions, salves, and balms. These products often contain only trace amounts of THC and lack the psychoactive affects many associate with cannabis.

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In addition to CBD extracts there are also a number of popular cannabis strains containing elevated levels of CBD. Catalyst Cannabis Company currently stocks a Critical Mass CBD strain with over 13% CBD, and their budtenders recently told me they have a number of customers who buy it and rave about the “entourage effect” of pairing their CBD dose with it’s sister cannabinoid THC.

They also carry cartridges of this strain that were processed by Top Hat Concentrates in Juneau, which were 50% CBD and 25% THC.  Ben Farleigh, one of their budtenders reported they were a very hot item.

“With the growth in popularity of natural products and people being more concerned with their health I’m not at all surprised by the recent demand for vaporizable CBD ” said Ben Farleigh, a Budtender at Catalyst Cannabis Co, “it also helps that they are a bit mellower, a lot of lighter smokers really enjoy the lower THC content.”

For those interested in learning more about how CBD could positively impact their health, they are encouraged to attend Aaron Ralph of Alaska Cannabis Exchange’s presentation “Understanding the Endocanabinoid System and the Gift of Cannabis” on May 23rd at Catalyst Cannabis Co, from 7 to 8 pm.

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