CBD — not to be confused with weed — is legal and sold in NJ
You've seen the signs all over the place, on storefronts and at busy intersections. You've probably even come across an advertisement or two in your mailbox.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, has exploded in availability in the Garden State, as well as in popularity, as products linked to cannabis become more accepted and slip into the mainstream.
"It does keep me more focused during the day, and it does keep me asleep at night," said Scott Carlino, owner of EarthE CBD in Brick.
Customers of all ages (21+) frequent his shop for help with conditions ranging from anxiety to arthritis. Carlino also sees cancer patients looking to increase their appetite or ease nausea related to treatment.
"Obsessive compulsive disorder is really one of the big ones that we help here," Carlino added.
In Carlino's shop, CBD can be purchased in capsule form, as well as drops, lollipops and gummi bears, among other forms.
One of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis, CBD is known as the non-psychoactive "cousin" of marijuana. It tends to but shouldn't be confused with THC, the most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana that's responsible for producing a high.
The primary source of CBD is the hemp plant. Hemp-derived CBD is what you'll find in New Jersey. Marijuana-derived CBD is legal or conditionally legal for medicinal use in more than half the states, but not New Jersey.
Based on a recent analysis of thousands of Yelp reviews nationwide, educational website Remedy Review found New Jersey is home to many of the lowest-rated dispensaries in the country. Seven of the bottom 10 can be found in the Garden State (shops in Elizabeth, Hoboken, Newark, Paterson, Clifton, Passaic and Hackensack).
Compared to other states, the product's footprint is in its infancy in New Jersey. The analysis noted that multiple towns in California, for example, are home to more than 100 retail establishments selling CBD.
Carlino, a food scientist, said there are a number of companies producing "bottom of the barrel" CBD, treating the substance as a "get rich quick scheme."
There's an intricate science behind getting CBD to optimally serve its medicinal purpose, he said.
"You've got to be careful with who you use and what you use," he said. "You have to really research your company, and who cares and who's doing it right."
When looking at the average price of CBD products, New Jersey was noted once again. Six of the 10 highest-priced establishment nationwide are in the Garden State.