*Hive does not condone or approve the use of CBD or marijuana in the office. The content of this article is not a substitution for medical advice. Please talk to your doctor before using CBD to find out if it’s right for you (especially if you’re pregnant or have underlying health conditions).

We’re in the age of mass CBD use. There’s CBD everything — candy, oil, coffee (yes, coffee) and even bath bombs. The passing of the Farm Bill in December 2018, which made hemp with under .3% THC legal, was monumental, and set the CBD market up to grow an expected 700% in 2019. Technically, CBD infused food and drink aren’t “legal” at the federal level, but distributors have found ways around the federal laws, which you can read more about in this recent Washington Post article. Basically, CBD products are everywhere, and it doesn’t look like they’re going away any time soon. 

But let’s rewind. What actually is CBD? It’s cannabidiol, one of the many chemical compounds found in cannabis. Unlike something like THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a psychoactive and the part of weed that gets you high, CBD doesn’t possess psychoactive properties. Instead, CBD’s effects include things like pain relief, anxiety reduction, inflammation reduction, and decrease in symptoms of chronic illness and cancer. You can even get CBD-infused products for your pets to “promote calmness, reduce stress and support a healthy inflammatory response.” 

In terms of product safety, there are a few negative side effects of CBD usage, including nausea, irritability and fatigue. Additionally, “CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does,” according to Harvard’s Health Publishing site. This is an issue because CBD products are labeled as supplements, which the FDA doesn’t regulate. Because of that, there isn’t a uniform dosage recommended or any real regulation on ingredients used in these supplements. 

Another potential area of concern for CBD is whether or not you can become addicted to it. Technically, because CBD does not affect the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain (like THC does), and doctors do not currently believe you can become addicted to the substance. CB1 receptors correspond to the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are part of the immune system. But while it doesn’t trigger those two receptors, it does activate other receptors, like 5-HT1A (serotonin) and adenosine, which can change how the body reacts to pain and inflammation, and can increase the release of dopamine. Additionally, it’s also believed that CBD can affect the 5-HT1A receptor the same way that some anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants can — by blocking reabsorption of serotonin (often referred to as the “happy chemical” because it encourages happiness) and increasing overall amounts of it in the brain. And while you technically can’t get addicted, you can definitely become accustomed to and rely on the positive chemical impact CBD has on the brain.

So what made us think about CBD use in the office? NatureBox, a company we’ve used for office snacks, actually has a CBD Wellness Collection, which includes a variety of fruit chews infused with CBD. The “serving size” contains 25MG of CBD, with a total of 125MG CBD per bag. A pack of three bags retails for $89, and you can read more about their specific formula here

It’s a brilliant foray into the exponentially growing CBD market, but poses several potential risks with in-office use. While it’s tricky to “overdose” on CBD (research suggests you’d have to consume 20,000MG of CBD to actually overdose), eating too many CBD fruit gummies can make you really, really tired. Extreme fatigue is obviously detrimental to productivity. Also, it’s really hard to predict how each individual will react to CBD, so we’d recommend testing it in the comfort of your home the first time, just so you understand how it affects you.

On the flip side, there are people who swear by the positive benefits of CBD to improve concentration, productivity and overall happiness. Kelsey Clark, who wrote a piece testing CBD daily for a week on My Domaine, actually reported that “while normally I’d be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself.” She also claimed that her ability to focus improved, and said that the CBD contributed to “a newfound sense of clarity and calm.”

Another writer, Brennan Kilbane, wrote a piece for GQ all about his daily dose of CBD, via Lord Jones gummies, that helped him “feel slightly but markedly better. My chair feels like it is mangling my body less. It’s harder to make a fist. It’s easier to navigate an hour or two of bullshit, which means it’s easier to do my job. It doesn’t matter if anybody notices that I am 10% more pleasant, because I feel 10% more pleasant, anyway.”

Now, the people mentioned in this piece have more creative careers (they’re writers), so if you’re an investment banker, the relaxation and absence of stress might not actually be beneficial to you at work. Additionally, it’s helpful to remember that while CBD has not been proven to be addictive, you can form habits around consumption of the product. It’s also important to check in with your doctor before you start popping CBD gummies left and right. However, as CBD slowly starts to extend it’s tentacles further into pop culture and the wellness community, there’s more and more evidence suggesting it’s possible benefits outweigh the risk of a trial and error period.

What are your thoughts? Do you use CBD products? Would you snack on Lord Jones CBD gummies at work? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.