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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

The ABC’s of CBD: Local Experts Break it Down

Feb 28, 2020 01:24PM ● By Julie Starr
Nowadays it seems that an ingredient can go from a hidden gem to a “must-have” item overnight, leading consumers eager to sample this trending ingredient but often confused by the oversaturated market. CBD, or cannabidiol, seems to be in everything right now, from lotions to tinctures, edibles to cocktail drinks, leaving people with unanswered questions about its legality and benefits. 

We asked local expert Mitch Rosenfield, owner of The Hempest, on Newbury Street, in Boston, to explain what CBD is and what types are sold on the market. Rosenfield explains, “CBD is one of at least 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and there are differences between them.” Full spectrum CBD, as Rosenfield describes, “is a whole plant extract, complete with a range of different cannabinoids, which could contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).” Individuals that are drug-tested for any type of work or sport, may want to avoid this type, although the THC that is in the full spectrum is not enough to make someone “high”. In fact, by federal law, CBD cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC to be sold legally. Broad spectrum includes a range of cannabinoids but no THC, and isolate is the isolated CBD molecule. 

Just like with food and supplements, not all CBD is made alike. Denise Costello, a local cannabis nurse and educator maintains that people should look for organic CBD, with third-party testing and dosing information listed on the label. As Courtney Tritta, owner of Courtney Tritta Beauty puts it to her clients, “Don’t expect high-quality CBD from a gas station kiosk.” One of the most respected lines of CBD products sold nationally is Charlotte’s Web, but many local brands are popping up. Tritta herself has a line of CBD edibles and tinctures, and her skincare line will launch in a couple of weeks. 

The Benefits

While the press has been reporting that CBD fixes just about everything, the most common, scientifically proven uses are for anxiety, pain relief and sleeplessness. Nicole Henley, of Moksha Moon Holistic Wellness will often use one of her homemade CBD salves in a client’s therapeutic massage session. Day spas are also including CBD with facials for it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. 

Our local experts all agree of the importance of education when it comes to determining which CBD option is best. Speaking to an expert, like Sherri Tutkus or the cannabis nurses at her nonprofit whole-health consulting agency in Rockland, allows for individualized guidance. These nurses are available for consults, support groups and workshops. 

Dr. Gary Kracoff, of Johnson Compounding and Wellness, in Waltham, also treats patients with CBD, most commonly for stress and anxiety, aches and pains, but also for digestive/immune disorders like leaky gut or allergies. He points out that even though CBD doesn’t contain enough THC to make people high, it doesn’t mean that dosing isn’t important. Kracoff states, “Each person has a sweet spot, the best dose for them,” suggesting people should get guidance from a qualified person so they can achieve the positive effects of CBD. 

Fortunately, Boston has a variety of experts on CBD, all of whom encourage consumers to do their research, ask questions and find someone to guide them in finding the CBD product and prescription that is right for them. 

Julie Starr, MS, CNS, is a credentialed nutritionist, successful yoga and barre teacher and studio owner.  For more information, visit and connect at @StarrNutrition.