Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Pot Documentary Review: 'CBD Nation'

Fans of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Weed programs on CNN will want to check out David Jakubovic's new documentary, CBD Nation.

The film clearly views the cannabis compound known scientifially as cannabidiol as a miracle drug that can be used to treat numerous conditions from anxiety to arthritis. There is no other point of view offered.

Jakubovic's cast of talking heads leans heavily on the medical side with 12 doctors, including Uma Dhanabalan, Sue Sisley and Junella Chin, and a number of researchers like Israeli cannabis pioneer Raphael Mechoulam.

The storyline focuses primarily on children who've benefited from cannabis. In one case, Jayden David was able to overcome multiple daily seizures. In another, Rylie Maedler not only recovered from a tumor in her face with the help of CBD, she led the campaign to pass a CBD bill in her state, Delaware.

Rylie and Janie Maedler at home in Delaware

Rylie and her mother Janie are the stars of CBD Nation; their story acts as the film's emotional centerpiece. You watch as eight-year-old Rylie suffers, gets better and then decides to head to the state legislature, which enacted Rylie's Law that allows childen to use CBD in Delaware in 2015. Now 14, she has a line of CBD produccts named for her: Rylie's Sunshine. Jaden David's father Jason has also founded a cannabis business: Jayden's Journey dispensary in Modesta, CA.

The movie provides a deep science lesson about the endocannabinoid system, but surprisingly never discusses mixing cannabinoids to get the so-called "entourage effect." Other interviewees include Steve DeAngelo and Andrew DeAngleo from Harborside Health Center (they're also producers), Dr. Ethan Russo, Dr. Reggie Gaudino and Project CBD executive director Martin A. Lee.

A mix of documentary footage and animation keeps the pace lively. However, too often droning piano and guitar music attempt to dramatize certain sequences. Is CBD all it's cooked up to be? According to CBD Nation, yes and more.

Watch CBD Nation here.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.