If you're sick of getting makeup, snacks, and jewelry in a monthly box, you can now sign up for something a little more fun: Nancy, a new subscription service, will send you various products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in weed, purported to help with pain, anxiety, and much more. Billed as Mary Jane's little sister, Nancy is now crowdfunding on Indiegogo, and the founders hope to ship the first boxes by the end of the year. Nancy follows in the footsteps of many other subscription boxes. First, you'll receive a $50 welcome box packed with CBD-filled goodies (a sample box is available through the Indiegogo campaign for $25). Then, for $75 every month, you can get another customized box containing your go-to products and some new ones. If you also want items with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in it, which will actually get you high, Nancy can send that too — as long as you have a medical marijuana card.
Nancy uses products with CBD derived from hemp plants rather than marijuana, which keeps it legal. While hemp contains many of the same compounds as marijuana, they're present in drastically smaller amounts in hemp. You can already buy it online through many (unregulated) retailers, but it's often expensive, and you can't be sure what you're getting. A subscription model would allow for a lower cost for the consumer and some degree of accountability for the company. "I don't smoke regular strains because I get really weird; I don't talk, I'm no fun to be around," says Samantha Strom, Nancy's 32-year-old founder. She has back and shoulder pain, as well as anxiety. After a Tinder date suggested it, Strom tried CBD. "I needed to figure something out where I would have relief without feeling high," she says. Strom is also the founder of Hazel Lane, a subscription box service focusing on locally-sourced products from a different location every month. This week, she pitched Nancy on The Marijuana Show (basically a stoner Shark Tank) with mixed results: She didn't get funding, but the investors said they wanted to see her again when Nancy had a little more traction. The skinny about CBD is that it's sold as a supplement, so the FDA hasn't confirmed that it can treat or prevent anything. There are anecdotal reports and early evidence that CBD can be used to calm anxiety, relieve pain, and reduce cigarette cravings. But, in reality, the health effects of CBD are still up for debate. Currently, there's considerable scientific effort invested in figuring them out, but the first clinical trials for CBD-based compounds are just beginning. There are no concrete answers as of yet, but for those looking for an easy, reliable way to get some CBD-infused cookies, Nancy may be an attractive option — without any baking.