Know your CBDs
It’s been nearly a decade since our company introduced one of the first Cannabidiol (CBD) rich strains grown by Lawrence Ringo to San Diego County. Back then, we couldn’t give it away. People would buy it and then call us a day or two later telling us it didn’t do anything for them. That’s because they were expecting the usual “high” effect that cannabis rich in THC will induce. As time went on, more and more people found the lingering effects of CBD use had decreased their pain, inflammation and anxiety. They reported an overall sense of calm, focus and wellness. In addition, those who tended toward paranoia with THC, found that it tempered the effects and made their cannabis use more enjoyable.
Fast forward to 2013 when Dr. Sanjay Gupta announced that he was wrong about cannabis and the societal stigma which surrounds it. This was quickly followed by the media coverage of little Charlotte Figi and her seizures and the cannabis strain, Charlotte’s Web, that was named for her. These events launched the CBD discussion, and its merits began to be noticed and take hold—namely that CBD was undoubtedly a powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety remedy, without intoxicating effects.
Today, people are seeing mail and advertisements in all forms touting the benefits of CBD oils. The trouble is that not all CBD is equal and many people are spending hard-earned money on products with little medicinal value. Ultimately, as with anything we put into our bodies—and especially with products being marketed as CBD oil—it’s vital to know what exactly we are buying, where it’s coming from, and what’s in it.
To fully understand the benefits of CBD, it’s necessary to first recognize the difference between hemp oil, hemp and cannabis. As a society, we use the terms interchangeably, thinking they are one in the same. While they may look similar when growing, hemp and cannabis plants are quite different in their phytochemical composition.
Hemp oil is derived from seeds and/or stalks of the hemp plant.
Hemp or Cannabis ruderalis, is ideal for making clothing, textiles, paper, biofuel and more. While it does contain CBD, it lacks the additional compounds found in cannabis.
Cannabis, or Cannabis sativa/Cannabis indica, is rich in cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes; CBD being just one of the naturally occurring compounds.
Hemp seed does not contain any of the compounds found in the hemp or cannabis plant. However, the seeds are very rich in omegas and proteins. From a nutritional perspective, studies have shown hemp seed to have outstanding value for our bodies.
Molecule for molecule, Cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp or cannabis is exactly the same. What’s important to consider when looking to use CBD for medicinal purposes, are the additional compounds found in cannabis. It is the combination of all compounds such as CBG, THC, CBC and terpenes like beta-caryophyllene that work synergistically to activate our body’s natural endocannabinoid system. This process is commonly referred to as the entourage effect.
Here’s a quick checklist to use when selecting products labelled as CBD oil:
Is the main ingredient hemp seed oil or hemp oil? If yes, the product is a nutritional supplement and won’t necessarily help with your medical complaints. Recently a friend showed me a product she purchased online. The ingredients stated it contained 375 milligrams of hemp oil and 15 milligrams of CBD. While the CBD was hemp derived, there is nothing else in the capsules to fully activate the 15 milligrams of CBD.
Is the main ingredient Cannabidiol (CBD)? If yes, is it derived from hemp or cannabis? A challenge for consumers today is lack of transparency as to the origins of the hemp-derived CBD. Where and how the hemp is cultivated is critical. Hemp is used for phytoremediation because it absorbs contaminants and toxins from the soil. While this is fantastic for the planet, it’s not such a good thing when looking to put a derivative of the plant into your body. For the safest and healthiest product, look for CBD that is organically grown in the U.S.
If the CBD is cannabis derived, it will most likely have small levels of THC, terpenes or other cannabinoids listed on the label. You will need a medical marijuana recommendation to purchase these products due to Cannabis’s classification as a Schedule I substance. Again, look for products derived from organically grown cannabis.
What other ingredients are in the oil? Do you really need vegetable glycerin, sugars, polysorbates, sodium benzoate or other chemical ingredients if you are taking CBD to feel better or combat disease?
Finally, don’t confuse Cannabidiol with cannabinoids. All cannabis plants produce cannabinoids, Cannabidiol (CBD) being one of them. Many people say they want the medicinal kind of marijuana, not the kind that gets you high. All cannabis is medicinal; it is simply the levels of cannabinoids, how it is consumed and how much of it is consumed that will dictate the level of “high” you may experience.
As you begin your CBD journey, read the labels, ask the tough questions, and be aware of what is in it and how it makes you feel. Whether it's hemp or cannabis derived CBD, when you find the product in the right ratio for you, the natural relief can be extraordinary.
Robbin Lynn, certified cannabis consultant, is the co-founder of RX-C, offering the highest quality selection of organically cultivated products in a professional setting. For more information, call 760-849-8250 or visit rx-c.com.
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