To CBD or Not to CBD (Part 1)

Welcome to the first in a series of posts on CBD origins and products.

What is Hemp used for?

Hemp is an incredible product used to make tons of things such as canvas, textiles, rope & paper, coffee filters, cosmetics, soap, yoga mats, plastics, etc. In fact, hemp could eliminate the need to chop down trees to make paper and other products. 

What is CBD (cannabidiol) and where does it come from?

What exactly is CBD oil and where it comes from? Do you understand the difference is between hemp & marijuana? I have been reading all I can on this subject as the question has come up with a number of clients. I use Hemp Seed Oil in many of my products because of their skin healing GLAs - a product in which comes from the seeds, not the flowers - so no THC, no psychoactive compounds - and its excellent in body products and soaps and much more.

Hemp & Marijuana plants have their differences but share the same Latin name "Cannabis sativa." “Hemp is not marijuana and marijuana is not hemp. They are different varieties of the same species.” (1) You understand when we have different varieties of vegetables and fruits - they may look similar (such as orange white and purple carrots) but their compounds differ, making them different species of the same family. The CBD from hemp should be a product where you reap the benefits of the CBD without the high you would get from THC. CBD is supposed to contain very little to no THC.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is "specifically cultivated to enhance its THC (tetrahydro-cannabinol) content for medicinal or recreational purposes." (2) It is usually grown without the male plant present to keep it from seeding. Marijuana generally has about 5-30% THC but Hemp plants are supposed to have very little THC (less than 0.3%). There is an interesting reference to where the 0.3% came from The main difference in being in this article under a section titled “The THC Trap”.

So where does CBD fit in? Where does the CBD come from - Hemp or Marijuana plants?

CBD can come from both Hemp & Marijuana plants. The main difference being chemical compounds within each plant. What the main issue is that the hemp plants used to make CBD products, which should contain little or no THC (at most .3%), are found to have more than they should, making them according to the FDA, psychoactive compounds.

Kentucky is a state which years ago was given approval to grow Hemp with an “approved pilot program to study the feasibility of farming fiber hemp and hemp for seed oil, as well as farming CBD-rich plants for medicinal oil extraction. “(3) In other words, its legal for Kentucky to grow and produce products with Hemp including CBD rich oils AND to ship the products they make over state lines. There are many strains of the plants they have cultivated over the years including strains they brought in from California called ACDC. This hemp product touts a whopping 20% CBD oil!

One thing that I have consistently come across in my research is that it is not always clear how much CBD or THC is contained in a product. And companies do not always have their product tested for these compounds. Nor do they label their products correctly. For you to be exactly sure of what you are buying you can request a copy of their lab tests to see what exactly is in their products. If they refuse to offer this, try a different company.

As far as testing the claims of businesses on their CBD products “In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) purchased and tested 24 products labeled as hemp or labeled as a component of hemp called cannabidiol (CBD). A majority of the products were found to be mislabeled. Only two of the products tested met their label claim.” (4)

“Imported hemp, which has an extremely low (almost absent) level of THC, can be a solution for consumers who are seeking the plant’s health benefits minus the effects of THC. Although THC does have some health benefits, hemp contains more than 80 bioactive compounds that can offer excellent support for a number of health concerns, including stress response, positive mood, and physical discomfort.* (5)

In another study, 84 CBD products were tested from 31 different companies. Vape products were the ones found to be mislabeled more frequently. In fact, what is being inhaled can become a cancer causing carcinogen! “Under-labeling is less concerning as CBD appears to neither have abuse liability nor serious adverse consequences at high doses; however, the THC content observed may be sufficient to produce intoxication or impairment”(6) - with special regards to kids that use the products.

So in the end, unless you do your research into companies that truly have a good product with actual CBD contained within and very little to low THC count, I really recommend that you don’t buy it. I am in no way saying that CBD products are not effective. In fact, plants are my life now but the moral of the story: LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP!

Our next post will contain information about CBD as a pain reliever.






Other references::

Bonn-Miller M, Loflin M, Thomas B, et al. Labeling accuracy of cannabidiol extracts sold online. JAMA 2017;318(17):1708-1709.

Ann MasciaComment