Know your CBDs
By Robbin Lynn
It’s been nearly a decade since we first experienced Cannabidiol (CBD) rich strains of cannabis grown by pioneer Lawrence Ringo. 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 bombarded with advertisements 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, industrial hemp and cannabis. As a society, we use the terms interchangeably, thinking they are one in the same and scientifically, they are the same species. While they may look similar when growing, industrial hemp and cannabis plants are quite different in their phytochemical composition.
• Hemp oil is derived from seeds and/or stalks of the hemp plant (note to consumers: hemp oil is not CBD oil).
• Industrial Hemp is bred for seed and fiber. It is ideal for making clothing, textiles, paper, biofuel, plastics and more. While it does contain CBD and other compounds, it produces these compounds in much lower concentrations than plants grown for human consumption.
• Cannabis (or Cannabis sativa/Cannabis indica) is rich in cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes; CBD being just one of the naturally occurring compounds. Cannabis can be grown to produce high THC levels, high CBD levels or any combinations in between.
o Cannabis with concentrations of THC 0.3% or higher may only be sold in dispensaries)
o Cannabis with concentrations of THC less than 0.3% may be labelled and sold as “hemp” products. We refer to these strains as therapeutic hemp.
o Hemp seed does not contain 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 and the perfect balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6.