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cannabis sativa l cbd oil

Figure 1. The manifold applications of hemp plant: virtually, each part of this plant can be used in a specific industrial field. The seeds can be used in the food, feed, and cosmetical field as whole or dehulled, or it may be subjected to a cold press process to obtain an oil used in the food and cosmetic industries. From the stem, it is possible to obtain both shives and fibre, useful for animal, building, paper and textile applications. The hemp root system is highly developed in comparison to other herbaceous plants, and this feature is suitable for the phytoremediation of soil from heavy metals. Hemp flowers can be used for ornamental purposes or to obtain products of cosmetic and pharmaceutical interest, such as essential oils composed by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) pure extracts.

The major discriminant factor related to the different intended uses of C. sativa L. is the level of the two major and more known phytochemicals characteristic of this crop, namely the only one psychoactive and toxicant compound of the plant, THC, and the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). Both of them belong to the cannabinoids’ class which includes over of 100 secondary metabolites belonging to the family of terpenophenolic compounds, typical of all C. sativa L. plants. These compounds are synthesized, collected, and stored in stalked glandular trichomes, that are specialized tiny secretory epidermal glands [5] [6] , which are essentially present and abundant on the inflorescence of the female plant, whilst are present in lower numbers on leaves and stems, and are absent on roots and seeds, therefore, these latter organs do not contain cannabinoids [4] [7] [8] . A possible presence of cannabinoids in hempseeds could occur during the harvesting process, as a result of physical contact with the resin secreted by the glandular trichomes located on the bracts that surround the seed [9] [10] . Hence, the presence of cannabinoids in hempseed actually represents a contamination, and the level of this contamination depends on both the cultivar ( cv ) and the cleaning process of the seed. Reasonably, THC contamination in seeds from C. sativa L. varieties which produce a low-THC level—as the industrial hemp varieties—should be extremely low [9] ; anyway, the adoption of a method for the quantification of the possible cannabinoid’s contamination and the level in hempseed products and food may be appropriate [11] [12] [13] .

1. Definition

Finally, in the US, the federal policy regarding hemp was significantly altered with the 2014 Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) that allowed the USDA and certain research institutions to grow hemp under an agricultural pilot program. Despite this act, industrial hemp continued to be a niche crop. The great novelty was four years later with the 2018 Farm Bill that has established a new federal hemp regulatory system under the USDA with the aim to facilitate the commercial cultivation, processing, and marketing of hemp and to essentially treat hemp like any other agricultural commodity. Indeed, it removed hemp (i.e., C. sativa L. varieties with a THC content <0.3% of the dry weight of leaves and flowering parts) and their products—among which is hempseed—from the statutory definition of the drug marijuana and the DEA schedule of controlled substances, opening the hemp industry for business [31] . 2018 was also the year in which the federal government of Canada legalized access to recreational cannabis (i.e., the drug-type C. sativa L.) through the entry into force of the Cannabis Act , Bill C-45 [40] . In Figure 3, the main highlights about the C. sativa L. legislation in Canada, the US, the EU and Italy among the EU states, are illustrated.

Historically, industrial hemp or simply, hemp, that is, C. sativa L. plants grown for fibre and/or seeds, was frequently cultivated over the world, mainly for the production of technical textiles, until the first half of the 21st century. In the US, hemp was widely grown from the colonial period into the mid-1800s. In the early 1900s and prior to the late 1950s, hemp continued to be grown, being considered as an agricultural commodity: the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported its production, and USDA researchers continued to publish information related to hemp production and also reported on hemp’s potential for use in textiles and in paper manufacturing [31] . In Europe, at the end of the 1950s, Italy was the second country in the world after Russia for the areas under hemp cultivation (over 100,000 hectares) and was the world’s best for the quality of the obtained products [32] . However, following the discovery of the psychotropic activity of THC, and the increasing awareness of its deleterious effects on human health, many countries began to take measures in an effort to stem the use of C. sativa L. plants’ flowers and leaves for their psychotropic effects. The first provision was taken in the US and Canada. In the US, between 1914 and 1933, 33 states passed laws restricting legal production to medicinal and industrial purposes only. In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act defined hemp as a narcotic drug, without any distinguishing between low THC plants (hemp) and high THC (drug hemp or simply, marijuana) ones: both were considered schedule I controlled substances, and it was required that farmers growing hemp hold a federal registration and special tax stamp. This effectively limited further production expansion; in fact, after 1943, production of hemp started to decline until the late 1950s when no production was recorded. Finally, in 1970, The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was issued, and it placed the control of selected plants, drugs, and chemical substances under federal jurisdiction. Among the selected plants, there were also C. sativa L. ones to which were given the statutory definition of marijuana and were put in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) schedule of controlled substances [31] . In Canada, the cultivation of hemp has been prohibited due to the presence of THC, in 1938 with the Canadian Opium and Narcotics Act [33] [34] . In 1961, the United Nation (UN) endorsed and adopted the single convention on narcotic drugs, which established a universal system for limiting the cultivation, production, distribution, trade, possession, and use of narcotic substances to medical and scientific purposes, with a special focus on plant-derived substances, among which is cannabis. In the article 28, paragraph 2 of this convention, cannabis was defined as “the flowering or fruiting tops of the C. sativa L. plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops) from which the resin has not been extracted, by whatever name they may be designated”. The same article described a system of control required if a country decides to permit the cultivation of C. sativa L. that is not for industrial or horticultural purposes [4] [35] . Ten years later, in 1971, the UN endorsed the convention on psychotropic substances which established an international control system for psychotropic substances, among which is THC [36] . In line with these directives, in 1975 the Italian Republic issued the law n. 685/1975, introducing cannabis (intended as a drug product obtained from C. sativa L. plants) in the schedule of controlled substances.

Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is an ancient, widespread, multipurpose crop cultivated all over the world, all parts of which can be potentially usable for the production of many different commodities with industrial interest. It is one of the oldest cultivated crops and until the first half of the 1900s, it was widely grown essentially as a fibre crop. Declining the demand for natural fibre consequential to the upper hand of synthetic fibre, and competition from other plant fibre sources led to reduce the demand for hemp. In addition, the use of some narcotic strains containing high and unhealthy level (>0.3%) of the only one psychoactive substance, namely the cannabinoid delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), led to the crop’s prohibition during much of the 20th century. The clarification of the genetics and the biosynthetic pathway of the cannabinoids has been essential to identify three main different genotypes and the related chemical phenotypes of hemp plants, differing in the content of the two main hemp cannabinoids, THC and cannabidiol (CBD). Among these, the chemical phenotype commonly named “industrial hemp” includes hemp varieties which contain <0.3% or 0.2% of THC level that makes them unsuitable for narcotic purposes, but very useful for many other industrial applications. Therefore, from a legislative point of view, the main western countries such as United States, Canada, and European Union after a prohibition period, from the last decade of 1900s, have reintroduced and restored the industrial hemp cultivation.

What is the difference between hemp, CBD and marijuana?
The Cannabis plant contains over 80 biologically active chemical compounds (cannabinoids). However, the most known ones are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Different taxonomic classifications of the genus Cannabis vary in their THC and CBD content. For example, Cannabis indica originally from India contains a high THC content associated with marijuana hashish production, whereas Cannabis sativa L. from Europe and western Eurasia has a high CBD content, traditionally associated with the textile industry, and more recently to applications within the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical sectors. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects.

How is hemp used in cosmetics and what are its properties?
There are several types of extract from hemp used in cosmetics:

Transparency and traceability
Following baseline regulatory compliance, for the formulation and subsequent claims made about natural and organic cosmetics, transparency and traceability are key to ensure that any substance extracted or derived from hemp used in a product ensures certain verifiable qualities. When using raw materials from Cannabis in cosmetics, brands should choose reliable supply chains that give proof of the traceability of these plant extracts from crop-to-shop. This is a key aspect for regulatory compliance but also for end consumers because it reassures them about the origin and qualities of these substances when used in a cosmetic product.

How about detectable THC levels in cosmetics?
Under Regulation (EU) No. 1308/2013, Cannabis sativa L. is considered as an agricultural product and as an “industrial plant” that may be grown legally as long as their THC content does not exceed 0.2%. However, for cosmetics, national legislations from EU Member States on controlled substances may apply. For instance, in France no THC is allowed, while in Luxembourg a THC concentration up to 0.3% is permitted.

Specific European and national legislation as well as international conventions apply to establish which type of extracts and derivates of the Cannabis sativa L. plant may be used in products, including food and cosmetics. Keep reading to find out more about hemp, an incresingly popular ingredient in cosmetics, and the differences in the extracts and derivates of the Cannabis sativa L. plant.