For instance, in China there are few regulations enforced on the agricultural industry, leading to the production of hemp-based CBD products that tend to contain high levels of contaminants. Studies have shown that, due to the country’s mining activities, the water and soil in some regions of China are contaminated with heavy metals.
Knowing where and how your CBD is sourced will provide major insight into potential contamination levels. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
When discussing marijuana-derived vs. hemp-derived CBD oil, it is helpful to go through some basic cannabis taxonomy to better understand the cannabis plant.
Thanks largely to legal changes introduced by the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabidiol (CBD) has become an increasingly common fixture in medicine cabinets and on the shelves of local convenience stores and major drugstores.
Finally, as outlined above, hemp plants are legally defined as cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC. Despite these very low levels of THC, these plants still produce a broad range of cannabinoids and terpenes. These plants are typically grown for industrial uses and for other legal products.
The cannabis species is generally broken down into three main types: cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and hemp. The cannabis sativa plant contains THC and a wide variety of cannabinoids and terpenes and is typically a taller, thinner plant. The cannabis indica plant is also full of cannabinoids and terpenes but is typically a shorter, bushier plant.
CBD comes from one of two types of cannabis plant: hemp or marijuana.
The hemp-derived CBD market is not yet subject to a widely enforced regulatory framework. For this reason, it’s essential to do your homework when buying hemp-derived CBD.
However, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum hemp-derived CBD products may not have the potency of CBD derived from cannabis because trace amounts of THC appear to be less effective in treating certain symptoms.
Cannabis refers to a genus of plants which has three species: indica, sativa, and ruderalis. Hemp is not a different species of the cannabis plant. The above classifications have been devised to differentiate intoxicating cannabis from non-intoxicating cannabis. Hemp is a sativa species, while cannabis can be sativa, indica, or ruderalis.
Hemp is a bio accumulator , so it can absorb toxins such as residual pesticides and heavy metals from soil. When CBD is extracted from large quantities of industrial hemp cultivated in non-organic conditions, there is a possibility that contaminant residue will be passed into the final product. CBD products sourced from tainted hemp can compromise safety and efficacy.
Although hemp and cannabis look (sort of) similar, from a functional and chemical perspective, they are distinctive. Here’s how you can distinguish the two.
However, at a state level, the law changes. There are 33 US states which have medical cannabis programs, and CBD derived from cannabis is available from a licensed dispensary to eligible patients. The recreational use of cannabis is also legal in 11 states. In these states, cannabis-derived CBD products are available to those of age.
Hemp also contains some cannabinoids and terpenes, but not the range nor concentration of compounds present in cannabis. Hemp-derived CBD can be made into an full-spectrum extract that offers natural terpenes alongside minor cannabinoids. Broad-spectrum CBD is also available and contains minor cannabinoids and terpenes, but without the THC content.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
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Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, and you may have even seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. What exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?
Is CBD safe?
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a "high." According to a report from the World Health Organization, "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD."
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.