Various strains of "medical marijuana" are found to have a significant variation in the ratios of CBD-to-THC, and are known to contain other non-psychotropic cannabinoids. Any psychoactive marijuana, regardless of its CBD content, is derived from the flower (or bud) of the genus Cannabis. Non-psychoactive hemp (also commonly-termed industrial hemp), regardless of its CBD content, is any part of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, containing a ∆-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis. Certain standards are required for legal growing, cultivating and producing the hemp plant. The Colorado Industrial Hemp Program registers growers of industrial hemp and samples crops to verify that the THC concentration does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
This is a topic I am asked about all the time, and have been for years: how does cannabis help sleep and health? I’ve heard that the number-two reason why people smoke or use cannabis is for sleep. Considering the recent passing of the recreational use of cannabis in California and other several states I think it is high time (pun intended!) to look at understanding CBD, one of the most active ingredients in medical cannabis.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) testing is much more precise than the standard High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), but because an NMR machine costs millions of dollars and is hard to come by in this industry, we only have limited access to one at a local university. The vast majority of NMR tests we’ve performed on our CBD isolate over the last several years have shown it to be over 99% pure cannabidiol, while standard industry HPLC tests have more variance and less reliability.
While researchers are calling for more robust studies on the role of CBD on mood disorders, there is promising research that points to CBD’s role as an anxiolytic – which means it has anti-anxiety effects. Another study showed CBD to have antidepressant effects comparable to those of the prescription antidepressant Imipramine. We noted above that CBD increases levels of glutamate and serotonin – and it’s these same neurotransmitters that play a crucial role in mood regulation.
CBD concentrates typically contain the strongest dosage of CBD compared to any other CBD products. It can contain up to 10 times the average CBD products. Concentrates are also convenient in that it only takes a few seconds to consume. Overall, CBD concentrates seem to be most popular among customers who are extremely busy, yet seek high potency CBD.
A THC-rich rub infused with cooling menthol and peppermint is a perfect way to wind down from a brutal workout or hike. For intense localized pain, you may try a warming balm that combines the deep painkilling properties of cannabinoids with a tingling, soothing sensation. Inflammation symptoms may require a different chemical profile, as Cannabis Basics’ CEO Ah Warner explains:
THC is the most well-known cannabinoid because of its psychotropic properties—it gets you high, and that’s because of the way that it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. Although high THC levels are often huge draws for pot consumers, too much THC can have negative effects including paranoia, anxiety, and panic attacks. Additionally, there is a huge market purely interested in the therapeutic aspects of cannabis, not the psychoactive ones.
If you don't live in a legalized state, you can typically still get CBD-infused creams. Since there's no regulation or standardized testing, your best bet is to find trustworthy brands who use creams free of toxins but with additional pain relievers like menthol, capsaicin, lemongrass, or camphor. Try Mary's Nutritionals Muscle Freeze ($70; marysnutritionals.com) or Elixinol's CBD Rescue Balm ($40; elixinol.com).
Success stories like Oliver’s are everywhere, but there’s not a lot of data to back up those results. That’s because CBD comes from cannabis and, like nearly all other parts of the plant, is categorized by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule 1 drug—the most restrictive classification. (Others on that list: heroin, Ecstasy, and peyote.) This classification, which cannabis advocates have tried for years to change, keeps cannabis-derived products, including CBD, from being properly studied in the U.S.
There’s a growing body of scientific evidence to support the use of topical CBD products to ease pain, inflammation, and the symptoms of arthritis. One study using rats found that topical CBD has “therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.” More scientific research on humans is needed to confirm all of CBD’s benefits, but the initial research into topical use in humans is also promising.