Updated: Jun 24
What is CBD anyway?
When my sister first told me that she was going to be offering CBD to her friends and clients, I didn’t know what it was myself. I had to google it. That was a few years ago and the information was slightly less comprehensive than it is now. Since then, I have dived deeply into understanding the industry and the various forms of cannabis therapy and have an excellent grasp now (in my humble opinion), but the journey was often confusing, usually complex, and occasionally frustrating. My hope here is to provide a few key insights from that journey and point you in the direction of some excellent (and mostly unbiased) information about CBD and cannabis therapy generally.
There is one thing we want to touch on for Blue Lotus readers before we get into specific details….
The FDA has issued legitimate concerns about the unregulated nature of the CBD market. While the publication of these concerns is arguably politically and financially motivated, it is true that regulation is needed and enforcement of accurate labeling is essential in the long run. We believe the industry should be regulated (Florida has made good strides with this). We believe that full spectrum cannabis extracts containing CBD and other cannabinoids should be added to the GRAS (generally regarded as safe) list by the FDA. They have, after all, been used safely by human beings for centuries. We believe that you should always talk to your doctor if you are taking prescription medications and / or have concerns about adding CBD to your wellness routine.
Clarity on a Few Points of Confusion
Hemp Vs. Marijuana – All federally legal cannabis extracts are made from a plant that has been classified as “hemp.” However, the plant known as “industrial hemp” used for fiber and fabric contains very few cannabinoids. The high quality Hemp extracts are being made from phytocannabinoid rich hemp. These plants are Cannabis sativa and / or Cannabis indica strains that have been selectively bred to produce low (less than 0.3%) Delta-9 THC (the intoxicating component of cannabis).
Therefore, the question about whether a particular CBD product comes from marijuana or hemp is a matter of how and why the plant was bred. They are the same basic plant, but with highly specialized genetics. Those who have smoked the hemp flower know that it looks, smells, and tastes exactly like the “marijuana” that creates a “high.” However, since the THC has been mostly bred out of it, the relaxing and relieving effects can be attained without the intoxicating effects cannabis is famous for.
Legal vs. Illegal – You can read our whole article about the legality of hemp derived CBD extracts here. The short version is that the state of Florida has licensed us to sell hemp derived CBD products that follow the manufacturing and labeling guidelines set forth by the state legislature.
What are the Potential Benefits of CBD?
As retailers of CBD, we are prohibited from making medical claims about the products. However, there many resources regarding how CBD products may help you. Most of our vendor partners provide exhaustive information on the potential health and wellness benefits of CBD, and we encourage you to visit their sites as well.
CBD is only one of over 100 components found in the cannabis family that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these components, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations and are therefore the most recognized and studied. CBD and THC levels tend to vary in amount and ratio among the various strains of cannabis. Marijuana grown for recreational purposes contains higher levels of THC than CBD, and this is why hemp can be the better choice for a CBD product.
By using selective breeding techniques, cannabis growers have managed to create strains which contain high levels of CBD and levels of THC that are almost zero and well below the legal limit. Because the medical benefits of cannabis are becoming more well-known and new markets are being established, these strains are becoming more popular and hemp is rapidly re-emerging as a significant industry, both here in the US and abroad.
THC is the compound in marijuana that produces the “high” that has historically driven its use. Unlike the THC in marijuana, CBD from hemp does not have psychoactive effects. CBD derived from hemp has a clinical advantage as a medicinal therapy, which many health professionals prefer because of its minimal side effects. CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not act on the same pathways in our bodies as THC. THC acts on pathways called CB1 receptors which are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC.
A 2011 review published in Current Drug Safety concluded that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions.” The authors add that several studies suggest that CBD is “well tolerated and safe” even at high doses.
CBD Shows Promise to have a Wide Range of Benefits
Although CBD and THC act on different pathways of the body, they seem to share many of the same medical benefits. According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies are showing CBD to potentially have a positive effect on a wide range of health conditions.
While research to date is promising, it is far from over and few conclusions can be drawn at this time. Project CBD (who loves research as much as we do) provides a complete research database on Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for various conditions. We encourage you to visit their website at www.projectcbd.org. Multiple other studies have found CBD to possess other potential benefits to combat issues, and the research continues…As do countless testimonials.
CBD and How it Heals: The Endocannabinoid System
Every human being (and all other mammals), possess an Endocannabinoid System. This system is a network of specialized receptors and neurotransmitters that regulate many bodily systems which help nurture and heal the body. When the Endocannabinoid System is deficient or not working properly, a number of minor or more serious conditions can occur. There are many ways to nurture the Endocannabinoid System, which can include some fruits and vegetables. However, no known substance feeds our Endocannabinoid System as efficiently as pure Cannabis oil. Once you begin feeding this system, it is not uncommon to experience a noticeable or possibly dramatic improvement in health.
Additional Resources and Articles about CBD and Cannabis therapy:
CBD Basics: It's a Molecule, not a Miracle by Project CBD CBD and the Entourage: https://projectcbd.org/science/cbd-its-entourage/ Various Health Conditions helped by Cannabis: https://healer.com/category/health-conditions/ Tried it, but it didn’t help? Read this: https://www.healthline.com/health/CBD-reasons-it-doesnt-work#takeaway
Article written by Mary Galeski, Co-Owner of Blue Lotus Wellness & CBD Boutique