The Science of CBD

Maggie Kimberl |


Medical cannabis is already a big business, and as more states legalize it it will get even bigger. Unfortunately the industry is legally dubious, which is a great hindrance to its growth. Multiple Federal entities are in disagreement about whether CBD oil derived from hemp is legal to produce and to sell, which is also preventing access by patients to this lifesaving treatment option. The science backs CBD oil as a useful and effective treatment for a wide variety of ailments, and Federal prohibition of it is a clear case of pandering to special interests.

CBD oil works with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates things like body temperature, pain levels, and inflammatory response. As we are learning, inflammatory response is responsible for a multitude of chronic ailments like Alzheimer’s Disease and arthritis. The cannabinoids in cannabis, which are refined to CBD oil, interact with multiple receptors in the body to help mitigate problems with anxiety, insomnia, and nausea as well as more serious health issues like cancer.

More study is still needed to fully understand how and why CBD oil works, but so far the anecdotal evidence and preliminary scientific studies are strong. Unfortunately as long as these products are legally dubious such development is likely to continue to stall. It will likely take time to legalize cannabis products on a state-by-state basis, but once there is a tipping point Federal Prohibition is more likely to be done away with.

Learn more about the science behind CBD oil from this infographic. How would you vote in a referendum in your state?

CBD Science

Scientific Details About CBD

Want the medical benefits of cannabis without the high? Lose the bong and reach for CBD oil.

How Does CBD Work?

Cannabinoids in the Body

80+ cannabinoid compounds are found in cannabis plants.
Most abundant are THC and CBD.

THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)
■ Psychoactive
■ Creates the characteristic marijuana “high”
■ Can relieve pain and inflammation

CBD (cannabidiol)
■ Non-psychoactive
■ Can reduce negative psychoactive effects of THC
■ Responsible for many of the medical benefits of cannabis
■ Endocannabinoid system (ECS) – Keeps internal bodily functions stable and controls how we think, feel, and react

Cannabinoids we consume interact with receptors in the body to produce different effects.

CBD’s Therapeutic Impact

■ Activates 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which helps with anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, nausea, vomiting
■ Binds to TRPV1 receptors, which moderates perception of pain, inflammation, body temperature
■ Blocks G protein receptor GPR55, which may decrease bone reabsorption and the spread of cancer cells
■ Activates peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs), which has been shown to produce anti-cancer effect and help with Alzheimer’s

CBD May Also Help With:
■ Epilepsy
■ Cigarette addiction
■ Acne
■ Diabetes
■ Fibromyalgia
■ Prion/Mad Cow Disease
■ PTSD
■ Schizophrenia
■ Crohn’s disease
■ Multiple Sclerosis
■ Insomnia

CBD oil is one of the most common cannabinoid products that can provide all these benefits.

How is CBD Oil Made?

Pick the Plant
■ CBD oil can come from hemp or marijuana — Both are derived from Cannabis Sativa L.

Hemp

■ Stalk and seeds used to make textiles, food, paper, and building materials
■ Grows in 15- to 20-foot stalks with woody cores similar to bamboo
■ Contains less than 0.3% THC, not enough to produce a “high”
■ Legality of CBD derived from hemp is debated

Marijuana

■ Cannabis flowers and leaves used for medicinal, recreational, or spiritual purposes
■ Grows in ~5-foot plants that spread out low to the ground
■ Contains 10%-14% or more THC
■ CBD derived from marijuana not legal in all states
■ Legal Debate — The Drug Enforcement Agency and legal experts can’t agree if hemp CBD oil is legal

The viewpoints:

Illegal
● December 2016: DEA updated the Federal Register to include “cannabinoids derived from any plant of the genus cannabis” as Schedule 1 Controlled Substances
● This would include hemp CBD oil

Legal
● 2014 Farm Bill: Made industrial hemp farming legal in some situations, including the sale of hemp-based products
● This would include hemp CBD oil

Bottom Line
● THC-free hemp CBD oil is most likely legal under the Controlled Substances Act
● Law enforcement is unlikely to interfere with individual consumer use



Extract the Good Stuff

Types of CBD formulas:

● Full spectrum — Includes all cannabinoids found in the plant, including trace amounts of THC
● Isolate — CBD is isolated from other cannabinoids in the plant, which might not offer the same relief as full spectrum

Types of cannabinoid extraction

Alcohol extraction
○ Plant is soaked in a solvent such as grain alcohol
○ When the plant is thoroughly soaked, the solvent is evaporated and only CBD-rich oil remains

CO2 extraction
○ CO2 is forced through the plant by a series of chambers that control temperature and pressure
○ The cannabinoids separate into different chambers, where the extractor can choose which to include

More and more people are discovering the benefits of CBD oil.

CBD Market Expected to Grow 700% by 2020

■ 2015: $202 million ($90 million from hemp-based sources)
■ 2020: $2.1 billion ($450 million from hemp-based sources)

Choose Your Own Way to Use CBD Oil

Different methods have low or high bioavailability (rate at which the drug is absorbed into the body)

Ways to Use CBD Oil

Tinctures
■ Place droplets under the tongue to absorb sublingually
■ Bioavailability: high

Capsules
■ Add to diet as a daily supplement
■ Bioavailability: low

Concentrates
■ Apply a wax or dab to the inside of the mouth
■ Bioavailability: high

Topicals
■ Use on skin as lotion, salve, or lip balm
■ Bioavailability: medium

Sprays
■ Spray oil into the mouth
■ Bioavailability: low

Vapes
■ Vape through an e-cigarette, vape pen, or vaporizer
■ Bioavailability: high

Choose your provider wisely

● The FDA does not regulate the safety or effectiveness of CBD oil products
● Make sure you get the best

Ask to see third party lab results
■ Sellers should be willing to share test results for potency, pesticides, residual solvents, and mycotoxins

Read labels carefully
■ Dosage listed on the bottle should be the actual active CBD, not the dosage of CBD hemp oil

Consult experts
■ Ask for advice from physicians and advocacy organizations to find out what brand is right for you

Sources:
https://www.zamnesia.com/content/260-cbd-thc-cbg-exploring-cannabinoids
http://norml.org/library/item/introduction-to-the-endocannabinoid-system
https://www.theweedblog.com/how-do-cannabinoids-work-in-the-human-body/
https://www.projectcbd.org/science/cannabis-pharmacology/how-cbd-works
http://herb.co/2016/07/26/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cbd/
http://hightimes.com/culture/10-little-known-uses-for-cbd/
https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/blog/medical-marijuana/marijuana-vs-hemp
http://www.westword.com/marijuana/marijuana-vs-hemp-whats-the-difference-8526551
https://cannabisnow.com/murky-waters-hemp-cbds-legal-status-get-murkier/
https://ministryofhemp.com/blog/legal-buy-cbd-oil/
https://www.massroots.com/news/full-spectrum-cbd-vs-isolate
http://herb.co/2017/03/07/cbd-oil-made/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2016/12/12/the-cannabis-market-that-could-grow-700-by-2020/#7562cf9a4be1
https://www.hempbizjournal.com/
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bioavailability
https://ministryofhemp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/The-Complete-CBD-Resource.pdf
http://www.cbdscience.com/providing-care.html
http://www.mannamolecular.com/2016/09/forms-of-cannabis-intake/
https://merryjane.com/culture/hemp-cbd-oil-marijuana-cbd-oil-differences


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