For all the press that is out there concerning legalization of cannabis, CBD hasn’t drawn much notice. That is unless you’re a parent with a child with seizure disorder. I know a family whose youngest developed a seizure disorder and nothing stopped her almost relentless seizures until they tried high CBD marijuana. The family spent most of the year separated so the mother and daughter could live in Colorado, where she was able to be treated with CBD. That was my first exposure to CBD and was about 10 years ago. So much has changed since then.
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in cannabis or marijuana. The most active compound in cannabis is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound that when broken down by heat can produce the “high” that people were at first most interested in. For that market, marijuana growers bred different varieties, maximizing the THC. But there is another market, the hemp market.
Hemp is nothing new.
The fiber from this ancient plant is thought to have been used in weaving as far back as 10,000 years ago. In 800AD, hemp was cultivated in Great Britain and used to produce rope, sails and other materials for the Royal Navy. In the US, in the 1700 to early 1900’s, hemp was a common crop. Fiber was used in fabric, rope, paper and fuel oil. When the diesel engine was developed in the late 1800’s, it was intended to run on plant-based fuel. Somewhere in the early 1900’s, hemp was competing with cotton in fabric production, with new synthetic fabrics, with trees for paper production and with petroleum for fuels. It appears that investors sided against hemp. Fake news stories (yes, even back then) started appearing linking cannabis with crime. In 1936, a movie “Reefer Madness” portrayed cannabis as the most dangerous drug in the world. Hemp cultivation became almost impossible.
This original cannabis plant cultivated for hemp production was very low in THC but very high in CBD. CBD is not psychoactive (to be clear… you don’t get high from it) and these original strains are used today in the production of CBD oil.
It might sound confusing but cannabis, marijuana and hemp are all the exact same plant, cannabis sativa. Different varieties of the plant are developed with high or low THC content, depending on their intended use. If the THC content is less than .3%, then the product is called hemp and it’s legal under federal law. Medical marijuana, commonly referred to as cannabis, contains THC levels above .3% often in the range of 15-30%.
If not to get high, then…
The human body makes its own cannabinoids. There are two types- CB1 attaches to receptors in the brain. These affect movement, coordination, pain, emotions, mood, memory and more. When THC is introduced into the body, it attaches to these CB1 receptors. Our body’s other natural cannabinoid is CB2, with receptors in the immune system dealing with inflammation and pain. The CBD cannabinoids don’t really attach to either receptors but seem to encourage the body’s production of its own natural cannabinoids.
The benefits of CBD can include relief of pain and reduction of inflammation. It is being studied in its ability to reduce drug and smoking withdrawal symptoms. CDB is effective against seizure disorders and recently the FDA has approved CBD as therapeutic for two forms of epilepsy which have proven difficult to treat. Research is being conducted to evaluate CBD effectiveness against cancer and in relief of cancer treatment symptoms, neurological symptoms and disorders, anxiety, acne, Type 1 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep issues and Alzheimer’s. Its anti-inflammatory powers could make CBD helpful with auto-immune disorders. CBD is also being studied for its anti-bacterial effectiveness against MRSA and other drug resistant strains of bacteria.
While CBD is well tolerated by many, there are possible side effects and you should always consult your health care professional before adding CBD to your treatment plan.
Why hemp now?
Beyond those facing medical challenges, why is CBD oil so interesting right now? As with any supplement, what is in the news is what people want to try. The oil is thought to help skin conditions, can be calming and fight inflammation. In our stressful world with some people not eating as well as they should, these characteristics are appealing. Many are trying it to help with pain and insomnia. CBD oil can be helpful to calm pet’s anxiety, pain and excessive barking. I am exploring it for inflammation reduction and perhaps some deeper sleep. I’ll let you know how it goes.
ps. After posting this article, the question came up as to whether CBD oil will affect drug testing. I checked several sources (including CBD manufacturers and Drug Test centers) and all seem to agree that unless someone is taking an unusually high dosage of CBD it should not show up on a drug test. Dosage is wide ranging depending on the problem you are hoping to relieve. Normally, dosages range from 1-2mg to 40 mg. Epilepsy doses are higher, 200-300 mg depending on doctor’s orders. Schizoprenia recommended doses can be higher, again under doctor’s supervision. The US Drug Center’s site does say that very high dosages could cause a false positive in a drug test.
Everything you need to know about CBD oil
Last updated Fri 27 July 2018
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317221.php Medical News Today
A powerful new form of medical marijuana, without the high,The Washington Post- Health & Science By David Kohn, December 31, 2016
50 States: Is CBD Oil Legal to Purchase?
Posted at 12:30h in Health by HempMeds
Can You Fail a Drug Test Due to CBD?- US Drug Test Centers Blog/News