^ Jump up to: a b Pamplona, Fabricio A.; da Silva, Lorenzo Rolim; Coan, Ana Carolina (12 September 2018). "Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis". Frontiers in Neurology. 9. doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.00759. ISSN 1664-2295. PMC 6143706. PMID 30258398.
As the brain ages, the creation of new neurons slows down significantly. In order to maintain brain health and prevent degenerative diseases, new cells need to be continuously created. A 2008 study showed that low doses of CBD- and THC-like cannabinoids encouraged the creation of new nerve cells in animal models, even in aging brains. CBD also benefits the brain by helping to prevent other nerve-related diseases like neuropathy and Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact, numerous studies have looked at the relationship between CBD and pain, and the results are promising. Researchers have looked at various kinds of pain – from joint pain to cancer pain. One finding is that CBD increases levels of glutamate and serotonin – both neurotransmitters that play a role in pain regulation. And CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties help by tackling the root cause of much chronic pain.
But, uh, what is it that CBD is supposed to do? I visited a cannabis dispensary in Boulder to find out what the hype was all about. After passing an ID check, I was introduced to a “budtender” who pointed me to an impressive array of CBD products — tinctures, skin patches, drink powders, candies, salves, massage oil, lotions, “sexy time personal intimacy oil” and even vaginal suppositories to treat menstrual cramps.
CBD is derived by growing cannabis, drying it out, pulverizing it, and then, often, using a rotary evaporator filled with an ethanol solvent to extract the CBD. (There are some other methods, but the ethanol one is common.) It’s a pretty old and fairly low-tech technique, but it’s effective. What you end up with is, hopefully, about 99 percent pure CBD in the form of white powder, which is called CBD isolate. (Some CBD is billed as “full spectrum,” which means it contains other things from the cannabis plant, like a bunch of other cannabinoids, but there’s no formal definition for full spectrum.)
Donald Abrams was a member of the committee that reviewed the evidence that went into producing the report, and he said that the studies they reviewed overwhelmingly used pharmaceutically available preparations that contain THC, including dronabinol, nabilone and the whole-plant extract spray nabiximols, which contains equal parts CBD and THC. It’s impossible to know whether the benefits of cannabis can also be obtained from CBD alone, Abrams said, because CBD is just one of 400 chemicals present in the plant. So far, CBD in isolation has been studied in only a handful of randomized, placebo-controlled trials (considered the gold standard of evidence in medical research), and the evidence remains sparse.
In the past several years however, public interest in CBD has skyrocketed based on claims — largely unsubstantiated through good clinical research thus far — that it may be a kind of cure-all miracle drug, with therapeutic effects ranging from pain relief to eradicating cancer. In fact, while CBD research has been limited due to federal restrictions, preliminary evidence does suggest that it might help with psychiatric conditions like anxiety disorders (note that while many people claim that CBD is not “psychoactive,” it’s potential as an anxiolytic medication suggests otherwise) and recent randomized, controlled clinical trials suggest a possible role in the treatment of psychotic disorders.2,3 In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a form of CBD manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, for the treatment of rare forms of pediatric epilepsy (see my blogpost "Cannabis for Kids: Can Marijuana Treat Childhood Seizures?").
The Alchemist’s Kitchen and Clover Grocery are high-end stores that cheerfully tell customers where they source their products from and only stock brands with similarly transparent sourcing. This CBD usually comes from cannabis plants farmed in Colorado or Oregon, or, increasingly, states not normally associated with the cannabis trade. EarthE CBD, a prominent online seller of CBD products, for example, sources from local farms in New Jersey; it also publishes lab results on its website showing that its products have been tested to have no THC and the amount of CBD the company says they should have.
A 2016 literature review indicated that cannabidiol was under basic research to identify its possible neurological effects, although as of 2016, there was limited high-quality evidence for such effects in people. A 2018 meta-analysis compared the potential therapeutic properties of "purified CBD" with full-plant, CBD-rich cannabis extracts with regard to treating refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy, noting several differences. The daily average dose of people using full-plant extracts was more than four times lower than of those using purified CBD, a possible entourage effect of CBD interacting with THC.
Hemp and Marijuana come form the same plant family, but are completely different in function, cultivation and application. Marijuana generally has a high level of THC (a psychoactive compound that makes you feel “high”) and is used for medicinal or recreational purpose. Hemp contains a negligible amount of THC (but is high in CBD) and is used in dietary supplements, skin products, clothing and paper.
Hemp oil can come from the flower, leaves, stock or seeds. If it comes from the seed there are no cannabinoids found. If it comes from the rest of the plant cannabinoids are found. Hemp extract usually refers to either CBD or oil from the stock, flower, or leaves. Our Virgin cannabis sativa hemp oil is a hemp seed oil, and our Premium hemp oil products, have hemp oil from the stem of the plant (which is listed in milligrams on the bottle) It also has hemp seed oil in the bottle to act as a carrier oil. Our Hemp seed oil is a cold pressed seed oil, and our Premium hemp oil that comes from the stem is Co2 extracted.
The raw and heated cannabinoids in this product come from agricultural hemp. They are combined with hemp terpenes that are steam distilled. We have specially formulated this blend to combine a variety of different terpene-rich hemp extracts. This product contains equal amounts of both CBD (a decarboxylated form of cannabinoid) and CBD-A (the raw, or non-decarboxylated form of cannabinoid) — 125 mg of each, to be exact.
Let’s take a good look at the claim, which is based upon the underlying premise that hemp acts as phyto-remediator. Well, yes, it does. All cannabis serves exceptionally well for phyto-remedation purposes. This means that cannabis mops up contamination and can be used to clean up all manner of nastiness. It also means that if it’s grown under less-than-pristine conditions, it carries that nastiness with it when it’s harvested. And, it carries that nastiness with it into products made with it. So, clean sourcing is an especially big deal with ALL cannabis.
Some states only allow for products infused with CBD, some only allow for high-CBD and low-THC products, while others allow both THC and CBD. To further confuse the American citizenry, some states permit patients the use of CBD, but require that they travel to another state to purchase it. To make sense of this confounding patchwork and to learn about each individual state’s CBD laws, read the Weedmaps Laws and Regulations page.
Researchers like Blessing are legitimately excited about CBD. It shows real promise in treating previously intractable disorders like schizophrenia, and without the destructive side effects of existing drugs. Still, that doesn’t mean CBD is harmless. Research on drug interactions with CBD is in its infancy, but what is known within the medical community is that CBD can cause serious problems for people taking certain classes of drugs, namely SSRIs (a group of antidepressants including Zoloft and Prozac) and opioids.
It may have something to do with the fact that THC stimulates that CB1 receptor a lot, in turn triggering the psychoactive effects of marijuana like disturbed sensory perception, impaired motor skills, and anxiety. Conversely, CBD stimulates CB1 very lightly, causing some effects that seem downright opposed to those of THC including relief from anxiety, stress, and hyper-excitability.
“I’m 54 years old, and I’ve been trying to meditate since I was 13,” she said. “I’ve tried all different kinds of meditation, and I could not sit. It’s like I’m jumping out of my skin. If somebody feels like they’re jumping out of their skin continually, is it that they’re not trying hard enough? I don’t believe that. We should give somebody a little help. It’s like how in yoga, we have props that we didn’t have 30 years ago. If sitting in meditation without back support causes back pain, should that be the only way everybody should sit? No! Give them a chair or a block. These are all aids to help us do the practice.”
So is it possible that despite all this anecdotal evidence, low-dose CBD is a placebo? Sure, because, say it with me: We don’t know anything about CBD. “Unfortunately,” says Baron, “we are nowhere near close to having any definitive trials on effectiveness for most symptoms claimed to benefit from CBD with trials that are scientifically relevant, such as prospective randomized placebo-controlled trials.”
Whereas marijuana contains both THC and CBD, hemp contains almost exclusively CBD — THC occurs only in very trace amounts. Remember, though, that there are many varieties of marijuana and hemp plants, and their concentrations of THC and CBD vary. Those with high THC are used primarily for recreational use; plants with low or no THC and high CBD are best for medicinal use. Only cannabis with less than 0.3% THC can be legally classified as hemp.
Cost is another consideration. Most CBD oils are sold in concentrations of 300 to 750 mg, although this may range from less than 100 mg to more than 2,000. A good indicator of price-point is the cost per milligram. Low-cost CBD oils usually fall between five and 10 cents per mg; mid-range prices are 11 to 15 cents per mg; and higher-end oils cost 16 cents per mg or higher. Given these varying per-milligram costs, a bottle of CBD oil may be priced anywhere from $10 or less to $150 or more.
Cooper recently got funding from the National Institutes of Health for a study looking at cannabinoids — including CBD in isolation — as a substitute for opioids, and numerous other clinical trials of CBD are underway. It will be several years before results are available, but these studies should help clarify both what benefits the substance may provide and any side effects it may come with. Most of the adverse effects so far associated with cannabis, such as impairments in short-term memory, coordination and judgment,2 come from products that contain THC as well as CBD, Cooper said, but we need to do more studies to find out for sure whether CBD has fewer risks. Studies are also needed to identify the best way to administer and dose CBD. “I get emails from people asking me what dose of CBD to use, and the truth is, we really don’t know,” Cooper said.