What the hemp is going on?
Ever wonder why there is so much conflicting information on the internet about CBD? One article says it is legal, another says it is not legal. One article will refer to it as CBD and claim legality in all 50 states, yet marijuana based CBD is not legal in every state. Be warned, state laws will get tricky when it comes to CBD and cannabis in general. It won’t take long to discover articles or companies making simple statements like the user cannot fail a drug test taking CBD potentially setting the user up for failure. What about companies claiming no THC or THC free? Is it really THC free? The misinformation waiting to be discovered by an unsuspecting buyer is astounding. I know the feeling of overwhelmed confusion because the underground world, classically known as pot or cannabis, hits the mainstream world as hemp, CBD, or medical marijuana. Lets start by breaking it all down so your journey into the world of cannabis can be more confident, less fearful, and exciting as you begin experimenting to find your sweet spot.
First, let’s get to the basics. Cannabis is the plant’s genus name. It consists of three species; Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Sativa cannabis can be described as an up lifting feeling, because the plants grow naturally with high amounts of CBD. Indica cannabis plants grow naturally with high amounts of THC which makes the user feel very calm or high. Ruderalis cannabis plants are uncommon and arguably a subset of Sativa as it grows to a much shorter in height similar to marijuana, but high in CBD. This is where it begins to get a little fuzzy. Law enforcement, domestically and abroad needed a pathway to define and separate cannabis strains to differentiate strains that would not get the user high and could be used for commercial purposes leading to the creation of hemp. Hemp is part of the cannabis Sativa variety and technically grown for industrial purposes such as the huge rope used in the Navy. It’s just that simple. The US Government actually owns the patent on the cannabis plant compounds, but that is a whole other article! Let me be clear, THC forms in all cannabis varieties, so state and federal policies determine which plants are hemp verses marijuana based on the amount of THC contained in the plant when harvested. If the plant contains less than .3% of THC, it is hemp. If the plant contains more than .3% THC, then it becomes marijuana. This percentage was chosen, because it is absolutely pointless to smoke hemp if looking to get high as the THC quantity is too low. Think of it as near beer, never gonna happen. THC is the primary difference between marijuana and hemp with respect to chemical make up. Hemp and marijuana both have varying levels of quality which determine quality, pricing, and medicinal value. The differences, as you can see are very simple, but the spin and jargon create a tremendous amount of confusion, legal issues, and general misinformation.
Hemp just became legal with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, however, it’s not without caveats. Each state had to determine its’ policy for hemp and marijuana. There are additional laws for legal marijuana states requiring its product to stay in state. Like THC, CBD can be found in both hemp and marijuana. It is illegal for CBD generated from a marijuana plant to be exported out of state even though it’s NO different than hemp CBD. The DEA still considers it marijuana, because it’s a derivative of “cannabis” which makes it illegal. This has been a huge source of confusion in the CBD world and of course, extremely important to know. Next, it’s important to know the country of origin which grew the plant. What quality and part of the plant was used to extract cannabinoids such as CBD? The flower, or bud, contains the highest quality and quantity of CBD. Is the CBD product, full spectrum or an isolate? Full Spectrum CBD includes everything the plant has to offer, not just isolated CBD. The University of Jerusalem proved that an isolate of CBD can only provide relief up to roughly 25mg; anything higher will be a waste of money as pain control capabilities are maxed out. Full spectrum oils, on the other hand, use every component to throttle its medicinal capability. This is especially important in pain management, because an increased amount of CBD will be necessary for pain management. This phenomenon is called the entourage effect, synonymous with synergy, as it works better together. Finally, does the company practice transparency and provide a Certificate of Analysis, or COA? If not, Do Not Buy! Who knows what chemicals, metals, and other contaminants are in the soil, from the harvest, or how much THC is included within the product.
As CBD continues to grow in popularity, it will be everywhere. Cheap CBD is cheap for a reason and the buy should ask why? CBD is classified as a supplement, meaning there is hardly any regulation. The FDA stated that 60% of the packaging on CBD products was misrepresented in some form. The worse cases misrepresented the CBD quantity as far less than labeled and many tested positive for THC. The world of cannabis is unknowingly known. Confusion can be capitalized on easily and that could lead to a dire outcomes for the user. What if the CBD was sourced from legal marijuana states, such as Colorado and California? Technically, that CBD should not cross state lines, however, it does. The lack of oversight and all mighty dollar will always take advantage. Another reason to know your hemp source is because hemp will clean the soil. Russia used hemp to clean and rehabilitate the environment after Chernobyl. Hemp does this by extracting the contaminants out of the ground. I am not suggesting your CBD is nuclear, but I am thinking of mercury, pesticides, mold and other soil contaminants – yuck! Think about countries like China!
A Certificate of Authenticity will tell you everything about that particular batch of oil, so never buy CBD Oil without it. Always buy products from a transparent company. Full spectrum CBD products always use the entire plant and specifically the aerial parts as it contains all the cannabinoids. Finally, choose simple and pure ingredients only. The whole point to medical marijuana and CBD is to avoid a pill, so it only makes sense that the product is organic. No one will care more about your health then you, so here is to making the right choices.
Reach out if you have questions or need help!