Tuesday September 1, 2015
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a special type of molecule known as a cannabinoid. There are more than 80 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and some of these are also present in a variety of other flora including flax, azaleas and hemp.
Recent media coverage, including CNN’s ‘Weed’ with Sanjay Gupta, highlighted the potential benefits of CBD to help epileptic children, cancer patients, PTSD-suffering veterans and many others. Due to this media coverage, interest in CBD has skyrocketed in the past year.
CBD is reported to be effective in caring for inflammation, epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. It is reported to have anti-convulsive, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anti-nausea, anti-rheumatoid arthritic and sedative properties. Project CBD has reports of research on its use for ailments ranging from autism to acne.
With so much surging interest in the potential of CBD, companies have begun to market hemp CBD as a more widely legal alternative to cannabis-derived CBD. You might be wondering – what exactly is the difference between hemp and cannabis?
Hemp is simply a variety of cannabis that contains 0-0.3% THC and does not cause any psychoactive effects. It is legal for regular farmers to grow. Businesses craft clothing, soaps, nutritional products and even cars and houses out of Hemp. Hemp is legal across most of the United States and the world.
Photo Credit: Mary's Medicinals
So is there a difference between CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from cannabis or flax? Nope, the CBD molecule itself is the same, regardless of which plant it is extracted from. However, a majority of hemp CBD products are imported from places like China where plants are grown with pesticides and exposed to heavy metals and pollution. When processed, this hemp extract often contains worrisome levels of toxins and heavy metals. The FDA has warned that some of these imported extracts don’t even contain any active CBD. Last year, the DEA stated that, “Because it is illicitly produced by clandestine manufacturers, its actual content is uncertain and will vary depending on the source of the material.”
To provide an alternative to these potentially dangerous foreign sources, American companies including Mary’s Nutritionals have begun to work directly with farms, including several in Colorado, to cultivate CBD-rich hemp plants. One of these farms is Elite Botanicals - a family-run organic hemp farm that produces Elite CBD plants in compliance with Colorado Department of Agriculture, the 2014 Farm Bill and the pending Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015. The Elite CBD™ extracted from these plants is distributed nationwide.
“We’ve seen firsthand the potential of the cannabis plant to change people’s lives,” said Nicole Smith, founder & CEO, Mary’s Nutritionals & Mary’s Medicinals. “It’s strange that the FDA prevents us from educating the public about cannabinoids, while the federal government holds a patent on CBD which clearly states some of the benefits that patients are reporting.”
The United States Department of Health and Human Services holds patent 6,630,507, which states that:
“Cannabidiol has been studied as an antiepileptic. Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties … useful in the treatment of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”
“With so many people travelling to Colorado to access CBD, we felt that it was our responsibility to make quality, domestically grown CBD available to everyone who seeks it for any reason,” said Smith.
Photo Credit: Mary's Medicinals