- An Overview of Cannabis, Hemp and CBD
- The legalization of Hemp and CBD
- Commonly Used Extraction Methods
- Next Generation; Advancements in Extraction:
- The Difference between Hemp oil and CBD oil
- What is Full Spectrum Hemp?
- What is Broad Spectrum Hemp?
- What is Isolate?
- CBD and Bioavailability:
- Knowing what to buy
An Overview of Cannabis, Hemp and CBD
A brief history of Cannabis.
Early History: The use of Cannabis (Hemp and Marijuana) has been found in scripture, archeological digs, diaries and ancient writings. Its use for making textiles (e.g… clothing, rope, and sails) and as a medicine are well documented. The cannabis plant is an active part of world history that continues today.
Cannabis made its way from China to Egypt to India, to Northern Europe and eventually to North America. Its medicinal benefits are seen in every part of the world and in every culture.
According to historic evidence the use of Cannabis for medicinal benefits dates to 2737BC with Emperor Shen Neng of China. It is said he used a cannabis-based tea to help ailments that included poor memory, malaria, and gout. The earliest written reference to Cannabis was in 1500BC in the Chinese Pharmacopeia mentioning its healing benefits. Throughout the years BC history shows that Cannabis spread throughout China and beyond. It was used in Ancient Egypt (early 1200’s BC – glaucoma, inflammation and enemas), India (1000 BC – Anesthetics, Anti-Phlegmatic), Northern Europe (500BC – reduce inflammation, treat edema, and reduce joint pain), Ancient Greece (200 BC – earache, edema, inflammation), Ancient Rome (Gout, Earache, Joint Pain and as an anesthetic for intense pain).
As early as 1 AD; It is mentioned in Chinese text that cannabis is recommended for better than 100 ailments including: gout, rheumatism, malaria, and absentmindedness to name just a few. Roman medical text (70AD) mentions cannabis for treating earaches and suppressing sexual longing. In 200AD Chinese Surgeon Hua Tuo used Cannabis to create an anesthetic used during his surgical procedures. Through the Middle Ages (469AD – 1500AD) Cannabis was a medicine of choice for many ailments.
History suggests that the first cannabis plants into North America were hemp. It was brought here with the Jamestown settlers in 1611. Hemp was not initially a medicine in the colonies but was used for making rope, sails and clothing. It was also exported back to England. It became a valuable commodity until the early 1800’s.
In 1793 Eli Whitney’s’ invention of the cotton gin boosted the farming of cotton which replaced the need for hemp fiber for many needs. By the end of the Civil War hemp farming had dropped substantially. However, a new type of Cannabis was becoming popular as a medicine.
In 1839 William O’Shaughnessy, an Irish physician known for his work in pharmacology and chemistry introduced Cannabis Sativa to Western Medicine. He was also known for being the doctor that developed intravenous therapies.
By 1850 cannabis, as a medicine, was being sold in pharmacies as an over-the-counter medication to help with stomach aches, migraines, inflammation, insomnia, and other ailments.
1900’s: The demise of Cannabis – 3 theories:
We need to recognize that prior to the Mexican revolution (1910 – 1920) recreational use of Cannabis in the USA was very limited but increased during this time period.
- From the start of the Mexican Revolution there was an influx of immigrants into the USA (with them came the term “marijuana”). The immigrant growth was a concern to many Americans and rumors spread of the Immigrants heavy use of Marijuana. Many Americans associated this with an increase in crime. These rumors were being spread by groups who opposed the use of Cannabis (Marijuana) and wanted it banned.
- Another theory (considered a conspiracy) is that around the same time the Paper industry (users of wood pulp) was fighting the Hemp industry for position. Hemp was a cheap replacement for wood pulp and was a serious threat. Randolph Hearst had invested a great deal of money into the lumber and paper industries and with the help of his newspapers began a campaign against the evils of Hemp partly based on the immigration issues.
- The third theory was that Andrew Melon had invested a lot of money into DuPont’s New nylon product for making rope. This may have been in direct competition with Hemp and Melon along with Randolph Hearst set out jointly to discredit Hemp.
Whichever theory is accurate the campaign against cannabis was growing. Between 1915 and 1927 there were 10 States that implemented a Marijuana Prohibition Law. By 1937 23 states had banned marijuana.
In 1936 the Marijuana Tax Act was written into law. This act outlawed the use of non-medical cannabis, but it made it difficult for doctors to prescribe. The government was keeping a close watch on its use. Doctors needed permits to prescribe it and they had to pay taxes on it.
Marijuana was not legal for recreational use, but science was still researching it. This allowed for the discovery of CBN (1940) and CBD (1942). THC was discovered in 1964 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem by Israeli researcher, Raphael Mechoulam.
Controlled Substance Act – Created in 1970, placed drugs into categories Schedule 1 – Schedule 5. Cannabis was listed as a Schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined by the federal government as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
As a Schedule 1 drug cannabis became completely illegal. All research funding to educational or government institutes was no longer available. Hemp and marijuana would be considered the same plant until 2018.
The legalization of Hemp and CBD
Until 2018 Hemp (Cannabis) was illegal in the eyes of the government because both Hemp and Marijuana were labeled the same. Since 1973 individual states were decriminalizing Marijuana and or allowing for the use of medical Marijuana but it remained illegal on a Federal level.
In 2012 both Colorado and Washington States legalized Marijuana for recreational use and since than other states have followed but it wasn’t until 2018 that Hemp and Marijuana became 2 separate items which than made CBD legal.
The “Farm Bill” of 2018 or the “Agriculture Improvement Act” of 2018 reclassified hemp, separating it from Marijuana, making it legal to grow. The Farm Bill defines hemp as containing 0.3 percent or less of Delta 9 (The dominant psychoactive chemical found in Hemp and Marijuana) Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis over the Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis. This was the first step in the change of Governmental policy.
With the reclassification of hemp, the DEA was able to remove hemp and CBD from the schedule 1 drug list making it legal to sell.
The USDA was asked to write and submit its proposal to regulate the growing and testing of Hemp ensuring that the levels of THC are not above 0.3%. The USDA completed their proposal in September of 2019, and it was signed into law in November 2019.
The proposal, once released to the public, immediately became controversial. The USDA is requiring Hemp Farmers to harvest early. Harvesting premature hemp plants ensures the THC levels will be minimal, but the Farmers argue that the levels of CBD will also be stunted creating a new problem for the industry. Many people feel there will be additional changes made to benefit the farmers but for now the law stands.
While the USDA and the DEA have approved of Hemp and CBD, the FDA has not yet approved or disapproved CBD.
While the FDA is not stopping consumers from using CBD, they are telling producers not to make any health claims. To date the FDA only approves of the claim that CBD helps reduce seizures caused by epilepsy. Epidiolex is the only FDA approved CBD drug and it’s used to treat seizures caused by two forms of epilepsy.
While consumers continue to benefit from CBD, the FDA cannot approve any of the claims people are making until they have been scientifically proven.
The FDA is responsible for consumer safety. They are working with research organizations to ensure the safe use of CBD. Some of the focus points are:
- Proper CBD dosage
- Does CBD cause any adverse effects?
- How CBD interacts with prescription drugs
- How CBD interacts with food ingredients
- How CBD reacts if used in cooked foods
Researchers are looking at the benefits of CBD being used in different applications. The results of their findings will be shared with the FDA. The FDA will review the findings and consider its safety.
The truth is, there is a long history of cannabis use throughout the world and if Hemp were thought to be harmful it would not be made legal.
We could also argue that if CBD did nothing to help people the demand would not be strong, the medical industry would not invest and the FDA would not waste their time, but demand for CBD continues to grow and the medical industry continues to invest.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant family of 3 species;
- Indica – Sedative effects
- Sativa – Energizing
- Ruderalis – a very sturdy plant with low levels of Cannabinoids but it can grow in difficult environments. It is sometimes used for cloning and strengthening other strains.
Both hemp and marijuana are varieties of Cannabis Sativa each with its own chemistry. Simply put; marijuana contains between 5% – 35% THC and hemp contains less than 0.3% THC. Both plants contain many cannabinoids but only THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid and still listed as a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA.
It is estimated that there are over 700 strains of Cannabis today each having similarities and differences in their balance of terpenes and cannabinoids
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in Cannabis plants that affect our central nervous system by binding to receptors in our bodies Endocannabinoid System which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including:
Receptor sites throughout the human brain (CB-1 receptors) and body (CB-2 receptors), are stimulated by cannabinoids. They will exhibit different effects depending on which receptors a cannabinoid is binding.
Many people are familiar with two specific cannabinoids: CBD and THC. On August 26, 2019, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 changed the definition of marijuana (high in THC) to exclude “hemp (less than 0.3% THC) so the DEA was able to remove CBD from the same class as THC and CBD became legal. Legal CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC and is proving to be effective in assisting:
Anxiety Pain Nausea Poor appetite Inflammation. Seizures Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms caused by advanced HIV
NOTE: To date there is no conclusive evidence showing the role cannabinoids play but science is focused on the research and early studies suggest many different benefits.
Additional known Classes of Cannabinoids
|Cannabigerols||CBG||Early research suggests it’s assisting in fighting certain cancers|
|Cannabichromenes||CBC||Early research suggests treatment for anti-biotic resistant infections|
|Cannabinol||CBN||Early research suggest good for Insomnia, anti-biotic resistant infection|
|Cannabinodiol||CBDL||Being Studied – no firm results to share|
|Cannabicyclol||CBL||Being Studied – no firm results to share|
|Cannabielsoin||CBE||Being Studied – no firm results to share|
|Cannabitriol||CBT||Being Studied – no firm results to share|
The chemistry of hemp is more than cannabinoids. Terpenes play a crucial role in the overall health benefits of hemp.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are the chemicals that determine the scent of plants and fruits. Terpenes can also help heal. There are over 20,000 known terpenes. There are about 100 terpenes found in Cannabis. Of these 100, there are a certain few most found:
Each terpene is recognized for different health benefits which are helpful on their own but when combined with the complete chemistry of the plant it creates what is being called the Entourage Effect. The entourage effect is whole plant medicine. The full plant chemistry (Cannabinoids, Terpenes, along with remaining chemical compounds) working together to offer the greatest benefits.
Not all strains of Cannabis contain the same terpenes. Here is a list of the Terpenes most common throughout the different strains of hemp.
Myrcene: (smells similar to cloves)Alsofound in mango, hops, thyme, lemongrass and basil.
Recent studies show that myrcene is a powerful terpene that effects the body and brain similarly to that of THC and CBD. The health benefits are great and include:
- Anti-inflammatory – Myrcene is thought to boost the anti-inflammatory action of CBD and other terpenes and has an anti-inflammatory effect of its own.
- Analgesic – pain reliever. It’s thought that myrcene helps with pain by boosting the amount of pain-relieving chemicals the brain releases.
- Relaxation and sleep: may reduce tension and anxiety
- Antidepressant: It may boost the production of chemicals like dopamine (the bodies feel good chemical) and GABA (Calms an overactive nervous system), and together they help regulate mood.
Pinene (smells like Pine)found in pine trees, rosemary, dill, basil
The health benefits include:
- Bronchodilator (opens airways)
- Pain Relief
Linalool (smells like Lavender)found in lavender
Linalool is best known for
Caryophyllene (smells like Black Pepper)Also found in cinnamon, basil, black pepper, clove and hops
Caryophylene is best known for:
Humulene (woody earthy aroma)also found in coriander, basil, black pepper and sage.
Best known for:
Terpinolene: (has a floral aroma)Also found in lilacs, nutmeg, cumin, and apples.
- Recent studies suggest cancer fighting ability
Bisabolol: (floral aroma): also known as levomenol: found in German chamomile
- Anti -Inflammatory
- Pain relief
- Skin benefits
Eucalyptol (Smells like Eucalyptus) found in tea tree, bay leaves, mugwort
- Fights cancer
Ocimene (smells sweet with earthy tones) Also found in mango, basil, tarragon, orchids, oregano, parsley.
Commonly Used Extraction Methods
There are 2 very commonly used methods of extraction both of which begin by soaking dried hemp in a solvent solution
- Supercritical CO2
CO2 Extraction: Offers an efficient and clean result. CO2 is naturally a gas but when put under the right pressure and brought to the right temperature CO2 reaches what is known as a Super Critical point and becomes a fluid. The dry hemp material is soaked in this fluid in order to extract the plants chemistry. The result of this first stage is a fluid known as crude. Crude is a dark syrupy fluid that is typically 55 – 65% CBD and contains waxes and other unwanted matter. Crude will be further processed using a method known as winterization (often mixed with a solvent; Ethanol or Pentane and frozen) to separate the waxes. It is then further processed to remove the Solvent by heating the fluid to cook off the solvent.
Ethanol extractors are much less expensive and less efficient.
In this method the dried hemp is soaked in Ethanol to produce the crude. The crude is then frozen to remove the waxes. The remaining product is then heated in a distillation method to remove the ethanol and remaining unwanted chemistry.
In an Ethanol extraction heat is used to distill the fluid and evaporate unwanted waxes and chemicals.
NOTE: Heating the product at any stage removes some of the beneficial chemistry.
Next Generation; Advancements in Extraction:
Cleaner and more efficient are the rules for this next generation of extractors. No CO2 or Ethanol or dried Hemp.
Using dried material is common practice today, but when vegetation is dried it loses some of its beneficial chemistry. It’s like eating dried fruit; it’s healthy but not nearly as healthy as eating fruit from the tree.
Using freshly cut Hemp ensures the most complete chemistry which offers the most benefit.
Next Generation does not use heat during the extraction process; using heat removes some of the beneficial chemistry.
HemPur CBD is extracted using water and condensed terpenes found naturally in the hemp plant – clean and simple = higher levels of terpenes and cannabinoid fractions for the most beneficial product on the market.
- The feedstock is organically grown industrial hemp.
- The hemp plant oil is extracted via its patent pending technology. The technology utilizes condensed terpenes found naturally in the hemp plant to separate the oil from the plant biomass. This technology allows the extraction plant to take place in a “wet” state providing a superior yield of cannabinoids and terpenes.
- The oil is further refined using solventless processes to remove plant matter such as waxes, chlorophyll, proteins, sugars, etc.
The process allows us to offer a Terpene Extracted, non-alcohol, non-CO2, non-fossil fuel, clean terpene rich oil pre-cursor to a 99.9% CBD isolate molecule
The Difference between Hemp oil and CBD oil
CBD is a cannabinoid extracted from the hemp plants stems, leaves and flowers. CBD oil often contains additional cannabinoid fractions and terpenes. CBD oil is mostly labeled as Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum Hemp oil.
Hemp oil is pressed from seeds, and may contain traces of cannabinoids and terpenes, but not enough to be beneficial. Hemp oil is commonly used in skincare products to help with different skin conditions.
What is Full Spectrum Hemp?
Full Spectrum Hemp oil is the processed oil extracted from the Hemp plant. The “Full Spectrum” refers to the “complete chemistry” that includes terpenes, cannabinoid fractions and the CBD. Full Spectrum oil is typically between 84 – 88% CBD with less than 0.3% THC. The color can range from as light as Honey to as dark as Amber (heat plays a role in color) and the flavor varies depending on the strain of Hemp (flavor is influenced by terpenes) and the process used in extraction (efficiency of full chemistry extraction).
What is Broad Spectrum Hemp?
Broad Spectrum is like Full Spectrum but contains 0% THC.
What is Isolate?
Full Spectrum Hemp can be further processed into CBD Isolate. Isolate is a powder that is better than 99% CBD. There are no Terpenes or Cannabinoid fractions.
There are more than 700 Strains of Hemp
Listed below are just a few popular strains, some of the differences, and why the strain matters
Berry Blossom is a highly productive plant suitable for large scale production. It is a selectively bred cross between Cherry Kandahar S1 and Chardonnay. Excellent in a variety of climate conditions and holds up well in harsh wind and weather.
Known to be one of the most potent CBD seed lines available, Elektra is a cross-
bred improvement on ACDC variety. ACDC paved the way for CBD production in the U.S. Elektra has a stronger stalk, fuller flowers, and earlier blooms.
This strain gained popularity for its medical uses, being developed and
perfected by the Stanley Brothers in Colorado. Charlotte’s web was one of the top strains available before medical cannabis was legally accessible to patients with epilepsy
Possesses a very strong terpene profile with CBD content ranging from 15-
22%, with total CBD varying due to harvest and climate conditions. This variety consistently produces large flower buds that are exceptionally dense.
CBD and Bioavailability:
Bioavailability is defined as the proportion of a drug or other substance which enters the circulation when introduced into the body.
Like with any food, supplement or medication, CBD gets absorbed into our bodies but the amount of CBD that is absorbed will differ depending on the method of delivery.
Administration under the tongue is the most common way to take CBD oil. Putting CBD oil under the tongue sends the molecule directly into your bloodstream through the mucus membranes allowing the compounds to interact with the endocannabinoid system more quickly.
WhenCBD is swallowed it needs to be digested and processed through the liver before going into the bloodstream. The bioavailability is good but not as great as sublingual. Examples of Ingested CBD products might be
Vaping offers the highest level of Bioavailability. The vapor is absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs for immediate effect, but Vaping is controversial.
The bioavailability in Topicals is not the best, but because topicals are spot specific, they tend to work well for their specific application.
Knowing what to buy
When shopping for a CBD tincture it’s important to know as much as possible about the process used to extract the CBD. Next, it’s important to know many people are benefiting from CBD products especially the Tinctures and its popularity continues to grow. If you are considering the use of CBD consider the following:
- Good quality CBD tinctures can be expensive. On average the cost will be between $0.07 – $0.12/mg of CBD.
- In tinctures the CBD is commonly blended with a carrier oil each of which offer additional benefits and cost
- MCT (Coconut Oil) – (Most Beneficial) Helps promote weight loss, Increases Energy, studies suggest it helps manage Alzheimer’s, Great Anti-Bacterial, Helps fight Heart Disease
- Olive Oil – (Very Beneficial) Full of Antioxidants, great Anti-inflammatory and helps fight Heart Disease
- Grapeseed Oil – (Beneficial) great for skin, full of Vitamin E
- Hemp oil – (Beneficial) Great for skin, great Anti Inflammatory
- The CBD tinctures with the most benefits will be labeled Full Spectrum or Broad-Spectrum Hemp oil
- A label with “Hemp Oil” alone is simply that. It is not the same as Full Spectrum or Broad-Spectrum Hemp Oil and does not contain beneficial levels of CBD.
The benefits of using the right CBD products are being talked about around the world and because there are so many success stories the medical industry is investing a great deal of money into research and exploring the full potential of hemp and its chemistry.