Cannabis contains over 60 different natural-occurring and active compounds known as cannabinoids. CBD (cannabidiol) is one of these compounds. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the most well-known cannabinoid and is associated with the psychoactive effects that marijuana has on a user. Unlike THC, CBD itself doesn’t cause a high feeling, but can still offer relief and feelings of wellness.
Cannabis plants are separated into two different types of crops, marijuana and hemp. These two plants differ in the type of cannabinoid ratio they constitute. Both varieties can be used to make CBD products. Ancient civilizations are responsible for discovering the differences between the two and using the for various purposes.
Many archaeologists believe that cannabis sativa dates back at least 10,000 years ago and was one of the first crops planted by man. Hemp was first discovered in what is now Taiwan where farmers used hemp seeds to better the quality of their soil. During this period of time, hemp seeds were used so much that they began essential to humans.
Hemp was first published in a pharmaceutical book, Pen Ts’ao Ching, around 6,000 B.C. In this book, cannabis was identified as either male or female. This is when the difference of hemp and marijuana was truly introduced to the world. Hemp was generally used for industrial reasons, and were tall and thin plants. They were believed to have male reproductive properties. While marijuana plants were believed to be female and grew for a longer period of time then hemp and sprouted flowers (while hemp produced seeds and long stalks).
During ancient times, the two different reproductive properties of these cannabis plants completed the Yin and Yang of Taoist philosophy. It was believed that two halves together completed a wholeness. This is why cannabis became so important to the Ancient Chinese civilization. Even before it was recognized in the pharmacy book, hemp was recorded as medicine by Chinese emperor Shen-Nung as far back as 2737 B.C. He used the hemp oil for pain treatment and created topical treatments and salves for treating skin irritations and rashes.
From there, hemp made its way across the world to Europe and Ancient Greece. Many decades after this, King Henry VIII required hemp cultivation in England to make clothing and other important building materials. From Europe, settlers brought hemp to North America where it was again used. In the 1700s, the plant was given to pregnant women before childbirth in Africa.
In the 1800s, the medical use of hemp became much more common across Europe and the United States. Even Queen Victoria was known to have used CBD cannabis to treat menstrual cramps. In 1910, during the Mexican revolution, an influx of Mexican immigrants introduced the more recreational use of cannabis. This was a defining time for the cannabis industry in the United States. And the rest is history. The Hemp Business Journal predicts that by 2020 the CBD market will grow by 700%.
CBD products are extracted from both the stalks and the stems of hemp plants (cannabis plants with .3% THC or less). This concentration constitutes them as Industrial Hemp. Once they are cultivated, cannabis plants are harvested and brought to a proper extraction building. CO2 extraction and ethanol are commonly-used ways to extract CBD and also two of the cleanest ones for human consumption too.
CO2 extraction filters plants through many chambers that control both pressure and temperature. When different temperatures and pressure units are used on these cannabis plants, the efficiency rate to isolate these cannabinoids is near 90%. Ethanol extraction is another method used that introduces ethanol to separate and isolate cannabinoids. This extraction method produces a higher volume of extract as well as removed unwanted things such as chlorophyll more effectively (also known as chromatography).
Decarboxylation is another process many CBD oil products go through. This involves heating the cannabinoids into a form that allows them to interact with the rest of the system to make it more usable. When this oil is decarboxylated, it converts from CBDA to CBD, which removes acid from the mix. Once this occurs, the oil can be consumed directly.
Cannabidiol products are sold across the United States. CBD products must, by law, contain less than .3% THC to be considered industrial hemp. Fourteen states can both legally grow and produce hemp seeds and industrial seeds, including Colorado, Kentucky, Oregon, Tennessee and California (to name a few). While hemp is not a USDA certified organic product, many reputable CBD companies do source their hemp using organic practices. Choose a CBD product that is made from NON-GMO, pesticide-free hemp that has been tested for contamination for the safest consumption possible.
While both hemp and marijuana come from the same species, they are grown for different reasons. Hemp is one of the oldest plants known to man, with history dating as far back as 8000 B.C. The plant is used to produce oils, food, textiles and paper. Marijuana is more often used for its psychoactive properties. Higher concentrations generally contain 3-15% THC (with hemp containing less than .3%). However, ratios differ with each type of cannabis strain. For instance, girl scout cookie may have higher levels of CBG while a Sativa variation may have higher THC.
The endocannabinioid system or ECS is a group of cell receptors and molecules in the body. This system helps to regulate appetite, mood, immune function, sleep, motor functions, pain, pleasure, reproduction and/or fertility, temperature regulation and even memory. When it is in balance, it experiences homeostasis. Ultimately, endocannabinoids are the molecules that are chemical messengers that bind to CBD cell receptors and tell the body to do things. The human body naturally produces them by consuming fatty acids in fish or nuts. On top of this, 60 different cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis can bind to receptors that cause different effects in the body, leading to health benefits to various functions.
Cannabidiols are considered non-toxic and chronic use and in high doses is well tolerated in humans, according to many studies. The Department of Health and Human Services report there are no toxicity signs or serious side effects that have been seen following chronic use of cannabidiol to healthy individuals.
When it comes to how CBD affects each person, it depends on someone’s genetic makeup. About 20% of the population have good genetics to endocannabinoids. These individuals are born with genetic mutations that help to increase the level of endocannabinoids and anandamide levels that naturally occur in the body. These lucky individuals are less likely to feel the CBD effects because their body already naturally produces the same results without the need for CBD at all. In terms of genders, research shows that estrogen makes women more sensitive to cannabis especially during ovulation when the peak of estrogen levels in the body occurs.