The first thing to know about CBD is that it is not psychoactive; it doesn’t get people high. The primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But THC is only one of the scores of chemicals – known as cannabinoids – produced by the cannabis plant.
Despite the government ruling, CBD is widely available over the counter in dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal.
Epidiolex was developed by the London-based GW Pharmaceuticals, which grows cannabis on tightly controlled farms in the UK. It embarked on the Epidiolex project in 2013, as anecdotes of CBD’s value as an epilepsy drug began emerging from the US.
After Charlotte’s story got out, hundreds of families relocated to Colorado where they could procure CBD for their children, though not all experienced such life-changing results. Instead of moving, other families obtained CBD oil through the illegal distribution networks.
CBD has been sought for its healing properties. Illustration: George Wylesol
Full-spectrum is the opposite end of an isolate. Full-spectrum CBD oils make use of the entire array of cannabinoids in the hemp plant. This means that they also include a small amount of THC. Since it is only legal in the U.S. to derive CBD from hemp plants containing .3 percent THC or less, then the resulting oils stay within those parameters. Generally speaking, these products are relatively safe to take and will not get you high, but you may experience a bit of drowsiness or fogginess as a side effect. Also, it is not a good idea to use full-spectrum products if you are regularly tested for THC use because of your job or for any other reason. If you’re a bootstrapped entrepreneur, this is a good space to enter into, and you can find a lot of manufacturers and partners to help develop your brand.
Green Roads's broad-spectrum CBD oil comes in varying dose concentrations. They even offer CBD oil packaged per dose, convenient for travel or on-the-go lifestyles.
Charlotte’s Web maintains a close eye on standards in every step of the process with their CBD Isolate Oil. They test the soil where their hemp is grown to be sure there are no toxins before the first seed is planted, and they run lab tests all the way through production. Their final product is suspended in coconut oil and contains 20mg of CBD per serving.
Pure Kana offers an array of CBD Oils in varying strengths and flavors. Their special formula includes a base oil to help accelerate absorption and terpenes to enhance effect. This company recently announced that they were going to be acquried by HeavenlyRx, which shows the potential upside value of any entrepreneur getting into the space.
Joy Organics infuses their Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil with mint, orange or lemon-flavor extracts to optimize palatability. They come in three different dosage levels to make it easier for you to get exactly the right amount of CBD in your day.
The media loves to say that CBD (cannabidiol) is “non-psychoactive.” The frequency with which this statement is repeated rises with the popularity of CBD. Most commentators who use the term “non-psychoactive” likely mean to say that CBD is “not intoxicating,” which is certainly true. But CBD is psychoactive.
THC’s power of intoxication results from its ability to mimic anandamide, a naturally occurring endocannabinoid that binds to CB1 receptors in the brain associated with improved mood. THC binds to anandamide's CB1 receptor even more tightly than anandamide itself, which inhibits the release of other neurotransmitters. This results in an exaggerated mood response associated with feelings of euphoria.
The Science of CBD
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprises various endocannabinoids − neurotransmitters that bind to receptors throughout the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. The ECS helps regulate numerous physiological and cognitive processes in the body, such as appetite, pain, stress response, mood and memory.
The cannabis plant contains dozens of cannabinoids that bind with ECS receptors. The two primary receptors for cannabinoids are called the CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are located primarily in the brain and central nervous system. They help regulate coordination, pain, mood, appetite and certain other functions. CB2 receptors are located throughout the body and are common in the immune system. They primarily affect inflammation and pain.
Cannabis users have long observed that high concentrations of CBD within a cannabis strain have a modulating effect on the strain's intoxicating potency, even for strains with high levels of THC. This phenomenon has now been clinically confirmed by researchers at University College London, who recently used cutting-edge fMRI technology to demonstrate that high-CBD cannabis strains result in less impairment to brain function than strains with lower CBD concentrations.