CBD (cannabidiol) is one of at least 113 naturally-occurring compounds (‘phytocannabinoids’) found in the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. CBD is distinct from THC, the intoxicating compound that produces the famous high. Concerns over CBD arise from the confusion between Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana. Hemp and Marijuana are both species of Cannabis, however Marijuana is bred to have high levels (25% in some cases) of THC- the substance associated with illegal highs. CBD is extracted from Hemp that contains less than 0.2% THC.
A recent US report found a staggering 70% of the 300 top-selling CBD products were “highly contaminated” with heavy metals (e.g. lead, arsenic), herbicides (e.g glyphosate) and a host of other contaminants. The quality of CBD is hugely dependent on where it comes from and how is grown. In this short video we will cover the three important questions you need to know the answer to if you are thinking about trying CBD.
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Which part of the plant does CBD come from?
Amongst other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes, CBD is extracted from the flower of the cannabis plant to form a raw paste. This extract is then mixed with fatty carrier bases, such as hemp oil (produced from hemp seeds) or MCT (produced from Coconut), allowing it to be ingested.
Hemp has an amazing ability which is great for the planet, but not so great for CBD lovers. And this ability is why we need to be careful about where the plant is grown. Here at The London Botanists, we only use European farms with the highest standards in ethical, sustainable, organic farming techniques.
That amazing ability? Hemp is able to draw impurities out of the soil – many farmers across the world use it to ‘clean’ their soil of pesticides and chemicals before planting food crops. But this means that impurities in the soil end up in the plant, and therefore in the CBD extract. Which is why it’s vital to ensure our farms have the highest soil standards to start.
“The CBD molecule and its associated pharmacology are the same, whether it was extracted from hemp or from marijuana. CBD is CBD, regardless of where it was originally derived from,” explained Jeremy Riggle, Ph.D, chief scientist at Mary’s Medicinals, a medical cannabis company known for its Transdermal Cannabis Patch.
According to some wellness professionals and trustworthy health information sourced from a number of peer-reviewed studies, the entourage effect could help increase the clinical efficacy of CBD. One meta-analysis paper, published in September 2018, demonstrated that epileptic patients responded better to CBD-rich cannabis extracts that were complemented with various cannabinoids and phytonutrients.
Hemp seed oil is generally used as a health and wellness dietary supplement that could give consumers many positive health benefits. Hemp seed oil can typically be found in health food stores, organic stores, and some regular grocery stores.
Knowing where and how your CBD is sourced will provide major insight into potential contamination levels. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Marijuana, on the other hand, tends to contain a more diverse terpene profile than hemp. Products derived from weed plants also tend to contain both CBD and THC in levels higher than 0.3%.