Kane fingers one of his innocuous-looking plants, expressing mild bemusement at the U.S. ban on commercial hemp cultivation. “Hemp produces fibers of unparalleled quality,” he notes. “It’s a tremendously high biomass crop that replenishes the soil and doesn’t require much in terms of inputs. We import tons and tons of hemp each year from China and even Canada, yet as a matter of federal policy, we can’t legally grow it. There are places where farmers in the U.S. can literally look across the Canadian border and see fields that are yielding huge profits.”
Stephanie Kahn, who with her husband, Jeffrey, runs the Takoma Wellness Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Northwest Washington, says that about half of her 1,200 patients use CBD-rich products. Her dispensary offers several strains of high-CBD cannabis as well as CBD oil, with different ratios of CBD and THC, each of which she recommends for particular conditions. “We get questions about it every day,” she says. “A lot of our patients get relief with this, and a lot of times this works better than pharmaceutical drugs.”
All of this makes CBD remarkably difficult for even the most dedicated health care providers to manage safely. Dr. Kelly Knupp, an associate professor of pediatrics and neurology at the University of Colorado, and the director of the Dravet Syndrome program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said families of epileptic children have tried to bring CBD oils to the hospital for testing. “They’re just concerned that they don’t know exactly who’s growing [the hemp],” Knupp said. “They know it’s not being regulated.” But because CBD is a Schedule I controlled substance, high-tech, regulated laboratories, like those at the University of Colorado, can’t accept, store, or test CBD oils, lest they risk prosecution. “There is no such lab that can take that product,” Knupp said, which leaves any testing up to the unregulated testing centers that cater to the cannabis industry.
Oral consumption is recommended as it usually lasts the whole night. Always start with the micro dose to test sensitivity and go up as needed within the dosing range before going to the next, until symptoms subside. The micro to standard dose is usually recommended to treat insomnia and sleep apnea. When relaxing indica strains are used with higher THC levels, a dose of 5–10 mg is usually sufficient. Other people find they need larger doses, such as 15–40 mg. CBD taken as a tincture or edible will aid in a restful six to seven hours of sleep. This type of disorder varies widely from one patient to the next. Often, one needs to perform some experimental research and try strains of different CBD:THC ratios to figure out how CBD oil benefits their sleep and the best protocol.
Receptors for cannabinoids are found in the digestive, reproductive, nervous, and immune systems. Because cannabinoids interact with almost every system in our bodies, they’re often touted as a cure-all. While they’re not truly able to heal everything, they do regulate neurotransmitter function, inflammation, mitochondrial function, and metabolism.
It was the seizures that tipped Penny off that something wasn’t right with Harper after she and her husband Dustin brought her home from the hospital as a newborn. Several months later, having tried a battery of epilepsy medications and still without a diagnosis, Penny and Dustin flew to Boston with Harper to see an expert in infant seizures. It was there they first heard of CDKL5. “This is the point where life changed significantly,” Penny said, “because now we had this diagnosis. You know, this abnormality in our family that we cannot fix.”
I will continue to use bluebird botanical products loyally. Their customer service is exceptional. Their products are of exceptional quality and reasonably priced. Due to the dedication of their staff, I have been given back something I thought was lost to me: HOPE. I cannot thank BlueBird enough for their dedication to sharing a product that improves the quality of life for others.
Phillip Hague, the chief horticulturist at a Denver cannabis company called Mindful, sniffs the roots of a plant to check on their health. He’s grown cannabis most of his life and has traveled the world researching its many varieties. He’s interested in developing new strains with higher concentrations of marijuana’s lesser known compounds that appear to have medical uses. “Cannabis speaks to me,” he says.
Hemp oil has never been as popular as other marijuana products. With little to no THC, CBD-rich strains of cannabis don’t deliver the pleasant buzz recreational users seek out in marijuana. In the 1970s, however, scientists found that cannabidiol was effective in reducing seizures. The brain’s endocannabinoid system contains receptors that respond to CBD, producing anticonvulsant effects. Being plant-derived and native to the brain’s own chemistry, CBD is therefore one of the most natural options for seizure treatment available today. Still, not many people took interest in CBD until 2013, when a CNN documentary special, Weed, hosted by the network’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, highlighted CBD’s effectiveness in combating seizures. Since then, demand for hemp oil products has exploded.
But there’s a big difference between the two. Hemp seed oil has been pressed from hemp seed, and it’s great for a lot of things – it’s good for you, tastes great, and can be used in soap, paint – even as biodiesel fuel. However, hemp seed oil does not contain any concentration of cannabinoids at all, including CBD. So by all means, stock up at your local natural food store. Just don’t expect to reap the benefits of a true CBD oil when you cook with hemp seed oil.
Juliana Birnbaum is trained as a cultural anthropologist and skilled in four languages and has lived and worked in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Nepal, Costa Rica and Brazil. In 2005 she founded Voices in Solidarity, an initiative that partnered with Ashaninka indigenous tribal leaders from the Brazilian Amazon to support the development of the Yorenka Ãtame community-led environmental educational center featured in Sustainable [R]evolution. She was the first graduate of the Cornerstone Doula School, one of the most rigorous natural birth programs in the U.S., focusing on a holistic model of care. She is engaged variously as writer, editor, teacher, midwife assistant and mother when not attempting new yoga poses or learning how to garden.
Support for legalization has steadily grown over the last several years. Today, medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. And even federal officials have begun to soften their stances. Last fall, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder signaled his support for removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics. “I think it’s certainly a question we need to ask ourselves, whether or not marijuana is as serious of a drug as heroin,” Holder said. This summer, Chuck Rosenberg, the acting administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, acknowledged that marijuana is not as dangerous as other Schedule I drugs and announced his agents would not be prioritizing marijuana enforcement. Still, as long as marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the haphazard system in which it is studied, produced, and distributed will remain, and Americans will not be able to take full advantage of its medicinal properties.
Of course, the easiest solution, advocates say, is for the federal government to legalize cannabis completely. If cannabis were legalized—the whole plant and all its extracts, no confusing singling-out of specific compounds or anatomical features—then U.S. drug companies would be able to carefully cultivate and research its medicinal properties, and submit their findings to regulatory bodies like the FDA for trials and approval.
I tried CBD oil and it was just as useful for pain as yoga. This expensive commodity is just another catch phrase replacement theology trying to be substituted for what used to be adequate pain control treatment. Today at least my Dr stands there and says sorry as he lowers the dose by another pill. Thank you for trying. Our last ditch effort on Earth will be no doubt be to smoke MJ..
If you are vaporizing CBD-dominant strains of cannabis, bioavailability is through the alveoli, tiny sacs in the lungs, clarifies Kilham. If you are taking CBD strain capsules, he suggests eating some fat or oil, like a handful of nuts or some full-fat yogurt, to improve absorption and bioavailability. Cannabinoids are fat-loving molecules. They are taken up readily into the small intestine with a bit of dietary fat.
While CBD is most commonly used to treat physiological symptoms, there’s a growing body of research that indicates it can also be used in the therapy of a range of mental health conditions, including anxiety. A study by the University of São Paulo found that CBD significantly reduces subjective anxiety, leading investigators to conclude that “These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in [social anxiety disorder] and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.”
The appeal? Proponents claim CBD can help ease pain, anxiety, depression and stress, boost focus and productivity, improve the immune system, reduce inflammation and more. And – unlike its psychoactive cousin THC – CBD, they say, is harmless, legal and can't get you high. "The known is it's good for you, it helps a lot of people and a lot of things, and you can't hurt yourself," says Phil Asquith, a farmer and producer of extra-virgin olive oil in California, who founded one of the first companies in the CBD space. "The unknown is all the details."
While it’s surely a good thing to make CBD oil easily available for people all over the world, the increasing popularity of products rich in cannabinoids has a not so pleasant side effect. Driven by the desire to explore this business opportunity and get the most of it, producers use misleading marketing and deceptive advertising to increase profits.
As with a fermented food like kombucha, slight natural variations are normal and to be expected in a product such as CBD oil because it is made from living plants. Changes in the weather, soil, and water can all impact the biology of the source material. While we verify Certificates of Analysis (and take many other criteria into consideration during our review process), even the most reputable five-star companies have no way to control for every variable in this organic process.
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