Stick around and we will answer all these questions
…..“thinking about getting some hot chocolate later”….. So today we’re going to be talking about CBD oil, cannabidiol oil.
I think there is a lot of misconceptions about CBD Oil out there. And frankly, I was ignorant about CBD oil when i first heard about it years ago so i started looking into it. The Mayo Clinic came out with a great review article for clinicians on the latest and greatest studies concerning CBD Oil.
And that triggered my interest. I started listening to podcasts, reading information online, and trying it myself in different forms and strengths
So I will distill it down to a beginner Intro 101 article. By no means am i an expert on CBD Oil, I will leave that up to the medical professionals, but i think i can share some insight with you to get you going in the right direction.
So, the first thing, the big question is,
What is CBD oil?
Very Basically, CBD Oil is oil that comes from a cannabis plant.
Now, wait a second, I thought cannabis was marihuana?
You are right in some sense.
What makes CBD Oil not marijuana oil?
The cannabis plant, Cannabis Sativa species has two different kinds. It has “not get you high kind “, which is called hemp and it has “get you high kind” which is called marijuana.
There’s a legal distinction of the two plants based on how much THC is contained in the plant. So if there’s less than .03% THC contained in the cannabis plant, it’s considered a hemp plant. If there’s greater than .03% THC contained in the cannabis plant, it’s considered a marijuana plant.
So, a good analogy for this would be dog breeds. You have a domestic dog. It’s one species, different breeds can reproduce with each other and create viable off-spring. But there’s different characteristics within that species that make different breeds, although it’s all the same species. The same with the hemp in the marijuana plant. So, it’s more of a spectrum from hemp to marijuana, all within the overarching umbrella of Cannabis Sativa plants.
That’s going to be an important distinction because CBD oil usually comes from a hemp plant. The idea is you get a lot of the benefits from a cannabis plant, but without the THC component that could be exceedingly high that might give you a psychoactive or high.
Why do we care about the cannabis plant in general? Well, very basically, cannabis and the cannabinoids that are in it interact with the endocannabinoid system in our body. This is a system in our body that are some interrelated processes that govern different aspects of our immune system, of pain receptors, and of our mood. If you get these molecules in your body, it has some governance over those processes.
Put it in a vehicle that allows it to get inside the body and hopefully garner some of the positive benefits from the plant?
There was a lot of increased interest in 2018 when the FDA approved a pure CBD oil called for a rare form of juvenile seizures or pediatric seizure disorders. And they found that this CBD oil in its most purified form could reduce the number of seizures these kids were having. And so, after a rigorous trial and rigorous safety studies, it was approved and now the public interest is kind of peaked to where they’re saying, Hey, we should look at this and see what benefits it might provide.
The current body of medical literature surrounding CBD Oil is a little bit sparse, but there is more and more stuff coming out. And right now there is a lot of animal studies looking at CBD oil and pain and mood, and for addiction. And I think a lot of stuff is going to be coming out of the next few years. But right now, a lot of it is either anecdotal like, Hey, I took this and I think it helped with my anxiety, or I took this and I think it helped my back pain, or some smaller scale study.
So in medicine, it’s kind of a range of how powerful studies are. So that can be from just a case study, like, Hey, this one person took it and felt better, to a small sample size study of like, Hey, we gave it to 10 people and a lot of them felt better All the way up to the more vigorous randomized controlled trials where you say, let’s take CBD oil and compare it to another treatment for pain, or mood or depression and let’s see if it’s better or equal to that treatment. So a lot of those randomized controlled trials, we’re still waiting to come out. But we’re seeing a lot of small size 10-20 people enrolled in the small trials of CBD oil, where there’s some really interesting outcomes.
So I think another question you should be asking is
The biggest safety study was obviously done with the only CBD-based epilepsy medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Epidiolex. Other forms of CBD have had some smaller scale safety studies and no major adverse outcomes have really come out of those yet. A couple of things that have noted is that it can interfere with some of your laboratory tests, including your liver function panels, and it can also interfere possibly with blood thinners like Coumadin or anti seizure medicines, it can affect the levels of those in your bloodstream, as it carries the same grapefruit warning .
Okay, next topic,
This is a little bit of an evolving question. So in 1970, the Controlled Substance Act banned marijuana, hemp and all related products. They put it under the jurisdiction of the DEA and made it an illegal substance. It wasn’t until 2014 when an agricultural Act was passed, also known as the Farm Bill. That legalized hemp for research purposes. And that was the bill that designated that the hemp plant, although still a cannabis plant was legally defined as a plant that had less than .3% THC contained in it.
Now in 2018, there was some more progress made when the 2018 farm bill came out and said hemp and hemp related products like CBD oil are federally legal. So at a national level, they’ve said, you can grow this product, you can grow hemp plants that have less than . 3% THC, and you can start making products from them. The tricky part is when we get down to a state level, so you need to check your state guidelines because the federal regulations still say the states can have governance over their own jurisdiction. If you plan on buying CBD oil, I would really get down to the nitty gritty of what your state says right now.
Start by researching it online. The FDA did a survey in 2017 and they randomly picked 84 online products. And they looked at the labels on the bottle. So Oh, this product contains . 1% THC and whatever percent CBD. What they found was only 26 of the 84 samples were labeled correctly. The trend was there was more THC than they said was in it and there was less CBD then they said. There’s been a little more progress since then, now that it’s regulated by the USDA and it’s not a controlled substance anymore.
There’s been some trends and the major trend is that companies that are producing CBD oil are sending their product, every batch they make, they brew it in a big pot. That’s not really how it works, but that’s how I imagined in my brain. And they send to a lab that’s unrelated to the company and they say you test this and make sure it doesn’t have any impurities in it like heavy metals, and make sure it has the amount of CBD we say it does. And it has the amount of THC we say it does or none at all. And so a lot of these companies are linking those lab reports on their website. Even on the label of their bottle, where you can easily access it, and say this is exactly what’s in this oil.
So now I’m going to talk about
Good points to consider to follow when picking out a CBD product, if you plan on buying some. And also what the difference between different products are. There are three different types of CBD oil, Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and then purified or Isolate CBD oil.
A lot of advocates of CBD oil out there really ham up this Entourage Effect and say if you really don’t want pure CBD oil, but a lot of this is anecdotal is not really studied in the scientific literature yet, but it will be.