The phrase “CBD Oil” is causing a great deal of confusion .. there’s a big difference between the full extract cannabis oil extracted from cannabis plants with a high CBD:THC ratio and a CBD Oil derived from hemp plants.
The internet is a wonderful thing: through it individuals around the world are connecting with others, and ideas are disseminating without government approval. One huge concept is the discovery that cannabis oil CAN and IS being used successfully to treat a wide range of illnesses. But for those who know nothing about medical marijuana, cannabis oil can seem like a quack cure. We’ve been following this topic for many years now, and have written a number of in depth articles about CBD. This short piece gathers these together and should act as a reference point as to why people use CBD oil.
What does “CBD” mean?
CBD is the acronym for cannabidiol.
There are 85 chemical components found only in the cannabis plant. Of these, the two major constituents are THC (which is what causes the psychoactive “high” of getting stoned), and CBD, whose function was until recently unrecognized. All that was known about CBD was that it muted the effects of THC.
In the 1990s work on the neurological pathways in mammals revealed the fact that there exists a large and highly complex neurological transmittion system, controlling overall health and well-being. Illnesses cause certain cells within this system to switch off or on, resulting in symptoms detrimental to good health. But what was highly unexpected was that the chemical components unique to the cannabis plant perfectly fitted the cellular receptors within this network: so much so that it became known as the endocannabinoid system (meaning “internal cannabis system”). But if the body naturally produces a version of a cannabis component in order for its control system to function perfectly, then the logical progression of this idea is that in situations where this control system is not working well, introducing cannabinoids from outside the body could regulate the network and return the body to good health.
Historically, cannabis has been highly valued as a medicinal plant: from ancient Egypt and China through to 19th century Europe, preparations of marijuana were prescribed for general symptoms like anxiety, pain relief as well as specific problems like glaucoma. Political influences meant that the therapeutic potential of this plant were suppressed throughout the twentieth century: slowly this prohibition is being reversed.
Some problems can be allieviated through vaping, consuming or smoking cannabis buds: the debilitating tremours of Parkinsons Disease are quickly smoothed out and muscle control returns before the patient has even finished smoking a joint. Regular vaping can lessen arthritic pain so that sufferers can continue to live a normal life .. and so on. But for many diseases in order to trigger sufficient cannabinoid receptors and realign a malfunctioning network, higher concentrations of cannabioids are necessary. Full Extract Cannabis Oil is just that: solvents separate the resinous, cannabinoid producing trichomes from the plant matter, and a controlled heating process removes the solvent, but not the activated cannabis compounds. The result is a thick tar like substance consisting of 70-90% THC and or CBD cannabinoids, with other cannabinoids and terpenes making up the remainder.
Some illnesses require only tiny regular amounts of cannabis oil to be effective – COPD sufferers take only a pinhead of oil daily, where others, such as cancers, need a full 1g daily for a minimum of sixty days in order to (possibly) reduce tumours.
What’s the difference between “CBD Oil” and “Cannabis Oil”?
Is it true I can legally buy CBD Oil online to treat myself?
Strictly speaking, “CBD Oil” is (or should be) a full extract cannabis oil with a large amount CBD in proportion with THC. Chromatographical analysis would show 35% CBD content, 35% THC content and 30% other cannabinoid components. These are the kind of concentrations necessary in order to activate cannabinoid receptors.
Recently there has been huge growth in online businesses offering CBD Oil for sale. These oils are made from the hemp plant, not from the cannabis plant, and contain little or no psychoactive THC. The problem is that they may contain little or no CBD either. Hemp does produce the CBD compound, but companies selling CBD Oil made from hemp are misleading or ambiguous about what % of the actual product is CBD. Descriptions such as
product contains greater than 99% CBD with less than one percent THC and is derived from all-natural hemp-based starting material
doesn’t make sense because we know that the extraction process includes other elements as well as CBD/THC. Others advertise a 4% CBD content, but a cannabis oil made from a 1:1 CBD:THC strain will contain a minimum of 35% CBD. So you would have to injest 7 times as much to receive the same amount of CBD. And what is the remaining 96% of this CBD Oil made up from?
Having received numerous complaints about reactions caused by pesticides etc used on hemp plants, the FDA in the USA investigated CBD Oils made and advertised online as being suitable for treating illnesses. Analysis revealed that many of these preparations contained little or no CBD and some had no cannabinoid profile at all:
Unfortunately many of the companies selling “CBD Oil” online are exploiting customer’s confusion about cannabis oil and the role CBD plays in medicine. Websites are full of information about how CBD works, and what illnesses can be allievated with a medicinal cannabis oil as if their products contained the concentration of CBD and other cannabinoids necessary to achieve these effects. Recently one brave mother, Carrie Blackwell, wrote a book about how she gave her son Deryn Blackwell cannabis oil to treat his leukemia. The story was taken up by British media and received a great deal of support.
It didn’t take long for CBD Oil producers to take advantage of uninformed and desperate parents searching the internet to find out how they could replicate her success story:
As Callie herself comments: these lies are going to kill people!
To summarize: worldwide people are using CBD and THC to treat a whole range of illnesses from mental imbalances such as ADHD and depression through neurological diseases e.g. Parkinsons and epilepsy to skin conditions like psoriasis. Cannabinoids are even proving successful in beating cancers. There is some science to explain why one simple plant is capable of having such a wide effect, but due to prejudice most of the knowledge is anecdotal and comes from individual’s willingness to stand against the law.