Much is being touted about the use of relatively new lines of products from favorable legislation in regards to the farming and cultivation of hemp. As a sexagenarian, it is only right to ask if they are safe, are they effective and are they legal. This post will examine if all the hype lives up to the claims. Is CBD a Snake Oil? There are claims circulating among those that favor it, those that swear by it, and then the other side that will tell you that it is another of the devil’s work. Regardless, everyone has the right to know the answer.
They Call Me Cannabis Sativa
Marijuana & Hemp, both from the same family (Cannabis Sativa) and yet still with their differences. How this affects the body, not only of humans, but that of animals too depends one a simple factor. The amount of resin which determines the potency and it’s classification.
One family with several definitions. First of all, it’s all about the resin…what is commonly known as THC. In the U.S., the amount of resin is what makes the difference between CBD derived from marijuana plants and that of the hemp plant. DEA and FDA have complete control of what is legal in the world of medicine and what can be allowed to the general public.
There are numerous differences between the two in that, hemp contains only a small amount of THC. Not even enough to get a person buzzed. The magic number being 0.3 is the maximum allowed. Mostly used for therapeutic purposes and not a cure for anything as some claim.
For medical grade cannabis sativa, amount of THC garnered from the flowers and leaves puts it all into another level. It is not about the getting high on the THC but more about the positive effects of the power from within the plant(s) to assist in healing and reducing the ailment(s) ugly sides.
To date, only 1 product, Epidiolex, has been accepted and approved to be used in cases for those suffering from pediatric conditions know as Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, and Dravet Syndrome. These are forms of pediatric epilepsy that are severe enough to warrant the use of this antiepileptic drug to control seizures. Their price tag of $30,000 annually, puts them considerably out of reach for the general public.
1 of 100 – 0.3 Is The Magic Medical Number
CBD is 1 of more that 100 Phytocannabinoids out there in the world today. The products that fall into the category of Tetrahydrocannibinols are those that contain a high enough THC content to get a reaction in brain cells to aid the body in correcting or lessening the effects of rare diseases especially in the areas of pediatric epilepsy.
With any amount over 0.3 in the THC factor, the history is rather short. This is relatively still a new science with only just over half a century of R&D and was developed by a chemist from Harvard in the 1940’s. Read more information about Roger Adams and the science behind it.
So now its time to take a look at what can be considered either magic potions or snake oil, the story of how hemp fits into this.
A Plant With A History And A Future
Dating back to ancient history, usage of hemp found its way into daily lives ever since 2900 BC. Used for making cloth, rope, and nutritional seeds for the diet, it has improved the way mankind interacts with one of natures simple offerings. Now the surge is on for the current uses and how ordinary citizens can benefits from the positive aspects of the plants. While clothing made from hemp is now more prevalent than ever, other products are showing up in a variety of ways.
In late 2018, a new farm bill was enacted into law that opened the floodgates to legal farming of hemp plants. This does not mean that CBD oil derived from marijuana (cannabis sativa) is legal. When the THC content is still above the threshold it still requires medical practitioners to have a hand in prescribing it for patients.
To the farmers, being able to grow hemp legally gives them a new market to chase after. Large farms as well a processors have come into play but not all states recognize the legality of it. There are several holdouts that are taking a second look at their own state statutes related to cultivation of legal hemp. This means that just over 41 states have legislation in place for cultivation and others that still regard it as illegal.
States like Idaho, where products (hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, hemp oils) can be found on store shelves in various locations around the state, does not mean that it is considered legal. The reasoning, because hemp comes from the same family as marijuana (cannabis sativa). The law on the books does not make a distinction between the two.
In order to meet a legal definition (Idaho), the products must meet strict definitions to somewhat satisfy lawmakers.
- Products must not contain any THC.
- Must meet the states legal definition of exclusion from being classified as marijuana.
a.) Products must come from mature stalk.
b.) Fiber from said stalk
c.) Oil or cakes must be from seeds.
d.) Hemp plants cannot regenerate through germination.
To some, this may seem archaic and changes need to be made to not only this state, but others that have difficulty in accepting hemp as a potential product source.
CBD And The Common Man
What’s ailing you? Chances are there’s an oil made just for you. They call it CBD and now can be found just about anywhere. Head shops, health clubs, boutiques, community markets, coffee shops, chiropractic offices, pharmacies, veterinarians and yes, even in your local mini mart/gas station. It has become all the craze.
Legal oils for the common man or woman to purchase has many benefits. At least that is what they will tell you. Are they right or exaggerated?
Some of the basic uses for CBD oil from hemp include: Chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression and more. Now that it is somewhat legal and generally accepted by the mainstream population, new companies are hitting the markets to take full advantage of just about anything they can think of for its usage.
Just recently, several businesses, some well known, touted edible products that in some way incorporated CBD oil as part of the make up of the product. Some added it to a sauce on a burger, while others may infuse it into a beer product. This is all good and fine but, what is the purpose of it? Are there regulatory laws that state that disclosure is a must to add it to consumer products? A lot of questions and as the list of uses in a variety of products grows, the public has a right to know for medical safety reasons.
This is an unregulated industry and the projected growth in marketing to be $20 billion + by 2022. Who will be watching out for the consumers from unscrupulous producers and marketers is anyone’s guess. This is an unprecedented growth rate that either will continue or eventually start to fizzle. Many a millionaires will be made either through direct ownership of a variety of businesses or through legal financial market purchases through stocks.
Putting It To Good Use – The Betterment Of Mankind
What are the benefits of using hemp based CBD oil. Unlike most essential oils that have been in use for centuries, such as Cedarwood oil with a solid history going back into the early Egyptian days. The same cannot be said about CBD. Such a short history and what seems to be endless possibilities. Has science decided to really present us the facts or just get into the marketing game for better bottom line profits.
So let’s put it to good use and see what it can do for us (at least claimed):
- Pain relief (Chronic) So much for short history as documents show it was used in ancient China.
- Reducing anxiety and depression.
- Reduce acne and other blistering skin conditions in both teens and adults showing up to 3X healing times.
- Antipsychotic – Schizophrenia
- Substance abuse
- Diabetes prevention
- Lowers blood pressure benefiting both the heart and circulatory system
- Alleviates cancer related symptoms from treatments (nausea, vomiting, pain). CBD oil has shown favorable results in cancer cell death when dealing with human breast cancers.
- Showing promising possible results in research in MS, Parkinson’s, Neurological disorders, epilepsy and muscle spasms.
- Reduction of Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer patients.
While this is all good news, there is still much more to be studied and evaluated before putting a big claim on this magic potion.
Here Comes Fido And The Felines
Let’s get one thing straight. Any marijuana based product given to a dog, cat or any other animal can be toxic and result in premature death. On the other hand, using CBD products (hemp based) formulated for pets does not get them “high” and can offer a variety of remedies.
After consulting with your veterinarian, who will explain why and how to administer the oils properly, your loving pet should start to see positive results when dealing with these several issues.
As you can see, your pets have many issues that are similar to that of humans and although the doses will be greatly different, treatments can be very simple and give potentially positive results.
Welcome To The Dark Side – The Ills And Ilks
With so many positive aspects to CBD, what could possibly be construed as a negative. Lets take a look at some of the issues.
While it is now legal for agricultural growing, there are some issues with regards to what happens after cultivation and harvesting. Transportation is one of the possible problems as not all states allow for hemp to cross their state lines. Lack of better legislation and regulation makes it harder for growers to get their products to processing facilities.
Every mom and pop operation have started selling products whether they be in oil form, infused into candles, edibles or any of the numerous ways it is being manufactured. Major companies have taken to liking the ability to add products that can fatten up the bottom line and it will only be a matter of time before many of the smaller players are squeezed out of the market.
Some of the best so called marketers of the finished products, including those that give you celebrity endorsements, in many cases are getting their CBD oil from only a handful of legitimate suppliers. Many will tell you that their quality is superior to the next guy, when in reality, they are the same product just at a slightly different to drastic price.
In many cases, what you are getting in that little bottle is nothing more than the leftovers of the plants as precedence is slanted towards the making of more usable items such as clothing or other products mentioned earlier.
When it comes to regulation for not only the companies that extract but also of the “labs” that give the so called grade or certification, there is none. This can be a problem in that some may not give you data results that only they verify and may omit simple little facts that can mean the difference between a superior oil or a junk oil. Several labs have been put under the microscope through investigations which began with complaints about products (oils) that don’t match up to the claims.
Getting Down – Getting Dirty
Are you getting what you really paid for? Good question as there are mounting claims of many companies and startups that are misleading the public through mislabeling of their advertised products. Either they do not reveal the true results from the labs they claim to use, or they do not include all of the ingredients that lurk within the products.
Hemp plants, unlike marijuana, have a higher problem with pests and mold infestations as they do not contain an abundance of terpenes which repels predators and protect it from blight. Another issue with hemp is that it is considered a bio-accumulator and the plants ability to absorb toxins directly from the soil. Therefore when processed, there is no assurance that the end results do not contain toxic materials, pesticides and solvents. Any of which can undo many of the benefits that were being sought to begin with.
Many companies will tell you that you can just add it to your diet and that everything will be just fine. For one thing, you can’t do that even with essential oils unless they have been determined safe and designated “food grade”. Currently in the U.S., the FDA does not consider hemp derived CBD as a legitimate food supplement or a medication for use off label.
There are side effects when using CBD oils, just like anything in life. Too much or improper usage can result in some not so nice engagements such as, diarrhea, changes in appetite, fatigue and interactions with other medications. Best to be safer than sorry and ask your physician if you should use any products related to CBD.
Lastly, there are numerous online companies that are engaged in heavy marketing of their labeled products and use many tactics to have you come aboard as an affiliate to sell their products for them in exchange for some sort of remuneration. Some have slick plans that don’t even require you to invest a dime, with hard to understand matrixes.
Exactly what will you be selling? It would be wise to do some extensive research as you do not want to be implicated in any negative governmental actions and either left holding the bag or worse yet, have to fork over some hard earned funds, or else…
Don’t think there aren’t legit companies out there. There are many and they can be found most likely in your direct area with a wide variety of products for your everyday needs.
This is still an area that requires more in depth research and if it is to continue to be around for a while , the one question must be answered. Is CBD a snake oil? With such a now popular magic potion, will it put medicine out of business?
Please feel free to chime in on this topic by commenting and maybe even offering some solutions.
That’s my show