The CBD found in most products today is produced from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is in the cannabis family but it is used by several industries to create a wide variety of products. Industries such as textiles, auto parts and agricultural products use industrial hemp in one form or another. CBD is just another product made from industrial hemp.
The body’s endocannabinoid systems (ECS) were discovered by researchers during the 1990s. They were studying how THC affects the body. What they discovered was the network of cannabinoid receptors and chemical messengers, endocannabinoids, and their role in health in humans. Through their work, they identified two primary cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors function with the immune system. Naturally occurring endocannabinoids work with the cannabinoid receptors in the body. It is this interaction that allows the ECS to regulate normal body functions such as sleep, inflammation and the immune system. While naturally occurring endocannabinoids attach to cannabinoid receptors, CBD does not. Rather CBD enhances the body’s use of naturally occurring endocannabinoids.
When considering CBD products, select products that contain full spectrum CBD extract from hemp. This delivers a full range of cannabinoids that work together. Also look for products that have a THC content that is 0.3 percent or below so that it won’t have any psychoactive effects.
Many consumers have been reticent to try CBD because they are unsure of its legal status. In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized the growing of hemp by US farmers. This also legalized hemp derivatives including CBD. The passage of this bill removed hemp and its derivatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of Schedule I Drugs – which includes heroin. While this makes CBD legal, the federal government still has some reservations. At the state level, forty-seven states have passed laws legalizing CBD. If the CBD is derived from hemp, the THC levels must be 0.3% or below. The issue is that CBD is often included in edibles including coffee, cookies and water which makes it a food additive and therefore falls under the FDA. The FDA is moving forward to hold a public hearing to clarify the legality of using CBD in food products. Major food producers such as Coca Cola, Chips Ahoy Cookies and Cadbury Chocolates are also looking at ways to integrate CBD into their existing products.
To assure consumers, the World Health Organization released a report in 2017 that reinforces commonly held knowledge about CBD. There statement cites that “cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants…is not harmful, has health benefits and does not have abuse potential.” Their Committee on Drug Dependence reviewed both animal and human studies and stated that while CBD might be able to treat epilepsy, other conditions it might treat are “Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, anxiety, depression and other maladies. CBD may ease inflammation, provide antioxidants and relieve pain.” They then recommended that CBD does not require scheduling and is not likely to be abused.