In last week’s post, 7 Hemp Oil Benefits, we explored not only the benefits of hemp oil, but how it differs from CBD oil. Today we’ll look at the benefits of CBD oil, plus answer the question as to whether CBD oil has THC in it. But mostly I’ll focus on some of the amazing benefits of this wonder oil. And in two weeks…well, we’ll get into that later!
I mentioned in last week’s post that I used to think all hemp was riddled with THC, and was dismayed to read in some of the classics references to hemp ropes. I was picturing America’s forefathers, and those in the European countries before them, splayed out the wharves and seagoing vessels sporting bloodshot eyes and devouring donuts. Or mince pies, or whatever it was they ate back then.
Later I would learn how wrong I was, and that industrial hemp is just that – industrial. It isn’t cultivated to make anyone fly to the moon and back or spend all night on grassy knolls wishing upon stars. In other words, it contains virtually no THC.
This was comforting to me until very recently, while during my research for last week’s post. I found that the industrial hemp cultivated by America’s forefathers (and mothers) and the rest of the family across the Pond was the high-flying kind, although no one smoked it or baked it into brownies. If they wanted a buzz, they just got good and drunk.
They obviously didn’t know how to selectively breed the leggy green beauties to get rid of the THC. I’m pretty sure they didn’t even know what THC was.
Please note: As with all my health-related posts, this is in no way intended as a means for self-diagnosis of any condition or medical advice. If you have a medical issue, see a doctor. If you think hemp products may be helpful for a condition, you might want to see a holistic doctor or herbalist.
But Does CBD Oil Have THC in It?
Well… not in any discernable amount, if you get a high-quality product. Generally, CBD oil (and in particular, hemp seed oil) contain less than 0.3%. Some manufacturers boast that their oil contains less than 0.2% THC. In other words, CBD oil does not contain nearly enough THC to give you a buzz.
However, there are high-quality CBD oils on the market that have more than 0.3% THC. I know of one for instance, that contains a ratio of 12.7 mg. CBD to .67 mg. THC per dose. This still isn’t enough THC to get a person high. And the funny thing about CBD is that, combined with small amounts of THC, it counters the psychoactive effects of the THC, plus reduces the sedative and hunger-inducing effects.
So why not just use pure CBD oil? Because for many conditions, the two compounds work together better. CBD alone and THC alone each have valuable medical benefits, depending on what disease or condition you’re trying to treat.
But the presence of a tiny bit of THC can significantly ramp up the therapeutic benefits of the CBD. The two sing a beautiful harmony between them, complimenting one another in what is called the entourage effect.
So… Hemp or Marijuana?
Most CBD oil comes from industrial hemp, which unlike in colonial America and Europe, has been bred to contain virtually no THC. Industrial hemp always comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, which has been bred to be extremely tall, fibrous, and with very few buds.
Marijuana, on the other hand, can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis ruderalis, or Cannabis indica. It is shorter, bushy, and comes complete with a plethora of buds and pretty flowers.
As for drug testing, CBD oil has been known to cause people to fail their drug test, but when that happens, it’s probably due to: a) oil with the maximum THC allowed by law and, b) the person consumed massive amounts. If you drank a bottle of vanilla extract and then took a drug test, it would probably show you’d been taking a nip of the hard stuff.
As with anything else, the best practice is to educate yourself at least somewhat and then be a stickler for label-reading.
What is CBD and How Does it Work?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the hundreds of components of cannabis, and the second most prevalent component. Some experts say CBD is technically psychoactive, albeit non-intoxicating. Others say it is not psychoactive because it’s non-intoxicating.
As for me, I really don’t care either way, so long as doesn’t make me feel silly, paranoid, or give me the munchies. I do all of that just fine on my own, thank you.
CBD performs its non-intoxicating magic by working on the recently-discovered endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The endocannabinoid system was christened with its annoyingly long name because of the research on the effects of cannabis on the body. The ECS is a biochemical communication system that exists to help our bodies adapt to outside stressors and maintain homeostasis.
The Endocannabinoid System
You’ve no doubt heard about the importance of balance, in everything from what and how much one eats and drinks, to work and play. Life should be balanced.
The body also needs to be balanced, but when that delicate balancing act stumbles or falls flat on its face, the ECS is activated to help bring everything back into balance. It does this with cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the body. From the brain to the reproductive, digestive, nervous, and immune systems, the ECS is the body’s balance workhorse.
We have our own cannabinoids in our bodies – endocannabinoids, those that are produced naturally in the body. The cannabis plant contains phytocannabinoids (“phyto” meaning plant) which can be used as a supplement for the ECS because they mimic our own endocannabinoids.
Thus, cannabinoids interact with almost every system in our bodies. And scientists are finding that when the endocannabinoid system isn’t functioning properly, all kinds of bodily chaos can ensue.
Because of this, many people claim phytocannabinoids are something of a panacea for whatever ails you. But they can’t heal everything. However, they can do an excellent job of regulating inflammation, mitochondrial function, neurotransmitter function, and metabolism.
As expected, drug companies are getting in on the act, even while actively campaigning to make CBD oil illegal by magically turning it into a drug (more on that later). But of course – they don’t want you to be able to go online or down to the corner health food store and buy it for yourself.
There’s no money in it for them if you do that.
So, they’re trying to corner the market on it. Last year, the FDA approved a drug containing CBD, for treating two forms of epilepsy, which can be had for a mere $32,500 a year.
I’ll take the CBD oil, thanks.
Benefits of CBD Oil
Because CBD oil interacts with the ECS and the ECS has receptors throughout our bodies, the possible benefits of CBD oil are numerous. Below is a list of 25 of these. Please note, however, that while some of these benefits have been shown and documented in scientific studies, others are anecdotal.
- May reduce inflammation in the brain and nervous system
- Reduces muscle spasms and pain of MS patients (there’s a drug for that, too)
- General chronic pain reliever
- Smoking cessation
- Drug withdrawals
- Seizures and some epilepsy
- Reduces some of the effects of Alzheimer’s
- Has been shown to be anti-psychoactive for those with schizophrenia
- Type I Diabetes
- Cancer (can relieve symptoms, plus along with THC, slow growth of cancer cells)
- Cardiovascular health/hypertension
- Anti-tumor effects
- Help heal leaky gut
- IBS (decrease spasmodic activity)
- Promote healthy weight
- Eczema (by encouraging abnormal cell death)
Great, but is CBD Oil Legal?
I know, not getting a definitive yes or no answer is frustrating. But if you think that’s frustrating, try figuring out the laws in 50 different U.S. states, along with ten provinces and three territories in Canada.
It’s enough to make you want to slam your laptop shut and go take a bubble bath. Or dive into a good fantasy novel and never come out.
Here’s a quick run-down.
FDA vs U.S. Law
In December of 2018, the House and Senate passed the new 2018 Farm Act, which President Trump then signed.
The Farm Act removed hemp from the Schedule I Controlled Substances list. If you read my post about hemp oil from last week, you may remember that I explained that by law, industrial hemp (and thus, hemp seed oil) can contain no more than .3 percent THC.
Not to be outdone by common sense, a few days after the new Farm Act was signed into law, the FDA got all in a snit and issued yet another pompous statement. That being, any CBD product derived from hemp that is marketed as a dietary supplement or as having any therapeutic benefit is illegal to sell.
Unless of course, Big Brother FDA reviews and approves it. Which we all know they won’t.
Except for the drug companies. Anything for them.
So, if they know what’s good for them (besides CBD oil), retailers will not make any such statements. I suppose they could always say things like, “Our quality CBD oil smells really good!” or “CBD makes a wonderful anointing oil that no church should be without!” or “Your pets will love this pure, human food-grade CBD oil added to their food!”
And of course, no sense of confusion would be complete without 50 different opinions and laws from 50 different states. Maybe that’s a good thing even if is confusing because after all, the states originally were supposed to be autonomous from the Feds.
But to help you figure it out, I found this handy little map and more in-depth information for you!
Oh, Canada! Et Tu?
In 2018, Canada obtained the (possibly dubious, depending on your opinion) honor of being the second country in the world to legalize marijuana. Uruguay was the first.
At first glance, this would look as if buying and selling CBD oil would be no problem. After all, if cannabis in all its THC glory is legal, surely CBD oil would be as well, right?
If only. No, much like the good ‘ole U.S. of A., the legalities of CBD depends on the province, territory, and a whole bunch of other things that I’m not going to go into here. Which I find amazing because we’re talking about a country that sells codeine (a.k.a. Tylenol 3) over the counter, folks! Or at least they used to.
Ah, well. I suspect that if they had the moxie to legalize cannabis, eventually cooler (and sober) heads will prevail, and CBD oil will be legal everywhere. But again, I’ve found a helpful source for you!
You probably thought that by my starting with the benefits of hemp seed oil, then writing this post about the even greater benefits of CBD oil, that I was going to pull out the big guns and next week write about the medical benefits of THC, right?
Don’t be silly!
The only medical stuff we’ll be discussing next week will be of the spiritual variety, as Landen Melton, founder and CEO of Devotable will be guest posting! I first (virtually) “met” Landen when he honored me by inviting me to become a regular contributor to Devotable.
Landen just released the first book of devotions, called Perseverance, and is it ever inspiring! And I’m not saying that because I wrote some of the devotions. Because I didn’t. By the time I came on board Devotable, the book was already in production.
Landen will be here next week with an awesome devotion about perseverance in trials, so don’t miss it! And in the meantime, you can get the book and related products, plus read other devotions (including mine!) here at devotableapp.com. Check it out!