CBD: Less Mainstream Perspectives
Look at new hemp-based CBD from less mainstream perspectives and examine core reasons the compound's at the center of a monumental shift in human health.
Ever heard of Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY)? A Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis company founded in 2013, Tilray was originally incorporated through Privateer Holdings out of Seattle, Washington (they bought Leafly in 2011).
Check this out:
On Dec 18th 2018, Tilray signed a partnership deal with Sandoz AG, a division of Swiss drugmaker giant Novartis AG to, “...research, develop, co-brand, and distribute non-smokable medical marijuana around the world while educating pharmacists and physicians about cannabis.” Stocks soared; the deal boosted by America’s FDA approving the first ‘official’ cannabis ‘drug’ Epidiolex through GW Pharmaceuticals to alleviate seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes.
Two days later on the 20th when the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law, Tilray announced it was also teaming up with one of the world’s largest beer brands, Anheuser-Busch, to, “...develop cannabis-infused non-alcoholic drinks,” initially for the Canadian market with an eye on global distribution of course. According to analysts, the U.S. cannabis-infused (CBD & THC) beverage industry could hit $500 million right around the time the overall hemp-cannabis CBD market is projected to skyrocket.
Then in early 2019 Tilray signed a $250-million global revenue sharing deal with Authentic Brands Group, a massive brand development, marketing, and entertainment company who owns over 50 brands like AirWalk, Juicy Couture, and Nautica, along with personal brands like Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali. This partnership will according to the Financial Post involve Tilray getting cannabis products to sit next to popular lifestyle clothing and accessory products (which hopefully soon will be wholly or partially made using American industrial hemp fiber).
For another $300+ million Tilray acquired Canada’s mammoth Manitoba Harvest, the world’s biggest hemp food producer. Most hempsters these days have enjoyed plenty of their hemp seed protein powder, nutty-tasting hemp seed oil, and nutritious hemp hearts.
Not going to lie, Canadian hemp is awesome.
With Tilray coming into the picture, reportedly the plan is to introduce a line of CBD-infused products. CBD's gone mainstream, and helped end American hemp farming prohibition! CBD mania's sweeping the land, coming to a major retailer near you...
What’s going on?
Global corporate, financial, banking, agriculture and political elites with Big Pharma in tow are suddenly backing and attempting to seize a plant the establishment demonized and maintained a cruel prohibition over for close to a century.
Whoa, sounds deep, but why?
Simple - money and control - power.
By 2030, Cannabis should be a global multi-trillion $$$ crop. Hemp itself is invaluable when environmental + medical savings and costs are factored in with thousands of potential uses touching every nook and cranny of human society. Whether we’re looking at bioplastics, efficient biofuels, textiles, housing and insulation, hempcrete, plant seed for food or flowers for superior herbal medicine, nutrition and supplements, hemp’s our most versatile eco-friendly ally on earth.
Yes, it can help us finally end deforestation.
Yes, it can help to dramatically clean the future’s oceans of petrol-based plastics (including microplastics) and synthetics.
Yes, it could potentially decentralize cotton, soy, and corn, thereby reducing by a large margin the amount of toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in use.
Yes, it can help displace the need for animal protein (cow, chicken, pig, and fish) through hemp seed protein and hemp seed oil.
Yes, we can largely fuel our world using hemp biofuel.
That’s just for starters...
And If ‘they’ can seize control of the American hemp supply chain and consumer product markets, they control it all.
The same oligarchical corpo-government system in control of just about everything else these days. If folks think ‘it’s a state issue’ is going to somehow stop the centralization and corporate farming takeover of hemp, they need only look at the state of the American agricultural system or who controls the brands on supermarket shelves - all centralized into a tiny percentage.
How did we get here?
That's too big of a question to answer here, but let's waltz through a short tune about the last time the U.S government created a new classification for cannabis.
When 'Marijuana' Came Around
Historical Recap: beginning in the 1940’s cannabis was effectively erased from what we like to call the paperwork version of reality. In its place the law created something called ‘Marijuana’ or less common these days ‘Marihuana’ for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. What’s marijuana? It’s a figment of legal imagination, created by corrupt politicians and their corporate cronies in the early decades of the 20th century focused on eradicating cannabis from human life — for money and power which partly translated into overall petrol-dominated consumer culture.
Based on this fabricated classification — basically cannabis with more than 0.3% THC content — marijuana became a massive source of funding for the entire Drug War system, everything it spawned leading up to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, and the nightmare decades of the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s under its policies.
This nightmare continues for millions to this day, but the situation’s changing because nearly all of the major points proponents of cannabis prohibition and the Drug War proclaimed pertaining to it have been completely disproved through the sweeping awareness of Endocannabinoid System (ECS) science.
The word ‘Hemp’ or Industrial Hemp predates Marih(j)uana by centuries in English alone, which we’ll chat more about in a moment, but the word was tied to marijuana anyway, as were cannabinoids. In fact, for a while there, CBD was considered by the DEA as a Schedule 1 controlled substance — despite established science showing it’s a non-intoxicating non-addictive compound. They were just waiting for their friends in the FDA and Big Pharma to develop designer cannabis drugs then downgraded,
“FDA-approved drugs that contain CBD derived from cannabis and no more than 0.1 percent THCs in schedule V.”
See, only the CBD the same system that brought you Big Pharma, Cannabis Prohibition, and the Drug War considers medicine…is their legal definitions of the word ‘medicine’, regardless of concrete ECS science. Even today they still list ‘Marijuana (cannabis, THC)’ as Schedule 1, meaning it has a high potential for abuse with no accepted medical treatment in use (as of 5/04/2019).
The Drug War and Cannabis Prohibition era are a shame upon America, where the government leveraged the most useful plant on earth to wage war on the people and enforce the global petrol empire. Thanks to a small handful of researchers who managed to get their work done despite the establishment’s stranglehold on cannabis, we’re all becoming increasingly aware of this 600+ million year old system in our bodies considered to be the PRIMARY homeostasis regulator.
CBD is Really About the ECS
If you’ve ever smoked high-THC cannabis, you understand how powerful THC can be. Look at what’s happened with synthetic cannabinoids like K2 or Spice trying to mimic THC and Anandamide (AEA — one of our two core endogenous cannabinoids) in the body. These effects, which can vary from person to person, cannabis strain to cannabis strain (depending on cannabinoid/terpenoid mix), isolate, synthetic, or full spectrum extract, are only possible because of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain and body.
Some folks can go into a full-blown panic attack if there’s too much THC in their system. CBD provides counter-intoxicative balance — serious sympathy to those who’ve gone through actual psychotic episodes…
Our brains are covered with cannabinoid receptors — central & peripheral nervous systems; hippocampus, amygdala, basal ganglia, cerebellum, neocortex, and down the spine. THC binds with these receptors just like your own AEA, but is much STRONGER and lasts longer.
What’s so special about CBD is it has similar levels of impacts on the human body and mind as our internal ECBs but without the intoxication, euphoria, and other classical attributes of THC.
CBD’s the Ying to THC’s Yang.
The more CBD in the body, the less THC can bind to your receptors.
CBD actually helps the body down-regulate the amount of THC you’re able to experience. Meaning, if you ate the wrong cannabis edible and went into hardcore panic mode, a quick dosage of CBD would lessen the amount of THC impacting you on the synaptic level. The same could be said for SSRIs and opioids as CBD has similar impacts on serotonin/opioid receptors.
Hence, why CBD is so effective as a quasi hormone-therapy.
A Note On The 0.3% THC Distinction
CBD is most densely found in a new legal cannabis distinction of hemp.
It’s not classic grain/fiber hemp, but what modern people would call ‘marijuana’ or specially-engineered, high-CBD/low-THC, and unpollinated female cannabis.
First, the name and word ‘hemp’ were around for roughly a millennia in English before the classic THC distinction was adopted in the early 1970s.
The etymology of the word hemp traces back to Old English, Norse and Germanic languages, from there Scythians, Ancient Greeks, Hindus, and so forth.
Humans across the planet were judging rope fiber quality against superior hemp for centuries before the extremely well-decorated research scientist Dr. Ernest Small and his team set the 0.3% standard distinguishing marijuana from hemp.
Here’s what he said in an interview published on the International Hemp Association website about that research which was adopted so widely by major world governments.
“As documented in my publications in the 1970s, we picked the level of 0.3% as a formal means of separating the two classes of plants on the basis of numerical taxonomic methods. We grew several hundred different accessions, recognized the two groups on a number of physical and physiological characteristics independent of THC level, and the 0.3% THC level was calculated to be the concentration that naturally best separated the two groups.”
Thing is, he also admitted a good portion of the plants they tested which were supposed to be within the fiber-class varieties of hemp actually contained moderate to high levels of THC.
Many cannabis activists and historians argue the number is arbitrary.
Point Being: No matter who you are today, when you use any kind of cannabis that’s not the same cannabis from long ago. Your hemp rope doesn’t come from the same strains used by early American colonists or the old British Navy. The psychoactive cannabis strains aren’t the same that existed a mere half-century ago. These plants have changed, morphed and evolved through human cultivation and breeding over thousands of years and then quite abruptly over the last couple decades thanks to both hemp and ‘Medical Marijuana’ cannabis movements.
It’s ALL just cannabis!
We’ll probably continue to see this 0.3% number (different in other countries, and might change in time) created by brilliant researcher Dr. Small, who himself admitted the massive difficulties surrounding it in his 2015 paper,”Evolution and Classification of Cannabis sativa (Marijuana, Hemp) in Relation to Human Utilization.”
“Cannabis sativa has been employed for thousands of years, primarily as a source of a stem fiber (both the plant and the fiber termed “hemp”) and a resinous intoxicant (the plant and its drug preparations commonly termed “marijuana”). Studies of relationships among various groups of domesticated forms of the species and wild-growing plants have led to conflicting evolutionary interpretations and different classifications, including splitting C. sativa into several alleged species.”
What to keep in mind is the differences between fiber, grain, and flower-focused cannabis where the vast majority of all ‘recreational’ CBD and THC extracts are derived from.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we just went with using the ancient distinctions of cannabis and hemp? The new government classification is more confusing than anything else.
There’s hemp for fiber, seed and hurd, and then there’s cannabis for flower extracts.
Is CBD A Miracle Molecule?
No. Here’s some basics.
What is CBD?
A fat-soluble, organic, naturally occurring phyto, or plant-based, cannabinoid first discovered in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois. Created by mature cannabis plants, expressed most in the gooey trichome-covered flowers, buds, or resin of female cultivars.
Highest densities now typically found in the flowers of low-THC female ‘hemp’ varieties of cannabis where it can account for up to 40% of cannabinoid content in the resin. However, according to the WHO, “In fiber hemp [male fiber is softer than the more course female fiber], cannabidiol is found at a concentration range of about 0.5 to 2.0% in the upper third part of the plant and in the flowers.” but there are at least five chemotaxonomic types of cannabis with many strains, hemp usually in the High-CBD/Low-THC fiber class.
Specifically, CBD is a 21-carbon terpenophenolic compound. Like THC it’s formed after decarboxylation (heating) from its acidic form precursor (CBDA — happens at about 80 degrees celsius). In the plant, it starts as CBGA or Cannabigerolic Acid, then becomes both THCA and CBDA in relative concentrations to genetics. In cannabis, the more THCA the less CBGA and/or CBDA can exist and vice versa.
For those who care, CBD’s molecular formula is C21 H30 O2.
CBD is widely considered by medical science, an increasing number of doctors, the WHO, the NIH, etc., and endless amounts of anecdotal evidence to be a safe, non-addictive and non-intoxicant compound — well tolerated in humans up to 1500mg+/day without any apparent negative side effects or risk of abuse. Certain doctors will tell you it’s near impossible to overdose on raw hemp plant extracts cleaned of toxins.
Are cannabis phytocannabinoids unique in nature?
Yes they are, at least as far as we know now, but as ECS awareness grows we’re discovering more plant life, herbs and spices, with lesser impacts on the ECS as well. We may also discover plants with other kinds of cannabinoids, just created and expressed differently.
Is There a Lack of CBD Research?
Absolutely not. It was a little slow after 2009, regardless of the foundational work going back a century, but here’s the results from PubChem if you search for just Cannabidiol alone here in early 2019.
Within a decade those numbers will be extravagantly larger!
A search on PubMed produces over 2300 results, but there are many thousands more in conjunction with other ECS-related topics. If you were to try and include the amount of pre-clinical research from doctors across the nation giving CBD to patients with a huge assortment of issues, the paperwork would be mountainous. Then we could add cumulative anecdotal evidence… and all that would be what’s been collected over the last few decades ladies and gentlemen, not including thousands and thousands of years of historical evidence of usage in industry, medicine and ceremony the world over.
Cannabis is one of our oldest allies in evolution, so don’t let yourself be fooled.
CBD is Only Part of the Entourage
There are five chemotaxonomic types of cannabis. The prohibition era ALMOST killed off good high-CBD strains completely, but thankfully that didn’t fully occur and modern cannabis farmers managed to breed new strains. This will happen more, as it always has with cannabis.
High-THC or High-Resin Cannabis Indica genetics: broad leaves with dense sticky buds; short and bushy. This is where all common ‘Medical Marijuana’ cannabis strains exist. They can vary widely in terms of terpenes, THC and other cannabinoid content ratios, especially relative to CBD. While you can consider these strains sativa as well, the next type is strictly sativa.
Low-THC Hemp Cannabis sativa genetics: skinnier leaves, taller, slimmer in general appearance with typically higher levels of CBD (but nowhere near the levels of new female marijuana strains). The word sativa simply means cultivated, and cultivated cannabis has for many thousands of years been for fiber, seed, seed oil, and flower extracts once again from fibrous cultivars — just at CBD levels we probably haven’t seen before. Farmers didn’t just throw away all that seed and flower biomass, though much was allowed to rot and regenerate the soil during the retting process.
A hybrid intermediate between the two.
No cannabinoids — often Cannabis ruderalis.
CBD by itself is great and we’ll get to that, but it becomes so much more when taken in its natural state. This means clean plant extracts from organically grown hemp that maintain the genetic basket of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, and even chlorophyll ideally. This is known as the Entourage Effect and there’s as many of these, technically, as different varieties of cannabis ONLY because of the ECS.
Without the ECS cannabis plant extracts would be little more than decent nutrition. There would be NO therapeutic benefits as we understand them. Entourage effects are demonstrated through anecdotal evidence and recent science. Cannabinoids together are more effective in the human body and brain than any single cannabinoid by itself. No different than in the plants themselves, as well as in animal-based research.
We love how Zoe Wilder put it in her article “Debunking the Sativa Versus Indica Classification of Cannabis” for Merry Jane,
“Cannabis consumption results in a wealth of effects…When you experience a sedative effect from “indica” or notice more mental clarity from “sativa,” what you’re actually noticing is an effect produced by a combination of all the compounds in cannabis combining with your body chemistry and physiology. In each and every cannabis flower, varying amounts of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBN, combine to create what is now known as “the entourage effect.” The same cannabis may affect you differently than someone else. Your individual physiology, biochemistry, mood, genetics, etc., further determine the overall experience.”
Have isolates demonstrated results in medical situations as well, and do they have value?
Absolutely! But, they aren’t near the same thing in terms of ECS support as the natural plant extract bred to be higher in CBD. It’s just not natural either. Nowhere in cannabis or in nature is CBD completely alone — it’s a supportive compound.
Full Spectrum CBD & The ECS
When CBD in a full spectrum extract (large cumulative benefits) or isolate (limited; biphasic) is put into a human body, it can be utilized by the ECS to perform an absolutely mind-blowing number of functions all centered on restoring balance and maintaining homeostasis.
While THC mimics AEA, CBD more closely mimics our second core endocannabinoid 2-AG.
The ECS uses CBD to augment the effects of AEA and 2-AG in a variety of ways, being more thoroughly documented in clinical science monthly.
CBD has low binding affinity to cannabinoid receptors, but acts as an indirect antagonist of both.
The ECS uses it to help regulate or balance glutamate (primary excitatory neurotransmitter) and GABA activity (primary inhibitory neurotransmitter), along with a litany of other neurotransmitters/hormones like serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, cortisol, as well as receptors like the vanilloid or adenosine (also involved in release of dopamine & glutamate).
CBD is being shown to disrupt opioid receptors similar to how it down-regulates CB1 receptors in the presence of THC.
CBD reduces Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) which increases natural AEA levels — the brain’s own ‘Bliss Molecule’ that plays important roles in memory, motivation, higher thought processes and learning, movement control, pain, appetite, and fertility.
The issue here is that there are SO MANY ways CBD can interact with the body, the list could just keep going on for volumes regarding the cardiovascular, endocrine, and nervous systems. How about it’s profoundly positive interactions with gut health and the microbiome? Or, what about the fact CBD can influence all approximately 350 signaling molecules or elements in the immune system?
Our ECS is involved with everything and CBD is treated as a free agent to help in its central duty of maintaining homeostasis.
In Closing: 2-AG & CB2 Function
Without getting too deeply into it, we’ll leave you with these three tid-bits on what the ECS does with this endogenous cannabinoid via CB2 receptors.
2-AG is what suppresses seizures and regulates the vascular system for more homeostatic or healthy blood pressure.
Improves and regulates communication between the brain and immune systems within the gut. This means probiotics are also quite supportive of the ECS! In this way it helps control inflammation. Did you know CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation 20 times better than Ibuprofen gram per gram?
2-AG is the most abundant endocannabinoid in human breast milk. That’s a powerful statement unto itself, with large immune function implications.
Our goal here was just to give you some less mainstream perspectives on how ‘the system’ is pushing a new classification of cannabis on the populace, the real differences between the classifications of hemp and cannabis, and why CBD is becoming so sought after — our ECS!
Hope you found this helpful and thanks for your time.