The #1 Reason Hemp CBD Is a Thing Again
The #1 reason hemp CBD is a thing (again), has to do with its anti-inflammatory powers.
Generally speaking, American culture from a medical standpoint is suffering from a widespread endocannabinoid system (ECS) deficiency. This astounding autonomous homeostasis system simply can’t keep up with modern-culture demands, and thus we see the common denominator of most issues - chronic inflammation.
In putting this content together it’s my hope to cast more of a light on the subject, and hopefully inspire folks out there suffering with inflammatory issues to consider industrial hemp plant (non-psychoactive cannabis) extracts as a safe, nontoxic, and non-addictive option.
Quick Clarification: For consumers today and in the future there will always be two breeds of ‘hemp’ products. Let’s briefly define them so there’s less confusion.
Hemp Seed Products: You can make an astounding number of foodstuffs with hemp seed. I myself eat hemp seed protein powder, dribble hemp seed oil on certain dishes to up amino acid counts, eat raw hemp seed as much as possible, put hemp seed hearts in smoothies (which are little white creamy nutrition-nuggets inside the outer shells of hemp seed), but there’s also hemp flour, I drink tons of hemp seed milk... Then you’ll find hemp seed oil in TONS of skin and beauty products as well. This hemp seed is purely for nutritional reasons, as in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and amino acid profile - NOT anything to do with phytocannabinoids which are created by the Plant/Flowers later in its life cycle. Besides, seeds in mainstream foodstuffs have been sterilized so they can’t be planted and they’re HEAVILY tested to ensure well below legal levels of THC. I’ve never heard of anyone seriously trying to extract cannabinoids from hemp seed. It’s just not feasible.
Hemp Plant Extracts: Now we’re typically talking about extracts, oils, and concentrates derived from the adult hemp plants - stalk/flower/leaves. The most common terms associated with them are ‘Whole Plant’, ‘Full Spectrum’ and ‘Broad Spectrum’ which are supposed to all mean the same thing - pure extract with all the plant’s naturally occurring oils and compounds. It’s a less legally-risky way of telling consumers, ‘Hey, there’s CBD in this.’ Once industrial hemp farming goes mainstream in America, we’ll likely getting these extracts from the flowers again in a reliable consistent manner. That’ll be nice! Right now though in Dec, 2018, most extracts are from huge quantities of hemp plant stalks to remain within legal pre-2018 Farm Bill boundaries. This has in part led to high prices as there’s far more CBD in industrial hemp flowers and leaves than the stalk, which is mainly composed of plant fiber you can make 10-times stronger than steel.
For our purposes here in this content, we’re 100% focused on hemp plant extracts which naturally contain higher levels of Cannabidiol. I and many others believe CBD is at the center of the plant’s anti-inflammatory value.
Digital & Economic Perspectives
Over the last 4-5 years, I’ve been an industrial hemp writer and researcher. Mind you, not a doctor or medical professional of any kind of capacity and my understanding continues its development. I've never stepped foot in a medical class. That being said, after going through mountains of user testimonials and reviews, anything in medical literature available online, social media and forum discussions, webinars and lectures published by doctors on the subject, etc., along with data released by the hemp industry...there’s two primary reasons behind the prolific push to get industrial hemp extracts into American bodies:
They’re a natural, potent and non-psychoactive source of Cannabidiol, or CBD. Sales of hemp-derived CBD (grew 40% in 2017 alone - New Frontier Data) already breezed passed Marijuana-derived CBD, with an cumulative expected valuation of over $2 Billion before 2022-23 when you include all three sources - hemp, marijuana or psychoactive cannabis, and pharmaceutical options coming onto the scene.
From my perspective, the most common application of CBD regardless of its source is to help relieve physical and psychological pain - inflammation.
Whether cancer, depression, diabetes, hypertension, social anxiety disorders or PTSD, we’re talking chronic pain and inflammation. Industrial hemp is an answer, not only because of the innate nature of the plants and their unique relationship to us, but because via herbal supplementation we can boost ECS performance.
When someone applies a CBD-dominant balm to their sprained ankle and can suddenly put weight on it again, that’s because joint inflammation and swelling around the injury has been dramatically lowered.
When someone having a panic attack puts a few drops of pure hemp extract on their tongue, they become calmer and level-headed within a couple minutes because of how the ECS utilizes CBD within the brain to regulate cortisol levels (among others, especially norepinephrine).
When someone with high blood pressure sees positive results after supplementing their diet with whole plant industrial hemp extract capsules for a month, again, we’re likely to find the ECS reduced inflammation across the board in both circulatory systems and vital organs through obviously quite complex mechanisms.
We could go on and on, the examples don’t end anecdotally or medically concerning both human and animal research. At the end of the day, that’s what’s happening here, a widespread culture-wide shift to leverage the anti-inflammatory value of industrial hemp - specifically CBD to boost 2-AG performance functions. A shift of such magnitude, it’s forcing a government-level end to industrial hemp farming prohibition in the Farm Bill so there’s enough domestic plant to satisfy demand.
Don’t worry, we’ll address the marijuana side of this topic in a moment. First, you’re probably wondering about...
CBD & Inflammation
As inflammation is to your immune system, CBD is to your ECS - both tools. The difference is the ECS can regulate immune response using cannabinoids (both endo and phyto) as tools to accomplish this. Now, what’s really interesting is the body already creates CBD in the form of an endocannabinoid by the name of 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG. I’m no scientist or chemist, and they seem to have two different chemical structures, but in all medical literature I’ve found so far they’re considered ‘mimetic’ or identical. Regardless, humans create 2-AG; cannabis plants create CBD. When an ECS deficiency is on the table, one could argue for a lot of us Americans we’re not making enough and supplementation is a necessity.
Furthermore, CBD inhibits the production of FAAH - the enzyme responsible for breaking down Anandamide, which increases Anandamide levels and again, lowers inflammation throughout the body.
How Does CBD Impact Inflammation?
If we turn to a longstanding review published in 2009 by the University of South Carolina, it has to do with how CBD affects cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (the primary network of the ECS). They noted:
“Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and subsequently attenuate disease symptoms. This property of cannabinoids is mediated through multiple pathways such as induction of apoptosis in activated immune cells, suppression of cytokines and chemokines at inflammatory sites and upregulation of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells.”
When we look at Marijuana usage, the most common research-based reason Americans are turning to it is for pain relief thanks to the synergistic way THC & CBD work together. In hemp, there’s infinitesimal levels of THC or none, so not all users report the same level of pain relief. But, CBD in hemp extracts will...
Modulate inflammatory pain response locally and psychologically on the synaptic level.
Mediate mood, which when dealing with chronic pain can be rather diminished.
Provide a degree of pain relief, without the psychoactive elements of THC.
For example, when there’s an injury, say a puncture wound, you’re going to find endocannabinoids like 2-AG and Anandamide (mimetic THC) in the injured area decreasing activators and modulating sensory data (to loosen mental tension), while immune cells are calmed and the inflammatory response is being stabilized so as not to go out of control - prevents excessive firing.
Hmm, so what would happen if we put a clean industrial hemp extract directly onto the wound? I don’t know, but logic stands the levels of CBD/2-AG are going to spike. If THC’s involved, there will be another layer of electrochemical signaling...to maintain and restore homeostasis.
The Boy Scout Molecule
CBD, once put into your system through whatever means, is considered a ‘smart’ molecule because it can perform so many different functions it’s adaptogenic. Remember the 2009 study I quoted from above, ‘Cannabinoids as Novel Anti-Inflammatory Drugs,’ well in it they claim to have identified 50 mechanisms of action.
Think about that a second.
All my life I’ve been bombarded by a pharmaceutical system that presents its offer sort of like this:
"Have this specific problem? Yeah?"
"Well, we’ve created X Pill to address it, and only it. But, there’s a variety of negative side effects which may result as well.
Okay, but with industrial hemp extracts high in CBD and all the plant’s other herbal/nutritional properties…
"Have a body or mind issue? Take this plant-version of a compound you're already creating to help deal with these issues. It might end up being utilized by your body in a bunch of other positive ways...and there’s no negative side effects we’re yet aware of if it doesn't work due to an undiagnosed ECS deficiency."
The boy scout molecule. For America today, the gargantuan multi-target is a mixture of pain and inflammation.
What Did You Mean By ‘Again’?
After you go through enough industrial hemp history, you realize something - industrial hemp tinctures (and to a lesser degree marijuana-based or psychoactive tinctures) were in just about everyone’s ‘medicine cabinet’ across the planet dating back before the written word. Our relationship with this plant predates known history.
Here, look at this picture of an industrial hemp tincture in my own home:
What you see there, that clearish-golden plant extract (it comes in a wide variety of hues depending on thickness and complimentary or secondary ingredients), is so un-new, the only two things I can imagine that are sort of similar which might be older are...tea and soup!
It’s not new. After reading a few books on the subject, you’ll easily understand earlier pre-cannabis-prohibition humans more than likely didn’t have as much of an ECS deficiency in general. Nope. Not possible. Industrial hemp was such an intrinsic part of the pre-petrol world dating ALL the way back...not possible. Well, highly unlikely.
Did they live as long? No. Life expectancy has dramatically risen in the oil-based world which really kicked off at the end of WW2. But here we are, with absolutely absurd levels of depression, obesity, anxiety, PTSD, heart disease, hypertension, etc. And as we’ve been discussing, odds are this could be addressed in part by reintroducing phytocannabinoid supplementation via industrial hemp (CBD dominant) into our culture.
In America before WW2 dating back to the founding, we were an agrarian society of primarily farmers. And yes, most farmers maintained industrial hemp for both personal use (so many applications!) and as a rotational crop to keep soil healthy and free of invading pests/weeds. History is speckled with events where Queens, Kings, Governments, Conquerors, and Spiritual Leaders mandated its production. Historical evidence points to the fact people used industrial hemp (and marijuana) extracts for nearly everything - from the common cold to menstrual cramps and injury recovery. This same sentiment is echoed throughout time from cultures on every continent.
So, don’t fall for any hype or disinformation. Industrial hemp extracts like those for sale online and in retail stores/dispensaries today - ARE NOT new, novel, or some recently discovered herbal fad.
Remember, the Boy Scout Molecule...
What About Marijuana?
I do, I love marijuana, and have a deep appreciation for its herbal-medicinal benefits. However, like endless souls since our Cave-Going days, for me and others simply because of how we’re wired, marijuana-cannabis causes anxiety and inflammation (I only smoke pure 'THC-sativa' strains for this reason). Sure, there’s an entourage of phytocannabinoids and terpenes also present which help to tamper or modulate this impact, but the inflammation is there. Even if administered in a completely harmless way, for example a chocolate edible, high THC levels not well-countered by CBD creates anxiety.
Many of us tolerate it because the positives outweigh the negatives (safer self-medication), but the point here is that natural whole plant industrial hemp extracts are 100% non-inflammatory forgiving some rare ECS deficiencies.
Can Marijuana be a viable source of CBD? Yes.
Are there Marijuana strains now mimicking the ultra-low THC + high-CBD levels? Yes.
These have the added benefits of naturally occurring terpene profiles not found in fiber-class industrial hemp. For hemp extracts, we’re seeing more terpenes being added to elixirs to boost therapeutic values now that it’s a possibility.
Is Marijuana or are Marijuana-based extracts somehow ‘better’ than Industrial Hemp extracts? Depends.
Since time immemorial, cannabis use has ALWAYS been divided between psychoactive (means it HAS to be derived from marijuana strains) and non-psychoactive (until recently this meant hemp only). These two groups aren’t going to change. Some physiological conditions call for varying ratios of THC:CBD, and many people enjoy these ratios, but there as just as many if not more who would rather use the industrial hemp version which provides the entire host of industrial hemp compounds, including higher potencies of CBD without risk of intoxication.
Wrapping Up: Back to #1
In my opinion, the #1 reason industrial hemp and CBD are going bonkers in America and causing a socioeconomic revolution, is because we’re trying to combat what nearly a century of cannabis prohibition has done to our endocannabinoids systems - primarily in terms of reducing inflammation and inflammatory syndromes.
Thanks for you time, I hope this helps in some way.