Despite the government ruling, CBD is widely available over the counter in dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal.
In late June, the US Food and Drug Administration could approve the Epidiolex, a pharmaceuticalized form of CBD for several severe pediatric seizure disorders. According to data recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the drug can reduce seizures by more than 40%. If Epidiolex wins approval it would be the first time the agency approves a drug derived from the marijuana plant. (The FDA has approved synthetic THC to treat chemotherapy-related nausea.)
The first thing to know about CBD is that it is not psychoactive; it doesn’t get people high. The primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But THC is only one of the scores of chemicals – known as cannabinoids – produced by the cannabis plant.
CBD first came to public attention in a 2013 CNN documentary called Weed. The piece, reported by Dr Sanjay Gupta, featured a little girl in Colorado named Charlotte, who had a rare life-threatening form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome.
Epidiolex was developed by the London-based GW Pharmaceuticals, which grows cannabis on tightly controlled farms in the UK. It embarked on the Epidiolex project in 2013, as anecdotes of CBD’s value as an epilepsy drug began emerging from the US.
If you have spent any amount of time on social media in the past couple of years, you will inevitably have seen someone sharing their latest CBD brand. Even Dan Bilzerian recently unveiled an IPO for his CBD company called Ignite. If you’re a consumer shopping online for CBD oils, or an entrepreneur trying to get in on the action, your head may be spinning with confusion about the industry and competitive landscape. There is a vast array of different brands, and each brand features different forms. This article will help you understand the difference between CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD and full-spectrum CBD, and offer some valuable suggestions about where to look for the product that is right for you as a consumer or potential entrant.
With CBD isolate oils, CBD is the only cannabinoid ingredient. All other hemp components are removed, meaning there are no detectable traces of THC. This form is the favorable option if you are regularly screened for drugs, highly sensitive to THC or you want to avoid the pungent hemp flavor. If you are currently taking full-spectrum products, CBD isolate can be a way to complement your regimen by adding a boost of CBD without increasing the dose of the other cannabinoids. If you’re an entrepreneur, this is the harder sub-space to get into because of the costs that are associated with creating a pure CBD isolate. Unless you have big pockets or a venture team, or a super high-quality product, this will be a tough space for you to compete in. Nevertheless, here are a few examples of standout isolates on the market.
Verma Farms sells an all-day CBD solution by offering morning (Focus), afternoon (Boost) and night (Chill)-targeting oils. They focus on high quality, starting with their domestically grown, certified-organic, pesticide-free hemp.
Thanks to legalization, we’re officially in the age of the green rush. Not to be confused with THC though, CBD doesn’t have the pyschoactive components that would make someone “high.” In fact, CBD has been around and used in society since long before your neighborhood entrepreneur decided to create a Shopify store. History has even documented that ancient Native Americans used CBD for all different types of applications, including joint pain.
Broad-spectrum CBD is the happy middle for many customers. It contains all of the cannabinoids found in hemp, with the exception of THC. This may still not be the ideal form if you are tested regularly for THC use, but it is a good option if you want to experience the “entourage effect” of your CBD, without the intoxicating effects. This is also a good space to get into as an entrepreneur, as the barrier to entry is much lower. Below are four rising brands in this space.
However, the notion that CBD isn’t psychoactive is based on outdated science. The fact it helps define the cannabinoid as distinct from THC is another reason. In this article, we outline the truth behind whether CBD is psychoactive.
The CB1 and CB2 receptors are the main receptors for endocannabinoids. The CB1 receptors are typically found in the central nervous system and brain. They help regulate mood, pain, appetite, and other functions. The CB2 receptors are primarily located in the immune system and throughout the body. They generally regulate pain and inflammation.
The Science of CBD – A Quick Primer
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found in humans and other mammals and consists of different endocannabinoids. These are neurotransmitters that bind to receptors in our peripheral nervous system and central nervous system. The ECS regulates a variety of cognitive and physiological processes in the body, including:
THC’s ability to mimic anandamide is why it provides intoxication. Anandamide, known as the ‘bliss’ molecule, binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain, which is associated with a mood boost. THC binds more tightly to CB1 receptors than the bliss molecule. As a result, it prevents the release of other neurotransmitters, leading to a feeling of euphoria.
Researchers discovered the CB1 receptor in 1988. Ever since, researchers see it as a ‘given’ that CBD has little binding affinity for this receptor. However, recent research suggests that CBD does interact with the CB1 receptor. Moreover, it does so in a fashion that makes it therapeutically relevant.