The market is rife with misinformation even when CBD is sold as a relatively simple oil or supplement. When it’s squirted into a latte or baked into a cookie, CBD’s uses and effects get even more opaque. The chemical’s loudest advocates make health claims far beyond the current scientific evidence, and its harshest critics often dismiss the compound entirely as just another snake oil in America’s long tradition of health scams. Journalists are starting to get a handle on what CBD actually does and what is actually known about it, but along with researchers and regulators, we’re still playing catch-up when it comes to the people who have pushed the compound into what feels like mainstream overnight success: entrepreneurs.
Oral dronabinol (THC) is marketed in synthetic form as Marinol® (Solvay Pharmaceuticals) in various countries, and was approved in the USA for nausea associated with chemotherapy in 1985, and in 1992 for appetite stimulation in HIV/AIDS. Oral dronabinol’s expense, variability of action, and attendant intoxication and dysphoria have limited its adoption by clinicians (Calhoun et al 1998). Two open label studies in France of oral dronabinol for chronic neuropathic pain in 7 subjects (Clermont-Gnamien et al 2002) and 8 subjects (Attal et al 2004), respectively, failed to show significant benefit on pain or other parameters, and showed adverse event frequently requiring discontinuation with doses averaging 15–16.6 mg THC. Dronabinol did demonstrate positive results in a clinical trial of multiple sclerosis pain in two measures (Svendsen et al 2004), but negative results in post-operative pain (Buggy et al 2003) (Table 1). Another uncontrolled case report in three subjects noted relief of intractable pruritus associated with cholestatic jaundice employing oral dronabinol (Neff et al 2002). Some authors have noted patient preference for whole cannabis preparations over oral THC (Joy et al 1999), and the contribution of other components beyond THC to therapeutic benefits (McPartland and Russo 2001). Inhaled THC leads to peak plasma concentration within 3–10 minutes, followed by a rapid fall while levels of intoxication are still rising, and with systemic bioavailability of 10%–35% (Grotenhermen 2004). THC absorption orally is slow and erratic with peak serum levels in 45–120 minutes or longer. Systemic bioavailability is also quite low due to rapid hepatic metabolism on first pass to 11-hydroxy-THC. A rectal suppository of THC-hemisuccinate is under investigation (Broom et al 2001), as are transdermal delivery techniques (Challapalli and Stinchcomb 2002). The terminal half-life of THC is quite prolonged due to storage in body lipids (Grotenhermen 2004).
All that's changed with the high trade tariffs Trump's levied on countries who import our products. Analysts and existing evidence suggest the soybean trade conflicts will be in favor of fellow exporters, Brazil and Argentina, rather than the U.S. The tariff could drop China’s imports of soybeans by 69% on average. The estimated effect of China’s 25% tariff on U.S. soybean imports would cut income for a midsize Illinois grain farm by an average of 87% over four years, prompting a loss of more than $500,000 in the farm’s net worth by 2021.
Researchers think that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help your cells respond. This creates anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil may benefit people with chronic pain, such as chronic back pain.
Although global abnormalities in white matter and grey matter are not associated with cannabis abuse, reduced hippocampal volume is consistently found. Amygdalar abnormalities are sometimes reported, although findings are inconsistent. Preliminary evidence suggests that this effect is largely mediated by THC, and that CBD may even have a protective effect.
The important thing is that you have to be SUPER careful when selecting CBD oils. Since the cannabis industry is not FDA-regulated, there have been dozens and dozens of companies trying to get away with selling very low quality (and even potentially toxic), “snake oils” that have been extracted using harsh chemical solvents like butane and hexane. Make sure you stay away from cheap products like these, as they could damage your health.
Both in Canada and the US, the most critical problem to be addressed for commercial exploitation of C. sativa is the possible unauthorized drug use of the plant. Indeed, the reason hemp cultivation was made illegal in North America was concern that the hemp crop was a drug menace. The drug potential is, for practical purposes, measured by the presence of THC. THC is the world’s most popular illicit chemical, and indeed the fourth most popular recreational drug, after caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. “Industrial hemp” is a phrase that has become common to designate hemp used for commercial non-intoxicant purposes. Small and Cronquist (1976) split C. sativa into two subspecies: C. sativa subsp. sativa, with less than 0.3% (dry weight) of THC in the upper (reproductive) part of the plant, and C. sativa subsp. indica (Lam.) E. Small & Cronq. with more than 0.3% THC. This classification has since been adopted in the European Community, Canada, and parts of Australia as a dividing line between cultivars that can be legally cultivated under license and forms that are considered to have too high a drug potential. For a period, 0.3% was also the allowable THC content limit for cultivation of hemp in the Soviet Union. In the US, Drug Enforcement Agency guidelines issued Dec. 7, 1999 expressly allowed products with a THC content of less than 0.3% to enter the US without a license; but subsequently permissible levels have been a source of continuing contention. Marijuana in the illicit market typically has a THC content of 5% to 10% (levels as high as 25% have been reported), and as a point of interest, a current Canadian government experimental medicinal marijuana production contract calls for the production of 6% marijuana. As noted above, a level of about 1% THC is considered the threshold for marijuana to have intoxicating potential, so the 0.3% level is conservative, and some countries (e.g. parts of Australia, Switzerland) have permitted the cultivation of cultivars with higher levels. It should be appreciated that there is considerable variation in THC content in different parts of the plant. THC content increases in the following order: achenes (excluding bracts), roots, large stems, smaller stems, older and larger leaves, younger and smaller leaves, flowers, perigonal bracts covering both the female flowers and fruits. It is well known in the illicit trade how to screen off the more potent fractions of the plant in order to increase THC levels in resultant drug products. Nevertheless, a level of 0.3% THC in the flowering parts of the plant is reflective of material that is too low in intoxicant potential to actually be used practically for illicit production of marijuana or other types of cannabis drugs. Below, the problem of permissible levels of THC in food products made from hempseed is discussed.
Despite its centrality in human cultures across the globe, the European taxonomists who bequeathed Cannabis sativa its name didn’t quite get it right. When Carolus Linneaus came to naming the marijuana plant’s genus, he thought there was only one species, instead of the three we now know exist. Hence the confusion surrounding the fact that there are three distinct species of the genus Cannabis sativa, one of which is the sativa species.