HISTORY ON CBD
WHY WAS CBD ILLEGAL FOR OVER 70 YEARS?
Unfortunately, Americans have been denied the healing effects of cannabis since Harry Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (1931-1962), pushed through legislation that had been crafted in secrecy for 2 years. The result was the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act that made hemp and marijuana illegal for any use.
Historians believe Anslinger’s actions were at the behest of Randolph Hearst and Dupont petrochemicals. A machine had been invented to easily strip fiber from hemp. Therefore, high quality paper could now be made cheaper than using traditional wood pulp. Randolph Hearst owned millions of acres of forest land that supplied paper for his newspaper empire. With this new invention, Hearst’s land would be worthless. Dupont was against hemp for a similar reason. Although more expensive to manufacture, hemp fiber was a far superior fiber to the new nylon fiber Dupont was producing. However this same invention would also make hemp fiber less costly to produce; therefore, lowering nylon fiber’s value. Both men would incur large financial losses due to this invention. What if they could stop this threat by outlawing Hemp? Anslinger and others utilized tabloid sensationalism (via Hearst’s newspapers) to convince members of congress and the public of the dangers of hemp using the relatively new word marijuana (Spanish slang for cannabis). The American Medical Association (AMA) and the pharmaceutical industry testified against the Tax Act because cannabis was known to have so many medical uses with no observed side effects. Dr. William Woodward who was both a physician and an attorney for the AMA, testified on their behalf. He said; in effect, that this law passed in ignorance, could possibly deny the world a wonderful medicine, especially now that the medical world was just beginning to discover which ingredients in cannabis were active. Woodward told the committee that the only reason the AMA had not come out sooner against this legislation was that they had not been made aware that the “killer weed” in question was one and the same as the cannabis used in America by the medical community with perfect safety to treat scores of illnesses for over 100 years. Dr. Woodward and the AMA were quickly denounced by Anslinger as well as the entire congressional committee, and curtly excused. At this point cannabis – hemp and marijuana – was 100% illegal and NO further medical studies were done for nearly 30 years world wide due to America’s demonization of this drug.
Finally in 1964, Professor Raphael Mechoulam and his colleague, Yechiel Gaoni, at the Weizman Institute of Science in Israel, isolated, analyzed and synthesized the main psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Ruth Gallily, a professor emerita of immunology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has studied another main constituent of cannabis that is cannabadiol, or CBD. CBD is non psychoactive and is considered a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety agent. Israeli researchers state CBD can be beneficial for a variety of illnesses and conditions; including but not limited to stress disorders, cancer, arthritis, migraines, PTSD, chronic pain, many neurological disorders, recovery after heart attack and much more. Professor Mechoulam, now 84, stated in an interview that he has been urging producers over the years to grow cannabis with less THC and more CBD. (Nonmedical marijuana growers have little interest because CBD has NO psychoactive properties.) Taking Professor Mechoulam’s advice, a government approved medical marijuana farm, Tikkun Olam, began working on a high CBD and low to no THC strain of cannabis. After years of careful breeding, they developed, Avidekel, a strain rich in CBD but with little to no THC. This break through has allowed tens of thousands of Israelis to enjoy the health benefits of CBD.
In 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services filed a U.S. patent on CBD (#6630507) that covers CBD treatment for various neurodegenerative and inflammatory disorders. Because of the February 6, 2004, Federal Court Ruling Nos. 03-71366, 03-71693, every US citizen can legally use CBD (extracted from industrial hemp high in CBD without illegal amounts of THC). The American medical community had come to believe (or been “brain washed”) in the years following the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act that cannabis had no use as a medicine. Only now have they come full circle on cannabis, realizing what their predecessors knew 100 years ago. CBD oil is simply the most exciting outcome from this current thinking regarding cannabis. Their belief is that CBD oil is not negative or illegal but that it should be embraced and used for its many health benefits. As a result of his investigative reporting, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, completely changed his stance on medical marijuana, cannabis and hemp. (Prior to his research, he thought people “needed” medical marijuana to justify getting “high”). Dr. Gupta featured CBD miracle stories in his special documentary series called “Weed” that first aired in 2013. The world was astonished by the people he profiled and the positive effects CBD oil has proven to have on human health. Dr. Mehmet Oz, known from “Oprah” and current host of his own TV show and ABC News Chief, Health and Medical Editor, Dr. Richard Besser have also been convinced of the beneficial properties of CBD.
DISCOVERY OF THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
In 1992, the first suspicion of the endocannabinoid system started to unfold. This system was found by Raphael Mechoulam as well as NIMH researchers William Devane and Dr. Lumir discovered the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in the human body During the 1980s. These scientists discovered anandamide (a fatty acid neurotransmitter produced within the human brain. Anandamide was the first naturally occurring endogenous cannabinoid or endocannabinoid. Anandamide binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system, and CB2 receptors in the immune system. In February 2014 all that changed when farm bill 2040 was signed. It contained a special amendment to legalize a production of industrial hemp in the United States.
THE SCIENCE OF IT ALL
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEMP AND MARIJUANA?
What is the difference between hemp and marijuana? The short answer: semantics. The long answer: the difference is a largely misunderstood distinction that now has two correct answers, a legal one and a scientific one. And like all things proven by scientists, it is somehow up for public and political debate.
Thanks to nearly 80 years of federal cannabis prohibition, public knowledge on the topic is limited to rumors and misinterpretations perpetuated online—everything from “hemp plants are male and marijuana plants are female” to “one is a drug and the other is not.”
The legal definitions also have muddied the water as legislators have passed laws at both the federal and state levels defining hemp in the pursuit of both fiber and medicine.
Let’s start with semantics. Hemp refers to strains of Cannabis sativa that have been bred specifically for fiber used for clothing and construction, oils and topical ointments, nutritional benefits and a wide and growing variety of other purposes that don’t involve intoxication.
Marijuana is a slang term used to describe strains of Cannabis sativa specifically bred for the potent resinous glands (trichomes) that grow on the flowers and some leaves (buds). While there is some dispute over the origins of the term “marijuana,” it was introduced into popular use by Hearst-era newspapers as a way to instill fear of pot-smoking Mexicans.
Wording aside, both hemp and marijuana are, in fact, the same thing. Although both “hemp” and “marijuana” as we know them are from the same genus, Cannabis, they are also part of the same species, Cannabis sativa. The scientific difference between what we refer to as hemp and marijuana comes from the purpose the strain was bred for.
The female cannabis plant grows glands on the leaves of its flowers that contain at least 60 identified and active cannabinoids (among other beneficial compounds) that have a plethora of medical uses. Scientific testing and identification of cannabinoids and other compounds found in cannabis has generated two outcomes: a better understanding of the plant by scientists and researchers, and a slough of misinterpreted information used to set legal parameters to safe access to the cannabis plant.
As we enter the age of legal cannabis, distinctions, be they semantic, legal or scientific, are going to be paramount in creating responsible laws for the legal industry. To simplify, it is all the cannabis plant. Cannabis has so many uses and potential uses that humans have largely played a role in its evolution and probably will continue to into the future. Whether or not legal distinctions and semantics will follow science, so far, is anyone’s guess.
FUNCTIONS OF THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The endocannabinoid system is perhaps the most crucial biological system involved in creating and maintaining optimum homeostasis in your body. Endocannabinoids and related CB1 and CB2 receptor sites are produced and found nearly everywhere in your body. They are in your brain, tissues, organs, glands, and cells. In each region, your endocannabinoid system performs countless functions with one sole purpose, homeostasis. By consuming cannabidiol (CBD), homeostasis begins to occur in your body at an unprecedented speed on many levels. Fundamentally, CBD provides internal balance for human anatomy despite wildly accelerating changes and stress in your external environment.
As a practitioner understanding the endocannabinoid system, you can cross over to a new paradigm of healing, promoting health, and preventing disease. We encourage you to browse the Internet and read the thousands of reputable studies about the endocannabinoid system.
Full Spectrum generally refers to CBD oil products that not only contain CBD, but also contain some terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN and even some THC. Usually these will be in ratios that were naturally occurring and extracted from the plant and specific strain. But they are also occasionally added back into products as an isolated form to raise the potency of the product. For those that get drug tested, Full Spectrum is something to be cautious about because current drug tests are designed to detect cannabinoids, not only the infamously intoxicating ∆-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but even high levels of non-psychotropic cannabinoids.
The THC found in Full Spectrum hemp products is minimal (less than 0.3%), but can still trigger positive drug tests. With Full Spectrum CBD oil products, you have the advantage of something called the “Entourage Effect.” This is where all the cannabinoids and terpenes are working together in synergy, something that Isolate products will lack.
THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT (E’FEKT)
First described in 1998 by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam, the basic idea of the entourage effect is that cannabinoids within the cannabis plant work together, or possess synergy, and affect the body in a mechanism similar to the body’s own endocannabinoid system. The entourage effect theory has been expanded in recent times by Wagner and Ulrich-Merzenich, who define the four basic mechanisms of whole plant extract synergy as follows:
1. Ability to affect multiple targets within the body
2. Ability to improve the absorption of active ingredients
3. Ability to overcome bacterial defense mechanisms
4. Ability to minimize adverse side effects.
“These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment.”