Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

Tag: health

CBD Bioavailability: How Much CBD Are You Really Getting?

Let’s take a closer look at CBD bioavailability: how much CBD are you really getting when you take a tincture, eat a gummy, or vape? In this video, we compared the bioavailability for popular methods of taking this supplement.

Let’s take a closer look at CBD bioavailability: how much CBD are you really getting when you take a tincture, eat a gummy, or vape?

Bioavailability is the degree & rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream, in this case, CBD. There are several different methods of dosing CBD and each one has a different bioavailability. So, how much CBD are you really getting?

In this video, we compared bioavailability for the most popular methods of taking this supplement.

MORE ABOUT CBD BIOAVAILABILITY

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CBD Vs. Kava Kava: Two More Natural Remedies Compared

With so many herbal remedies available to consumers, its easy to get confused. How do the benefits of CBD and Kava compare? What about the side effects?

Alongside cannabidiol, other natural herbs are receiving a lot of attention, so we thought we’d compare CBD vs. kava today.

In our previous article, we compared CBD and kratom, another popular herb.

Within recent times, alternative medicine and natural remedies are becoming increasingly popular. More people are looking for ways to improve their overall health and well-being that doesn’t involve taking pharmaceutical drugs.

It’s no surprise that hemp-based substances such as CBD, have risen to prominence based on its unique therapeutic abilities. However, there are other herbs like kava, sometimes called kava kava, also receiving attention for similar positive effects. But can you really compare kava with CBD? If we were to pit CBD vs kava, which of the two would come out on top?

In this article we’re going to explore exactly that. We will examine how the popular CBD matches up against the lesser known underdog, kava. Through this comparison, we hope you can better determine which herbal remedies support your needs.

A BRIEF OVERVIEW ON CBD

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a lot more popular than Kava. It’s certainly more widely used. Cannabidiol is one of the main compounds found in the hemp plant and its primary role is to create balance within the body. CBD is non-intoxicating and helps ease symptoms of a variety of common conditions including stress, anxiety and pain.

CBD offers numerous benefits without a high, unlike kava which can cause mild mind-altering effects. Photo: CBD oil bottles posed on a wooden table with hemp buds.

CBD offers numerous benefits without a high, unlike kava which can cause mild mind-altering effects.

Quite notably, scientists are studying the potential use of CBD to treat some more serious ailments like cancer. Today, you can find CBD in just about anything. There are capsules, gummies, tinctures and if those are too boring, you can even find CBD-infused beverages and food.

WHAT EXACTLY IS KAVA?

Kava is an herb native to the Pacific Islands. People in places like Hawaii, Fiji and Tonga used kava for hundreds of years.

Typically, the root of the plant is used to make an extract. Kava is thought to have calming, analgesic and stress relieving properties. Traditionally, they would dry and crush the root into a powder, then mix it with water to make a drink.

Herbal supplement companies today use more sophisticated methods of extraction in order to maximize the concentration of its main ingredients, kavalactones. The final product is usually a capsule that contains anywhere from 30% to 90% concentration. There are 18 of these kavalactones found in the kava plant and they’re responsible for its potential benefits.

Unlike CBD, which is non intoxicating, these kavalactones can also induce a high and even mild hallucinations due to their psychoactive nature.

CBD VS KAVA: USES

CBD is well-known for its wide range of therapeutic applications.

Cannabidiol works with our endocannabinoid system to regulate the body’s internal processes. Many people all over the world are using CBD to help with issues such as chronic pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia and inflammation. Part CBD’s appeal is the lack of psychoactive effects. Apart from the more common uses, it also has the potential to treat even more severe illnesses such as schizophrenia, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, bone disease and more, though a lot more research is needed.

In 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a marijuana-based CBD medicine, to treat seizures related to some forms of epilepsy. This was a major triumph, as it marked the first time the FDA recognized the medical benefits of cannabis. With more research, we can expect to see more CBD based products being introduced to the mainstream in the future.

Kava is much less researched than CBD. The kavalactones found in the plant interact with the neurotransmitters in the brain to create its calming, euphoric effects. Kava is mainly used to help reduce stress and anxiety. Some suggest that it can be a natural alternative to treating anxiety disorders. More research needs to be done to really determine its effectiveness as some studies have produced mixed results. This makes it a bit more difficult to form any real conclusions.

It is also said that kava can be useful in promoting sleep, and therefore has the potential to treat sleeping disorders such as insomnia. In one 2015 study involving over a thousand participants, researchers could not really prove any noticeable difference when compared to placebo.

CBD VS KAVA: SIDE EFFECTS

One reasons that CBD is becoming so popular is that it has very minimal side effects. Studies have shown that even when consumed at relatively large doses, it typically does not cause any adverse reactions that may jeopardize the user’s health. CBD is a non-addictive substance that doesn’t require larger doses after prolonged use. CBD is arguably safer than many pharmaceutical drugs in use. No fatal overdoses by CBD have ever been reported. Even in the rare instances where users report side effects, they are usually mild symptoms such as dry mouth, drowsiness and nausea.

While there's some evidence that kava may help with stress, insomnia, and similar issues, there's also evidence that it may cause damage to the liver in some cases. Photo: A spoonful of powdered kava root resting on a wooden table.

While there’s some evidence that kava may help with stress, insomnia, and similar issues, there’s also evidence that it may cause damage to the liver in some cases.

Kava on the other hand, can have various side effects, especially when consumed in large doses. Some of these may include: headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, diarrhea, skin issues and liver damage.

Perhaps the most severe of these is related to its impact on the liver. An overview from the National Institutes of Health found between 50 and 100 cases of liver injury related to kava consumption. While some kava advocates dispute these claims, there is some evidence that links kava to hepatotoxicity.

Whether or not similar adverse effects are found among Kava’s traditional consumers, this still raises concerns about the quality of the kava supplements being sold commercially. Additionally, there may also be some negative reactions when consumed with other substances like alcohol, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics and diuretics. With these potential risks and minimal research, kava needs to be consumed with caution and under the right medical supervision.

CBD VS KAVA: LEGALITY

In the US, CBD is legal throughout all 50 states as long as it is derived from hemp (0.3% or less THC). The 2018 Farm Bill was a huge step forward for the cannabis industry. It rightfully removed restrictions on hemp by revoking its schedule I classification. Even though hemp is now legal on a federal level, there have been police raids on CBD stores in states like Texas, due to conflicts between state and federal laws. U.S. Consumers, in general, haven’t faced any legal penalties for possessing or purchasing CBD.

Kava is also considered legal in the US. However, it’s important to consider the 2002 advisory issued by the FDA warning of its potential liver damage. Certainly, more research needs to be done on the herb to confirm or deny those statements, but remember just because its legal doesn’t mean its safe. Another consideration: Poland banned kava, while countries like France, Canada, Germany and Switzerland have some restrictive measures in place.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Hopefully this helps to paint a clearer picture of what these herbal remedies are and how they compare to each other.

CBD is widely used and researched, with a long list of holistic benefits and limited side effects. While kava, on the other hand, does show some potential to treat stress related symptoms, its long list of side effects and lack of definitive scientific research suggest that consumers should proceed with care.

With all these things into consideration, which do you think is better?

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CBD VS Kratom: Comparing Two Popular Natural Remedies

When it comes to comparing CBD vs. kratom, these two natural supplements don’t have as much in common as you might think. While both offer some real benefits, CBD remains the safer choice in most cases.

Both CBD and kratom are getting a lot of attention, so we thought we’d compare their relative benefits here.

You’ve most likely heard of the hemp-derived compound CBD before. It’s been the talk of the town in realm of alternative medicine for quite some time, and has really developed a reputation as a natural route to relief of many conditions or their symptoms.

But there are some other herbs besides hemp, that have also been growing in popularity for their therapeutic properties. In this article we will take a look at kratom and how it really compares to CBD.

Some people claim kratom can be an effective substitute to CBD. But, is this really accurate? On the surface, they may appear to have some common ground. As you begin to dig deeper it becomes more apparent that they’re really quite different.

AN OVERVIEW OF CBD

Nowadays, CBD or cannabidiol can be found in many different types of consumables.

Photo: A collection of CBD tinctures in assorted bottles, decorated with hemp buds. Our guide to CBD tinctures explains how to pick the right supplement for your needs.

CBD oil, extracted from industrial hemp, is a safe, non-psychoactive supplement with numerous benefits.

You can find it in traditional forms like CBD tinctures or capsules and even more creative products such as CBD coffee. The main role of this compound is to create internal balance, through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Part of what makes CBD so special is that it’s non-psychoactive, unlike the well-known THC, the main active ingredient in psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”). CBD can help you improve your mood, deal with anxiety and even support pain relief, all without experiencing mind-altering effects.

CBD also shows the potential to treat many more serious conditions. As scientists conduct more research, even traditional doctors increasingly support the use of cannabidiol.

WHAT EXACTLY IS KRATOM?

Kratom, also known as “mitragyna speciosa,” is a tree that originates from South East Asia. It grows naturally in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. People from these areas have used kratom for thousands of years. Traditionally, natives of these areas chewed the leaves for its stimulant-like properties. Kratom has a long history of use as an opium substitute and in more recent times has become popular as a recreational drug.

The plant’s main active ingredients are mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine (7HMG). These two compounds induce their effects by interacting with the body’s opioid receptors. Mitragynine is the chemical thought to be responsible for the therapeutic effects, whereas researches attribute psychoactive effects to 7HMG. The clinical research on kratom is still very limited. This lack of research also prevents kratom from catching on like CBD.

CBD VS KRATOM: USES

CBD has a relatively long list of applications. It’s most commonly used to help with anxiety, sleep disorders, chronic pain and inflammation.

Although many consume it to feel more relaxed and manage stress related symptoms, it is also becoming quite popular in the fitness community to help with recovery and pain management. Apart from those practical uses, CBD is also being researched for its potential to treat more severe ailments such as: cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, diabetes and many others.

When comparing CBD vs. Kratom, one major difference is that CBD is non-addictive and appears safe even at relatively high doses, while kratom can pose risks of dependency and other side effects. Photo: Powdered kratom in a white bowl sits atop whole mitragyna speciosa leaves.

When comparing CBD vs. Kratom, one major difference is that CBD is non-addictive and appears safe even at relatively high doses, while kratom can pose risks of dependency and other side effects.

Kratom is used mainly to reduce anxiety, relieve pain and help with opiate addiction. As research surrounding the herb seems to still be in the early stages, no solid conclusions can be drawn as of yet. Based on user accounts, and the natives who’ve grown the herb for centuries, there may be some truth behind some of the promoted benefits. Some individuals have claimed it is particularly effective in breaking dependency on stronger opioids like heroin and oxycodone. However, more clinical trials need to be conducted before it can be recognized as a reliable method of treatment.

CBD VS KRATOM: SIDE EFFECTS

CBD is great not only because of its numerous benefits, but because CBD has limited side effects. The versatile cannabinoid, is proven to be non-addictive, and is still safe to consume even in large quantities. To date, there have been no CBD related deaths ever recorded. Some mild side effects that may be experienced by users include nausea, dry mouth and drowsiness.

Kratom however, starts to a lot look less appealing when we begin to examine the side effects. Although it’s promoted to be a solution to opiate addiction, there is also the risk of becoming addicted to kratom. Frequent use is generally not recommended, as it increases the chance of dependency and also exposes the consumer to other potential risks.

Some relatively common kratom side effects include vomiting, nausea and constipation. But the list doesn’t stop there, as there are even more severe symptoms that may arise from kratom use such as seizures, psychosis, respiratory depression, liver toxicity, and increased blood pressure. When we consider all these side effects, they could heavily outweigh the benefits.

THE LEGALITY OF CBD AND KRATOM

The 2018 Farm Bill forced the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove hemp-deriveed CBD from its list of illegal drugs. The bill formally legalized industrial hemp with a THC content of 0.3% or lower as an agricultural commodity, rather than a controlled substance.

Even with this monumental move, there are still some restrictions varying from state to state. While consumers can generally access CBD both in stores and through online CBD vendors, some CBD stores still face the threat of police action.

While recent legal changews support access to CBD, kratom may face further restrictions in the near future. Photo: A gavel with the scales of justice behind it.

While recent legal changews support access to CBD, kratom may face further restrictions in the near future.

The legality of kratom remains a bit more undefined as it is not regulated on a federal level. However, there are some states that have banned the substance like Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama, Wisconsin, Vermont and Washington, D.C. In 2016 the DEA announced their intentions to classify kratom as a schedule I substance. The announcement was followed by intense public outcry, and since then they have not yet made any advances to restrict it on a national level.

Even the FDA issued a statement warning of kratom’s adverse effects. The FDA attributed 36 deaths to kratom in 2017. Last year, there was a salmonella outbreak related to kratom products which affected 199 people across several states. The nationwide controversy led to a massive recall, and once again shed negative light on the herb, which may eventually lead to its restriction on a larger scale.

FINAL VERDICT

When we examine all the factors above, we’re better equipped to evaluate natural remedies.

While some people compare kratom and CBD as herbal supplements, they’re in two completely different lanes. CBD is a lot more recognized, with a strong backing of user testimonies and scientific research.

While kratom may treat some conditions, due to minimal research and a growing list of concerns, it is likely to be restricted before it is accepted on a wider scale. While we don’t support legal prohibition of natural substances, users of kratom must be aware of the risk of dependency and other potentially harmful side effects.

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Hemp Coffins: Elevating The Afterlife In Australia With Hemp

In Nimbin, Australia, bodies are being buried and burnt in brightly-decorated hemp coffins. The coffins, which are built with pressed hemp board from Germany and lined with hemp rope handles, are usually colourfully painted by local artists.

In Australia’s alternative lifestyle capital, bodies are being buried and burnt in brightly-decorated hemp coffins.

These hemp coffins are handmade at the Hemp Embassy in Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia. Photo: A man smokes a joint while standing in an undecorated hemp coffin, at the Hemp Embassy in Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia.

These hemp coffins are handmade at the HEMP Embassy in Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia. (Photo courtesy HEMP Embassy)

“I’ve got three on site at the moment that are made,” says Michael Balderstone president of the HEMP Embassy in Nimbin, a small town in northern New South Wales, where the caskets are designed, built, and sold.

“People ring up and order them. I can make one in a day. They’re beautiful.”

The coffins, which are built with a 19mm lightweight pressed hemp board from Germany and are lined with hemp rope handles, are usually colourfully painted by artists in Nimbin. The town, which hosted the 1973 Aquarius Festival, is Australia’s answer to Woodstock.

“It takes people all their life saving up for their funeral,” says Balderstone. “In Nimbin we want to wrap them in a cloth and compost them, but you’re not allowed so you’ve got to do the cheapest (thing) possible.”

The hemp coffins cost only between $700 and $900, he says. That’s similar to the cost of a regular coffin, but constructed from sustainable materials that will biodegrade more quickly.

“They are popular,” says Balderstone.

“Even my father, he was very conservative. Never got stoned but said, ‘I wouldn’t mind one of those hemp coffins.’”

“I’ve been encouraging people to buy them early, get in early.”

And they’re also versatile, as a sign in the window of the HEMP embassy highlights.

“Can be used as a broom cupboard or book shelves etc in the meantime,” it reads.

HEMP COFFINS ON THE RISE WORLDWIDE

According to small-scale manufacturer Rawganique, which makes hemp products, local demand for its willow-hemp caskets and coffins “is more than enough” for its single artisan workshop located on Denman Island, British Columbia. Their products feature organic hemp ropes, come in a variety of colors, are chemical and fertilizer-free, and completely biodegradable. Meanwhile, hemp burial shrouds are also available through Australia-based Life Rites.

The Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code has allowed the sale and consumption of low-THC hemp seed foods since November 2017. The move was described as a “landmark” by the not-for-profit Australian Industrial Hemp Alliance (AIHA).

A sign on a hemp coffin suggests they can be used to store books or cleaning supplies before death.

The creator of these hemp coffins suggests they can be used to store books or cleaning supplies before death. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Pearl Green)

The Nimbin HEMP Embassy, formed in 1992, aims to educate people about the integration of hemp in people’s lives. The Embassy runs a shop and information centre “to fund our protest” against Australia’s cannabis laws. Its shop displays everything from a hemp surfboard to a hemp bees-wax food wrap, while its hemp bar offers a range of hot beverages and desserts containing the plant. Other restaurants and shops nearby also sell hemp products.

Balderstone is also president of Australia’s federally-registered HEMP Party, which will contest in the upcoming election in May.

According to reports, Australia is one of highest users of psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) in the world, even though recreational use of cannabis is criminalized there. Medicinal marijuana is legal in the country.

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CBD Buying Guide: How To Buy The Right CBD

With so many brands out there, it’s hard to know who to trust or what to look for so you can rest assured you’re getting a quality CBD product that will produce the desired results. Make sure you’re getting great CBD with our CBD buying guide!

Make sure you’re getting great CBD with our CBD buying guide!

It’s almost as if every day there are new CBD brands. With so many brands out there, it’s hard to know who to trust or what to look for so you can rest assured you’re getting a quality CBD product that will produce the desired results.

That’s why we’re going to go over a few things to look for that should be the standard in this industry in this CBD buying guide! All of these things should be information that is easy to find on a brand’s website. Check out this video for tips on buying CBD and what to look for!

HOW TO BUY THE RIGHT CBD: MORE INFORMATION

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CBD Vs. CBG: Comparing The Many Benefits Of CBD & CBG

There’s a new cannabinoid in town, and it’s called CBG (cannabigerol). With an impressive list of potential health benefits, could CBG be the new CBD? Keep reading to find out more about CBG and how it compares with CBD.

Over the last few years, CBD (cannabidiol) has become a darling of the natural health world. And with minimal side effects, no addictive potential, and a long list of health benefits, it’s not hard to see why this cannabis extract has become almost as famous as its cousin, THC.

But you might be surprised to learn that CBD and THC are not the only cannabinoids out there. As CBD’s popularity grows, interest in cannabinoids has ignited, setting the stage for researchers to explore the therapeutic potential of other cannabis compounds.

One cannabinoid that’s attracting a lot of interest is CBG (cannabigerol). It seems to have plenty of health benefits to offer, but how does it stack up against CBD? In this article, we’ll compare these two potent cannabinoids and cover everything you need to know.

A PRIMER ON CANNABINOIDS

Cannabinoids seem almost too good to be true. After all, cannabis, and specifically CBD, has been praised for its ability to relieve pain, reduce seizures, lower anxiety, improve sleep, and more. But there’s actually a simple explanation for why cannabis has so many potential health benefits: the endocannabinoid system.

We wanted to compare CBD vs. CBG to help people understand how these two potent cannabinoids are similar, yet different. Photo: Two people in warm clothes share mugs of tea, while a teapot and a bottle of Every Day Optimal rests nearby.

We wanted to compare CBD vs. CBG to help people understand how these two potent cannabinoids are similar, yet different. (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

The endocannabinoid system refers to receptors found throughout the body, and these receptors help regulate physiological processes such as pain, mood, sleep, digestion, and more. Cannabinoids like CBD, THC, and CBG bind to these receptors, interacting with these different areas of human health.

Hemp is the best source for CBD, as it contains much higher concentrations than psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) (though this can vary by strain). On the other hand, you’ll find only trace amounts (1 percent or less) of CBG in the cannabis plant, although hemp strains can be cultivated to be higher in CBG. Young cannabis plants tend to be higher in CBG than mature plants, because CBG breaks down into other cannabinoids — including CBD and THC — as the plant ages.

COMPARING THE BENEFITS OF CBG AND CBD

Both CBD and CBG are non-psychoactive, meaning they won’t get you high. They’re both all-natural, have minimal or no side effects, and offer a wide range of health benefits.

Like CBD, the benefits of CBG are vast due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. For example, a 2015 study found CBG potentially effective at treating bladder dysfunction, while a 1990 study found that CBG can lower glaucoma-related pressure. CBG also has neuroprotective properties, may protect against colon cancer, and shows promise as a treatment for irritable bowel disease (IBD). It’s also an appetite stimulant with anti-inflammatory benefits and antibacterial properties.

Some of these benefits overlap with those of CBD, which has also been used to reduce pressure from glaucoma and reduce tumor growth. Like CBG, CBD shows neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits; it has even been used for spot treatment of acne. CBD is also proven to be an effective anxiety reliever, with multiple studies supporting its potential for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Perhaps most famously, CBD also can reduce epileptic seizures and alleviate pain associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, and more.

An infographic comparing CBD vs. CBG: while both are non-psychoactive, their health benefits differ.

An infographic comparing CBD vs. CBG: while both are non-psychoactive, their health benefits differ.

Though the effects of CBD and CBG when combined haven’t been studied, we do know that combining different cannabinoids results in what’s called the entourage effect. This means that each cannabinoid’s effects are enhanced when they’re combined. This effect has been well-studied relating to the relationship between CBD and THC; for example, both CBD and THC are more effective at reducing pain when taken together.

It’s possible that the benefits shared by CBD and CBG — like those for glaucoma, cancer, and inflammation — may also be enhanced when these two cannabinoids are combined, but further research is needed on the subject.

WHAT TYPE OF CBD OIL CONTAINS CBG?

If you’re looking to get the most out of your cannabinoids, and/or take multiple cannabinoids at once to experience the entourage effect, look for full spectrum CBD oil products. This type of CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted from the cannabis plant, including THC, CBD, CBG, and many others.

The downside of full spectrum products is that the ratios and percentages of each cannabinoid can vary widely based on the strain of cannabis the oil was made from. This makes it harder to control what kind of response you’ll have; you may find yourself reacting differently based on the batch, type, or brand of CBD oil due to these variances. It’s also important to keep in mind that full spectrum CBD oils contain traces of THC, and while it’s not enough to get you high, it may be enough to show up on a drug test.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to experience pure CBD without additional cannabinoids and terpenes, or you need to avoid THC due to sensitivities or drug testing, you’ll want to look for either isolate CBD products or broad spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum is similar to full spectrum in that it contains other cannabinoids and terpenes, but it’s processed to remove all traces of THC. Isolate CBD oil, meanwhile, is processed to remove all cannabinoids and terpenes aside from CBD, leaving you with a pure CBD product.

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON CBD VS. CBG

As our knowledge of cannabinoids continues to grow, so will our understanding of their uses and benefits. Although CBD is certainly the front runner, CBG shows a lot of promising uses. At Every Day Optimal we believe that CBG will have a big future in years to come and are looking forward to learning more about this amazon cannabinoid.

Questions? Be sure to reach out!

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The High Cost Of CBD: Why Is CBD Expensive?

Why is CBD so darn expensive? The reasons range from expensive equipment for CBD extraction, to the high price of banking and insurance.

Why is CBD so darn expensive? We wanted to take a closer look at the high cost of CBD.

CBD is expensive! There’s no getting around the fact that when you buy CBD your pocket book’s going to take a bit of a hit.

On average, we see the price of CBD per milligram around $.15. If a standard 30-milliliter tincture contains 500 milligrams of CBD, you can expect to pay around $75.00, not including tax and possibly shipping for online shoppers.

That might be acceptable for some, but cash-strapped consumers may not have the disposable income to keep up with a consistent dosing regimen needed to manage their ailments. When this happens, patients may end up looking to inferior CBD products that can be incorrectly labeled, impure, or even unsafe rather than lab tested, high-quality CBD.

CBD oil helps so many people, but why is CBD expensive? We took a closer look at some of the costs that go into making the supplement. Photo: A collection of CBD tinctures in assorted bottles, decorated with hemp buds.

CBD oil helps so many people, but why is CBD expensive? We took a closer look at some of the costs that go into making the supplement.

If you’re curious as to why CBD is so costly, read on because we’re going to breakdown the costs associated with CBD products, and provide tips on stretching your CBD dollar as far as possible.

EXPENSES BEGIN BEFORE THE FIRST HEMP SEED IS PLANTED

As with any agricultural farming, the first set of costs are the land and farming and cultivation costs such as; seeds, labor, cultivation equipment, state, city, and county licenses, etc.

With regards to farming hemp (and marijuana) there are additional reporting and testing costs over other agriculture due to the nature of what’s being planted and each state has their own set of requirements and costs. These costs can be as low as $25 in Vermont and as high as $500-$1000 depending on whether the license is for a grower or hander, plus a $5.00 per acre fee. To get a better idea of costs, we recently published an article overviewing the hemp market for Nevada, Vermont, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

Some states also have specific licenses or certification programs for hemp seed distributors and producers. Click to read each state’s hemp statutes.

THE HIGH COST OF HARVESTING AND EXTRACTION

Once the hemp plants reach maturity it’s time to harvest them. According to coolbean.info, the cost to harvest an acre of hemp in Minnesota will run between $300 to $600 per acre. This is down substantially from 2017 when the cost averaged between $970 to $2,500 per acre.

Once the harvest is complete, the hemp plant stem needs to have the various components separated with a machine called a decorticator. This machine can run upwards of $2 million.

After decortication, the next step will be to extract the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc. from the plant. The two most popular methods of extractions are through a Supercritical CO2 extraction or an ethanol extraction with CO2 extraction becoming the standard.

According to Cannabis Business Executive, a CO2 extraction machine can cost around $135,000 to $150,000 plus $20,000 to $35,000 for a rotary evaporator and centrifuge.

Of course these machine costs are in addition to the buildings, infrastructure, labor, and the raw materials for those not growing their own.

FROM EXTRACTION TO PACKAGING

Once the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant materials are extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant, there are still a number of steps needed before the CBD reaches store shelves.

What is initially extracted is a cannabis concentrate that has contains acids that need to be decarboxylated. The cost for a decarboxylation oven cost around $5,000 to $7,000 for ovens that have a capacity of 10 cubic feet and can go up to 38 cubic feet.

After the concentrate is decarboxylated, what’s left is full spectrum cannabinoid oil. Full of all the cannabis plants cannabinoids, including CBD, terpenes, and the plants chlorophyll, lipids and waxes. When it comes to the “entourage effect,” this is the best option.

However, not everyone wants the plant materials and/or the THC. Many patients prefer oil with higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) and not concerned with plant properties or THC. To remove the plant properties, the CBD concentrate will first be winterized to isolate and remove the unwanted compounds, followed by distillation to further ‘clean’ the oil. If THC is being removed, the distilled concentrate will then go through a chromatography machine. Cost for the equipment to perform these functions can grow to the hundreds of thousands plus the labor to run them.

THIRD-PARTY LAB TESTING IS VITAL, BUT ADDS TO THE COST OF CBD

Once complete, the finished product now needs to be tested to prove product purity and concentration. There are a variety of tests available. Following are a list of services by a well known testing facility in Arizona.

Testing Services:

  • 10 cannabinoids ($50/bottle)
  • Mold and fungus screening ($25/bottle)
  • 19 Residual Solvents ($35/bottle)
  • 41 Terpenes ($40/bottle)
  • Moisture Content ($15/bottle)
  • 4 Microbial Analyses ($40/each count)
  • Custom Services

After testing, the CBD concentrates are bottled, packaged and prepared for delivery to their distributors to sell.

LEGAL EXPENSES, BANKING, & OTHER FACTORS INCREASE COST OF CBD

Obviously the largest costs come from the manufacturing side, but we can’t forget about the product distributors who have their own set of operating costs. Operating costs themselves are just a part of doing business. But operating costs for cannabis companies can be twice, even three times as much. In addition, due to the ‘gray’ area of cannabis and hemp laws, CBD companies must take extra precautions to insure they are protected. This, of course, adds to the cost of CBD.

Other factors that increase the cost of CBD include retaining a lawyer, hiring an in-house compliance officer, and the complicated nature of banking and insurance in the hemp and cannabis industries. Photo: A lawyer in a suit and tie writes on a notepad while talking on a smartphone in an office.

Other factors that increase the cost of CBD include retaining a lawyer, hiring an in-house compliance officer, and the complicated nature of banking and insurance in the hemp and cannabis industries.

Let’s take a look at the bare minimum of operating costs a CBD company is going to incur.

Insurance

A general liability business insurance policy for cannabis companies can easily amount to $500 to $700 per month! This same insurance policy for a non-cannabis company would only be about $700 for a year!

Credit Card Processing

Credit card and banking options are very limited for cannabis companies. In order to accept credit cards for hemp purchases distributors need to sign up with merchants specializing in ‘high risk’ processing. Costs with these processors can be exorbitant. In some cases they can run hundreds of dollars per month.

If a high-risk domestic merchant cannot help, distributors are then forced to look off shore for credit card processing. These don’t come cheap. Off shore processors will normally require a business to incorporate in the country that processes the cards. Incorporating in the UK costs roughly $500 plus monthly fees that can also run in the hundreds per month. These are in addition to the higher-than-normal monthly processing fees for the service.

Banking

Bank accounts and business loans are not available to cannabis companies, which means they need to find unique, and sometimes costly, places to store their cash and have access to it for payroll and other business related expenses. Again, this often results in the opening of costly offshore accounts.

In-House Compliance Officers

Since the state level requirements for CBD derived from hemp and marijuana differ, CBD companies usually have someone in-house make sure the company is adhering to each state’s regulations. They also make sure all the products meet the specific states allowed THC percentage. In most cases, this is 0.3 percent THC or less. They also monitor the percentage of CBD contained in the products are inline with the product labels.

An article from ProjectCBD.org states that according to the FDA, 69 percent of CBD products are mislabeled. In-house compliance officers work to insure this doesn’t happen.

Attorney

A company selling CBD better have an attorney. If not, they’re taking big risks. Attorneys will help insure companies are acting in compliance and keeping up with the ever-changing state laws on cannabis.

Countless stories have come to surface about CBD companies getting hassled by police, and in come cases even getting arrested! A good attorney can help insure business owners’ rights are not being violated and assist in navigating the gray areas of cannabis law. Attorneys will also help set up a legal corporation and the operating agreement of said corporation.

CBD AS A STATUS SYMBOL

Perception impacts price. Premium pricing techniques are often used when trying to reflect the exclusivity of a product. CBD is mix of both.

While numerous factors make CBD expensive, there are a number of special discounts and CBD assistance programs available to people with low incomes, the disabled, and military veterans among others. Photo: Hands holding a brown glass bottle of CBD oil, and a dropper with a drop of CBD dripping out, against a background of green hemp plants.

While numerous factors make CBD expensive, there are a number of special discounts and CBD assistance programs available to people with low incomes, the disabled, and military veterans among others.

Let’s face it; there is a certain level of mystique and sexiness associated with CBD. The thought of consuming a product that borders on breaking the law presents a sense of danger and excitement. These factors absolutely have an affect on the price of a product, especially for a new product that can also heal! Companies know this and definitely price accordingly.

The good news is in time, when the ‘newness’ wears off and more companies come to market, prices should go down.

SAVING MONEY ON THE COST OF CBD

Regardless of where CBD prices are currently at, there are things consumers can do to stretch their dollar and reduce the cost of CBD.

The first thing a user can do is to try and cut back on their CBD daily doses. When it comes to CBD more is not better, less is best. The easiest way to cut back is to consume slightly less with each dose. For example, if you normally take 15mg of CBD twice per day, try decreasing each dose to 11 or 12 milligrams each time. This simple move will save roughly 5 milligrams of CBD each day. Our bet is your body will not even miss those 5mg. In case it does, you can always increase the dosage back to 15 mg.

Switch to a lower grade CBD. Experienced CBD users know the term full spectrum all too well. Full spectrum CBD oil is the preferred choice for many, but doesn’t mean it’s the only choice. CBD isolate is definitely a lower grade product, but it does work quite well. In fact, many of the ‘full spectrum’ products actually contain only a small amount of true full spectrum oil and are mixed with an isolate.

Lastly, there are a number of CBD companies that offer discounts to active military and veterans, the disabled and those with low income. We plan to collect some of the best assistance programs into an upcoming article. In the meantime, we recommend searching Google for “CBD assistance program” or check with your preferred CBD brand.

WHY IS CBD EXPENSIVE? SOME FINAL THOUGHTS

Most of you reading this know that both CBD and industrial hemp were officially legalized this past December under the 2018 Farm Bill.

With this legalization, we’re expecting sweeping reform to take place throughout the hemp industry. It’s safe to say that many companies are eagerly waiting to get in the CBD business. The floodgates will open. From banking and insurance companies to new hemp manufacturers, distributors and retailers, costs across the board should decrease.

Immense pressure is being put on the powers that be to provide federal regulations on CBD products that create quality standards industry-wide. That could get things moving towards lowering costs, too.

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Getting CBD Facials At SXSW With Culture Trip (VIDEO)

Ministry of Hemp talked with Culture Trip’s U.S. Editor, Jillian Anthony, during SXSW 2019! Plus Restart CBD and Dawn Evans of Synergy Skincare & Spa paired up to give SXSW attendees a relaxing CBD facial.

Ministry of Hemp got CBD facials and talked with Culture Trip‘s U.S. Editor, Jillian Anthony, during SXSW 2019!

Restart CBD and Dawn Evans of Synergy Skincare & Spa paired up to give SXSW attendees a relaxing & restorative CBD facial. Both are women-owned businesses in Austin, Texas.

Visit Restart CBD

Visit Synergy Skincare & Spa

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Using CBD For Sleep: Can CBD Help Treat Insomnia?

We wanted to take a closer look at the science behind CBD as a treatment for insomnia. Millions of Americans suffer from sleeplessness, and conventional treatments often fail or lose effectiveness.

As more people begin using CBD for sleep, we wanted to take a closer look at the science behind cannabidiol as a treatment for insomnia.

Sleep has baffled humans for millennia, and although scientists have tried to unravel its secrets, it is still a bit mysterious. For the 50-70 million Americans with insomnia, it is even more elusive. Standard treatments often lose effectiveness over time and carry risks of dangerous side effects. Finding relief can be a gruelling task.

However, research has shown that cannabidiol (CBD) may be a promising alternative or addition to conventional medications. To understand how people use CBD for better sleep, some basic knowledge of insomnia and the science of sleeping is necessary.

WHAT IS INSOMNIA?

Insomnia is by far the most common of all sleep disorders. People with insomnia struggle falling and staying asleep and suffer from poor sleep quality. As many as 20 percent of adult Americans meet the diagnostic criteria for either primary (independent of outside factors) or secondary (accompanying another illness) insomnia.

During insomnia, the brain goes into flight-or-fight mode, leaving would-be sleepers too alert to drift off. Photo: A house with its lights on at the top floor, with a night time city in the background.

During insomnia, the brain goes into flight-or-fight mode, leaving would-be sleepers too alert to drift off.

When someone with insomnia attempts to fall asleep, their brain enters a state that is known as hyperarousal. During hyperarousal, the body goes into fight or flight mode and is on guard for anything that may be a threat. This increased state of alertness makes it difficult to fall asleep, remain asleep and get restful sleep.

WHAT CAUSES INSOMNIA?

Approximately 70-90 percent of people with insomnia have a mental or physical illness that is the primary cause. Over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drugs can also cause insomnia. Occasionally, it affects people independent of any outside factors.

Physical conditions that can lead to insomnia include asthma, heart disease, chronic pain, seizures, renal dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s. Most psychiatric conditions can lead to sleep disturbances, especially depression and anxiety. Secondary insomnia often results in a vicious cycle were sleeplessness worsens the primary disease, which worsens insomnia.

HOW IS INSOMNIA TREATED?

Doctors manage insomnia using pharmacological and behavioral treatment methods. Non-medicinal treatment includes stimulus control, cognitive behavioral therapy or relaxation therapy. These include breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, and meditation.

Benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepine hypnotics (sedative medications used for the treatment of insomnia and during surgical procedures) and melatonin receptor agonists are standard pharmacological treatments. Over-the-counter sleeping pills and supplements, like synthetic melatonin, are another common medication taken to manage insomnia.

CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT RISKS

Hypnotic medications used to treat insomnia are known for their potential to cause grave side effects. These include addiction, severe allergic reaction, memory lapses, hallucination, suicidal thoughts or actions, and abnormal sleep behaviors like sleepwalking. They may also lose effectiveness as tolerance is built or cause complications from drug interactions when another condition requires medication.

Among patients treated with pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medications, 48 percent report being dissatisfied with the amount of time it takes to fall asleep (sleep onset latency or SOL) and wake up. A 2001 study of 30 insomnia patients found medication coupled with relaxation therapies caused SOL to plummet from 124 to 29 minutes. The participants using only pharmaceuticals did not experience a change in sleep onset latency, suggesting hypnotics alone are not always successful.

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP

To understand how cannabidiol can boost sleep it is necessary to understand the biological process responsible for inducing sleep. In humans, circadian rhythm governs a 24-hour sleep schedule that is regulated by the hormone melatonin, a product of the pineal gland. This process begins with the retina; during the day a signal is sent from the eye through the brain, down the spinal cord and back up to the pineal gland, telling it to refrain from making melatonin.

At night, these signals do not activate, allowing the pineal gland to begin producing melatonin. The amino acid tryptophan is absorbed into the pineal gland via the bloodstream, then converted into 5-hydroxytryptophan by the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase. It is then turned into serotonin by the enzyme aromatic amino acid decarboxylase before finally becoming melatonin.

CBD COULD INCREASE MELATONIN

Cannabidiol may help stimulate melatonin production by boosting levels of tryptophan in the bloodstream; this is accomplished by reducing tryptophan degeneration caused by mitogen, the protein that tells cells to divide. CBD improves serotonin production in the same way, as an increase in tryptophan availability aids in serotonin synthesis in the brain.

Using CBD for sleep may increase melatonin levels and help ease health conditions that cause insomnia. Photo: A dark-skinned woman sleeps on a bed with white sheets, while a light shines on a nightstand.

Using CBD for sleep may increase melatonin levels and help ease health conditions that cause insomnia.

Inflammation adversely affects tryptophan cells and CBD reduces inflammation. When tryptophan is readily available in the bloodstream, the pineal gland can produce melatonin more effectively, leading to better sleep. Small doses of CBD may also help improve daytime wakefulness, helping to reset the 24-hour sleep cycle and restore balance over the long-term.

A 2018 study tracked 409 patients with insomnia during 1059 medical marijuana administrations using an educational app. Participants reported their self-perceived insomnia symptoms before and after using cannabis. On average, users reported a 4.5-point decrease after consumption, using a 0-10 visual analog scale. Researchers found that cannabis strains with higher cannabidiol levels more effectively relieved insomnia than ones with higher tetrahydrocannabinol levels.

TREATING CONDITIONS THAT CAUSE INSOMNIA WITH CBD

Cannabidiol alleviates many of the primary conditions associated with secondary insomnia through its antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has proven useful in mitigating symptoms of anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and autoimmune disease, among others. It also helps control the endocannabinoid system, which regulates mood, pain, appetite, cognitive function, and other biological processes.

A 2015 case study showed cannabidiol was effective in treating insomnia induced by anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. The subject, a 10-year-old girl, had been abused and was being prescribed pharmaceutical treatments. However, these were only partially effective over the short-term and caused extreme side effects.

Over 5 months, the girl took 25 mg CBD supplements at bedtime and 6-12 mg sublingual doses as needed during the day to control anxiety. After 5 months, the girl’s score on the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children had decreased from 59 to 38, indicating she no longer suffered from insomnia.

USING CBD FOR SLEEP

Research haven’t determined the best dose of CBD for sleep onset latency. However, a 2014 study found a 15 mg dose of CBD increased alertness, suggesting a higher dosage would work more efficiently for treating insomnia.

A 2018 study of medical marijuana users found cannabis strains with higher cannabidiol levels more effectively relieved insomnia than ones with higher tetrahydrocannabinol levels.

Unlike traditional sleeping pills, research demonstrates cannabidiol is relatively safe. CBD does not appear to be habit forming, even in very high doses. For example, a 2018 study found that an oral dose of 750 mg of CBD did not show potential for abuse among 43 people with a history of using two or more drugs for recreational purposes (polydrug use). Hypnotic medications alprazolam and dronabinol demonstrated a risk of dependency among the same participants.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR FOR INSOMNIA

It is vital for anyone experiencing distress or impairment from insomnia to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Poor sleep quality can negatively influence productivity, mental health, and cardiac function.

While some individuals find success using medicinal marijuana to treat insomnia, research suggests tetrahydrocannabinol may impair sleep quality long-term. Cannabidiol on its own is not shown to have the same risks. However, individuals taking pharmaceutical medications should consult with a physician prior to taking CBD.

IS CBD THE SLEEP AID OF THE FUTURE?

Studies from as far back as 1972 consistently demonstrate the potential of cannabis to improve sleep. New research focused specifically on cannabidiol is exhibiting the same positive results, with little potential for adverse long-term effects. Using CBD for sleep is shaping up to be a promising alternative to some risky and inefficient hypnotic medications.

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CBD Inhalers: Innovation In The CBD Market From CBD Luxe

An innovative new CBD inhaler could help change how people view CBD and hemp. Unique CBD inhalers from CBD Luxe offers people an easy and reliable way to get their dose of CBD, in a product that looks like any other medical device.

An innovative new CBD inhaler could help change how people view CBD and hemp.

One of the biggest challenges within the CBD industry is getting people to open their minds to the medical benefits of hemp. How is CBD Luxe addressing these problems?

By providing the market with a product which looks all the same as anyone might use for their medical condition — a CBD inhaler.

Before creating CBD Luxe, co-owner William Spilo snowboarded professionally and worked as an international heli-skiing guide. He suffered multiple injuries through his work over the years — some reaching traumatic levels. After being stuffed full of pain medications such as NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), he was introduced to CBD.

“I was on a pretty heavy regimen of NSAIDs every day and I was seeing if there were alternatives to that,” Spilo explained. “I got some CBD mint and I couldn’t believe the effects. So, I did one line of test runs and handed it out to all the professional athletes I work with and the results were astonishing.”

CBD Inhalers from CBD Luxe offer a reliable, easy to inhale dose of full-spectrum CBD oil.

CBD Inhalers from CBD Luxe offer a reliable, easy to inhale dose of full-spectrum CBD oil.

We talked with Spilo in order to learn more about his company’s newest line of products, CBD inhalers.

WHY CREATE CBD INHALERS?

“We’re trying to broaden the consumer base. It’s called a meter dose inhaler as we want to give precision dosing so the consumer knows exactly how much they’re getting every time. We’re also providing a comfortable, safe delivery system.”

CBD Luxe makes their inhalers from the same FDA approved material used for asthma inhalers. Each CBD inhaler contains 1100mg of micellized CBD. Micellization is the process of formulating molecules into colloidal solutions. This means the CBD is evenly distributed throughout, allowing each dose to be the same as the last.

CBD Luxe offers 4 different CBD inhalers with different natural extracts to help consumers achieve different experiences. There’s also a pure CBD inhaler with no additional ingredients. This full spectrum hemp oil offers users over 200 doses per inhaler.

The 2018 Farm Bill opened doors for innovating products such as these inhalers. As time progresses, we’re bound to continue seeing novel ideas within products, mixtures, and other uses for hemp. As we discussed these inhalers with Spilo, we kept these thoughts in mind to get a taste for the future of CBD.

A MARKET STILL IN THE MAKING

“When we [CBD Luxe] started in early 2016, there weren’t many CBD products on the market,” Spilo told us.

Not to mention, there remained a complete lack of public knowledge as to what CBD was. In the eyes of the federal government, hemp was still considered a Schedule I drug.

Yet, people like Spilo not only saw an opportunity but also a misunderstood medicine which could help millions of people. With that, he figured, “we’d make a higher quality product out there that was a little more targeted for what CBD can do for the consumer.”

Since the CBD industry is so constantly evolving, there are a number of problems which still need to be addressed. One of these is accurate labeling. Not only do they test every ingredient which comes into their facility but they also provide clear labels about what’s in their product. Furthermore, CBD Luxe is committed to providing the user with all the information about what’s in their CBD.

When Spilo entered the market, he noticed there weren’t many companies offering molecular isolates. This is when CBD is extracted into a water-soluble form. Though there were some products, Spilo and his team found some of these companies had “metal content and impurities in the CBD were at risk to the consumer.”

Just as with any responsible company, CBD Luxe tests all their products with a third-party lab to ensure accuracy and purity.

CREATING A REPUTABLE CBD MARKET

As more companies with the same business models came into the market, people inevitably gravitated towards the hemp industry.

“Still, we also felt we could enhance the effects of CBD by using botanicals,” Spilo recalled. “For vape pens, we’re using essential oils. For consumables and inhalers, we’re using full botanical extract. All of our ingredients are organic and non-GMO — except for the CBD itself because we have no certification for that yet. So, we just felt we’d make a higher quality product out there that was a little more targeted towards what CBD could actually do for the consumer.”

It’s thanks to efforts as such that the acreage of hemp cultivation was able to triple within a one-year period. Thanks to federal legalization, the industry is looking very optimistic. With that, questions begin to arise about the future of CBD.

PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF CBD

Understandably, not every void within the CBD marketplace has been filled. As this industry continues to build itself, it’s inevitable for more problems needing to be addressed. It helps to take a look at how the market is going now in order to predict these complications before they arise.

“I think right now there are quite a few good products out there,” Spilo mentions. “I do think we have to watch out for the level of purity and the content. So, what is the CBD they’re putting in there? And how much? It’s important to have an understanding of what you want out of the product and what you’re looking for. We’d like to help steer you towards a more specific product.

“Since the passing of the Farm Bill in late 2018, the industry is really flooded. I mean, we’ve really gained a lot of recognition.”

As expected, this flooded market has a lot of questions. Now it’s the responsibility of companies such as CBD Luxe to not only answer these questions but create products which respond to the public’s growing desire.

CBD Luxe has been experimenting with their CBD inhaler formulas for some time now. And they’re constantly continuing these experiments to provide new experiences of CBD.

If you’re interested in learning more about these inhalers and/or purchasing one, you can check out the product’s page here.

Out of curiosity, we asked if CBD Luxe had any further innovative products in mind. Spilo’s response:

“There are a few that we’re working on, but …” Spilo laughed, “… we don’t want to release anything we aren’t sure of to market.”

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