Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

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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 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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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 For Bipolar Disorder: Can Cannabinoids Help Treat Bipolar Affective Disorder?

4.4 percent of adults are estimated to experience bipolar affective disorder. We took a look at research suggesting CBD and other cannabinoids could help.

We wanted to take a closer look at the science behind using CBD for bipolar affective disorder.

The National Mental Health Institute estimates 4.4 percent of adults in the United States will be given a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) in their lifetime. Adults with BPAD experience the highest rate of impairment among psychiatric patients; an estimated 82.9 percent suffer from severe disablement.

Bipolar affective disorder and its variants can be treatment resistant, which may explain the high rate of disability. Anecdotal evidence, supported by preliminary studies, suggest that cannabinoids have the potential to improve the symptoms of BPAD in some individuals by regulating the endocannabinoid system.

WHAT IS BIPOLAR AFFECTIVE DISORDER?

Bipolar affective disorder is a mental illness that causes significant changes in mood, motivation and energy. A process known as cycling, which involves periods of euphoria (manic episodes) followed by hopelessness (depressive episodes), is a hallmark of the illness.

A man hands holding a white paper sheet with two faced head over a crowded street background.

Some preliminary research supports the use of CBD for bipolar affective disorder treatment.

There are four variants of bipolar affective disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder and bipolar spectrum disorders. The severity and frequency of symptoms are used to determine which variant is diagnosed. Bipolar I is the most severe form of the disease.

SYMPTOMS OF MANIC EPISODES

Manic episodes, sometimes referred to as mania, are characterized by exaggerated self-esteem, insomnia, racing thoughts and abnormal speech, inability to focus, and impulsive behaviours. True manic episodes only affect those diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. However, patients with other variants of BPAD experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania.

Although mania is considered to be the “high” stage of BPAD, it can have disastrous consequences. Many manic episodes result in hospitalization, psychotic symptoms or grave impairment (e.g., risky behaviour leading to legal trouble). Untreated manic episodes can develop into psychosis.

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSIVE EPISODES

Depressive episodes mimic a severe form of depression known as major depressive disorder. Symptoms can include feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities. Additional traits of depressive episodes are changes in sleep patterns and appetite, trouble concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.

This cycle of bipolar disorder is the “low” point of the disease. Like mania, depressive episodes vary in severity depending on which variant of bipolar disorder is present. Patients with Bipolar I disorder may have what are known as mixed episodes, during which they show signs of both mania and depression.

CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER

Prescription drugs used in conjunction with psychotherapy can help alleviate symptoms of BPAD in most patients. However, bipolar affective disorder can be treatment-resistant, making it difficult to manage in some people. Treatment-resistant BPAD is cause for concern, as up to 50 percent of individuals diagnosed will attempt suicide at least once in their lives.

Medications prescribed for BPAD include anticonvulsants, antimanic drugs and antidepressants. Use of antidepressants alone can lead to the onset of mania or rapid cycling. Mood stabilizers or anticonvulsants are often taken to negate these possible side effects.

The only pharmaceutical shown to have a consistent, positive effect on suicide rates in bipolar patients is lithium. However, newer research has shown there may be a possibility to control BPAD through manipulating the endocannabinoid (EC) system. These are the neurotransmitters responsible for binding cannabinoid proteins to receptors.

ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM DYSFUNCTION AND BPAD

The endocannabinoid system, discovered in the mid-1990s, is comprised of two receptors, CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids, a type of compound found in both the human body and cannabis plants, bind to these receptors to alter brain function. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced naturally in the body, while phytocannabinoids are found in cannabis plants.

 

An illustration of neurons firing in a human head. Post-mortem studies of human brains of people with bipolar affective disorder found some abnormalities in how they process cannabinoids.

Post-mortem studies of human brains of people with bipolar affective disorder found some abnormalities in how they process cannabinoids.

Postmortem studies have found that brains of patients diagnosed with mental illness, including BPAD variants, show abnormalities in the endocannabinoid system. A similar study, conducted using brain slices from mice, showed dysfunctional CB2 receptors inhibited the release of serotonin, suggesting a healthy EC system helps to regulate mood.

An investigation of endocannabinoid gene variants in 83 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), 134 with BPAD, and 117 healthy control participants found two marked differences in the patients afflicted with MDD and BPAD. Specifically, the CB1 receptor (CNR1) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) genes of the ill participants were found to be abnormal when compared to the control group.

REGULATING THE EC SYSTEM WITH PHYTOCANNABINOIDS

Because of the distribution of endocannabinoid receptors throughout the brain, many of the areas they affect overlap with regions thought to be responsible for BPAD, along with other mental illnesses. Studies have shown patients with specific abnormalities in the CNR1 gene are at a higher risk of being resistant to pharmacological treatment, leaving them more vulnerable to the effects of bipolar affective disorder.

For these patients, phytocannabinoids could provide a way to manipulate the EC system and regulate the level of chemicals traditionally targeted by pharmacological medications. As always with hemp and cannabis research, these studies are still preliminary. More research will be needed to prove whether CBD and other cannabinoids can help treat bipolar affective disorder.

Anandamide and THC

Anandamide, called the bliss molecule, is naturally produced in the body and is similar in molecular structure to THC. Both anandamide and THC bind to CB1 receptors, altering areas of the brain responsible for memory, concentration, movement, perception, and pleasure.

FAAH genes are responsible for activating anandamide; indicating people with FAAH gene mutations may not have the appropriate levels of anandamide in the brain. Supplementing brains deficient in anandamide with THC may help restore chemical balances. Theoretically, this could alleviate cycling between manic and depressive phases.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol has been shown to inhibit serotonin reuptake in rats, suggesting it repairs abnormalities in CB1 receptors found to inhibit release in mice. If CBD functions the same in human brains, it could provide an alternative to conventional antidepressants, especially for individuals with treatment-resistant BPAD.

A randomized clinical trial found CBD reduces abnormal brain function in regions associated with psychosis, implying it may have therapeutic effects on symptoms associated with the manic phase of BPAD. If CBD regulates both depressive and manic symptoms, it could help treat individuals who do not react well to lithium.

Other Cannabinoids

Cannabis is a complex compound, made up of over 500 chemicals. Over 100 of these compounds are suspected to be cannabinoids. There is little information on the effects of these chemicals, apart from CBD and THC, because few studies have focused on determining what reactions they produce in the EC system.

Among cannabinoids that have already been isolated, CBG and CBCV seem to show a potential for treating mood disorders, such as depression. Further study may help isolate more of these chemicals and determine what effect they have on the EC system.

A gloved scientist with a vial of CBD and a hemp leaf. Preliminary research supports further investigation into using CBD to treat bipolar affective disorder.

Though research is just beginning, it seems likely that CBD and other cannabinoids could help people with bipolar affective disorder.

USING CBDS & OTHER CANNABINOIDS FOR BIPOLAR AFFECTIVE DISORDER

CBD rarely causes adverse reactions. Still, there are risks associated with both conventional methods of treatment and using cannabis derivatives as treatment. The most dangerous side effect of any treatment for BPAD is the potential worsening of symptoms.

Individuals experiencing symptoms of bipolar affective disorder, or previously diagnosed with any of the variants, should consult with a medical professional before starting or changing treatment. Even those who present with treatment-resistant variations of the disease can benefit from traditional methods (such as psychotherapy).

Regulating the EC system through phytocannabinoids may provide a way to alleviate symptoms in those with treatment-resistant BPAD. Further clinical trials in humans are needed to validate preliminary data, but the future of cannabinoids as a BPAD treatment looks promising.

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CBD vs THC For Chronic Pain: Comparing Two Potent Cannabinoids

Are you trying to decide between CBD and THC for relieving chronic pain? In this article, we’ll explore how these two popular cannabis compounds work to relieve chronic pain — both separately and together.

Are you trying to decide between CBD and THC for relieving chronic pain?

Maybe you’re just curious about the differences between the two. It’s easy to assume that these two compounds are similar, since they both come from the same plant. But while they can both play an important role in managing chronic pain, CBD and THC are very different substances, and each one works differently in the body.

In this article, we’ll explore how these two popular cannabis compounds work to relieve chronic pain — both separately and together.

THE BASICS OF THC AND CBD

CBD (short for cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) belong to a group known as cannabinoids, and they are derived from the cannabis plant – either hemp or psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”). There are over 100 different cannabinoids, but CBD and THC are the most dominant substances in cannabis, making them responsible for most of the effects that marijuana is famous for.

A seated person stirs Every Day Optimal CBD Oil into a cup of tea. When it comes to chronic pain, there's no clear winner in the CBD vs. THC debate: both have their uses.

When it comes to chronic pain, there’s no clear winner in the CBD vs. THC debate: both have their uses. (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

Both CBD and THC work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which refers to a group of receptors in the body that regulate various physiological processes, including pain, digestion, mood, and sleep. Cannabis is well-known for its versatility, helping people worldwide with problems like insomnia, PTSD, and pain – and it’s all because these endocannabinoid receptors are involved in so many different bodily functions.

By far, the most notable difference between CBD and THC is that THC causes a high, while CBD does not. CBD’s lack of psychoactive effects is one of the reasons it has become so popular as of late. In fact, CBD can counteract some of THC’s psychoactive effects (like euphoria and anxiety). This is why high-CBD strains of cannabis are often popular for pain relief, since they allow one to keep a clear head.

THC is also associated with more side effects than CBD, although these tend to be mild and are temporary. Some well-documented side effects of THC are dry mouth, red eyes, and hunger. Most people who use CBD report little to no side effects, with sleepiness being the most common, especially at high doses.

CBD BENEFITS FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND INFLAMMATION

Research has established that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory, with strong evidence that it can relieve pain from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. For example, a 2017 study concluded that CBD can reduce osteoarthritis-related pain and inflammation, and prevent nerve damage.

Other studies support CBD for relief of neuropathic pain and incision-related pain. CBD’s effectiveness at relieving different types of pain has led to its popularity among people with conditions such as fibromyalgia, IBS, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.

THC BENEFITS FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND INFLAMMATION

Although there is plenty of research supporting the use of cannabis for pain relief in conditions like Crohn’s disease, chronic migraine, and fibromyalgia, less attention has been paid to the specific benefits of THC. The few studies that are available tend to be small and show conflicting results.

A recent study in Neurology found THC is effective for alleviating chronic nerve pain. A larger study, involving 177 cancer patients, found that while THC was not effective at reducing pain, the patients who took a CBD/THC combination had their pain reduce by over 30 percent when compared to placebo. Another double-blind study supported this conclusion when using THC for post-surgery pain. Meanwhile, a 2017 study found both THC and CBD, when taken alone, were effective for reducing chemotherapy-related pain in mice.

The same study also discovered that when combined, previously ineffective doses of CBD and THC could relieve pain. This relates to an important benefit of THC – it can enhance the pain-relieving properties of CBD through what’s known as the entourage effect.

HOW CBD AND THC WORK TOGETHER: THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT

Although CBD and THC are the most dominant compounds in the cannabis plant, they aren’t alone. There are dozens of other cannabinoids and terpenes that work together to provide different synergic effects. For example, the third most dominant compound in cannabis, cannabichromene (CBC) has shown anti-inflammatory benefits similar to those of CBD.

A seated man holds his glasses in one hand while wincing and holding his neck, as if in pain, with the other. Both CBD and THC can relieve symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation in unique ways, both alone and working in concert with other cannabinoids.

Both CBD and THC can relieve symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation in unique ways, both alone and working in concert with other cannabinoids.

The entourage effect refers to the benefits that one can experience by ingesting multiple cannabinoids together, including CBD and THC. In short, while CBD and THC have their own powerful benefits, they tend to be more potent when combined – especially when it comes to pain relief. An analysis of 18 studies on cannabinoids for multiple sclerosis pain found that the combination of THC and CBD was slightly more effective for pain reduction than CBD on its own.

The entourage effect is why CBD products fall into two categories: full spectrum and isolate. Full spectrum CBD products contain all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted along with CBD. On the other hand, isolate CBD products remove all traces of these other substances, resulting in a product that is pure CBD.

Some people have better success using full spectrum CBD products for pain relief because of the entourage effect. However, due to the variety of cannabinoids and terpenes, full spectrum products can be somewhat unpredictable in their effects. Isolate CBD products are often favored by those who can’t tolerate any traces of THC, or need to avoid it due to drug testing.

LEGALITIES AND LIMITS OF THC IN CBD PRODUCTS

The majority of CBD products you’ll find on the market today are made from hemp, which by law can contain up to a maximum of 0.3 percent THC. This means hemp-derived, full spectrum CBD products are likely to contain low amounts of THC. There are CBD products available that are made from marijuana instead of hemp, and therefore contain a higher percentage of THC. For legal reasons, these products tend to be restricted to dispensaries.

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON CBD VS. THC

As you can see, there isn’t a simple answer for whether CBD or THC is better for chronic pain. Both compounds bring their own benefits to the table, and in regard to chronic pain, there is evidence that they’re more effective when taken together due to the entourage effect.

Either way, it’s clear that cannabis has plenty to offer for chronic pain patients, and cannabis products can vary widely in effectiveness. So if you don’t have success with one product, don’t give up; try something new, whether it’s a different blend of cannabinoids, or a different potency.

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All About CBD Tinctures: How To Pick The Right CBD Tincture

CBD tinctures are the most popular way to consume CBD oil right now. From carrier oils to extraction methods, we’ve got tips on picking the right CBD oil for you.

CBD tinctures are the most popular way to consume CBD oil right now.

CBD tinctures typically come in small concentrated bottles of liquid with dropper tops, reminiscent of those from your high school science class. This product type allows you to simply place drops of the tincture under your tongue where the liquid contents are directly absorbed into your bloodstream. The remaining liquid is then swallowed.

CBD tinctures are more potent than other ingestion methods of CBD like softgels and edibles which must first undergo digestion before entering the bloodstream.

Additionally, CBD tinctures are paving the way for healthier, more powerful solutions altogether. While conventional tinctures use alcohol as a solvent or a base, new methods of CBD extraction are being used and tested. This presents you with the cleanest possible CBD tincture.

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.

Our guide to CBD tinctures explains how to pick the right supplement for your needs.

If you’re interested in purchasing CBD tinctures, here’s what you should look for when researching and reading the labels to make the best choice for you.

CBD TINCTURES VS CBD OIL

Traditionally, a “tincture” was a plant or herb extracted in alcohol. Today, however, when people or companies refer to CBD tinctures, they usually mean CBD hemp extract mixed into a carrier oil to make a nutritional supplement, not actually a product containing alcohol.

The term “CBD tincture” has become popularized over the last several years, and is now used interchangeably with CBD oil. When in doubt, check with the manufacturer for a complete ingredients list.

CBD TINCTURE CONCENTRATION

The amount of CBD contained in the CBD tincture you purchase is the most important detail. The greater the ratio of CBD concentration to liquid or carrier, the more potent the tincture will be overall. This means that you can pack quite the punch in something like a small one to two fluid ounce bottle! (CBD content is measured in milligrams, while the tincture liquid itself is measured in either fluid ounces or in milliliters.)

For those who are new to taking CBD, this works in your favor; you can pick up a small bottle and start out taking just a few milligrams of CBD a day. A CBD tincture, even in the smaller range (around 250mg) will last you quite a while.

Take special care in reading labels, especially the front of bottles, which often use less descriptive vocabulary. While some supplements are labeled as CBD oil, some companies market their tinctures as “Hemp Oil.” Unfortunately, neither label tells you how much CBD content they contain unless you locate the distinct amount of CBD contained in the tincture itself. This should be clearly listed in milligrams (mg) on every bottle.

CBD tinctures will vary in their CBD content. Less potent products house between 200-250mg of CBD per bottle, and more potent products can contain as much as 2,500mg and more. Packaging and labeling can be tricky when purchasing CBD tinctures, but this CBD labeling guide explains more!

ALL ABOUT CARRIER OILS

CBD, like many other health-promoting substances, does not have a long shelf-life on its own. It requires a carrier oil to help stabilize and preserve its healthy components. Don’t worry though, these carrier oils aren’t harmful like artificial preservatives, but actually accentuate the health and potency of CBD Oil. Several common carrier oils include MCT oil derived from coconuts or palm oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, extra virgin olive oil, frankincense oil, and grapeseed oil.

An overflowing scoop of hemp seeds sits near a bowl of hemp seed oil and two bottles of vegetable oil, along with a hemp leaf. CBD tinctures typically combine hemp extract with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, MCT oil, or even olive oil.

CBD tinctures typically combine hemp extract with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, MCT oil, or even olive oil.

The purpose of these oils is exactly as it seems: they carry the positive effects of CBD into the body, allowing for better absorption and use. The reason different companies employ the use of different carrier oils in tinctures is because each carrier contains its own various properties or functions. For example, olive oil can act as an anti-inflammatory agent, however, MCT oil can provide a much more stable shelf life.

DIFFERENT CBD EXTRACTION METHODS

When hemp is fully grown, farmers must harvest the crop and allow processors to extract the CBD content from the plant. There are multiple ways to do this, and not all extraction methods are created equal. Here are just a few types of extraction methods for CBD Tinctures:

Ethanol Extraction

Like a traditional tincture that requires an alcohol-based solvent, ethanol extraction uses a high proof grain alcohol to separate the CBD from the rest of the hemp plant. For those who are sensitive to additives or other substances, we’d advise choosing a product that is not extracted via ethanol. While ethanol extraction is completely safe, it may not be best for sensitive individuals.

CO2 Extraction

CO2 Extraction utilizes carbon dioxide as the primary element to separate the cannabinoids, like CBD, from the other parts of the plant. You can think of this method almost like “boiling off” the beneficial parts of hemp, while leaving behind the rest. Currently, CO2 extraction is one of the most popular methods and is the cleanest method of extraction.

Alternative Extraction Methods

As the CBD industry continues to grow, we will see new methods of extraction rise to the top (no pun intended). Sustainability and stewardship remain a cornerstone of the hemp industry, and creating clean methods of extraction remain a priority. The great news is that as the demand for CBD increases, new avenues of research and testing will pave the way for consumers to receive the best products possible.

GEOGRAPHIC SOURCING OF HEMP

It’s important to know where your hemp products come from. Right now, Colorado and Kentucky are the big players in providing hemp for use in CBD products. We recommend staying away from companies that source hemp from China, and focus more on U.S. grown and extracted CBD products.

A densely packed hemp field in front of a tree-lined hill. Since hemp can absorb toxins from the soil, it's vital to know the source of all ingredients in CBD supplements.

Since hemp can absorb toxins from the soil, it’s vital to know the source of all ingredients in CBD supplements.

This is particularly important because hemp is a bioaccumulator, that is, it is able to absorb toxic chemicals and substances from the soil, acting as a renewing crop to our land. However, hemp that has absorbed toxins or heavy metals from the soil should not be used for health products like CBD tinctures. For this reason, it’s important to know exactly where your hemp is grown.

OTHER INGREDIENTS IN CBD TINCTURES

CBD tinctures often contain other ingredients to help accentuate the therapeutic and health-supporting effects of the cannabidiol. Some of these added ingredients could be:

Terpenes

Terpenes are essential oils that are found in the hemp plant. They act as conductors, bringing together the effects of all the cannabinoids. Terpenes’ job is to make sure that you get the most powerful, long lasting effects out of your CBD Tincture. Like nature’s amplifier, they’ll help the music last for hours.

Cannabinoids Besides CBD

CBD isn’t the only all star player here. Research is being conducted on over 100 different cannabinoids, natural compounds just like CBD, that are found in the cannabis plant. You may see things like CBG, CBN, CBDA, THCA, and more in the CBD Tinctures you purchase. Don’t worry, all these little guys pack a powerful punch and will only enhance your experience.

Additional Oils

Many times you may see hemp companies add multiple carrier oils to a CBD tincture to ensure you are getting the most bioavailable (or absorbable) CBD. Oils that you will see working in tandem with each other are frankincense, olive oil, blackseed, hemp seed, vitamin E, and other antioxidant substances.

ONLY PURCHASE CBD TINCTURES FROM A RELIABLE SOURCE

Ultimately, the best decision you can make is to buy your CBD tinctures from a trusted source. Verified retailers do the hard work for you and only carry third-party tested, premium CBD oil. They also provide all the information you need to know about each CBD product, from CBD concentration and cannabinoid profile, to extraction method, to geographical sourcing. All of this is in efforts to empower you as the consumer. After all, your experience matters the most.

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Terpenes: Everything You Need to Know About These Scented Wonders

Terpenes give hemp and cannabis, along with many other plants from citrus fruits to lavender, their unique scents. They offer unique benefits too, especially paired with cannabinoids like CBD and THC.

Terpenes are natural compounds found in all forms of hemp and cannabis that give the plant its bouquet of smells.

In addition, terpenes work in concert with the better known compounds found in the plant such as the cannabinoids THC and CBD to provide their own unique health benefits.

One reason we enjoy writing about hemp is the opportunity to learn new cannabinoid science and then get to share it with our readers. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, there really is so much more to the cannabis plant than just CBD and THC.

Of course, both of these two cannabinoids, along with the other hundred or so cannabinoids, are instrumental in the healing and feel better properties of the cannabis plant. But increasingly researchers believe other parts of the hemp plant work synergistically with the cannabinoids to maximize the healing properties, Today’s article focuses on one of those parts: terpenes. While all forms of hemp contain terpenes, some are especially prevalent in psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”), which we’ve noted below.

WHAT ARE TERPENES?

Cannabis isn’t the only plant that produces terpenes. According to Wikipedia, terpenes “are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers.” Terpenes give these plants their unique scents and assist plants in a variety of ways.

Terpenes attract pollenating insects for plant reproduction. They also ward off or even kill predators. They slow plant maturation and regulate metabolism. Terpenes are a major component of plants’ essential oils. Aromatherapy treatments frequently use terpenes due to their medicinal properties. Some terpenes develop because of stress to a plant, like excessive heat.

The exact number of terpenes found in the cannabis plant ranges between 100-200 depending on different variations in scientific classification.

A woman smells a lemon from her refrigerator. Limonene is a terpene that creates the unique smell of citrus fruits.

Limonene is a terpene that creates the unique smell of citrus fruits.

For example, the popular terpene limonene gives citrus fruits their unique smells. It is found in both lemons and oranges, but in different concentrations thus creating a different scent, or variations.

Here we discuss nine primary terpenes found in hemp and share the healing properties of each.

DIFFERENT TERPENES EXPLAINED

Below, we look at 9 of the most prominent terpenes: mycerne, limonene, carophyllene, pinene (Alpha/Beta), terpineol, borneol, linalool, eucalyptol, and nerolidol.

Mycerne

Mycerne is the most common terpene found in hemp. In some strains, over 60% of the essential oil is made up of mycerne. It smells very similar to cloves. Scientists consider myrcene a potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic.

Mycerne blocks cytochrome, aflatoxin B, and other pro-mutagenic carcinogens. It has a relaxing, calming, anti-spasmodic, and sedative effect. Myrcene works synergistically with THC and may also increase the psychoactive potential.

The essential oil of  citrus fruits contains high levels of myrcene. Many claim that eating a mango 45 minutes before consuming psychoactive cannabis results in a faster onset and greater intensity.

Limonene

Limonene is often the second, third or fourth terpene found in cannabis resin and produces the smell we find in citrus fruits. Like mycerne, limonene contains anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-carcinogenic properties. It is also said to protect against Aspergillus and other carcinogens found in smoke.

Even more, a cancer study from 2013 revealed that terpene reduces tumors in women with early-stage breast cancer. Limonene quickly and easily penetrates the blood barrier, which increases systolic pressure. What’s more, some experts say limonene increases attention, mental focus, well-being, and sex drive.

Citrus fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper, peppermint, and several pine needle oils all contain limonene.

Caryophyllene

Many herbs and spices contain caryophyllene. Black pepper contains high amounts, giving it that spicy flavor.

As with the previous two terpenes, caryophyllene has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-fungal properties. It has affinity for our bodies’ CB2 receptors making it a common ingredient for anti-inflammatory topicals and creams. Topical application of caryophyllene also relieves toothaches.

A cluster of peppercorns.

The terpene Caryophyllene gives black pepper its spicy scent. It also has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

One interesting note about this terpene is its promising role in alcohol rehabilitation. In a study on mice, scientists found that caryophyllene reduces the voluntary intake of alcohol.

In addition to black pepper, Thai basils, cloves, and cinnamon leaves have caryophyllene. Lavender also produces caryophyllene in small quantities.

Pinene

Pinene, as the name implies, creates the smell associated with pine and fir trees. Doctors use pinene in medicines as an expectorant, bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory and local antiseptic. Pinene also improves concentration, personal satisfaction, and energy. Patients suffering from arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, and cancer may benefit from pinene.

A unique fact about pinene: Smoking cannabis with high levels of Pinene may give the sensation of sucking more air, which can lead to coughing or hyperventilation.

Many conifers and non-coniferous plants, balsamic resin, pinewoods, and some citrus fruits produce pinene.

Terpineol

Terpineol smells of lilacs, crabapple, blossoms, and lime blossoms. Plants with high-levels of pinene often also produce terpineol. If you’ve ever enjoyed Lapsang souchong tea, part of the flavor came from the terpineol in the pine smoke used during processing.

Terpineol creates a sedative effect often connected to indica strains of psychoactive cannabis. During tests on mice, terpineol reduced mobility by 45 percent. Experts also believe terpineol has antibiotic and antioxidant properties.

Commercial producers of terpineol often derive this terpene from Monterey cypress trees.

Borneol

Borneol smells like mint and camphor. Chinese herbalists use borneol in medicines against fatigue, stress, lingering illness.

Some researchers believe this terpene’s natural insect repellent properties and could be used against diseases caused by ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes such as West Nile Virus. One study published even show that borneol kills breast cancer cells.

Linalool

Linalool has a floral smell similar to lavender and spring flowers. It is currently being used in the treatment of various cancers.

Linalool has a calming action, antianxiety, and produces sedative effects. Linalool is responsible for the sedative effects of certain psychoactive cannabis strains. In tests on mice their activity decreased by 75%. It also has analgesic and anti-epileptic properties.

A mug of peppermint tea on a saucer, garnished with fresh mint leaves. Often found in hemp and cannabis, the mint family of plants also produces the terpene

Often found in hemp and cannabis, the mint family of plants also produces the terpene linalool.

Patients suffering from arthritis, depression, seizures, insomnia and cancer have all found relief with this terpene.

The Lamiaceae plant and herb family, which includes mints, laurels, cinnamon, rosewood, and Birch trees, all produce linalool. Linalool is a precursor in the formation of Vitamin E.

Eucalyptol

Eucalyptol is the main ingredient in eucalyptus essential oil. It has a minty smell and found in small amounts in psychoactive cannabis.

Eucalyptol relieves pain, improves concentration, and inner balance. Plants containing eucalyptol enhance meditation and concentration. It is showing promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, but it’s still in early stages of research.

The Eucalyptus plant, bay leaves, sage, sweet basil, and cardamom contain notable quantities of eucalyptol.

Nerolidol

Nerolidol has a unique woody and fresh bark aroma. Nerolidol contains anti-fungal, anti-cancer, and anti-malarial properties. It may prevent certain kinds of parasites.

Neroli, ginger, jasmine, lavender, and tea tree oil contain nerolidol.

UNDERSTANDING AND USING TERPENES

Again, these are just some of the most common terpenes found in hemp and cannabis. There are many more. These profiles were summarized from Alchimia and Greencamp, where you you can read more on terpenes.

After reading this article, we hope you understand how the benefits of terpenes and pair so perfectly with the benefits of CBD, and all the other cannabinoids. We hope you start incorporating them into your daily CBD regimen.

Bees pollinate from a field of lavender. If you can't find the terpenes you want in your hemp supplements, you may be able to supplement by adding other natural plants like lavender, which is high in nerolidol.

If you can’t find the terpenes you want in your hemp supplements, you may be able to supplement by adding other natural plants like lavender, which is high in nerolidol.

More and more CBD supplement companies recognize the importance of terpenes and now add different terpenes to their products to supplement those already found in hemp. Some brands even sell terpene concentrates for customers to incorporate on their own.

However, if you’re unable to find the terpenes you want through your local CBD store or online, try looking to a non-cannabis plant type or spice and simply combine with your CBD.  You might not achieve the same synergistic effect as when the terpenes are naturally present, but you should still receive the healing properties of the terpenes themselves and the healing properties of the CBD.

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Hemp Supercapacitors Bring Green Tech To A Higher Level

Outperforming standard supercapacitors up to 200 percent, hemp-based supercapacitors could be the future of green technology. Hemp could be a key part of making our energy needs more sustainable.

Outperforming standard supercapacitors up to 200 percent, hemp-based supercapacitors could be the future of green technology.

At the Ministry of Hemp, we’re a little biased about our favorite plant in the world: hemp. But it seems like everyday we find newer and better ways that it can be used.

One innovation we recently discovered? Scientists discovered how to use hemp in supercapacitor electrodes. A supercapacitor is the lesser-known alternative to traditional electrical energy storage. Right now, a supercapacitor is the second best option for storing power, after batteries. However, more research could change that.

An illustration of a seemingly infinite number of batteries, with a small cluster rising above the others. A green colored battery is higher than the rest.

Supercapacitors could be the future of energy storage, and hemp supercapacitors could prove even more efficient than other materials.

Below we’ll introduce you to hemp supercapacitors and how hemp could play a part in our energy future.

WHAT’S A SUPERCAPACITY, ANYWAYS?

The most famous form of energy storage is the battery, an object that contains two opposing electrical terminals separated by electrolytes. When you turn on the power, a chemical reaction occurs between the electrolytes and electrodes, producing electric energy for your device. Since batteries rely on electrolyes, and electrolytes wear out, all batteries need to be replaced. In addition, batteries take a very long time to fully charge. Today, we use batteries everywhere; in our phones, laptops, and more recently, our cars.

Capacitors work very differently from the traditional battery. In short, a normal capacitor is comprised of two metal plates and an insulating material between the plates called a dielectric. In a capacitor, positive & negative build up on the plates. Rather than electrolytes, capacitors store electrical energy within the plates.

Supercapacitors on the other hand, are different for two ways. Their plates have a “bigger” surface area and the distance between the plates is much shorter. Supercapacitors are usually coated in a porous substance such as activated charcoal. These coatings are called the “supercapacitor electrodes.”  The electrodes serve as more storage on the plates, giving them more surface area to store electricity. Think of normal non-coated capacitors as mops; which can only absorb so much water, and supercapacitors as sponges, soaking up much more water than its surface area. The website Explain That Stuff published a great explanation of supercapacitors in August.

Unlike batteries, supercapacitors charge almost instantaneously and last much longer than batteries. Their biggest drawback, preventing them from being the popular choice, is the amount of energy that is able to be stored within them. Right now, supercapacitors only store a fraction of the power of a traditional battery, but scientists are working hard to find a way around this problem.

THE MIGHTY HEMP SUPERCAPACITOR

Today’s supercapacitors commonly use graphene, a carbon nanomaterial to create electrodes. But making graphene costs up to $2000 per gram.

In 2013, Researchers at the University of Alberta National Institute for Nanotechnology found a more economical material in hemp. These scientists discovered how to process raw hurds (the plant’s woody core) into activated carbons through hydrothermal processing and chemical activation. The final product is one that’s able to soak up more electricity, providing better energy capacity. The solution produces not only a cheaper material — $5000 per ton — but one that performs up to four times better than graphene. Better yet, the solution uses the hemp stems, the part that is often left unused during other forms of hemp processing. With this, the entire plant is used, and no part is left to waste!

A handful of dried hemp cores, looking a lot like wood chips. Hempcrete building material is one common use for hemp hurds or shivs, the woody core of the plant. Someday, they could be used in hemp supercapacitors too.

Hempcrete building material is one common use for hemp hurds or shivs, the woody core of the plant. Someday, hurds could be used in hemp supercapacitors too.

If this solution can be easily reproduced, it would affect far more than just the electronics industries. Supercapacitors represent a fundamental shift in energy storage. Imagine if every battery powered object used hemp powered instead! It would mean that hemp would be undeniable in its utilitarian value. Remaining anti-hemp governments would be hard-pressed to keep the plant banned from commercial use.

LEGAL HEMP MEANS MORE HEMP RESEARCH

With the passing of the Farm Bill — making industrial hemp a lawful agricultural commodity in the United States — hemp research is ready to take a big leap. Someday, we could be driving hemp-powered cars and using phones that are powered by hemp!

Not only will consumer products change with legal hemp, but if hemp supercapacitors are adapted to a larger scale, we might see a shift in the infrastructure of the entire country. The possibilities for this greener, cleaner, and sustainable crop seem limitless! With legal hemp, countless industries stand to benefit.

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Bees Love Hemp: 23 Species Of Bees Attracted To Colorado Hemp

With bee populations dwindling worldwide, hemp presents a tantalizing possibility. A graduate student studied bees in a University of Colorado hemp field, and the results are intriguing.

Preliminary research suggests bees love hemp, creating the potential that hemp could help save the bees.

According to Greenpeace, there’s been an alarming decline in bee populations since the 1990s. The main causes seem to be bee-killing pesticides often used for industrial agriculture. Though there’s lots of speculation on how to solve the issue, a recent study has found that hemp might offer a prominent source of pollen for bees.

Colton O’Brien, an entomology student at Colorado State University’s Graduate School, got involved with two experimental hemp plots. O’Brien was lucky enough to have access to the fields during the first year’s experiments as they were originally kept in secret.

He recalled the first time he stepped onto the university’s hemp fields, he became overwhelmed by “lots and lots of buzzing.”

STUDYING BEES AND HEMP

A lightbulb struck within O’Brien as he became aware that bees were using hemp, that they “find it attractive.” What O’Brien wanted to know was how hemp fields contributed to the ecosystems of these bees.

A closeup of a swarm of dozens of honeybees. Do bees love hemp? Preliminary research found 23 different bee species were attracted to Colorado hemp fields.

Do bees love hemp? Preliminary research found 23 different bee species were attracted to Colorado hemp fields.

“I had asked if I could set up a couple of traps while [the hemp] was in full bloom,” O’Brien tells us, in regards to the second year of these experimental plots. “And I happened to know a couple of folks in the hemp lab and they said sure.”

Since O’Brien works out of a Pollination Biology lab at his university, his main interest for these traps was finding out what bees are attracted to the pollen given off by hemp.

With the traps, they were able to confirm that the bees were collecting pollen from hemp. This is vital as it’s been determined without pollinators like bees, much of the world’s food supply is at risk. In fact, without bees pollinating in general, about one-third of the food we know today would vanish.

THESE BEES LOVE HEMP: 23 OF 66 COLORADO BEE SPECIES ATTRACTED TO HEMP

Colorado is home to 66 unique bee species. O’Brien found that 23 of these 66 gravitated towards the hemp fields and fell into his trap. Though he can’t be certain, O’Brien believes these are the first experiments studying bees within a cannabis field.

“We found bees not only utilizing the pollen, but we also found parasites of certain bees,” O’Brien explains. “Like parasites of digger bees and sunflower bees. And even though they might not have been taken pollen directly from hemp, they were utilizing what the other bees were bringing in.”

O’Brien makes it clear he believes the hemp fields created “the dynamics of an ecosystem” which might not have existed without the cannabis plant.

A close up photo of bees crawling on honeycomb. Many questions remain about how bees and hemp interact, including whether the plant's naturally occurring chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, have any effect on the insects.

Many questions remain about how bees and hemp interact, including whether the plant’s naturally occurring chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, have any effect on the insects.

There still isn’t enough research to be certain as to what hemp pollen does for bees. For example, we don’t yet know whether hemp pollen will be a good source of nutrients to bee larva. All O’Brien can confirm is there weren’t many other plants within the area of these hemp plots producing pollen.

BEES LOVE HEMP, BUT RESEARCH IS JUST BEGINNING

Upon reaching out to O’Brien, he informed us his manuscript was still undergoing a review process. Due to this, he wasn’t able to share all the results he believes he may have found. However, he also admits this was a very baseline experiment.

“I think there’s a lot of questions that have opened up from this. Like, what is potentially the nutritional value of hemp pollen to bees? I understand hemp only contains 0.3% THC, but how does that affect a tiny, tiny organism? Is it the same standard?”

The cannabis plant contains dozens of naturally occurring compounds, or cannabinoids, many of which seem to have distinct effects on humans (and potentially bees as well).

Starting with these questions, O’Brien hopes to conduct more studies on the matter during the 2019 cultivation season. He also hopes that crop scientists creating pest-control strategies for hemp will keep the safety of bees in mind.

With all this in mind, it’s clear there’s still a lot to learn about hemp and its potential environmental benefits.

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Full Spectrum CBD VS CBD Isolate: Which CBD Should I Take?

This article breaks down two common terms used to describe CBD products: full spectrum and CBD isolate. While some preliminary research suggests full spectrum CBD is better, CBD isolate still has many uses.

This article breaks down two common terms used to describe CBD products: full spectrum and CBD isolate.

The cannabis industry is one of the most exciting and fastest growing in the natural health sector. With laws around the world relaxing on the plant and its commercial uses, we’ve seen some incredible new hemp products come to market.

The most popular of them all at the moment is cannabidiol oil, or more commonly known as CBD oil. With so many new and different CBD oil products available, the choice of which one to go with can be difficult and confusing. With terms like whole plant extract, full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. This article will break down the difference between two terms you’ll commonly see, full spectrum CBD oil and CBD oil isolate, in order to help make your decisions easier.

A row of identical looking bottles of CBD oil, each with a dropper top. Not all CBD oil is made the same, and the terminology can be confusing, such as the difference between full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.

Not all CBD oil is made the same, and the terminology can be confusing, such as the difference between full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating molecule found in the cannabis plant. It is one of many cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant but it has become commercially popular beyond the others due to its wide medical applications and accessibility. As CBD does not give the consumer the famous high that psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) is known for, it is more readily available online and in shops. It is usually derived from hemp, the name given to cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC which can be mass grown for CBD oil.

WHAT IS FULL SPECTRUM CBD OIL?

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of different phytochemicals including cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. Full spectrum CBD or hemp oil generally refers to products that not only contain CBD but contain the other plant molecules as well. This version of CBD oil is minimally refined, leaving most of the cannabinoids and terpenes intact and in the oil.

Full spectrum, sometimes also called “whole plant,” means the full plant extract is included. Full spectrum provides more of the plant’s molecules in ratios and amounts that nature intended.

While there is still more research to be done, there are indications that show cannabinoids and terpenes work together to influence each other. This synergistic effect is called the entourage effect and has seen CBD work with THC to reduce the effects of a high and CBD to influence ones own cannabinoid receptors.

WHAT IS CBD ISOLATE?

Cannabidiol alone has been the subject of a lot of research as it stands out from the rest with what seems to be the widest therapeutic value.

CBD isolate products are generally labeled as being 99 percent or more pure CBD depending on the form they come in. As the name suggests, these products have been isolated down to just the CBD molecule. They have no other active ingredient and just aim to deliver therapeutic doses of CBD, isolated from the other cannabinoids and terpenes.

CBD isolate products often come as a white powder or a mix with a carrier oil such as MCT oil for improved absorption.

COMPARING FULL SPECTRUM CBD VS CBD ISOLATE

CBD and the other cannabinoids have therapeutic benefits to humans thanks to our endocannabinoid system, a series of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) throughout the entire body. These receptors react to the cannabinoids our bodies produce which are molecularly very similar to the cannabinoids from cannabis and hemp.

Two different colored vials of hemp extract sit on a bed of hemp leaves. Full spectrum CBD contains more cannabinoids and other natural compounds, while CBD isolate may be better for people who need a strong dose of just cannabidiol.

Full spectrum CBD contains more cannabinoids and other natural compounds, while CBD isolate may be better for people who need a strong dose of just cannabidiol.

Full spectrum CBD oil products have the advantage of containing many different cannabinoids and terpenes and the potential for a wider health reach. A recent study indicated the synergistic effects of a full spectrum CBD oil were superior to an isolate in the effective treatment of inflammatory conditions. Terpenes alone have shown incredible potential for human health and should not be disregarded.

CBD isolates do allow users to easily get large amounts of CBD and know how much they’re getting. With the growing amount of evidence behind CBD and CBD alone it should definitely not be overlooked as a potential for so many conditions such as anxiety, pain, inflammation, diabetes, depression and more.

Some people find the taste of hemp extract unpleasant, which may mean they should try a CBD isolate (or another method of taking CBD such as CBD capsules or gummies). The lack of flavor might also make isolate a better choice for cooking with CBD or mixing into some CBD cocktails. CBD isolate powder can also be an appealing option for making CBD products for personal use, such as homemade CBD massage oil.

Isolates can sometimes be more expensive than full spectrum CBD. Isolates undergo more extensive refinement and require more plant matter in order to get high levels of isolated cannabidiol.

GET TO KNOW DIFFERENT CBD PRODUCTS

It’s hard to know which one is best for you without trying them both and see how you react. Different ailments might react differently a full spectrum CBD than to a CBD isolate. We recommend trying a variety of products and assessing how you feel. If you’re finding your condition is not reacting significantly to a full spectrum oil then trying an isolate may be the way to go, and vice versa.

Bottles and a beaker containing amber colored CBD oil arranged with hemp buds, sitting on a reflective tabletop surface. Some research suggests full spectrum CBD can be more effective, but consumers should experiment with a variety of CBD products. Some research suggests full spectrum CBD can be more effective, but consumers should experiment with a variety of CBD products and, when possible, consult with a supportive medical professional for more advice.

Some research suggests full spectrum CBD can be more effective, but consumers should experiment with a variety of CBD products and, when possible, consult with a supportive medical professional for more advice.

It’s still very early in the days of cannabis research but there is a strong case for the therapeutic benefit of a less refined full spectrum hemp extract with more of the plant compounds intact. There are so many beneficial health possibilities waiting to be unlocked by further studying the combinations of these compounds found in hemp and cannabis.

Remember, it’s not all about the amount of CBD per serving you see on a bottle. A higher CBD product isn’t necessarily superior to a full spectrum oil. Leaving the plants extracts closer to the way nature intended could be a better option for most people.

 

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DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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