Updated with new revelations
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of over 60 active chemical compounds (or ‘cannabinoids’) in the marijuana plant. It’s usually the second-most abundant cannabinoid, behind THC.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD AND THC?
THC affects the brain by binding to naturally-occurring CB-1 receptors in the central nervous system. CBD is a differently-shaped molecule that binds to CB-2 receptors in cell and body tissues outside the central nervous system.
WILL CBD GET ME HIGH?
No, CBD will not get you high. Like we just said THC is the molecule that binds to receptors in our brain and is the one responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
In fact, CBD is antagonistic to the marijuana high; it actually prevents THC molecules from binding to the brain’s receptors (hence the reason why it’s often used to subdue the ‘paranoia’ effects of super-potent THC strains).
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER CBD-DOMINANT STRAINS OF MARIJUANA?
Other than Charlotte’s Web and ACDC, Harlequin is probably the most popular CBD-dominant cannabis Others include MediHaze, CBD Mango Haze, Blueberry Essence, Hawaiian Dream, Sour Tsunami, and Darkstar, just to name a few.
HOW DOES CBD WORK?
CBD functions by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. These receptors have been found in virtually every cell and tissue type in the human body (hence the seemingly endless array of CBD uses).
IS CBD NATURAL?
Yes, CBD is a 100% naturally-occurring chemical compound that comes directly from the cannabis plant. It is not synthetically made.
DO ALL MARIJUANA STRAINS HAVE CBD?
Not all marijuana strains have CBD in their flower buds. But yes, every cannabis plant (whether it’s marijuana or hemp) will have CBD in the stem and seeds.
What is the best way to produce CBD-rich cannabis oil?
The cannabis oil that is typically available in dispensaries is THC-dominant with little cannabidiol. To extract CBD-rich cannabis oil, one must start with CBD-rich plant material. There many ways to extract oil from the cannabis plant, each has its pros and cons. Some methods are safer and more effective than others. Cannabis oils made with neurotoxic solvents like butane and hexane may leave unsafe residues that interfere with immune function and impede healing. Supercritical CO2 extraction is non-toxic and produces high quality oil, but requires significant expertise and access to expensive equipment.
Can I get CBD from juicing raw cannabis?
By juicing or otherwise ingesting raw, unheated cannabis, one consumes THC and the other cannabinoids in their acid form. A CBD-rich strain contains CBD-acid (CBDA), which, when heated, becomes CBD. Unheated CBDA and unheated THCA (THC-acid) both have medicinal attributes, but there has been comparatively little scientific research into cannabinoid acids.
How is CBD metabolized when consumed orally? Is it converted to another compound?
CBD is metabolized into an analogous compound, 7-hydroxy-CBD, by the liver. Some 6-OH-CBD may also be formed. But scientists know relatively little about the activity (or lack thereof) of these compounds. There is strong evidence that CBD does not convert to significant amounts THC in the stomach.
Does it matter if CBD is extracted from cannabis or industrial hemp?
We recommend CBD-rich products made using only organic, whole plant cannabis because this offers the best safety profile and superior medicinal benefits. CBD products derived from industrial hemp potentially have several potential problems: Industrial hemp typically contains far less cannabidiol than CBD-rich cannabis strains, so a huge amount of industrial hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD. This raises the risk of contaminants as hemp is a “bio-accumulator,” meaning the plant naturally drawns toxins from the soil. Additionally, hemp-derived CBD and refined ‘pure’ CBD powder lack critical medicinal terpenes and secondary cannabinoids found in cannabis oil. These compounds interact with CBD and THC to enhance their medicinal benefits.
Is growing CBD-rich cannabis any different from growing THC-dominant cannabis?
The same growing techniques apply to CBD-rich cannabis and high-THC cannabis. Much like growing high-THC strains, harvesting earlier or later can impact the cannabinoid levels as well as the terpenoid profile of the plant. For somewhat higher CBD content, try harvesting CBD plants a couple weeks earlier than one would typically harvest a high THC strain.
Does CBD interact with other medications?
Yes. CBD inhibits the cytochrome P450 enzyme, which is involved in metabolizing many drugs. Compounds in grapefruit inhibit the same enzyme group, which is why physicians advice patients not to eat grapefruit shortly before or after taking a medication. By inhibiting cytochrome P450, CBD can either reduce or increase the effects of other drugs. In some situations, it may be advisable for a physician to monitor a patient’s blood levels of other medications while taking CBD.
What do you mean when you say a cannabis strain or product is “CBD-rich” or "CBD dominant?"
By “CBD-rich,” we mean a cannabis strain or product that has equal amounts of CBD and THC, or more CBDthan THC (usually at least 4 percent CBD by dry weight). By “CBD-dominant,” we mean strains or products that are CBD-rich but have very little THC content.