CBD Oil: Hemp v. Cannabis & The Entourage Effect (Part 1)
By Margo Amala
We are making history as we slowly liberate both the hemp and cannabis plants from the shackles of oppression. Even before the United States federal government legalized hemp in late 2018, the hemp-derived Cannabidiol (CBD) market was booming around the world. Now that hemp has been legalized in the United States, we are even free to travel with hemp-derived CBD supplements on an airplane. The internet is full of websites selling CBD-infused products. When I drive down a Portland, Oregon street, I see signs for CBD posted outside all kinds of different businesses, from grocery stores to wellness centers.
That said, keep in mind not all CBD supplements are created equal. If you wish to dip your toes into the world of CBD, this is your overview of some of the most important things to be aware of as you experiment with CBD.
CBD stands for Cannabidiol: one of the many (over 113 identified so far) cannabinoids found in the hemp and cannabis plants. Since CBD is one of the most abundant and non-psychoactive cannabinoids in the hemp and cannabis plant, it has also become the most widely accepted cannabinoid. Cannabinoids have piqued the curiosity of people across the globe due to the many potential health benefits. Scientific research of cannabinoids continues to grow daily with more and more new studies. Project CBD is a great resource for learning more about the potential health benefits of CBD.
There are a myriad of ways to consume CBD. One of the most popular ways to consume CBD has become CBD oil, in tincture form. Some of the other CBD products include capsules, edibles, mouth sprays, syrups, drinks, topicals, RSO and more. Regardless of the method of ingestion you select, the CBD in these products is sourced from either hemp or cannabis, extracted into various different forms, and then used to make the supplements that you buy.
If you are selecting hemp-derived CBD, make sure that the source is organic. Hemp is a crop known to have heavy pesticide use. Further, at this time pesticide testing on hemp-derived CBD supplements is not a federal mandate and will vary depending on the state you are in. Make sure the CBD you are consuming is pesticide free. In Oregon, we have strict pesticide testing required on all cannabis and hemp derived products that are sold within the OLCC regulated market. If you live in Oregon, or if you happen to be traveling to Oregon, an Oregon OLCC licensed dispensary like Urban Farmacy, is a great place to purchase pesticide free CBD supplements.
Hemp Derived vs. Cannabis Derived CBD, the Entourage Effect & More
Since CBD is in both hemp and cannabis plants, you will find supplements that are both hemp-derived and cannabis-derived CBD supplements. Hemp-derived CBD will contain less than .03% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the well-known psychoactive cannabinoid). Most often, when you purchase hemp-derived CBD oil, it will say it contains no THC. Hemp-derived CBD supplements can be made either as a whole plant extract or with CBD isolate. CBD isolate is exactly as its name: all plant matter, including oils, waxes, terpenes, other cannabinoids, and chlorophyll, has been removed. CBD isolate is literally only CBD.
If you are looking to try only CBD, then CBD isolate might be a good choice for you. Since each person’s Endocannabinoid System is so unique, most often it is through experimentation that you will discover what works best for you. That said, if and when the CBD oil you try doesn’t work, check to see if it comes from hemp-derived CBD isolate. If it is, that doesn’t mean that CBD doesn’t work for you; that might just mean CBD isolate-derived products aren’t right for you. You might need to expand your horizons and try a whole plant extract.
A whole plant extract comes from the resinous flowers and leaves of either the hemp or cannabis plant. As opposed to CBD isolate-derived products, a whole plant extract will contain all the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes of the original plant. When you are consuming a whole plant extract: you are consuming all the trace amounts of the other cannabinoids and terpenes present in the plant as well. The entourage effect suggests all the naturally occurring plant constituents work together in harmony to provide increased relief and effects you are seeking from the cannabinoids. As the owner of a top-rated Portland dispensary, I can say many people report having a different experience with a whole plant extract compared to isolated cannabinoid products.
Scientifically speaking, each cannabinoid and terpene is going to influence the endogenous cannabinoid system in its own unique way. What has come to be known as the “Entourage Effect,” was first documented by two scientists In 1998, when they observed what was considered “inactive” metabolites actually increased the activity of the primary endogenous cannabinoids. Research on cannabis synergy has been carried on and documented in numerous scientific studies. Logically, it certainly makes sense then that consuming only one cannabinoid will have a different impact instead of consuming a concert of cannabinoids.
Since there is no limit on the amount of THC that can be present in the cannabis plant, cannabis-derived CBD products all have varying different ratios of cannabinoids present. The ratio of cannabinoids present, specifically CBD: THC is a very important factor to keep track of in your experiments with CBD products. Due to each person’s unique biology, some people will desire a 20:1 product that has only a very small amount of THC in it. While other people will be looking for a 5:1, 2:1 or even 1:1 product.
At Urban Farmacy, we carry numerous different cannabinoid ratio tinctures and products, including both hemp-derived and cannabis derived. This way, you have the opportunity to experiment and find the right ratio of cannabinoids for you. We believe that knowledge breeds personal power. As you journey through your CBD experience, this information is here to light your way. If you have questions, please stop by Urban Farmacy and ask one of our knowledgeable budtenders. We love to help!
“Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain.”
“An entourage effect: inactive endogenous fatty acid glycerol esters enhance 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol cannabinoid activity”
“The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain” https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2018.01969/full#B4