​​People are loving CBD’s effect on how they feel, and science is recognizing the healing power of this humble and mighty chemical. In this complete Guide to CBD we’ll explore this popular cannabinoid in all its glory. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural substance that is practically causing a revolution in self care and medicine. It’s changing how people think about high-CBD, low-THC cannabis and hemp-derived products, and cannabis itself.

What is CBD? 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are simply “chemical compounds of cannabis that have an effect on the human body when the plant is consumed [1].” 

The cannabis plant has around 540 chemical substances, and over 100 are cannabinoids [2]. CBD was discovered in 1940 and is one of hundreds of identified cannabinoids in the plant. It is often the most prevalent compound in cannabis, along with THC [3].

What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are both naturally-occurring cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. THC is the main psychoactive component of the plant, and the part that can make people feel “high” or intoxicated. CBD is not psychoactive and is used for therapeutic effects of its own. 

Have you ever wondered why cannabis affects us? When a person uses cannabinoids, they interact chemically with the human endocannabinoid system. Let’s learn more about it.

What is the endocannabinoid system? 

The effects of CBD are possible because of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). It has evolved to create and use cannabinoids in our body’s processes. The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system which is integral for maintaining health. Its receptors are found in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells of the human body [4]. 

Scientists discovered the ECS in the 1990s and it’s still being researched. It appears to be involved in regulating physiological and cognitive processes, immune system activities, appetite, pain-sensation, and much more [5]. 

More clinical data will be informative as science has more opportunities to study the therapeutic benefits of active ingredients in the cannabis / hemp plant.

Cannabinoids seem to act as neurotransmitters that affect the endocannabinoid receptors’ response action throughout the human body, meaning how the receptors take in, use, and react to the cannabinoid chemistry. ​​

Does the human body produce cannabinoids?

Yes, endocannabinoids are chemicals that are naturally produced by the human body. The prefix “endo” means “within,” ie, within the human body [6].

What plants produce cannabinoids?

Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids from plants. “Phyto” means plant. The cannabis sativa plant and cannabis indica plant are the major known source of phytocannabinoids. Other plants do produce substances that effect the ECS as well [7].

Cannabimimetic compounds are compounds from common plants that act like cannabinoids but have different structures. Some everyday examples include coneflower (Echinacea), black pepper and rosemary. [8].

Read more about the Top 10 Common Cannabinoids.

Endocannabinoid Receptors

The human body is full of endocannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids bind with the receptors, initiating action by the ECS. There are two main types of endocannabinoid receptors, which are CB1 and CB2 [5].

  • CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system, in major brain regions that “mediate a wide variety of high-order behavioral functions, including learning and memory, executive function decision making, sensory and motor responsiveness, and emotional reactions, as well as feeding and other homeostatic processes [9].”
  • CB2 receptors are mostly found in the peripheral nervous system and are associated with the immune system [9].

Cannabinoids have different abilities to cause or inhibit reactions at the two types of receptor, and how they do so will determine the effects. Effects are also determined by the area of the body where the binding of the receptor takes place, and other factors [10].

Earthy Now High CBD CBG CBN Low THC Oil

What does “hemp-derived” mean?

Hemp-derived means made from hemp, sometimes called industrial hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill (see next section) established new federal legal definitions and rules for hemp, including that hemp and “and any part of that plant” may be used for production, sales, transport, and use. Hemp and hemp derivatives include cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN). When they come from hemp, these and other cannabinoids are federally-compliant for use in inhaleable, edible, and topical products.

What is the Farm Bill and does it make CBD legal? 

CBD comes from the cannabis plant.

For many years in the United States, cannabis was illegal whether or not it contained THC. In the 2010s, the United States Congress enacted two groundbreaking pieces of legislation, called “Agricultural Acts” and commonly known as the Farm Bills. 

The 2014 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the list of Schedule 1 substances and was the seed of hemp’s resurgence. The Bill made it federally legal and allowed long-forbidden research into hemp-derived cannabinoids to begin in earnest.

The 2018 Farm Bill expanded on this, making it clear to legal experts that all other plant materials and substances derived from legally-defined hemp are also federally-compliant [11]. 

The Farm Bill defines hemp as “Hemp.–The term `hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

The Farm Bill removed hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule of Controlled Substances. The DEA says “substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse [12]”

This is an unfortunate misperception. In the United States, a decades-long racially-motivated prohibition on cannabis [13], meant that research with the cannabis plant was and is still largely forbidden.

Now that better access to information is available, there is a rush of hemp-derived CBD products coming to market. 

Does CBD have health benefits?

CBD users report improvements and there is no shortage of recommendations from wellness professionals.

There are both nonprescription CBD products and CBD prescription drugs on the market for consumers.

Are there neuroprotective properties to a CBD product? It’s possible. Let’s look at the government approved CBD medicine.

Does the US Government approve CBD as a medicine? 

Yes and no. There is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved version of CBD, called Epidiolex, available by medical prescription from a healthcare provider. According to the manufacturer, “Epidiolex is a prescription medicine that is used to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex in patients 1 year of age and older [14].”

It comes as a clear, colorless to yellow liquid containing cannabidiol at a concentration of 100 mg/mL, and includes the inactive ingredients: dehydrated alcohol, sesame seed oil, strawberry flavor, and sucralose [15]. This sounds quite different from a product with “no currently accepted medical use.” People may not associate cannabis plants with prescription drugs, but there is a clear connection if CBD oils and even medical marijuana are so prevalent.

Since the Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD, we can thankfully all access the benefits of CBD. 

Where is hemp-derived CBD legal? 

All hemp-derived cannabinoids are federally-compliant based on the 2018 Farm Bill, so long as they contain less than .3% Delta-9 THC per dry weight. This means that CBD is not a federally-controlled substance if it is from hemp, and it contains less than .3% Delta-9 THC per dry weight. 

Most states are embracing CBD within their borders, and a few others have not caught up. Those states may have contradictory regulations, or even a lack of clear CBD laws or information that is confusing. 

It’s clear that the federal government allows hemp and hemp-derived CBD products coast-to-coast and will not limit their transportation across state lines. But states still have the ability to limit CBD or other cannabinoids within their borders. Additionally, there can be different levels of regulation for retail hemp operations and for wholesale hemp growers, transporters, and processors.

Operators on the wholesale side of things may be allowed to make and sell products and concentrations that are not allowed to be sold at retail. Retail stores may not be allowed to sell certain cannabinoids or products but this is not the same as banning citizens’ possession of those products. 

Is CBD medical marijuana?

CBD may have medical value, but CBD is not the same as medical weed. In states with medical or recreational adult use policies, the laws that govern marijuana are usually separate from hemp programs and overseen by different agencies.

In some states, a marijuana program may not allow CBD hemp products to be sold in marijuana dispensaries, but this does not mean that CBD is illegal in that state. It may mean the products are not sellable due to their tax status or other reasons that don’t fit with the marijuana program guidelines. 

What are the effects of CBD? 

CBD can produce a range of effects from clear-headed alertness & energy to calm & relaxation, without intoxication. Will it help with issues like chronic pain? It is possible and some may already say yes due to personal experience. However, medical studies may not be available yet due to marijuana prohibition, but there is much more to learn.

The strength of the effects on a particular person will be different depending on a few things: the dosage level, body weight, food or other substances in the system, personal body chemistry, and experience level with cannabis products.

Since it is not psychoactive, users can enjoy CBD’s benefits without worrying about marijuana safety and side effects. There are 3 different varieties of CBD to be familiar with: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and THC-free. Let’s look at those next. 

What’s the difference between full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate? 

All CBD contains substances from the cannabis plant, but the different cannabidiol extracts vary in what exact substances they contain. Those substances determine what kind, and how much, of an effect the CBD can produce. 

Full-spectrum CBD contains multiple components of the plant—remember it has over 500 chemicals and over 100 phytocannabinoids. These include CBC, CBDA, CBDV, CBG, CBGA, CBN, THCV, and other minor cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD includes trace amounts of THC, but federally legal full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD products have less than 0.3 percent THC. 

Broad-spectrum CBD does not contain THC, but It does contain other substances. These usually include CBC, CBDA, CBDV, CBG, CBN, THCV, and other minor cannabinoids.  

CBD isolate is pure CBD and contains no other compounds found in cannabis, except for the CBD itself [16].

The next section will look at what happens when all the various substances from the hemp plant work together in a CBD product.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect refers to the components of the plant working together to boost or intensify the benefits of hemp-derived CBD [17]. In full-spectrum CBD and broad spectrum CBD, the active substances work together to enhance the effects of each individual cannabinoid, to make the effects better together.

This form of cannabinoid synergy is better known as the entourage effect. The exact chemical mechanism is not yet fully understood but with so many compounds in the full plant, it is reasonable that they are intimately connected and have evolved to work together. 

How do you buy high quality CBD?

Buying high quality CBD from a trusted producer is the best way to have success with your CBD regimen. Knowledge is power. The processing standards of CBD are crucial for its quality, safety and legality. Poor manufacturing processes may lead to degradation of the compound, inaccurate potency, or even residual solvents.

You should only purchase CBD from producers who provide a certificate of analysis (COA) for each product. A COA is a document attesting to a product’s laboratory analysis for cannabinoids and in some cases adulterants, heavy metals and pesticides. 

For best reliability, producers should use third party testing and be transparent about the results. Labs that are registered with the DEA and International Standards Organization (ISO) and other regulating entities are familiar with federal regulations and can be trusted to ensure federal-compliance with CBD and other hemp-derived products. 

How much CBD should you take?

CBD dosages can vary depending on the person, product, and circumstances. While most products have a suggested dosage listed on each package, the strength of the effects on a particular person will be different depending on a few things: the dosage level, body weight, food or other substances in the system, personal body chemistry, and experience level with cannabis products.

Generally speaking, it is recommended that you start with the lowest dose and gradually increase it until you reach satisfactory results. Consult your healthcare provider with specific questions about using any therapeutic products.

What are the most popular CBD products?

There are so many products out there, it may depend on who and where you ask. CBD oil is definitely a top category. It’s easy to use and control the dose and doesn’t require anything additional to administer. Thanks to the Farm Bill, a product like CBD oil is not part of any national controlled substances act.

What is CBD oil?

CBD Oil is a dense viscous oil for oral consumption. It is often recommended to be used sublingually, or under the tongue. A carrier is an important component to make CBD oils easier to use. It is blended with a substance like CBD to “carry” the ingredients and affects how the oil looks and tastes. There are different carrier oils with different properties.

What Is MCT Oil?

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which are a type of fat.

MCT molecules are smaller than those in most edible fats and that makes them easier to digest and absorb in your bloodstream quickly [18]. Cannabidiol extracts sold online by Earthy Now use all natural and organic MCT derived from coconut.

Guide to CBD closing thoughts

CBD products are here to stay and innovations using CBD and other cannabinoids will continue to delight us as we expect that CBD, medically reviewed, will yield infinite health benefits. It is important to remember that laws will also continue to change as all of America learns to accept and love cannabis.

Even if the benefits of CBD products are clear, you should be aware of the laws where you live, or where you’re visiting, before purchasing or using hemp-based products containing CBD, CBG or CBN. 

If you are interested in federally compliant, hemp derived Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC or Delta-10 THC you should read Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Your State?

 


Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up to date but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis is evolving. The author is neither a lawyer or a legal expert, nor a doctor or medical expert. You should check with your local authorities and medical providers before buying or using any products.

 

References

  1. https://www.maximumyield.com/definition/4237/cannabinoids
  2. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3997295/
  5. https://www.earthynow.com/cannabis-and-the-endocannabinoid-system/
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/endocannabinoid
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931553/
  8. https://cannpal.com/pet-owner/phytonutrients/cannabimimetics/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3997295/
  10. https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/cbg-the-mother-of-all-cannabinoids-with-broad-antibacterial-activity/95824/
  11. https://thehia.org/hia-position-statement-on-delta-8-and-hemp-cannabinoids/
  12. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/
  13. https://www.britannica.com/story/why-is-marijuana-illegal-in-the-us
  14. https://www.epidiolex.com/
  15. https://www.rxlist.com/epidiolex-drug.htm
  16. https://www.healthline.com/health/full-spectrum-vs-broad-spectrum-cbd#comparison
  17. https://www.cbdmd.com/blog/post/difference-between-full-spectrum-and-broad-spectrum-cbd
  18. https://www.webmd.com/diet/mct-oil-health-benefits-common-uses

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a COA?

A CoA is a document that shows a product’s laboratory analysis for cannabinoids and in some cases adulterants, heavy metals and pesticides. It can be an important tool for assessing a health supplement or herbal supplements.

Will CBD products show up on a drug test?

There is a risk of failing a drug test. It depends on the type of CBD product one is using.

Drug tests for marijuana generally identify THC or its metabolites. Although tests do not screen for CBD, full spectrum CBD products contain low quantities of THC that can make a person fail a drug test. If you anticipate taking a drug test, we suggest checking with your employer or test administrator for clarity prior to taking full spectrum CBD products.

Is it legal to send CBD products through the mail?

Yes, but even though these products are federally-compliant and OK to ship, individual states may have their own regulations about purchasing or using hemp-based products, and these are subject to change. You should check your state and local rules before ordering. We ship nationwide.

Earthy Now High CBD Low THC Cannabis flower

Top ten common cannabinoids

If you start paying attention to certificates of analysis (COA), you’ll see the top 10 common cannabinoids more often than others. Marijuana plants, also known as cannabis plants, have around 540 chemical substances, and over 100 are cannabinoids [1].

What are cannabinoids? 

Cannabinoids are simply “the chemical compounds of cannabis that have an effect on the human body when the plant is consumed [2].” They can have a lot of effects. Let’s first look at how that works. 

What is the endocannabinoid system?

The effects are made possible because of the human endocannabinoid system that has evolved to create and use cannabinoids in our physiological processes.

It is a complex cell-signaling system which is integral for maintaining health. Its CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells of the human body [3].

Major cannabinoids may appear more often on COAs because they are naturally more abundant in the plant matter that created a product, or because they have been added as distillate or isolate during production.

Here are the 10 of the most abundant cannabinoids that appear on cannabis strains’ COAs, and what you should know about them. 

Top 10 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant

CBD

Cannabidiol (ka-nə-bə-ˈdī-ȯl) 

CBD is a cannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is often the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis— THC and CBD are the top 2. CBD does not produce psychoactive effects like THC, and may even change THC’s effects on the body when both are present [4]. Check out our Guide to CBD for more info! 

When interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD does not bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors. Rather, it interacts indirectly with the receptors through transient receptor potential vanilloid, or TRPV1 receptors [5].

There is interest and research in CBD related to anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain, but more high-quality evidence that it is effective may be needed before it is available more widely for these purposes [4].

There is also a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved version of CBD, called Epidiolex, available by medical prescription for use in treating seizures [6].

A common and easy way to use CBD is CBD Oil, and Earthy Now offers many varieties of Full-Spectrum, High-CBD, Low-THC Cannabis Oil.


CBG

Cannabigerol (kə-ˈna-bə-’ger-ȯl) 

CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in trace amounts in harvested and processed cannabis. Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) is the precursor of cannabigerol (CBG), and is responsible for creating most downstream synthesized cannabinoids like THC and CBD [7].

Because of this CBG is lovingly called the “mother of all cannabinoids,” but since most of the CBGa is converted into cannabinoids, traditionally there is very little left in the plant upon harvest and use.

Therefore CBG has a high production cost and it can actually take thousands of pounds of biomass to yield a small amount of CBG isolate [8]. A 2018 study indicates that CBG is a regulator of endocannabinoid signaling [9], so it may have a small part to play in much of human physiology. 


CBN

Cannabinol (kə-ˈna-bə-nȯl) 

CBN is a cannabinoid found in low concentration in the cannabis plant and is mainly a product of the aging of tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCa). In aged cannabis, THCa in the plant converts to cannabolic acid (CBNa), and when decarboxylated by air, heat or light, converts to CBN [10].

CBN is sometimes considered to have psychotropic properties [11], and can have up to 25% potency compared to Delta-9 THC [12].

It is reported that CBN is sedative but proper studies are scarce [11]. CBN has shown potential related to many medical properties, but again, more studies and data are needed before these are borne out as predictable distinct effects [12].


CBC

Cannabichromene (kə-ˈna-bə-ˈkrō-mēn) 

CBC is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid found in low to levels in cannabis. It reportedly does not affect the psychoactivity of THC, but does seem to have a different effect if THC is present [12]. Like CBD, CBC works through TRPV1 receptors and by stimulating CB2 receptors, but does not have significant activity at CB1 receptors [12]. CBC has been studied for its pharmacological uses [13], and is said to have significant pharmacological potential for medical benefits based on existing research [12].


CBDV

Cannabidivarin (kə-ˈna-bə-ˈver-ən) 

CBDV is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in low levels in cannabis [14]. It interacts with the body in various ways including via TRP receptors and CB1 receptors, the latter by affecting how the endocannabinoid system processes and modulates certain chemicals [12]. There is not much data available about CBDV’s medical uses, but it has shown potential as a tool against seizures, perhaps an even better one than CBD [12]. 


∆9 THC

Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (ˈdel-tə |ˈnīn | te-trə-hī-drə-kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯl) 

∆9 THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis and was discovered in 1964. It is often the most prominent compound in cannabis plants, but THC levels vary quite a bit. Read the Guide to hemp derived Delta-9 THC for more info.

The 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills revised the definitions of hemp and marijuana. Now, cannabis with less than .3% Delta-9 THC is considered hemp, and cannabis with more than .3% Delta-9 THC is federally considered marijuana.

Prior to the revised definition of hemp, the word “THC” used alone often referred to ∆9 THC, even though there are other types of THC (see below).

∆9 THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system via CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, some of which are located throughout the body including parts of the brain that affect “thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and movement [15].” THC has been widely studied and used for medical reasons [19]. Nabiximols, aka trade name Sativex, is a medical preparation of THC, made by GW Pharmaceuticals [16]. It is available for prescription in 25 countries, and is being tested for use in the United States [17].  


∆8 THC

Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (ˈdel-tə |ˈāt | te-trə-hī-drə-kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯl) 

∆8 THC occurs naturally in the cannabis plant, but in low quantities. It has a double bond on the 8th carbon chain, and Delta-9 has a double bond on the 9th carbon chain. This small distinction is enough to produce slightly different cognitive and physical effects [18]. Research in 1973 compared Delta-8 to Delta-9 THC and reported that Delta-8 produced effects similar to Delta-9, at a third less potency [19].

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) additionally stated that Delta-8 THC has psychoactive and intoxicating effects, similar to Delta-9 THC, and that concentrated amounts of Delta-8 THC are typically manufactured from hemp-derived CBD [20]. Modern Delta-8 products have been called “marijuana-light” and “diet weed” which aligns with these findings.

Purchase premium Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 from our friends at Earthy Select


∆10 THC

Delta-10-Tetrahydrocannabinol (ˈdel-tə |ˈten | te-trə-hī-drə-kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯl)

∆10 THC is another cannabinoid that occurs in low levels in cannabis. Following the pattern, it has its double bond on the 10th carbon chain, and is reported to have similar but lower intensity effects to Delta-9. Delta-10 has been described as a mood-enhancer [21]. Not much data is available on the effects of Delta-10 on the body. Delta-10 THC is not easy to manufacture and must be refined extensively, so you usually don’t see it in abundance. Because of this, a lot of products combine Delta-10 with Delta-8 [22]. 


THCA

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (te-trə-ˌhī-drə-kə-ˈna-bə-nȯl-ˈik |ˈa-səd)

THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is the non-psychoactive acidic precursor to THC found in raw and live cannabis. “In its natural state, the cannabis plant goes through a vegetative and then flowering stage where it produces cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), the source of many therapeutic cannabinoids. Enzymes called synthases convert CBGA into THCA and other cannabinoids such as CBDA or CBCA before being converted to their parent compounds [23].” As the plant dries, the THCA slowly converts to THC, and heat expedites this conversion through a process known as decarboxylation [24].

THCA may indeed have therapeutic benefits but academic studies are limited. Research published in 2017 found that THCA’s clinical use may be hampered by its relative instability due to minimal binding affinity at CB1 [25]. On the other hand, there is interest from the industry in continuing research and developing applications for this common cannabinoid. 


THCV

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (te-trə-ˌhī-drə-kə-ˈna-bə-ˈver-ən)

THCV is found in cannabis alongside THC but it is not clear whether it is psychoactive [26]. THCV interacts with the endocannabinoid system via the CB1 receptor and to a lesser extent, on the CB2 receptor [27]. A theory is that since THCV can block the CB1 receptor, known to stimulate appetite, it could reduce appetite. Preliminary evidence for this is based on animal research and more published scientific studies may be needed to support these benefits in humans [26].

Parting thoughts on the 10 most abundant cannabinoids

Now you know more about THC and CBD and the other cannabinoids native to cannabis cultivars, some with psychoactive properties and some without. Cannabinoid research continues.

These and additional important cannabinoids hold massive potential for medicinal benefits and prescription medications. Medicinal properties based on the cannabinoids present in a consumer product will need to be assessed for anti inflammatory properties, neuroprotective properties, antidepressant effects, efficacy against chronic pain and other health benefits.


Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up to date but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis is evolving. The author is neither a lawyer or a legal expert, nor a doctor or medical expert. You should check with your local authorities and medical providers before buying or using any products.

References

  1. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know
  2. https://www.maximumyield.com/definition/4237/cannabinoids
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3997295/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol
  5. https://myremedyproducts.com/what-are-cb1-and-cb2-receptors-and-how-does-cbd-work-with-them/
  6. https://www.epidiolex.com/
  7. https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/cbg-the-mother-of-all-cannabinoids-with-broad-antibacterial-activity/95824/
  8. https://www.analyticalcannabis.com/articles/cbg-vs-cbd-what-are-the-differences-312232
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6021502/
  10. https://deltaseparations.com/how-to-extract-cbn-oil-cannabinoil/
  11. https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-vs-cbn#cbn-benefits-uses
  12. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1054358917300273
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabichromene#cite_note-Turner2017-2
  14.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidivarin
  15.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabiximols
  17. https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/news-posts/2020/11/05/sativex-nabiximols-phase-3-trial-cannabis-extract-treatment-ms-spasticity-opens-us/
  18. https://www.hempgrower.com/article/delta-8-cannabidnoid-how-its-made-extraction-testing-measuring/
  19. https://ascpt.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cpt1973143353
  20. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/5-things-know-about-delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol-delta-8-thc
  21. https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol-thc-infinitecal-acs-laboratory/
  22. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-delta-10
  23. https://blog.lunatechequipment.com/thca-isolate
  24. https://originalfarm.com/what-is-thca/
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5510775/
  26. https://www.healthline.com/health/substance-use/thcv#effects
  27. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabivarin

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will CBD products show up in a drug test?

There is a risk of failing a drug test. It depends on the type of CBD product one is using.

Drug tests for marijuana generally identify THC or its metabolites. Although tests do not screen for CBD, full spectrum CBD products contain low quantities of THC that can make a person fail a drug test. If you anticipate taking a drug test, we suggest checking with your employer or test administrator for clarity prior to taking full spectrum CBD products.

Is it legal to send CBD related products through the mail?

Yes, but even though cannabinoids and their products are federally-compliant, individual states may have their own regulations about purchasing or using hemp-based products and cannabinoids, and these are subject to change. You should check your state and local rules about THC and CBD before ordering. Earthy ships nationwide.

Are hemp products safe? 

Yes, cannabinoids and hemp derived products are safe when they are produced with proper and safe practices.

What does “hemp-derived” mean?

Hemp-derived means made from hemp, sometimes also referred to as industrial hemp. The Farm Bills established new federal legal definitions and rules for hemp, including that hemp and “and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis” may be used for production, sales, transport, and use. 

Will CBD products show up in a drug test?

There is a risk of failing a drug test. It depends on the type of CBD product one is using.

Drug tests for marijuana generally identify THC or its metabolites. Although tests do not screen for CBD, full spectrum CBD products contain low quantities of THC that can make a person fail a drug test.

If you anticipate taking a drug test, we suggest checking with your employer or test administrator for clarity prior to taking full spectrum CBD products.

How do I know how much is the correct dosage?

While products have a suggested dosage listed on each package, the strength of the effects on a particular person will be different depending on a few things: the dosage level, body weight, food or other substances in the system, personal body chemistry, and experience level with cannabis products.

High CBD, low THC cannabis can produce a range of effects from clear-headed alertness & energy to calm & relaxation.

Generally speaking, it is recommended that you start with the lowest dose and gradually increase it until you reach satisfactory results. Consult your healthcare provider with specific questions about using any therapeutic products.

The certificate of analysis (COA) has become a common document in the world of cannabis business and technology. It is a sign that hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD are common in most of the country, including states without organized medical or adult use cannabis programs. This article will look at what a COA is all about.  

What is a COA?

You can find them on the website of every seed producer, retailer, and wholesaler of cannabis products: a specific form, or certificate, that is a database representing a particular product’s chemical basis. Database just means that it holds and presents information.

The layout and details of a certificate of analysis may vary, but the purpose is the same. It is a document associated with a cannabis derived product, “attesting to its laboratory analysis for cannabinoids and in some cases adulterants, heavy metals and pesticides, mold, etc. [1].” 

That’s the scope we are concerned with in this article, but the word COA is applicable to more than cannabis products. Generically, it is ”a document containing test results that are provided to the customer by the supplier to demonstrate that product meets the defined test [2].” As such it could be used as a proof of specifications for any product, but it is generally associated with manufactured products like food, chemicals, research products, and pharmaceuticals. The COA benefits customers and producers alike.

Note that it can also mean certificate of authenticity, which is a similar proof or way to address confirmation of a product’s source of manufacturer. A certificate of authenticity may then be associated with consumer goods, computer software or hardware, art, antiques, sports memorabilia, collectible items, etc.

So the COA ensures a certain quality of produced goods, it is a quality assessment to make sure that the purity, potency and safety of the product from a manufacturer is within its specification range. A COA may seem to be primarily customer-facing but it benefits customers and producers alike. Customers and producers can both have confidence that what is claimed on the packaging is in fact true, connecting both parties to measurable standards on which to base business and interaction. 

What should be on a COA? 

A certificate of analysis can come in a variety of formats but generally includes similar identifiable features. We can break them down to three basic components: first the top or header section, second the body section, and third the bottom or footer section of a COA. 

Typically a COA form will have a top section to identify the lab doing the testing, the name of the company whose product is being tested, the product sample that is being tested, and a particular batch identifier. A date of testing, or a date of issuance of the COA, is also common. 

Skipping to the bottom, the end of the COA or footer area will usually have info about the testing facility. This can include the lab’s official seals or signatures of approval, and/or elements like address, contact info, licenses, notes, and disclaimers. 

The header and footer of the form contain crucial identification and functional elements that make the COA official and operational. If a QR code (quick response code) is included it may be in the header or footer too. QR codes are simply barcodes that have fast machine readability by smart phone cameras, so they have become popular linking tools since their invention in 1994 [3].

What is a COA lab equipmentReading results on a COA

The body of the COA has the information about what was tested for, a chemical for example, and shows what the results of the tests actually were. Cannabinoid potency is very often the first set of results on the COA. Results of most interest, like potency or “total THC” or “total CBD,” may also be included as a sidebar or separate area. You should see many of the top 10 common cannabinoids represented on the COA. Each cannabinoid found in the sample will be listed, generally in order of amount found, highest to lowest.

LOD and LOQ

Each compound’s line will have a LOD and LOQ number. Limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantitation (LOQ) are parameters used to validate analytical methods [4]. 

LOD is the smallest amount of concentration of an analyte in the sample that can reliably be distinguished from zero. 

LOQ is the lowest concentration of the analyte that can be determined with an acceptable repeatability and trueness.

These two measurements work together to establish a signal-to-noise ratio—in overly basic terms, to determine what amount of a compound is minimally-measurable, vs. the ability of the instrument to accurately minimally-measure said compound [5]. Suffice it to say that LOD and LOQ are important testing factors in lab analysis and COAs. 

Some COAs also include a measurement of uncertainty, letting you know the variability of a test’s accuracy. This is generally expressed as a “plus/minus” amount or percentage. The actual measurement may be above or below the listed measurement by the acknowledged amount. 

Mass vs. percent 

Results for each cannabinoid or other compound will commonly be given in a measured amount of weight, and in percentage of the total product weight of tested samples. Both are important, and especially for certain hemp derived cannabinoids. 

Now you know about COAs

COAs keep producers and consumers on the same page regarding what is and isn’t in each product. Computer software technology speeds up the testing and dissemination of the data, giving retailers and end consumers easy access to information about which cannabinoids and other compounds are present in a product. 

You can now use your knowledge to explore the COAs of your favorite products in more depth, and to be better informed about future products. 


Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up to date but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis is evolving. The author is neither a lawyer or a legal expert, nor a doctor or medical expert. You should check with your local authorities and medical providers before buying or using any products.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certificate_of_analysis
  2. https://asifood.com/food-safety-terms-conditions/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code
  4. https://bitesizebio.com/48459/excel-lod-loq/
  5. https://juniperpublishers.com/omcij/pdf/OMCIJ.MS.ID.555722.pdf

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to send CBD related products through the mail?

Yes, but even though these products are federally-compliant, individual states may have their own regulations about purchasing or using hemp-based products, and these are subject to change. You should check your state and local rules before ordering. We ship nationwide.

Will CBD products show up in a drug test?

There is a risk of failing a drug test. It depends on the type of CBD product one is using. Drug tests for marijuana generally identify THC or its metabolites. Although tests do not screen for CBD, full spectrum CBD products contain low quantities of THC that can make a person fail a drug test. If you anticipate taking a drug test, we suggest checking with your employer or test administrator for clarity prior to taking full spectrum CBD products.

Do you get high off of CBD? 

High CBD, low THC cannabis can produce a range of effects from clear-headed alertness & energy to calm & relaxation. CBD is not psychoactive and is used for effects of its own.

The strength of the effects on a particular person will be different depending on a few things: the dosage level, body weight, food or other substances in the system, personal body chemistry, and experience level with cannabis products.

How do I know how much is the correct dosage of CBD?

The strength of the effects on a particular person will be different depending on a few things: the dosage level, body weight, food or other substances in the system, personal body chemistry, and experience level with cannabis products. High CBD, low THC cannabis can produce a range of effects from clear-headed alertness & energy to calm & relaxation.

Generally speaking, it is recommended that you start with the lowest dose and gradually increase it until you reach satisfactory results. Consult your healthcare provider with specific questions about using cannabinoid products.

The epicenter of cannabis in the USA has long been an area of northern California and southern Oregon with rolling hills and a unique history. What makes the “Emerald Triangle” and Rogue Valley so special in the cannabis world is more than just great terroirs. Let’s look at this rich and storied farm land in context.  

What is the Emerald Triangle? 

The Emerald Triangle is made up of three counties near the northern border of California: Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino. Just a couple hours away is the Rogue Valley, running along the Rogue River in Jackson and Josephine counties in southern Oregon. But nature knows no political borders—there are differences between the two areas but they operate in concert and we will consider them collectively. This combined agricultural region is known for high-quality cannabis and has been responsible for much of the cannabis production in the U.S. for many years.

Remember that hemp and marijuana both come from the same plant, cannabis, which naturally contains Delta-9 THC, the single cannabinoid that is under federal-control, and the main psychoactive substance in cannabis. The amount of Delta-9 THC existent in the plant material per dry weight determines the federal-compliance of the final product. The 2014 Farm Bill defined the legal limit at .3% so cannabis with less than that is considered legal hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill expanded on this, making it clear to legal experts that all other plant material and substances derived from legally-defined hemp are also federally-compliant. 

This progress means that even in states that do not yet sanction marijuana, people can use high-CBD, low-THC cannabis products as well as other hemp-derived cannabinoids including flower, gummies, vapes and oils with Delta-8 THC.

How did the Emerald Triangle get its name?

Local historians may not know who coined the term Emerald Triangle but the name is believed to be a reference to the “Golden Triangle” in southern Asia [1]. The area where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet is so called because of the value of the opium and heroin produced by the region since the 1950s [2]. 

Cannabis and opium?!? It is a scary connection but the homage is most likely tongue-in-cheek.  While cannabis is nowhere near as dangerous as opioids, it is nonetheless assigned the same legal category in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) lists cannabis alongside heroin and cocaine on its Schedule 1 of controlled substances. The DEA states that drugs on this list “have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse [3].” 

Even the DEA has called for more research and development for therapeutic medications.

People who understand cannabis’ benefits and history know that the DEA’s position needs clarity, and even the DEA has called for more research and development for therapeutic medications [4]. But there are obvious similarities between the two markets – notably a great consumer demand for the cash crops, and the illegal status of those valuable crops. 

Regardless of the exact derivation, the Emerald Triangle lives up to its name. There are estimates of 20,000+ farms in the area, some worked by three generations of growers [5]. Cannabis farms have populated the area since long before California or Oregon have had organized medical and adult use programs. 

What are the politics of the Emerald Triangle?

Why here? In the 1960s, hippies from the Bay Area of California traveled north as part of a back to the earth movement—to live off of the land and off the grid. By doing so, they sought to honor and use nature’s bounty for good in opposition to commercialism and war. As these countercultural pioneers established their own society in the rural northern counties, they cultivated cannabis for income. Trial and error and natural innovation followed, and the area became home for forward thinking cannabis production methods ever since [6]. 

As time moved on, cannabis reached more people with its goodness and prices for the controlled substance went up, attracting still more people to the region to grow. However, some of the newcomers may have had more interest in revenue than in honoring the earth and sun. 

Outlaw country

There has been a certain and perhaps necessary “outlaw” element to the areas since their early days as cannabis epicenters. Given that cannabis was, and is, federally illegal, this is easy to understand. Growers needed to avoid law enforcement where possible and still protect their investments [6]. Oregonians have also historically embraced an outsider status tied to the difficult terrain and remote location of early western exploration and expansion in the Pacific Northwest. This mindset is similar to the Californians who migrated north to the Emerald Triangle. 

There is additional overhead required to run an operation below the gaze of authorities. As federal law enforcement made efforts to crack down on grows, farmers went deeper into the environment and further off grid. The unique rugged and mountainous environment of the Emerald Triangle could support these needs. The relationship between the land and the peoples’ needs grew together into the established markets and communities we see today. 

What is the State of Jefferson?

A striking example of the outsider mindset of the Northern California / Southern Oregon region is the State of Jefferson movement of the mid-twentieth century. “The State of Jefferson is a proposed U.S. state that would span the contiguous, mostly rural area of southern Oregon and northern California [7].”  A group of residents of the area felt underserved by, and underrepresented in, their respective state capitals and wanted to secede and form their own territory. 

The proposed State of Jefferson on a US map, encompassing parts of southern Oregon and northern California, home of premium cannabis growing

The proposed State of Jefferson is shown in red.

On November 27, 1941 they released a Proclamation of Independence and established State of Jefferson border access points patrolled by gunmen. The movement was quashed before it could gain much momentum though, when Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941 and secession proponents’ efforts turned to the war [7]. 

This wasn’t the end of the movement though. In 1992, 31 northern counties in California voted to split off from California to form a separate state. Again in 2013 there was a revival of the idea and many northern counties again proposed and passed declarations indicating a desire to separate [7]. 

The ultimate success of independence efforts is unlikely but the popular push illustrates the ingrained, hard-nosed independence of those who make their home and livelihood in the Emerald Triangle / Rogue Valley zone. 

Natural environments

Like California, Oregon has diverse growing environments. The Rogue Valley is located in the heart of the southern growing region, long revered by vintners and fruit growers for its favorable conditions. 

A terroir is the collective characteristics of environmental factors that affect a crops’ phenotype, or how its exact characteristics are expressed.

Portland State University has undertaken research to study cannabis terroirs in Oregon. A terroir is the collective characteristics of environmental factors that affect a crops’ phenotype, or how its exact characteristics are expressed. In wine science, as well for other crops, it is presumed that the land grapes are grown on imparts a specific flavor profile to the resulting crop [8]. The soil composition, climate and topography all play a role. It is in this spirit that the cannabis terroir project follows. 

Early findings indicate there are 6 or 7 cannabis terroirs in the Rogue Valley area which may promote distinct flavor profiles for crops harvested in each [9]. Three main soil types were studied as they are common in the southern Oregon region. There are 12 Soil Orders in total, as classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Each represents a “grouping of soils with distinct characteristics and ecological significance [10].”

 

Ultisols – acidic forest soils with relatively low fertility; macronutrients have been leached out. 

Alfisols – forest soils that are similar to Ultisols; less acidic and more fertile.

Mollisols – grassland soils that have high fertility and are rich in calcium and magnesium. 

The Emerald Triangle’s main soil types coincide with Rogue Valley’s with one exception.  

Ultisols – acidic forest soils with relatively low fertility; macronutrients have been leached out. 

Alfisols – forest soils that are similar to Ultisols; less acidic and more fertile.

Inceptisols – mountainous soils with minimal horizon development; recognized as fertile.

Earthy Now High CBD Low THC Cannabis Soothing Relief Salve

What is the best terroir for cannabis?

Climate and topography are the other factors in terroir. The Rogue Valley area is geographically diverse, but generally the temperature stays between 32° and 93° F. The region has the warmest growing conditions in the state, with cooler microclimates scattered throughout its hillsides and valleys [9]. Attuned growers can breed strains to flourish in specific environmental conditions. Some of the microclimates are hotter too, which can actually be ideal for sativas [11]. 

On average there are 195 sunny days in Medford. Oregon, located in the Valley, and 23 inches of rain annually, 15 inches less than the national average [12]. Much irrigation comes from the reservoirs in the region, which are typically replenished from melting snowpack and what rain the area gets [13]. Wells and surface waters in the area are of course tapped too. Times of drought can cause major issues for agriculture in the Valley. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is the agency responsible for managing the water plan for the region but local management agencies, advisory committees, landowners and the public are all active stakeholders [14]. 

The Emerald Triangle also seems to have a conducive outdoor environment for cannabis to thrive. It has a climate of cool nights and warm days in the summer, as well as ideal soil and wind conditions [15]. Humboldt County usually stays between 39° and 75° F. It receives 55 inches of rain annually, 17 inches more than the national average [16]. 

Irrigation in the Emerald Triangle also comes from many sources. Surface water diversion, spring diversion, wells, rain collection, and other offsite sources are all ways farms water their crops [17]. 

Final thoughts on the Emerald Triangle: Right time and place

Yes, two of the most prolific locations for growing cannabis have the right conditions for agricultural success, but that’s not enough to establish them as flagships of the industry. After all, we know cannabis grows in most climates and on every continent except Antarctica [18] so there must have been more to it. 

The attitudes and politics of the West Coast and Pacific Northwest played a crucial role in building up the cannabis industry. The individual Emerald Triangle / Rogue Valley communities have grown in tandem with the industry, and both are inextricably connected at this point. They represent the capital of cannabis for the United States and much of the world. 

References

  1. https://www.cannabischronicle.net/emerald-triangle-revered-cannabis-growing-area/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Triangle_(Southeast_Asia)
  3. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/
  4. https://www.marijuanamoment.net/dea-proposes-massive-increase-in-marijuana-and-psilocybin-production-for-research-to-develop-fda-approved-medicines/
  5. https://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/emerald-triangle-california/
  6. https://theemeraldmagazine.com/homesteaders-pioneers-and-outlaws-a-brief-history-of-humboldt-county/
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_(proposed_Pacific_state)
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terroir
  9. https://www.oregonwine.org/discover-oregon-wine/place/southern-oregon/
  10. https://www.uidaho.edu/cals/soil-orders/mollisols
  11. https://www.marijuanaventure.com/growing-massive/
  12. https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/oregon/medford
  13. https://www.mailtribune.com/top-stories/2021/06/12/water-shortage-threatens-rogue-valley-crops/
  14. https://www.oregon.gov/oda/shared/Documents/Publications/NaturalResources/InlandRogueAWQMAreaPlan.pdf
  15. Ihttps://emeraldfarmtours.com/blogs/news/brief-history-california-emerald-triangle-cannabis
  16. https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/county/california/humboldt
  17. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/1sx0z86m
  18. https://cannabistraininguniversity.com/blog/growing-marijuana/where-does-weed-grow-naturally/

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between CBD and THC?

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are both naturally-occurring cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, and both have the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. A slight difference in how the atoms are arranged accounts for the differing effects on your body. THC is the main psychoactive component of the plant—the part that can make people feel “high” or intoxicated. CBD is not psychoactive and is used for beneficial effects of its own.

Do you get high off of CBD? 

High CBD, low THC cannabis can produce a range of effects from clear-headed alertness & energy to calm & relaxation. CBD is not psychoactive and is used for effects of its own.

The strength of the effects on a particular person will be different depending on a few things: the dosage level, body weight, food or other substances in the system, personal body chemistry, and experience level with cannabis products.

All of our products are federally-compliant, ie. hemp derived and containing less than .3% Delta-9 THC per dry weight.

Will CBD products show up in a drug test?

There is a risk of failing a drug test. It depends on the type of CBD product one is using. Drug tests for marijuana generally identify THC or its metabolites. Although tests do not screen for CBD, full spectrum CBD products contain low quantities of THC that can make a person fail a drug test. If you anticipate taking a drug test, we suggest checking with your employer or test administrator for clarity prior to taking full spectrum CBD products.

What is a COA?

A certificate of analysis (COA) is a document attesting to a product’s laboratory analysis for cannabinoids and in some cases adulterants, heavy metals and pesticides. It is an essential tool for cannabis producers and customers to ensure quality and trust.

Earthy Select Delta-8 Delta-10 Full spectrum oils

We need cannabis prison reform. The United States’ War on Drugs has devastated millions of American lives since President Nixon launched it and President Reagan shifted it into high gear. A major contributor to the unnecessary arrests, and families being destroyed, is the fact that cannabis is targeted by this war. Cannabis has been on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule 1 list of controlled substances alongside hard drugs like heroin and cocaine since 1970. However, it’s been used therapeutically, medicinally, ceremonially and recreationally by humans for millennia. Will America ever catch up? 

With legislation changing around cannabis use in many states, how are states dealing with changing existing laws? What are they doing for the folks who have prior arrests or are currently incarcerated for cannabis related crimes? 

What is cannabis prison reform?

Cannabis prison reform refers to changing the way that rules around cannabis use and punishment operate and affect people. Wikimedia characterizes prison reform as “the attempt to improve conditions inside prisons,” but also to make the penal system more effective, working hand in hand with alternative sentences that don’t include incarceration. It includes ensuring that those who have been negatively affected by having a past cannabis crime on their record are treated fairly and equitably [1].

Do we need cannabis prison reform? 

We do. Many states in the U.S. are adopting medical use or adult use legislation to allow citizens to use cannabis within certain guidelines. Meanwhile, cannabis with more than .3% per dry weight is still an illegal controlled substance by federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) rules. 

Some parts of our culture and hence some of our societal systems have come to think of marijuana users as criminals first, rather than categorizing them as what they are: natural health remedy users caught up in hyper criminalization of a natural remedy. This is largely based on the ignorance, fear, and racism that initially led to cannabis prohibition in the U.S. The decades-old deception has found roots as a cultural concept even though the cannabis plant and its components have vast potential as a set of beneficial health tools. 

It is easy to find propaganda that says cannabis users are degenerate and that marijuana is a gateway drug to harder drugs. The DEA itself states that Schedule 1 drugs have “a high potential for abuse,”  “​​no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.,” and “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug, substance, or chemical under medical supervision [2].” 

The claims are dubious for cannabis though. Regarding the first, “a high potential for abuse,” the government defines using an illegal drug itself as abuse, and the government defines marijuana as an illegal drug. So the mere use can be termed abuse. This circular thinking doesn’t define abuse in a meaningful way. Is addiction a fair measure? Research has shown some evidence that approximately 9% of cannabis users may develop addiction to it. But looking closer, those studies may use marijuana “dependence” to mean the same as “addiction.” The two issues are quite different. Dependence means that a person feels withdrawal symptoms when stopping use, whereby addiction means the person can’t stop even though use is harming them [3]. The 9%” finding may therefore be much lower or irrelevant. 

Second, what about “​​no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.?” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved cannabis-derived and cannabis-analog health products that are available if prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider [4]. 

The cannabis-derived drug product is called Epidiolex, which is mainly a purified form of cannabidiol (CBD). It has been approved for treating seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. The FDA says this particular drug product is safe and effective for its intended use [4]. 

Three synthetic cannabis-related drug products have also been approved. Marinol and Syndros both contain the active ingredient dronabinol, a synthetic Delta-9 THC, and are approved for therapeutic uses including for nausea from cancer chemotherapy and for the treatment of anorexia associated with weight loss in AIDS patients [5]. Nabilone, another synthetic cannabinoid similar to THC, is the active ingredient in Cesamet which is “indicated for the treatment of the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond well to normal antiemetic treatments [6].” If these drugs are approved, how can there be no accepted medical use? 

The third schedule claim is “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug, substance, or chemical under medical supervision.” Medical literature does not show instances of fatal cannabis poisoning, and no studies associate it with direct risk of death or other problems at a meaningful level [7]. Plus, as we looked at above, medical uses of cannabis-based drugs are indeed available with medical supervision, as approved by the FDA.

We need more data but it’s been difficult to acquire, partly because the prohibition on cannabis meant that actual scientific research of the plant was somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible to do [8]. In recent years, many states have approved medical and adult marijuana use, and the DEA removed hemp from the Schedule 1 list of controlled substances with the 2014 Farm Bill and 2018 Farm Bill. These changes brought a push for more and better research. Opportunities to gather hard data are growing and we look forward to more comprehensive research and results in the future. 

More money, more problems 

The corrections industry has run rampant. Mass incarceration and minimum sentencing have lead to the incredibly high amount of incarcerated Americans. Overcrowding and underfunding of governmental facilities naturally followed the incarceration surge, creating a need for privatized prisons. So there is financial incentive to these private prison companies to maintain the status quo, including keeping cannabis illegal. This is associated with issues with the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) at large. The PIC is “the expansive network of people and parties with vested interests in mass incarceration” that supports mass incarceration [9]. The PIC is a much larger problem but drug crimes play a major part, perhaps being the biggest force behind giant increases in mass incarceration of recent decades [9]. 

2020 estimates were that 2.3 million people were incarcerated in the US, with another 4.5 million on parole or probation [9]. The numbers are staggering, especially if you factor in the other people who are affected when one person goes to jail for cannabis. Should we multiply by 3 since the average family size is 3.15 people [10]? Should we multiply by 9 since that’s the average number of close friends a person has [11]? Or many more, since our tax dollars pay the astronomical price for all this, up to $182 Billion annually [12]! 

States making progress

Long term progress means fixing the system and preventing the arrests and subsequent woes of the criminal cycle that harm people. Some states are making headway in this regard. One tool that States have is creating legal access to cannabis. As of late-2021, 36 U.S. States and territories allow medical use of marijuana [13], and 21 States and territories permit its adult use [14]. Given that using cannabis (within the rules) is not against the law in these states, arrests will not happen, and the number of people caught up in the system should decrease dramatically. 

California was the first state to sanction medical use in 1996 [15], and in 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first to allow recreational adult use [16]. 

The latest states to make the change in 2021 are:

  • New York – legalized recreational cannabis 
  • Virginia – legalized recreational cannabis
  • New Mexico – legalized recreational cannabis
  • Connecticut – legalized recreational cannabis
  • Alabama – legalized medical cannabis

Honorable mentions to: 

  • South Dakota – recreational cannabis initiative was overturned by circuit-court 
  • Mississippi – medical cannabis initiative was overturned by state supreme court

Which states will legalize cannabis next?

Some in the industry think we’re getting closer to federal legality. In lieu of that, some of the remaining states without marijuana laws are pushing medical and adult use initiatives, and there is pressure for lawmakers to take action [17].

  • Maryland – an adult use bill failed in 2021. It may return as a referendum vote in 2022
  • Missouri – legislation is proposed to create an adult use market
  • Oklahoma – a constitutional amendment allowing adult use was proposed for 2022 
  • Ohio – the state process is complicated but an “initiated statute” may be on the ballot in 2022 
  • Arkansas – efforts are behind a 2022 amendment to allow adult use 
  • Pennsylvania – advocates are working on proposals and there seems to be some bipartisan support for legalization
  • Florida – advocates are working to have an initiative on the 2022 ballot

In the mean time, to learn more about Delta-8’s legality, check out: Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Your State?

The Federal approach to legalizing cannabis

Does real reform need to come from the national level? It would help. We must remember that cannabis in any form with more than .3% Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is still a federally-controlled Schedule 1 substance, and illegal on a national basis. 

The 2018 Farm Bill introduced a new concept on the cannabis front. The Bill stated that the federal government considers cannabis with less than .3% Delta-9 THC (the main psychoactive component of cannabis) per dry weight to be “hemp.” Cannabis with more than .3% Delta-9 THC per dry weight is considered illegal “marijuana.” Under the Bill, all other plant material and substances derived from legally-defined hemp are also federally-compliant [18]. 

The distinction is at once helpful and frustrating. It is helpful due to the fact that in states without sanctioned medical or adult use rules, people can use hemp-derived cannabinoids without fear of breaking the law. This access is crucial for many people who find therapeutic benefits from high CBD, low THC cannabis products like CBD Oil that they can now legally purchase under the Farm Bill. 

The hemp/cannabis distinction is frustrating because it unnaturally defines two plants from one, based on a seemingly arbitrary amount of one of the plant’s hundreds of components. Without clearer federal regulations, states make their own laws independent of the federal government’s, and the landscape is further complicated 50 times over. 

Possible Federal action to legalize cannabis

In November 2021, Republican Representative Nancy Mace from South Carolina proposed the States Reform Act, or H.R 5977 – To amend the controlled substances Act regarding marihuana, and for other purposes. Mace says a “super-majority of Americans support an end to cannabis prohibition,” and the Act would remove cannabis from Schedule 1 and allow states to control it locally [19]. It remains to be seen how much support and momentum will build around this push. If passed, the Act would also help people who have been arrested for federal cannabis crimes. It would mean release from incarceration, and expungement of criminal records for federal cannabis offenses. The key word is “federal”  because states would deal with the expungement of state cannabis offenses through their own judicial systems. 

Clearing the record 

As misinformation about marijuana is corrected, and laws around it are reformed, it is equally important to help people convicted for breaking those laws in the past. It expresses respect for the law and for citizens, and acknowledges that the law is flexible and equitably applied. Furthermore, convictions have collateral consequences like limits to accessing government benefits and restrictions on licensure [20]. It is doubly unfair to subject people to these effects if the law is no longer the law! So it is encouraging to see that H.R. 5977 is addressing this for federal offenses. States would be in charge of dealing with it for state cannabis offenses. 

Three of the states mentioned above, that are looking at legalization in 2022, include expungement of past convictions in their proposals. Missouri’s plan includes “automatic expungement” of past cannabis convictions. Ohio’s plan  would do the same for many past nonviolent cannabis convictions. Arkansas would similarly reverse convictions for some people serving time for nonviolent cannabis convictions. 

States that have previously legalized have also addressed past marijuana convictions at differing levels of success. In fact, 41 states and territories have record-clearing provisions that can apply to cannabis convictions [OO]. This doesn’t mean that it’s easy to clean up one’s record. For instance, in Illinois, a recent state to legalize, certain “minor cannabis offense” records are automatically expunged but others must be petitioned in court, possibly necessitating a lawyer’s help. Even if automatic expungement applies to one’s law enforcement record, their court records are not expunged and must be separately petitioned [21]. It all adds up to more disparity between states in terms of how they handle cannabis related legislation. Federal clarity could help minimize the discrepancies, but as in the case of H.R. 5977, might not. 

How to help with cannabis prison reform

If you want to help fight injustice, stay informed of the laws in your state. Are there outdated, harsh, unfair, racist anti-drug laws where you live? Do your research, talk to your neighbors and representatives, vote on referendum ballots—make your voice heard. Here are three organizations doing important work in cannabis prison reform, who can use your support. 

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has been fighting for marijuana law reform and legalization since 1970. You can donate and get involved. 

The Last Prisoner Project is dedicated “to freeing every last prisoner of the unjust war on drugs, starting with the estimated 40,000 individuals imprisoned for cannabis [22].” You help with donations or assisting with petitions and letter-writing drives. 

The American Civil Liberties Union is dedicated to defending democracy and liberty. Your tax deductible donation will help. 

Cannabis prison reform goes hand in hand with cannabis legislation generally. The more the two work together, the better the outcomes will be. Many states are making headway on their own and others are poised to continue the trend. Federal legalization and reform will go a long way to leading the country into the healthy and productive relationship with cannabis that advocates have imagined for decades. We get closer to that promise every day. 

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_reform
  2. https://www.drugs.com/csa-schedule.html
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive
  4. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-and-cannabis-research-and-drug-approval-process
  5. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/25/legal-weed-scientists-1074188
  6. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2006/018677s011lbl.pdf
  7. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/can-marijuana-kill-you#More-concerns-with-more-availability
  8. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-and-cannabis-research-and-drug-approval-process
  9. https://sites.tufts.edu/prisondivestment/the-pic-and-mass-incarceration/
  10. https://www.statista.com/statistics/183657/average-size-of-a-family-in-the-us/
  11. https://news.gallup.com/poll/10891/americans-satisfied-number-friends-closeness-friendships.aspx
  12. https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/money.html
  13. https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx
  14. https://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/marijuana-overview.aspx
  15. https://cannabis.ca.gov/resources/laws-and-regulations/
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_cannabis_laws_in_the_United_States#:~:text=In%201996%2C%20California%20became%20the,legalize%20cannabis%20for%20recreational%20use.
  17. https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/these-states-could-legalize-cannabis-next
  18. https://thehia.org/hia-position-statement-on-delta-8-and-hemp-cannabinoids/
  19. https://mace.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-nancy-mace-introduces-states-reform-act
  20. https://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/clearing-criminal-records-for-cannabis-offenses.aspx
  21. https://www2.illinois.gov/osad/Expungement/Pages/Cannabis-Expungement.aspx
  22. https://www.lastprisonerproject.org/who-we-are

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between CBD and THC?

CBD and THC are both naturally-occurring cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. They have the exact same molecular structure and a slight difference in how some of the the atoms are arranged makes the difference. THC is the main psychoactive component of the plant that can make people feel high. CBD is not psychoactive and it’s used for its own benefits, without intoxication. 

Is CBD legal?

Yes, thanks to the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, hemp and hemp derived CBD were removed from the definition of marijuana and removed from the DEA controlled substances list, meaning they are federally legal to use, sell, and transport in all 50 states. 

Even though these products are federally-compliant, individual states may have their own regulations about purchasing or using hemp derived products like CBD. Please check your local regulations. 

Will CBD products show up in a marijuana drug test?

There is a risk of failing a drug test. It depends on the type of CBD product one is using. Drug tests for marijuana generally identify THC or its metabolites. Although tests do not screen for CBD, full spectrum CBD products contain low quantities of THC that can make a person fail a drug test. If you anticipate taking a drug test, we suggest checking with your employer or test administrator for clarity prior to taking full spectrum CBD products.

Is CBD safe? 

Yes, hemp and hemp derived products like CBD are safe when they are produced with proper and safe practices. Look for a product’s COA. A certificate of analysis (COA) is a document attesting to a product’s laboratory analysis and testing for cannabinoids and adulterants. It is a useful tool for CBD producers and customers to ensure quality and trust.

Earthy Now is a company, a concept, and a way of living. What does it mean and what’s the significance? The end of the year is a good time for reflecting on our relationships and values, and looking outside of ourselves for connections. Let’s explore what it means to be Earthy Now. 

Is it Earthy? 

“Earthy” is a commonly-used word to describe aspects of fragrances & flavor, people, colors, and cannabis. But it’s still hard to pin down exactly—there may not be one single definition in any of these categories because context matters. Luckily, there is a scientific basis for all of this, so let’s start there. 

Fragrance & flavor

Do you know there’s a word for the smell of rainfall on dry soil? The word is petrichor, based on the greek words for rock (petra) and for the fluid in the Greek gods’ veins (ichor) [1]. This quite literally relates to the earth becoming airborne and smelling like earth, or smelling earthy. 

Part of this mechanism involves actinomycetes, thread-like bacteria that grow in soil. When conditions are dry, actinomycetes slow down. As soil becomes damp with fresh rain, actinomycetes awake and produce a terpene called geosmin, which has a distinct musty odor associated with petrichor [2]. 

Geosmin also contributes to the aromas and flavors of beets, beans, and water. Sometimes earthy flavors are experienced as rough, course or crude, so why do people recognize it so well? The human nose can detect geosmin at very low concentrations—as low as 5 parts per million [3]. This sensitivity speaks to the connection between earthiness and people. Let’s look at that next.

An Earthy personality

Have you been described as earthy, or have you used it to characterize someone you know? People who are authentic and practical are considered “down to earth,” or simply, earthy. They aren’t in the clouds or otherworldly, they are of the earth. Sometimes that can additionally mean open and direct in dealings with others, or relate to humbleness. Earthiness can overlap with outdoorsiness too—people who have comfort in, and intimate knowledge about, nature and coexisting with it, are also called earthy. 

Generally earthy is a positive attribute for people. An archaic use of the word puts it closer to earthly, which would have a more religious based concept, indicating mortal life on earth versus the opposite heavenly or spiritual things [4]. This could still be a positive depending on your stance. 

See the colors

When designers or artists are choosing colors for their work whether that be a painting, or the interior of a building, or a clothing line, they may look at earth tones. Earth tones can be colors of the earth in different forms—soils and clays that vary widely based on location. They can also refer to colors found in nature but usually these tend toward the more drab or subtle colors in nature, not necessarily the brighter natural palettes seen in flora and fauna. Another word would be neutral colors, those that don’t clash, that can easily visually relate to their neighbors [5]. 

See a pattern here? Easy going people are earthy…easy on the eyes colors are earthy….

Smell the freedom

Do you have a favorite strain of cannabis? 

Marijuana is strictly illegal according to the United States government but 36 states and territories sanction its medicinal or adult recreational use [6]. The recent legislative changes implemented by the 2018 Farm Bill mean that the entire country now has access to cannabis in the form of hemp. 

Is hemp cannabis legal? 

Hemp and marijuana both come from the same plant, Cannabis, which naturally contains Delta-9 THC, the single cannabinoid that is under federal-control, and the main psychoactive substance in cannabis. The amount of Delta-9 THC existent in the plant material per dry weight determines the federal-compliance of the final product. The 2014 Farm Bill defined the legal limit at .3% so cannabis with less than that is considered legal hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill expanded on this, making it clear to legal experts that all other plant material and substances derived from legally-defined hemp are also federally-compliant [7]. 

Federally-compliant earthy cannabis strains

This all means that there are earthy cannabis strains available to most adult Americans! What makes them earthy? 

The cannabis experts at Leafly tell us, “the aroma of many classic cannabis strains can be described as earthy, resembling rich soil [8].” They elaborate that the qualities can be piney, woody, hashy, and fresh, as if you are experiencing a plant directly “from the ground.” Here are some recommended strains of cannabidiol (CBD) flower with the earthy flavor palette.

Locally Earthy, wherever you are

Think globally, act locally – the practical advice is so common that it’s become a cliche but still guides people who care in how to help the earth fight back against over-exploitation, pollution, and destruction. The members of the Earthy Now cannabis collective live and work in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and appreciate the earth’s beauty, importance, and fragility on a daily basis. We strive to be part of the solution—to help bring the healing power of cannabis from nature to people. 

To influence major change it’s crucial to build networks of like-minded earthy folks who can work together. We start by partnering exclusively with independent organic American farms in California, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, and Vermont. We visit each crop to see and feel the plants in nature. 

Keep cannabis clean and green

Organic agriculture is the healthy and sustainable way to respect the earth while harnessing the incredible powerhouse it is for production. It keeps our products natural and free from contaminants in inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. This is especially important for cannabis which is a bioaccumulator, meaning it is a type of plant that excels at drawing pollutants from the soil without releasing them as waste, and could be contaminated by these elements if grown in non-organic conditions [9]. Research has found that microbes, heavy metals, and pesticides are the most commonly found contaminants in cannabis intended for human consumption, and these can mean exposure to Salmonella, cadmium, fungal spores, and even carcinogenic mycotoxins [10]. It is unnatural and unnecessary to consume these harmful byproducts in cannabis and by doing things the earthy way, we avoid the dangers.

Keeping things real, natural and clean are earthy attributes we celebrate in our business and lives. 

Why now

Why wait? Humans have effectively used cannabis for millennia. Americans are no different and our culture is thankfully finally starting to address a misguided war on drugs and its devastating effects on our fellow citizens, friends and families. There is a changing public understanding of cannabis and an eagerness to use it legally. We have more states develop medical and adult recreational use programs every year, despite the continued federal criminalization of marijuana. We have opportunities to use federally-compliant hemp-derived cannabinoids including THC in the stubborn states due to the gains made through the Farm Bills. 

Cannabis is a gift from the earth and there is no better time to share its healing power. With the current surge of pro-cannabis activity, decades of backward and inequitable prosecution and persecution of those who embrace cannabis for its natural benefits can be overcome. Our human endocannabinoid system has evolved to specifically access cannabis’s benefits, connecting our brains and bodies to the earthy way of being, in the past, today and for the future. 

We invite you to join us in our efforts. We are Earthy Now and forever. 

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrichor
  2. https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-11-01/What-causes-the-earthy-smell-after-rain–Lgf4vwSxIA/index.html
  3. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/molecule-of-the-week/archive/g/geosmin.html
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/earthy
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_tone
  6. https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx
  7. https://thehia.org/hia-position-statement-on-delta-8-and-hemp-cannabinoids/
  8. https://www.leafly.com/news/strains-products/cannabis-strains-with-earthy-flavors
  9. https://santelabs.com/2020/07/hemp-bioaccumulation-the-good-and-the-bad/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6177718/

Earthy Select Delta-8 Delta-10 Full spectrum oils

Terpenes are all around us and are what makes things have smells—they are the “scent molecules of nature [1].” They are not found only in cannabis, although cannabis does seem to have a special relationship with terpenes. The holiday season is upon us so it’s a good time to look at how these wondrous chemicals can help us share the best of times with our families and friends. 

Terpenes in the world

There are over 20,000 terpenes in nature. Most plants produce terpenes, which are responsible for creating aromas and are the building blocks of essential oils. Flowers, leaves, roots, flowers, and some animals produce terpenes [2]. Terpenes are wide-ranging in their potential roles in a plant and are used for everything from attracting pollinators to recovering from damage [2].  

A particularly impressive plant use of terpenes was found in a 2005 study. Researchers found that when damaged by a herbivore, the Arabidopsis thaliana plant, or thale cress, releases terpenoids that attract carnivorous mites to help defend the plant [3]. 

Terpenes affect people too. Inhaling scents from plants and essential oils can alter a person’s mood and stress levels [2]. This is known as aromatherapy and offers claims for improving psychological or physical well-being. Terpenes can also be used topically via essential oils, which aren’t actually oils. Rather, they are a combination of terpenes, alcohols, and esters that act like an oil when distilled [2]. 

Common sources

Some common sources rich in terpenes are easily recognizable. For instance, orange essential oil comes from the rind of sweet oranges and it is almost 95% limonene, but also contains over a dozen other terpenes [4]. Studies show that orange essential oil has effectiveness against some types of bacteria and fungi, and has additional therapeutic benefits [5]. 

Pine trees give us the most common terpene, pinene. It is produced by conifer trees and other plants [6]. Pinene is used in turpentine, fungicidal agents, flavors, fragrances, and antiviral and antimicrobial agents [7]. A range of pharmacological activities have been reported, such as antibiotic resistance modulation, anticoagulant, antitumor, antimicrobial, antimalarial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects [7]. 

Terpenes in cannabis

Cannabis has over 150 terpenes across various strains. The mix of which ones exist, and the levels of each in a particular strain are responsible for the strain’s aroma and flavor profile, and perhaps its effect set [8]. Due to inconsistency in genetics and production methods, the terpene set in a strain can vary a bit crop to crop [8]. 

Common terpenes in cannabis

Myrcene – Earthy, clove-like citrus scent. Has the ability to enhance absorption through the skin, and may increase the effect of other cannabinoids. Known for relaxing effects of its own. 

Limonene – Bright, citrusy scent. Limonene’s uplifting aroma can act as a mood elevator.

Pinene – Fresh, earthy, pine tree scent. As a therapeutic remedy, it can be used to evoke the inspiration of a pine forest.

Caryophyllene – Spicy and peppery scent. The only terpene that binds to CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which makes it a helpful ingredient for therapeutic purposes. 

Linalool – Sweet, floral scent. This terpene is at the center of lavender’s relaxing properties. 

Eucalyptol – Cooling, minty scent. Evokes clarity, refreshment, and creativity. 

Entourage effect 

Part of the special relationship between cannabis and terpenes involves the entourage effect. “The entourage effect is a proposed mechanism by which cannabis compounds other than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) act synergistically with it to modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant [9]” 

Other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids may all be part of an entourage effect, aiding the efficacy of all the components of the plant. Without it, some cannabinoids don’t seem to work the same way. Scientists have found that the mixture of all the components of the plant has different effects than isolated compounds. GW Pharmaceuticals, makers of one of the only sanctioned cannabis-based drugs, Sativex (called nabiximols in the U.S.), found that a whole plant extract was more effective than a single compound for certain therapies [9]. Another researcher said that single component drugs like Marinol, a synthetic THC pill, have less therapeutic value than those with more cannabinoids [10]. 

Research on the entourage effect is still relatively minimal and some scientists want more data before being convinced of the effect and any benefits it provides [11].  But some producers lean on the popular anecdotal notions of entourage effect and see an opportunity to create custom blends of terpenes and cannabinoids in order to offer consumers specific designed effects [10].

Top terps

The holidays can be fun and celebratory times you get to spend with loved ones. or frustrating and depressing trials you have to spend with them. Terpenes can help you through either way. Here are some top terpenes and how their aromatic goodness will enhance your holidays. 

Caryophyllene – This terpene is prominent in common spices like basil, rosemary, cinnamon, oregano, lavender, cloves, black pepper. These all appear in our favorite holiday recipes so caryophyllene will be a big part of enjoying the season! In addition to imparting deliciousness and complexity to our food, the terpene has been used to enhance relaxation in aromatherapy properties which e a good thing for holiday stresses too. 

Limonene – This terpene is a mood lifter to keep spirits up for shopping, decorating, and event preparation. Try some after a meal, especially if you tend to overindulge at the previously mentioned smorgasbord. Don’t forget the clean up – limonene is very common in cleaning products, for when the party is over. As everyone pitches in, the limonene aroma will keep it fun. 

Linalool – This terpene gives lavender its rich sweet scent and is responsible for the relaxation people experience when inhaling lavender. With all of the family activities and shopping this time of year, linalool can help you deal with the crowds and relatives you don’t quite get along with, and other holiday stressors. 

Humulene – This terpene is prominent in hops. Hops are of course in beer and add a bitter balance to malt’s sweetness while contributing to the aroma and flavor. Many of us will enjoy this earthy, woody terpene in beer and other alcoholic beverages for fun and easing into the festivities. Non-drinkers can enjoy hops as an herb! 

Myrcene – This terpene is found in high quantities in cannabis. It helps the efficacy of other cannabinoids and seems to be a major factor in the entourage effect, as well as producing its own relaxation effects. A pre-roll or gummy might be just what you need to really enjoy the holidays. Thanks to the Farm Bill, even if you are not in a state that gives you the freedom to use cannabis for medical or adult recreational use, you can enjoy premium hemp derived products to gain the benefits of myrcene. 

Primed for success

Now that you know a little more about what these chemical compounds are and do, we hope you put your nose to use and get to know them better. Terpenes are all around us and the holiday season is a great time to start exploring their characteristics and effects. Check out the references below to learn more and we hope you have fun this holiday season!

References

  1. https://hemptonfarms.com/blog/terpenes-guide/
  2. Freedman, Andrew. Terpenes for well being: A comprehensive guide to botanical aromas for emotional and self-care, Mango Publishing, Florida, 2021
  3. https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.1116232
  4. https://www.scielo.br/j/gmb/a/nFwzVgKfDfCSn7VQ8bf9xWh/?lang=en#:~:text=The%20terpenes%20that%20constitute%20the,valencene%2C%20and%20d%2Dcadinene.
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/orange-essential-oil-uses
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinene
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6920849/
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168945219301190
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entourage_effect
  10. https://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/11/health/gupta-marijuana-entourage/index.html
  11. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/some-of-the-parts-is-marijuana-rsquo-s-ldquo-entourage-effect-rdquo-scientifically-valid/

Earthy Select Delta-8 Delta-10 Full spectrum oils

Cannabinol or CBN is increasingly available on the market in a variety of forms, often suggested for relaxation or as a sleep aid. Where does it come from, and what’s it good for? This article will take a look into this famous cannabinoid. 

What is CBN? 

CBN is a cannabinoid and a cannabinoid is simply a chemical substance found in the cannabis plant (1), and there are over 100 identified cannabinoids (2). CBN is found in low concentration in the plant and is mainly a product of the aging of tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCa). When cannabis is aged, THCa in the plant converts to cannabolic acid (CBNa), and when decarboxylated by air,  heat or light, converts to CBN (3). 

CBN is considered to have psychotropic properties, and can have up to 25% potency compared to Delta-9 THC (4). 

Like cannabidinol (CBD), CBN is available in many products such as gummies or sublingual oils, and taken by people for its therapeutic effects. With CBN consumers generally include relaxation and sleepiness as reasons why they use it, but cannabinoids of all kinds affect people differently depending on their personal chemistry, dosage level, and other factors. 

Is CBN legal? 

Yes but that may depend on its source. Hemp and marijuana both come from the same plant, Cannabis, which naturally contains Delta-9 THC, the single cannabinoid that is under federal-control, and the main psychoactive substance in cannabis. The amount of Delta-9 THC existent in the plant material per dry weight determines the federal-compliance of the final product. The 2014 Farm Bill defined the legal limit at .3% so cannabis with less than that is considered legal hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill expanded on this, making it clear to legal experts that all other plant material and substances derived from legally-defined hemp are also federally-compliant (5). 

Under current federal regulatory conditions, people are able to make, sell, buy, and use products made with CBN, as long as the amount of delta-9 THC is under .3% of the source materials’s dry weight and the product is from hemp. 

History

Cannabinol is “famous” for being the first cannabinoid to be isolated from cannabis in the late 1800s (6), the first to have its structure determined in the early 1930s, then being the first to be synthesized in 1940 (6). Early research from the 1940s and 50s found that CBN had psychotropic qualities of THC, but at much lower potency (6). 

Major research into cannabinoids was largely stymied in the United States because of a decades-long racially-motivated prohibition on the plant (7). However, the Farm Bills’ changes have prompted renewed interest and there has been research on CBN for its sedative, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-MRSA properties (4).

Manufacturing

CBN can be extracted from hemp and for the end products to be federally-compliant, it must come from hemp. The methodologies detailed here are not exhaustive but intended to give an overview. 

Enrich the content

Natural aging is one way to produce CBN in cannabis, regardless of type or strain. THC in hemp oxidizes to CBN when exposed to oxygen and light. This is part of the decarboxylation process, which activates compounds in cannabis (8). Applying heat is a common strategy to accelerate the process. Typically a lower temperature is used for decarboxylation but higher temperatures over 150° C may be useful for increasing CBN amounts in biomass, and may be able to remediate concentrations of THC higher than the federally-compliant level of .3% Delta-9 per dry weight (9). 

Ultraviolet light may be an alternative to heat for the same effect since light also facilitates the CBN conversion (9). These methods are to increase CBN in the plant material so its biomass is primed for extraction of the CBN. 

Go Live

The extraction process is similar to that used for most popular cannabinoids but can vary a bit per material type. One version of CBN extraction begins by soaking the biomass in a solvent of choice (typically either CO2 or ethanol) to separate out the terpenes and cannabinoids from the biomass. The resulting solution is put into an evaporator that uses heat and a vacuum to remove the solvent. This results in a refined CBN crude extract concentrate which is then further distilled to create a purified distillate (3). 

In CO2 extraction, carbon dioxide is pressurized in metal tanks until it becomes a supercritical fluid, then the fluid pulls out the desirable compounds from the hemp flower. The fluid is then separated, leaving only concentrates. Ethanol extraction is done by soaking raw hemp in ethanol to pull trichomes into the solvent. The solid material is then removed; the liquid is filtered and the alcohol purged from the extracted material (10). 

There is an additional “one-pot” process, patented in 2020, that converts hemp CBD to CBN using a solvent plus iodine (14). This method mixes toluene with biomass to maximize and extract cannabinoids, then uses iodine to convert the resulting solution to CBN in a catalytic conversion (15). 

Producers say that there is no single best method for extraction, rather that depends on the particular goals. Some think ethanol is the most efficient method, but that CO2 better preserves the cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as the flavonoids and carotenoids in the final product, retaining more of  the whole plant’s essence (11). The iodine method is touted as being overall simpler and more efficient than the others (14). 

Uses and outlook

CBN is widely considered to be sedating. This idea may originate from a common assumption that older cannabis has a more sedating effect due to the natural concentration of CBN that accumulates in it over time. Anecdotal experience with older marijuana causing sleepiness may also be a factor in this idea. However there may be other reasons for this reaction. 

It may be that the combination of CBN and THC actually causes the drowsiness factor, due to the entourage effect’s synergistic treatment of both cannabinoids. Entourage effect refers to how the interaction of various cannabinoids present in a particular cannabis product may alter the effect on the consumer (12). Even the small amount of THC in hemp (less than .3% per dry weight) can add to the entourage effect without producing the intoxication associated with higher THC cannabis.

Another possibility is that rather than the CBN in older cannabis causing the sedative effects, it could be the older terpenes. In older cannabis, “the monoterpenoids have evaporated leaving the more sedating oxygenated sesquiterpenoids,” according to Dr. Ethan Russo, neurologist and cannabis researcher (13). So the CBN to sedation relationship may be better described as correlative but not causative. 

Is CBN right for you? 

Whether or not you are familiar with using CBD you may find a benefit to using CBN. For a new consumer it can be a gentle onboarding to the effects of hemp derived cannabinoids. For a more experienced consumer, CBN may be better able to target a desired therapeutic need state.

No matter your experience level, trying CBN for yourself is the way to know first hand if it’s right for you. Remember to always purchase from a reputable brand that independently tests their products for safety, purity, and potency.

References

  1. https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/cannabinoids/
  2. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know
  3. https://deltaseparations.com/how-to-extract-cbn-oil-cannabinoil/
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1054358917300273
  5. https://thehia.org/hia-position-statement-on-delta-8-and-hemp-cannabinoids/
  6. https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/sj.bjp.0706406
  7. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/how-we-rise/2020/06/23/marijuanas-racist-history-shows-the-need-for-comprehensive-drug-reform/
  8. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/what-is-decarboxylation
  9. https://extractionmagazine.com/2020/08/24/converting-thc-to-cbn/
  10. https://mjbizdaily.com/choosing-the-right-cannabis-extraction-method/
  11. https://mjbizmagazine.com/digital-issues/2018-10-Oct/60/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/
  13. https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-cbn-and-what-are-the-benefits-of-this-cannabinoid
  14. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.7b00946
  15. https://patents.justia.com/patent/10954208