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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Three Letters to Become Familiar With: CBD

Mar 30, 2016 09:02PM
by Katherine Leo
Most people familiar with cannabis know all about THC, the component of marijuana that gets you “stoned.” But thanks in part to Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s recent support of medical marijuana, there is high demand instead for an extract of a strain of medical marijuana that contains almost no THC and much more of a compound called CBD.

Unlike THC, CBD (cannabidiol) is not psychoactive, but it confers many of the health benefits that medical marijuana users are seeking. Dr. Gupta’s CNN medical marijuana specials exposed the amazing health benefits of CBD for the first time on a mainstream news channel. The specials, entitled Weed: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports, showed patients using high-CBD cannabis oil to reduce seizures in children and to successfully treat other health issues.

In a truly groundbreaking move by a medical doctor, Sanjay Gupta noted that, in some cases, children with epilepsy were able to reduce their seizures from dozens per day down to zero. These incredible results from a non-psychoactive (this is important for people afraid of getting themselves or their children “high”) plant extract are so promising that parents of severely ill children are uprooting their families to legal marijuana states like Colorado, hoping to acquire some of this marijuana extract for their children. Even when these families relocate, they will have to be patient; high CBD marijuana oil is only legally available in Colorado and the waiting list is hundreds of families long.

Take a moment to think about CBD as a brand-new discovery (it isn’t, but more on that in a moment).  Are you able to consider it outside of the decades of misinformation and fear surrounding the cannabis plant? What if cannabis were discovered in the Amazon jungle just this year? What would experts and scientists have to say about not only the incredible oils, protein and other medicinal-quality substances found in the plant? What would public opinion look like?

Think about this: Scientists have known about CBD for nearly five decades. In fact, the U.S. government holds a patent on the therapeutic use of CBD (and other major cannabinoids—like THC) that indicates that they think CBD is a powerful anti-oxidant. The big question: Is CBD legal? According to the news and the government, that depends on which plant it comes from.

Families are being torn apart in their quest for CBD thanks to the many legal issues associated with marijuana-derived CBD oil. They face potential child protective services interventions, accusations of drug-trafficking outside legalized state lines and restrictions against marijuana oils—plus they fear the misunderstandings from their neighbors, who might think they are exposing their children to street drugs.

There is good news: The public needs to know that there is a legal alternative to medical marijuana-based CBD oil that is available in all 50 states that is not made from marijuana, but from hemp.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about industrial hemp-based CBD oil products, there’s a reason for it. There is a fear that industrial hemp is the same thing as marijuana. Here’s how to think about the difference between hemp—like the hemp products you see in natural food stores—and marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are to cannabis the way oranges and lemons are to citrus. THC levels in marijuana are naturally high (no pun intended), while CBD content is low. The opposite is true with hemp; there are significant levels of CBD in hemp and THC is naturally and virtually non-existent. That difference is why you see hemp oils, hemp protein, even hemp clothing in stores all-around the country.

The medical cannabis movement continues to research the therapeutic properties of THC, but research continues to reveal the immense health benefits of CBD--people are healthy, not high, with CBD.

Katherine Leo is the owner of CBDRevolutionUS and provides information about hemp CBD oil products at



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