One of the most experienced practitioners in this field is Los Angeles physician Bonni Goldstein, who has used the compound to treat dozens of children with intractable epilepsy. She says about half of these patients have seen a significant drop in the number of seizures. “Used in the right way, with the right patient, CBD is extremely powerful,” she says.
My mom suffers from a chronic neurological condition called cervical dystonia which causes her neck to be in constant spasm. Very constant pain. Anyone familiar? If so, any recommendations. She’s prescribed Vicodin which she takes 3times a day but eventually it stops working and she has to get it all out of her system for weeks before starting up again. She also gets quarterly Botox injections in her neck.
Cannabinoids are divided into three groups. The first are naturally occurring 21-carbon terpenophenolic compounds found to date solely in plants of the Cannabis genus, currently termed phytocannabinoids (Pate 1994). The best known analgesic of these is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (henceforth, THC)(Figure 1), first isolated and synthesized in 1964 (Gaoni and Mechoulam 1964). In plant preparations and whole extracts, its activity is complemented by other “minor” phytocannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) (Figure 1), cannabis terpenoids and flavonoids, as will be discussed subsequently.
How is it different, you might ask? Well, for one thing all of their products are made from actual hemp seeds as opposed to the stems and stalks of the plant. It’s well-known that the natural oils secreted from hemp seeds are more nutrient-dense than other parts of the plant, but a lot of companies out there steer clear of using them as a CBD source because it is much easier to extract the raw material from the fibrous stalk and stems.
And of course, THC is what most recreational weed users are looking for, which is probably why botanists have figured out since the 1960’s how to increase the amount of THC from around 3% to 5% in the 1960s to as much as 28% in our current decade. So yes, it’s true that we’re not smoking the weed our parents smoked, and one draw on a typical joint these days would probably knock your mom on her ass.
As Kane leads me around his lab, I see the excitement on his face and on the faces of his young staff. The place feels almost like a start-up company. “So much of science is incremental,” he says, “but with this cannabis work, the science will not be incremental. It will be transformative. Transformative not just in our understanding of the plant but also of ourselves—our brains, our neurology, our psychology. Transformative in terms of the biochemistry of its compounds. Transformative in terms of its impact across several different industries, including medicine, agriculture, and biofuels. It may even transform part of our diet—hemp seed is known to be a ready source of a very healthy, protein-rich oil.”
As with a fermented food like kombucha, slight natural variations are normal and to be expected in a product such as CBD oil because it is made from living plants. Changes in the weather, soil, and water can all impact the biology of the source material. While we verify Certificates of Analysis (and take many other criteria into consideration during our review process), even the most reputable five-star companies have no way to control for every variable in this organic process.
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Perhaps even more challenging for those looking for treatment is discovering the dose that might work best for their particular condition. That’s because so much remains unknown about CBD, including how it works, says Norbert Kaminski, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University and director of the Institute for Integrative Toxicology.
CBD oil is similar to other products in that it is capable of being “watered down.” Some companies will try to eke out a higher profit margin by fooling their customers into thinking they’re getting more for less. It is important to pay attention to the concentration level of the CBD oil you’re buying in order to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for. Although concentrations of CBD can vary quite a bit across the broad range of CBD products, a quality product will start off having somewhere between 250mg to 1,000mg per fluid ounce. This matters because if you were to purchase a 4 ounce bottle that contained 250mg of CBD, your concentration would be a mere 62.5 mg of CBD per ounce – hardly enough to reap the full benefits of CBD. It’s always important to look at the concentration level of the CBD you’re buying.
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