CBD Oil Hype
Cannabis is really hitting the headlines these days following the legalisation of recreational cannabis in California, and Donald Trump’s recent statement on allowing states to follow their own laws on cannabis without federal harassment will no doubt amplify interest. Everybody wants in on the miracle of medical marijuana, and why not?
CBD is often hailed as one of the most medically effective of the cannabinoids found within cannabis – which it is. However, there are now many different types of CBD appearing on the market for sale, and most of them are not made using actual cannabis plants but are manufactured using hemp instead.
These products have gained popularity as they are legal and do not contain THC, (one of the cannabinoids that can get you ‘high’).
However, for CBD to be most effective it needs other cannabinoids to be present along with it. Stand alone pure CBD extract is never going to be as powerful as oils that have been made using the whole plant material. More on that later.
This really is a buyer beware situation, and whilst there are reputable companies making hemp based CBD, there are subtle but important differences between these different oils.
The Charlotte Figi Story
Sanjay Gupta brought the truth about medical cannabis to millions with his excellent documentary ‘Weed’ which covered the heart wrenching tale of Charlotte Figi, a young girl suffering from severe epilepsy, known as Dravet’s syndrome.
Out in Colorado her parents managed to track down cannabis plants being grown with low THC and high CBD by the Stanley brothers. Oil was made directly from these plants, and it is that oil that successfully brought down Charlotte’s seizures from hundreds a week to virtually none. This was not oil made from hemp plants.
This remarkable discovery has driven media stories such as this, which are misleading the public by claiming that hemp CBD was what was used on Charlotte Figi. This is the kind of dangerous misinformation we in the UK are subject to as a result of the illegal and unregulated cannabis market here.
Though there are changes on the horizon.
Industrial Hemp = Less Cannabinoids
Extracting CBD from the hemp plant, whilst completely viable, does require a lot more hemp than extracting it from the cannabis plant (due to the smaller amounts of CBD found in hemp.)
The implications of this are many. Larger amounts of plant matter mean more chance of any contaminants from the soil finding their way into the CBD that has been extracted in this way. CBD extractions from the cannabis plant can be achieved using much smaller plant numbers minimizing the above undesirable effect.
Also, there are less medically useful cannabinoids found in hemp to go along with the CBD. This is crucial to the CBD having its full beneficial range. This is known as the ‘Entourage Effect’.
The Entourage Effect
Known as the ‘Entourage Effect’ and recently discovered in Israel (where much serious cannabis research goes on), this quality means that whole cannabinoids will always act more effectively when they are in their natural state, along with other cannabinoids.
Extracting cannabinoids so that you only have pure CBD for example, means that the CBD is less effective than if it had been left in its original state with other cannabinoids. This is not great news for pharmaceutical companies (who tend to concentrate on isolating individual components of a plant to use as medicines.)
So, if you are looking to treat a serious illness with CBD, you need to take this into account. Most CBD that is sold over the counter in the UK will be hemp based CBD and will therefore not have the same effect as what is known as ‘whole plant extract’.
So whilst these new CBD products appearing throughout the UK may be legal as they contain only CBD, they are not the same thing as having a ‘whole plant extract’ from the cannabis plant, which has much more medical potency than a basic CBD extract.
Will the real CBD Oil Stand Up Please?
But where on earth do you get hold of the full plant extract oil if you too want to treat your child or loved one? One place we can recommend that seems to be doing the the real thing is a company called CBD Brothers. They produce full plant extract CBD from cannabis plants and provide detailed information on their website about their methods.
CBD Brothers also recommend this Facebook group for getting further information on CBD in the UK.
In the news recently a company called Savage Cabbage appear to be selling the genuine full plant extract oil made by the Stanley brothers in Colorado.
There is medical evidence that CBD can kill cancer cells in humans. This government study suggests so -although studies in the UK are a long way off yet, despite knowledge about the antitumoural qualities of cannabis being known by the US government in 1974.
However, these types of studies are certainly not carried out using CBD oil that you can buy in Holland and Barrett. That is an entirely different matter.
Whilst their oil may offer some medical benefits, this is not something to try out on a cancer patient. If you want to treat a serious disease then getting hold of the proper oil, a full plant extract, is going to be your by far your best course of action.