CBD – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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THE GOOD

CBD: the MIRACLE of the MODERN WORLD! But, is it?

SO MUCH has been written about the benefits, the lack of negative effects etc., that there’s probably not much more to say, or learn about this miraculous Cannabinoid…right?

No such luck.

The problem is, the more we learn, the more we find out just HOW MUCH we NEED to learn.

We have BARELY scratched the surface of our knowledge of this Cannabinoid, and that is still after intense study in other countries and the US.

People like Raphael Mechoulam are important of course, but also people that paved the way, pioneering breeding and extraction methodologies and techniques, and creating new and unique strains from landrace genetics need to be recognized.

Legendary, in many cases, unsung heroes include folks like ‘D. Gold’, Dave Watson, Mel Frank, Robert Connell Clark, Jorges Cervantes, Ed Rosenthal, Lawrence Ringo, Kenneth Murrow, Marcus ‘Bubbleman’ Richardson, Marc And Jody Emory, Jack Herer, Cami ‘Frenchy’ Cannolli, and the myriad of others, all over the world (I KNOW I am leaving many more recent additions to this list out, so I apologize in advance).

These pioneers took the risks, worked diligently, against all odds at times, and laid the groundwork for this emerging industry over the past 50+ years.

Also, there is a volume of additional research available, done by the US government (clandestinely, of course, done mostly in the ‘50s and 60’s). Need proof? Do an Internet search on “CBD cures Cancer”.

Below the paid ads, you’ll find a plethora of links to research done by the National Institute of Health (NIH.gov) on the benefits of CBD when administered to rats and mice, on a myriad of illnesses/ailments/disorders. This is where I found research specific to an issue I was having with my kidneys.

I originally researched that almost 9 years ago, and the information was readily available then on the website. The fact is, there is a very large volume of good information available.

The problems that CBD is having today, are (and they are a multitude):

1. The INTERNET. First and foremost, the INTERNET is our best hope, and our worst nightmare. There is FAR TOO MUCH misinformation, confusion, untested theories, armchair physicians and just plain LIES, both intentional, and, the saddest, unintentional (ordinary people with too much time on their hands, just trolling and saying whatever comes to mind, not even thinking about the patients that are literally DYING if they do the wrong thing).

2. Worldwide STANDARDS. There are no worldwide standards, and this has rapidly become a worldwide phenomenon — without testing standards that are uniform worldwide, we can’t move forward effectively with CBD as medicine, globally, or locally.

3. DOSING. Accurate, by-the-milligram dosing is key to the success of CBD and Cannabis medicine and, much more than that, using, promoting and endorsing ONLY full-spectrum (complete with minor cannabinoids and terpenes) oils to begin with. They can be blended oils, but full-spectrum, all.)

4. RELIABLE TREATMENT. The treatment of major illnesses, specifically, and overall aging and health issues, more generally need to be addressed, separately and with special attention given to the “macro-vs-micro” nature of the treatment.

Large, concentrated doses given with an aggressive frequency vs. small doses given at regular intervals daily.

We find, very frequently, that “less-is-more”, and smaller, regular doses work amazingly well in many if not most situations, outside of seriously ill or dying patients.

But without standards, trying to recommend treatment to ANYONE outside our tiny sphere of influence is hugely problematic, to say the least.

One of the biggest problems is that even CBD isolate is somewhat effective some of the time, for some specific simpler maintenance heal issues, but is ineffective to a large degree for much more ill and debilitated patients, that need MUCH more aggressive and complete medicines, therapies and regimes to heal and recover quickly.

Some patients just don’t have the luxury of time on their side to be treated ineptly by someone, who, maybe with the best intentions, is endangering their ability to heal in time to save their lives.

THE BAD

We have pulled the shroud back on CBD, and what we know now, is that the more COMPLETE the cannabinoid and terpene content of oil taken directly from the trichomes (the round, glistening “heads” of them on the outside of the plant sparkle in the light, causing the birth of the misnomer “crystals”), the more effective the medicine is proving to be at CURING these issues, not just masking symptoms.

There are HUGE disparities between:

1. CBD isolate

2. Whole-plant CBD oil from Hemp (meaning the hemp that has had MOST other Cannbinoids, terpenes and other essential compounds systematically bred out of the plant over the past 100 years), but manufactured here in the US under SOME standards.

3. Whole-plant CBD oil from Hemp, manufactured in other parts of the world, with ZERO standards, from paste made from the stalks, (many times extracted with gasoline, turpentine or wood alcohols) which yield a very low-grade, sometimes even poisonous product.

4. Whole-plant, Full-spectrum oil from Cannabis strains bred and processed in the US by reputable methods, but fully decarboxylated, so it doesn’t contain the acid form of CBD.

5. Whole-plant, Full-spectrum oil created directly from the fresh trichome with minimal to no heat, preserving the pristine oil comprising of all of the compounds contained in the trichome head from KNOWN strain sources that have been thoroughly analyzed, categorized (CBD-rich/dominant, THC-rich/dominant, and wide spectrum ‘blends’ of a myriad of Cannabinoids with varying amounts of both CBD and THC together in one strain), tested and grown out to achieve a “standardized version” of the strain that can yield exacting results.

These trichome heads/stalks have been harvested for thousands of years as kif, hash, churras or resin — but for all of these names, it is just a compact factory/reservoir for the plant’s oil, which contains Cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds.

The husks of the trichomes can be removed, either through chemical or mechanical means, yielding a pure, whole-plant oil — this is the magical medical capability and part of this plant.

There are many other benefits and uses for this plant, but specifically, only these trichome heads contain the medicine produced by this plant.

Now, I am not saying you won’t benefit from other uses of this plant, but for medicine, trichomes are the key.

One of the newer methods for separating these “husks” from the oil is called a “rosin” press. What this is, actually, is just a hydraulic press that is temperature-controlled, that can literally SQUEEZE resin out of the trichomes of the plant, either directly from a fresh bud, or by loading fresh kif/hash (just the trichomes) into a mesh bag and pressing the oil out.

This is one of the better ways of recovering the oil in a pristine manner without using solvents or chemicals, although we have come up with some new methodologies, based on science, ancient methods, and combining new and old technologies to great the most full-spectrum oil out of the plant without any residual solvents or, most importantly, without any degradation of some of the more delicate and lighter Cannabinoids and terpenes.

They have a tendency to convert to other compounds in the presence of heat, light, pressure, etc. — all of which has been disregarded or ignored in the past through negligence or simply ignorance of the science of these compounds.

With all of that said, Sub-zero, simple ethanol washes are still one of the simplest, effective, efficient methods for lay persons and patients to artisan folks looking to make the best medicines.

Then either through slow evaporation (if you are making medicines to preserve the acid forms (CBDa, THCa, CBGa — without converting to active forms), or through slow low heat, which decarboxylates as it evaporates the ethanol.

If you use both methods, then you can selectively blend Cannabinoid-rich compounds that contain a wider spectrum of Cannabinoids and Terpenes than when ONLY using active compounds created when heat is applied, which removes a carboxyl group (Carbon Dioxide – CO2). Hence the term, “decarboxylate”.

THE UGLY

So, what have we learned…?

CBD and other Cannbinoids tend to be panaceas for many illnesses, because our bodies wane in the production of Cannabinoids by our Endocannabinoid systems as we age.

Because humans in large part, all over the world, had this plant ripped away from them in the dark of night, before anyone realized what was going on (never mind that NO ONE could foresee the dire consequences of this single action, commandeered by the US, but followed by the rest of the world because of import laws regarding Cannabis, aka Hemp.

This single action, has crippled a large segment of humanity’s Endocannabinoid systems, and has exposed us to more than 23 different aggressive cancers, immune system disorders, and other diseases. This is why these simple compounds, existing for millennia, yield such REMARKABLE RESULTS when taken internally.

They REBALANCE our complete Endocannabinoid system, which is solely responsible for monitoring and REGULATING the flow of compounds and chemicals in our bodies…which has been lacking for so long.

B A L A N C E.

However, the lack of strain identification, genetic profiling and a more standardized naming convention, to allow solid, repeatable, uniform results from each strain is paramount to taming the medical benefits of this plant.

We are DESPERATE for accurate, reliable strain identification/classification, potency, purity, compound identification and formulation, and dosage information if we are to move forward with these compounds as medicines.

Until that happens, our hands are tied when it comes to bringing reputable, standardized medicines to the world.

Words by Fred Delisio

Originally published in Weed World Magazine issue 131

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