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Throughout this past year we have had a quick moving momentum towards cannabis being normalized and legalized at the state level and we are still working towards a federal legalization every day. In early 2018 hemp was federally legalized when the Farm Bill was passed by congress. So, what does this mean for the average consumer that is interested in using CBD?

Now, remember that CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that allows people to enjoy the therapeutic uses of cannabis with out having the mind alternating changes of THC and other mildly psychoactive cannabinoids. For a product to be considered hemp derived, the plant that the medicine was produced from must have less than 0.3% THC levels when tested and would have high levels CBD. Some of the benefits that CBD has been shown to have are anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, insomnia relief, and is an immunosuppressant. Many throughout our community and around the country are very interested in how this cannabinoid can help them but may not want to run into the issues of having THC in their system for a multitude of reasons. So, what is the best option for the average person who wants to have the benefit of using CBD?

Both cannabis derived products (such as what you could purchase at our store, Dixon Wellness) and hemp-based products would have the benefits of CBD. Cannabis derived products that have a state level regulatory system, have processes in place for testing and enforcement of non-complaint cultivators and retailers. These processes are what ensure that the product does not have any harmful pesticides, mold, mildew or other problematic ingredients. It will also ensure the proper milligram levels and potency of the cannabinoids are properly listed on the product. Historically hemp is best known for it’s industrial uses such as textiles, clothing, rope and paper. Cannabis produces more flowers than hemp, which produces resins, making cannabinoids that are the active ingredient found in cannabis derived products at a dispensary. With hemp being more of a textile plant, by nature it pulls more of the toxins and heavy metals out of the soil, which in turn is integrated into the plant. Then these same toxins, now concentrated, can be integrated into the products brought to market. Without proper testing of the hemp derived CBD products, which currently does not exist, it is not as safe of an option then cannabis products that can be purchased at your local dispensary. The products we provide go through a multitude of tests done by a state licensed laboratory. These lab results allow us to know that the products are free from pesticides, mold, mildew, and heavy metals that could be harmful to our bodies.

Another portion to consider is when you have CBD products that are made with CBD isolates. This is meaning that the plant is processed down to only the CBD molecule and does not have any terpenes or other cannabinoids within the isolate. Many studies have shown that we react best to consuming CBD in conjunction with other cannabinoids and terpenes promoting what is called “The Entourage Effect”. When you have all the elements of the plant it is found to be more efficacious, meaning you will not need as much to get the results that you are looking for. This makes cannabis derived items, more effective than the hemp derived products.

For many of us in the cannabis industry, we understand why people need to use hemp derived products rather than cannabis derived. It is known that many people need to be able to have the therapeutic uses of CBD without the effects of THC. There still needs to be a conversation about where the products were sourced when hemp derived. Cannabis products have sourcing information and potency levels on the packaging. In California, cannabis companies are held to this standard to ensure safe consumption for the consumer. There is an exposé in the media showing laboratories going out into the market testing Hemp derived CBD products and finding high levels of lead, heavy metals, incorrect milligrams listed, and pesticides within the samples. It is always best to go with an item that has been lab tested for safe consumption. Without the assurance of the lab testing it cannot be guaranteed if the contents are as advertised.

After the passing of the Farm Bill, many states that have legalization in place are prepared to roll out the commercial hemp industry. California has already released regulations allowing for commercial hemp to be cultivated, meaning there will be more hemp derived products on the market soon. This will give the average consumer the right to choose between two safe products.

Haley Andrew

Director of Dixon Wellness

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