The ABC’s of Cannabis, CBD and THC
Feb 28, 2020 09:30AM
By Wendell Fowler
To understand the current phenomena of CBD oil from genus cannabis sativa, we must first clear the purple haze, lift the stigmatic veil and follow the ancient plant medicine’s role through history.
MerryJane.com states cannabis evolved in Tibet 28 more than million years ago. It wasn’t until 2737 BCE that there is written evidence of cannabis as medicine and in spirituality. Hindu poems tell how the god Shiva brought the cannabis plant down from the Himalayas and gave it to mankind. Rastafarians believe cannabis is mentioned in Psalm 104:14, “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the service of man.” And in Revelation 22:2, “The herb is the healing of the nations.”
Emperor Shen-Nung developed topical hemp oils and teas to aid in pain relief. Disocorides wrote a pharmacopeia listing the medical benefits of hemp, including assisting with ear pain, stomach-related issues, and burns. The Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics claims that eighth- and ninth-century Arabic physicians used its diuretic, antiemetic, anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory, painkilling and antipyretic properties. By the seventeenth century, hemp made it to North America and was grown in Jamestown and other colonies for use in clothing, building materials and sails. In 1619, the Virginia Assembly passed a law mandating each farmer to grow hemp.
Today, it seems everybody and their uncle, even convenience stores, tout “The Best CBD Oil.” It’s important to know if the hype is justified, which brands are purest, if CBD will get one high and, in essence, what is THC.
Natural botanical hemp produces pure hemp oil derived from the stalk and seed of cannabis (hemp) plants. Oil extracted from hemp is naturally abundant in CBD, and low in THC, which means taking hemp oil will not get you stoned. From toddlers to grandparents— it’s safe and legal for everyone to take. NIH.gov explains, “CBD is a term signifying a component of the cannabis plant that comes with anti-inflammatory benefits. CBD acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which reduces pain and inflammation relating to muscle aches, arthritis, joint pain, neuropathic conditions, headaches, and to aid skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, even sunburn, and bug bites when used topically.” The Guardian reports, “Cannabis compounds can be a weapon in the fight against superbugs. Mice were cured of MRSA, raising hopes of treating antibioticresistant bacteria.”
Research reveals CBD with THC can be used to treat cancer and diminish side effects of chemotherapy; more specifically, the plant’s cannabinoids our body recognizes, uses and needs. Phyto-cannabinoids are chemicals which give the cannabis plant its medical and recreational properties. Phyto-cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with different receptors in the body to produce a wide range of effects, such as feeling high according to LeafScience.com.
Humans have cannabinoid receptors and an endocannabinoid system to process cannabinoids that produce endocannabinoids. Currently, we are aware of three: Anandamide, 2-AG and NADA with research working to reveal more about this stabilizing system. While cannabidiol is mildly psychoactive, its physiological effects are quite different from THC. Rick Monteith, owner of Georgetown Market, emphasizes, “Cannabidiol is safe, but not all CBD products are created equally, so perform due diligence, contact the brand and ask for a true certificate of analysis revealing its purity (no heavy metals or pesticides) and third-party verification.” And of course, always buy local.
THC stimulates brain cells to release dopamine, creating euphoria, according to National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA.) LiveScience.com explains, “THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for marijuana’s psychological stoned effects. It acts much like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by our body, according to NIDA.”
“Will I test positive for THC on a drug test if I use CBD?” Monteith responds, “In general, there should be no worry, but from a legal standpoint, if your job depends on passing a drug test and has a zero-tolerance policy, it’s best to avoid CBD products as some tests are so sensitive, they detect any cannabinoid and result in failure.” Be very aware of the HR policy at your place of employment and discuss it with your HR consultant before choosing to use or purchase CBD.
Industrial hemp used to produce CBD is legal and regulated through both federal and state governments to contain no more than 0.3% THC on a dryweight basis. Marijuana, illegal in some states, is generally high in THC with some strains of marijuana containing up to 40%.
Regrettably, this gift of nature, used as medicine since ancient times, became stigmatized in the early 1900s. There was the unforgettable stoner stereotype portrayed in the Reefer Madness film, showing teens smoking weed for the first time, resulting in hallucinations, murder and attempted rape.
Without Harry Anslinger, William Randolph Hearst, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., it’s arguable that marijuana prohibition would’ve never happened. These men in positions of great power in government, the powerful media and oil industry, won out and used their influence to advance their agenda and cannabis became illegal in America.
Chef Wendell is an inspirational speaker, syndicated writer, and author who shares his science-supported message of the mind-body benefits of a plantbased diet and lifestyle, and that disease is not necessarily your fault. Visit ChefWendell.com for more information.