Many consumers are moving to cannabis / hemp in search of a natural remedy. “CBD” has broadly been thrown into this category, but few understand what it really is, how it relates to the real science (or doesn’t), how it’s made and its impact on the environment, our bodies and business.
While CBD alone provides some benefit, its highly processed to a crystal form and more like taking vitamin C than eating an orange. There is so much more in hemp! Over 400 phytocompounds have been identified including other cannabinoids, terpenes (which give plants their smell and what essential oils are made of), flavonoids, minerals, omegas, chlorophyll and other phytonutrients. This is important because leading researchers support a notion called The Entourage Effect1, which is a synergy that occurs between the natural interaction of many different compounds found in hemp, thereby making the whole plant more effective than any one component.
The supply chain to create CBD isolates and “broad spectrum” products is akin to the fast food industries focus on cost over quality or the environment. Typically plants are grown as inexpensively as possible; extracted using industrial CO2 technology; and then undergo multiple processing steps including Winterization, Fractional Distillation and then Chromatography to finally isolate the CBD compound. Broad spectrum products are made by then combining various cannabinoid and terpene isolates trying to cheaply recreate what mother nature has already accomplished.
Humans have been consuming cannabis / hemp for thousands of years, but CBD for only a handful, we don’t know what the long term effects may be. These products may be white labeled by a local company with a great label, but are produced by Big Agriculture and Big Business. Over time small businesses will be squeezed out, our environment will suffer and the big business wheel will keep turning…
1. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain by Dr. Ethan Russo - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334252/