The studies on CBD for headache pain are still in their infancy, but with promising results so far. A 2017 study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal worked with 26 people who were experiencing rebound headaches. The pain management results were better for the cannabis-nabilone formula over either ibuprofen or nabilone alone. (As a nerdy side note, the article is a great read if you’re interested in the history of cannabis as a pain reliever.)
Ironically, the only four states where you can be absolutely sure that the CBD content claimed on the label is the CBD content in the bottle are Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, where adult-use cannabis is legal and regulated. That’s because the CBD products available in licensed retail cannabis stores must pass state-mandated lab tests to assure their purity and potency. In fact, if these products haven’t gone through state testing, they’re liable to be seized, as happened recently in Alaska.
The most commonly used form of CBD is CBD oil. Combining CBD extract with a carrier oil like coconut oil, it can be ingested or vaped, bringing a lot of variety. But because marijuana legalization is in such a murky situation with both federal and state laws to grapple with, CBD oil's legality can be hard to parse depending on where you are. Let's start with legality at the federal level.
Hemp goes back as one of the oldest crops in human history. Why is it so popular? For starters, it requires half the water (even less for some crops!) of wheat and can be grown without pesticides. For health enthusiasts or anyone generally considerate of the environment, this is a great news. This crop can then be used for nutrition as a great fiber source! The whole seeds are healthy for complete proteins and omegas, concentrated antioxidants, vitamins, and other healthy nutrients. Outside of the United States, hemp is grown as an industrial crop on a large scale. In Europe, for example, we reviewed over 3,000 cultivars before selecting the right farm for us.
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Armentano pointed to several pieces of evidence as proof that CBD has always been treated as illegal at the federal level. Congress has tried and is currently trying to pass bills to remove CBD from the Controlled Substances Act—which would be unnecessary if the compound were already legal. Further, the Controlled Substances Act itself specifies that the government has the right to control substances that are chemically similar to the ones explicitly listed.
Manufacturing CBD oil with zero THC is a complex and costly process. Remember that we answered the question, “Is CBD legal” with the disclaimer that it must contain less than 0.3% THC to comply with federal law. However, many companies take shortcuts and cut corners during the production process to save costs, ending up with CBD that contains significant THC – even if they claim otherwise.
Transparency: Moon Mother sends each batch of product to a third-party lab to be tested for potency as well as other contaminants. You can find all of these lab reports on the company’s website. They also added more information about their company processes to the website, so it’s easier to find important information about extraction and manufacturing.
Hemp oil (also called hemp seed oil) is extracted from the hemp seeds of the hemp plant and it contains very little or no THC. Cannabis, on the other hand, has THC levels above 0.3 percent (usually between 5-35 percent). Because of its low THC levels, you can use hemp oil without feeling “high” afterwards. Hemp is typically grown for industrial purposes, as it’s used to make clothing, paper, ropes, carpets, construction materials and plastic composites.
CBD hemp oil has a number of uses and comes in many forms including capsules, tinctures, sublingual supplements, liquid oil, oil as a paste, sprays, salves, creams and in edible forms, such as candies or sweets. You can also inhale CBD oil from vapor-releasing pens, similar to the technology for e-cigarettes. This variety also provides a lot of controlled flexibility in terms of concentration, making CBD hemp oil useful and desirable for people of all ages, economic means, and personal needs.
So. According to the Controlled Substance Act definition itself, certain parts of the cannabis plant are clearly illegal, while others fall into a grayer area. One of these – for the most part – is CBD extracted from the “legal” parts of the cannabis plant, and non-marijuana industrial hemp plants, which, as defined by Section 7606 of the Farm Bill are cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent THC.
First… hemp, cannabis, marijuana (slang term)… they’re from the exact same plant species – Cannabis sativa. It’s common to mistake hemp and cannabis unless you know why they’re different. The easiest way to tell? If it’s under .3% THC content then it’s hemp and is classified as legal for academic and educational purposes, according to federal law. What is commonly referred to as cannabis (or medical marijuana) contains THC levels above .3% and can extend into levels between 15-30% THC. Remember, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component of cannabis. Without these higher THC levels, there are no psychoactive effects for you.
Whereas Michigan already had medical weed legalized to make for a quicker route to starting full legislation, these states don't yet have an operational system in place. North Dakota and West Virginia also still are not operational yet, nor in Louisiana or Arkansas. Ohio is also behind schedule, having been unable to meet their goal of having operational dispensaries two years after voting for legalization. And until those are operational, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy ruled that any CBD products not sold in dispensaries licensed by the state's program are illegal.
Luckily, it’s possible to procure CBD oil that has no THC in it. Products made from CBD Isolate or Broad Spectrum CBD can be good options if you want to avoid THC. In fact, some of the best CBD products for pain include topical salves that can be made from isolate CBD oil. Just be sure to check out third-party lab reports to ensure you’re getting exactly what you pay for. And keep your eyes peeled for future research on CBD for pain.