Legal and pharmaceutical production of high CBD, or Cannabidiol, hemp flower poses several challenges for its growers, processors, and manufacturers. Production and processing require precise growing conditions, soil fertility, and testing procedures. Likewise, failure to follow those through can result in the production exceeding the permissible level (for instance 0.3% CBD).
There is no consistency in the amount or quality of the Cannabidiol in the flower. It may be a mixture of several elements including hemp oil, starch, sterol, fatty acids, and other plant compounds.
Most of the Cannabidiol in cannabis is produced by conventional breeding techniques and cultivars. Most of the plant material used for making cannabis comes from genetically edited selections of cannabis plants and stocks. Many of the world’s most commonly used medicines, including aspirin and chemotherapy drugs, contain the synthetic form of cannabidiol, which is derived from the hemp plant. Many of the industrial uses for Cannabidiol focus on the pharmaceutical industry, where it has been used to develop over-the-counter prescription drugs including Marinol and Zyban.
The United States government, in addition to approving the use of the synthetic form of Cannabidiol, also authorized the use of industrial hemp flower for therapeutic purposes. The FDA has yet to approve the use of the synthetic form as a prescription drug. However, since the FDA itself allows the use of industrial hemp flowers for medical purposes, there is no reason to exclude the use of the plant from dietary supplements and/or cosmetics.
The United States National Institute on Drug Abuse notes, “There is strong evidence that the ingestion of plant products, even those that are not psychoactive, has significant therapeutic benefits for chronic illnesses like cancer and HIV/AIDS.” Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that the therapeutic benefits of the plant “probably do not reflect the claims of [a similar study] published in 1996.”
The 1996 study, which involved the consumption of Cannabidiol-rich marijuana, concluded that users “feel a reduction in the intensity and frequency of their negative emotions,” but do not report any increased frequency of “alertness, memory, or concentration.” Though it is unclear whether the subjects had enhanced cognitive abilities, the lack of obvious psychological effects is the first evidence that there are no harmful side effects associated with the consumption of Industrial Hemp flowers.
Likewise, the lack of reported side effects is the first evidence that the therapeutic benefits of the plant can be applied outside of the medical industry. In other words, the lack of reported side effects supports the potential use of Industrial Hemp for therapeutic purposes.
About the endocannabinoid system (the part of the brain that coordinates the physical functions of the human body), recent studies indicate that high CBD levels may prevent the harmful consequences of long-term use of recreational drugs like alcohol and marijuana. Specifically, Cannabidiol, a component of the industrial hemp flower, has been found to bind with the CB1 receptor, which is located in the brain’s “reward center” and is responsible for the sensation of “desire, motivation, and pleasure,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
While the medical community is beginning to take notice of the benefits of High CBG Hemp Flower, there is still an ongoing debate over whether the plant should be classified as marijuana or hemp instead of cannabis, because it contains more than just THC, the chemical compound that makes pot-smoking addictive. The United States government has yet to make any definitive statements on the matter. Currently, the only way to legally acquire the plant is through growing it yourself at home or through a commercial provider who specializes in providing the “plant-based” product.