The Connection Between CBD and Hemp
Hemp-derived CBD comes from industrial hemp plants. These hemp plants are different from marijuana plants in appearance (hemp being lean and sparce with foliage and marijuana being thick and lush) but both, through extraction, can produce CBD.
Hemp is differentiated from marijuana by its levels of THC, the cannabinoid that possesses intoxicating properties. Under U.S. law a hemp plant must contain no more than 0.3% THC.
In 2018 Farm Bill was passed and industrial hemp was removed from the government's list of controlled substances. Hemp-derived CBD became legal in all fifty states.(1)
CBD vs. THC
Within the cannabis plant are compounds called cannabinoids. There are more than 100 of these chemicals in cannabis.
CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis products.
Hemp and marijuana are two varieties of the cannabis plant. Cannabis can be both marijuana and hemp, THC and CBD are in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp has higher concentrations of CBD.
The body also has an endocannabinoid system which houses two types of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. THC binds with receptors -- mostly in the brain -- that control pain, mood, and other feelings. That's why THC can make you feel euphoric or “high.”
CBD doesn't cause that so-called high. Instead, it's thought to work to balance the endocannabinoid system to promote balance leading to overall feelings of well-being.
The U.S. government defines marijuana plants as those which contain more than 0.3% THC. While THC is the prime cannabinoid derived from the marijuana plant, some strains of marijuana are also rich in CBD.
That being said, whether CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana, it remains identical on a molecular level.(2)
The Impact of Water-Solubility(3)
CBD’s main form-factor is oil. Both the extraction process and the infusion is a key factor into proper consistency of a product.
How do you get oil into water to create water-solubility? Emulsion technology. An emulsion is a dispersed homogenous mixture of two or more liquids that are naturally immiscible (un-blendable). In an unstable emulsion the droplets will merge together or coalesce, and revert to two separate single phases.
Stable emulsion technologies, make the hemp oil more 'bio-available, and provides rapid onset' action within the body. As well as keep the CBD oil droplets evenly dispersed in water and the CBD oil droplets stable over time.(3)
Specific to hemp-derived CBD, many product developers want to avoid the regulated THC. Therefore, CBD extractions narrow down into these specific categories.
Isolate – The purest form of any single specific molecule in hemp and cannabis – typically 99% or greater purity of a single compound. Isolates also minimize the possibility for any trace amounts of other compounds or materials in the plant that may have unintended effects on the taste or experience. A major advantage of working with isolates is due to the purity, it is very easy to guarantee highly specific repeatability and consistency.
Broad Spectrum – Hemp extract that has been intentionally processed to remove THC such that the quantified THC has been deemed non-detectable by a compliant laboratory using a fit for purpose method with a limit of quantification of less than .01%.
Full Spectrum – Hemp extract including THC and other cannabinoids, terpenes, other naturally occurring compounds that has been processed without intentional complete removal of any compounds and has the final THC quantification of not greater than .3%
Reading Your CBD Product’s Testing and Certification Documents(5)
CGMP Certified Testing
When CBD companies speak about testing and Certificate of Analysis (COA’s) look for companies that adhere to the CGMP. CGMP* refers to the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the FDA. CGMPs provide for systems that assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities.
Certificate of Analysis
A Certificate of Analysis, or COA, is a document from an accredited laboratory that shows the quantity of various cannabinoids in a product. Manufacturers should send every batch of every product they make to a lab for testing, to protect their customers and prove that their products have as much CBD as they advertise.