Understand CBD’s variations and how to obtain them.
At 5 years old, young Charlotte Figi had been suffering roughly 300 grand mal seizures weekly for years when her father, Matt, looking for alternatives to her mostly unsuccessful traditional allopathic treatments, found a video online extolling the benefits of CBD oil in the treatment of Dravet Syndrome. Under Colorado’s fledgling medical marijuana program, Charlotte’s parents found a strain of high cannabidiol (CBD), low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis flower named R4 being sold at a Colorado dispensary.
They bought a few ounces and worked with friends to extract oil from it. High-CBD, low-THC cannabis is a desirable medicine, both for the therapeutic benefits of CBD and the low presence of THC, which minimizes psychoactivity. Charlotte responded favorably to her very first dose, bringing the frequency of her seizures down to one per week.
Her parents then met the Stanley brothers, owners of Colorado’s largest dispensary at the time and cultivators of a high-CBD strain of cannabis very few people were purchasing. Together, they developed the dormant strain into a continual harvest and constant supply of medical marijuana CBD oil to treat Charlotte, and subsequently, other patients seeking similar relief. The strain became what’s known today as Charlotte’s Web. When the news of this process, and others like it, aired on CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta’s documentary Weed in 2013, people across the globe, especially parents of children suffering seizures, flocked to the Internet to find this “miracle” CBD oil. Little was to be found.
Capitalizing businesses quickly jumped in to fill the void created by the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which strictly prohibits the use and sale of marijuana because of the presence of THC, not CBD. Under the law, hemp-derived CBD is completely legal, but CBD doesn’t appear out of thin air. In order to produce CBD oil, you must first harvest high-CBD cannabis plants, legally. In the United States, this requires growers to be licensed in their state either as an industrial hemp farmer or a medical/recreational marijuana grower. Not all states provide these licenses, and where some do, each type of license has a completely different set of parameters, rules, and regulations, including whom you can sell your products to.
Needless to say, the rabid overnight demand for CBD oil combined with the intricacies of a nation involved in a drug war created a very confusing topic, and an opportunity for businesses to sell snake oil. Still today, people are discovering the wonders of CBD and yearning for information on how to obtain it. In an effort to untangle this web, here’s a go-to guide for understanding the differences between hemp-derived CBD oils and marijuana-derived CBD oils.
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