Selective breeding of cannabis plants has expanded and diversified as commercial and therapeutic markets develop. Some growers in the U.S. succeeded in lowering the proportion of CBD-to-THC to accommodate customers who preferred varietals that were more mind-altering due to the higher THC and lower CBD content. Hemp is classified as any part of the cannabis plant containing no more than 0.3% THC in dry weight form (not liquid or extracted form).
In general, most people who’ve made the jump to drinking CBD coffee every morning claim they’ve done so because it allows them to simply have a better day and live a better quality of life. That is to say, their chronic pain is subdued, their mood and state of mind is elevated, and their general sense of physical and emotional well-being is improved.
With that being said, let’s discuss the wonderful thing we call CBD oil. CBD oil is made from the specific hemp strain that is bred for fiber, topicals, nutritional benefits, and more. It is made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp. CBD oil is extracted using the whole plant or aerial parts. Aerial parts of the plant are parts which are completely exposed to air. Since hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, CBD oil products are non-psychoactive.
You may notice hemp seed oil as an ingredient in some of your beauty products or while shopping at the grocery store. Although hemp seed oil is very beneficial, it is not the same as CBD oil. Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD. Hemp seed oil is acquired by pressing only the hemp seeds. It is important that you are buying cold pressed, unrefined hemp seed oil because it hasn’t been depleted from its beneficial constituents. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to light green in color, with a nutty flavor. Refined hemp seed oil is clear and colorless, with little flavor and is depleted in natural vitamins and antioxidants.
Research and regulation of cannabis in general is decades behind other crops and drugs because of its long prohibition. We’re in the early stages of a chaos period that will last a decade at minimum — a substance has to be legal in order for scientists to figure out how it works and for the government to figure out how to ensure it’s safe. Clinical trials take years to complete and will have to build on each other to create a competent understanding. Coupled with modern technology’s ability to disseminate truths, half-truths, and complete lies, this means we’re in a phase ripe for scams, intentional and not.
Despite this, CBD is something nobody knows much about, and certainly nobody is monitoring it properly. CBD is widely marketed as a supplement, despite the Food and Drug Administration saying it does not qualify as such (this is because it is an active ingredient in drugs which are either approved or under investigation to be approved). CBD goes largely unregulated by the agency; on the FDA’s FAQ page, a vague answer maintains there are “many factors in deciding whether or not to initiate an enforcement action.” The Department of Agriculture handles research grants and pilot programs for hemp, but that’s where its involvement ends.