Cannabis, Hemp and CBD explained
At Body and Mind Botanicals, we believe the cannabis plant should be treated like its herbal cousins, the chamomile, the peppermint, the oolong.
But it’s got a bit of a bad reputation right?
In recent years, the CBD market has been booming but the fact that CBD comes from the cannabis plant is v.confusing.
Let’s clear this up.
The cannabis plant, like many other flowers and herbs, has various species.
Broadly, these are classified as Hemp and Marijuana.
In short, Marijuana varieties of the cannabis plant are psychoactive (will make you feel high) and Hemp varieties of are not (do not make you feel high). Instead, Hemp varieties are therapeutic.
Think Good Twin & Bad Twin . . .
There are two key chemicals responsible for the difference in feeling high or no high – CBD and THC.
CBD = therapeutic
THC = psychoactive
Marijuana strains of cannabis are low in CBD and high in THC
Hemp strains of cannabis are high in CBD and low in THC.
In the UK, any cannabis derived product with less than 0.2% THC in it has been deemed safe and legal to consume.
The CBD content can vary and is often referred to as the ‘dose, amount or portion’, which is measured in milligrams. Look out for this across all our products. You can learn more about CBD below . . .
The cannabis plant contains over one hundred naturally occurring, active compounds – known as cannabinoids – and two of these are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The compound that earns “Cannabis” its infamy is THC, the substance that gives marijuana psychoactive properties. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, is a lesser known compound but one that has many health benefits without giving the user a mind-altering experience.
When CBD is ingested, it doesn’t adversely affect brain chemistry to create a ‘high’ – it actually has counteractive properties to THC. Rather, CBD has in recent times been shown to have medicinal values and research shows that it is effective in pain relief without side effects such as lethargy and dysphoria.
CBD products can be produced using hemp or marijuana, the two types of cannabis plant that originate from the same plant species called Cannabis Sativa L. The two cannabis strains have long been cultivated by humans, who for thousands of years have used the plant for recreational and medicinal purposes.
CBD has been shown to help people relax, improve sleep, relieve stress, anxiety and low moods, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory which can help with swelling and pain relief.
Our cannabis tea is a fast-acting way of taking CBD, with an effect that can wear off in within six hours. CBD oil requires a steady build-up to reach the full effect, normally over the course of four to five days of frequent use.
Everyone has different levels of CBD they can absorb at a time; therefore, it is key to start on a low dose and work your way up until you find the right dose for you. The right dose, taken regularly is key. It can take a week or so for the effects of CBD oil to really pay of, so increasing the dose at this point may end up being too much, only the individual can determine what level is most effective for them. We suggest starting with 1 drop 3 times a day of the 150mg, increasing to 2 drops 3 times a day. Once you are at 3 drops 3 times a day, it’s worth looking at moving up to 300mg. If already on 300mg move to 500mg and if already on 500mg move to 1000mg.
Modern archaeology suggests that Cannabis Sativa was first cultivated by human hand around ten thousand years ago, with the hemp strain recognised by early civilisations for its soil fertilisation properties and nutritional value. Hemp seeds contain high levels of vitamin, proteins, and essential fatty amino acids; given the high consumption that appears to have occurred in ancient societies, it is arguable that hemp had a significant impact in the formation of human civilisation.
Hemp appears to have been first used for medicinal purposes in 2737 B.C., with the ancient pharmacopeia Pen Ts’ao Ching indicating its use by the Chinese Emperor for pain relief, and to treat skin irritation and rashes.
Hemp use then became more common across Europe; in Greek afterlife rituals, as clothing in England during Henry VIII’s reign and by Queen Victoria to relieve menstrual pain. It also became popular in the Americas and Africa during this time. Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy published works in which he espoused its use to treat conditions such as epilepsy and rheumatism – recent research indicating that he may well have been prophetic in his ideas.
So, what led this seemingly benign plant with proven medicinal benefits being demonised by governments and the media?
It is widely accepted that reputation of the cannabis plant took an enormous downturn subsequent to the Mexican revolution of 1910, when Mexican immigrants to North America were blamed for the recreational use of cannabis. Consequently, the “Marijuana Menace” – with its racial connotations – led to the eventual criminalisation of the use and growing of cannabis products in the US.
Despite being outlawed, cannabis use only grew – along with the research into its compounds. By the 1980s, cultivators of marijuana had come to the conclusion that in order to grow the most psychoactive and potent cannabis crops on the market, they had to ensure they were rich in THC by isolating the cannabinoid. Accordingly, plants that were rich in cannabinoids other than THC, like CBD, were relegated to the status of garbage crops.
The recent history of marijuana strains with high levels of THC is easily referred to, but that is not what interests us. Instead, we look to the development of CBD, and the fact that with proper understanding, legislation, and licensing, it can be grown and processed into products that can provide pleasure – legally – along with health benefits.