Let’s start by looking at THC. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound found in cannabis with psychotropic properties. Medical marijuana companies breed their plants to have the highest concentrations of this compound. It is associated with the feeling of being high that marijuana smokers experience. Effects include feelings of euphoria, pain relief and sometimes increased anxiety and paranoia.
Cannabidiol has been found to act as an antagonist of GPR55, a G protein-coupled receptor and putative cannabinoid receptor that is expressed in the caudate nucleus and putamen in the brain. It has also been found to act as an inverse agonist of GPR3, GPR6, and GPR12. Although currently classified as orphan receptors, these receptors are most closely related phylogenetically to the cannabinoid receptors. In addition to orphan receptors, CBD has been shown to act as a serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist, and this action may be involved in its antidepressant, anxiolytic, and neuroprotective effects. It is an allosteric modulator of the μ- and δ-opioid receptors as well. The pharmacological effects of CBD have additionally been attributed to PPARγ agonism and intracellular calcium release.
As a consumer, you can look at the manufacturer's website to see whether they batch-test their products, or ask them directly. You could also send a sample of your CBD oil to a testing facility yourself, something Bonn-Miller says he would do if he were trying to treat someone with a severe issue such as epilepsy. Testing can also determine whether the product contains pesticides, heavy metals, or other toxins.
In fact, the law is pretty unclear when it comes to CBD’s state-by-state legality and people (mostly people of color, because a hard-to-interpret law is ripe for racist mishandling) are occasionally charged with possession for carrying CBD. There is a bill in the works (spearheaded by Senator Mitch McConnell, no less) that seeks to get rid of hemp restrictions federally, which would make at least one facet of the law easier to interpret. But TBD on what that means for CBD. So unless you live in a state where marijuana is cleared for recreational use and you’re over the age of 21, the answer to whether or not CBD is legal where you live will vary. And avoid transferring even the most harmless of CBD over state lines. Per Quartz:
While the CBD latte dosage varies from coffee shop to coffee shop, the range seems to fall between two to 15 drops, or approximately 20 to 30 milligrams, says Blessing. That’s a lot less than what’s been shown to work in clinical trials for various conditions, which makes Blessing skeptical that a CBD latte could produce any noticeable effect. “There’s no evidence whatsoever that a small amount of CBD is actually doing anything at all,” she says. “An analogy I give sometimes is, you wouldn’t take 2 mg of ibuprofen. It doesn’t do anything.”
As the demand for CBD products has increased, some states have started to take action. Over the past two years, 17 states have passed “CBD-only” laws, assuring parents who purchase CBD oil to treat their sick children that they won’t face arrest or prosecution from state law enforcement for possessing what the federal government still considers a Schedule I narcotic.
Neurologists are skilled at predicting side effects and interactions between well-researched pharmaceuticals. But due to the dearth of reliable research about CBD, doctors like Hernandez and Knupp cannot guide their patients in its use. If there are adverse reactions, Penny will find out because Harper will suffer through them. She has had to figure out through trial and error how best to mix and measure Harper’s oils. The bottom line, Penny said, is simple: “We are the research.”
As noted in the report by Booth, Page, and Bohlmann, various strains of cannabis plants produce terpenes differently. Commonly, hemp plants contain less terpene-rich resin than marijuana plants. The amount of resin found in hemp plants, however, does not affect the quality of CBD that we obtain from them. In fact, hemp plants are a far better source of CBD than marijuana plants.