Let's start with the most officially proven medical use of CBD. Earlier this year, the FDA approved the first-ever drug containing CBD, Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of pediatric epilepsy. To get to that point, the drug's manufacturers had to do a whole lot of randomized, placebo-controlled trials on humans. They had to study how much children could take, what would happen in case of overdose, and any possible side effects that would occur.
On the federal level, several bills currently before Congress seek to change the way the government treats CBD. One such bill, the Compassionate Access Act, would exclude CBD from the classification of “marijuana” and remove both from the DEA’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. Rescheduling CBD in such a way would make research and cultivation of CBD much easier.
Now, many people are understandably flummoxed by a very active campaign to convince the public that CBD is different depending on whether it’s derived from marijuana or hemp. Hemp and marijuana are both Cannabis. Hemp is Cannabis sativa, and marijuana is either Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica. Hemp is simply the common and legal term for cannabis that contains less than .3% THC, and marijuana is the common and legal term for cannabis that contains .3% and more THC.
In September 2018, following its approval by the FDA for rare types of childhood epilepsy, Epidiolex was rescheduled (by the Drug Enforcement Administration) as a Schedule V drug to allow for its prescription use. This change applies only to FDA-approved products containing no more than 0.1 percent THC. This allows GW Pharmaceuticals to sell Epidiolex, but it does not apply broadly and all other CBD-containing products remain Schedule I drugs. Epidiolex still requires rescheduling in some states before it can be prescribed in those states.
Support for legalization has steadily grown over the last several years. Today, medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. And even federal officials have begun to soften their stances. Last fall, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder signaled his support for removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics. “I think it’s certainly a question we need to ask ourselves, whether or not marijuana is as serious of a drug as heroin,” Holder said. This summer, Chuck Rosenberg, the acting administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, acknowledged that marijuana is not as dangerous as other Schedule I drugs and announced his agents would not be prioritizing marijuana enforcement. Still, as long as marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the haphazard system in which it is studied, produced, and distributed will remain, and Americans will not be able to take full advantage of its medicinal properties.
The amount of CBD needed to produce significant effects varies by condition, according to both Blessing and Carson. “In clinical trials for schizophrenia they would give 800 milligrams,” says Blessing. “In our clinical trial to treat PTSD, we are giving 600 mg per day.” In the clinical trial for Epidiolex, Carson says, the clinicians administered 10 milligrams per kilogram the subject weighed — meaning a person who weighs 50 kilograms (or 110 pounds) would be given 500 milligrams of CBD.
While we hope you’ll give our CBD latte a try, making CBD coffee doesn’t have to be complicated. Adding a little flavorful drop of CBD oil to your morning coffee is a simple step to start your day out healthier and happier! Of course, there’s no reason you can’t add it to your afternoon pick-me-up cup, too. Either way, it’s a great step in the right direction.
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.