CBD From A to Z

CBD – a Working Definition

CBD is simply shorthand for Cannabidiol, which is one of the many Cannabinoids (a group of closely related compounds -there are more than 100) in the Cannabis plant. CBD found in Cannabis is 100% natural. The human brain has receptors known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors which are responsible for accepting & assimilating CBD and other Cannabinoids into our bodies.

Will It Get Me High?

CBD is non-psychoactive, and this means that it will not get you high the way it’s cousin THC does. Many people do report a “relaxed” feeling when ingesting CBD. Although most people do not report impairment, we are all individuals capable of our own unique experience.

Will I pass a Drug Test?

This is one of the more common questions for average working people. The short answer is “maybe”.

Your safest bet is to use a CBD isolate from a professional and trusted extraction facility. Isolates are designed to remove all other cannabinoids leaving only the CBD. Thus the name, because it isolates the CBD from the other chemical compounds.

Smoke-able flower is a little more questionable because it will contain trace amounts of THC. Not enough to produce a high, but possibly enough to show up on a drug test. This is especially true if the flower you are smoking is above the legal hemp limit. Make sure your product comes from a trusted farm and is tested by a reputable lab.

How Does CBD Relate to Hemp?

The 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as follows:

Cannabis sativa L. and “any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers,” with no more than a 0.3 percent concentration of THC.

All legal CBD comes from the hemp plant. When you acquire a full-spectrum CBD product it would be more accurate to say that you are buying a full-spectrum hemp product as you are getting the entire cannabinoid and terpene profile of the hemp plant.

Is It Safe?

Negative effects due to CBD are generally unheard of. In some cases lightheadedness or a mild headache is reported, but this is usually the result of lower quality CBD flower.

New York Gets Onboard

The gradual move to “legalize” continues: in April 2021 New York became the 15th U.S. state to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

According to Pew Research, while 67% of U.S. adults support marijuana legalization, public education about cannabis is low. About one third of Americans think hemp and marijuana are the same thing, according to the National Institutes of Health. Also, a popular Google search is to find out whether cannabidiol – also known as CBD – will get them high in the way marijuana does.

Hemp, marijuana and CBD are all relatives, but they differ in important ways. Here’s what you need to know about their legality, effects and potential health benefits.

Both marijuana and hemp belong to the same species, Cannabis sativa, and the two plants look somewhat similar. However, substantial variation can exist within a species. After all, dalmations and chihuahuas are both dogs, but of course they have obvious differences.

The important difference between hemp and marijuana is their psychoactive component: tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Hemp contains just a trace, 0.3% or less THC, meaning hemp-derived products don’t have enough THC to create the “high” traditionally associated with marijuana.

CBD is a compound found within cannabis. There are many – in fact hundreds of such compounds, which are termed “cannabinoids,” because they interact with receptors involved in a variety of functions like appetite, anxiety, depression and pain sensation. Another cannabinoid is THC.

Clinical research has found that CBD is effective at treating epilepsy. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting it can help with pain and even anxiety – though scientifically the jury is still out on that.

Marijuana, containing both CBD and more THC than hemp, has demonstrated therapeutic benefits for individuals with epilepsy, nausea, glaucoma and possibly multiple sclerosis and opioid-dependency disorder, among others.

However, federal law gravely restricts medical research on marijuana, and is slow to adjust.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency categorizes cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance, treating it as if there is no accepted medical benefit and a high potential for abuse. Scientists don’t yet understand exactly how CBD works on us, nor how it interacts with other cannabinoids like THC to give marijuana its added therapeutic effects.

Modern CBD

CBD comes in many forms like edibles, tinctures and oils, just to name a few. Here are some widely used terms used to describe CBD products provided over-the-counter.

While the terms “CBD tincture” and “CBD oil” are often used interchangeably, these are actually different. Tinctures are usually made by soaking cannabis in alcohol, while oils are made by suspending CBD in a host oil, like olive or coconut oil.

“Pure” CBD, which is also called “CBD isolate,” is so named because all other cannabinoids have been removed. Also removed are terpenes and flavonoids, which give marijuana its strong aroma and earthy flavor.

“Broad spectrum” CBD typically contains at least three other cannabinoids, as well as some terpenes and flavonoids – yet contains no THC. “Full spectrum” CBD, also called “whole flower” CBD, is similar to broad spectrum but may contain up to 0.3% THC.

In states where recreational marijuana has been made legal, the list of cannabis-derived products greatly expands to include CBD with much higher THC content than 0.3%.

There is no particular standard dosage of CBD. Many sellers have enough knowledge to make a recommendation for first-timers. There are also many online resources – like this dosage calculator.

Consumers concerned about purity of contents, possible additives, and the accuracy of CBD products, which are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, can look for certification from independent lab testing or by scanning a QR codes on product packaging where possible.

Note that CBD oil is distinct from hemp oil – which comes from pressing cannabis seeds, and may not contain CBD – and hempseed oil, which is a source of essential fatty acids and contains no CBD. It is a nutritional supplement, more smiliar to fish oil than CBD oil.

Another big difference among hemp, marijuana and CBD is how they are treated under the law.

Though 15 states have now legalized recreational marijuana, it remains illegal on the federal level in the United States. Technically, those in possession of marijuana in a legal weed state can still be punished under federal law, and traveling across state borders with cannabis is prohibited.

On the other hand, hemp was made legal to grow and sell in the United States in the 2018 Farm Bill.

One might assume then, that hemp-derived CBD would be federally legal in every state because the THC levels don’t surpass 0.3%. But CBD occupies a legal “gray area”. Several states, such as Nebraska and Idaho, still regulate CBD oil as a Schedule 1 substance akin to marijuana.

One recent study found that Americans perceive hemp and CBD to be more like over-the-counter medication, and THC to be more like a prescription drug. Still, the average American does not view hemp, CBD, THC or even marijuana in the same vein as illicit substances like meth and cocaine – despite being classified by the DEA as having a lower potential for abuse than marijuana.

All this to say that the federal prohibition of marijuana does not align with the public’s view – though state-based legalization shows that society is moving on without the blessing of politicians on Capitol Hill. U.S. recreational marijuana retail sales may reach US$8.7 billion in 2021, up from $6.7 billion in 2016.

With growing interest in other cannabinoids, like cannabigerol, or CBG – which some are touting as the next CBD – so too grows the need for further serious medical research into cannabis.

A Closer Look at Delta 8

Just as the “CBD craze” proved to be more than a trend, the excitement surrounding the appearance and use of Delta 8 THC is already showing signs of another key cannabinoid becoming firmly established as a valid and popular compound for consumers. Because it’s new, and also because it is another form of THC (which remains illegal in some states), there is a lot of confusion mixed in with the excitement over this recently discovered cannabinoid. 

Part of the confusion can be credited (yet again) to law enforcement agencies ill-prepared to face the emergence of another form of THC. So rather than depend once more on governmental guidance in areas well beyond their expertise, we grabbed our own shovel and dug deeper into Delta 8 THC.

Where Has Delta 8 THC Been All This Time?

As cannabinoid enthusiasts are aware, the burst in research related to the cannabis plant (and, by virtue, its close cultural relation, the hemp plant) continues to uncover more valuable and fascinating information about this nearly miraculous plant. It wasn’t that long ago that most people considered the difference between the natural cannabis plant and its cultivated cousin, hemp, was that cannabis contains THC in abundance, while hemp was cultivated to exclude the presence of THC (or at least reduce it to a nominal amount of 0.3% or less).

Then researchers got on board and began discovering so much more in the cannabis and hemp plants than merely THC and CBD cannabinoids. In fact, to date, more than 120 cannabinoids have been identified, with lots of additional research and tests looming in the near future. Two recently discovered cannabinoids that are now getting more press coverage are CBG and CBN, with lots of new research uncovering new potential benefits and therapeutic advantages.

It was during the hundreds of thousands of hours of research and investigations of the cannabis plant when Delta 8 THC made its presence finally known. Another minor cannabinoid, this THC-laced compound also exists naturally inside the cannabis plant, but in trace amounts as compared to its swaggering bigger brother, Delta 9 THC. Interestingly, the majority of Delta 8 THC is derived from hemp plants, which further muddies the legal picture, since hemp is legal in the eyes of the federal government.

How Can Delta 8 THC Be Legal?

If you are like most people, it appeared as if the law differentiated between cannabis and hemp plants based upon the presence or absence of THC. Hemp growers focused on growing hemp flower strains with higher concentrations of CBD (and, later, other cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBN), and the public went wild with excitement and gratification as CBD products hit the marketplace and anecdotal wellness claims began mounting at ever faster paces.

In tandem with public enthusiasm for hemp products was a marked increase in research and development of CBD products. With the backing and reputation of science forging a significant lead, the amount of information concerning potential CBD benefits also snowballed, along with continuing discoveries of new cannabinoids. 

One of the minor cannabinoids recently uncovered was Delta 8 THC. Its initial discovery didn’t set off any great alarms; rather, it was generally recognized to be a weakened version of Delta 9 THC. (The difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC is determined by the location of double bonds in their molecular chains of carbon atoms: Delta 8 has its double bond located on the eighth carbon while Delta 9 is located on the 9th carbon.)

At the time of discovery, no one considered Delta 8 THC to be the perfect compound to bridge between the effects of CBD and Delta 9 THC. By this stage, there was a general consensus that CBD did indeed deliver noticeable effects when consumed, but without providing the psychotropic effects which was previously the sole domain of Delta 9 THC.

However, throughout this process, there was a general understanding that if hemp plants kept their THC content beneath 0.3%, there were no legal issues to overcome. But thanks to the ineptitude and ignorance of our legislative bodies, the emergence of Delta 8 THC created a huge gray area in the rules originally established by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) which defined hemp as “All derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.” Notice that only Delta 9 THC is specifically addressed, meaning Delta 8 THC hovers in legal limbo as neither approved or disapproved. 

As is typical when uneducated lawmakers bumble their way through legislation prohibiting something they don’t fully understand, they believe specific definitions will make it difficult, if not impossible, for potential lawbreakers to get around. Now the DEA is bemoaning its prudish exactitude and trying to craft language to potentially rope Delta 8 in with its bigger, badder brother, Delta 9 THC.

The Changing Tide of Attitudes Towards THC

It may be way too little and far too late for the DEA. Always over-aggressive in their approach towards a modest little plant capable of packing a punch filled with giggles, smiles, and sharpened appetites, the tide seems to have inexorably turned against the Puritanical Police of the DEA. With the Democrats taking control of the Senate in 2021, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has floated the idea of finally decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level by 4/20/22 (420 being the popular, not-so-underground, code for cannabis).

Even if the federal effort fails (which is likely), the attitudes of individual states are moving towards a fuller embrace of cannabis on both medical and recreational bases. Considering the boosted economies of states which have completely legalized cannabis, in concert with the fact that the nightmarish horror stories with which opponents painted legalization failed to materialize, there is an absolute and unwavering movement towards accepting cannabis as a fact of today’s society.

More importantly, time is also eradicating the horrific lies told about cannabis and its millions of consumers over the past century of propaganda. Again, much credit should be granted to CBD, which opened the eyes of many individuals suffering from various health and wellness concerns by offering them much-longed-for relief. This effectively forwarded the argument that perhaps the plant was not entirely bad after all; and with advanced cultivation techniques, hemp could be grown and harvested without the worrisome THC gumming up the works.

Now it appears that THC never gummed up the works; it was more our glorious leaders who failed us with their unending war against drugs. Speaking of which… plants are not drugs! This is how convoluted our world becomes when we attempt to demonize a plant by calling it a drug merely because it makes people giggle and gobble up sweets.

Getting Your Own Delta 8 THC Products

Just as the federal level remains befuddled about the legal status of Delta 8 THC, states appear to be equally uncertain and confused. Fortunately for Americans, for now, Delta 8 THC remains fully legal and can even be purchased online. 

Residents in states that still consider cannabis illegal should keep an eye on local developments, but considering the slowness with which most legislators move and contrasting it with the growing popularity and acceptance of both cannabis and hemp, there is a good chance no action will be taken any time soon. As time continues to pass and lawmakers realize no one freaked out or died from experiencing the pleasures (and likely health benefits) of Delta 8 THC, it will become more difficult for the most regressive legislators to impose draconian laws which do not reflect the will of the people (nor do such laws protect the populace; in some cases, it could cause harm by depriving individuals of products intended to aid in their wellness efforts).

This results in good news to Americans: they are actually free to experience Delta 8 THC products for themselves to learn directly what it is all about and how it will affect them personally. As with any product, each person is unique and may react differently towards it than others. Overall though, the general consensus among new Delta 8 THC users is one of enthusiastic excitement coupled with pleasant surprise at its gentler effects.

What to Expect When Trying Delta 8 THC

As you probably expect, your first experience using Delta 8 THC will be influenced by whether or not you have ever tried or currently use Delta 9 THC. 

Regular users of Delta 9 THC overwhelmingly report they enjoy the softer effects which Delta 8 THC delivers in comparison to their usual experience when consuming Delta 9 THC. Even veteran Delta 9 THC consumers admit to the occasional discomfort felt after consuming a particularly strong strain of cannabis, with symptoms including a racing heart, slight hyperventilation, and a mild sense of discombobulation when it first enters the bloodstream. By comparison, Delta 8 THC seems to leave any jittery sensations out of the picture and slips the consumer right into a mellow, slightly tipsy state of mind, making it a popular alternate choice even for veteran cannabis consumers. In many circles, Delta 8 THC has earned the rightful nickname of “weed light.”

As a rough measurement, most experienced cannabis consumers would estimate that it would take about 2 to 3 times as much Delta 8 THC to obtain the same effects as they experience with their tried and true Delta 9 THC. This ratio appears to apply equally whether you ingest an edible or inhale flower, but do keep in mind that, similar to Delta 9 THC, the overall effects for most consumers will vary depending upon whether they are smoking or eating Delta 8 THC products.

For those individuals unfamiliar with Delta 9 THC, and who have only their experiences with CBD for comparison, they should be cautioned that a little bit of Delta 8 THC will likely go a long way. For instance, if a gram of CBD hemp flower puts you in the perfect desired state, then a quarter gram of Delta 8 THC hemp flower is strongly suggested for starters. If, after 15 or 20 minutes, the effects are not overwhelming and the sensation is pleasant, feel free to try another quarter gram. It takes little time to find the right amount which delivers the effects one is seeking, and many first-time Delta 8 THC consumers are surprised at the extra relaxation and calmness of mind they experience with a mild form of THC added to the CBD already working in their system.

Many people are now balancing their intake of cannabinoids between CBD, Delta 8 THC, and Delta 9 THC, claiming that the combination has an almost synergistic effect where these three main compounds seem to bolster and augment the benefits and therapeutic potentials of each other and other cannabinoids. 

Your Fern Valley Farms Delta 8 THC Choices

Although new in the marketplace, you can already find quality Delta 8 THC products at Fern Valley Farms. Our Delta 8 THC enhanced CBD flower is prepared by spraying selected premium CBD flower strains with a distillate of Delta 8 THC. In keeping with our commitment to offering quality products undiluted by any additives, we never use solvents to apply Delta 8 distillate but instead bring our distillate to the ideal heating point which allows for effective and consistent spraying across our selected premium buds. 

It is truly a product you want to experience but do not forget that this goes well beyond our premium CBD flower strains, so we always recommend a slow and easy start when being first introduced to our Delta 8 THC enhanced CBD flower. That being said… do have fun!

We already have the following products available for ordering today:

Industry Consolidation:

Village Farms acquires CBD firm Balanced Health Botanicals for $75M

Published 16 August 2021

Canadian greenhouse produce and marijuana grower Village Farms International has acquired CBD company Balanced Health Botanicals in a stock-and-cash deal worth $75 million.

Denver-based BHB focuses on hemp-derived CBD products and owns CBD e-commerce platform CBDistillery and CBD skin-care brand Bota.

The CBDistillery website receives more than 30,000 monthly orders and has “a significant repeat customer base,” according to a news release.

The deal gives Village Farms “immediate entry into the U.S. CBD market in a consumer products category adjacent to the high-THC cannabis market, as well as the broader consumer packaged goods wellness arena,” according to a Monday news release.

Vancouver, British Columbia-headquartered Village Farms already owns 100% of Pure Sunfarms, a profitable Canadian cannabis producer.

The $75 million acquisition includes $30 million in cash and $45 million in Village Farms shares. BHB was privately held.

Village Farms said the deal would be immediately accretive to its net income, with BHB expected to add annualized sales of more than $30 million in 2022.

The acquisition “provides us with another potential pathway to participate in the U.S. high-THC cannabis market, when permitted to do so,” Village Farms CEO Michael DeGiglio said in the release.

DeGiglio cited Village Farms’ plans “to convert our more than 5.5 million square feet of high-tech greenhouse facilities in West Texas – one of the most favourable environments for cannabis cultivation in the continental U.S. – for large-scale, low-cost production of cannabis.”

Village Farms trades as VFF on the Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange.

CBD & Caffeine

In 2019, Alwan Mortada established Ott Coffee as a beverage company with a special interest in CBD-infused coffee. The Ott Coffee brand of beverages is generally produced by directly adding hemp-derived cannabidiol to the coffee beans during the roasting process. There are many other emerging brands of beverages currently experimenting with the infusion of cannabidiol into conventional beverage formulas.

Caffeine has long been proven to be a safe stimulant in humans. And with the introduction of cannabis-derived products into the global supplement market, consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with the beneficial health effects of cannabidiol. Many tobacco consumers who are planning to switch to cannabidiol smoking are also experimenting with the idea of consuming small quantities of the new product in their morning coffee. The global cannabis beverage industry is projected to reach $2.8 billion by 2025, expanding at a healthy CAGR of 17.8%. Within this forecast period, the cannabidiol-infused beverage segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment of the cannabis beverage market. Most importantly, market valuation is expected to be driven by the shifting preference of beverage consumers from soft drinks to wellness drinks.  

The science behind CBD and caffeine

Caffeine is a plant alkaloid consumed as a stimulant of the central nervous system. Coffee consumers have reported mild CNS stimulation, wakefulness, and an ability to sustain intellectual activity. The actions of caffeine on the biological are many and complex. However, the medicinal and stimulatory actions of caffeine are attributed to its effects on the adenosine receptors and the phosphodiesterase enzymes. 

Caffeine is a nonselective antagonist at both adenosine receptors. By blocking the inhibitory effects of these receptors, caffeine indirectly influences the release of neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine, glutamate, and serotonin. Caffeine also inhibits the phosphodiesterase enzymes in the skeletal muscle and subsequently increases the intracellular concentrations of cyclic adenosine monophosphate. The effects of caffeine on the neurotransmitters explains the extra kick it provides in a morning coffee drink.

By combining CBD with coffee, users can increase the desirable effect of caffeine. Long-term coffee users have reported side effects, including shaking, anxiety, poor concentration, and skipping heartbeats. These sides can also present as withdrawal symptoms of coffee. Cannabidiol has shown impressive results in the management of anxiety and cognitive impairment in many patients. This means adding cannabidiol to a morning coffee can prevent the side effects commonly reported by users. In 2019, the European Journal of Neuroscience published a research result suggesting that cannabidiol can effectively moderate the impulsivity associated with long-term consumption of caffeine. 

Although there are only a few clinical researches on the beneficial effects of the CBD-coffee cocktail, however, there is much anecdotal evidence supporting this combination. Beyond counteracting the side effects of caffeine, CBD can also help manage coffee withdrawal symptoms. 

Although CBD-infused coffee is becoming increasingly popular, first-time users are advised to only consume this cocktail moderately under medical supervision. The cannabis industry is rapidly expanding, and more exciting prospects are expected with time.  

– Ian Parkes