Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive substance found only in Cannabis plants. There is growing scientific support for the proposition that CBD is a valuable therapeutic for a variety of conditions, from inflammation and pain to diabetes, ulcerative colitis, atherosclerosis and heart disease. CBD is particularly abundant in industrial hemp.
Industrial hemp is defined as a cannabis plant with its parts (stems, leaves, flowers) containing no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); in other words, minute, sub-psychoactive levels (i.e., not enough to “get high”) on a dry weight basis under Section 7606 of the Federal Farm Bill, or the Agricultural Act of 2014.
The Section 7606 “Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research” provision exempts industrial hemp from existing legal prohibitions when grown through approved programs in the 10 states where industrial hemp is already a legal crop: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. Another 20 states now allow or are on the verge of allowing industrial hemp cultivation.
CBD is fat-soluble and thus can be extracted from the leaves and immature flowers of industrial hemp plants or cannabis with ethanol; other solvents used to dissolve oils, grease and waxes; carbon dioxide in its pressurized liquid (supercritical) form; and proprietary, patent-protected nanotechnology owned by ANANDA Scientific. Purified CBD can be obtained by passing it through tall columns composed of refined silica, a medium commonly used in separation science. Pure CBD in crystalline form can also be acquired via its precipitation directly from extracts.
CBD is found in both cannabis and industrial hemp. Extracts of industrial hemp and cannabis particularly differ in terms of their THC content. THC is a compound with psychoactive or mind-bending effects.
Cannabis has THC levels plentiful enough for users to “get high,” from perhaps 2 percent to more than 20 percent in dried immature flowers. Extracts made from cannabis may have CBD, but be accompanied by substantive amounts of THC. Such preparations can make for intensified, unpleasant and frightening psychedelic effects.
In contrast, extracts derived from industrial hemp inherently have very little THC, and thus are not associated with any psychoactivity.
High-quality CBD is of sufficient purity for dependable use in chemical analysis, chemical reactions, physical testing, and functional food or medicinal use. Its purity typically exceeds 98 percent, and analytical methods used for such a determination — such as high-performance liquid chromatography — are based on standard test procedures, for which updated improvements are employed once available to achieve a higher degree of reliability. Of course, THC should only be present in miniscule amounts, preferably much less than the 0.3 percent maximum. Using hexane and other toxic, Class 2 solvents for extraction and purification per 62 FR 67377 of the U.S. Federal Register is unacceptable for making CBD as a food additive because of inherent toxicities. High-quality CBD is typically accompanied by an appropriately detailed certificate of analysis (CoA).
Oral administration, or taking by mouth, is the CBD delivery method overwhelmingly preferred by consumers and healthcare practitioners. It is very convenient, non-invasive and requires no special training.
In this instance, bioavailability refers to the ability of CBD to get into the bloodstream after being taken by mouth. CBD bioavailability is inherently low. It is a major impediment to successfully using CBD in pharmaceutic and nutraceutical preparations. Minor amounts, 5 to 6 percent, get into the body with oral administration, and the rest is wasted. This inefficiency can make for unpredictable outcomes, unless exorbitant (and thus, expensive) amounts are used.
A proprietary nanotechnology (the engineering of functional systems at dimensions less than 1/10,000 the width of a human hair) developed by ANANDA Scientific overcomes the challenges associated with oral administration. The unique process makes it possible for higher amounts of CBD to get into the bloodstream, thus allowing for predictable results from CBD use. This method also renders CBD distinctively water soluble. This contrasts other CBD preparations, which cannot be dissolved in water.
CBD is legal for use in 28 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Another 16 states have laws specifically allowing for its limited medical use.