We know there’s a lot to know about CBD and hemp. You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers.
We know there’s a lot to know about hemp. You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers.
Why Use CBD/Hemp?
CBD has many purported health benefits from treating epilepsy, to decreasing inflammation, helping with sleep, chronic pain, nausea, anxiety, etc. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests CBD does help with some of these conditions. If you’re considering taking CBD, we’d recommend reading up on the subject in order to make your own educated decision about whether or not to use it. To learn more about studies that have been done on CBD, check out this review: Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age.1
The hemp plant has numerous beneficial compounds other than CBD such as: 100+ other cannabinoids, terpenes, phenolic compounds, omega-3 fatty acids, and amino acids (See: Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules).2 These compounds can be consumed by smoking CBD flower, concentrating CBD into an oil and smoking the concentrates, baking concentrates into edibles, taking CBD tinctures orally or sublingually, or rubbing CBD on the skin. While no CBD is present in hemp seeds, even eating hulled hempseeds, hemp seed oil, and hemp protein powder can have benefits to your health (See: Hempseed as a nutritional resource).3
Despite these many potential benefits, at the moment, the study of CBD is still in its infancy. While we can’t recommend the use of CBD to treat, prevent, or cure anything mentioned above, we believe that in time, scientists and the federal government will catch up and officially recognize the many health benefits of CBD.
What are the other uses for the hemp plant?
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Are hemp and marijuana the same plant?
No. Hemp and marijuana are very similar but differ in a significant way. Hemp plants are very low in THC and can have no more than 0.3% THC as defined by law. Marijuana plants have higher levels of THC, anywhere from 5-30%. Even if a hemp plant goes over this 0.3% legal limit it will never go past roughly 1% THC. (Keep in mind that technically any cannabis plant that exceeds 0.3% THC is considered marijuana by the federal government). Hemp and Marijuana are both in the same family of plants called Cannabaceae and the same genus, Cannabis L. Many people incorrectly use the word “Cannabis” to describe marijuana. When we refer to Cannabis we are talking about the whole genus, including both hemp and marijuana.
For a more thorough answer see below:
Federal law defines hemp and marijuana using the 0.3% THC limit as a distinction. This definition is helpful, but if we look at the science, we can see that the reality is a bit more complicated. Hemp and marijuana are different in that they consist of different “Chemo types” (or “chemo-vars”). As in, they differ in chemical composition. Marijuana is THC dominant and contains THC concentrations anywhere from 5-30%. Marijuana is considered a “Type I” chemo type. Hemp plants are CBD dominant containing CBD concentrations anywhere from 5-25% and THC concentrations anywhere from 0-1%. Hemp is considered a “Type III” chemo type. Even if a hemp plant goes over this 0.3% legal limit it will never go past roughly 1% THC because the enzyme required for THC to be synthesized (THCA-synthase) is not present or functional in traditional low THC hemp plants.5
There are cannabis plants that have high levels of both THC and CBD. These are considered “Type II” chemo types. There are also CBG dominant plants that are considered “Type IV” chemo types and cannabis plants with little to no cannabinoids of any kind that are considered “Type V” chemo types. Any cannabis plant, whether hemp or marijuana, regardless of chemo type, that goes over 0.3% THC is considered marijuana by federal law and not hemp.
For further reading about chemo types and THC-A/CBD-A synthase enzymes see: SNP in Potentially Defunct Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid Synthase Is a Marker for Cannabigerolic Acid Dominance in Cannabis sativa L. 5
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are the compounds responsible for the smell and taste of hemp (and all Cannabis plants). Hemp flowers can have many different combinations and concentrations of terpenes giving different smells to different varieties. By definition, terpenes are volatile (easily changing to gas at low temps) aromatic compounds. One way to tell if hemp flower is still fresh is by the smell (I.E. if terpenes are still present). Terpenes slowly leave hemp flower after time and improper storage conditions. Terpenes can also alter the effects of any cannabis, hemp or marijuana, by way of the entourage effect, and each have their own purported medicinal benefits. There are thousands of different types of terpenes found in many plants other than hemp. Some common Cannabis terpenes include:
Myrcene – Also found in hops, cardamom, lemon grass.
Limonene – Also found in oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruit.
Pinene – Also predominantly found in pine trees.
If you want to learn more about terpenes we recommend checking out this article: Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules.2
How is CBD created in the plant?
All cannabis plants, whether hemp or marijuana have a similar chemical pathway to produce cannabinoids. Before CBD can be produced, the plant makes CBG-A, which is synthesized in the trichomes. That’s why you may hear people talk about CBG being the “stem cell cannabinoid” or the “parent molecule” to CBD and THC. The plant produces CBG-A and then uses an enzyme called CBD-A synthase to turn CBG-A into CBD-A (THC-A synthase does the same thing for THC in marijuana).2 CBD-A is converted to CBD by means of decarboxylation, but this happens outside of the plant. To read more about decarboxylation and how CBD is produced, read the next Q&A question.
CBD vs. CBD-A & What is decarboxylation?
All cannabinoids are produced as their acid variants (CBD-A) inside the plant. I.E. the plant has CBD-A in it when it is growing and harvested, not CBD. CBD-A is converted to CBD when heat, light, or oxygen exposure occurs; heat being the fastest way to get this conversion. This can happen naturally in the plant and in storage, to a small extent, but it is very minimal and happens slowly. Heating CBD-A removes the carboxyl group (the A) from the CBD-A, turning it into its active form, CBD. This process is known as decarboxylation. That is why CBD flower must be smoked or heated before making products with it. CBD-A has some purported medicinal benefits of note, but it is far less studied than CBD.
The science behind high-CBG plants:
CBG-A is the precursor molecule to CBD-A and THC-A. The cannabis plant produces CBG-A and then uses CBD-A synthase or THC-A synthase to convert CBG-A into CBD-A or THC-A. Previously, all CBG was acquired from harvesting Cannabis plants early, before the CBG-A was converted into CBD-A or THC-A. Recently, however, plant breeders have bred CBG dominant plants that do not use CBD-A or THC-A synthase, and therefore end up being CBG dominant. These plants produce 5-25% CBG in the flowers at harvest. CBG plants are known for having even less THC in them than high CBD hemp plants, and therefore, they are very popular for farmers. Farmers can grow high-CBG plants to full maturity without the risk of the plant going above 0.3% THC.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a medicinal compound found in hemp plants. Known for its mildly sedative, calming, and pain relieving effects, CBD has lots of potential medicinal benefits and many uses. It is non-psychoactive and does not get users high. CBD belongs to a group of compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are found primarily in cannabis plants, although they do occur in other plants to a lesser extent. There are over 120 different cannabinoids including CBD, CBG, THC, CBN, CBC, etc. If you want to learn more about the possible medical uses of CBD check out this article: Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age.1
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol, or CBG, is another cannabinoid found in hemp plants. CBG is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t get users high. It is known for its very mild energizing and focusing effects. The research on CBG is in its infancy so not much is known about its actual medical benefits. There is some evidence that CBG is neuroprotective and potentially helpful with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. See: CBG Derivative Study on Parkinson’s Disease.6 That said, the evidence for these properties has only been found in animal trials thus far and nothing is concrete as of yet.
Is CBD illegal?
No, hemp was federally legalized with the 2018 farm bill. This bill also de-scheduled CBD, removing it from the
controlled substances act (See: Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill).7 While CBD is federally legal, there are states and cities with more specific rules. For instance, some states currently do not allow smokable hemp/CBD products. We always recommend checking with your local jurisdiction on what is and what is not approved as far as CBD and hemp are concerned.
Will CBD products get me high? What about CBG?
No. CBD is non-psychoactive and therefore will not get you high. This is also the case with CBG. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes users to get high. As per the law, hemp plants and the products made from them can contain no more than 0.3% THC, not even close to enough THC to get a user high. If you were to find a non-complaint hemp product with around 1% THC or above, it is possible to become slightly intoxicated if you take enough of it. Please be careful shopping for hemp flower if you are sensitive to THC as not all vendors comply with the 0.3% THC rule.
How can we trust that your products contain no THC?
We test all of our products for potency and compliance at an ISO certified laboratory. On each product page is a link to the test results for all of our products showing >0.3% THC compliance.
Does hempseed oil contain CBD?
No, hempseed oil does not contain CBD. Hempseed oil is obtained by cold-pressing hemp seeds to remove the oil content from the seed. Many companies use hempseed oil in their formulations as a base but the CBD comes from CBD oil extracted from hemp flowers or hemp biomass. When purchasing a CBD product always look at the ingredients and the milligrams of CBD per bottle and per dose. Somewhere in the ingredients you should see “full-spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD oil, CBD isolate, full plant extract, crude CBD oil, CBD distillate, CBD extract, etc.” If the ingredients only list hempseed oil as an ingredient, and/or there is no listed CBD milligrams per dose or per bottle, you can be sure there is no actual CBD in the product.
Is CBD safe to give my child?
We cannot recommend giving CBD to children at this moment. For those of you looking for seizure treatments in children utilizing CBD, we recommend looking into Epidiolex.
Is CBD safe to give my pet?
The information available suggests that giving CBD to your pet is safe as long as you use a low dose. For more information on dosage guidelines for pets, scroll down to “What dosage should I give my pet?”.
For a more detailed answer: There is lots of research outlining the benefits for pets who consume CBD but there is still a lack of research about the safety of doing so. The best that we can do at the moment is examine the information we have available to make an educated decision. We can look at the general consensus among veterinarians in the United States: US Veterinarians’ Knowledge, Experience, and Perception Regarding the Use of Cannabidiol for Canine Medical Conditions.8 Furthermore, we can look at this study which examined the observable negative side effects in dogs who were given CBD. At low doses no negative side effects were observed and at high doses the side effects were present but non-life threatening: Pharmacokinetic and Safety Evaluation of Various Oral Doses of a Novel 1:20 THC:CBD Cannabis Herbal Extract in Dogs.9
As per the articles above, while rare, there are potential negative side effects and drug interactions when giving CBD to pets. Furthermore, there is some concern about cannabinoids lingering in a dog’s plasma and accumulating over time to toxic concentrations.10 That said, the available information suggests that CBD is reasonably safe to give to pets. If you are giving your dog CBD consistently we recommend stopping every month or two for a whole month until more research is published about this. To read more see: Pharmacokinetic and Safety Evaluation of Various Oral Doses of a Novel 1:20 THC:CBD Cannabis Herbal Extract in Dogs.9
You should always consult with your veterinarian before giving your CBD to your pet. Furthermore, always follow dosage guidelines given for products and start small before increasing dosage.
Will CBD make me fail a drug test?
Even though hemp and CBD products have a minute amount of THC in them, it is still possible to fail a drug test when using CBD products. THC-Free products lower that risk significantly. Products formulated with CBD isolate should not make you fail a drug test but it is still a possibility due to the very trace amounts of THC left in the product and/or production errors. Even if the risk is low, we do not recommend taking CBD products of any kind if you have to pass a drug test.
What CBD and/or CBG product should I choose?
The product you should choose is dependent on the effects you are looking for and the method of consumption you prefer. We broke this question down into two sections.
- CBD vs CBG:
In general, CBG products are far better for morning and day-time use because of CBG’s focusing and energizing effects. CBG is almost like a mild cup of coffee with a much lower chance of racing thoughts or other negative side effects. CBD products can be used during the day or night. CBD is much more relaxing and calming. Many people use CBD during the day to relieve anxiety, stress, and/or pain. Many people also use CBD at night to help with sleep. A larger than normal dose of any CBD product may produce some lethargy and is great for night time use but may be distracting during the day.
- How should I consume CBD or other hemp products?
Orally ingestible products such as tinctures, edibles, capsules, and drinks take a bit longer to effect users but have longer lasting and more gradual effects. They are easy to consume and generally taste pretty good. CBD is less bioavailable when taken orally, so you may need to take more to achieve the same effect as sublingual use or inhalation of CBD. Some people like the taste of hemp and thus many hemp products remain unflavored. If you don’t like the taste of hemp, stay away from unflavored products.
CBD/hemp products such as Tinctures can also be taken sublingually (under the tongue) which produces faster acting, more noticeable effects than standard oral consumption. Sublingual consumption is more effective than oral consumption, but not as effective as inhalation.
Salves, creams, and topicals are a great way to take CBD and are focused on muscular pain, soreness, injury recovery, and general body relaxation. Taking CBD this way will not have any mental effects because the CBD is being absorbed into your skin and being bound to the cannabinoid receptors in your skin rather than in your brain. For localized pain, topical products may work better for you than other methods of CBD consumption.
Inhaling CBD or other cannabinoids is very effective. Inhaled CBD is significantly more bioavailable than orally ingested CBD. Therefore, you won’t need to consume as much inhaled CBD to achieve the same effects as eating CBD (See: Towards Better Delivery of Cannabidiol (CBD)).10 Smokable and vaporizable products differ from ingestible products because they provide a quick release of CBD that is immediately effective but does not last as long. Dabbing or vaporizing CBD concentrate is an incredible way to get immediate relief from CBD on the spot. Many people are not familiar with smoking, vaporizing, or dabbing. We recommend sticking with sublingual or orally ingested products if you aren’t comfortable with smoking or vaporizing CBD. Smoking also produces a smell similar to marijuana. If this is a concern, vaporizing flower or concentrates, or using a vaporizer cartridge will reduce this smell significantly (although not completely). If you wish to try inhaled hemp products, feel free to reach out to us with any questions, or find a trusted friend to help you.
Why mix CBD and CBG?
Mixing CBD and CBG is very effective because of something called the entourage effect. Both compounds complement each other fantastically giving you the best of both worlds. A good CBD/CBG mix gives users a great sense of wellbeing with a combination of effects from energizing, to focusing, to calming, and soothing. For more on the entourage effect, scroll down to the next FAQ question.
What is the Entourage Effect?
The Entourage Effect is the combined synergistic effects of all of the various compounds in hemp working together. This includes cannabinoids, terpenes, phenolic compounds, etc. All of these different compounds potentiate each other and increase potential medicinal properties and effects. That is why consuming CBD and CBG products together is so great! This is also why Isolated CBD, D9-THC, D8-THC, CBG, CBN, etc. products are less effective overall than full or broad spectrum cannabinoid products.
There is a decent amount of research to support this claim. There are several studies in which researchers found a “ceiling” of effectiveness in various isolated cannabinoids that was overcome by combining cannabinoids in their treatments. This article: The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain,11 has a great section labelled “Cannabis Synergy” that outlines findings from several studies about the entourage effect and cannabinoid effectiveness.
Why do we blend our CBD cigarettes with CBG?
We blend our CBD cigarettes with CBG for 4 reasons:
- Total THC concentrations: CBG has much lower levels of THC in it than CBD. Therefore, by blending CBD and CBG we can reduce the THC concentration in the blend to less than 0.3% Total THC.
- Consistency: CBD flower is very sticky and dense. Putting pure CBD flower in a cigarette makes it very hard to pull, and very hard to roll. CBG flower is much lighter, fluffier, and less sticky. This blend makes the draw on the cigarette much easier and doesn’t destroy our rolling machine.
- No Fillers: Based on the above reasons, many companies use trim, extracted biomass, herbal blends, etc… to get the THC level under 0.3% and to get the consistency right. This is exactly why we use CBG flower, so that we can get low THC concentrations and the perfect consistency without having to use other fillers that would significantly degrade the quality of the product.
- The entourage effect: The presence of more than one cannabinoid in high concentrations makes for well-rounded effects and a very pleasant smoke. To learn more about the entourage effect check out the question above.
Full spectrum vs. Broad spectrum vs. Isolate? What are the differences?
The Entourage Effect: The combination of different compounds in the hemp plant make it more medicinally effective than one of these compounds alone.
- “Full spectrum” refers to an extract that has gone through minimal processing and still contains the majority of the cannabinoids and other compounds found in the whole plant. This may be called “crude” CBD oil, full spectrum CBD oil, or whole plant CBD extract.
- “Broad spectrum” is somewhere in between full spectrum and Isolate. It is more processed than full spectrum products, contains less cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds, but still contains some other beneficial compounds such as minor cannabinoids and terpenes. Broad spectrum products are generally created using CBD distillate (Crude CBD oil that is further refined by distillation).
- “CBD Isolate” refers to 99%+ pure CBD that has gone through extensive processing to get it to that point. This is the case for any other isolate as well, such as CBG Isolate or CBN isolate.
We believe most CBD products should be full spectrum to give consumers the most bang for their buck. Even the small quantities of THC found in hemp can be helpful in adding to the entourage effect. That said, CBD isolate does have its place. It is much easier to infuse into products and it can be used to easily create THC-Free products. CBD isolate still contains most of the benefits of any other CBD product, it just may not be as effective. For further reading see the FAQ question: “What is the Entourage Effect?” and click the link at the bottom of the answer.
What dosage should I take?
We always recommend starting with a low dosage and working your way up. For particularly sensitive people, 25mg can be plenty of CBD. For most people, 50mg is a good starting point, but 100mg+ might be necessary to notice any effects. This is similar for CBG. It all depends on your individual body and how it handles cannabinoids. If you feel no effects, increase your dosage 25%. If you feel lethargic (and you don’t want to) reduce your dose by 25%. When inhaling CBD products, the dosage required is significantly less because of the increased bioavailability of CBD in the lungs. It is harder to specifically dose CBD when smoking or vaporizing it. We’d recommend taking one hit, waiting 2-3 minutes, and repeating as necessary.
What dosage should I give my pet?
Just like people, we recommend starting with a low dose and working your way up. We recommend giving your pet 0.2-0.4mg CBD per 1lb of body weight. As per this study: Pharmacokinetic and Safety Evaluation of Various Oral Doses of a Novel 1:20 THC:CBD Cannabis Herbal Extract in Dogs,9 we don’t recommend increasing the dose above 1.5mg per 1lb of body weight. Start at the lowest recommendation and work your way up. For instance, a 10lb dog should take anywhere from 2-4mg CBD in a single dose. A 50lb dog should take anywhere from 10-20mg CBD in a single dose. Just as every person’s body is different, so is every animal’s body.
Always start low, assess your pet’s response, and adjust your dosage. If your pet seems to respond well to a low dose, keep it low. If you see no change in response, increase the dose slowly. Always wait at least an hour before increasing the dosage and don’t give CBD to your pet more than 3 times per day. If at any point your pet becomes noticeably lethargic and/or starts drooling excessively, decrease your dosage. If your pet responds poorly, vomits, or has significant changes in behavior, discontinue use immediately and consult your veterinarian. Always consult with your veterinarian before starting to give your pet CBD.
Note: There is some concern about cannabinoids lingering in a dog’s plasma and accumulating over time to toxic levels. Research about this concern is still in progress. If you are giving CBD to your dog consistently we recommend stopping every month or two for a whole month until more research is published about this. To read more see: Pharmacokinetic and Safety Evaluation of Various Oral Doses of a Novel 1:20 THC:CBD Cannabis Herbal Extract in Dogs.9
How long do effects last?
Effect lengths vary due to many factors, such as consumption method, body weight, and dosage. When inhaling CBD products, expect effects to last for roughly 1-2 hours. When consuming products orally, expect effects to last for 3-4 hours. Higher dosages may extend the length of effects by an hour or two.
Where are your products grown?
All of our flower was grown locally in Greeley, Colorado by trained horticulturalists and botanists. Our tincture products use CBD extracted from hemp grown in La Salle, Colorado, excluding our THC free products that were grown and extracted in California. We always acquire a full panel of analysis on our concentrates to confirm these concentrates are safe to put into our products.
What process is used to extract your concentrates and is it safe?
Our concentrates were extracted using CO2 and Ethanol extraction. Both of which are completely safe. Ethanol is considered GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA. The minute quantities of ethanol left in the product are significantly less than you would find even in products like Kombucha or vanilla extract. All extraction methods using a solvent such as: Butane, propane, ethanol, hexane, etc. are all safe as long as the extraction facility is properly remediating the solvent out of the oil after extraction. If you have any concerns about solvents in a product, look for a residual solvent test for the product. These tests should show non-detectable levels of solvents. If you see a test with an unusually high level of solvents, don’t purchase the product.
Elution is dedicated to honesty, transparency, high quality products, and free information. We make sure our customers always receive a high quality product that is exactly what is advertised as far as dosage, ingredients, and consistency. We will never sell you hempseed oil claiming it to be CBD oil. We will never blatantly scam or take advantage of any of our customers be they retail or wholesale. We regularly put out free information for everyone to view and have no “proprietary secrets” to hide from you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us, we will be happy to answer them.
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