Hemp: CBD and Friends
Hemp and CBD
Are you curious about hemp? We love herbs here at Enerhealth Botanicals, and hemp is one of the most interesting (and controversial) herbs around. The New York Times recently published an article on CBD, which can be found here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/27/style/cbd-benefits.html. CBD is one well-known, non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp and marijuana. The article discusses CBD’s current popularity and all of the different CBD-infused products on the market. But hemp is not just a trend. This plant actually has a very long history of use all over the world.
Hemp’s history extends all the way back to ancient times. The plant was used as herbal medicine by some cultures. Early plants were naturally lower in THC, but there is some evidence that even people in ancient cultures cultivated hemp plants for specific qualities, such as high THC content. These high-THC plants, which would have had mind-altering effects, may have been used in spiritual ceremonies or healing practices. Hemp extracts came around in the 1800s, and they were used medicinally throughout Europe and the U.S. to ease stomach discomfort and other complaints. It wasn’t until later that scientists distinguished between different constituents, such as CBD and THC, within hemp, so these early extracts would have been whole-plant tinctures that included all of the naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the plant. In colonial North America, hemp was generally used for fiber to make paper and textiles, and farmers in some colonies were actually required by law to grow hemp. For the most part, hemp has been a highly valued herb throughout history, and has only come under suspicion in recent times.
If you read the Times article without much background knowledge of hemp and CBD, a few questions might have entered your mind. What is the difference between hemp and marijuana? And what makes CBD extracts different from hemp extracts?
Hemp and marijuana: these two are essentially the same plant, with separate characteristics. If you are somewhat familiar with the two, their names evoke different feelings. “Marijuana” has a sort of illicit sound, while “hemp” seems more wholesome (or maybe that’s just me). While these plants are both technically cannabis, they are two different cultivars, bred for different uses. The word “hemp” has been around much longer than “marijuana,” and hemp was used for all cannabis plants in the past. But nowadays, hemp usually refers only to the low-THC plant. A plant must legally contain under 0.3% THC to be sold as hemp, or industrial hemp.
Now, where does CBD come in? CBD is one cannabinoid, a compound found in the cannabis plant, and it occurs in both hemp and marijuana. It is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high, unlike THC, another cannabinoid also found in both hemp and marijuana. CBD is found in higher concentrations in hemp, and THC is found in higher concentrations in most strains of marijuana. The health-supportive benefits of CBD are becoming widely known, so many companies are making CBD-isolate extracts. These extracts take the CBD and leave everything else in the hemp plant. But herbs were meant to be used as whole plants; all of the different compounds and volatile oils in these potent plants work together synergistically to create a more powerful effect than one single compound alone.
We recommend one brand of hemp extracts: Meta Hemp. Meta Hemp is an FDA-inspected and approved lab that sells whole-plant hemp extracts, which are naturally high in CBD. They use an ancient process called spagyric extraction. This old alchemical process has been updated to make it more efficient, using modern equipment. They start with organically grown, non-GMO hemp, and the extraction is a low-temperature process. The extract never gets above 100 degrees F at any point. This creates a raw, living extract, meaning the valuable compounds and oils in the plant have not been cooked off. Organic grape alcohol is used to distill the whole hemp plant. After that, the leftover plant material is put through a high-heat furnace (the extract itself doesn’t get near this furnace) to extract the mineral salts, which are then added back into the final product. There is literally nothing left over. The hemp is completely transformed into a truly whole-plant, full-spectrum extract.
These whole-plant extracts deliver the CBD along with all of its supportive friends. These include other cannabinoids, terpenes, and volatile oils. The final extract is blended with MCT coconut oil, which further enhances its absorbability. So, you can call Meta Hemp’s products CBD extracts, but they are so much more than that.
You may be skeptical about hemp because there are so many different benefits attributed to it. It is portrayed as an almost magical plant that can fix any malady. In reality, hemp is not magical, but it does provide a wide range of benefits. One reason that these benefits are so varied is that our endocannabinoid system (the system that receives and uses cannabinoids) spans the entire body, so there are many different areas that can benefit from cannabinoids. Why do we have a system for receiving cannabinoids? Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids; these compounds assist in many different functions in the brain and body. Cannabinoids, which come from an outside source (like hemp), closely resemble endocannabinoids and can fill in for them where needed.
Another reason that hemp is linked to so many different kinds of results is that it can be used internally or externally, for different purposes. For topical use, the Meta Hemp salve is very useful for supporting healthy skin. It can also work to ease discomfort in the joints and muscles, especially when used in combination with one of the internal extracts. When taken internally, hemp extract is especially beneficial to the nervous system, helping to bring about relaxation, mental and emotional balance, and a healthy stress response. Hemp can also support blood flow and overall cardiovascular health. Finally, the antioxidants in hemp support the immune system and help prevent damage from free radicals. Basically, the cannabinoids and oils in hemp are known to support the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the immune system. Hemp may have other benefits that are not well known yet, but it’s already got a great track record in those areas.
Give it a try!
The Times article mentions many, many issues that CBD can address, ranging from minor to severe. If you decide to try a hemp extract and you are seriously looking for results of some kind, there are a few things to keep in mind. Consistency is very important. Take a regular amount of the product at the same time each day, and try not to make too many other changes all at once. If you start taking multiple other supplements along with the hemp extract, and then start to notice results, you won’t know whether it was really the hemp that caused those results. Also, remember that hemp is an herb, and while it may do amazing things for many people, there will always be some people who just won’t react. If that is the case for you, we have plenty of other herbal extracts for you to try.
Hemp extracts come in all different strengths. How do you know which one to choose? Meta Hemp Solutions sells hemp extracts in three main strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1,000 mg. These are powerful, effective whole-plant extracts, so the dosage is lower than many other brands out there. Here is a guide to the numbers:
The 250 mg extract promotes healthy sleep, supports the nervous system, and may have a calming effect. This extract is great for promoting overall wellness and a healthy stress response, and is perfect if you don’t have any major health complaints, but just want to see if hemp extract can give you a boost. (This strength delivers 8.3 mg of cannabinoids/dropperful.)
The 500 mg extract provides all the same benefits as the 250, plus more. This extract promotes healthy cell growth and may help ease discomfort and modulate inflammation. If you need an even bigger lift for your health, try this mid-range strength. (This strength delivers 16.6 mg of cannabinoids/dropperful.)
Finally, the 1,000 mg extract supports in all the same ways as the 500, but on a larger scale. This is the extract to use when supporting the body through a more serious health condition. (This strength delivers 33.3 mg of cannabinoids/dropperful.)
The Times article mentions all of the different forms CBD is sold in: gummy candies, latte infusions, gel capsules, soaps, and more. So why does Meta Hemp stick with a liquid taken from a dropper? Research shows that this is the best way to take hemp to maximize absorption. In addition, it is much easier to measure how much you are taking this way, and easier to maintain consistency. If all you did was eat some CBD-infused food once in a while, you wouldn’t know exactly how much CBD you were getting, and it would be very hard to judge whether it was benefitting you or not.
If you do want to change things up, our extract can be added to a beverage. But make sure the temperature of your drink is under around 100 degrees F, so that you preserve all of the delicate health-supportive compounds in the extract.
In conclusion, cannabinoids are not just a passing trend. Supplementing with a high-quality hemp extract (which provides absorbable CBD) can be a great way to support health while carrying on an ancient herbal tradition.
Check out all of Meta Hemp’s hemp extracts, herb-hemp blended extracts, and topical products, educational info about cannabinoids, and more info on the spagyric process here: https://metahempsolutions.com/.