CBD, or cannabidiol, is buzzing right now. Everyone’s talking about it, Amazon just released a documentary on it. Even Oprah takes it. People give it to their pets (but not in the UK, that’s not really legal yet).
From its miracle-like effect on children and adults suffering with severe epilepsy, to helping women from the pains of endometriosis, all the way to aiding those seeking help with sleep. Claims of its benefits are far-reaching.
But what is it? What isn’t it?
Let’s start with the elephant in the room: what’s the difference between Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana?
Cannabis is a name for the flowering plants in the Cannabaceae family which consists of three primary species: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis.
Hemp refers to the non-psychoactive varieties of Cannabis sativa (less than 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol, THC) that is used industrially and also has very high levels of cannabidiol (CBD). All CBD products you will use and that are sold on lady-high are extracted from hemp.
Hemp has been used since…forever, it is also one of the strongest natural fibres in the world with over 50,000 different uses like: building materials, textiles, paper, foods, and body care.
Marijuana comes from the same species (Cannabis sativa) but is genetically distinct and contains the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (more than 0.2% THC). The name ‘Marijuana’ was created in America in the early 20th century when Mexican immigrants began settling in the US. The term is misleading and actually racist propaganda (this is a whole other article in itself, which is important, and we will write it soon). So, we don’t like to use this term but it’s important you know.
Hemp and marijuana are often mistaken for each other because they can appear identical even though their molecular composition is different. Because the plants are harvested for different purposes, they are cultivated differently. Both can produce high amounts of CBD – but only hemp-derived CBD is legal in the UK.
Legal status in the UK
In the UK, Cannabis is a controlled substance, but CBD is legal as long as it contains under 0.2% THC and is derived from hemp. Which all of lady-high CBD products comply with.
The Home Office can issue licenses to UK farmers for the cultivation of Industrial hemp; however, they are only allowed to harvest parts of the plant. Even though the entire hemp plant has very low levels of THC, parts that are not allowed to be harvested are treated the same as all cannabis in the UK – illegal.
* Did you know that despite the illegality of cannabis in the UK, the UK is the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis. Yeah, that’s some hypocrisy right there.
So, what’s the deal with CBD?
CBD is one of hundreds of powerful components found in all Cannabis plants. Again, only hemp-derived CBD is legal. Although trendy, It’s not new. The first evidence of cannabis derived medicine dates back to 2737 BC in China where it was used to aid with memory, malaria, rheumatism, and gout. Apparently, Queen Victoria used CBD to alleviate her period pains.
CBD cannot get you high. Not even a little bit. Nope. In fact, CBD reduces and often eliminates the psychoactive THC effects. So, if you are ever too stoned on the illegal stuff, take a bit of CBD, you’ll be grand. But just so you know, THC has loads of really important therapeutic benefits too – just because its psychoactive does not make it the enemy.
CBD is a cannabinoid that works by interacting with our own internal endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS a huuuuge internal system of controls that helps regulate important daily functions such as your sleep, mood, and appetite. You can read more about this on our article on the endocannabinoid system here.
CBD can do many things for a myriad of health issues, the strongest scientific evidence is for its ability to treat horrible childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to anti-seizure medications. It doesn't stop there.
"A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat." (Harvard Health Publishing)
Research is ongoing and everyday there are new and exciting discoveries about the powerful healing abilities of this miracle genus.
Keep tuning in to lady-high and we will keep updating you with new and exciting research coming our way.
Margent Farm is an organic hemp farm in Cambridgeshire practicing regenerative farming methods. The products they make are amazing - formulated by famed herbalist - The Herball, you can shop them here.