Are High-CBD Hemp Flowers the Next Big Thing in Cannabis?

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Pirate (not his real name) has been working with cannabis his entire adult life, a trajectory that took him from getting his fingernails dirty at a clandestine outdoor grow in the underground economy to serving patients as part of California’s gray market in medical marijuana, and then on into a job at a state-licensed cannabis dispensary.

So he’s kinda seen it all.

Except now he’s in a whole new field—an Oregon hemp field to be exact—working for a company that grows, markets, and distributes a product you probably haven’t encountered yet. But you may soon, because 2019 is going to be a bumper crop for high-CBD hemp flower.

“It’s mind-blowing,” Pirate tells me. “Some of my mentors from when I was an outdoor grower are now asking for advice on how to set themselves up as CBD hemp farmers.”

Now, no doubt you’ve heard plenty about CBD by now. It’s trendy! It’s helps children with severe seizure disorders. It’s in capsules, oils, vape pens, gummies, coffee, salves, rubs, and lotions. Hell, it’s even been infused into a corporate hamburger!

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6 Common Myths and Controversies About High-CBD Cannabis

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Cannabidiol (CBD) is an exciting focus of medical research, popular media, and legislation related to cannabis. Its presence is becoming ubiquitous on the shelves of health food stores and search engine results for numerous medical conditions, but don’t believe everything you hear. While CBD is an incredibly safe and therapeutic component of cannabis, there are many myths and misconceptions associated with it. Let’s take a look at a few.

Myth #1: CBD is non-psychoactive and medical; THC is recreational.

Both lay and scientific literature have classified CBD as a “non-psychoactive” substance, meaning that it does not alter one’s consciousness. But how could CBD fail to impact consciousness when it’s been shown to have anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anti-craving, alerting, and mood-elevating effects in human studies?

CBD clearly impacts our psyche, often in beneficial ways. It does not, however, impair mental or physical function in most consumers, even very high doses. Thus, CBD can be considered psychoactive, but “non-impairing” or “non-intoxicating.”

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What experts have to say about the Endocannabinoid System

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“For decades, scientists and mental health physicians tried to figure out how THC worked on the brain and body,” explained Dr. Paul Song, Chief Medical Officer of Calyx Peak Companies via email. A significant breakthrough came with the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Additional research has since identified endocannabinoids as the cannabinoids produced within our own bodies. The endocannabinoid system regulates and interprets a series of processes in the body, including memory, pain, reproduction, appetite, immune function and many others. The two major endocannabinoids to be identified today are Anandamide and 2-AG, or Arachidonoylglycerol.

In an email to High Times, Katie Stem, CEO of Peak Extracts, gave a brief overview of the endocannabinoid system. “The system consists of two main receptor types: CB1 and CB2. The endocannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters that elicit effects on the entire nervous system, from your brain to your fingertips.”

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Walgreens to sell CBD products in 1,500 stores

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  • Walgreens will sell CBD creams, patches and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in select states.
  • Walgreens will sell the cannabis-based products in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana.
  • Rival drugstore chain CVS introduced CBD-containing topicals, including creams and salves, to stores in eight states earlier in March.

Walgreens will sell CBD creams, patches and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in select states, the company told CNBC on Wednesday.

The drugstore chain will sell the cannabis-based products in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. Walgreens declined to specify which brands it would carry.

“This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers,” Walgreens spokesman Brian Faith said in an email.

Rival drugstore chain CVS introduced CBD-containing topicals, including creams and salves, to stores in eight states earlier in March. As the non-psychoactive cannabis compound becomes one of the hottest ingredients in consumer products, retailers are carefully evaluating the market.

Consumers are increasingly curious about CBD, which promises to help everything from anxiety to pain even though there is scant evidence backing up these claims. And while CBD derived from hemp is now legal thanks to the farm bill Congress passed late last year, the FDA says companies still can’t add CBD to food or sell it as a dietary supplement.

The regulatory uncertainty has left some large companies on the sidelines for now. Selling CBD-infused beauty and skin-care products brings far less risk, making it an obvious first step for retailers.

Here’s What Medical Cannabis Looks Like in Texas

Compassionate Cultivation founder and CEO Morris Denton looks over marijuana plants in the company’s flowering room in Manchaca, Texas.

Nearly all forms of cannabis are illegal in Texas. And by illegal, I mean very illegal. Possession of a small amount of cannabis concentrate—what we in the legal states know as a $30 vape cartridge—is a felony in the Lone Star State.

Medical marijuana here has almost no THC. It’s actually lower in THC than hemp-derived CBD.
But there is one form of cannabis that is allowed. It’s a highly specialized cannabidiol oil that contains, by law, no more than 0.5% THC and no less than 10% CBD. It’s available only to patients with intractable epilepsy, and three companies are licensed to produce and distribute it.

DEA moves some CBD medicines off Schedule 1, a limited expansion of cannabis access

A sheet of cannabis marijuana in the defocus with the image of the formula CBD

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has taken some cannabidiol out of the most restrictive class of controlled substances, a move that allows the sale of the first nonsynthetic, cannabis-derived medicine to win federal approval.

It’s a decision that immediately affects CBD producers but also signals the agency’s first admission that the plant has medical value.

The DEA announced Thursday that drugs including CBD with THC content below 0.1% are now considered Schedule 5 drugs, as long as they have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It is the first time the agency has lowered any type of cannabis from Schedule 1.

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A Patient’s Guide to Using Cannabis for Cancer

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The cannabis plant contains a number of compounds with research-backed benefits for cancer patients. The science-based case that it is a safe and effective medicine will be made below, with plenty of links to double-blind studies, authoritative sources, and leading experts. The takeaway being that the plant and preparations derived from it can provide relief of cancer-related symptoms like pain, nausea, and inflammation. Some research has even shown that some cannabis compounds may slow cancer growth and shrink tumors.

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