Published on December 4th, 2017 | by Noah Chen0
CBD Oil Is Growing Local Trend
Discover the difference between CBD and THC
by Noah Chen
There has been a growing trend of vendors selling cannabidiol, or CBD oil, in health food/specialty shops and smoke shops. How does a plant-derived oil end up being championed by both health nuts and recreational-marijuana proponents?
The answer lies in hemp. Hemp and marijuana are, according to federal law, the same plant, called Cannabis Sativa L. Cannabis Sativa L contains CBD along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana its perception-, mood- and behavior-altering effects. Years of selective breeding have produced two distinct varieties of the plant, however: hemp and marijuana.
In Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal and regulated, the law defines hemp as a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3 percent THC. Anything over this threshold is legally marijuana. For comparison, the average marijuana bud confiscated by the DEA contained 12 percent THC in 2014, as reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
In Atlanta, 0.3 percent THC is the cutoff for CBD oils as well. So while CBD oil has no psychoactive effect, it does have health benefits legally recognized by 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.
“The primary uses for CBD are for neuroprotection, stress recovery, immune imbalance and homeostasis regulation,” says Bhimi Cayce, a health advocate for more than 40 years whois connected with Prime My Body, a company that sells, among other things, hemp oil at $149 for 25 servings. Also, “PTSD, autoimmune diseases, brain trauma, diabetes, digestion, gout, Crohn’s disease, opiate dependence, MS, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, IBD, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, glaucoma—and the list just keeps go- ing. And sleep is a big part of it, it helps people to have a deeper sleep.”
How is CBD able to positively affect so many seemingly unrelated ills?
Dr. Chris Goode, a senior lecturer in the department of psychology and director of undergraduate studies for Georgia State University, has a background in neuroscience and teaches “Intro to Drugs and Behavior.”
“The endocannabinoid systemis part of your central nervous system,” said Goode, who explained that endocannabinoids are “interfering with a message being sent from one neuron to another, or modulating it and changing the nature of the message by adjusting the amount of release of a different neurotransmitter. You can think of endocannabinoids as just being a part of regular neuronal signaling in a lot of different areas of the brain.”
This system can be activated by both THC and CBD, but, Dr. Goode explains, those compounds actually have, in many cases, opposing effects. This could explain why cancer and AIDS patients taking pure THC for nausea and appetite stimulation experience anxiety and paranoia, symptoms somewhat common in being stoned. If CBD does reduce anxiety, as a NCBI report of 49 studies indicates, then pure THC without the CBD would lead to heightened anxiety.
“When people understand that cannabinoids are just as important,
I would probably say even more important, than probably every other nutritional supplement they are taking, they’re going to absolutely put it into their health regime,” said Cayce. “It should be for prevention; it should be if you have challenges and for trying to correct something. This is what they call a miracle plant medicine.”
Marty Brotzge is employed at The Pot Shop in Little Five Points, a CBD distributor selling everything thing from CBD patches to hemp protein mix. Brotzge is a user of the oil himself.
“I decided to take it when I was trying to quit smoking cigarettes, and I was down to two cigarettes [from 10] a day,” Brotzge explained. “I wasn’t getting mad, and I wasn’t getting frustrated, I wasn’t feeling like I need a cigarette and snapping at people.”
Still, most of these claims have not been fully investigated on the federal level. Laws have only recently allowed CBD oil to be sold, and even then, as Dr. Goode noted, they are being sold as nutritional supplements and not as drugs. The difference is that drugs have to prove their effectiveness and relative safety through an expensive and time- consuming process, and nutritional supplements do not.
“There’s an element of ‘buyer beware,’” said Dr. Goode, but “although there are still supplements on the market that contain CBD, CBD
is now being investigated as a new drug. And so very soon those dietary supplements probably won’t be as widely available.”
Not that they would necessarily be gone for good; if the investigation does classify CBD as a drug, it will probably be sold as such.
Until then, CBD oils can be found in a variety of locations in Atlanta, including The Pot Shop, a store selling both oils and hemp clothes right next to Zone 6 Police Station. Dr. Goode counsels people to consult a doctor before purchasing CBD oils.