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Want to understand more about CBD? Here is an excerpt from an interview I participated in that breaks it down.  All responses are mine. 

Debunking Myths Around CBD Oil”

1. Can you please break it down for me: What is CBD oil? Where does it come from? What are its key active ingredients? What do they do? How do they function together?

CBD is a naturally occurring compound of the hemp plant, cannabis sativa. When you look at the compounds present in cannabis sativa you will find a class of molecules called cannabinoids, of which CBD is one. CBD was actually the first to be identified scientifically. Since then, others have been identified including THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol); CBC (cannabichromeme); CBD-V (cannabidivarin); THC-V (tetrahydrocannabivarin). Scientists have identified cannabinoids in other botanicals as well. For example, CBG (cannabigerol) is present in helichrysum species.
2. Is there a difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil?

CBD oil refers to extracts made from cannabis sativa cultivars that are naturally high in cannabinoids, including CBD. Hemp seed oil is made from cultivars that are naturally low in cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, but contains beneficial essential fatty acids and all of the amino acids.
3. Why and in what ways is CBD oil beneficial? What are its top benefits or properties?

It works through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), an endogenous system (within our body). As part of the ECS, we have receptors, of which CB-1 and CB-2 have been identified, though it is thought that more may exist. Terpenes found in cannabis, and other botanicals, contain exogenous (outside the body) compounds that interact with the ECS. There are many benefits associated with these terpenes. Beta-carophyllene, one of the terpenes present in cannabis, has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-prolific effects. Keep in mind there have not been clinical trials as toward the use of these substances.
4. Is the use of CBD oil in skincare and beauty products a new invention, or has this been done before?

To my knowledge, this is a new invention.
5. Why is the use of CBD oil in skincare and beauty products now growing in popularity?

The discovery of cannabinoids and the ECS is relatively new. The CB-1 and CB-2 receptors were discovered in the early 2000s; ECS was discovered in the late 1980s; cannabinoids were discovered in the 1960s. My thought is that people are becoming more accepting of cannabis and herbs in general and are seeking out natural alternatives.

6. Does CBD oil work more effectively in some skincare or beauty products as opposed to others? If so, which ones? Why or why not?
I work with full-spectrum CBD extracts which contain all of the cannabinoids rather than just CBD in isolation. Cannabinoids from the full-spectrum CBD oil have been researched to have anodyne, analgesic, anti-microbial, antioxidant, antiseptic and neuroprotective properties. Cannabinoids are received synergistically by the body so that it is more akin to using the plant in its whole form, rather than isolated compounds which behave more like a drug in the body. As an herbalist, I am well aware that plants in their whole form are best received by the body and we simply call the presence of all of these compounds a synergy. This synergy is termed by the cannabis industry as the “entourage effect” and refers to the potentiation of these cannabinoids working in unity with each other.

7. Will CBD oil found in skincare and beauty products get users high?
No, users will not feel intoxicated from topical applications. 

8. What’s THC? How does that differ from CBD/hemp seed oil?

Tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) is another compound, part of the cannabinoids, identified in the hemp (cannabis sativa) plant. It has different effects on the ECS and is responsible for the sensation of being high. CBD oil is naturally low in THC, and in fact to be considered legal hemp, there must be a concentration of 0.3% THC or less present in the oil.
13. When were they first made/introduced by your brand?

I started making products with CBD oils in late 2014.
14. How and when did you first learn about CDB as a skincare or beauty product ingredient? 
Unfortunately I do not remember where I first learned about CBD, but it probably owes to the fact that I live and work in Colorado which has been very tolerant about cannabis use. The most inspiring event for me though was attending the American Herbalists Guild’s annual conference in 2015, where Ethan Russo was the keynote speaker. Kevin Spelman also lectured. Both of these individuals have researched cannabis extensively throughout their careers, and were able to elucidate the ECS and how cannabis interacts with it. This affirmed for me that I should work with this plant.
15. What do you love most about its use in your brand’s products?

As an herbalist I love working with all herbs, and I like the fact that I don’t have to limit myself or shut out any “taboo” herbs. I believe in herbs having a therapeutic benefit as we have evolved with plants over millennia. Cannabis is simply one that has garnered a lot of attention, and for good reason, however there are many herbs that are worthy of our admiration.
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