FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the best way to produce CBD-rich cannabis oil?

The cannabis oil that is typically available in dispensaries is THC-dominant with little cannabidiol. To extract CBD-rich cannabis oil, one must start with CBD-rich plant material. There many ways to extract oil from the cannabis plant, each has its pros and cons. Some methods are safer and more effective than others. Cannabis oils made with neurotoxic solvents like butane and hexane may leave unsafe residues that interfere with immune function and impede healing. Supercritical CO2 extraction is non-toxic and produces high quality oil, but requires significant expertise and access to expensive equipment. Home-brewers can also use safer solvents, such as ethanol, or prevent exposure to organic solvents entirely by using olive oil to extract cannabis oil, according to Dr. Arno Hazekamp director of phytochemical research at Bedrocan BV, which supplies cannabis, including a CBD-rich strain, for the Dutch Health Ministry’s medical marijuana program.

Can I get CBD from juicing raw cannabis?

By juicing or otherwise ingesting raw, unheated cannabis, one consumes THC and the other cannabinoids in their acid form. A CBD-rich strain contains CBD-acid (CBDA), which, when heated, becomes CBD. Unheated CBDA and unheated THCA (THC-acid) both have medicinal attributes, but there has been comparatively little scientific research into cannabinoid acids.

Is a CBD-dominant cannabis strain with very little THC better medicine than a cannabis strain with a fifty-fifty CBD-THC mix?

A CBD-dominant strain or product with little THC is not necessarily a superior treatment option compared to a balanced CBD-rich remedy with an equal amount of CBD and THC. A CBD-dominant extract or strain might be optimal for treating anxiety and seizure disorders, but patients with pain syndromes and neurodegenerative disorders may benefit from a substantial amount of THC. CBD and THC act synergistically to potentiate their respective therapeutic attributes. Different ratios of CBD and THC are more suitable for different conditions and different individuals.

Will I flunk a drug test if I medicate with CBD-rich cannabis?

Yes, you may fail a drug test even if you experience no mood-altering affects from your CBD-rich medicine. Drug tests are geared toward identifying THC, not CBD or another cannabinoid. If one medicates with CBD-rich cannabis that has a small amount of THC, the THC may register on the drug test. 

How is CBD metabolized when consumed orally? Is it converted to another compound?

CBD is metabolized into an analogous compound, 7-hydroxy-CBD, by the liver. Some 6-OHCBD may also be formed. But scientists know relatively little about the activity (or lack thereof) of these compounds. There is strong evidence that CBD does not convert to significant amounts THC in the stomach.

Why are you trying to do more research on CBD when there are so many journal articles reporting its benefits? Don’t we already know that CBD will be effective against a variety of illnesses?

Although cannabidiol has been studied since its molecular structure was elucidated in the mid-1960s and there have been numerous CBD lab studies (using mice as test subjects), only a few clinical studies (using people as test subjects in a controlled setting) have been conducted. While these studies strongly suggest that CBD will benefit people, more real-life investigation is called for. We trust ourselves and the doctors we’re working with to do an honest job. We don’t pretend we’re not biased—we’re hoping that CBD-rich cannabis proves helpful to people in various ways. We trust ourselves, nevertheless, to report the facts as we learn them—period.

How can I participate in research?

Please share your experiences using CBD-rich cannabis products by taking Project CBD’s patient survey. The more responses, the more confident we can be in the data!

How do I make CBD-rich brownies or other CBD-infused edibles?

By the same methods one would use to make any kind of cannabis-infused edible. To make a CBD-rich brownie or another CBD-rich edible, one must first extract oil from a CBD-rich strain and infuse it into olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee (clarified butter). These infused oils or butters are the most common ways to cook with cannabis. One will need to combine the CBD-rich plant material (usually the leafy trim) with the oil or butter and expose to low heat over a long period of time–this will help to avoid breakdown and/or vaporization of the CBD and other cannabinoids. After straining out the plant material, one can substitute CBD-rich cannabutter or canna-oil into your favorite recipes.

Does it matter if CBD is extracted from cannabis or industrial hemp?

We recommend CBD-rich products made using only organic, whole plant cannabis because this offers the best safety profile and superior medicinal benefits. CBD products derived from industrial hemp potentially have several potential problems: Industrial hemp typically contains far less cannabidiol than CBD-rich cannabis strains, so a huge amount of industrial hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD. This raises the risk of contaminants as hemp is a “bio-accumulator,” meaning the plant naturally drawns toxins from the soil. Additionally, hemp-derived CBD and refined ‘pure’ CBD powder lack critical medicinal terpenes and secondary cannabinoids found in cannabis oil. These compounds interact with CBD and THCto enhance their medicinal benefits.

I have heard that CBD is the dominant cannabinoid in hemp plants. Can I just smoke or ingest hemp or ditchweed to get the healing effects of CBD?

It is true that hemp fiber or seed strains will be relatively high in CBD compared to THC, but the overall cannabinoid content of industrial hemp will probably be low. Industrial Hemp is genetically bred to produce fiber for various products or seed for omega oil and nutritional supplements. Industrial hemp is generally not bred for resin production. Without selective breeding for CBD content, CBD yields from hemp are likely to be low.

Does CBD interact with other medications?

Yes. CBD inhibits the cytochrome P450 enzyme, which is involved in metabolizing many drugs. Compounds in grapefruit inhibit the same enzyme group, which is why physicians advice patients not to eat grapefruit shortly before or after taking a medication. By inhibiting cytochrome P450, CBD can either reduce or increase the effects of other drugs. In some situations, it may be advisable for a physician to monitor a patient’s blood levels of other medications while taking CBD.

How do I know what dose of CBD I should take?

We have published a Dosage Guide for clients to review.

What do you mean when you say a cannabis strain or product is “CBD-rich” or “CBD dominant?”

By “CBD-rich,” we mean a cannabis strain or product that has equal amounts of CBD and THC, or more CBD than THC (usually at least 4 percent CBD by dry weight). By “CBD-dominant,” we mean strains or products that are CBD-rich but have very little THC content.
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