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By Minchul An, Founder of buzzn.
There is a lot of confusion on the legality of CBD, and its counterparts.
With the most recent passing of The Farm Bill of 2018 signed by President Trump in December 2018, it states that Industrial Hemp is legal in all 50 states as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. This legal limit allows CBD Hemp Extract to be sold as Dietary Supplements per Federal Law. However, CBD is just one compound from the hemp plant, and there are over 100 plus other cannabinoids that come with a whole plant extraction. The market today consists of 3 categories of hemp extract products. There is Full Spectrum Hemp, Broad Spectrum Hemp, and CBD Isolate.
- Full Spectrum (or “whole plant”) products contain CBD as well as terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and trace amounts of THC. Those subject to drug testing should be cautious when it comes to full spectrum products. Although it contains less than 0.3% THC, it may still trigger a positive drug test.
- Broad Spectrum (or “whole plant”) products contain CBD as well as terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, but zero THC.
- Isolates are typically the CBD oil products being highlighted as 99% “pure CBD.” The CBD has been isolated from the other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and terpenes.
Although CBD is legal for the most part, there is still a lot of confusion around the hemp plant. To add even more confusion as to where CBD stands, the FDA approved a prescription drug called Epidiolex. Epidiolex is a class 5 prescription drug used to treat two types of seizures, and it’s made from the same compound CBD that’s available on the market as a dietary supplement. Epidiolex is, however, stronger in concentration. A dropperful of Epiodiolex (or 1 ml) contains 100mg of CBD. CBD brands over the counter typically have at most 20mg of CBD per dropperful. Currently, there hasn’t been much clarification if CBD will be seen as a Drug or Dietary Supplement. Technically, a drug is unsafe until it’s proven safe, meaning it has to go through clinical trials and phases in order to be submitted as an NDA (New Drug Approval) before it can become a prescription drug. A Dietary Supplement, on the otherhand, is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) until proven otherwise.
Despite all this confusion as to where CBD and the other cannabinoids stand in terms of safety and efficacy, there are several studies proving this miracle plant has beneficial properties that can tackle an entire range of issues from mood to pain.
It was discovered in the early 90’s that the human body has an endocannabinoid system, and we have cannabis receptors located in that system called CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors can be found in our brain to our nervous system. When you take CBD or any form of cannabis extract, it works with these receptors to replenish the cannabidiol deficiency in our body. It’s believed that a lot of the issues many people deal with like inflammation, pain, and mood disorders are results of cannabinoid deficiencies in our body.
Due to Prohibition, the impact of the last centuries perception of cannabis still hangs heavy over the world, but drastic social shift is underway as attitudes are more supportive with legalization increasing fast. As of right now, the only clarification we have are the 3 different forms of Hemp Extracts that are available on the market.
When I first launched buzzn, we weren’t aware of the new term Broad Spectrum, so all of our labels and packaging originally said Full Spectrum Hemp Extract. As the industry progresses and new terms began to surface, we had to change our labels and packaging to reflect that. Ultimately, we use a whole plant extract and that’s essentially what full spectrum means. Because our products have zero THC, it’s technically no longer called a full spectrum product. As mentioned above, full spectrum has trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%). Many can argue that low of a THC percentage is essentially non-detectable levels. Broad spectrum is similar to full spectrum in that it’s a whole plant extract but contains zero or non-detectable levels of THC.