The new buzzword! CBD is currently being touted as the cure for just about everything. Pain, anxiety, the common cold, and the eternal war between cats and dogs. If it afflicts us, CBD is the answer. But what is CBD, and what scientific evidence is there? Is this something preppers should consider adding to their natural medicine cabinet?
I’ll discuss those things in this article.
But first, the Disclaimer. We here at tOP aren’t doctors and we don’t give medical advice. Please do your own due diligence and if you’re in immediate distress, proceed to the nearest emergency room. My purpose is to present information. The reader bears sole responsibility with respect to what the reader chooses to do with that information.
So what exactly is CBD?
The acronym is short for cannabidiol. CBD is one of the components of the cannabis plant, aka marijuana. According to Harvard Medical:
“CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis. While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or manufactured in a laboratory. One of hundreds of components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a “high” by itself. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.””
This molecule is not THC, which is the compound in cannabis that causes the high. CBD is thought to interact with receptors in the brain’s endocannabinoid (ECS) system, which is important to CNS development, synaptic plasticity, and brain’s response to various types of insult. The ECS system interacts with a number of receptors in the brain, including but not limited to PPAR and TRP channels. It’s thought that this system’s interactions may underlie various pathologies such as schizophrenia. For those who want to investigate this system and its interactions in-depth, check out this PubMed article.
So what kinds of CBD formulations are available?
Our friends at Cannabiva CBD offer full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and full-isolate products. From their website:
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil: Cannabiva is called a true full spectrum CBD because it’s made using whole plant cannabis extract that’s loaded with essential cannabinoids and terpenes. These phytonutrients work in synergy when they are combined together with the active ingredient CBD making it much more effective than taking just CBD alone. Cannabiva Full Spectrum CBD is made with whole-plant cannabis extract that contains trace amounts of up to 0.3% THC by volume. While it won’t get you high, this one should not be used if you are randomly drug-screened as it could potentially come back positive.
- Broad Spectrum CBD Oil: Contains most of the cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, and other pharmacologically active compounds that a full spectrum CBD extract contains with one major exception: broad spectrum CBD extracts do not contain THC (0.00%) If you might be drug-tested, this is an undetectable option.
- Pure Isolate CBD Oil: It takes just two simple ingredients to formulate ultra pure Zero High CBD Isolate Oils. First, raw organic cannabis material is radically purified into a pharmaceutical grade extract that’s over 99.77% Cannabidiol (CBD) and 0.00% THC. Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is added to fortify the mix. MCT oil is a powerful natural preservative derived from USDA organic-certified coconuts. It protects the integrity of Zero High CBD and ensures its long-term effectiveness. This product has no THC (0.00%).
Note the THC levels available in the different formulations. This is important if your employer drug tests. Full-spectrum CBD oil could come back positive.
Unfortunately, certain industries require drug testing. I have a friend with severe ongoing pain issues who’s prescribed opioids, and she’s related that she can be drug tested at any time. A positive THC test is one of the criteria that can get her opioids yanked. This is something to be aware of.
So how can we be sure that the CBD we’re buying doesn’t contain THC?
Remember, CBD isn’t FDA-regulated, so it can be difficult to determine, and just because the site says so doesn’t automatically make it so. Some sellers post a laboratory analysis on their site. Another way involves a chemical reaction test called thin-layer chromatography, aka TLC. I’ve done this both in my undergraduate chemistry lab and my own kitchen, and it’s not difficult.
In a nutshell, TLC measures the distance traveled by molecules on a given substrate, in this case, a specially coated plate. Heavier molecules separate out more quickly, while lighter ones travel further along the plate. A developing solution specific to the class of molecule helps us determine the amount of the molecule of interest on the plate. Those interested in the theory can read about it here. A step-by-step overview of the process can be found here.
Why go through this? As noted above, CBD isn’t regulated. Snake oil sales is an old con, and products allegedly containing CBD can be found pretty much everywhere. A few years back, I purchased from a website in my own state that claimed to be the cat’s meow of CBD. It turned out that this couple made their formulations in their kitchen from hemp they’d purchased, so I tested via TLC. It turned out that their products didn’t contain the amount of CBD they claimed. I don’t know if the lack was intentional or a result of poor processing, and to me it wasn’t important. I wasn’t getting what I’d paid for, and TLC plating told the tale.
There are several companies out there offering TLC testing kits for CBD, but again caution is warranted. This is a very trendy thing, and people like to make money on trendy. I purchased my first kit from a fellow I spoke with at some length, and it was a good kit. His angle was selling the consumables at an outrageous price for refills. There was just enough development fluid in the kit for a very limited number of tests. In order to acquire more development fluid from this guy, I had to purchase another kit that contained the fluid, plates, micropipette tips, plastic reaction chambers, and more. So caveat emptor!
It was completely possible to purchase more development fluid from a chemical supply company but they tend to sell in larger quantities. Also, note that development fluid is molecule specific. Not just any fluid will do! Some research is required if you want to make your own kit. On the upshot, potassium permanganate is relatively cheap. You just have to buy in quantity, and it, too, has its hazards. Please do note that chemicals, like food, have a best-by date. If not used by that time, the chemicals may lose potency. Plates ditto.
What do we use CBD for?
According to Healthline, CBD may be useful for chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, some cancer-related side effects, and blood pressure regulation. It may also have neuroprotective properties with applications in MS and epilepsy.
But what does the evidence say?
There is evidence to support the use of CBD for chronic pain and anxiety-including PTSD. CBD may have some applications for depression. There are side effects worth mentioning, as both this study and Mayo Clinic point out. CBD may also be effective in treating uncontrolled focal seizures, although more studies are required.
What about giving CBD to my fur babies?
VetCS lists several studies showing that both cats and dogs can benefit. A systemic review from Cambridge shows a benefit in dogs with osteoarthritis and aggressive dogs. My cats don’t particularly enjoy having a dropper full forced down their throats, but that can be said of any medicine I’ve ever given. The chews might be best crushed into their regular food. My cats refused to touch them.
You can find CBD for your pets here.
Could CBD have a place in your prepper’s medicine cabinet?
Since CBD products are currently easy to acquire and have a vast multitude of uses, you may find that this is a useful addition to your preparedness medical supply.
If you have a family member (human or covered in fur) who deals with chronic pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, or insomnia, you may particularly want to research this further. It could be a very helpful addition to your stockpile when the meds run out.
You can read more of our articles about CBD here to see if the product applies to your family.
What are your thoughts about CBD?
So there it is! CBD has its applications and, when used accordingly, can be effective. It’s important to buy from reputable sellers, however, and TLC testing product from a new seller isn’t a bad idea. It’s also important to shop around since prices and formulations vary considerably. Our friends at Cannabiva can help, and I hope my article has also helped. Good luck and good health!
Have you tried CBD products? Do you have a favorite use for CBD? Have you had good results using it? Share your experiences in the comments.
About Amy Allen
Amy Allen is a professional bookworm and student of Life, the Universe, and Everything. She’s also a Master Gardener with a BS in biology, and has been growing food on her small urban lot since 2010.