If you’ve paid attention to the cannabis industry over the past few years, you’re likely aware that at the end of 2016 (December 14th, to be exact), the Drug Enforcement Administration sent notices around the industry about the inclusion of marijuana extracts (including CBD) as controlled substances.
This makes it more difficult to study the medicinal benefits of CBD, which was previously federally legal. It also pushes CBD from an over-the-counter extract that’s been popping up in vape and smoke shops into the category of products that can only be sold in cannabis dispensaries.
Keep in mind, there’s no gray area – despite initiatives in 8 states legalizing recreational usage, and another 21 allowing medicinal usage, cannabis remains federally illegal and open to prosecution if state law is violated. It’s also open to prosecution when transporting or shipping across state lines, something that’s bottlenecked the legal industry.
The DEA ruling is being challenged in court by a consortium of CBD and hemp-oil producers, including the Hemp Industries Association, RMH Holdings, and Centuria Natural Foods. The DEA issued a clarification statement in the wake of the lawsuit.
Despite being federally illegal, along with THC, CBD is recognized as a legal health supplement in 44 states. It’s only illegal in Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, and West Virginia. Even then, CBD derived from hemp seed oil is legally different than CBD derived from a full cannabis plant in the eyes of the courts.
At Vape Chemist, we were interested in CBD and the medicinal benefits it provides, so we worked with our manufacturer to create a new line of CBD-infused ejuices before the DEA announcement was made. Based in California, we plan to follow all laws accordingly, and wanted to share what we learned over the past year about why CBD is so important to so many people.
It’s not about potheads trying to get high – it’s about natural healing.
Anatomy of a Cannabis Plant
You’re likely aware that cannabis has THC and CBD, but there’s so much more than that. Those are just two of over 80 cannabinoids found in the plant, and the ratio of these cannabinoids, along with over 100 terpenes and over 6,000 flavonoids, creates the flavor and effect profile of each strain.
Although cannabinoids are unique to the cannabis plant, these terpenes and flavonoids are found in every plant in nature. They’re essentially the building blocks of what makes plants what they are, and the addition of cannabinoids leads to thousands of strains listed on Leafly’s strain database (although admittedly many are unconfirmed doubles created by our inability to research the plant).
We typically focus on sativa creating a head high and indica creating a body high, but it’s actually THC that creates the psychoactive effects and CBD that creates the body calm. Different forms of CBD (CBN , for example) can treat different ailments through their effects.
Since CBD doesn’t impair you, it was considered legal in the United States prior to 2017, and this change of direction signals the Trump administration’s intent to stand hard on issues like this. That’s why it’s important to remain educated on the topic. Regardless of your feelings about cannabis, CBD is useful for treating a variety of conditions, and hemp is a different strain of the cannabis sativa plant which contains no THC.
Known Medicinal Benefits of CBD
Few human studies have been performed on CBD (and they’re unlikely to be done anytime soon, thanks to the recent rule change), but animal testing has shown CBD to be antiemetic, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-tumoral/anti-cancer, and anxiolytic/anti-depressant.
CBD is responsible for countering the psychoactive components of THC. If you remember when spice (synthetic pot) was legal for a brief period, people had some bad experiences. That’s because it was just synthetic THC with no CBD and other components to balance everything out. People were being incapacitated, and the ban on marijuana created a new, more dangerous drug that’s still in use today.
A strain of high-CBD cannabis called Charlotte’s Web has been designed by the Realm of Caring Foundation to help a young girl named Charlotte with her epileptic seizures.
It’s been shown to help with acne, diabetes, fibromyalgia, PTSD, schizophrenia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and more. However, the FDC has not verified these claims – it’s all been done through independent studies.
Medical marijuana patients around the country report CBD extracts as being a safe and healthy way of relieving their symptoms, but unfortunately, it’ll be years before we know for sure whether it’s just a placebo. This is the fine line mavericks and trailblazers walk with regulations when creating and exploring a new industry.
Hearing of these benefits and understanding CBD is being vaped, we were of course interested to get into the business. Everywhere we’ve been across the west coast seemed pro-CBD, even the pothead and stoner crowd. Knowing we could not only help smokers kick their habit but also help people suffering from serious conditions live normally was enticing.
We started working on a Philippine Mango CBD juice and were vigorously testing. As a matter of fact, we were mere moments away from production when the laws changed from under us. Unfortunately, while we and everyone else in the vape industry were working hard to adjust to the new FDA rules, the DEA slid new CBD rules under us.
Rescheduling Extracts and the Future of CBD
Clarifying a rule to include THC and CBD extracts is a blow, but it’s not a knockout punch. Vape Chemist CBD blends will still be perfected and sold under California’s laws which allow both medical and recreational consumption, thanks to the good parts of the 2016 election.
It's still legal to buy and use CBD, although many of the health claims can’t be substantiated by the government. The DEA has also shown it’s not looking to arrest nor prosecute CBD users.
We’re still going to stake our claim in this industry and bring our lab-quality, sterile production methods to the CBD industry and ensure a quality product is available on the market for everyone in California to consume. Trump may be leaning anti-cannabis, but in another 4-8 years, the tide will begin turning again.
Until then, we’re going to continue doing our part to help suffering patients and provide relief to those in pain. The quality you know and love in Vape Chemist’s brand will be present on the CBD vape market as well.
Both CBD and vaping help reduce the urge to smoke, and with smoking being the number one cause of death in adults today, we all need to explore ways to curb the addiction.
If you are a retailer and would like to carry Vape Chemist's Pim CBD, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Penny is a former business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower, consultant, troll doctor, and writer. He’s featured on The Huffington Post, Mainstreet, Lifehack, Money Side of Life, Gaiam, HardcoreDroid, and more.