Does CBD show up on a drug test?

The short answer is that it should not, but like everything with CBD, the answer is a bit more complex because of the variety of the various CBD products that are being sold and lack of labeling standards.  

CBD is one of dozens of non-intoxicating cannabinoids that are naturally found in cannabis leaves, flowers and stalks.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, cannabis also contains one intoxicating cannabinoid known as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).  In 2018, Congress authorized a new Farm Bill which formally defined and legalized “Hemp” as cannabis that has less than 0.3% THC.  

There are now dozens of CBD products on the market and they generally fit into one of three buckets in terms of their claimed characteristics:

  • “Full Spectrum”:  claim to contain CBD, some amount of other cannabinoids, and THC at/below legal limits
  • “Broad Spectrum”:  claim to contain CBD, some amount of other cannabinoids, and no detectable THC
  • “Isolate”:  claim to contain ONLY CBD

Since drug tests are searching for the intoxicating cannabinoid, THC, one would assume that any product labeled as #2 or #3 would be safe for consumption by those concerned with passing a

Does CBD really do anything?

Depending on who you ask, CBD is either the greatest thing to happen since sliced bread or it’s just a fad the size of which has rarely been seen anywhere in the world.  As with most things, the truth is likely somewhere in the middle given that anecdotal case studies indicate incredible health and wellness results for thousands of people across the globe.  While this is the case, FDA drug approval for CBD is limited to Epidiolex by GW Pharmaceuticals for epilepsy. 

In terms of the question “does CBD do anything”, most people begin to pay very close attention to the potential health and wellness benefits of cannabinoids like CBD when they learn two things:

  • Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids as part of our Endocannabinoid System (ECS).  Discovered in the 90’s – but still not taught in medical schools for some reason – the ECS is responsible for regulating the body’s homeostasis, or balance.  More practically speaking, the ECS helps to regulate the body’s central nervous, digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and skeletal systems; all of the natural bodily systems that we take for granted.
  • In 2003, the US Department of Health patented plant-based “cannabinoids as neuroprotectants and antioxidants”.  The benefits of plant-based cannabinoids are apparently so obvious that our own government acted to patent them as part of patent #6630507

When our body’s own production of cannabinoids becomes deficient due to our genetics, environment, diet choices, or other stresses, bad things can happen and the resulting calamities can vary greatly from person to person.  One person’s deficiency in cannabinoids might result in an inability to handle anxious feelings or pain while another person’s cannabinoid deficiency might make them more susceptible to inflammation or insomnia. While FDA approved research is limited and many more studies are required, it makes sense that we should consider introducing plant-based cannabinoids such as CBD into our diets as a way to maintain the balance and strength of our ECS.  This is especially true since there are no intoxicating side-effects associated with CBD.

So – yes – CBD really does do something:  CBD and other natural, non-psychoactive cannabinoids help us modulate our own internal, auto-pilot Endocannabinoid System in order to maintain a healthy balance for all of our vital life-giving systems. 

Beyond epilepsy (for which an FDA approved CBD drug now exists), there are no other FDA approved applications of CBD as a drug.  However, research is being done across the world to better understand if CBD for anxiety, CBD for pain, or CBD for insomnia, etc. are real opportunities. 

Is CBD a drug?

No and Yes.  

Cannabidiol, CBD, is one of dozens of non-intoxicating cannabinoids which are compounds naturally found in cannabis leaves, flowers and stalks.  When cannabis has less than 0.3% THC (the intoxicating cannabinoid), it is considered to be “hemp” and is then federally legal in the United States per the 2018 US Farm Bill.  Cannabis with intoxicating THC levels above 0.3% are considered to be “Marijuana” and is governed under individual state-level cannabis regulations. 

Demonstrating their potential to both support people as a dietary supplement and as a pharmaceutical drug, the United States Department of Health patented “cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” in 2003 (patent 6630507).  CBD later became famous after CNN featured the miraculous impact a natural CBD oil had on a little girl’s life and it has now grown into a world-wide health craze that is helping to change the perception of cannabis itself. 

The reality that CBD does not yield psychoactive side-effects makes it an interesting potential cannabinoid for drug experimentation.  While comprehensive FDA approved research is currently limited for CBD, GW Pharmaceuticals was awarded official drug status for its epilepsy / anti-seizure CBD drug, Epidiolex.  To clarify, FDA approved drugs must always be isolated compounds so the FDA has approved “CBD Isolate” as a drug for epilepsy.  

While CBD is also now being further researched as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as to determine if it has potential to deliver relief from anxiety, pain and several other conditions, the FDA does not currently recognize CBD oils containing other cannabinoids, flavonoids, etc. as dietary supplements.   The FDA’s view is that an isolated compound (CBD) cannot exist as both a pharmaceutical drug and as a dietary supplement, even though the dietary supplement version contains CBD along with many other cannabinoids, flavonoids, etc.   To illustrate this situation, it’s as if the FDA is saying “Vitamin C is now a drug, so orange juice can no longer label it’s Vitamin C content.”  This FDA drug reality is why many companies choose to label their products as being “Hemp Extract” instead of as being “CBD”; the theory being that “Hemp Extract” is potentially a more FDA-friendly label solution given the inconsistencies in governmental regulation. 

Given all of this, it’s nearly certain that CBD will be further researched and that the FDA will eventually consider CBD for anxiety, CBD for pain, CBD for Inflammation, etc. in many other future drug applications.  However, given that CBD is also naturally highly concentrated in a plant that can now be legally grown in one’s own garden, CBD will also continue to exist as part of “hemp extract” oils that contain CBD along with other cannabinoids, flavonoids, etc. and the FDA will eventually be forced to clarify it’s status.

Does CBD oil get you high?

No – CBD oil does not get you “high.”  While there are dozens of compounds, called cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant, only one, THC, has been definitively proven to result in an intoxicating high.  Since CBD does not result in psychoactive side-effects, it is an attractive compound to be studied for various health and wellness benefits. While FDA approved research findings are limited, CBD is actively being studied for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as for its potential to deliver natural support for anxiety, pain, insomnia and many other conditions.  

Despite the lack of FDA analysis, consumers should do their own research around the mountain of anecdotal evidence pertaining to CBD and wellness.  In fact, cannabinoids were patented by the United States Department of Health in 2003 as “antioxidants and neuroprotectants” (patent 6630507). CBD is now a global wellness phenomenon that is changing the perception of cannabis after it first became famous after being featured on CNN for the near miraculous impact it had on a little girl’s life. 

While some people report drowsiness with CBD usage, this is generally associated with other factors or with dosing that exceeds the recommended daily allowance rather than with being high.  That said, not all CBD is created equally and depending on the brand chosen could have unreliable levels of THC – the compound that makes one high.

Consumers should open their phone camera and scan the QR code shown on the CBD package to review the 3rd party test results.  These results should show that there is at least less than 0.3% THC present in the product.  If there are no test results available, then there is a good chance the product could have THC levels that are above the legal limit and which could be resulting in an intoxicating high.  H. Hemp products contain only trace levels of THC, meaning that there is no chance of them resulting in an intoxicating high.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of dozens of compounds called cannabinoids that are naturally found in cannabis and do not result in a high.  In 2003, cannabinoids were patented by the United States Department of Health as “antioxidants and neuroprotectants” (patent #6630507). CBD then became famous after the CNN feature on the miraculous benefits CBD had for little Charlotte Figi and it went on to become a world-wide health trend.  

Unlike the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, other cannabinoids and CBD are non-psychoactive in nature so they will not deliver the user a “high.”  Since CBD lacks the side-effects of psychoactivity, it presents a wide variety of health and wellness potential. While research findings and definitive proof are limited, cannabinoids including CBD are being studied for their  ability to be anti-inflammatory in nature as well as for their ability to deliver natural support for pain, anxiety, and other issues. Hundreds of studies about the benefits of CBD exist along with thousands of anecdotal stories; however, FDA approved drug status only exists for Epidiolex (approved by the FDA for epilepsy).

Cannabis that is called “Hemp” must contain less than 0.3% of the intoxicating cannabinoid, THC, while cannabis with more than 0.3% THC (regardless of its CBD content) is classified as being “Marjiuana.”   Given confusing FDA perspective and erratic State laws, many manufacturers choose to label their CBD products as “Hemp Extract” oil instead of “CBD Oil.” That is: “CBD Oil” and “Hemp Extract Oil” mean the same thing.  Further, already confused consumers must also be advised that “Hemp Extract” oils are unique products compared to those labeled as “Hemp Oil” products. While “Hemp Oil” products contain healthy proteins from hemp seeds, they do not contain CBD

 

“Hemp Extract” oil“Hemp Oil”
Extracted from the hemp plant; contains CBDContains healthy hemp seed oil; no CBD

CBD can generally be purchased in one of three ways:

  • “Full spectrum” oil:  contains CBD, other cannabinoids, and legal amounts of THC
  • “Broad spectrum” oil:  contains CBD, other cannabinoids, and no THC
  • “Isolate”:  contains only CBD

Most consumers are looking for a “full spectrum” CBD product so as to be as close to a natural whole-plant solution and because of belief in the Entourage Effect (theory that CBD in the presence of other cannabinoids works better than isolated CBD alone).  If drug testing is a concern, then “Broad Spectrum” or “Isolate” products are the best options. 

Now, to make things even more confusing just when it was starting to make some sense.  Consumers need to also understand that many unethical CBD companies exist who use just a small amount of the far more expensive “full spectrum” oil and then spike it with much cheaper CBD isolate (often from China) to elevate their claimed CBD levels.  Doing this allows them to produce products at the lowest possible cost and then pass them off as being “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum”.

So how to know if what you’re buying is what it says it is?  By scanning the QR code on all CBD packages. Simply open your phone camera and use it to scan the QR code shown on the CBD product package.  3rd party test results showing the CBD percentage, the percentage of other cannabinoids, and the absence of pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins should be viewable here if the product is to be trusted.  All H. Hemp products are tested for quality and purity.

Whole Foods to sell cannabis products…someday.

It was reported in the Boston Globe and many other media outlets this week that Whole Foods co-founder and CEO, John Mackey said in a press conference that he sees no reason why products containing cannabis should not be sold at a retail grocery outlet like Whole Foods, once they have federal clearance to do so. He made the remarks without be prompted by a question from a reporter.

This is consistent with the company’s stance on hemp products. While, they have long stocked products that contain hemp hearts and hemp seeds, it makes sense that they are looking forward to a time when federal and state law would permit them to sell CBD products and eventually products containing THC. In late 2019, the company’s own blog posted an article listing CBD oils as one of the top ten food trends for 2019.

At H. Hemp, we could not be more excited to see someone like John Mackey come forward and take a stand on the efficacy of CBD. We look forward to a day when anyone in the US can easily purchase CBD products to help manage anxiety and stress.

Big props to John Mackey and Whole Foods for the innovative and forward-looking stance they have chosen to voice.

5 Healthy Hacks to Combat Stress and Anxiety

Given the pressures of juggling multiple heavy responsibilities, it is more critical than ever that we learn to naturally control stress and anxiety. Our bodies are constantly under environmental stresses. But psychological stress significantly adds to these stresses and can ravage our bodies over time by negatively impacting our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Negative impact on the ECS can limit our immune systems which obviously can result in our bodies being more susceptible to a variety of illnesses and issues.

The best thing we can do to take control of managing these stresses is to focus on our health and wellness, most importantly what we are putting into our bodies in terms of supplements and our diet.

Stress Effects on the Brain

Stress can make people irritable, sleepless and sad. I can also lead to migraines, colds, flu and irritable bowl syndrome and, even, hair loss. What do all of these issues have in common? They all start in your brain.

When we are stressed, our bodies release the hormone cortisol which can damage the hippocampus, neurons and other areas of the brain. Fortunately, the US Department of Health has patented “cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” indicating the strong potential for whole-plant hemp CBD products to to help people better manage stress and anxiety without getting high.

There is no magic bullet to managing stress. You will need to do more than just add hemp CBD to your diet – but you can do it!

5 Healthy Hacks for Combat Stress

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then try incorporating one or more of the following steps to your daily routine. Don’t try to change your life in one fell swoop, rather start small and try out some of these ideas one at a time in order to develop healthy habits and routines.

  1. Eat Right.

Hippocrates famously wrote: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” So, stop with the fast food now. You can do it! Also, add more fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats to your diet. Your gut has a major influence on your body’s stress response and overall health and wellness.

  • Reduce your intake of processed, refined ingredients like sugar, gluten and bleached grains. Hint: If it’s white, limit your consumption unless it’s milk, cheese, or eggs.
  • Eat more good fats, like grass-fed beef, seeds & nuts, avocados, wild-caught salmon, and organic peanut butter (without sugar added). Hint: keep a bag of organic mixed nuts at hand for snacking.
  • Eat more probiotic foods. Probiotics include things like kombucha, kefir, kimchi, pickles and sauerkraut among others. They work to enhance our gut and digestive systems which serve as major influencers on our ability to deal with stress. Hint: for greater probiotic impact substitute non-sweetened kefir for yogurt in a fruit smoothie.
  • Eat more antioxidants to eliminate free radicals from our bodies which cause oxidation of cells. In addition to the antioxidants contained in Honest Hemp CBD, you can get rich antioxidants into your system by eating foods such as dark chocolate, garlic, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pecans, etc. and by drinking green tea. Hint: mix these berries into the probiotic smoothie every morning (and buy frozen berries to save money).
  1. Start Taking a High-Quality, Whole-Plant Hemp CBD Supplement

 

The US Department of Health patented “cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” (US Patent 6630507). Given this, introducing the most super of superfoods, hemp CBD, into your diet is a smart thing to consider if you’re looking to protect or boost your neurons. But make sure the hemp CBD oil you purchase can pass the following tests for safety and effectiveness:

 

  • Premium whole-plant hemp genetics
  • Grown according to organic practices without pesticides
  • Grown on US farms, not imported from Europe or China
  • Scientifically tested for safety and quality

All Honest Hemp CBD products adhere to these high standards.

  1. Attack the Stress Hormone Cortisol with Supplements

The fight or flight response is hard-wired in our DNA as a survival mechanism to help get us out of stressful situations. Today’s everyday stress is very different from that of years past, but no less significant. When our bodies experience stress, we release cortisol via our adrenal glands. If stress is continuous, then these glands get fatigued and our cortisol gets out of balance. Some great supplements to consider adding which will help balance cortisol levels and fight stress:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Rosemary
  • Rhodiola
  • Asian / Panax Ginseng
  • Aloe Vera Juice

 

  1. Focus on Breathing and Heartrate

Meditation comes off a little “new age-y” and isn’t for everyone. So, do this instead: Sit comfortably or lie down and just start focusing on your breathing. Begin to feel your heart beating as you slowly inhale and exhale. Let your mind race and don’t get angry with yourself as your mind wanders, rather just gently bring your thoughts back and focus on each breath and heartbeat.

This practice will literally help your neurons calm down and likely lead to better sleep, energy and mental clarity. Target 5 minutes a day to get started and increase it as you begin to witness the amazing benefits for yourself. If you’re into apps and want to give that a try, then search the app store for “meditation” apps and you will find a few to help.

  1. Smile

They say “laughter is the best medicine” for a reason. Smiling and laughing allow our brains to forget about the stresses of daily life, if only for a few moments. As simple as it sounds, this critical component of a healthy lifestyle. Smiling helps us and makes others feel good. So, next time you are in a crowded place, look up from your phone and make it a point to smile at someone.