OIL THERAPY:  Potential therapeutic opportunities CBD oils.

OIL THERAPY: Potential therapeutic opportunities CBD oils.

There continues to be a significant interest in the development of therapies and other consumer products derived from cannabis and its components, including cannabidiol (CBD).This chemical compound is found naturally in cannabis sativa, a plant species that includes both cannabis and hemp plants. The primary difference between the two plants is that hemp contains higher amounts of CBD than THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, while cannabis plants contain higher amounts of THC than CBD. CBD is technically a psychoactive cannabinoid, but when derived from hemp plants, the psychoactive component is very low, therefore the potential benefits, including the possibility of mitigating depression and anxiety symptoms, relieving pain and protecting against some neurological diseases, can be realized without the associated “high”.

There are a growing number of processes being developed for the production of the CBD oil, some of which are being patented, the common first step involves extraction. Ethanol and C02 extraction are probably two of the most commonly used methods for isolating the oil. In these processes, the leaves/flowers are macerated and placed into solvents, such as ethanol, or at lower temperature with CO2 to extract components of the plant.

Because many other plant components can be co-extracted with the cannabinoids, these contaminants can be removed by a treatment known as “winterization”, a process of extracting at –20 to –80 ° C for 24–48 hours.  Components such as waxes, triglycerides and chlorophyll “solidify” and can then be removed by filtration. Since these materials can still be deformable, a composite construction such as the QXL Series filter is effective in capturing these particles.

Additionally, the GFC Series filter has been found to be effective in removal due to the inherent charge of the glass media(biological materials tend to be negatively charged so the positively charged glass works well). With the cannabidiols isolated, further purification can then be accomplished by ion exchange, acid-based chemical reactions, various types of chromatography or distillation to produce a marketable product.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who maintains regulatory oversight of consumable products containing hemp, recognizes the that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may offer and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities. As the FDA continues a multi-year process of evaluating the regulatory frameworks that apply to certain cannabis-derived products, states have stepped in to protect consumer safety through laws and regulations governing the manufacture and sale of CBD product.  While the U.S. Congress passed and signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act which removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, effectively legalizing CBD if it comes from hemp, a few states have not removed hemp from their state-controlled substances acts, so the legality of CBD products differs across states.

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