Cannabinoids - Part 4

CBD - Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most popular buzzword on the planet right now. With the passing of the farm bill, this is an exciting time in the world of CBD. It is driving markets, creating industries, and generating tax dollars and incomes that have the potential to swing the entire nation’s economy in a positive direction. has projected that CBD sales could exceed a billion dollars by next year (1)! There’s a lot of misinformation about CBD out there, so the purpose of this blog is to sift through all of that, figure out what is real and what isn’t.

Farming CBD

As we have discussed in previous blog posts, farming CBD involves a few very specific techniques. It requires spacing somewhere between 2’-6’ in between plants. It requires very specific fertilization (plant-based, amino acid fertilizers), specifically NOT using traditional ag salt-based fertilizers, and particularly ones high in phosphorus. You harvest the whole plant and dry it to prepare it for processing. After it is dried, it is best to use a material separation machine (like the one Key to Life offers) so you can separately sell/use the fiber, seed, and high CBD flower material. The CBD flower material is then processed to either create CBD isolate or whole plant crude material. This can be sold for an extremely large profit. The seed can either be used for next season, or sold. Finally, the fiber can be sold to make a PLETHORA of things ranging from hemp-based plastics all the way to energy cells!

Isolate vs Whole Plant

This final step of processing and making a choice to either process for isolate or whole plant extract is a BIG decision for the farmer. CBD isolate can be sold for as much as $7500/kilo (2) so a lot of farmers think that this is the best way to go considering you can get anywhere from 11 kilos/1000 lbs of 10% “clean” material, all the way up to 25 kilos/1000 lbs of 24% “clean” material. This yield/return is affected by a wide variety of factors. Everything from your extraction method to the actual cleanliness of the material you are sending away. Isolate can then be put into a plethora of products ranging from products form human and animal consumption to topical and even cosmetic products!!

Whole plant extract, in our opinion, is a much better option not only for that farmer, but for the consumer and the industry as a whole. Pigeon-holing ourselves to thinking that this plant’s ceiling is this ONE isolated compound is flat-out ridiculous. We have identified over 160 different cannabinoids and are discovering more every day! Stripping all off these other cannabinoids out for the sake of creating medicine is counterintuitive at best. If you read our pre-Christmas blog, we have even found evidence that some of these isolates have promising medical benefits. Whole plant extract IS the best medicine.

The Effects

CBD does not have the same psychoactive effects as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (2,3,4,5,6,7). Studies have even suggested that CBD can counter-effect some of the negative psychoactive/intoxicating effects of THC, ensuring that if patients ingest too much CBD, they have a way to counteract those effects (14). CBD has been shown to act as a serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist, and this action may be involved in its antidepressant, anxiolytic, and neuroprotective effects. It is an allosteric modulator of the μ- and δ-opioid receptors as well (8,9,10,11,12,13). In the United States, the cannabidiol drug Epidiolex has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of two epilepsy disorders (15). Some research on other possible therapeutic uses for CBD include several neurological disorders, but the findings have not been confirmed yet.

Tune in next week as we break down the 2018 Farm Bill. We will discuss what it means and how it affects you as the customer/consumer!



  1. “Total U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) consumer sales from 2014 to 2022 (in million U.S. dollars)” Published July 2018. Statistics from 2017 records.
  2. Campos AC, Moreira FA, Gomes FV, Del Bel EA, Guimarães FS (December 2012). "Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-spectrum therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences (Review). 367 (1607): 3364–78
  3. Boggs, Douglas L; Nguyen, Jacques D; Morgenson, Daralyn; Taffe, Michael A; Ranganathan, Mohini (6 September 2017). "Clinical and preclinical evidence for functional interactions of cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol". Neuropsychopharmacology. 43 (1): 142–154.
  4. Pisanti S, Malfitano AM, Ciaglia E, Lamberti A, Ranieri R, Cuomo G, Abate M, Faggiana G, Proto MC, Fiore D, Laezza C, Bifulco M (July 2017). "Cannabidiol: State of the art and new challenges for therapeutic applications". Pharmacol. Ther. 175: 133–150.
  5. Iseger TA, Bossong MG (March 2015). "A systematic review of the antipsychotic properties of cannabidiol in humans". Schizophrenia Research. 162 (1–3): 153–61.
  6. Jurkus R, Day HL, Guimarães FS, Lee JL, Bertoglio LJ, Stevenson CW (2016). "Cannabidiol Regulation of Learned Fear: Implications for Treating Anxiety-Related Disorders". Frontiers in Pharmacology. 7: 454.
  7. Aizpurua-Olaizola O, Soydaner U, Öztürk E, Schibano D, Simsir Y, Navarro P, Etxebarria N, Usobiaga A (February 2016). "Evolution of the Cannabinoid and Terpene Content during the Growth of Cannabis sativa Plants from Different Chemotypes". Journal of Natural Products. 79 (2): 324–31.
  8. Russo EB, Burnett A, Hall B, Parker KK (August 2005). "Agonistic properties of cannabidiol at 5-HT1a receptors". Neurochemical Research. 30 (8): 1037–43.
  9. Zanelati TV, Biojone C, Moreira FA, Guimarães FS, Joca SR (January 2010). "Antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol in mice: possible involvement of 5-HT1A receptors". British Journal of Pharmacology. 159 (1): 122–8.
  10. Resstel LB, Tavares RF, Lisboa SF, Joca SR, Corrêa FM, Guimarães FS (January 2009). "5-HT1A receptors are involved in the cannabidiol-induced attenuation of behavioural and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats". British Journal of Pharmacology. 156 (1): 181–8.
  11. Campos AC, Guimarães FS (August 2008). "Involvement of 5HT1A receptors in the anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol injected into the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray of rats". Psychopharmacology. 199 (2): 223–30.
  12. Mishima K, Hayakawa K, Abe K, Ikeda T, Egashira N, Iwasaki K, Fujiwara M (May 2005). "Cannabidiol prevents cerebral infarction via a serotonergic 5-hydroxytryptamine1A receptor-dependent mechanism". Stroke. 36 (5): 1077–82.
  13. Hayakawa K, Mishima K, Nozako M, Ogata A, Hazekawa M, Liu AX, Fujioka M, Abe K, Hasebe N, Egashira N, Iwasaki K, Fujiwara M (March 2007). "Repeated treatment with cannabidiol but not Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol has a neuroprotective effect without the development of tolerance". Neuropharmacology. 52 (4): 1079–87.
  14. Fischer B, Russell C, Sabioni P, van den Brink W, Le Foll B, Hall W, Rehm J, Room R (August 2017). "Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines: A Comprehensive Update of Evidence and Recommendations". American Journal of Public Health. 107 (8): e1–e12.
  15. "FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy". US Food and Drug Administration. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  16. Silva TB, Balbino CQ, Weiber AF (1 May 2015). "The relationship between cannabidiol and psychosis: A review". Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. 27 (2): 134–41.
  17. Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR (October 2015). "Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders". Neurotherapeutics. 12 (4): 825–36.
  18. Prud'homme M, Cata R, Jutras-Aswad D (2015). "Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence". Substance Abuse. 9: 33–8.
  19. Fernández-Ruiz J, Sagredo O, Pazos MR, García C, Pertwee R, Mechoulam R, Martínez-Orgado J (February 2013). "Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid?". British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 75 (2): 323–33.

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