When you’re buying a CBD product, the first thing to look at is to see whether it says it is isolate or whole hemp distillate. Really what you’re dealing with there is if it is isolate, it may be perfectly good. The reason that they did it that way is because you don’t know what it was originally in it. It has been purified in that regard, but everything else is gone as well. What you’re really looking for is a whole hemp product because there’s so much about this plant that we don’t know. One of the theories is what’s called the “entourage effect,” that they’re all of these different cannabinoids; there are the other ingredients: terpenes, flavonoids, and so on…
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We don’t know why they’re there and what effect they have. What is clear, none of them are toxic and certainly they’re not there in sufficient quantities to be harmful. As a part of how this plant has evolved over the millennia, it has been used by human beings and has survived as a plant in all kinds of different environments. This plant will grow almost any place in various forms, and it has been used for thousands of years. We know, of course, from our immediate experience that it has all kinds of possible medicinal properties.
The idea of simply taking one cannabinoid, whether it’s THC or CBD or whatever, you really don’t know what you’re losing by not having it in a whole hemp solution. So look at that and see what’s there. If the only thing that is listed is the ingredient CBD, you know that they have basically isolated that. That’s fine. But you really should, I think, get the whole hemp plant. And this is not immediately obvious because you would think, oh, this is pure CBD, whereas the other has all his other stuff.
But the other stuff, as far as we know, could be a good stuff. Certainly, it isn’t going to hurt you.
Richard Cowan is co-founder of CBD Seniors, and a former National Director of NORML.