Medical Cannabis - What is it good for?

By now if your in California you know that Medical Marijuana has become legal. So what is it and is it safe?
Marijuana comes from the hemp plant and contains many healing oils. Cannabidiol (CBD) is probably the best known cannabinoid oil in the cannabis or HEMP plant, along with THC. Although the two compounds share the same roots, they don’t carry the same traits and have different effects on body.
THC is the compound that makes one high and does this by binding to the CB1 receptor in the brain. It does provide some health benefits thanks to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, but the side effects usually outweigh the benefits. This is why CBD is your better option.
CBD on the other hand has a greater affinity to the CB2 receptor, interacting differently with the nervous system without eliciting any psychoactive effect. Instead, CBD health benefits are numerous, including antioxidant, antiemetic, anticonvulsant and anti-tumoral properties. Moreover, CBD counteracts the psychoactivity of THC and acts as a natural antidepressant and neuroprotective agent. However the research shows lately that CBD
is more effective in the presence of THC AND its other natural oils, suggesting a synergistic balancing effect with the whole plant. You can read on to see that Dr. Preston does not prescribe THC but the whole plant with concentrated CBD only with no THC.

To identify high quality CBD oil, consider the source

As any New Yorker will tell you, bagels are better in Manhattan. Why? Because of the water! A very precise combo of minerals in New York metro water makes it perfect for producing delicious bagels. The same goes for industrial hemp.

The hemp MUST be shipped locally — in Europe or the U.S. — from organic farmers who are committed to quality hemp. It’s more expensive than hemp from China, but it’s worth it. The brand I reccomend comes from Russia with specially bred industrial organic hemp plants that are primarily grown as an agricultural crop, by farmers we have relationships with and who care about the plants they tend. This is important. If there’s ever an issue with a harvest, I know about it and make decisions that maximize the quality of the products we sell.

Petroleum-Free Processing

That care doesn’t stop at the farm. How CBD hemp oil is extracted from the plant is crucial. While our specially bred industrial hemp plants have a naturally higher level of CBD, the direct plant extracts are still low. To obtain a higher concentration of CBD, C02 extractions methods are preferred.  This chemical-free “cold” CO2 extraction method is more expensive, uses safer solvents and ensures a highly potent and pure extract. It’s also eco-friendly, non-toxic and has negligible environmental effects.

Contrary to the safer CO2 method,the Rick Simspon extraction method, uses petroleum solvents to extract the active compounds from the cannabis plant. These solvents leave petroleum-based residues, which end up in the CBD oil and have been shown to impact all sorts of hormona and biological functions negatively. Additionally, while this method is efficient (and cheaper), it generally produces products with a lower concentration of CBD.

Check Independent 3rd-Party Lab Results

Make sure your company you buy from has and makes puplically available independent laboratory testing results and follows pharmaceutical grade testing criteria. They should have quality testina results for over 200 chemicals, including pesticides, residual solvents and heavy metals as well as for microbiological contaminants.

Less than .03% THC

High quality CBD hemp oil contains less than .03% of THC. Speaking of bagels, that low amount of THC can be equated to the same amount of opiates found on a poppy seed bagel. While both poppy seeds and heroin comes from the poppy plant, eating fifteen bagels will not get you high. (It’ll probably make you sick to your stomach, however!) Similarly for CBD, while hemp and marijuana are related, industrial hemp is, “… low in resin, does not produce a natural abundance of THC and can be sold and imported in all 50 states according to the 'FARM BILL'.

Make sure your hemp oil extract is a Whole-plant extract

Additionally, USE THE WHOLE PLANT, CBD oil. Whole plant CBD oil is extracted from the stem, seeds and stalks of the hemp plant. This oil includes not only CBD, but the full range of other natural constituents (terpenes, sugars, flavonoids, and secondary cannabinoids) that are found in all parts of hemp and are believed to work better together.

Overall I'm a big fan of the “healthy, not high,” benefits of CBD hemp oil. While the oil may not taste as delicious, I think it’s still pretty good and I encourage you to find out for yourself.


CBD has few side effects and is considered a very safe substance to take, more safe than THC. These are the rare but known side effects of CBD:

  1. Dry mouth
  2. Increased tremor in Parkinson’s patients
  3. Low blood pressure
  4. Lightheadedness
  5. Drowsiness

Author
Cynthia Preston, ND

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