What You Need to Know About CBD

What you need to know about cbd sorse technology

From tinctures to gummies, sparkling water and bath bombs, consumers can find CBD in many forms. Despite CBD’s presence, many people still don’t know exactly what it is, where it comes from, and what it is used for.

 

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. In the last five years, its popularity with consumers has skyrocketed due to its purported health benefits. Today, more than 3 in 5 adults in the United States believe that CBD has valid medical uses, according to new research from New Frontier Data.

 

The cannabis plant is an ancient one — it can be traced as far back as 4000 BC to Pan-p’o Village in China. From 1200-200BC, cannabis was used medicinally by Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans, and from 1400-1000 AD, Arabic scholars declared cannabis an effective treatment for Epilepsy. Fast forward to the 17th century when American colonists were growing hemp for the British empire, and to the 19th century when Napoleon brought cannabis to France from Egypt for medicinal treatments. Until the early 1900’s in the US, you could purchase cannabis for medicinal purposes at apothecaries and pharmacies.

 

In the 20th century, scientists began studying the plant more closely to better understand its therapeutic effects. The first cannabinoid to be discovered in 1940 was Cannabinol (CBN), by British chemist Robert Cahn. Almost two years later, American chemist Roger Adams to successfully isolate Cannabidiol – CBD – which led to the discovery of Tetrahdydrocannabinol – THC. In 1963, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, known as the godfather of cannabis research, was able to identify the stereochemistry of both CBD and THC, differentiating their characteristics and qualities. The work of these scientists opened the door to the research that is being done today on cannabinoids and development of applications for them.

 

When you are trying a CBD product for the first time, it’s good to know not only what the cannabinoid is, but that scientists and researchers are invested in better understanding its effects on the human body and mind.

 

If you’re new to CBD, here are some frequently asked questions on CBD and its effects:

What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana/Cannabis?

Botanically, Hemp and Cannabis/Marijuana are from the same species of plant, Cannabis Sativa L.  They do share similarities, but because of each plant’s biological structure and chemistry, they have several distinct differences that are important to understand.

 

Hemp and industrial hemp refer to the strain of cannabis plant that is grown for agricultural purposes such as oils, food and beverage, body care, paper products, and textiles. Hemp is a plant that can grow as tall as 20 ft. and thrives in many climates. According to the 2018 US Farm Bill, hemp cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Any hemp plant that contains more than 0.3 percent THC would be considered non-hemp cannabis under federal law and would thus face no legal protection under this legislation.

 

Cannabis, or marijuana, plants are generally shorter than hemp and have more of bush-like appearance. Cultivators carefully monitor the plant’s growth, because cross-pollination can change the THC content. Cannabis grows best in warm, humid areas causing many growers to utilize greenhouses. A cannabis plant will flower, and it is in the flowers that the THC resides. Typically, a cannabis plant contains 15-20% THC content, but some strains contain less.

What are Cannabinoids, and Where Can You Find Them In the Plant?

Cannabinoids are sticky, oily substances that are excreted from resin-producing glands of the cannabis plant known as trichomes. There are more than 100 cannabis-derived ‘cannabinoids’ that can be placed into categories, all stemming from derivatives of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). CBD and THC are the two cannabinoids people are most familiar with. When consumed, cannabinoids attach to receptors in our brain (CB-1) and in our body (CB-2).

What are Terpenes, and Why Are They Important?

Every plant, including cannabis, has its own unique mix of terpenes. Terpenes (or terpenoids) are a large class of plant secondary products that protect the plant from insects and herbivores. Terpenes are what gives a lime its citrusy smell, or a flower like lavender its unique aroma.

 

The cannabis plant has over 100 terpenes in it; the most well-known ones include Myrcene, Pinene, Terpinolene, Linalool, and Limonene. Like cannabinoids, they are also secreted by the plant’s trichomes. Terpenes are important for two reasons: one, because the protect the plant from predators, and two, because they produce different physiological reactions and therapeutic effects for the person consuming them. For example, Linalool, which is a component of Lavender, is said to have calming and soothing qualities. Pinene, another terpene found in Orange peel, Sage, and Parsley, is said to improve alertness and energy and fight inflammation.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

This term describes the way in which cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in a cannabis plant interact with each other and the human body to be more effective than any one of those chemical components acting alone, creating a synergistic effect. The Entourage Effect helps maximize the therapeutic effects of CBD by improving efficacy and tolerability.

 

A consumer looking for a product that offers the Entourage Effect should consider a Full Spectrum CBD or Broad Spectrum CBD. Full Spectrum describes extracts that attempt to preserve the maximum number of native phytochemicals, cannabinoids, terpenes, and other volatiles retained during extraction, including THC.  Broad Spectrum describes extractions which aim to retain a large complement of cannabinoids and terpenes, but without the THC. Hemp forms the basis for most Broad Spectrum extracts and reflect the legal definition of the federal U.S. Government. Broad Spectrum can also be created by combining either terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids to form custom Broad Spectrum blends, or by removing THC from Full Spectrum extract via fractional distillation. 

How Are the Cannabinoids and Terpenes Extracted From the Plant?

The initial extract from the dry hemp or cannabis plant material is a crude oil includes that includes all the active ingredients of cannabis, namely the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as the oil-soluble fats and chlorophyll. After that, the crude oil is purified by a number of methods depending on the producer’s preference and safety considerations to remove harmful contaminants.

 

In one method, a solvent is added to dissolve the cannabinoids, then evaporated, leaving a concentrated oil. Solvents, which are chemicals that dissolve solid materials into liquids, can be further divided by polarity.

Non-polar solvents like butane dissolve only non-polar compounds from the plant, in this case the oils and other lipids making up the trichome heads.

Polar solvents like ethanol will extract both non-polar and polar compounds, including water-soluble compounds such as chlorophyll. Many polar compounds are desirable from a therapeutic standpoint, and they bring with them strong, herbaceous flavors.

 

Another method is mechanical, or non-solvent extraction. Using temperature or pressure changes, cannabinoid oils can be separated without the use of a solvent. Distillation uses the variability in boiling points of a plant’s constituent chemicals to yield very pure extracts. Solvent-extracted concentrates are evaporated and then condensed at precise temperatures. The resulting product typically tests at 85%-97% purity.

What Are the Challenges of Developing a Product Featuring CBD, and What is the Solution? 

As we all learned in Science class, oil and water don’t play well together. When you try to mix them, the oil will rise to the top, since it is lighter than water. Because a CBD extraction is an oil, it can be challenging for a beverage or edibles producer to work with for a variety of reasons beyond the separation factor. There is also the sensory experience, dosage control, reliable and repeatable onset and duration, manufacturing, and labeling to take into consideration. A detailed exploration of cannabis-infused products, including challenges and new technologies defining the manufacturing process, market performance by product types, and consumer profiles are detailed in our ‘Cannabis-Infused Products Report Series’, created in partnership with New Frontier Data.

 

Converting CBD extracts into a water-soluble platform such as SōRSE allows for the cannabinoids to be evenly dispersed throughout a product, and both the liquid and powder forms of the emulsion are easy to incorporate into product lines. Not only that, our R&D teams are well versed in production from concept to final product and can help a customer every step of the way. If you have a product that you think would be better #poweredbySōRSE, schedule an exploratory call today!

What You Should Know About CBD For Pets, Part 2

SoRSE WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CBD FOR PETS

This is the second part of What You Should Know About CBD For Pets.

 

Once a pet owner understands what CBD is and how it works with an animal’s ECS, they can have an informed conversation with their veterinarian about giving their animal CBD. Although vets can’t prescribe CBD, they can speak to the potential benefits and make suggestions on dosing. From there, the consumer can begin to research CBD companies and make informed decisions on what products will be best for the companion. 

 TALKING TO YOUR VET ABOUT CBD

Animal owners rely heavily on their vets to help with various injuries and ailments and to educate them on their animals’ health. With CBD products becoming more available, people are increasingly asking their vets if they are safe, effective and legal to give to their pets. In a survey conducted in 2019 by the Veterinary Information Network, almost two-thirds of the respondents said that their patients asked them about CBD at least once a month. 

In most states, if you want to talk to your vet about CBD, you will need to initiate that conversation, because most state laws around cannabis do not address this type of use. Vets in most states can only discuss CBD if their clients bring it up. In California, legislation (State bill AB-2215) was passed in 2018, allowing vets the ability to  discuss cannabis for pets without fear of being punished by state officials or state veterinary boards, but they can’t prescribe it or use it in treatments.  

When asked about how she manages questions about CBD from her clients, a holistic vet in North California commented, “ In terms of how I counsel humans and their animal companions, I feel I cannot do what I feel is best for my patients when our hands are tied recommending CBD. FDA approval would allow us to make sure our clients have guidelines for dosage and someone to consult with, as well as brands that have been confirmed as safe. I have found that CBD helps control anxiety and pain and seems to help dogs be more comfortable as they age. I tend to avoid recommending THC because dogs reach toxic levels at a much lower level than people. ”  

Last summer, the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Janet D. Donlin, wrote a letter on behalf of the 93,000 members of the organization to the commissioner of Food and Drugs requesting the FDA engage in further research of cannabinoids, given their clients’ level of interest in CBD: “The AVMA is a scientific organization that relies on evidence-based medicine. We support additional research on cannabis-derived and cannabis-related products, so that veterinary practitioners may be better informed about their potential therapeutic uses and potential counterindications. Should this research result in FDA approval of such products, this would provide the assurance we need that products made available for use in veterinary patients are efficacious and safe.” 

TINCTURES, TREATS, AND TOPICALS: PET PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET

The best selling products on the market for pets are oils or tinctures. They are easy for a pet owner to use since they can be given directly to pets using a dropper or spray or added to food or treats. 

The second best selling products are edibles such as biscuits, treats, or chews. They too are easy to use because the format is recognizable (what animal doesn’t love a treat!), and are priced relatively reasonably. For a consumer who is new to pet CBD products, treats are a great way to start incorporating it into the pet’s routine. 

Some companies are producing capsules and powders, which you can either mix into the pet’s food or insert into a treat. 

For skin issues, there are topicals such as balms, sprays and lotions, as well as CBD-infused shampoos.  

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A PET CBD PRODUCT

For humans and animals alike, not all CBD products are created equally. It’s important to do your homework when you are trying to find the right product for Lenny the Labrador or Tina the Tabby.

Tip 1: If you are considering adding CBD to your companion animal’s daily routine, the best piece of advice we can offer is to consult with your veterinarian before doing so. How might CBD interact with other drugs or supplements your animal is taking? What do they recommend in terms of format and dosage? Most product packaging will recommend a dose based on the animal’s body weight. Your vet may suggest a slightly higher dose if your pet appears to be particularly stiff, stressed, or in pain.  If you want to be able to easily adjust the dosage you are giving your animal, it makes the most sense to purchase an oil or tincture that is easily measurable. 

Tip 2: If you are new to CBD, it can be dizzying trying to figure out what the difference between all of the products on the market is. Talk to your local pet store owner or employee about the CBD brands they carry and why they carry them. 

Tip 3: After talking with the pet store owner or employee and getting their opinions, do some research on the products they carry. 

  • Are the products made with organic ingredients? 
  • Are the products pesticide, fungicide and solvent-free?
  • Does the product have a Certificate of Analysis (COA)? This is a document provided by the manufacturer that tells you how much CBD is in that product. You want to get the CBD you pay for, and the COA will verify that. 

Tip 4: If you can buy a product online or from a store that is not a cannabis dispensary, the product is hemp-based CBD. If you live in a state where cannabis is medicinally and/or recreationally legal, you may be able to find CBD pet products that are cannabis-based at a dispensary. 

THE FUTURE OF CBD PET PRODUCTS

Given the growing number of consumers who are interested in CBD products for their pets, established pet companies may look to incorporate CBD into their existing product lines, and new companies may emerge with their own innovative products. SōRSE’s water-soluble emulsion in both liquid and powder forms are easy to incorporate into product lines, and our R&D teams are well versed in production from concept to final product. If you have an idea for a CBD product for our four-legged friends or a product you would like to have #poweredbySōRSE, schedule an exploratory call today to get started on your infused pet product journey!

 

What You Should Know About CBD For Pets, Part 1

SoRSE WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CBD FOR PETS

According to the APPA (American Pet Products Association), in 2019, American consumers spent a staggering $95 billion on their pets, up $5 billion from the year before. What are we spending all that money on? Food and treats primarily ($37 billion), vet care ($29 billion), and supplies like beds, toys, and over the counter medicines ($19 billion). What else are we buying for Fifi the cat and Fido the dog? CBD!

If you have visited a pet store recently, you may have noticed numerous CBD products on their shelves, from tinctures to treats to topical sprays to shampoos. Over the past five years, people have become more curious about CBD and what it can do for our well-being — and with that comes interest in how CBD can impact the well-being of our pets. If taking CBD can leave someone feeling less anxious, does that mean it will work for an anxious animal as well?

PUPPY, MEET PLANT: HOW THE ECS AND CBD INTERACT IN ANIMALS

Similar to humans, animals have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system in the body is responsible for building and sustaining health. Its primary role is to maintain and balance all of the other systems in the body such as the endocrine system, reproductive system, and immune system.  The system consists of receptors throughout the body and in the brain, which helps maintain biological balance in reaction to environmental changes. The ECS plays a critical role in regulating a broad range of physiological processes that affect our everyday experience, such as our energy level, mood, and immunity, as well as how we experience stress, pain, and more.

The ECS involves three core components: Endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.  Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by the body which help keep internal functions running smoothly. Your body produces them as needed, making it difficult to know what typical levels are for each. They’re similar to the phytocannabinoids like CBD produced by the cannabis plants. Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout your body. Endocannabinoids bind to them in order to signal that the ECS needs to take action. The two main receptors are: CB1 which are mostly found in the central nervous system and CB2, which are mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells. Lastly, enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function. 

Phytocannabinoids are the active chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with a human or animal’s body’s endocannabinoid receptors. CBD is one of over 85 different cannabinoids that reside in the flowers of the cannabis plant. CBD is purported to possess useful medicinal properties, which is why humans are taking it themselves and giving it to their pets. 

WHY PEOPLE ARE GIVING CBD TO PETS

In January 2020, CBD researchers, Brightfield Group, conducted a survey on the pet CBD marketplace, and some of the results were jaw-dropping. First, in 2019, the sales of CBD pet products in the United States reached $321 million, an increase of 946% from the $31 million spent in 2018. Second, 48% of pet CBD buyers reported that they stop using prescriptions for their pets once they try CBD. 74% of current pet CBD consumers have discussed CBD with their veterinarian, and 80% received an enthusiastic response during the conversation with their vet. That said, a vet’s cannot legally prescribe CBD because it has not yet been approved by the FDA. 64% of consumers buy pet CBD to reduce overall levels of anxiety or stress for their pet.  

So what explains this growth in interest in CBD for pets? Over the past 30 or so years, pet owners’ awareness of their animals’ health and well-being has changed significantly compared to their parents’ or grandparents’ generations. The 21st century pet parent is looking more carefully at what their animals consume — from the food they eat to the medications they take. Because most consumers are more cognizant of some of the negative side effects of pharmaceutical medications, they are not afraid to turn to natural remedies to treat their pets’ ailments. 30 years ago, Baby Boomers likely wouldn’t have taken their dog to a naturopathic vet for acupuncture treatment, a chiropractic adjustment, or hydrotherapy, but in 2020, these treatments are available. Now more than ever, people see their pets as integral members of their family, and they will do whatever they can to keep them healthy and happy. 

A holistic vet in Northern California reported that her clients are typically interested in using CBD for their animals’ general wellness as well as some of the following conditions: Cancer; epilepsy and seizures; stress and anxiety; digestion and nausea; pain and inflammation due to joint problems; aging and degenerative diseases; and skin inflammation and allergies. 

 

Continue reading What You Should Know About CBD For Pets, Part 2.

What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD, Part 2

SoRSE What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD

This is the second part to What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD, Part 1.

When professional athletes speak publicly about their use of CBD, it generates curiosity and interest among their peers, their teammates, their fans, and other athletes. For those athletes who are new to CBD have questions about what it is, we have the answers for you.

Is CBD legal in every state? 

Purchasing CBD is federally legal as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC, but some state laws have put restrictions on buyers. In Virginia, for example, people can only buy and possess CBD if they have a prescription.  

What’s the difference between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD? 

Hemp and marijuana come from the same family of plants, Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD contain different levels of THC. Hemp plants contain less than 0.3% THC content, while marijuana plants contain higher levels of THC.  

Are all CBD products THC-free? 

No. Most CBD products are likely to have trace amounts of THC, particularly if the CBD was sourced from marijuana plants as opposed to hemp plants. Most CBD products contain non-detectable THC; products featuring CBD isolate have 0% THC in it. 

The industry and legal standard for THC concentration in CBD products derived from hemp is less than 0.3% THC by weight. This means that a CBD product may legally contain up to three parts of THC for every 1000 parts of oil by weight. 

In order to determine if a product is within this legal limit, reputable CBD manufacturers have their products tested by third-party labs to obtain a Certificate of Analysis (COA). The letters “ND” indicate this “non-detect” level of THC in a product. The THC amount in said product is too small to be detected by the instruments used in third-party testing. 

For more information, check out our blog: Hemp-Derived CBD Vs Cannabis-Derived CBD 

 Will CBD show up on a drug test? 

CBD shouldn’t show up on a drug test, but there have been cases of people using CBD products testing positive for THC. It depends on the quality and composition of the product the person is taking, as many CBD products contain trace amounts of THC. Hemp-derived CBD products are less likely to contain THC because they are legally required to have less than 0.3% THC content. Athletes who want to use CBD products but are afraid of failing a drug test should look for products featuring CBD isolate. 

What are the benefits of taking CBD? 

While much of the evidence of the benefits of CBD is anecdotal, studies have shown that CBD may help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, promote sleep, and reduce performance-related anxiety.  

Are there any side effects after ingesting CBD? 

Peter Grinspoon, a doctor at Harvard Medical School, states that side effects of CBD can include “nausea, fatigue and irritability.” CBD can also “increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does.” If you decide to try CBD and take other medications, consult with your doctor about possible interactions.  

How long does CBD stay in your system after ingestion?  

This depends on the way you ingest CBD. Also take into consideration that each person processes cannabinoids differently based on our unique body compositions.  

The different methods of ingestion are:   

Oral — swallowed — types of products include tinctures, oils, edibles, beverages, capsules. 

When CBD is swallowed, it moves through the digestive tract, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. This method is the slowest route for CBD to move throughout the body, taking one to two hours, but also the longest amount of time that it is active. CBD may stay in your bloodstream one to six hours when ingested orally.   

Oral — sublingual (under the tongue) — types of products include oils and tinctures.  

The areas under your tongue, along your gums and in your cheeks are filled with capillaries that will absorb the CBD and deliver it directly to your bloodstream, thereby bypassing the digestive tract altogether. This method is faster than swallowing CBD, with the onset taking 15 minutes to an hour. When taken sublingually, CBD may stay in your bloodstream for six to eight hours.   

Inhalation — types of products include vape pens, dabs, high CBD cannabis. 

When CBD is inhaled, it moves to the lungs where it quickly passes into the bloodstream. This is the fastest way to get CBD into your system with an onset of seconds to minutes, but the CBD is only effective for a short amount of time. It may stay in your bloodstream for no more than two to three hours.  

Topical — applied to skin — types of products include creams and lotions.  

When you apply a CBD lotion or cream, the CBD is dispersed across the skin and absorbed into it, reaching muscles, cells, and nerves. Very little CBD will enter the bloodstream, if any.   

Transdermal — applied to skin — types of products include patches. 

Like topicals, transdermal are applied to the skin, but they do not behave the same way as a lotion or cream. A patch is placed in a venous area of the body, like the wrist, allowing the CBD to enter the bloodstream through the skin. They are designed to slowly release CBD through the skin at a constant rate. 

Resources 

https://www.wada-ama.org/en 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476 

https://www.projectcbd.org/ 

https://www.uclahealth.org/cannabis/ 

 

 

 

Food Dive: How SōRSE Technology is formulating CBD products in a pandemic

5 Things You Need to Know to Create an Infused CBD Beverage

“We’re still trying to do what we can given the circumstances… We are still manufacturing, we’re still producing product, doing development, it’s just taking sometimes a little bit longer time to get it done or just a more creative way to get it done.” – Michael Flemmens, SōRSE’s VP of Technical Business Development

As interest in infused food and beverage has increased during the pandemic, Food Dive interviewed Michael Flemmens, on how SōRSE continues to formulate CBD products during this time. Read more of Michael’s comments here.

Webinar: State of CBD — Global Crisis Edition

SoRSE webinar

Co-hosted by SōRSE Technology and Food Dive

Presented by John Kueber, SōRSE’s CRO

To gain insights on the unique situation the global crisis has created for consumers interested in CBD products, join us for the following webinar that will reveal key insights that CBD brands can use this year to maintain and grow their customer base.

 

 

What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD, Part 1

rob gronkowski - what you need to know about sports and CBD

On March 24, 2019, 29-year-old New England Patriots’ tight-end Rob Gronkowski (aka Gronk) announced his retirement from the NFL after nine years in the league. As most people know, football is incredibly hard on the body; during his career, Gronkowski suffered injuries to his forearm, back and knees, which is what informed his decision to retire and “focus on my health.” Five months later, Gronk made another big announcement about his future — he would be partnering with a CBD company to create a line of topical pain treatments. When he shared this news with the press, he said he was “blown away with how well it (CBD) worked. I am pain free, and that is a big deal.” 

rob gronkowski - what you need to know about sports and CBD

Fast forward to April 22 of this year when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they had traded a fourth-round draft pick to the Patriots in exchange for Gronkowski and a seventh-round selection. When commenting on his decision to come out of retirement, Gronkowski commented, “I’ve always said, I wouldn’t come back unless I’m feeling it, unless I’m feeling good, feeling healthy and I’m feeling like I’m ready to go. Now this is the case, this is the time…. It definitely wasn’t last year, my body 100 percent needed a rest….I was in some pain at some serious times even while playing the game — but that’s why I did the last year. I took care of myself, I let my body heal, I let my body rest, I let my body get the treatments that it needed.”

Gronkowski is one of many professional athletes promoting CBD after trying it out themselves. Tony Hawk (skateboarding), Megan Rapinoe (soccer) and Riley Cote (hockey) have spoken openly about using CBD, and some have started their own companies selling CBD products directed towards athletes. In an interview last year, Megan Rapinoe stated, “CBD is a natural alternative that has helped me stay at the top of my game for several years now, whether that be regulating my sleep, relaxing on long flights, helping with inflammation, or recovering after hard trainings and games. Bottom line, it’s natural, and I don’t want to be filling my body with chemicals.”  

Having current and retired professional athletes speak about their experiences using CBD is not only sparking huge fan interest, but it’s also influencing professional sports leagues to reconsider their stance on cannabis as a controlled substance. Last December, Major League Baseball became the first professional sports league in the US to remove cannabis from its list of banned substances. In January of this year, the NFL’s Pain Management Committee and the NFL Players Association held a fact-finding forum with manufacturers of products that use CBD in sports medicine to update the committee on CBD products, available research, and evidence of how CBD products could benefit patients, especially athletes.  

If you are an athlete who is curious about using CBD but don’t know where to start or what to look for, here are some frequently asked questions and answers. 

What is WADA, and how does it interface with international and national sports governing bodies in terms of determining anti-doping and drug policy? 

WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, was formed in 1999 as an international, independent agency to coordinate the fight against doping in athletics. In 2004, it introduced “The World Anti-Doping Code,” the core document that aligns anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities around the world. It works in conjunction with six International Standards which aim to foster consistency among anti-doping organizations in various areas: Testing; laboratories; Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs); the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods; the protection of privacy and personal information; and Code Compliance by Signatories. This unified approach addresses problems that previously arose from disjointed and uncoordinated anti-doping efforts. 

One of the largest international governing bodies is the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They recognize other federations for individual sports: The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), and the Association of the IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF). The IOC has an Olympic Charter which sets rules and expectations for Olympic athletes (https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/resources/files/ioc_anti-doping_rules_tokyo2020.pdf). IOC defines doping as the occurrence of one or more of the antidoping rule violations as laid out in the charter. The rule topics include: Presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample; use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method; evading, refusing, or failing to submit to sample collection; tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control, and possession of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method.  

In 2018, WADA declared CBD an acceptable substance. It is the first major agency to acknowledge CBD as a compound separate from marijuana (THC). That said, the organization does caution athletes using CBD to be aware of the THC levels in the CBD products they are using. Their guiding document states, “Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance.” 

This is the current list of Sports Organizations that have accepted the code:  

https://www.wada-ama.org/en/code-signatories  

What is each major athletic association/league’s stance on CBD and cannabis?  

Each has their own stance on cannabinoid use, and they vary drastically.  

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association): Following WADA guidelines (see above), use of CBD is allowed, but THC is not. 

NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association): Cannabinoids are listed on the 2019-20 Banned Drugs List, specifically, “marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., spice, K2, JWH-018, JWH-073).” CBD is not listed as a banned cannabinoid; however, the document also states, “Any substance that is chemically related to one of the above classes, even if it is not listed as an example, is also banned!” One can infer from this statement that CBD would also be banned, as it is chemically related to the marijuana plant. That said, the only cannabinoid they test for is THC.   

MLB (Major League Baseball): In December of 2019, MLB became the first professional sports league in the US to remove cannabis from its list of banned substances. In a press release, MLB in association with the Players League commented, “Natural cannabinoids (e.g., THC, CBD, and Marijuana) will be removed from the Program’s list of Drugs of Abuse. Going forward, marijuana-related conduct will be treated the same as alcohol-related conduct under the Parties’ Joint Treatment Program for Alcohol-Related and Off-Field Violent Conduct, which provides mandatory evaluation, voluntary treatment and the possibility of discipline by a Player’s Club or the Commissioner’s Office in response to certain conduct involving Natural Cannabinoids.”  

MLS (Major League Soccer): If a substance is banned by the US Anti-Doping Agency or FIFA, it is banned by the league. Following WADA guidelines, use of CBD is allowed, but THC is not.    

NBA (National Basketball League): Cannabis (CBD and THC) is one of many substances banned by the NBA/NBPA Anti-drug Program.  If a player tests positive for THC, he must comply with subsequent testing and may be required to seek treatment. What is not clear is whether hemp-derived CBD would trigger a suspension. Players are randomly tested four times a year and must not exceed the THC threshold of 15ng/ml. If a player consumed hemp-derived CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC and less than 15ng/ml of THC, it is not clear whether they might be suspended or not.  

NFL (National Football League): Under the new collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the NFL and the NFL Players Association in early 2020, players who test positive for marijuana will no longer be suspended. Testing will be limited to the first two weeks of training camp instead of from April to August, and the threshold for the amount of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana needed to trigger a positive test, will be raised fourfold.

NHL (National Hockey League):  The NHL essentially has two drug policies. The first is the performance enhancing drug policy which bans drugs such as stimulants, growth hormones, anabolic agents and drugs that are considered to give players an advantage. The second is the SABH program (Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health). This program was designed for the specific purpose of dealing with issues of substance abuse for players in a confidential manner. If they determine a player’s drug test features “abnormally high levels” of THC, they will contact the player, recommend they enter the SABH, in which they’ll develop an individualized treatment plan, but they are not forced to go. 

NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League): The women’s premier soccer league’s stance on cannabis and its derivative products is quite liberal, allowing players to use cannabinoids like CBD for pain management. 

WNBA (Women’s National Basketball League): Cannabis and its byproducts are listed as prohibited substances in the league’s collective bargaining agreement. The WNBA has a specific marijuana program in the anti-drug section of the CBA. 

USA Triathlon: Under USADA and WADA, CBD is an acceptable substance for triathletes to use. In fact, they have created a partnership with a company producing CBD products.  

 

Continue reading Part 2 of What You Need to Know About Sports and CBD.

 

Resources 

https://www.wada-ama.org/en 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476 

https://www.projectcbd.org/ 

https://www.uclahealth.org/cannabis/ 

 

 

 

How 4/20 Can Be A Way of Life and Doesn’t Mean You’re High!

4/20 can be a way of life

The term “420” has one of the most interesting and legendary origin stories in stoner culture. Despite the dramatic–though apocryphal–connections to police codes and hidden numerology, it actually comes from a story about a group of California high school students in the 70s bent on locating an abandoned cannabis crop in the nearby San Rafael forest. They met at 4:20pm each day to search for it, and eventually “420” became their code for getting high. The students had connections to the Grateful Dead fanship, and the term soon caught on with Deadhead subculture, eventually amplified into widespread consciousness through High Times magazine in the 90s. Today it is a global phenomenon, emblematic of stoner culture and the Prohibition era that necessitated speakeasy-style coded language. It’s definitely not a secret anymore! 

Though we don’t condone the stigma attached to the pre-legalization market, 420 doesn’t have to live in the realm of cannabis leaf sunglasses and Bob Marley wallhangings. 420 as a way of life means embracing the range of cannabis-derived products that can improve your happiness and well-being. 

  

Be Like Snoop; Smoke Weed Everyday! 

More and more people in the modern cannabis marketplace are embracing the concept of maintenance dosing, but that doesn’t mean they are getting high. CBD, THC’s non-intoxicating partner, can be optimized at smaller daily or ongoing dosages. In aggregate, these smaller doses can soften waves of stress rather than allowing them to peak and responding after the fact. It’s a proactive, rather than reactive, approach. Maintenance dosing also allows consumers to take advantage of the myriad low-dose products on the market. For many, a single low dose of CBD may not be enough to feel an effect, but when taken regularly, those doses add up to a meaningful difference in quality of life.  

  

Think Outside The Bong 

Most of our customers aren’t necessarily looking to light up. SōRSE emulsion technology appeals to those who want a more predictable, cleaner-feeling cannabis product. Expanding the concept of 420 to include beverages and topicals takes it beyond the smoke sesh and into everyday life. Layering is an adjacent concept, based on the idea that using multiple consumption methods yields a symphonic, presumably better tolerated, effect. For example, one can use a suppository, a topical, and an edible to treat menstrual discomfort. As a wider range of cannabinoids becomes available, using multiple consumption methods can be a way to diversify and amplify the effectiveness of your products.  

  

Redefine Medicinal 

420 has always been political, and right now, we are drawing a necessary distinction between medical and recreational cannabis. However, that line is ephemeral–if not imaginary–and leads to the proliferation of myths, such as the belief that some cannabinoids are more “medicinal” than others. The line between medicine and drug has never been clear, but cannabis is calling the distinction into question with unique urgency. Is it okay to enjoy your medicine? Is it possible that enjoyment can be medicine? Is medicine only the treatment of disease or is there a role for preventative drugs?  

  

When we begin thinking about 420 as a way of life, we invoke the history of activism that brought us the patchwork, imperfect, but nonetheless revolutionary shift in cannabis access that we enjoy today. The next chapter in that story is an invitation to re-imagine health as not just the absence of disease, but as a rich, enjoyable, pleasurable life. 

  

Be Proud, Get Loud 

Attitudes about cannabis are changing, finally. Lazy stoner stereotypes and stigmas belong in the past. Did you know that cannabis users are more, not less, likely to exercise? That Bill Gates, Carl Sagan, and Steve Jobs have all used cannabis to decrease stress and enhance their creativity? As time wears on, Michael Phelps’ cannabis scandal seems more and more ridiculous. Every day it gets a little easier to be out as a cannabis consumer. Whether you enjoy the non-intoxicating calmness of Mad Tasty or want to go to space with Major, you are reaping the benefits of cannabis. Hemp and marijuana are the same plant; the only difference is their percentage of THC. Instead of using CBD to distance and abstract from the illicit associations of 420, we should embrace all the cannabinoids as useful and complementary parts of a wondrous plant. 420 as a lifestyle means taking advantage of all the different ways cannabis can make your life better.