With the signing of the Farm Bill of 2018, cannabidiol (CBD) produced from industrial hemp is now legal almost everywhere in the United States. You can see the explosion of CBD products on the market place. Today, you can purchase varieties of CBD on the internet, your corner store, drug store, grocery store, or smoke shop. There are CBD retail outlets just selling CBD. As in any industry that has such huge potential for profits, there are unscrupulous people selling bottles of who-knows-what as CBD.
Before you buy that tincture or gummy from the local store, stop and check it out first.
- Does it actually have CBD in the product?
- How much is in the product?
- Where did the CBD come from?
- How was it extracted from the plant?
- How many people have changed/added to it from the producer to you?
- Was it tested by a 3rd party lab?
- Is the item safe?
These seem like crazy questions to have to consider before buying and taking CBD. Most people believe if it is on the market, it must be safe. NOT TRUE! In this quickly changing marketplace, the regulations for safety and testing have not kept up with the influx of people manufacturing, and white bottling CBD.
White bottling refers to the process in which a person/company resells their CBD products, usually in plain white bottles to another person/company. That second seller then adds their label to the bottles and resells it. Consider that this process could have happened 10 times from the time the original CBD left the producer.
When the white bottling occurs, more often than not, the middle man adds something to the product in order to resell more than what they originally purchased. In other words, the original product that may have been lab tested is now changed. How many times has someone added something in order to sell more of a product than what they purchased?
You will never know what is in your bottle, until 3rd party testing is mandated for each and every product that we as consumers use in any manner.
I first met Kim Britton and Pure Spectrum several years ago. I was in Kauai trying to find CBD for my sore body. The smoke shops had just stopped selling CBD the week before my arrival. I found 2 vials on another island, but that was all that was available. I did an internet search and decided to try Pure Spectrum. I phoned their office, and Kim answered the phone. Our hour-long conversation left me convinced that I had just met a walking encyclopedia on CBD and the endocrine system. Kim often quotes Dr. Mechoulam, from Israel, the grandfather of THC and the Endocannabinoid System. She is constantly updating herself with studies and reads every book she can get her hands on to continue her education.
Kim Britton, Pure Spectrum of Evergreen, Colorado, recently spoke with us about how she is working tirelessly to educate people on the benefits of CBD, and also why it is important to purchase safe, tested products.
Kim’s journey into the cannabis industry began when she moved to Colorado from Kansas, where she was born and raised until 9th grade. She was in school when Colorado first became a medical marijuana state. Once an adult, she had the opportunity to have an interview for a local Medical Marijuana Dispensary. She was hired as a “budtender” and quickly learned as much about dispensaries as she could. Soon, she and her partner had their own dispensary and grow. The dispensary they purchased was not in compliance with the state regulations. At the time of purchase, the dispensary was not in compliance with state regulations. Kim took on the job of bringing it into compliance in quick order.
Kim had a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) shortly after their business was up and running. Her recovery was long and difficult, and she has lingering effects to this day. She turned to hemp and CBD to help with all the problems she was experiencing due to the brain injury, not wanting to take addictive, strong pain medicines.
She journaled her results, and tried many hemp/CBD products and methods of ingestion. At first, she was taking 3+ bottles of tincture a month. It was during this time that they encountered a grower that was developing a strain of CBD/hemp for a young girl that had come to Colorado because of her severe epilepsy. Their interest in CBD and hemp was peaked.
From Kim’s journals, they studied her results with CBD. They decided to form Pure Spectrum, and focus on hemp-derived CBD products. They operate from their headquarters in the beautiful mountain town of Evergreen, Colorado.
My first trip to Evergreen was on a sunny winter day. Snow capped mountain ranges greeted me, as well as elk, deer, and groundhogs! I turned into the Pure Spectrum lot and marveled at the sleek mountain chalet that is their headquarters. Meeting with their team of professionals, it was easy to see why they have a faithful following. I spent the day with their team and visited and listened to many customers’ stories of using their CBD products and how they felt it helped them.
Kim, currently the director of National Sales, has a way with customers that makes them feel at ease talking with a complete stranger about their health, disorders, and what they have tried prior to turning to CBD. She educates each person she comes into contact with, and all leave their conversation knowing that Kim Britton is now in their corner and will work tirelessly to see that they try to have improvements in their well-being.
Kim tells us we should be on the lookout for new products coming soon from them that will “get the attention of those people not yet convinced of the potential effects of CBD”. They have new strategic partnerships on the horizon, along with new products. She reports that 2 puffs and her headache is gone.
CBD + Plant Medicine
Herbal medicines are defined as “the art or practice of using herbs and herbal preparations to maintain health and to prevent, alleviate, or cure disease.” By this definition, cannabinoids derived from hemp and cannabis plants would be classified as herbal plant medicines. Cannabinoids and other compounds found within the cannabis plant have been proven to work better when used together, but what other plant medicines contain natural benefits that work synergistically with CBD? While the research has a long way to go on synergistic efficacy of plant medicine combinations, herbalists and naturopaths have long recommended specific herbs and plants for certain symptoms.
What does the research say about CBD along with other natural plant medicines?
As of this writing, there is not much research on CBD’s role in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), nor on its synergistic effects when combined with other herbal remedies. While there is no specific research on which herbs are most beneficial when combined with CBD, there has been research done on specific herbs’ benefits as well as research on the benefits of using CBD that we can use to make educated guesses as to which herbs would provide synergistic effects. Additionally, traditional herbalism practitioners and naturopaths who have been trained in herbal remedies and natural medicines can recommend specific combinations based on the symptoms being treated.
5 Herbs Recommended for Use with CBD
While scientific studies may have some ground to cover when it comes to herbal CBD combinations, naturopaths, herbalists, and CBD brands are already combining herbs in products like tinctures and topicals. ”Pairing herbs or natural plant medicine with cannabinoids just makes sense,” explains Jordan Person, fellow GRAM writer, herbalist and CBD manufacturer. “Often the plant medicine that you are working with provides a synergistic affect or often even the same effect that a cannabinoid can.” These points are reiterated by naturopaths like Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, CNHP. These herbal recipes and recommendations are based on existing research on the benefits of CBD as well as traditional plant medicines that would work well with CBD, including common herbs like lavender, rosemary, echinacea, holy basil, and ginger.
Lavender’s main terpene is linalool, a terpene that is also present in hemp and cannabis, and known to be effective at helping with anxiety. “Anxiety is higher than ever and lavender is rich in the terpene linalool,” explains Person. “This terpene has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety. CBD has also shown to lessen these stress-filled symptoms. Combining this cannabinoid with this herb may provide a beneficial effect for anxiety.” Studies back up these claims, suggesting that tinctures and infusions that combine lavender with CBD may help mitigate anxiety.
According to Hernandez, rosemary may pair well with cannabinoids as hemp, cannabis, and rosemary plants all contain beta-caryophyllene, a terpene known for its analgesic effects and ability to help reduce inflammation. Rosemary is known to offer similar benefits as well as possessing anti-cancer properties similar to those of CBD. As both rosemary and CBD offer similar benefits, it would be logical to infer their synergistic interaction with one another.
Both Hernandez and Person recommended echinacea in combination with CBD. Echinacea, or purple coneflower, contains “certain endocannabinoid-like fatty acid N-alkylamides” that can “potently activate CB2 cannabinoid receptors.” Additionally, evidence suggests that plants with high concentrations of these alkylamides and fatty acid amides could have synergistic interactions with cannabinoids like CBD.
Studies have shown that both CBD and non-psychoactive cannabinoids may be effective in the treatment of nausea. Herbs known to help with nausea work great in conjunction with cannabinoid regimens. “Ginger, for example, is great for relieving nausea the same way that THC and CBD can,” explains Person, and research backs up these claims, further indicating that ginger and CBD would be an effective synergistic combination for treating nausea.
As with rosemary, holy basil or Tulsi, possesses many anti cancer properties like THC and CBD. Additionally, both CBD and tulsi possess anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antioxidant properties that parallel known benefits of cannabinoids, suggesting a highly synergistic relationship between the two plant medicines.
While the research on specific combinations may still be in its early stages, traditional medicines and herbal teachings suggest that what we know about certain herbs like ginger, holy basil, and lavender, may work well in combination with cannabinoids like CBD, as we learn more about the effects of these cannabinoids. For now, looking for herbs whose benefits parallel those of cannabinoids like CBD will be your best bet at finding synergistic combinations that work for your needs.
CBD + Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that affects 10 million people worldwide, and cannabinoids such as CBD are being studied for their neuroprotective properties as well as their efficacy with symptom management.1-9 Parkinson’s can have a noticeable impact on quality of life due to symptoms such as tremors, spasticity, and pain that can make everything from walking to talking difficult, which can lead to anxiety—all symptoms that CBD has shown to be helpful in managing.10 Early studies are showing CBD can specifically be effective for managing life with Parkinson’s.1-8
While CBD’s legality on a national level is still relatively new, there are quite a few studies already on CBD’s ability to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s, helping to improve quality of life for those living with the condition. As discussed at length in previous issues of GRAM, CBD has proved to be helpful in managing muscle spasticity often experienced by patients. Additionally, CBD has been shown to mitigate pain and the inflammation that causes it, also be a source of damage to nerve networks within the body in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, CBD has been found to be helpful with anxiety that can arise from a variety of situations, including those where symptoms may become noticeable.
In addition to general research supporting CBD’s efficacy in symptom management for conditions such as Parkinson’s, researchers are specifically studying CBD’s ability to help Parkinson’s patients with sleep-related issues and psychosis.1-3 In a pilot study, researchers studied a small sample of men and women with Parkinson’s who had psychosis for at least three months. Participants were given 150 mg of CBD every day for four weeks and showed a “significant decrease” in psychosis during treatment without worsening motor function or other adverse effects.1 Another study examined four Parkinson’s patients experiencing REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) who were treated with CBD and found the treatment had “prompt and substantial reduction in the frequency of RBD‐related events without side effects” and indicated “CBD is able to control the symptoms of RBD” in those with Parkinson’s.2 Furthermore, a larger sample of 21 patients examined the effects of various daily dosages compared with a placebo and found CBD could improve quality of life in Parkinson’s patients, but the authors reiterated that larger samples in future studies are needed to corroborate these early findings.3
A literature review of current research on CBD and neurodegenerative disorders suggests CBD’s neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties could prove promising for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders across the board, including Parkinson’s.5 This review found that “at preclinical level, accumulated findings appear more exhaustive and convincing for a possible medical utilization of CBD to improve symptoms and/or delay disease progression” as well as helping to prevent damage to nerve cells.5 These neuroprotective properties are mainly associated with CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and early investigations have found that CBD might have a neurorestorative component as well.4 CBD’s ability to target the CB2 receptors without activating CB1 receptors, in addition to its other properties, has suggested that CBD could prove to be helpful in the treatment of Parkinson’s.7
Early studies are showing CBD can specifically be effective for managing life with Parkinson’s.
Specific to Parkinson’s, CBD has also been shown to be effective with dystonic movement disorders and the motor and cognitive impairments often brought on by the disease.6,8,11 In a small pilot study of five patients with dystonic movement disorders, patients were administered “oral doses of CBD rising from 100 to 600 mg/day over a 6 week period” and found “dose-related improvement in dystonia was observed in all patients.” The authors conclude that “CBD appears to have anti-dystonic and Parkinsonism-aggravating effects in humans.”6 Animal studies designed to model the effects of Parkinson’s disease resulted in findings that suggest CBD is effective in treating motor and cognitive impairments in Parkinson’s patients.8
To date, most of the research available has been done in preclinical settings with small sample sizes. These findings need to be corroborated by much larger clinical studies for accurate generalization, but these early results suggest CBD could be effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and the management of its symptoms. If you’re considering CBD as an alternative or complementary treatment for Parkinson’s for you or someone you know, talk with a physician who is familiar with the patient’s case and treatment program to see if CBD may be an option that could help improve quality of life.
1. Zuardi, A.W., et al. Journal of Psychopharmacology 23, no. 8. 2009.doi:10.1177/0269881108096519.
2. Chagas, M.H.N., et al. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 39. 2014. doi: 10.1111/jcpt.12179
3. Chagas, M.H.N., et al. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 28, no. 11. 2014. doi: 10.1177/0269881114550355
4. Santos, N.A.G., et al. Toxicology in Vitro, 30(1B). 2015. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2015.11.004
5. Iuvone, T., et al. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, 15: 65-75. 2009. doi: 10.1111/j/1755-5949.2008.00065.x
6. Consroe P., et al. International Journal of Neuroscience, 30:4. 1986. doi: 10.3109/00207458608985678
7. Fernández‐Ruiz, J., et al. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75: 323-333. 2013. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04341.x
8. Peres Fernanda F., et al. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 28 September 2016. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2016.00343
9. Devore, C. Fatal Employment: Men 10 Times More Likely Than Women To Be Killed At Work. Forbes. www.forbes.com
10. “Symptoms of Parkinson’s.” American Parkinson Disease Association. www. apdaparkinson.org
11. Lastres-Becker, I., et al. (Abstract) Neurobiology of disease, 19(1-2), 96–107. 2005.
CBD + MS
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects more than 2.5 million people worldwide.1 Typically treated with prescriptions for symptoms, many living with MS seek alternative treatments. As CBD has become more accessible, many MS patients are looking to this non-psychotropic cannabinoid as an option for easing the impact of symptoms like fatigue, spasticity, and emotional anxiety and depression that stems from living with the disease. Studies have started to show CBD is effective in aiding in the treatment of the symptoms of MS, helping to improve the quality of life.2,3,4
CBD + MS: Studies show promise for cannabinoid treatments
Studies are showing that CBD has a variety of applications and can be helpful with symptom management, helping with fatigue, pain, spasticity, and mobility, making it a potential alternative to pharmaceutical symptom management. One of the most common and most distressing symptoms to MS patients is spasticity, or involuntary, uncontrollable movements of the body. Cannabis products containing significant amounts of CBD have been shown to be effective at reducing muscle spasticity in addition to pain and other symptoms.9,10,11,12
In small preliminary trials, CBD has actually been tested on MS patients and has been found to improve neurogenic symptoms that are typically unresponsive to standard treatments.10 Additionally, CBD has been found to be an effective anti-inflammatory,11 which could prove helpful not only with painful symptoms of MS, but also in the treatment of inflammation in the CNS before damage is done.
Another common symptom of MS is a change in emotional and mental state, often as a result of stress and social anxiety about the condition that can even lead to bouts of depression. In fact, CBD has been found to prevent “long-lasting anxiogenic effects.”13 Preliminary reports on an anxiolytic effects of CBD for social anxiety disorders report “CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety.”14 Trials involving CBD administration to mice found CBD to be a quick-acting antidepressant, helping to combat depressive actions.15,16
As more studies are done on the efficacy of CBD in MS treatment, the more comfortable physicians will be offering advice and insight to patients. Currently, the preliminary body of evidence suggests CBD could be an effective treatment option for symptom management of MS. If you have access to CBD and are considering adding a CBD supplement to your treatment regimen, talk with your doctor or consult a health professional who is familiar with your condition. He or she may recommend specific products and offer advice on titrating a dose to fit your needs.
1. Lisak, Robert P. et al.“Multiple Sclerosis.” National Organization for Rare Disorders. 2017. https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/multiple-sclerosis/
2. “Medications.” National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
3. Malfitano, A. M., Proto, M. C., & Bifulco, M. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 4(5), 847–853.2008.
4. Rudroff, T., & Sosnoff, J. Frontiers in neurology, 9, 183. 2018.
5. “What is MS?” National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
6. “Definition of MS.” National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
7. “Types of MS.” National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
8. “MS Symptoms.”National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
9. “Cannabinoid Spray Effectively Relieves MS-Related Spasticity.” MD Edge. November 2015.
10. Wade D.T., Et. al. Clinical Rehabilitation 2003; 17: 18– 26.
11. Malfait M, Gallily R, Sumariwalla P, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2000; 97: 9561– 6
12. Malfitano, A. M., Proto, M. C., & Bifulco, M. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 4(5), 847–853. 2008.
13. Campos, A.C. Et al. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Volume 46, Issue 11.2012,
14. Crippa, J. A. S. Et al. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(1), 121–130.2011. doi: 10.1177/0269881110379283
15. “Treating Depression with CBD Oil.”CBD Psychiatrist. February 13, 2019.
16. Linge, R., Jimenez-Sanchez, L., Campa, L. et al. Creative Commons. 2016.