Cannabidiol is insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents such as pentane. At room temperature, it is a colorless crystalline solid. In strongly basic media and the presence of air, it is oxidized to a quinone. Under acidic conditions it cyclizes to THC. The synthesis of cannabidiol has been accomplished by several research groups.
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CBD has been producing a whole lot of buzz in the health community of late – but perhaps not the kind of buzz you might expect from a cannabinoid. Since you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard of CBD and its many touted benefits. From chronic pain to mental health, CBD has the potential to alleviate an astonishing number of ailments. But like many, you might be fuzzy on the details. Consider this your primer on all things CBD.
CBD is derived by growing cannabis, drying it out, pulverizing it, and then, often, using a rotary evaporator filled with an ethanol solvent to extract the CBD. (There are some other methods, but the ethanol one is common.) It’s a pretty old and fairly low-tech technique, but it’s effective. What you end up with is, hopefully, about 99 percent pure CBD in the form of white powder, which is called CBD isolate. (Some CBD is billed as “full spectrum,” which means it contains other things from the cannabis plant, like a bunch of other cannabinoids, but there’s no formal definition for full spectrum.)
The cannabis plant is filled with hundreds of different compounds, several of which have been studied for decades for their therapeutic benefits. The cannabis compounds that have captured the most scientific interest are known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are now used in treatment for a broad—and growing—range of conditions and symptoms, from sleep and pain, to anxiety and inflammation, to Parkinson’s disease and cancer.
That lines up with one of the rare instances of FDA testing. In 2016, the FDA tested several “CBD oils,” ultimately issuing warnings to eight companies. Some of those oils were found to contain no or barely any CBD, and many contained illegal quantities of THC. For example, Healthy Hemp Oil’s “Herbal Renewals 25% CBD Hemp Oil Gold Label” contained 8.4 mg/g of THC. Sana Te Premium Oils, which sold 25 mg “CBD oil” capsules on Etsy, contained between 13 and 19 mg/g of THC and less than 0.1 mg/g of CBD.
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Effective in January 2017, the DEA (which typically refers to marijuana by the plant’s scientific species name, Cannabis sativa, or the Reefer Madness-era spelling “marihuana”) made a rule stating its marijuana scheduling includes “marihuana extract.” In the rule, the agency defined “marihuana extract” as an “extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis”—which would include CBD.
Of course, CBD oil can be added to any type of beverage, not necessarily just coffee, but I've come to love the calm yet ultra-productive effect it has on my morning mood when combined with cold brew. I feel happier and less worried or encumbered by stress. Essentially, it helps me feel like I can take on the world or, at the very least, the inevitable deluge of emails, deadlines, meetings, and maybe even an evening Spin class, that await. Keep scrolling for the morning recipe I swear by and all the essential ingredients.