Frequently asked questions
What is the best way to produce CBD-rich cannabis oil?
Can I get CBD from juicing raw cannabis?
By juicing or otherwise ingesting raw, unheated cannabis, one consumes THC and the other cannabinoids in their acid form. A CBD-rich strain contains CBD-acid (CBDA), which, when heated, becomes CBD. Unheated CBDA and unheated THCA (THC-acid) both have medicinal attributes, but there has been comparatively little scientific research into cannabinoid acids.
See Dosing THCA: Less Is More for more information.
Is a CBD-dominant cannabis strain with very little THC better medicine than a cannabis strain with a fifty-fifty CBD-THC mix?
A CBD-dominant strain or product with little THC is not necessarily a superior treatment option compared to a balanced CBD-rich remedy with an equal amount of CBD and THC. A CBD-dominant extract or strain might be optimal for treating anxiety and seizure disorders, but patients with pain syndromes and neurodegenerative disorders may benefit from a substantial amount of THC. CBD and THC act synergistically to potentiate their respective therapeutic attributes. Different ratios of CBD and THC are more suitable for different conditions and different individuals.
Learn more about finding the right ratio and dose for you.
Will I flunk a drug test if I medicate with CBD-rich cannabis?
Yes, you may fail a drug test even if you experience no mood-altering affects from your CBD-rich medicine. Drug tests are geared toward identifying THC, not CBD or another cannabinoid. If one medicates with CBD-rich cannabis that has a small amount of THC, the THC may register on the drug test.
How is CBD metabolized when consumed orally? Is it converted to another compound?
CBD is metabolized into an analogous compound, 7-hydroxy-CBD, by the liver. Some 6-OH-CBD may also be formed. But scientists know relatively little about the activity (or lack thereof) of these compounds. There is strong evidence that CBD does not convert to significant amounts THC in the stomach.
Visit Gut Check: Does CBD change to THC in the stomach? for further information
I reside outside the United States. How can I obtain CBD-rich remedies?
If you live in one of the 22 countries that have approved GW’s Sativex, a fifty/fifty CBD/THC whole plant under-the-tongue spray, you may qualify for a prescription. CBD-derived from industrial hemp grown in Europe is legal and available in the European Union. The Dutch Health Ministry distributes a CBD-rich cannabis strain to patients enrolled in the Netherland’s official medical marijuana program. The official Israeli medical marijuana program also grows and dispenses CBD-rich strains. Those who live outside the USA can also visit—or coordinate with a friend or relative in—Colorado or Washington, where cannabis is legal and available for personal use for those 21 years or older. How one elects to travel with or transport their medication, which is prohibited by federal law, is their own responsibility. High quality CBD-rich products are also available in California. In order to be in receipt of any California cannabis product one must be in possession of a valid medical cannabis recommendation letter from a California physician. Some patients and/or caregivers come to California and establish a temporary California residence to obtain a California ID. With this ID, they can see a California medical cannabis expert, get a letter of recommendation, and then obtain CBD-rich medicine. A number of patients and their families have relocated to cannabis-friendly states in order to access CBD-rich medicine on a consistent basis.
I am from a state where medical marijuana is not yet legal. How can I obtain CBD-rich remedies?
Who formed Project CBD?
Project CBD was launched in 2010 by two journalists, Fred Gardner and Martin A. Lee. Lee is the director of Project CBD and the author of several books, including, most recently, Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana—Medical, Recreational and Scientific (Scribner 2012). Lee is also the author of Acid Dreams and a cofounder of the media watch group FAIR. Project CBD cofounder Fred Gardner was on the editorial board of Scientific American, managing editor of he UC San Francisco weekly, Synapse, and public information officer for the District Attorney of San Francisco. Since 2003 he has edited O’Shaughnessy’s, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice.
Why are you trying to do more research on CBD when there are so many journal articles reporting its benefits? Don’t we already know that CBD will be effective against a variety of illnesses?
How can I participate in research?
Please share your experiences using CBD-rich cannabis products by taking Project CBD’s patient survey. The more responses, the more confident we can be in the data!
How do I make CBD-rich brownies or other CBD-infused edibles?
By the same methods one would use to make any kind of cannabis-infused edible. To make a CBD-rich brownie or another CBD-rich edible, one must first extract oil from a CBD-rich strain and infuse it into olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee (clarified butter). These infused oils or butters are the most common ways to cook with cannabis. One will need to combine the CBD-rich plant material (usually the leafy trim) with the oil or butter and expose to low heat over a long period of time—this will help to avoid breakdown and/or vaporization of the CBD and other cannabinoids. After straining out the plant material, one can substitute CBD-rich cannabutter or canna-oil into your favorite recipes. There are many extraction recipes and tutorials available on-line, including, for example, Le Blanc Cne.
Does it matter if CBD is extracted from cannabis or industrial hemp?
I have heard that CBD is the dominant cannabinoid in hemp plants. Can I just smoke or ingest hemp or ditchweed to get the healing effects of CBD?
Can a grower increase CBD content by manipulating environmental factors?
Contrary to some rumors, a plant cannot be made CBD-rich if it lacks the right genetic make-up. The ratio of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids is genetically determined, according to a study by biochemist Etienne de Meijer, Inheritance of the Cannabinoid Phenotype. A grower can, however, influence overall cannabinoid content by manipulating environmental factors—temperature, light, water acidity, and nutrients—that affect plant health.
Is growing CBD-rich cannabis any different from growing THC-dominant cannabis?
I heard about or have a CBD-rich strain. Do you want more information?Back to top
I am looking for CBD-rich strains. Do you sell clones, seeds, or mother plants?
We do not. Project CBD is an educational news service. We review and report on CBD-rich products, but we don’t sell them. Seed companies, clone-providers, product-makers, and dispensaries affiliated with Project CBD are listed here.
Can you tell me where to find CBD-rich herb, ingestibles and/or topicals?
Depending on where you live, we may be able to suggest medical marijuana dispensaries in your area that carry CBD-rich medicine. The Project CBD website includes a list of affiliated dispensaries that are committed to providing CBD-rich medicine in states that have legalized medical marijuana. CBD oil extracted from industrial hemp is also available through online storefronts and a handful of actual storefronts in states that have legalized CBD (but not the whole plant). The quality of hemp-derived CBD products is inconsistent but sometimes patients find these to be effective.
Does CBD interact with other medications?
Yes. CBD inhibits the cytochrome P450 enzyme, which is involved in metabolizing many drugs. Compounds in grapefruit inhibit the same enzyme group, which is why physicians advice patients not to eat grapefruit shortly before or after taking a medication. By inhibiting cytochrome P450, CBD can either reduce or increase the effects of other drugs. In some situations, it may be advisable for a physician to monitor a patient’s blood levels of other medications while taking CBD. See CBD-Drug Interactions: The Role of Cytochrome P450 for more information.
How do I know what dose of CBD I should take?Back to top
What do you mean when you say a cannabis strain or product is “CBD-rich” or "CBD dominant?"
If CBD is non-psychoactive, does that mean it is legal?
Cannabidiol and all other plant cannabinoids are Schedule I drugs in the US (per code 7372). So, technically, CBD is forbidden in any form (as an isolate or plant-based derivitive) in the states despite its lack of addictive potential and strong safety profile. In other words, although CBD is not psychoactive, it is still illegal in the eyes of the federal government. That said, there are exceptions. American scientists with a DEA license in some cases are permitted to experiment with pure synthetic CBD.
Some online businesses falsely claim that CBD oil derived from industrial hemp grown abroad is legal in all 50 U.S. states, as long as the THC content of this oil is less than .3 percent (in accordance with federal rules regarding industrial hemp products). Currently, it’s against federal law to use hemp leaves and flowers to make drug products. Hemp oil entrepreneurs attempt to sidestep this legal hurdle by claiming they extract CBD only from hemp stalk before importing it to the United States, a grey area activity at best. Although the FDA has issued warning letters against some CBD hemp oil companies for making false claims about their products, thus far the federal government has not take action to halt these illegal business operations. The situation is different in Europe, where CBD is not a controlled substance.
See Sourcing CBD: Marijuana, Industrial Hemp & the Vagaries of Federal Law for more information.