In a landscape filled with fake stories, repeat something in the “media” enough times today, and it morphs into truth.
There’s continuing confusion over the legality of cannabidiol oil and fear over potential crackdowns on the product. Recently, however, it seems to me that there are more fallacies circulating in the mainstream. And I have a niggling feeling that Big Pharma’s faux synthetic CBD formula has something to do with it. Word in the drugstore is that a “powerful drug” from marijuana is on the cusp of being released to treat epilepsy.
“GW Pharmaceuticals, a British firm (working with Bayer), will likely receive FDA approval this year for its CBD drug, Epidiolex,” agrees Rod Kight, an Asheville, N.C.-based corporate and bankruptcy attorney practice consists mostly of representing the cannabis businesses.
Unfortunately, there are two vastly different views on how the federal government has classified cannabidiol oil (CBD). On the one hand, the Department of Drug Enforcement (DEA) classifies CBD from marijuana extracts as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (despite the slew of health benefits and nonpsychoactive properties). On the other hand, they have patented cannabidiols and recognize the plant compounds antioxidant and neuroprotective benefits.
“It’s not legal,” says Lt. Todd Royce, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety, according to an article in The Salt Lake Tribune. “Recreational use CBD never has been legal, and is not currently legal.”
Hey Jimmy, wanna score some CBD for that party Friday night?
What are you talking about Lt. Bobohead? Sick people are taking CBD. And, are you talking about cannabidiol oil with THC or extracted from industrialized hemp with less than .3 percent THC?
Our Superior Hemp Oil (sold online) is made from industrialized hemp with less than .3 percent THC and is legal based on the provision in the 2014 Farm Bill that defines industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana, allowing states to cultivate industrial hemp, including CBD. On January 13, 2017 the hemp industry filed a suit against the DEA to prevent industrial hemp from being treated like other, still-illegal cannabis plants. In its opening brief, the lawsuit proclaimed DEA’s rule “stands to chill the entire legal hemp industry through confusion, misinterpretation, and misapplication of law.”
In early January 2018, about a year after the initial suit was filed, a bipartisan congressional coalition pushed back on the DEA’s assertion that cannabidiol and extracts derived from hemp are Schedule I substances, according to a report by Alicia Wallace of The Cannabist.
In an added brief, an impartial adviser stated that the “DEA’s rule, subsequent clarification, and public statements made by agency officials subverts states’ rights and flies in the face of the congressional definition of industrial hemp in the U.S. Farm Bill” :
“While the Farm Bill pilot programs fell short of the full legalization some Members desired, the pilot programs provided enough latitude to allow for a growing body of knowledge regarding the viability of a domestic hemp market. Congress recognized and acknowledged the need for research and development to investigate hemp-derived products, including CBD, and gave states broad discretion to create pilot programs to accomplish this research. The Final Rule is inconsistent with the Farm Bill’s most fundamental purpose: to allow states that wish to experiment with commercial research and development of industrial hemp, including extracts and derivatives therefrom, to do so without interference from the DEA.”
Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for February 15. 2018.
Invisible Attacks And Fake News
Meanwhile, the question persists: Why is it that despite CBD’s incredible healing profile, and ability to reduce human suffering, the feds refuse to recognize the benefits when it comes to dietary supplements?
This tactile, murky legal standing combined with ignorance and greed has caused colossal disruptions for companies such as ours, ranging from merchant processor shutdowns, big sums of money frozen by merchant processors, theft, to state police entering retail stores and seizing CBD products.
Why would anyone want to seize a non-psychoactive plant compound that is helping an increasing number of people for a myriad health conditions in a world where one in every two people today suffers from a chronic illness? And when the United States faces an escalating opiate epidemic that western medicine has arguably helped create and that CBD can help solve? (We have many customers that use our hemp oil formula for pain management in lieu of addictive painkillers).
It doesn’t help that irresponsible reporters in mainstream media perpetuate disinformation. Take for instance a recent article in Buzzfeed:
“An alarming uptick in calls to poison control from people who said they thought they had consumed CBD products but suffered adverse side effects.”
Let’s unpack this. First off cannabidiol oil has a very safe profile.
According to the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research,
“Acute CBD administration by the oral, inhalatory or intravenous route did not induce any significant toxic effect in humans. In addition, chronic administration of CBD for 30 days to healthy volunteers, at daily doses ranging from 10 to 400 mg, failed to induce any significant alteration in neurological, psychiatric or clinical exams. Finally, in patients suffering from Huntington’s disease, daily doses of CBD (700 mg) for 6 weeks did not induce any toxicity. Therefore, confirming results from animal studies, the available clinical data suggest that CBD can be safely administered over a wide dose range.”
If people are getting ill, it’s most likely because they are taking a poor quality hemp oil that is often a CBD isolate with less than zero THC, explains Eliza Moriarty, a scientist and master herbalist behind our Superior Hemp Oil. “Most isolates are cheap and imported from India and China and contain heavy metal and pesticide residues, and solvent residues.”
Also consider that the synergistic effect of the group, or entourage, of plant constituents, is always greater than the sum of its parts, adds Moriarty.
CBD is all the rage, and unfortunately, everyone and their mama is making cannabidiol oil these days. The result is many cheap toxin-laden products that do not consider or care about sourcing, extraction methods, or bioavailability.
According to a recent study published in JAMA titled Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online, out of 84 CBD products bought online, only about 30 percent had labels that accurately represented their CBD content. The other 70 percent were had either higher levels of CBD than was labeled or lower levels, and some even had relatively high levels of THC despite not saying it anywhere on the label.
If you are buying hemp oil, there are certain things you absolutely need to look for as a consumer or else you are giving your money to someone who cares about just that. Your money. For instance, keep in mind that the cannabis plant is bio-remedial, meaning it pulls up what’s in the ground. They actually used cannabis to reduce soil toxicity in Chernobyl. So you want an organic source, especially when you consider that while the Trump administration has denied requests from states to allow pesticides for use on marijuana, it’s open to considering their use on hemp, according to new documents from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And when it comes to pesticides, the federal government has not established tolerances for marijuana or hemp since “cannabis does not fit into an existing crop group.”
Another bit of disinformation:
“The truth is, the only thing CBD may treat effectively — through clinical trials on humans — is severe forms of childhood epilepsy. All other claims are based purely on anecdotes.”
Do NOT be fooled by Buzzfeed‘s Doogie meme!! This is NOT a #truestory! This is perfect evidence of wannabe journalists spreading disinformation and inadvertently serving the Big Pharma agenda. (This snippet was written by a supposed senior health reporter whose other articles include Take This Quiz To Test Your BDSM Knowledge).
It’s true that conducting research isn’t the easiest thing to do because CBD falls under schedule I, meaning there are many administrative burdens, explains Susan Weiss, director of the Division of Extramural Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who touts herself as an expert on marijuana science and policy but is really a propagandist towing the party line for the ‘War on Drugs.’ However, there are many studies illustrating the healing properties of CBD. Consider that the International Cannabinoid Research Society has been dedicated to scientific research for 28 years, including biochemical, chemical, and physiological studies of the endogenous cannabinoid system.
And the World Health Organization (WHO) released its preliminary report which was overwhelmingly favorable to CBD, finding that it is non-toxic, non-psychoactive, non-addictive, and has the potential to be useful for a number of medical applications.
Epilepsy is simply the first target condition that Big Pharma and the FDA are releasing. Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer are up next. Remember, no medical drug in the US can be released for public use unless and until the FDA says it is safe and effective.
Do not believe these fluffy articles– too many of us have experienced the benefits of CBD, a plant compound from the earth. And, how about empirical data? For the past five months, I have been speaking to dozens of our customers. Victoria who uses our formula for her throat after years of smoking, or Max who is recovering from a stroke; Leah in Venice who uses it to help her insomnia, Janet who finds relief with Superior in her battle against bladder cancer, or Johnny in La Mirada who needs it to get off opiates. Of course, CBD is optimized by following a nutrient-rich anti-inflammatory diet full or real organic foods.
ProjectCBD explains that CBD is effective because it binds directly to a G-protein coupled receptor known as TRPV-1, which is responsible for mediating body temperature, perceptions of pain and inflammation. CBD also activates serotonin receptors. Furthermore, studies conducted by the California Pacific Medical Center have shown that cannabidiol has the power to inhibit the ID-1 gene, which is known to cause several aggressive cancers, including certain cancers of the breast, brain, lungs, ovaries, and pancreas.
Speaking of which, in November of 2017, as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health fraud, the agency issued warning letters to four companies illegally selling products online that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer without evidence to support these outcomes.”
One month later, our former high-risk processor who offers “offshore solutions,” sent us an email regarding ‘website compliance,’ requesting that we remove all references to conditions such as cancer. They also requested we remove all research links to different websites.
“FDA does not approve research that can be biased.”
So are you cool with the FDA being the one that dictates what research is considered bias? A government association that has approved prescription drugs responsible for two to four million people in the US who have experienced ‘serious, disabling, or fatal injuries, including 128,000 deaths,” according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Read The Epidemic of Sickness and Death From Prescription Drugs to cultivate more fuzzy feelings toward the FDA.
Was PubMed considerate bias? Or the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of the world’s foremost medical research centers? The merchant processor employee didn’t know. And eventually, I concluded that that high-risk merchant processors can define their own terms that are even more stringent than the FDA’s just to protect their own asses.
As a journalist who believes in the first amendment and our right to health, I took offense at scrubbing content and altering testimonials to appease a government organization frolicking around with Big Pharma. How is it okay for me to strip my site of links meant to empower and educate consumers? I eventually removed them, but my initial response was one of defiance.
“Why are you raising your voice at me,” the employee retorted when i complained. “I am sorry I am not yelling at you. Haven’t you read the Four Agreements? Don’t take it personally; being told what we can say and not say just rubs me the wrong way.”
That night, my company was locked out of their portal and our account and I found out the next day, that our account had been terminated.
CBD Crusaders: The Ability To Sell Online
Suffice to say that CBD Oil industry is considered to be risky and many banks have been hesitant to support companies. The banks who will back the merchant credit process, charge high rates to do business, which takes away from the bottom line. Yet a merchant account is offered by an acquiring bank at whatever terms they desire. Eventually, after more than a year of battling a crooked system, we realized there’s no way to get around stringent parameters that are placed on selling a product that is not considered to be legal by some although it is made of legal ingredients.
HoneyColony spent the majority of 2017 chasing merchant processors after all the mainstream ones shut us down. We eventually had to move hemp oil and create a new website called Simply Transformative, and find a high-risk merchant processor.
In mid-January, Paypal permanently banned HoneyColony despite five years when we do not even transact hemp oil from our HoneyColony site. When I asked for answers, I learned that we’d innocently used their service but not through our website. It turns out that in a few cases, customers got an extra bottle of our Superior Hemp Oil and wanted to keep them so we asked them for funds via Paypal, without giving it a second thought since we were not doing anything wrong. Paypal is currently holding 3k of our funds and has agreed to release most of it. Nonetheless, these actions negatively impact business.
“Many things could change CBD’s legal status dramatically, and they’re all coming to a head,” Kight told Truthout via email. “CBD seems to be approaching a critical mass of public awareness and support. The industry is expanding rapidly. Financial institutions, retailers, merchant processors, and state governments are beginning to “open up” to CBD as a viable, legal, and safe health aid.”
Overall there are a number of big developments on the horizon this year that will determine this plant compound continues to face an uphill battle or finally earns the legislative acceptance it deserves.
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