CVIndependent

Wed07172019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Last month in this space, I illustrated how things are not always as they seem regarding the different types of CBDs on the market.

This month, I want to expand on that same topic—because understanding CBD on a deeper level is important. It can save you time and money, and you can make sure you’re getting the product you need.

As I noted last month: CBD isolate may be pure CBD, but that does not mean it will work for you. When you isolate CBDs, plant elements such as terpenes, fatty acids, oils and lipids are removed—and those things help CBDs work in the body.

The same thing goes for distillate CBDs: These products are often distilled three different times, and each time, critical synergistic ingredients are taken out.

The same thing does not go for CBDs made using whole plant technology. The CBD is extracted using alcohol or ethanol, and the process is done only once, leaving in those needed terpenes, fatty acids, etc. The resulting oil may not be as pretty—it’s usually darker—but your body is not looking for prettiness; it’s more concerned about the synergistic effectiveness.

A new trend in CBD involves using technology to isolate CBD, and then putting whole-plant oil back in. This backward process is unnecessary and a waste of time, because whole plant technology works just fine—and the multiple steps mean there’s more of a possibility of introducing toxins into the mix.

Many CBD manufacturers use less-than-ideal cultivars (strains). Using the right cultivar is key to producing a product that tastes good, smells good and has all the effective properties the body needs. Another problem involves the use of THC-dominant cultivars over hemp. Yes, THC-dominant cannabis has CBD in it, but the THC is dominant and can counteract the CBD. Yeah, you can remove the THC, usually by using heat or burning—during which the CBD molecules can be compromised. On the other hand, CBDs derived from the proper hemp plants (usually female) don’t need this type of processing.

To sum this all up … CBDs produced from female hemp plants using whole-plant technology are the best way to go, in all likelihood.

When researching a CBD product, remember to look on the manufacturer’s website and/or ask for certifications for organic growth, production and extraction. If the manufacturer can provide you with those three things, it should also have no problem providing a Certificate of Analysis (COA). The COA will tell you the percentage of the CBDs, heavy metals, pesticides, products used in the growing process, THC levels, molds, mildews, chemicals and preservatives. Any reputable company will be proud to provide the certifications, because they are proud of their products. If you find a certificate that mentions isolates or another process, beware; the manufacturer may not be properly informed. Those who are using research produced out of Israel and Colorado are best informed. Ask the questions, and make sure you are getting the right answers.

One great way to find out about CBDs, treatments and current research is to visit www.projectcbd.org. Consumers can find a beginner’s guide and research specific conditions; the site will explain in detail the current research on those conditions and the current treatments using CBD.

This is a budding industry (pun intended), and there are many snake-oil salesmen out there peddling their wares, with some of these products winding up in large chains and retail establishments. Taking a moment to ask the right questions will ensure you do not get duped and that you get the best results from the CBD product you purchase.

Robin Goins is a business consultant for DR.G Consulting and works extensively in the cannabis industry in the Coachella Valley. For more information, visit www.drrobingoins.com.

Published in Cannabis in the CV

CBD has everyone talking these days.

No matter where you are, you will see CBD (an abbreviation of cannabidiol) products advertised, ready for your purchase and consumption. CBD products can be found in stores, pharmacies, massage/beauty parlors, restaurants—and, of course, dispensaries.

But not all CBDs are alike. How do you know you’re getting a quality product? How do you know what sets one product apart from another? The answers come from understanding where CBDs come from and how they are processed.

Isolate CBD is 100 percent pure; however, when the CBD is isolated, the symbiotic qualities of the other parts of the plant are eliminated. In other words, you get CBD, but you lose other critical properties that can have important health benefits.

Full-spectrum CBD contains a wider range of other naturally occurring compounds; whole-plant CBD does as well, but is made from various parts of the plant.

Why are these distinctions important? Studies show that if you isolate pure CBD, it does not always have the same effect on everyone. In other words, bodies react better and more consistently when all the symbiotic elements of the plant are present. It’s really a shot in the dark whether isolated CBD will work, and determining what dosage will work for each person.

Another term you may see is “distillate,” or distilled CBD, which is often made using carbon dioxide, with the CBD passed through a machine three or more times to remove plant matter—which also removes the plant’s synergistic qualities. If heat is used during this process, the pressure can change the molecular structure of the CBD molecule, making it less bioavailable and effective. In other words: When the plant is stripped, the resulting product may be cleaner, but has been rendered less effective.

To sum this all up, the most-effective CBD products use whole plant technology.

“Do your research, and find organically grown plants, organic extraction and organic processes. All of those should be certified,” said Eric Crowe, CEO of Mystic Valley CBD. (Full disclosure: I am also a part of the Mystic Valley team.)

What can a consumer expect from a CBD product purchased at a dispensary? The answer is that a true 100 percent bioavailable CBD is unlikely to be found at a dispensary, because their CBDs are made from cannabis plants with a THC-dominant cultivar—and that means it needs to be processed to get much of that THC removed.

“When they remove the THC, most likely through heat or a chemical process, it inevitably changes the molecular structure of the CBD molecule,” Crowe said.

True pharmaceutical/supplemental CBDs come from the hemp plant, which is not a financially attractive plant to dispensaries. Quality certified organic hemp is grown outdoors, not indoors. Further, the best CBDs come from the female hemp plant.

“Certain female hemp plants produce up to 20 to 21 percent CBD, while males produce an average of 1 to 2 percent CBD, which is much like the THC cultivar,” Crowe said. “This is why you will see dispensaries selling (products with) … even amounts of CBD to THC. A quality hemp CBD is 20 percent CBD to less than 1 percent THC, which is essentially nothing … with no traceable THC.” This is an excellent option for consumers who want the medical benefits of CBD without the intoxicating effects of THC.

So where do you find a quality hemp-based CBD? Through a reputable distributor. Crowe recommends looking for companies that can display their organic certifications and give information on pesticides, chemicals and ground contamination. Any reputable CBD company can and will supply this information.

The lesson here: Not all CBDs are alike. Read the labels, and make sure organic means organic. Your body will know the difference once you experience a quality CBD.

Robin Goins is a business consultant for DR.G Consulting and works extensively in the cannabis industry in the Coachella Valley. For more information, visit www.drrobingoins.com.

Published in Cannabis in the CV

The different reactions to marijuana legalization by Coachella Valley’s cities have been varied … to say the least.

Palm Springs has always been forward-thinking where cannabis is concerned, and Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City and Coachella are now wisely looking to cash in on the green rush. Meanwhile, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage are going in the other direction by doing their best to slow access—or ban weed altogether.

Now Indian Wells has enacted the most draconian policies yet in the wake of Proposition 64’s November voter approval.

Indian Wells recently passed an ordinance that requires residents who wish to grow marijuana at home for personal use, as allowed by Prop 64, to register with City Hall for a permit—and pay a $141-per-year fee.

Marijuana activists and legal experts alike are attacking the law as unconstitutional, but that didn’t prevent the City Council from passing the ordinance in a 4-1 vote.

Councilman Ty Peabody abstained. Later, according to The Desert Sun, he commented: “I just don’t believe in marijuana,” citing the continuing federal ban.

(What does that even mean? Has he been under a rock the last couple decades?)

In addition to the yearly fee attached to the permit, Indian Wells residents would be required by law to allow city employees to inspect their homes to determine compliance with state and local laws.

While Prop 64 does allow jurisdictions to enact reasonable regulations on a local level, the Indian Wells’ requirements represent a vast overreach, according to multiple experts on the law. In fact, Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said this may the tightest regulation passed in California to date.

“Proposition 64 states: ‘A city, county, or city and county may enact and enforce reasonable regulations to reasonably regulate’ the indoor cultivation of marijuana by adults,” Armentano told the Independent via e-mail. “However, this proposal clearly stretches the idea of what would be considered ‘reasonable.’ We would not expect adults to register with the city or to submit to inspections of their home if they were brewing their own alcohol, and we should not expect adults to give up their civil liberties and privacy rights to engage in indoor marijuana gardening—activity that is now perfectly legal under state law.”

Dale Gieringer, the director of California NORML, also compared home growers of marijuana to home brewers, and questioned the usefulness of such a law.

“We believe the Indian Wells ordinance violates Prop 64,” he said. “Prop 64 authorizes ‘reasonable’ regulations of personal-use cultivation. Why doesn’t it impose the same regulations on indoor growing of all plants, or on home brewing of beer and wine? This is an obnoxious exercise in over-regulation and an affront to personal privacy. Don’t Indian Wells officials have anything better to do?”

“Unconstitutional” and “crazy” are words used to describe the ordinance by attorney and cannabis law expert Omar Figueroa of Sonoma County. In a conversation with The Desert Sun, he cited the 1969 U.S. Supreme Court Case Leary v. United States, which ruled that “self-incrimination” can’t be required by state or local agencies, due to the Fifth Amendment.

“It’s not a constitutionally enforceable law,” he told The Desert Sun. “It would be foolish of them to enforce it.”

Joy Brown Meredith, the founder and president of Joy of Life Wellness Center, Palm Springs’ sixth licensed dispensary, said she’s happy to be located in a less-restrictive Coachella Valley city.

“I’m glad Palm Springs is more progressive than Indian Wells,” she said. “What is the purpose of the permit and all the identification requirements if not to intimidate people to feel uneasy about growing this amazing plant?”

Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indio and La Quinta have banned dispensaries and cultivation. The city of Coachella allows manufacturing and cultivation in a specific zone of the city, but not dispensaries or delivery.

Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells recently amended their respective bans to include recreational marijuana businesses in the wake of Prop 64.


DEA: CBD and all other cannabis extracts are on Schedule I

Continuing its steady march backward, the Drug Enforcement Administration has lumped all marijuana extracts—including CBD—into marijuana’s Schedule I classification, making every form of the cannabis plant illegal under federal law.

The new code defines extracts as “containing one or more cannabinoids that (have) been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.”

The DEA says it’s merely a way to keep better track of research and shipments of extracts versus flowers, by assigning extracts their own code. But the new rule states clearly: “For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. … However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code.”

CBD occurs naturally in cannabis, but unlike THC, it doesn’t get the user high. CBD has been successful in the treatment of tumors, epilepsy, chronic pain and many other ailments. To date, CBD has been legalized in 20 states and Washington, D.C., for medicinal use. While these state laws will not be affected by the new code, those laws will now be more specifically in conflict with federal law.

Congress could still act to reschedule CBD and other extracts. The Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act was introduced in the Senate last year to ease research restrictions on CBD, but stalled—despite support from both sides of the aisle.

Currently, the federal government has a laissez-faire stance regarding state cannabis laws; in other words, the feds are letting states call the shots for their citizens. However, considering the anti-pot crusaders prevalent in the incoming Trump administration—including Vice President-elect Mike Pence and attorney general pick Ken “good people don’t smoke marijuana” Sessions—one must wonder how long that attitude will last.

Published in Cannabis in the CV

On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 17, Schmidy’s Tavern will host the Eighth Annual Concert for Autism—a benefit that is very near and dear to my heart.

The event is spearheaded by Josh Heinz, a musician rooted in the desert-rock community, and the parent of an autistic child. Each year, the best of the best in desert rock, punk, metal and pop come together to support the cause—and put on one hell of a show!

This year’s headliners include The Pedestrians, featuring vocalist Mike Lewis, percussionist Rob Peterson, drummer Tim McMullen, bassist Armando Flores, trumpet-player Cesar Hernandez, trombonist Morgan Finch and Latin-rock guitarist David Macias. This group is where punk rock meets rap, and two generations of desert-rock icons come together in one epic local band that brings down the house.

Peterson and Flores will also debut Sun(D)rug, a new hard-rock project featuring guitar wizard Bobby Nichols; and Macias’ renowned “Spanglish jive” group Machin’. Heinz and his wife, Linda, will be doing a set with their punk-pop group Blasting Echo. Desert punk-rock faves Mighty Jack, Waxy, The Hellions, Bridger and Long Duk Dong all promise to make this a memorable two-night event.

Autism affects so many families, and recent government cutbacks have decreased vital services to many families living with this disability. Several of the performing artists have a child or children with autism, including Heinz, Flores and Nichols, making this a very personal affair.

“The most memorable moments are always seeing the faces and smiles of everyone, from the musicians, to the volunteers, to the attendees, during the event,” Heinz said. “Everyone seems to really enjoy being a part of doing something good for the community.”

Autism became real for me when I fell in love with gifted guitar-aficionado Bobby Nichols, a musician of whom I had been in awe for more than a decade. When our lives merged, his son Sean became an integral part of my life—and I had no idea about the challenges and heartaches I would come to experience.

Over five-plus years, I have watched Sean, now 23, suffer unspeakable side affects from Risperdal, adrug doctors have prescribed to him since he was 10 years old. I also watched the magic affects on Sean of CBD oil—a non-narcotic, non-addictive, non-psychoactive drug extracted from the cannabis plant. Even though it is free of THC (the chemical in marijuana that is intoxicating), it is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the U.S. government; in fact, the Food and Drug Administration’s new head officer has gone on the record as saying it will remain a Schedule 1 drug as long as he is in charge. How does an agency that is charged with protecting consumers from dangerous food and drug products justify allowing companies like Johnson and Johnson to produce toxic drugs that cause debilitating and permanent disabilities, while refusing to make available by prescription an oil that is nontoxic, has no side affects, and has some medical researchers believing we could finally see an end to breast cancer in the next decade?

Forgive the long aside; this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. Anyway, back to the issue at hand: The Concert for Autism takes place starting at 6:45 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 17, at Schmidy’s Tavern, 72886 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. A $5 donation is suggested at the door. The event also will feature raffles and silent auctions; all proceeds will go to the Lumpy’s Foundation for Autism. For more information or to donate, visit concertforautism.com.

Read more from Robin Linn, including an expanded version of this story, at www.desertrockchronicles.com.

Published in Previews