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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

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 California cannabis industry is now in its second year of legalization—and excitement within the industry is building. Experts in the Coachella Valley have been diligently preparing their forecasts for 2019—so we decided to ask them what they’re expecting to happen.

One leader in the industry is predicting great things for 2019. Adrian Sedlin, CEO of Canndescent, which has a large grow facility in Desert Hot Springs, is expecting the industry to boom as legalization spreads globally.

Sedlin notes that in 2018, the adult-use cannabis market tripled in population size, and says that as the industry grows with adult use, so will production. He also thinks the political arena is looking better for legalization, as more political candidates are promoting federal legalization.

“Many critics argue that California made a mess of things in its first year regulating adult-use cannabis,” Sedlin said. “(The year) 2019 will prove far more prosperous for license-holders as operating a cannabis business without a license will finally become a felony.” 

The economic potential in the Coachella Valley is huge, considering the amount of open land and the potential for cannabis-industry growth here. Brent Buhrman, CEO of Nationwide Cannabis Funding and president of the Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network, is predicting the industry in the valley “will see an explosion of growth as new cannabis development becomes vertical and operational.” Buhrman also expects real estate in the valley to hold its value, especially with many cannabis investors who were waiting for two things to happen that, well, just happened: the passage of the Farm Bill and the departure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. These investors are “ready to play ball,” says Buhrman, “and the watchers are now ready to jump into the game.” Buhrman predicts the Coachella Valley will see a new wave of people and companies come forward as a result.

With the industry starting to mature, Sedlin does expect some—no pun intended—weeding out to occur. He foresees stocks changing drastically, and as a result, the “high-profile sackings” of two or three high-profile CEOs at publicly owned cannabis companies.

Other seasoned cannabis entrepreneurs see different transitions on the horizon. Eric Crowe, of Cathedral City-based Mystic Valley CBD, who has been on the forefront of the Colorado cannabis industry for the last 15 years, predicts Coachella Valley happenings will mirror much of what was seen in Colorado. Crowe is predicting a clearing in the industry, which will lead to legitimacy and credibility as well as a surge in canna-tourism. This surge, Crowe states, “will created unprecedented economic growth in the valley, which will include all ancillary business, such as construction, hospitality and all business trades.”

Crowe cautions that lessons learned from Colorado should be heeded as the Coachella Valley cannabis industry expands.

“All industry in the valley, in some way, will come to depend on the cannabis industry, and as it morphs and grows, oversaturation will happen,” he said.

As happened in Colorado, Crowe anticipates the quality and quantity of the goods in the market will reach capacity, which will result in price reductions and many companies closing as a result. Like Buhrman, he predicts this will allow a new group of players to come to the table. Crowe thinks some of the new business emphasis will be on medicinal uses for hemp, specifically 100 percent certified organic growth and production. He expects that the success of some within the industry will depend on new technology; for example, his company uses reverse-engineered sound-wave technology, which focuses on the DNA of the hemp plant in order to produce the highest level of CBD full-spectrum concentrations.

The economic outlook for the cannabis industry in 2019 and beyond looks very promising—but those in the industry will need to change along with the demands of the industry.

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