CBD: An Overview

Cannabis (marijuana) contains over 350 compounds. At least 90 of these are phytocannabinoids (or just cannabinoids) which are the naturally occurring compounds found within the resin glands of Cannabis flowers. The resin glands also contain terpenoids, the “essential oils” of Cannabis. Together, the cannabinoids and terpenoids contain the many medicinal properties of Cannabis flowers and their resin. Some of the cannabinoids also get you high. The synergistic properties of the cannabinoids are just now being explained by medicine.

Psycho-active is a term for something that gets you high. THC is the the only group of psyco-active cannabinoids, and that is why THC is famous and heralded. THC is the main compound that we think of when we talk about Cannabis. The majority of modern Cannabis varieties contain low levels of the other cannabinoids. But CBD, and high CBD strains (varieties) are a hot topic right now, and for good reason.

The common mis-knowledge has been that THC is responsible for the up of Cannabis sativa and CBD is responsible for the down of Cannabis indica. In practice it seems that a variety with high THC and CBD may get you less high, but for a longer period of time. And that if you desire the intense psycho-active THC affects you should just smoke pure THC varieties with the “right” terpenoids, aka right smell.

It is the terpenoids that work with THC to modify your high. CBD and some of the other cannabinoids are seemingly “getting in the way” of intense psychoactive affects of THC. This may very well explain why we all smell the bag and take a deep inhale before buying, it’s not just for fun. Your body is looking for the right kind of high.”

Here I will introduce Sam the Skunkman. If you don’t know who he is he is big time. Sam might very well be the world wide authority on cannabinoids. I managed to unofficially pry some world class insight from him. When he says “you”, that’s me 🙂 For the real nerds his set up is described here:

“A GC with 2 injection ports, (one column for THC and the rest of the Cannabinoids and a longer column for CBD separation) auto sampling is the way for me. Run 96 samples a night while I sleep.”

Then S Skunkman goes on to say much more: “I should of said that CBD does not work by binding to the CB1 receptor. I have seen papers that refer to very very weak binding.
What CBD does do is modulate THC Binding.”

“My own work shows that 100 mg pure CBD vaporized before smoking any Cannabis or THC pretty much prevents you getting any high from THC, Cannabis or hash for several hours or longer. I then tried to smoke 50% THC hash and no effect at all. While THC + CBD if consumed at the same time does not do this, you do get high like with most imported hashish, which is THC/CBD rich, but the high is quite different then a THC only hash. (I mean if the THC/CBD is smoked first thing before any other smoking.)

I have not yet tried smoking 100 mg CBD after consumption of high THC products to see what the CBD does to the THC if anything, maybe next time.

I did not like not being able to smoke and get high for 8 hours, if I wanted to. Also harder to get to sleep and real vivid dreams. Normally I don’t remember my dreams if I smoke. Next morning every thing was normal.
THCV is also a THC antagonist like CBD.


“You mentioned Cannabinoids that get you high, like THC, CBN almost gets you high, but you can forget CBD, CBC, CBG, THCV and the rest of the propyls (3 carbon] They do not get you high, although they do have medical applications. I have tried them all as pure single Cannabinoids.

CBD, CBN, THCV are THC antagonists and they do modify THC’s effects, like in the case of CBD which delays THC onset, reduces peak effects and lengthens the reduced effects time of activity.

CBD is also funny in that if you smoke 100mg of pure CBD before any Cannabis smoking, you can’t get high from THC for several hours, even if you smoke the strongest hash.
While if you smoke a THC/CBD mixture first thing, you do get high, like almost all imported hash, that has considerable CBD with the THC.

But the high is different then THC only varieties. I prefer high THC only, but to each their own….

It is the terpenes with high THC that makes the subjective effects.” S Skunkman

“First of all there are now over 90 identified Cannabinoids, I have tried maybe a dozen all alone and with pure THC, none get you high, except for THC and CBN if you call CBN a high. There are a few Cannabinoid modulators of THC, just a few. Most had zero effect on THC. Instead it is the Terpenoids I have found.” S Skunkman

“It is the Terpenoids that with THC create all the subjective effects found in so many different varieties of Cannabis. That and CBD, CBN, THCV which are THC modulators when they are present.

Maybe we will find another terpenoid that does get you high but then why did not primitive indigenous farmers find it like they did with THC? They created pure THC varieties by eliminating anything else, all without knowing anything about THC. I suspect they would have found any other Cannabinoid that would of gotten them high, don’t you?” S Skunkman
“THC selection is the hand of man, plain and simple, wild Cannabis is never high in THC, unless recently escaped from cultivation by man. Same as any other Cannabinoid that man would of selected for, if you think that Cannabis was high in THC before the hand of man you are mistaken. Without the hand of man to maintain through selection Cannabis THC Cannabinoid levels fall quickly.” S Skunkman

Here is some great info on high CBD genetics from O’Shaughnessy’s Summer 2010 via ProjectCBD.org

“Doctors to Study Effectiveness of CBD

Tod Mikuriya, MD, did not live to see it, but his dream of investigating the medical potential of compounds in the cannabis plant other than THC is now within the grasp of his successors.

The Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the group Mikuriya founded in 1999, has drafted a “Strain Evaluation Survey”  to collect data from patients who medicate with cannabis in which cannabidiol (CBD) is predominant.

CBD-rich cannabis will be available at California and Colorado dispensaries by late summer —and soon thereafter, inevitably, in other states where patients can legally use cannabis as medicine.

Twelve strains rich in cannabidiol (CBD) have been identified in the year and a half since an analytic chemistry lab began testing cannabis samples provided by California dispensaries,  growers, and edible makers. Buds from five of these strains have been available intermittently at Harborside Health Center in Oakland. Herbal Solutions in Long Beach also has provided CBD-rich cannabis to patients.

Eight of the CBD-rich strains are currently being grown out. The others cannot be reproduced because the growers hadn’t saved or couldn’t regain access to the genetic material that yielded their buds of interest.

More than 9,000 samples have been tested to date by the Steep Hill lab in Oakland. Other start-up labs in California, Colorado, and Montana have begun testing for the burgeoning industry. The  Full Spectrum lab in Denver has tested some 4,500 strains and identified seven CBD-rich strains.

A strain that is roughly 6% CBD and 6% THC, “Cannatonic,” has been developed by Resin Seeds in Barcelona and is being grown from seed by several collectives. Its name may be misleading, since CBD supposedly cancels the sedating effects of THC.

For purposes of the data collection being planned by the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, “CBD-rich” cannabis is being defined as more than 4% cannabidiol by weight (without respect to THC content) or more than 2.5% CBD if CBD exceeds THC.

Until testing for cannabinoid content began, it was widely assumed that CBD, which is non-psychoactive, had been bred out of all the cannabis in California by generations of growers seeking maximum THC content.

Doctors in the SCC have watched with great interest in recent years as a British company, G.W. Pharmaceuticals conducted clinical trials of cannabis-plant extracts. G.W. has a license from the British government and backing from Otsuka, a Tokyo-based multinational.

G.W.’s flagship product, Sativex, is a plant extract that contains approximately equal amounts of CBD and THC. What benefits did G.W. scientists expect a CBD-rich extract to confer?

Various studies published in the medical and scientific literature suggest that CBD could be effective in easing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, nausea, and inflammatory bowel disorders, among other difficult-to-control conditions. CBD also has demonstrated neuroprotective effects, and its anti-cancer potential is being explored at several academic research centers.

An even wider market would emerge if the reduced psychoactivity of CBD-rich cannabis makes it an appealing treatment option for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, and/or anti-spasm effects delivered without disconcerting euphoria or lethargy.

The plant richest in CBD is a “True Blueberry/OG Kush” cross grown in the mountains south of Yreka by Wendell Lee of Full Spectrum Genetics (not to be confused with the lab in Colorado). Dried buds of TB/OGK have been sent for testing on four occasions by Harborside, the dispensary with which Lee is associated. Samples were consistently found to contain about 10% CBD (with THC levels around 6 to 7%). On the only occasion that a crop grown outdoors by Lee was tested by Steep Hill lab, it was found to contain 13.9% CBD.

Two other labs have confirmed the CBD content of Lee’s TB/OGK.

Lee is now working to “stabilize the genetics” and produce TB/OGK seeds. Several plants he provided to Project CBD (a nonprofit organized by writer/activist Martin Lee to promote research) are being grown out by experienced hands. Processed medicine and clones will be available at dispensaries in the months ahead. Details will be available on ProjectCBD.com, a website that will be launched by mid-August, according to Martin Lee (no relation to Wendell)

The California strain richest in CBD proportionally, “Women’s Collective Stinky Purple,” tested at 9.7% CBD and 1.2% THC.  It was brought to Harborside by Grower #1 who also grows a strain called “Cotton Candy/Diesel” that was found to contain about 6% CBD and 6% THC. Grower #1 gets her starter plants from friends in Northeastern Mendocino County. Is there something in the genome of plants that have been swapped over the years by growers in those hills that encourages expression of CBD?

Another strain containing more than 8% CBD, grown indoors in the East Bay, was brought to Harborside in late April. “Omrita Rx3” is the name the grower has given it after learning that it was of special interest to SCC doctors.

A few weeks later a strain called “Harlequin” was found to contain about 8% CBD. And soon thereafter a pound of “Jamaican Lion” tested at 8.9% CBD. Clones of these strains are being grown out and will be available through Harborside and Project CBD in the months ahead, along with the Soma A+ that was first to be identified.

Pineapple Thai (5% CBD, 2.4% THC) is being grown out by Herbal Solutions in Long Beach.”



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