The plant of the hour! Cannabis is bred into either marijuana or industrial hemp (the only legal difference being that industrial hemp must contain 0.3% THC or less).
An entity can only farm marijuana OR industrial hemp; they CANNOT be grown on the same farm! (EQ’s farm in CO is all industrial hemp, obviously! Our own cultivar, colloquially referred to as a “strain”.) Marijuana and industrial hemp are often grown with differing botanical methodologies and strategy to optimize for THC or CBD (or both! or a host of other cannabinoids!), but they are indeed the same plant at their core.
While originally industrial hemp was not optimized for CBD (instead, for fibrous content!), our resin-rich crop is part of the new era of industrial hemp that is bred for cannabinoid optimization a la medical marijuana, but meets the legal guidelines of 0.3% THC or lower so as to avoid any intoxicating effect.
A chemical compound (such as CBD) either produced endogenously in animals as endocannabinoids or in plants as phytocannabinoids, that alter neurotransmitter release in our brains/bodies (whether intoxicating like THC or non-intoxicating like CBD). We have two cannabinoid receptors: CB1 is located in our brain, eyes, and reproductive systems and CB2 is found in our immune system (responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabinoids!).
Due to absence of receptors in the motor cortex region of our brains, cannabinoids (from cannabis or otherwise) cannot “highjack” our respiration or heart function, the way that opioids and some pharmaceuticals can. People do not “overdose” on cannabis.
EQ’s products contain 9 cannabinoids: CBD, CBDa, CBDv, CBN, CBG, CBC, THC (0.3% or less), THCa, and THCv.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
ProjectCBD puts it perfectly: “The endocannabinoid system [a system of receptors, see cannabinoid definition up above] plays a crucial role in regulating a broad range of physiological processes that affect our everyday experience – our mood, our energy level, our intestinal fortitude, immune activity, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, how we experience pain, stress, hunger, and more.
What happens if the endocannabinoid system doesn’t function properly? What are the consequences of a chronically deficient or overactive endocannabinoid system?
In a word, disease.
Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in nearly all pathological conditions. Thus, it stands to reason that “modulating endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans,” as Pal Pacher and George Kunos, scientists with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggested in a 2014 publication.
By modulating the endocannabinoid system and enhancing endocannabinoid tone, CBD and THC can slow – or in some cases stop – disease progression.”
Fun fact: Women even secrete endocannabinoids when breastfeeding, for their babies! Yes, the ECS plays a huge part in fertility, PMS, motherhood, and menopause.
From a great article on harnessing and increasing this endocannabinoid, known as “the Bliss molecule”: “Anandamide is part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), alongside 2-AG, another cannabis-like chemical, and the endocannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. Present in all vertebrates, the system is classed as a homeostatic regulator, meaning it is constantly working to bring about a state of balance to our bodies and minds.
Not surprisingly, our mood, happiness, fear, anxiety, and ability to endure stress are all regulated by the endocannabinoid system, with out of whack anandamide levels associated with everything from schizophrenia to depression.”
You can increase anandamide via exercise and some foods, but as women age we lose over levels drastically (especially after menopause, but also due to autoimmune disorders, genetics, fertility/childbirth, etc.). This is where adding phytocannabinoids comes into play!
Non-intoxicating cannabinoid known for its anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing, and mind-lifting effects. CBD helps create more anandamide in your system, partially by keeping the anandamide you already have from degrading.
ProjectCBD.org has a good primer you can read here.
An often intoxicating (when used in high enough concentration, often requiring levels beyond 3-10% to “feel high”) cannabinoid, known for its anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, analgesic (and many other) qualities. THC also helps create more anandamide in your system!
Full-Spectrum/"The Entourage Effect"
When someone refers to an industrial-hemp CBD product as being “full-spectrum,” it means that it contains some amount of THC, which helps activate CBD and other cannabinoids present. Full-spectrum usually refers to a plethora of available cannabinoids and terpenes, whether it’s from hemp (like ours, limited to 0.3% THC) or marijuana. Generally speaking, CBD & THC are a “power couple” that work best together instead of separately!
In fact, when multiple cannabinoids (our products have 3-4x industry average) work together to amplify each other, it’s referred to as “the entourage effect” (or sometimes, “the ensemble effect.”)
THC-free CBD products (“broad-spectrum” and “isolate”) require much higher doses to be effective — thus inviting potential side effects — and are generally not as well-received by the body as those with even the tiniest amount of THC. This leads to our next item…
CBD Isolate is exactly what it sounds like — the CBD molecule has been chemically separated from the original composition of the plant, often using disgusting solvents like butane, resulting in a crystallized powder devoid of any other cannabinoids (including THC).
Whole-flower extract (the entirety of the industrial hemp flower, extracted, with no chemical separation, and without solvents) is far superior, and as previously discussed, the other cannabinoids present besides CBD are important to CBD’s performance! And, again, you need far more isolate to achieve efficacy than CBD in a “full-spectrum” product.
THC-free is NOT ideal. Isolate is NOT ideal, unless used on top of a full-spectrum or whole-plant routine. Your body just doesn’t know what to do with an isolated CBD product, if that’s all you use on its own!
“Broad-spectrum” is a product with more cannabinoids than an “isolate,” but no THC whatsoever. Sometimes, broad-spectrum is “recombinant” — multiple isolates combined together in a lab.
Whole-flower extract (the entirety of the industrial hemp flower, extracted, with no chemical separation, and without solvents – and no stalks/stems/seeds!) is far superior, and as previously discussed, the other cannabinoids present besides CBD are important to CBD’s performance! And, again, you need far more of a product without THC to achieve efficacy than CBD in a “full-spectrum” product.
THC-free is NOT ideal unless you are regularly drug tested.
Terpenes are the aromatic component of cannabis products, but they also have ingested value! Beta-caryophyllene is a very important anti-inflammation terpene, but our products contain 21, including other desirable terpenes like Myrcene, Linalool, Camphene, Limonene, and Borneol.
This is a general term speaking to cannabis products that are powdered and recombined, or in general lots of different crops from different sources combined. Usually it’s a derogatory term. An ideal CBD product is one that came from a single source and was extracted at that source, in totality, without any solvent or other process that alters the plant’s extract.
CBD is a lipophilic compound, meaning it needs oil to be properly processed (broken down & absorbed) by your body. This is why powdered CBD products (capsules, for instance) are inferior — the fatty oil is not available for transport and absorption the way an oil-based softgel or tincture is. EQ’s cultivar (strain) is always extracted to oil and used as such. Never powdered!
You may hear our site or dosage team talk about “delivery mechanisms” — and we are simply referring to the many ways to utilize an industrial hemp/cannabinoid product! We focus on ingestible (softgel), sublingual/buccal (under-tongue or in-cheek via tincture, soon adding “medibles”), topically transdermal (pain creme, soon adding patches), and vaginal (soon: suppositories and lubricant) delivery mechanisms. We do not offer any vape or smoke products at this time.
When ingesting, some of your product’s efficacy is lost to your metabolism, and transdermal applications are also not 100% absorbed — neither is the case when smoking/vaping. Ingested products tend to “slow release” in your system.
Sublingual/buccal delivery relies on the vasculature under your tongue or in your cheeks, and can be very effective insofar as being a more rapid absorption method, and it is more bioavailable, meaning you do absorb more of the product (and anything leftover is ingested).
Vaginal product delivery, however, is supreme: this is the closest to a “mainline” or IV of cannabinoid products as you can get! Our vaginal vasculature is very sophisticated in its ability to absorb product.
Hemp as a farming "mitigator"
You may have heard horror stories of the lack of regulation in the industrial hemp space — it’s true, most states do not regulate CBD products as much as our farm in Colorado does, as per Colorado law — and this results in products full of pesticides, VOCs, solvents or worse.
But perhaps you heard about hemp being using as a powerful farming “mitigator” — this is referring to hemp’s ability to replenish farmland. If a farmer has farmland full of pesticides and other muck, when they plant hemp on it, it pulls all out of the unsavory compounds out of the ground and rejuvenates the soil for any other kind of crop to safely grow. At that time, this harvested hemp crop should be destroyed, as it’s very unsafe to consume!
However, sometimes this crop is sold on the black market and made into the CBD products you see in casual environments such as gas stations, farmer/craft markets, etc. These are NOT safe to consume! Please be careful!