San Francisco has embraced the cannabis revolution. Over 40 dispensaries and 25 additional delivery services provide an estimated 40,000 different patients with medical cannabis each month! Now, patients in San Francisco have the opportunity to experience a new chapter in the medical cannabis saga, and it’s called cannabidiol (CBD). Smoke Reports is here to introduce you to the benefits of cannabidiol and help guide you to the cannabis products that are right for you!
Brief Overview of Cannabinoids
Every person has an endocannabinoid system, individually unique like a fingerprint. Endocannabinoid receptors are found in every organ in the human body and respond to cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found on the flowers of female cannabis plants. While there are several different types of cannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (widely referred to as THC) is the most genetically common and commercially available of the cannabinoids. THC is also the primary compound causing psychoactivity within cannabis users. Yet in recent months, cannabidiol (CBD), has become a very popular alternative to psychoactive THC products.
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of several cannabinoids present in cannabis flowers. CBD has gained traction in the medical world due to its effectiveness against certain cancers, skin issues and problems with the immune system. CBD is also immensely popular because it does not produce psychoactive effects in the majority of patients. Most of the medical strains available have been bred to have a high-THC content rather than a mixed cannabinoid composition, as CBD is just now being produced for mass medicinal consumption.
A year ago, finding a strain with a high-CBD content was a rare occurrence. Growers had no real interest in growing high-CBD strains, mainly because CBD is primarily non-psychoactive and therefore, not lucrative in the traditional cannabis market. (Remember: everyone is different and certain individuals have reported similar cerebral responses to both THC and CBD, but the majority of patients do not get high). Because CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, it is preferred by individuals who feel paranoid or overwhelmed when consuming cannabis products high in THC.
The Story of CBD
CBD has been heavily researched in recent years as an alternative cancer treatment, leading to a spike in popularity, and increased production of high-CBD strains. One of the most notable stories regarding the medicinal value of CBD was featured in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s documentary Weed, which premiered on CNN in 2013:
A five year old girl named Charlotte Figi had debilitating seizures every hour of each day (Dravet syndrome). Her parents were almost out of hope, when they heard about the potential of CBD as a promising treatment for Charlotte. Even though cannabis was medically available at the time, strains with a high CBD content were near impossible to find. However, once the Stanley brothers heard about Charlotte’s situation, they began breeding high-CBD strains in their massive Colorado facility specifically for this little girl. The strain, dubbed Charlotte’s Web is in honor of their first patient.
The Effectiveness of CBD
With the rise in availability, thousands of patients have been experimenting with CBD strains. Many are thrilled, finding that their various ailments are still being successfully treated without the psychoactivity that can impede their daily productivity. In his book The Cannabis Health Index (2013), Uwe Blesching (Ph.D.) identifies which ailments and diseases have been responsive to CBD in past clinical research. Unfortunately, CBD has not yet received the necessary funding to definitively prove its effectiveness, but the majority of tests indicate CBD is a compound that promotes many healing processes within the body.
Some of the most conclusive testing suggests CBD has incredible medicinal value for treating breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, brain cancer, skin cancers including melanomas, irregular estrogen production, Leukemia, Kaposi Sarcoma and general pain relief!
CBD: Relief in Many Forms
A wide range of CBD products are popping up in dispensaries all around San Francisco. While flowers of high-CBD strains are accessible in the region, the most popular CBD products are found in smokeless forms like tinctures and gummies. Let’s take a look at some of the most common CBD companies and creations:
Care By Design (CBD) is already a recognizable brand in the CBD market. As their name suggests, their focus is on the non-psychoactive properties of cannabidiol. Care By Design offers several spray tinctures, each with a different CBD to THC ratio so that patients can truly customize their doses based on personal preference.
The Venice Cookie Company offers liquid tinctures that are also quite common in San Francisco dispensaries. The two tinctures offer a great example of differing ratios between products. The CBD Balance One Tincture has equal parts THC and CBD, making it a 1:1 CBD product. In comparison, the CBD One Tincture has more than twelve times the amount of CBD than THC, giving patients an ample amount of CBD without any noticeable psychoactivity.
While there are many edible CBD options available, two delicious products have been receiving excellent reviews. The edible company Americann GummiCares offers Extreme CBD, a gelatin-based gummy with nearly 30 parts CBD for every one part THC.
If your sweet-tooth craves chocolate, don’t fret! Each of Bhang Medicinal’s Chocolate Caramel CBD Bars contains 60 milligrams of both THC and CBD (1:1) and it’s vegan-friendly!
If you are set in your love of cannabis flowers, check out these prominent CBD strains and explore their genetics:
Finding the Elusive CBD
CBD is becoming more common, making its way onto dispensary shelves all over the nation. However, San Francisco is a big hub of all this CBD activity, with nearly 75% of local dispensaries carrying at least one form of high-CBD cannabis. Other regions in California have not yet been exposed to this boom in availability, but as the medical benefits become scientifically validated, patients everywhere will have the opportunity to add CBD to their cannabis diet. Check Smoke Reports for a complete list of CBD products and locations in the San Francisco area! Help the cannabis community to blaze a new trail by exploring alternative cannabinoids and reporting your experience!