Rub a Dub Dub – CBD in Your Tub | How To Unwind

We have all been there. It’s been a long stressful day and now you’re home. What’s the best way to unwind? Should you take a long walk, pour yourself a glass of wine? Maybe you should just binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix. None of these is necessarily a bad choice, but perhaps there is a better plan. A plan you may not, given your busy life, have considered in awhile. A nice relaxing scrub in the tub.

When was the last time you took a bath? (No, we are not suggesting anything about your personal hygiene.) We are talking about a bath from the perspective of unwinding for the day.

There certainly are a lot of stock images of women soaking in a bath. It is almost a female relaxation trope. Those images often include a glass of wine, perhaps a candle or flower petals, but is there anything to all of this?

In a survey done by Angie’s List, it was found that 90% prefer showers to baths. The demographic most likely to shower rather than bathe are men in their 20s. Bath people (no surprise) are women in their 40s. So it would seem there is some truth to the imagery. But no matter what the demographic, showers definitely outweigh baths by a considerable margin. Let’s face it, showers are simply quicker and more efficient for daily cleaning. Taking a bath, unless you are six, is generally something special and premeditated.

The History of the Bath

Baths have a bit of a hot and cold history (pun intended).

A lot of the trouble had to do with a lack of access to private indoor plumbing and even water. For this reason, in the ancient world, the public bath was commonplace. One of the first baths was the Great Bath of the Indus Valley Civilization dating back 3000 years. This was a massive structure (hence the name) and was a central part of the city. Archeologists believe it was used for special religious ceremonies as well as to purify and renew the well being of the citizens.

Where bathing was important, and it wasn’t necessarily everywhere, it was a community event. Only wealthy people could afford the luxury of private baths due to the cost and requirements of personal plumbing. Often grass and certain herbs were added to the baths to accentuate the experience.

While the east continued the long tradition of bathing, the process began to fall out of favor in Europe for two distinct reasons. First, the switch from wool to linen clothing. Linen was easier to clean and maintain. This meant that one could bathe less and change clothes more. Having a lot of linen was also a sign of social status so appearance eclipsed cleanliness. The lack of cleanliness wasn’t without consequence. Poor hygiene leads to illness. So much so that medical opinions at the time suggested that the odors of dirty clothes caused disease. (The germ theory of sickness had not yet been established.)

Community bathing had its own issues. It, unfortunately, led to public bathhouses becoming places for prostitution and other questionable activities. Those with access to water who could simply bathe at home did so using basins and washtubs.


The Bath – Not Just for Cleaning Anymore

With modern indoor plumbing becoming a thing in most homes by the 1950s, more people were washing up more frequently. But what about the use of a nice bath for relaxing or even improving your wellness? While many grasp the basic concept behind the soothing power of a nice soak, here are some wellness benefits you might not have known.

Increasing your heart rate

While taking a warm bath is no replacement for a good workout, soaking in a hot bath will increase your heart rate. Don’t go crazy with the temperature and if you have a pre-existing condition, it may not be a good idea. However, a nice warm bath will give your heart some healthy low-impact exercise.

Breathe a little easier in the tub

Being in the warm tub can also help with oxygen and lung capacity. For this one to have the full effect you need to submerge your chest under the water as well. The warm water gets your heart beating faster and your oxygen intake will improve. Additionally, the steam can help clear your sinuses and chest.

Calm your busy brain and improve your mood

Soaking in a nice hot bath can help reduce pain and inflammation. It can also calm your central nervous system, reducing your levels of stress and improving your mood. A warm bath can increase serotonin levels, which is the happiness hormone. The human body is made mostly of water and that is why we are encouraged to drink plenty of it. But soaking in water is also extremely beneficial. We can enhance this by adding certain oils or salts to a bath or bathing in a natural body of water or pool, rich in naturally occurring minerals.


Adding Things to Your Bath

So a nice hot bath can help improve your wellness, calm your nerves, and help you regain balance after a stressful day. Are you already planning your next tub time? Is there anything you can do to make your next soak time even better?

Yes, there are some simple things you can do to step up your bath action. It may be something as easy as putting on some relaxing music, turning the lights down, and lighting some candles. There are also some things you can add to your bath water to increase the benefits of tub time.


One of the most popular bath additives is the essential oil, lavender. It is very popular because of its delightful scent and its effect on people’s moods. Lavender has been found to relieve pain and inflammation. It has also been found to help with headaches. Finally, the smell itself is so pleasant, that alone can help elevate your mood.

Lemon oil

Aromatherapy has many adherents. If nothing else it can make your soak all that more enjoyable. Lemon as an essential oil has been found to have antiseptic, antifungal, antimicrobial, and detoxifying properties that can help your immune system according to a study from 2015. Keep in mind that citrus oils can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. Make sure you give yourself a good rinse before going out sunbathing.


Do you like sushi? How about that yummy ginger on the side? You should eat a bite between each roll to cleanse the palate. You can also add it to your bath. Just add a tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger to your bathwater. Many say that it can help with congestion and will also help soothe sore muscles.

Epsom salt

This is the standard one you hear about all the time. Epsom salt baths have been recommended and used for literally hundreds of years as a way to ease aches and pains. This is not the “salt” you put on your fries, however. Epsom is the place in England where it was originally discovered and is found naturally in springs. Add a half cup to your tub. Keep in mind if you have sensitive or irritated skin you might want to avoid this one.


While not for everyone due to its strong and sharp scent, it may be just the thing you are looking for. Many people are attracted to its strong fragrance and find it stimulating. Inhaling the vapor can open up your nasal passages similar to menthol or camphor. You don’t need a lot though. Keep in mind some people are allergic, so test yourself first.


CBD is a derivative of the hemp plant and has in many studies found to be helpful in maintaining health and wellness in its own unique way. It works with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help maintain homeostasis. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD will not get you high. Adding it to your bath water or using a CBD infused soap might be just the thing you are looking for to bring your tub time to the next level.

A Final Word on Baths for Relaxation

We all want a way to unwind and relax at the end of a long day. Maintaining balance and harmony is something most people could use more of these days. Maybe you are a committed “bath person”. Based on a survey, if you are female in your 40s, you just might be.

Even if you don’t fit into that demographic (here’s looking at you guys) a nice long bath, with some added ingredients, might just be what you are looking for.


Putting it into Perspective—Part 3 The Vitamins and CBD Industry Parallels

In our last article, we discussed how the human body stopped synthesizing certain vitamins when their day-to-day diet made it unnecessary.

The fact was, our hunter-gatherer ancestors got an abundant supply of vitamins from the game they killed and the plants they collected. That diet made it unnecessary for these early humans to produce the vitamins themselves.

But with the rise of agriculture, people began to consume more vitamin-poor starches like wheat and corn. Over the centuries, our diet has transformed even further. As a result, we’ve put ourselves at risk of vitamin-related diseases. Hence, the rise of the vitamin supplement industry in the 20th century.

On the CBD side, it appears that the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant evolved to adapt to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) of mammals. Many individuals using CBD products have noted a marked improvement in their well being causing the rise of the CBD industry in the 21st century.

Vitamin and CBD Industries

The 13 vitamins were identified over time in the 1800s and early 1900s. One of the first supplements was created by Casimir Funk. Funk was the researcher who coined the term “vitamin” in 1912. He was followed by many other vitamin manufacturers in the early 1920s.

Early criticism in the vitamin industry was based on some manufacturers making unscientific and outrageous health claims. This is not dissimilar to what we have seen of late with the CBD industry. In November of 2019, 15 CBD companies were sent warning letters from the FDA for this exact offense.

The vitamin industry faced huge challenges at times throughout the 20th Century. In 1993, Mel Gibson even did a PSA encouraging people to write to their congressmen to protect their rights to take vitamin supplements. In 1994, thanks to trade organizations like the United Natural Products Alliance, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed, smoothing the way for the vitamin industry to expand.

In spite of the sometimes rocky relationship between the vitamin industry and government regulators, things have improved vastly.

As time goes on in the CBD industry, we expect things to smooth out as well. We anticipate more self-regulation by ethical CBD companies who are in this for the long haul. We also anticipate a greater understanding of the CBD industry by the FDA and FTC, enabling companies to conform to government guidelines.

Following is a brief historical overview of the US vitamin industry and a breakdown of the 13 vitamins themselves.

The Government Promotes Good Nutrition and Vitamins

After much back and forth, a breakthrough for awareness and understanding of vitamins occurred in 1941. American men were being called for military service during WWII. It was found that one-third of them suffered from disabilities related to poor nutrition.

In response, President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened the National Nutrition Conference for Defense. The result was the first set of government-sponsored Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamins and minerals.

As a matter of fact, the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamins and Minerals (RDAs) was updated in 2019 for the first time in 30 years. There is not full consensus about the value of vitamin supplements versus trying to get all the needed vitamins from food.

In spite of that, the FDA acknowledges that vitamin supplements are part of the health regime of millions of people and are helpful for people in certain categories. In spite of decades of promotion of these RDAs, more than 90 percent of Americans still fall short on at least one essential vitamin or mineral according to The Journal of Family Practice, September 2016. A study of more than 10,000 American adults, published by the same journal, found that people who take multivitamins are much less likely to lack essential vitamins and minerals.


The Vitamin Countdown

There are 13 essential vitamins—vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate). These are nutrients that we need to get from outside our bodies.

Here they all are. The first four vitamins, A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. This means that the body can store them. The next nine vitamins, C and all of the B vitamins are water-soluble. That means that the body does not generally store them. For this reason, you should try to get them regularly in your diet.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin A Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin A assists:

  • Normal vision, The immune system, Reproduction, Heart, Lungs, Kidneys, and other organs to work properly.

Vitamin A is found in meat and dairy as well as fruits and vegetables. Lack of vitamin A can cause eye problems like night blindness and skin rashes. According to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 43% of Americans have a vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin D Benefits, Sources, and Deficiencies

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D:

  • Helps the body maintain strong bones, Helps muscles to move, Enables nerves to carry messages, Enables the immune system to fight invading bacteria and viruses.

Few foods contain Vitamin D. The ones that do include salmon, egg yolks, and mushrooms. The truth is that throughout history, the major natural source of the vitamin has been from sun exposure.

People who get too little vitamin D may develop soft, thin, and brittle bones. In children, this condition is known as rickets and in adults, it is called osteomalacia.

Just in the last decade, the National Institute of Health reported that almost 42% of the U.S. population has a vitamin D deficiency. This number went up to 69.2% among Hispanics and 82.1% among African-Americans. Leafy-green-veggies-and-cbd

Vitamin E Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It helps to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals form when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. Cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun also expose people to free radicals. Vitamin E does the following:

You can get recommended amounts of vitamin E by eating a variety of foods including vegetable oils, nuts, and green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.

Vitamin E deficiency is linked to diseases where fat is not correctly digested like Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis. Vitamin E needs some fat for the digestive system to absorb it.

Vitamin E deficiency can also cause nerve and muscle damage. Another sign of deficiency is a weakened immune system.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 93% of Americans have an inadequate dietary intake of vitamin E.

Vitamin K Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin. It allows blood to coagulate. Vitamin K benefits:

  • Bone health, Cognitive health, Heart health by lowering blood pressure.

You can get your K from leafy greens like kale, oil and some fruits like grapes.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin C Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants boost the immune system. Vitamin C may:

  • Help high blood pressure, Lower risk of heart disease, Reduce gout (a type of arthritis), Prevent iron deficiencies, Help memory and thinking as we age.

Most animals can make vitamin C on their own. We humans, however, need to get it from our diet. Vitamin C is found in various fruits and veggies like broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.

Lack of vitamin C causes scurvy. Scurvy leads to symptoms like anemia, exhaustion, bleeding, pain in limbs, swelling, ulceration of gums and loss of teeth. Basically, scurvy totally sucks. Early sailors suffered from scurvy until 1747 when James Lind found that oranges and lemons were a cure for scurvy.

According to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 39% of Americans have an inadequate dietary intake of vitamin C.


Vitamin B1 a.k.a. Thiamin – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

B1, the vitamin we discussed earlier in this article, allows the body to use carbohydrates as energy. In fact, all B vitamins help convert food to energy.

B1 is critical for glucose metabolism. It also plays a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function. Vitamin B1 prevents complications in:

  • The nervous system, Brain, Muscles, Heart, Stomach, Intestines.

There is a lot of Vitamin B1 in the outer layers and germ of wheat, oat, and corn. It can also be found in yeast, beef, pork, and nuts. Some fruits and vegetables contain B1 including cauliflower, liver, oranges, eggs, potatoes, asparagus, and kale.

A lack of vitamin B1 can lead to beriberi, anorexia, mental problems, and weakened muscles.

Vitamin B2 aka Riboflavin Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Next up on the vitamin B part of our hit parade is vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 is crucial for:

  • Breaking down food (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates), Absorbing nutrients, Maintaining tissues.

Vitamin B2 is found naturally in some foods and added to others. You’ll find this B vitamin in fish, meat and poultry, eggs and dairy, nuts and veggies like kelp and asparagus.

Vitamin B2 deficiency is a significant risk when your diet is poor because the body does not store vitamin B2. Signs of deficiency include mouth ulcers and cracks in the corners of the mouth, red lips, tongue inflammation, dry skin, cracked lips.

Vitamin B3 a.k.a. Niacin – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Every part of your body needs vitamin B3, more commonly referred to as niacin, to function properly. Niacin may:

  • Help lower cholesterol, Prevent heart disease, Ease arthritis, Boost brain function.

Niacin helps convert food into energy by aiding enzymes. You can find niacin in chicken breast, tuna, beef, smoked salmon, peanuts and lentils. A deficiency in niacin is rare in first world countries. But it can occur along with alcoholism and anorexia.

Vitamin B5 a.k.a. Pantothenic Acid – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is one of the most important vitamins for human life. Vitamin B5:

  • Is necessary for making blood cells, It helps convert the food into energy.

Vitamin B5 is one of eight B vitamins. All B vitamins help you convert the protein, carbohydrates, and fats you eat into energy. B vitamins are also needed for:

  • Healthy skin, hair, and eyes, Proper functioning of the nervous system and liver, Healthy digestive tract, Making red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body, Making hormones.

Whole grains are major sources of pantothenic acid. It is also found in quantity in liver and kidney, yeast, and egg yolk. Broccoli, peanuts, fish, shellfish, chicken, milk, yogurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocado, and sweet potatoes are also good sources of vitamin B5.


Vitamin B6 a.k.a. Pyridoxine – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B6 helps the body perform several functions. It is important for the metabolism of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It also aids in the creation of neurotransmitters and red blood cells.

According to science, vitamin B6 benefits the body in the following ways:

  • May prevent and treat anemia by aiding the production of hemoglobin,
  • May help mood issues due to its role in creating neurotransmitters,
  • May relieve nausea during pregnancy,
  • May prevent clogged arteries and promote heart health.

Vitamin B6 is easily gotten from foods like poultry, beef, and chicken. You can also get your B6 from veggies and fruits. One cup of garbanzo beans (say on a yummy salad?) will take care of half your daily requirement.

Vitamin B6 deficiencies can result in skin rashes, cracked lip corners, anemia, numb hands or feet, and brain fog.

Vitamin B7 a.k.a. Biotin – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B7, a.k.a. biotin is a critical part of a healthy metabolism and creating enzymes. Vitamin B7 strengthens hair and nails. Biotin is important to a number of systems including:

  • Skin, Nerves, Digestive tract, Metabolism, And cells.

Biotin is found in small amounts in foods like liver, cauliflower, whole-grain cereals, eggs, dairy, nuts, chicken, salmon, and carrots. Deficiencies are rare. If a deficiency does exist, it can cause confusion, nausea, muscle pain, changes in the skin and loss of hair.

Vitamin B9 a.k.a. Folic Acid – Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B9 is also called folate or folic acid. Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. For pregnant women, this one is really important to get right so check with your prenatal doctor.

Folic acid does the following:

  • Helps produce DNA and RNA (the body’s genetic material—it is really important during times of growth like pregnancy and infancy and adolescence),
  • Works closely with B12 to make red blood cells
  • It helps iron to work properly in the body.

Vitamin B9 is found in many different vegetables including spinach, dark greens, and brussel sprouts. It’s found in beans like lima beans and soybeans. It is also found in orange juice and milk.

Deficiency of folic acid can cause poor growth, loss of appetite, inflammation of the tongue, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and mental sluggishness. Women who don’t get enough folic acid during pregnancy are more likely to have children with birth defects. Studies show that pregnant women should get 600 mcg per day.

Vitamin B12 Benefits, Foods, and Deficiencies

Vitamin B12 helps make your DNA and your red blood cells. Benefits of B12 include:

  • Prevents anemia,
  • Supports healthy hair, skin, and nails,
  • May support bone health and prevent osteoporosis.

Vitamin B12 can be gotten in animal foods like dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, and meat. Vitamin B12 occurs in these animal foods naturally. You can also get it from food that has been fortified with vitamin B12.

Deficiencies in vitamin B12 are not common. With age, however, absorption may become an issue. A person who has had weight loss surgery or had part of their stomach removed may also have an issue. Drinking heavily can also cause a problem. Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include weakness, heart palpitations, vision loss, mental issues, nerve problems, paleness, a smooth tongue, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas.


Lessons Learned and Living Your Best Life

The bottom line is this: for those of us in the CBD industry, there is a lot that can be learned from the lessons of others.

For the many individuals striving to live healthier and happier lives, education is important.

In recent decades, lifestyle as an important factor in health is of great interest to researchers. About half of all American adults—117 million individuals—have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity.

We encourage our readers to get educated and take action. Where answers are not black and white, we encourage you to consult with your doctor, take a holistic approach and see what works best for you.


Putting it into Perspective—Part 2 The Path of Vitamins and the Parallel with CBD

When one is learning something totally new, like the subject of the endocannabinoid system and CBD, it sometimes helps to use comparisons. These comparisons could be in completely different fields but share enough similarities so as to make a comparison helpful to understanding. When we are talking about CBD and the other 100 plus cannabinoids in the hemp plant, there are a couple of areas that could be compared.
  1. We can compare the endocannabinoid system and what CBD does in and on the body with other products that people use in and on their bodies.
  2. We can compare the brand new CBD industry with other new and/or regulated industries.
In this article, we will address the first one.

The Endocannabinoid System, Your Body, and CBD

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the system in our body that interacts with cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds produced by both the cannabis plant and our bodies. Cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant are called phytocannabinoids (Phyto means “plant”) and were first identified in the 1940s. Then, in 1992, Dr. Mechoulam’s lab isolated the first cannabinoid produced by the human body. These cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids (endo means “inner”). The ECS is a foundational monitoring system that helps our body maintain balance. A white paper published by the National Institute of Health says this about the ECS system: “The endocannabinoid system has been recently recognized as an important modulatory system in the function of the brain, endocrine, and immune tissues. It appears to play a very important regulatory role in the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and response to stress.”

The Endocannabinoid System / Thermostat Analogy

As a “regulating” system—there are all kinds of analogies that can be used to explain the ECS. One could use the analogy of a thermostat in a house. When the air gets too cool, the thermostat kicks in and tells the heater to turn on. When the air gets too hot, the thermostat kicks into action and tells the air conditioner to blow cold air. One could say that the endocannabinoid is similar to a thermostat—when it detects certain conditions in the body, it kicks into action telling other parts of the body what to do. These functions all contribute to homeostasis, a big word referring to the internal balance of one’s body. If an outside force, such as pain from an injury or a fever, throws off your body’s homeostasis, your ECS kicks in to help your body return to its ideal operation. Today, experts believe that maintaining homeostasis is the primary role of the ECS.

Your Body and Vitamins

Vitamins are any of various organic substances that are essential in minute quantities to the nutrition of most animals and some plants—and essential means essential. Lack of some of the 13 vitamins will even kill you! Our bodies get the vitamins they need in two ways: making them or eating them. At one point, a long long time ago, our microbial ancestors probably made some or all of their required vitamins, but eventually, that ability was lost. We humans have probably needed vitamins for billions of years, even if we didn’t know it. In the context of history, the discovery of vitamins is recent. Discovery of the substances began in the early nineteenth century and ended in the mid-twentieth century. It was in 1912 that Casimir Funk originally coined the term “vitamine”, just a few decades before the discovery of cannabinoids. vitamins-and-chickens

The Discovery of Vitamins—a Team Effort

While Funk may have coined the term “vitamine” (which later dropped the “e” and became vitamin), the 13 vitamins were in fact discovered by a number of different individuals. As Dr. Simba wrote in his abstract: “The puzzle of each vitamin was solved through the work and contributions of epidemiologists, physicians, physiologists, and chemists. Rather than a mythical story of crowning scientific breakthroughs, the reality was slow, stepwise progress that included setbacks, contradictions, refutations, and some chicanery.” One vitamin was even discovered with the help of chickens. You read that right. Chickens.

How Chickens Helped us Discover Vitamin B1

Beriberi (pronounced “berry berry”) is a disease that causes people to lose the feeling in their legs and have trouble walking. The first account of the disease was given in the late 1790s and baffled scientists for a hundred years. In the 1880s, scientist Christiaan Eijkman found that chickens could develop a beriberi-like condition. He started studying these birds in order to find the cause of the disease. He thought it was some kind of bacteria for a long time. But then he discovered that a flock of sick chickens suddenly recovered from those same beriberi-like symptoms. Lightbulb moment. What happened? Why did these chickens get better?

It Was The Rice!

In the mid-1800s manufacturers began processing rice in steam-powered mills. This process stripped off the outer layer of the rice. This layer happened to be a pretty critical part of the rice though no one knew it. It turned out that the chickens Dr. Eijkman had been studying were being fed leftover processed rice. The rice came from a nearby military hospital in the Netherlands. “Then the cook was replaced and his successor refused to allow military rice to be taken for civilian chickens,” Dr. Eijkman later explained when he accepted the 1929 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research. Once the birds started eating unprocessed rice, they quickly recovered. Dr. Eijkman figured out that something essential must be in that outer layer. In 1912, the Polish-born biochemist Casimir Funk called this mysterious compound a “vital amine,” which came to be shortened to vitamin. (An “amine”, in case you care to know, is an organic compound. It is derived from ammonia by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms by organic groups.) In this case, the amines were vital to life. Later, researchers discovered that the outer layer of rice is rich in vitamin B1, which is also known as thiamine. girls-on-hils-cbd-vitamins-health

The Parallel Between Cannabinoids and Vitamins

It is interesting to note the close relationship and evolution in the chemistry of plants and living creatures. In an earlier article, we wrote about how scientists believe that cannabis evolved to adapt to the human body. That is the prevailing explanation for why the phytocannabinoids of cannabis fit perfectly with the ECS receptors of the human endocannabinoid system. Well, as it turns out, the human body also adapts to the diet it consumes. Where the human body was once able to synthesize vitamin C, now it cannot. Our primate ancestors lost the ability to make their own vitamin C about 60 million years ago. Their bodies didn’t need to make vitamin C because they regularly ate fruit. A wide variety of plants and animals still do synthesize vitamin C from carbohydrates like glucose. The only mammals that can’t do it are primates (including us!) and the guinea pig. And the moral is: use it or lose it, baby. In the next Putting in into Perspective article, we will dive a little deeper into vitamins themselves and take a look at some of the similarities the CBD and Vitamin industries have faced.

Putting it into Perspective—Cannabis, CBD, and Change

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” ― Heraclitus Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher who lived around 500 B.C., spoke of the always-changing world. Because of his interest in wordplay, he was called “The Obscure”. So his most famous quote reflects the nature of obscure, “not discovered or known about; uncertain”. Today’s evolving discussions around cannabis, hemp, and CBD certainly fall into the category of obscure. Especially in the way that consumers, companies and the government approach the subject. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The current head of the Department of Health and Human Services is Alex Azar, sworn in by President Trump in January of 2018. The FDA Commissioner is Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D who has served on the post since February of 2018. These two gentlemen, especially FDA Commissioner Giroir, have the task of sorting through what the legalization of hemp and as a result CBD means to consumers and hemp producers. Needless to say, the explosion of CBD on the market has forced them to work out quickly what that means.

Hemp Regulation and the FDA

With the ongoing back and forth by the FDA on the regulation of CBD, it is important to keep things in perspective. For those of us living in the CBD world—both consumers and producers—this can be challenging at times. Part of keeping things in perspective means looking at them in context. “Context” in this situation means looking at where the hemp/CBD industry is in the context of history. It also means looking at CBD products in the context of other products. By looking at the challenges and triumphs of products that are similar to hemp and CBD in some respects, we can see how they came into their own. But first, let’s begin with the lessons of history.

CBD and Hemp in the Context of Time

The way that humans have used cannabis throughout the centuries has changed. However, it is important to note that the use of cannabis and hemp are not new to the human experience. It is only recently that science and research have started to catch up with what people seemed to have known for 1000s of years.

Timeline of the Changing and Expanded Use of Cannabis

10,000 years ago, it was used as a cord in pottery in the area of modern-day Taiwan. That is really a seriously long time ago. Think saber-tooth tiger and woolly mammoth long time ago. 8,000 years ago, cannabis seeds and oil were used in food in China. Did you know that hemp seeds are a great source of protein? More than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein—comparable to beef and lamb. 6,000 years ago, textiles made of hemp were used in both China and Turkestan. 5,000 years ago saw the first recorded use of cannabis as medicine in China. So thousands of years before man even knew anything about the body’s endocannabinoid system, cannabis, CBD and the other 100 plus cannabinoids, was observed to influence the human body. 4,000 years ago, cannabis is used medicinally and ritualistically in India. 3,500 years ago cannabis is cultivated in China for food and fiber. 2,000 years ago, cannabis is used as an intoxicant. In the millennia since, the use of cannabis spread from Asia throughout the world. Its uses have broadened to include such things as paper, plastics, and as a painkiller. Changing-Nature-of-Hemp-CBD

The Changing Legal Status of Cannabis

For most of history, there was no distinction between the two types of cannabis we discuss today—hemp and marijuana. There was basically just three different types of hemp—Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. It wasn’t until the 20th Century, with the influx us Mexican immigrants in the US, that the Spanish word marijuana even came into use in the US. Prior to that, it was simply known as cannabis or hemp. That all changed in the 1930s when Henry Anslinger began using the term marijuana to strike fear into the hearts of Americans. This was done as part of a public relations campaign to demonize cannabis and hemp. It ultimately resulted in the sale and use of cannabis—marijuana and hemp alike—becoming illegal. And so it was that cannabis, a.k.a. hemp a.k.a. marijuana became an outlaw. This was a big change for a plant that had been used for every purpose from medicine to food, to rope, and even for paying taxes in early America. It was not until December of 2018, with the passage of the Farm Bill, that its legal status changed again. With the Farm Bill came the legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp was now defined as cannabis containing 0.3% or less THC. THC is the cannabinoid that causes the “high”. Legally, marijuana is any cannabis plant with above 0.3% THC, though most are much higher with the average being between 10 and 12%.

The Changing Cannabis Plant

Even the cannabis plant itself has changed. Where we once referred to three types of cannabis plants—Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis—there are now literally hundreds. Like the wolf that has become a dachshund and hundreds of other breeds, cannabis too has evolved. Thanks to genetics and cross-breeding, there are plants with higher levels of some cannabinoids like CBD and CBG and lower levels of others, like THC. The result has been that some cannabis plants that look like “pot” are actually hemp, containing less than .3% THC. This has made the job of law enforcement tougher than ever in places where hemp is legal but marijuana is not. Change-Continues-Hemp-and-CBD

Change Continues

The Farm Bill of 2018 represented a huge victory for the many individuals who had been battling to legally use hemp products containing CBD and all of its natural components. Since that time, the FDA and FTC have been working out how the hemp industry and its products fit into their overall mission. That mission being the protection of public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. This is an important mission to be sure. It is a mission fully supported by Fusion CBD and all honest hemp farmers and consumers. Where it gets challenging is when the agency potentially overreaches in the name of “protecting” the public. Such was the case when last month the FDA announced a new public guidance. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable responded on their website that the guidance “severely overstates the health risks of hemp-derived CBD and that ignores much of the scientific evidence of CBD’s safety, in particular at dosage levels typically found in foods and dietary supplements.”  “Further, without sufficient scrutiny or public input, the FDA makes a broad statement that it cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS), undermining its status as a food ingredient.”  “Combined with the FDA’s continued delay in sharing its long-promised timetable for regulatory action, yesterday’s announcements raise significant concerns for us the Roundtable. We will be discussing the next steps with our allies on Capitol Hill and will be sharing with you shortly a plan for political action.” – US Hemp Roundtable

This Too Shall Come to Pass

If it is any comfort, there have been plenty of beneficial products and ideas that have been fought or ignored to one degree or another throughout history—some of them in the not-too-distant past. In the coming article, we will discuss the challenges and victories of some of them.