Sometimes it feels like navigating the world of CBD can be as confusing as learning about cryptocurrency. But, like the blockchain, this seemingly catch-all wellness solution is here to stay, and if anything, the field is constantly expanding. And part of accepting CBD and other cannabinoids into your life is understanding exactly what makes them work — and what they don’t do. Time to dispel a myth once and for all: CBD and other cannabinoid molecules like CBG and CBC will never get you high. Ever. They are not psychotropic and will never have the effect of altering your mental state.
As the Alcohol & Drug Foundation clearly points out, THC is the only cannabinoid that is responsible for the “psychoactive effects of cannabis.” In fact, CBD has an anti-psychoactive effect — as in, the opposite of the feeling of being high — that can moderate the impact of THC. That’s why plenty of weed designed to achieve a “high” uses CBD to moderate the THC impact. So cleared up for good: CBD and other cannabinoids, of which there are between 80-100 that we know of, do not get you high. Only THC does that. Moving on.
Naturally-derived CBD, that’s taken from marijuana or hemp, is required to include only 0.3% THC or less when used in CBD products, which is way below the level that could have a psychoactive impact. However, an emerging synthetic process of creating cannabinoids completely avoids the psychoactive component. Cannabinoids that are developed through biosynthesis have zero trace of THC because it’s never part of the fermentation process that’s used to produce them. This new process creates CBD and other cannabinoids like CBC and CBG quickly and at a much lower cost.
Why is that important? Because research around the effects of cannabis on the human body beginning in the 1990s revealed an extremely complex network within the body called the Endocannabinoid System, sometimes referred to as ECS. Even Harvard Medical School has described the ECS as “essential and mysterious,” but in short, the system is interconnected with a number of key bodily functions like learning and memory, emotional processing, sleep, temperature control, pain control, inflammatory and immune responses, and eating. The purpose of the system is to help achieve homeostasis, when the body is balanced and in harmony with itself.
Some of the functions mentioned above will probably ring true for people who already have experience using CBD tinctures for sleep or mood, or creams and topicals for pain relief and inflammation, but basically, using CBD and other cannabinoids properly can help us tap into that system and self-soothe in a natural way. So far, researchers have found that CBD, CBC and CBG interact with this built-in system in positive ways, but they’re still learning exactly how and why. That’s part of why the FDA is still evaluating CBD and other cannabinoids, simply because it’s such a new field of study.
The Endocannabinoid System also creates its own natural compounds called endocannabinoids — basically the body making its own versions of what is found in the marijuana or hemp plants, or which are now able to be replicated in a lab. Endocannabinoids are similar to but not the same as cannabinoids. As discussed, the two most common cannabinoids are THC and CBD, but as research deepens on the Endocannabinoid System and its importance, other molecules like CBG (cannabigerol) and CBC (cannabichromene) are also becoming very popular.
All of that necessary preamble brings us to Off-Grid, he first tinctures I’ve used that really leans into combining CBD with the other cannabinoids like CBC and CBG. One of the reasons they’re able to do so is because they use these synthetically created cannabinoids. CBG is usually found in much lower concentrations than other cannabinoids which can make it more expensive, but all of the Off-Grid tinctures are the same price point: $75. And since the dosage is only a few drops at a time, the 1 ounce bottle can actually last for at least a couple of months, even with daily use. And remember, synthetic cannabinoids mean there’s not even a hint of THC involved in the product, ever.
Off-Grid is the wellness brand component of a company called Lygos that was founded by a group of bioengineering experts from UC Berkeley. They specialize in creating high-value chemical compounds without putting more toxins into the environment. In 2020, Lygos acquired a company called Librede, which has been focused on creating synthetic cannabinoids since way back in 2014. The National Institute of Health itself has been supporting Librede’s research with a number of grants, and they’ve developed a yeast-based production process that produces specific cannabinoids — this is what’s powering the CBD, CBG and CBC used in Off-Grid’s tincture.
As we learn more about ECS, cannabinoids, and the impact of CBD, it’s very likely that both CBC and CBG will soon be just as common as CBD, especially as the synthetic production process makes them so much cheaper and accessible for consumer products. So far, Off-Grid’s tinctures offerings span Calm, Energy, Focus, Mind & Body, Recovery, and Strength. Each blend uses a specific ratio of CBD to CBC to CBG to help achieve a desired effect. Trying to fulfill my New Year’s resolution of running a mile each day means testing out both the Recover and the Energy tinctures — so far, it’s been quite a conversion experience.
Taking a few drops of Energy at the beginning of each day has helped me keep the promise of working out, and the Recovery tincture was even more important when my legs were feeling like jelly after the first few runs. Their Calm, Focus and Energy tinctures are great for people struggling with anxiety, distraction or apathy — which is basically all of us in this third year of the pandemic — and the Mind & Body blend is designed to be a bridge between mental and physical. It targets both mental focus and the body’s immune system at the same time. And since it’s the new year and plenty of people are still reeling in economic uncertainty, Off-Grid is also offering a 22% off sale for all of January 2022 with the code WELL22.
If you’re interested in trying CBD for the first time, these tinctures are a good place to start because they are so balanced, and for those wary of THC, they have zero trace. If you’ve had good results from CBD in the past, I definitely recommend trying one of the blends that has heavy CBC and CBG, too, to see how they interact with your system. Given the historic inequalities associated with marijuana, it’s advances in technology like synthetic CBD that will democratize access to these healing remedies. Welcome to the future of CBD.
Shop Off-Grid tinctures here.