HempWorx earns bonus points right out of the gate by choosing to use domestically grown, organic, and non-GMO hemp, and knocks it out of the park with their evident passion for educating the public on the uses, history, and science of cannabinoids. Fun facts (such as the fact that the first American flag was made out of hemp) add a rich critical thinking element to the customer’s experience. Instead of touting it as just another supplement, HempWorx gives homage to the long-standing legacy, magic, and controversy of the heralded cannabis plant.
TINA.org reached out to the Zwagils, the company’s founders, for comment. Erin McGinnis, HempWorx’s director of compliance, responded with a statement indicating the company is in the process of reviewing every item in the above article and every entry in the health and income claims databases TINA.org compiled. As of 9/6/18, HempWorx had removed 83 of more than 100 health claims and 35 of more than 50 income claims. In addition, McGinnis said HempWorx has suspended several distributors and terminated one in response to TINA.org’s findings.
Fatty Acids. The quality of an oil or fat is most importantly determined by its fatty acid composition. Hemp is of high nutritional quality because it contains high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, mostly oleic acid (C18:1, 10%–16%), linoleic acid (C18:2, 50%–60%), alpha-linolenic acid (C18:3, 20%–25%), and gamma-linolenic acid (C18:3, 2%–5%) (Fig. 37). Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are the only two fatty acids that must be ingested and are considered essential to human health (Callaway 1998). In contrast to shorter-chain and more saturated fatty acids, these essential fatty acids do not serve as energy sources, but as raw materials for cell structure and as precursors for biosynthesis for many of the body’s regulatory biochemicals. The essential fatty acids are available in other oils, particularly fish and flaxseed, but these tend to have unpleasant flavors compared to the mellow, slightly nutty flavor of hempseed oil. While the value of unsaturated fats is generally appreciated, it is much less well known that the North American diet is serious nutritionally unbalanced by an excess of linoleic over alpha-linonenic acid. In hempseed, linoleic and alpha-linolenic occur in a ratio of about 3:1, considered optimal in healthy human adipose tissue, and apparently unique among common plant oils (Deferne and Pate 1996). Gamma-linolenic acid or GLA is another significant component of hemp oil (1%–6%, depending on cultivar). GLA is a widely consumed supplement known to affect vital metabolic roles in humans, ranging from control of inflammation and vascular tone to initiation of contractions during childbirth. GLA has been found to alleviate psoriasis, atopic eczema, and mastalgia, and may also benefit cardiovascular, psychiatric, and immunological disorders. Ageing and pathology (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) may impair GLA metabolism, making supplementation desirable. As much as 15% of the human population may benefit from addition of GLA to their diet. At present, GLA is available in health food shops and pharmacies primarily as soft gelatin capsules of borage or evening primrose oil, but hemp is almost certainly a much more economic source. Although the content of GLA in the seeds is lower, hemp is far easier to cultivate and higher-yielding. It is important to note that hemp is the only current natural food source of GLA, i.e. not requiring the consumption of extracted dietary supplements. There are other fatty acids in small concentrations in hemp seed that have some dietary significance, including stearidonic acid (Callaway et al. 1996) and eicosenoic acid (Mölleken and Theimer 1997). Because of the extremely desirable fatty acid constitution of hemp oil, it is now being marketed as a dietary supplement in capsule form (Fig. 38).
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 24 smokers were randomly chosen to receive either an inhaler of CBD oil or a placebo. Participants were asked to take a puff every time they had an urge to puff a cigarette. Over the week, those with placebo inhalers saw no change in their total number of cigarettes consumed, while those who were taking CBD saw a nearly 40 percent drop in their intake. Using the inhaler decreased the number of cigarettes without increasing their craving for nicotine, pointing towards a purpose for Cannabidiol in the withdrawal process.
CBD has powerful effects on the liver as well. Have you ever had a prescription that warns you not to take the medicine along with grapefruit? That’s because grapefruit inhibits certain drug-metabolizing enzymes in your liver, resulting in much higher levels of your medication in your bloodstream. CBD does the same thing, so it is wise to discuss your medication regimen with a doctor or pharmacist before engaging in CBD therapy.
Until recently, Hempworx had a page of “testimonials” on their corporate website. It’s since been removed. Likely because the FDA doesn’t look kindly on fake testimonials. Most people assume that testimonials are from satisfied customers who have no affiliation with Hempworx. But this was not the case. The “testimonials” on their website were all from high-ranking affiliates who sell Hempworx. So in reality, these are hardly impartial reviews.
Settlements which date from c. 2200–1700 BCE in the Bactria and Margiana contained elaborate ritual structures with rooms containing everything needed for making drinks containing extracts from poppy (opium), hemp (cannabis), and ephedra (which contains ephedrine). Although there is no evidence of ephedra being used by steppe tribes, they engaged in cultic use of hemp. Cultic use ranged from Romania to the Yenisei River and had begun by 3rd millennium BC Smoking hemp has been found at Pazyryk.
Hemp is plagued by bird predation, which take a heavy toll on seed production. The seeds are well known to provide extremely nutritious food for both wild birds and domestic fowl. Hunters and birdwatchers who discover wild patches of hemp often keep this information secret, knowing that the area will be a magnet for birds in the fall when seed maturation occurs. Increasingly in North America, plants are being established to provide habitat and food for wildlife. Hemp is not an aggressive weed, and certainly has great potential for being used as a wildlife plant. Of course, current conditions forbid such usage in North America.
In the United Kingdom, cultivation licences are issued by the Home Office under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. When grown for nondrug purposes, hemp is referred to as industrial hemp, and a common product is fibre for use in a wide variety of products, as well as the seed for nutritional aspects and for the oil. Feral hemp or ditch weed is usually a naturalized fibre or oilseed strain of Cannabis that has escaped from cultivation and is self-seeding.
Sean McAllister, one of the researchers at California Pacific, was studying the effects of Cannabidiol(CBD). Pierre Desprez, a molecular biologist researcher, began studying ID-1, the gene that causes cancer to spread, about 20 years ago. The two combined their research and introduced CBD to cancer cells containing ID-1 in a petri dish. They found that CBD stopped the metastasis of the cancer cells.
Technically speaking, its THC—the cannabinoid that gets you high—which is illicit. When you take a drug test, the aim is to detect THC in your body, not “cannabis.” If you possessed weed without any THC in it, technically you wouldn’t be in violation of the law. Because “weed” without THC has a different name: hemp. And the rules governing hemp are quite different from the restrictions placed on cannabis.
In December 2012, the U.S. state of Washington became the first state to officially legalize cannabis in a state law (Washington Initiative 502) (but still illegal by federal law), with the state of Colorado following close behind (Colorado Amendment 64). On January 1, 2013, the first marijuana "club" for private marijuana smoking (no buying or selling, however) was allowed for the first time in Colorado. The California Supreme Court decided in May 2013 that local governments can ban medical marijuana dispensaries despite a state law in California that permits the use of cannabis for medical purposes. At least 180 cities across California have enacted bans in recent years.
Because hemp-derived CBD currently lacks labeling and purity standards that are required of cannabis products sold at legal dispensaries, it exists in a regulatory limbo that laws don’t yet address. In the meantime, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has announced that starting in July, putting CBD in food products will cost businesses points on their health inspections.
CBD strains can be consumed just as you would THC strains. You can smoke or vaporize CBD-rich flower, eat a CBD-infused edible, swallow a CBD oil capsule, apply a CBD lotion, or use a CBD tincture sublingually. Hemp products also contain CBD, though it is a less efficient source and lacks the beneficial chemical diversity of cannabis-derived CBD products (more on that here).
A 2012 review found that the THC content in marijuana had increased worldwide from 1970 to 2009. It is unclear, however, whether the increase in THC content has caused people to consume more THC or if users adjust based on the potency of the cannabis. It is likely that the higher THC content allows people to ingest less tar. At the same time, CBD levels in seized samples have lowered, in part because of the desire to produce higher THC levels and because more illegal growers cultivate indoors using artificial lights. This helps avoid detection but reduces the CBD production of the plant.
Cannabis most likely originates from Central Asia, as archeological evidence indicates that it was already cultivated in China for food and fiber 10 000 years ago. Even in ancient Egyptian mummies, clues have been found for the use of Cannabis as food or medicine.25 In fact, Cannabis is one of the oldest known medicinal plants and is described in almost every ancient handbook on plant medicine, most commonly in the form of a tincture or a tea.26,27 Some religions were closely related with the properties of the Cannabis plant. For example, in Hindu legend, Cannabis is believed to be the favorite food of the god Shiva, because of its energizing properties. As Cannabis spread from Asia toward the West, almost every culture came into contact with this miracle plant. Nowadays, varieties of Cannabis can be found in all temperate and tropical zones, except in humid, tropical rain forests.28
And now that the updated U.S. Farm Bill has been passed which more or less legalizes hemp, we can expect to start seeing more and more very high quality CBD oils hit the American market in the coming years. HempWorx has been around for awhile, and they’re simply doing what they can from a business perspective in order to gain a foothold in the industry. In our mind, this should not take away at all from the quality of their products.
Hemp has been grown for millennia in Asia and the Middle East for its fibre. Commercial production of hemp in the West took off in the eighteenth century, but was grown in the sixteenth century in eastern England. Because of colonial and naval expansion of the era, economies needed large quantities of hemp for rope and oakum. In the early 1940s, world production of hemp fiber ranged from 250 000 to 350 000 metric tonnes, Russia was the biggest producer.
In late 2017, researchers with the University of Guelph in Canada published the first-ever study to document the ideal growing conditions for cannabis. Using liquid organic fertilizer with a PKN ratio of 1.3P–1.7K-4.0N, the experiment tested five increasing rates of fertilization. They also tested two coir-based soil-less growing media, or “substrates.”
Several animal studies have led researchers to believe that cannabis could reverse signs of aging in the brain. Aging mice treated with small daily doses of THC showed a reversal in cognitive decline. However, past studies on the effects of cannabis on human memory show less promising results. Still, with few viable treatments for dementia, medical marijuana is receiving increased attention in this area.
While distributors have proclaimed HempWorx’s cannabis products as “legal in all 50 states,” and Josh Zwagil has said that it’s “100 percent legal” to ship them across state lines (more on this in the next section), the contract advises that distributors nevertheless “consult with an attorney regarding the extent of their personal legal liability with respect to their independent businesses,” noting that “laws differ according to jurisdiction.”
One of the first bioprospecting groups that attempted to implement the goals and guidelines of the CBD was a collaboration between the pharmaceutical firm Merck & Company and Costa Rica's Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio), a private, nonprofit conservation and research group, INBio agreed to provide Merck with a limited number of plants, fungi, and other samples from Costa Rica's protected areas for scientific and commercial evaluation.
But, uh, what is it that CBD is supposed to do? I visited a cannabis dispensary in Boulder to find out what the hype was all about. After passing an ID check, I was introduced to a “budtender” who pointed me to an impressive array of CBD products — tinctures, skin patches, drink powders, candies, salves, massage oil, lotions, “sexy time personal intimacy oil” and even vaginal suppositories to treat menstrual cramps.
Canada is specialized on oilseed production and processing, so that hemp oil and grain are much more suitable than fiber. Because of the extensive development of oilseeds in Canada, there is extensive capacity to produce high-quality cold-pressed hemp oil. Canada in the last 5 years has made great advances in the growing, harvesting, and processing of hempseed, and indeed has moved ahead of the EU in the development of raw materials and products for the natural foods, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics industries. In the EU, a yield of 1 t/ha is considered good. In Canada, extraordinary yields of 1.5 t/ha have been realized, at least locally, although in the initial years of hempseed development in Canada yields were often less than 500 kg/ha. In 1999, the year of largest Canadian hemp acreage, yields averaged 900 kg/ha. (Ideally, hemp seed yield should be based on air dry weight—with about 12% moisture. Hemp yields are sometime uncertain, and could be exaggerated by as much as 50% when moist weights are reported.)
The problem is, it’s not easy to know what you’re actually ingesting, or if it’ll actually change how you feel. At best, CBD in America exists in a confusing state of quasi-legality and yet-to-be-realized potential. Experts estimate that the market for it could balloon to $22 billion by 2022, but with cannabis and hemp laws changing rapidly across the country, the chemical is almost entirely unregulated on the consumer market, with no end-product labeling or composition standards to help shoppers understand what they’re buying.
Though use of marijuana among Washington state youth has remained relatively stable over the last several years (see Healthy Youth Survey), youth perception of harm from use of marijuana has been steadily decreasing (meaning: fewer adolescents believe marijuana use is harmful). Marijuana is the second most-commonly used substance among 12th graders (alcohol is the first), with 27% of high school seniors reporting current (past 30-day) use.