My Journey with CBD – Part 3 – A trip to the factory
Anyone else curious as to how you can take a big green leafy hemp plant and turn it into a viscous brown liquid with seemingly magical powers to erase headaches, muscle aches, inflammation and more? Well I was, so I set out to find out for myself. (If you haven’t heard all about its magical powers yet hop on over to this post I wrote on the science behind CBD and it’s medicinal benefits “Is CBD All Its Cracked Up to Be?”).
One of my favorite things about Danodan’s CBD is that the whole plant is used, not just an isolate of CBD. This is important because in nature plants are perfectly packaged with a complement of compounds that interact synergistically. At times this synergistic effect is well known and at other times it is yet to be discovered. When we zero in on just one compound (no matter how amazing it is) and remove it from it’s synergistic companion compounds, we are missing out on the full potential of the medicinal herb/plant/etc. It reminds me of the story of the blind men and the elephant. You’ve likely heard it…one man touches the elephants side and concludes it must be some type of giant wall, another touches it’s trunk and concludes it is a snake, and so on. When you focus on one part only you are missing the big picture! If you take nothing else away from today remember this my friends, because it applies to so many different areas of your health. One such example is B vitamins. If you are constantly shoving B12 only down your throat, you can actually create a deficiency in some of the other numbered B vitamins. We need to stop reducing things down and becoming obsessed with just one part and get back to the full picture. The whole elephant.
At present scientists estimate there are more than eighty unique cannabinoids and dozens of terpenes in the plant. One such cannabinoid is CBG (bet you never heard of it!). CBG is also a non psychoactive compound but has it’s own host of benefits different from some of the other compounds present in the hemp plant. CBG has antibacterial effects as well as anti inflammatory effects and has also been shown to inhibit cell growth in tumor cells and promote bone growth. Why would you want to leave this guy out of the party?! I know I don’t. It’s just another example of why whole plant extracts are superior to isolated compounds whether we’re talking CBD, vitamins, or anything else. Think big picture friends-whole elephant.
But what happens with this whole hemp plant full of all these cannabinoids and terpenes? How does all that goodness get in that little bottle?! First the whole plants (which are harvested locally here in Oregon) go through what I can only describe as the world’s biggest coffee grinder. Next they are added to an organic vegetable glycerin, used as a solvent, that begins to slowly and gently extract the CBD rich oil from the hemp. Each batch soaks for two full weeks, a painfully inefficient but lovingly executed process to ensure the product is as close to what nature intended as possible.
This glycerin-plant mixture is then filtered through incredibly fine mesh and bottled by hand, a process I not only got to witness, but I got to royally screw up as well. Let’s just say I made a mess and will not be working as a bottle filler any time soon.
So there you have it friends. I found observing this process to be incredibly interesting and I hope you did too. Remember, when in doubt, go for the whole elephant.
Here’s me, attempting to not make a giant mess. Mission not accomplished.