The Basics about CBD
First responders need to know what it is and how it’s made
CBD is a hot topic in the U.S. fire service. You’ve heard about it in your firehouse, the Fire Engineering podcast where that was on the topic of CBD, from your policies etc. Regardless of where it’s talked about, we need to understand what it is before we can make decisions either way. This is a guide to CBD for first responders
What is cbd?
CBD is in a family of compounds called cannabinoids and there are dozens of known cannabinoids but the most prevalent cannabinoids found in cannabis plants are CBD and THC.
Unlike THC, CBD won’t make you feel high or cause you to fail a drug test.
CBD is most commonly extracted from a hemp plant, NOT from marijuana. Yes, they are two different plants. Hemp is a cannabis sativa plant that contains <0.3% THC and is not considered a controlled substance. It’s legal in all 50 states and all extracts from the hemp plant are legal as well, as long as they contain <0.3% THC by weight.
[see our article on hemp vs marijuana: what you need to know for your policy]
How is it made?
We turn a flower into a liquid
After the hemp flowers are harvested from the plants we have to go through the process of extracting CBD out of those flowers and putting it into our CBD oil and topical products.
Step 1: Drying
The hemp flowers are placed in a large area where they can be dried out before the extraction process starts
Step 2: Extraction
A measured amount of hemp flowers are placed in the first machine where all of the liquid is extracted. This includes all of the naturally occurring compounds in the plant like chlorophyll and THC is present at this step of the process.
Step 3: Refining
At this point the extract is a thick, resinous liquid that contains terpenes and THC. But, we want to remove it THC and the terpenes. So, the batch is run through refinement where an analytical chemist “filters out” all of the THC and terpenes. This is the first round of lab testing performed
What’s left behind? CBD, CBG and CBC.
Step 4: Testing
How do we ensure we have all of the THC out? We have to test it until there is NON-DETECTABLE levels of THC. There can’t be even just a little bit. We have to ensure 0.000% THC before it’s bottled. If THC is still present, we’ll continue refining until we reach non-detectable levels of THC. This is the second round of lab testing performed
If there isn’t ZERO parts per million of THC, we won’t ship the product.
Step 5: Bottling
The product is done, the THC is at 0.000% (zero parts per million) and it’s ready to be bottled.
For our 1000mg Broad Spectrum CBD oil Tincture: the Broad Spectrum CBD extract is placed in MCT oil
For our 500mg Topical CBD pain reliever: the Broad Spectrum CBD extract is placed in our topical formula
Step 6: Re-Testing
This is the final step before Rescue 1 CBD is shipped to you. After it’s bottled, a bottle is shipped to the lab to ensure the analysis during production and after production show the product is perfectly safe and ready for use by first responders. A QR code attached to this final test is placed on each bottle of CBD oil.
What does CBD do?Also, just as important: What DOESN’T it do?
It doesn’t make you feel high/intoxicated
It doesn’t make you feel tired (except for 1% or less of users)
It doesn’t make you fail a drug test
CBD stimulates your endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a fairly new discovery (1993) and ever since, we’ve seen that taking cannabinoids like CBD has a positive effect on homeostasis in your body via the ECS.
But, the area of your ECS that CBD stimulates is not one that causes a high or intoxication like THC does. This means that you can take it during the day without any worry of driving/operating heavy machinery or feeling groggy.
Standard urinalysis drug tests look for the metabolites of THC in your urine. If there are no metabolites of THC, you won’t fail a drug test. It’s that simple. So, while all of the manufacturing is important to ensure this zero parts per million of THC can be achieved, our testing is arguably the most important thing we can do so that it’s no question that our product is safe for the job.
A basic guide to CBD for first responders
It’s not a miracle, it’s just a molecule. The hemp plant isn’t magic, the medical community has been studying it for decades, it’s only now becoming prominent since it’s only been legal for 3 years.
CBD is one of many extracts removed from the hemp plant and it’s safe for daily use, non habit-forming and won’t make you fail a drug test IF it’s made & tested properly. A lot of products cut corners in production or in testing and you’re left with a product that will ultimately cost you your job.
There are researched benefits of CBD and more will come out in the near future, we’re just scratching the surface
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