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 episode on CBD, from your policies, etc. Regardless of where people talk about it, 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. 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 harvesting the hemp flowers 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. 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 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 billion of THC, we won’t ship the product.
Step 5: Bottling
The product is done, the THC is at 0.000% (zero parts per billion) and it’s ready to be bottled.
For our 1000mg Broad Spectrum CBD oil Tincture: we place the Broad Spectrum CBD extract in MCT oil.
For our 500mg Topical CBD pain reliever: we place CBD isolate in our topical formula.
[See our article on CBD for firefighters and first responders that explains CBD isolate]
Step 6: Re-Testing
This is the final step before we ship Rescue 1 CBD to you. After bottling, we ship a bottle to a third-party lab to ensure the analysis during production and after production show the product is perfectly safe and ready for use by first responders. We place a QR code attached to this final test on each bottle of CBD oil.
What does CBD do? Also, just as important: What DOESN’T it do?
What you will NOT experience taking CBD:
Feeling tired (except for 1% or less of users).
Failing a drug test.
What CBD DOES do:
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.
[See our article on the endocannabinoid system: why first responders should know about this important system]
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 billion 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.
[See also: CBD and firefighters. Is it safe for us to use?]
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, but 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. It’s safe for daily use, non habit-forming and won’t make you fail a drug test IF it’s made and tested properly. A lot of CBD 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.
*Always be sure to consult a physician before making any changes to your health or fitness regimen.*
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About Rescue 1 CBD
At Rescue 1 CBD, our mission is to challenge the status quo of health and safety in the US Fire Service, while also bringing to light the potential of the cannabidiol compound to be a game changer for wellness.
We are also here to provide products and information to help first responders stay healthy well into retirement. Our content is aimed at leaving the Fire Service better than we found it by letting firefighters have a more common sense-based standard for physical and mental wellness.
Our enduring goals are: improving our first responders’ sleep and physical/mental health and helping them to cut back on the number of medications required to do what they do on a daily basis.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Disclosure
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. This website contains general information about diet, health, and nutrition. The information is not advice and is not a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional.