Cory fires up a red Scorch Torch and heats up the quartz nail on his dab rig. On his stainless steel dab tool is a cherry red goo that resembles a cannabis concentrate, but he is not about to take a dab of highly potent THC — this product is 100% THC-free. This is a hemp-derived, “raw CBD” dab that has changed Cory’s life.
A few years ago, Cory was in a car accident and he broke his back. Since then he has had multiple back surgeries and lives a life where pain management is a daily battle. He has used cannabis to offset the painkillers that his doctor prescribed for years, but it wasn’t until recently that he discovered what is only just becoming public knowledge: the power of CBD dabs.
“It’s like an instant pain reliever and muscle relaxer all in one. With anti-anxiety on top of that. Honestly, I am kind of shocked,” Cory said. Unlike other methods for consuming CBD — such as tinctures, edibles, and liquid oils — dabbing CBD is a nearly instant relief for his pain.
“I could feel the muscles in my neck and shoulders instantly get looser and I felt tingles in my fingers and toes,” he explained. “I kept waiting for the woozy head feeling after taking the dab but it never comes, which is kind of weird at first but it’s really nice to be able to keep my head straight while still getting the relief.”
This is the appeal of dabbing CBD for many people. Cannabis strains that have been bred to have a high CBD content still have some THC in them, so you still get some of the psychoactive effects — which become especially noticeable when doing a dab. When using pure CBD, however, you have none of the “mind-altering” effects of THC, so you can get higher doses of CBD without losing the ability to function.
Homegrown hemp becoming popular for CBD extraction
Up until just a few years ago, industrial hemp was almost an exclusively imported product. Today, an increasing number of U.S. companies are beginning to source crops from Colorado hemp growers. One such company, Honey B Healthy Living out of Fort Worth, Texas, is creating CBD products that they are able to distribute around the nation.
“Being down here in Texas, we have been getting ready for the state to hopefully legalize marijuana soon,” said Glenn Reynolds, co-founder of Honey B Healthy Living. “A friend of mine told me, you have got to look into CBD oils and waxes. It’s going to be the next big thing.”
Reynolds was convinced of the power of CBD when one of his first customers told him her story of debilitating hand tremors. “She grabbed my hands and said, ‘Do you feel that?’, and she could hold her hands completely still! I was amazed by the story and by the emotion that she expressed,” he said. “We literally changed her life.”
Colorado-based Mary’s Medicinals is another company working to bring hemp-derived CBD products to the national marketplace, under the group’s sister corporation Mary’s Nutritionals.
Mary’s recently launched a line of distillate that can be smoked, eaten, or dabbed. Some of the distillates have been created using hemp-derived CBD, according to Graham Sorkin, Director of Business Development for Mary’s.
Sorkin wrote in an email to Ganjapreneur that, although Mary’s most popular CBD-based product is currently their patented CBD transdermal patch, “Customers are interested in CBD in dab-able and vape-able forms, as these can be some of the quickest ways to medicate and achieve relief.”
Regulations and obstacles for CBD products
So why is CBD dabbing not more widely used as a means to medicate? Misinformation is a likely cause. Honey B team members Ryan Beckley and Justin Cox ran into this problem while attending a trade show last month in Washington State. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board tried to shut down their booth because their wares were considered cannabis products, though Beckley and Cox argued that their products contained zero THC and therefore should be allowed.
“We literally had the legal wording sitting right out in front of the LCB officers and they said that — in their opinion — it was a cannabis product, and therefore we were unable to sell it,” Beckley told Ganjapreneur.
Sometimes the misinformation goes beyond the product’s chemical composition: the effects of a CBD dab are also often misconstrued. While you don’t get “high” like you might from THC, to say that dabbing CBD produces zero mental effects is entirely false.
In her piece for the San Francisco Evergreen, Angela Bacca explains that CBD users often describe it as an instant calming of the mind and relaxing of the body. It has also been shown that CBD can help counter the effects of a THC overdose. Many of us have reached that point of THC intoxication where your heart is racing, you start to sweat and experience tunnel vision — many argue that a dab of CBD could be just the solution for going too big on THC-rich concentrates or edibles.
A new age of CBD medicine is coming
With awareness growing about the powers of CBD — whether it’s controlling seizures, treating PTSD, or pain management — we are moving towards a new era of medicine playing off the relationship between THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. We should never forget that THC has many of its own medicinal benefits and that when a full plant profile is combined through harmonious whole-plant therapy, we witness the true healing powers of the cannabis plant.
However, if dabbing hemp-derived CBD is scientifically proven to be an effective pain relief treatment, and if the federal government continues to allow its nationwide distribution, it could easily become a groundbreaking development in the business of pain relief — and a telling blow to the distributors of pharmaceutical painkillers.