Monthly Archives: June 2019

  1. The History of Hemp, Part 1: 12,000 BCE-1553 CE

    The History of Hemp, Part 1: 12,000 BCE-1553 CE

    We’re trying something a little different with the Apotheca blog. While Apotheca is typically your source for the latest CBD research and hemp industry news, over the next few months we’re going to look back on the history of the cannabis plant [ed note: the division between hemp and marijuana is a relatively new concept given the scope of this project, which is something we'll address in a later installment. When the type of plant isn't known, we'll use "cannabis" as a catch-all term]. We’re going to track how its use and regulation evolved over time from its first recorded use 12,000 years ago to today.

    The reason we’re taking the time to do this is twofold: one, we’re going to show you how the oil tinctures you take every day are part of a tradition that stretches from prehistoric Asia to today. Second, we believe that knowing history gives us an important perspective on the future and a valuable reflection on the successes and mistakes of people before us. The United States cannabis industry appears to be at a crucial turning point that makes understanding context crucial as we take a collective step forward.

    In this first blog, we’ll cover some ancient history and track Cannabis sativa as it spread from Asia to Europe. In part two we’ll explore the influence hemp had on early American history. Part three sees the rise of “Reefer Madness,” leading to prohibition in the United States. Finally, part four will show how grassroots movements have pushed back against harsh regulation to open the door for the thriving hemp industry we know today. We’re putting a special emphasis on US history because of the country’s interesting recent history with hemp and because it’s the place we call home (if you’re interested in a look at other parts of the world, email us and let us know).

    While this is by no means a comprehensive guide, our goal is to give a little perspective on how we got

    Read more »
  2. Is the FDA Cracking Down on CBD?

    Is the FDA Cracking Down on CBD?

    Hemp products are in something of a transition period. It wasn’t too long ago that hemp was treated as a controlled substance in the United States, so most farmers didn’t get their start on growing hemp until after the passage of the 2018 US Farm Bill. Federal and state governments are still figuring out what to do with this new industry, and part of that process is figuring out how to regulate it.

    The US Food and Drug Administration is in charge of regulating food, tobacco, dietary supplements, prescription drugs, and various other human health products. Therefore, the FDA is the agency that has to develop rules for hemp products meant for human consumption and topical use, including CBD tinctures, salves, and edibles. Right now, they’re debating what to do with the burgeoning CBD market. The decisions the FDA makes will have a major impact on the way the hemp industry evolves in the future.

    The FDA Hearing on CBD

    The FDA held a public hearing on CBD regulations on May 31. The daylong hearing had over 100 speakers including researchers, doctors, and industry advocates. This hearing is the first step as FDA officials decide if the current regulatory framework around CBD products is adequate. Industry insiders all seem to agree that some changes are on the way, but it’s difficult to say what those changes will look like.

    The hearing did establish a few themes that give us insight into what officials are concerned with, which gives us a rough idea of what regulators are likely to address.

    • Unpredictable, inconsistent dosages and fraudulent labeling: FDA officials asked questions about terms like full spectrum and isolate, and toxicologists pointed to the varying effects CBD has based on administration method. Inconsistent and inaccurate product labeling was also a concern, as was the amount of comp
    Read more »