Cannabis plants contain an extract known as CBD. It's a natural way to benefit our health and lifestyle. As demand increases, the industry is trying to keep up. One such solution to the increased demand is synthetic CBD.
What is natural CBD?
CBD is naturally derived from cannabis. Although it is derived from cannabis plants, it does not give the ‘high' that is commonly associated with it.
THC is the compound that causes the ‘high'. Luckily, CBD products must legally contain less than 0.3% THC to not be considered an illegal marijuana product.
Natural CBD has many benefits. The benefits can range from anxiety relief to pain relief. It's also known to help reduce cancer symptoms.
But is synthetic CBD the same?
What is synthetic CBD?
Synthetic CBD is CBD isolate. It is also known as an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API).
Synthetic CBD is not naturally occurring as it is made using biological processes in a lab. This means it's a man-made product.
Synthetic CBD has a repeatability factor. This means the product can be made in numerous identical batches. This is very beneficial as it will lead to consistency. Consistency is key, especially within the pharmaceutical industry.
Some synthetic CBD products can be considered chemically identical to their natural counterpart. However, due to a lack of regulation within the industry, some CBD isolate can be very different. Very little is known about this substance.
The majority of research conducted for this industry focuses on natural CBD. Very little research has been done on synthetic CBD. This means that we can't truly say they are completely identical.
The positive and negative effects of synthetic CBD aren't fully understood. This is because most of the studies on CBD are based around natural CBD.
These little pieces of information don't boost our confidence in synthetic CBD. There have been negative side effects associated with synthetic CBD such as palpitations, vomiting and nausea.
This may be alarming to some. However, it must be noted that synthetic CBD has to be approved before use. While this guideline is a good one, this has not always been the case.
History of synthesising
Most people prefer the natural version of a product — a perfectly understandable opinion. Sometimes, people are sceptical of synthetic products. One of the most common reasons to be unsure of synthesised products is the lack of knowledge of ingredients.
This can be circumvented by asking for a COA. The COA lists all the ingredients present. Hopefully, this will put your mind at ease.
You should also know that synthetic products aren't a new concept. CBD is not the first product to be synthesised. In fact, you have probably ingested synthetic products without even realising it.
Have you heard of a willow tree? Leaves and bark from willow trees have been used for centuries to treat pain and fever. They contain the compound from which aspirin is derived.
In 1853, years after the plant’s active ingredient, salicin, had been first extracted, chemist Charles Frédéric Gerhardt chemically synthesized the compound. It was later called its more modern name that you might be familiar with: Aspirin.
During World War II, Penicillin was also chemically synthesised for mass production.
Why synthetic CBD is popular
One of the main reasons synthetic CBD is so popular is because it can be made in numerous identical batches. Consumers like to know their products are the same every time they buy them, with no hidden surprises or extra ingredients.
As normal CBD is naturally grown, it can be hard to ensure consistency in every batch. On the other hand, synthetic CBD made in a lab can be developed using the same processes and ingredients each time.
Another reason synthetic CBD is so popular is because of the cost. Synthetic CBD costs less to produce. It also doesn't take as long to produce as the natural version. This has led to lower production costs for manufacturers and in turn, lower costs for customers.
Finally, synthetic CBD is widely available. You just might not have realised it yet. Many shops and websites stock it. Bright and colourful packaging is used to lure the customer in. They even use packaging to try and disguise synthesised CBD as its natural counterpart.
We'd recommend being extra-vigilant when buying products. This will ensure that you're buying what you want. You could very easily confuse a synthetic product for a natural one.
What it is used for
Synthetic CBD and cannabinoids are generally sprayed on dried and shredded plant material. This is very similar to the process used with synthetic terpenes, which are much less dangerous. Synthetic terpenes are simply manufactured to flavour natural plant matter.
However, synthetic CBD is designed to mimic the effects of natural CBD. That’s where potentially harmful chemicals such as bromide and fluoride come in.
Other uses of synthetic CBD are within the pharmaceutical industry. CBD has proven to have many health benefits for its users. Although synthetic CBD hasn't taken the pharmaceutical world by storm yet, it is set to be a major player in the future.
Synthetic CBD in the future
Most CBD producers focus on growing plants and creating natural CBD. The natural form is currently leading the market. However, this might not be the case for much longer. Synthetic CBD is set to take the CBD industry by storm.
Some experts in the industry have suggested that CBD might split into two separate markets. Naturally derived CBD is the first market. They believe this will continue to be the first choice for the recreational and nutraceutical markets.
The second market is for synthetic CBD. Here, the main focus will be on the pharmaceutical market.
The synthetic form is said to cut costs significantly. This means that suppliers can offer more products at a lower cost. Should this happen, consumers can get their daily CBD dosage and save some money too.
A man-made pharmaceutical product may receive approval easier. This is because they can list every single product ingredient on the COA. They can also test and remove any ingredients that might not be deemed legal or might slow down the approval process.
Research has already begun, to find the best synthetic CBD. However, all these studies are in the early stages.
That being said, there is no doubt that the first company to patent an approved synthetic CBD will have a firm grasp of the industry for years to come.