An interesting Bloomberg article came across my desk a couple weeks ago called, “CBD Craze is Creating a Trademark Problem for a Coffee Brand in Maine.” The article raises a couple of important issues related to the trademark requirement of distinctiveness, as well as the lengths to which one can stretch their trademark protection.
The article recounts a coffee shop and wholesale coffee company in Maine called Coffee by Design, that ultimately adopted the acronym for its name, CBD, as its trademark. Coffee by Design appears to have filed for trademark protection of CBD for “coffee” and “coffee shops” in 2009. But with Maine’s legalization of marijuana in 2016 and the rapidly growing popularity of CBD, customers began to get confused, thinking that Coffee by Design had CBD, and that CBD products sold throughout Portland, Maine were sourced from Coffee by Design. According to the owners of Coffee by Design, “the [CBD trademark] filing prevents others, nationwide, from using the term CBD for coffee products and coffee shops,” and that they are “well within [their] rights to prevent others from using the term CBD as a trademark in relation to coffee and coffee shops.”
The wording of that last statement is key: a trademark owner can prevent others from using the same mark “as a trademark” in relation to the same goods. The issue that Coffee by Design will face, however, is that other coffee shops are generally not using CBD as a trademark, but as a descriptive term to describe an ingredient added to their beverages. Trademark infringement will be a tough claim to sustain if the shop can’t show that others are using the term CBD as a trademark: in fact, it is well within the rights of others to use CBD to describe cannabidiol. As a matter of public policy, trademark law is not designed to allow trademark owners to prevent others from using descriptive terms in a descriptive manner. This also means that a coffee shop selling CBD-infused coffee (or any other CBD product) could not obtain trademark rights to exclusively use “CBD” on their goods, because such a mark would be deemed merely descriptive.
As we have noted before, there is a spectrum of strength when it comes to trademarks. The distinctiveness, or strength, of a mark will determine both how well the mark performs from a marketing and branding perspective, as well as the level of legal protection to which it is entitled. When a mark is highly distinctive, identifying the owner of the mark as the source of the goods sold, the mark is strong. And when a mark is not inherently distinctive, or when a mark is the same or very similar to one already used by others, the mark is weak. Here are the types of marks on the spectrum, from strongest to weakest:
Perhaps Coffee by Design was unaware in 2009 that CBD was one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis and therefore could not have anticipated a future in which CBD coffee was a thing. But this is a great lesson in why choosing a distinctive mark (and being realistic about the protection your mark will afford you) is critical for any business, including those in the cannabis industry.
“CBD” Coffee and the Importance of Distinctiveness for Trademark Protection was first published to The Felicia Sullivan Blog
Our California cannabis attorneys have been getting inundated with packaging and labeling review since each California cannabis licensing agency adopted its final rules in January 2019, and even before that when the rules were under consideration. One thing that many California cannabis companies—and especially cannabis companies from other states who are stakeholders in California—often overlook or gloss over are the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (or “Prop. 65”). It’s been a while since we’ve written about the specific requirements Prop. 65 for California cannabis goods, so we thought it best to look back at the Prop. 65 rules and see how they square with the final cannabis rules.
For some refresher, Prop. 65 is NOT a cannabis-specific law. It was passed long before the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (or “MAUCRSA”) and applies broadly to all kinds of goods and other things in California. What’s important for California cannabis companies to know about Prop. 65 is that it requires companies to notify consumers about the presence of certain harmful chemicals in cannabis goods.
Prop. 65 requires the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”), which is part of the California Environmental Protection agency, to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other types of reproductive harm. The OEHHA’s regulations give California businesses a roadmap for, among other things, how to provide notice to consumers if certain carcinogens or reproductive toxins are present in consumer products (i.e., marijuana). In light of Prop. 65’s requirements, any cannabis licensee needs to ask itself a number of important questions:
Do Prop. 65’s Warning Requirements Even Apply?
The first question cannabis businesses need to ask themselves in a Prop. 65 analysis is whether they’re subject to Prop. 65 at all. There are a short list of exemptions that are applicable to California cannabis products:
Are Prop. 65-Type Chemicals Present?
Once California cannabis companies determine that Prop. 65 applies to them, they need to determine what specific chemicals are present in their cannabis goods. The Prop. 65 list now includes more than 1,000 chemicals. In 2009, marijuana smoke was added to the Prop. 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Thus, all cannabis flower is subject to Prop. 65 warnings since all flower produces “marijuana smoke.”
But Prop. 65 doesn’t end there. In most cases, other manufactured cannabis products—such as oils, vape cartridges, and even edibles—contain at least one chemical on OEHHA’s gigantic Prop. 65 list. Because of this, many (if not most) cannabis businesses in California will be subject to Prop. 65 warning requirements. And as noted below, none of the California cannabis agencies regulate or even explain how to comply with Prop. 65.
How to Provide Warnings?
This may be one of the more complicated issues, and this is where the cannabis regulations come in.
As any California cannabis licensee knows, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”)—which regulates manufacturers—is the agency which has promulgated explicit packaging and labeling rules in its regulations. Even though these regulations apply to manufacturer licensees, the other two agencies explicitly incorporate them for packaging and labeling. The CDPH regulations don’t explicitly require Prop. 65 compliance, but the CDPH does have FAQs which note that Prop. 65 compliance may be necessary. That said, there are some pretty important aspects of the CDPH regulations to consider when thinking about Prop. 65.
First, the CDPH requires that for any product, an informational panel and primary panel be present and provide certain information (the necessary information changes from product to product). The CDPH is clear, however, that each label can include other information. Typically, we see Prop. 65 warnings somewhere on one of these two labels, though the CDPH doesn’t specifically require it. The reason is probably because section 26501(d) of the OEHHA rules requires that the warning be conspicuously displayed on a package in a way that a consumer would be likely to actually read and understand it. That probably won’t happen if the label is tucked away into a corner on the bottom of the box.
Second, the CDPH has explicit requirements for multi-layered product packaging (CDPH rules 40403). The gist of these rules is that for products with separable layers of packaging, each layer must include different kinds of information (the required information changes based on the product, but for some products all that must be present is a compliant version of the CDPH’s universal symbol).
These regulations raise two important questions: (1) Does a Prop. 65 warning need to be present on each layer of separable packaging? and (2) What does the Prop. 65 warning need to say?
The answer to the first question is probably “no.” In the OEHHA’s final statement of reasons for its regulations, the OEHHA responded to a comment as follows: “These regulations do not require a warning on both the container and the outer packaging, although some businesses may choose to provide both to ensure that the average consumer receives a warning as required by the Act.” Thus, a single warning is probably fine, and our California cannabis attorneys typically see that on the outer layer of the packaging.
The answer to the second question is more complex, but there are a number of options. OEHHA rule 25602(a) says that for consumer products, a warning meets the safe-harbor if it is provided via one of four methods. One of those methods is a “label” compliant with section 25603(a), and the other is an “on-product” warning that complies with section 26503(b). Label is defined as “a display of written, printed, or graphic material that is affixed to a product or its immediate container or wrapper.” The term “on-product”, however, is not defined.
That said, section 25603(a) provides a mechanism for providing full notice by using the triangle, the word “WARNING”, and specific language that identifies the carcinogens and/or reproductive toxicants. It must be on a label as notice above, which can be on the product or its immediate wrapper. In this case, the label must have one of the following four full warnings which specifically identify the problematic chemicals.
On the other hand, section 25603(b) governs “on-product” warnings. On-product warnings are abbreviated warnings that require only the Prop. 65 symbol, the word “WARNING”, and a short-form warning which does not need to identify all chemicals. While the term “on product” is not defined, the OEHHA’s final statement of reasons says in part:
In other words, it appears that the short-form, on-product warning in section 25603(b) is fine on actual products or their packaging, but not on websites, placards, etc. In that case, the full warnings from 25603(a) are likely required.
The rules also have specific requirements for the text size, the wording, the symbols that must be used, and as noted above, the placement. These rules can be complex for companies to remember, so it is critical for California cannabis companies to consult with experienced regulatory counsel prior to creating packaging or labeling to ensure that they comply with the CDPH regs and Prop. 65. That’s because Prop. 65 is a complex law and there can be many pitfalls—including litigation—for failure to adequately comply.
California Cannabis: Where Prop. 65 and Labeling Rules Meet was originally seen on Felicia Sullivan's Blog
Leafly's What Are You Smoking crew taste-tests some of each other's favorite cannabis products.
The following article What Are You Smoking Episode 71: Smoke and Tell was initially published on Felicia Sullivan's Blog
About six months ago, we posted news of the first ever cannabis patent infringement case. As a reminder, the case was initiated by United Cannabis Corporation (“UCANN”) in the United States District Court, District of Colorado against its in-state competitor, Pure Hemp Collective Inc. (“Pure Hemp”). The subject patent is U.S.P. 9,730,911 – “cannabis extracts and methods of preparing and using same,” which generally covers liquid cannabinol formulations using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and various terpenes (the “911 Patent”).
Just six months into litigation, Pure Hemp has already responded by filing a Counterclaim and Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, which has yet to be heard. These filings have already raised several issues of first impression. While we plan to cover each of these issues on the blog, perhaps the most fascinating question relates to Pure Hemp’s prior art arguments, which could effectively invalidate UCANN’s 911 Patent altogether.
First, let’s back up with a high-level overview of the term “prior art.” In order to successfully obtain a patent, U.S. patent law requires the applicant to demonstrate that the invention attempting to be claimed is both (1) novel, and (2) nonobvious. Both these factors can be overcome by what is known as prior art – public knowledge, usage, or other types of disclosures. The European Patent Office puts it succinctly: “Prior art is any evidence that your invention is already known.”
Here, one of the key issues to be determined is whether the 911 Patent is obvious and could not be considered novel given the long-standing science and technology relating to cannabis extraction and preparation. In its filings, Pure Hemp makes that exact point by arguing that highly concentrated liquid CBD formulations are “ubiquitous” and “were not invented in this millennium.” One of Pure Hemp’s attorneys, Donnie Emmi, was quoted as saying he believed Pure Hemp had a good chance of invalidating UCANN’s 911 Patent if the Court agreed with their analysis.
Of course, it remains to be seen exactly what Pure Hemp plans to offer in support of its prior art argument. Typically, defendants in patent litigation produce years, sometimes decades, of scientific articles and other writings to demonstrate a given industry’s preexisting research and knowledge. It’s clear this wealth of evidence likely doesn’t exist for Pure Hemp given the general illegality of marijuana to date. This means the prior art could definitely be out there, but hard to definitively prove given that it was driven underground.
It’s also clear that that is about to drastically change for the cannabis industry. With marijuana now partially legalized in thirty-three states, each and every business is clamoring to get its newest formulations of cannabis patented before a competitor. The number of patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has more than quadrupled since 2016. It’s also worth noting that the parties are represented by reputable patent attorneys, and the Court seems to be paying close attention. This case will no doubt clarify and shape the field of cannabis patent litigation for years to come. Stay tuned!
Cannabis Patent Litigation Update: Is Extraction and Preparation Prior Art? Find more on: www.feliciasullivan.com
We’ve been saying for the last year that as California’s legal marijuana program continues to roll out, the state’s enforcement against illegal operators will continue to ramp up. During his state of the state address on February 12, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the National Guard will be utilized to eliminate unlicensed cannabis farms. On February 11th, Gov. Newsom signed General Order 2019-01 that will redeploy 360 National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border to other state assignments by March 31st.
According to Newsom, some of those troops will be “redeploying up north to go after illegal cannabis farms, many of which are run by cartels, are devastating our pristine forests and are increasingly becoming fire hazards themselves.” The governor’s order authorizes the expansion of the California National Guard’s statewide Counterdrug Task force by at least 150 personnel and authorizes 100 personnel to conduct counter narcotics search and seizure operations targeting transnational criminal organizations around ports of entry. The order also notes that “since 2018, National Guard service members have participated in the seizure of 71,488 pounds of illegal cannabis.”
What remains unclear, however, is how the National Guard troops will proceed with implementing enforcement against illegal operations. California has had a long history of battling illegal marijuana grows and of dealing with the accompanying environmental destruction. Back in 2015, then-Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that provided for steep civil penalties against marijuana grows that “damage the environment by dumping wastewater and chemicals, removing trees and killing wild animals.” The measure increased the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s power over illegal marijuana grow operations on public lands, but the Department’s resources have still proved insufficient to eliminate these operations completely. In the year prior to the signing of this measure, state agents “found more than 135 dams or diversions in rivers and streams that resulted in the theft of about 5 million gallons of water for marijuana grows.” This law provided that fines of up to $40,000 may be assessed for illegally dumping certain kinds of hazardous materials into rivers and streams, and fines of up to $10,000 may be assessed for removing trees or trapping and killing wildlife. But unfortunately, the potential financial gains of continuing to operate illegally often outweigh the potential penalties.
And while the black market in California has no doubt been fueled by prohibition, even in the wake of legalization and regulation, the high barriers to entry for many small businesses hoping to enter the legal market will likely serve to keep that black market alive for many years to come. We anticipate that National Guard troops will be utilized to weed out unlicensed operators that are engaged in commercial cannabis activity in violation of MAUCRSA, likely prioritizing those trespass operations that are on public lands and/or causing environmental destruction, as many of these types of operations have ties to organized crime.
Operators still attempting to obtain licensure from the state need to play by the rules too, as operating a commercial cannabis business without a license is not legal. We’ve said it many times before that in order for state legalization to succeed in the long run, state and local governments need to take serious enforcement measures against black and “gray” cannabis markets in order to ensure that there is an even playing field for licensed operators burdened by licensing and regulatory compliance costs as well as heavy taxation. We see this move by Governor Newsom as a step in the right direction.
The blog post ICYMI: Governor Newsom Will Send National Guard to Fight Illegal California Cannabis Grows was originally published to The Felicia Sullivan Blog
Being a lifelong member of the cannabis community means inevitably overdoing it on occasion. Ask some and they’ll tell you there’s no such thing as being too high. Others arguing the exact opposite. In any case, there comes the time in the life of every seasoned stoner when you need to get un-high as quickly […]
The blog article Can CBD Really Get You Un-High? is courtesy of The Felicia Sullivan Blog
On February 27, 2019 both the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) provided new insights and guidance related to their proposed regulatory processes for hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill. I will summarize these agency statements below, and give some context for what hemp and CBD businesses can expect in the near term.
The USDA posted a webpage titled Hemp Production Program (“Program Update”). The 2018 Farm Bill directs the USDA to create regulations and guidance to implement a program for hemp cultivation in the US. The USDA has started to gather information to begin the process of rulemaking. The USDA will use this information to “formulate regulations that will include specific details for both federally regulated hemp production and a process for the submission of State, and Indian tribal plans to USDA.”
The Program Update states that the USDA’s goal is to have regulations in place by fall of 2019 to accommodate the 2020 planting season. The Program Update also indicates that cultivators should operate under the 2014 Farm Bill for the 2019 planting season. The 2018 Farm Bill extension of the 2014 authority expires 12 months after USDA has established the plan and regulations required under the 2018 Farm Bill. The USDA will hold a listening session on hemp production in the form of a webinar on March 13, 2019, at a to-be-determined time.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottleib provided testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations on the FDA’s status of operations. Kyle Yaeger of Marijuana Moment, reported on the testimony moments after Gottleib stood down. According to Gottleib, the FDA understands that “Congress wants there to be a pathway for CBD to be available.” Gottleib qualified this by saying that CBD access is not a straightforward issue because CBD has already been investigated and approved as a drug, Epiodiolex, which generally means CBD cannot be added to food. This is where things get interesting.
Gottleib stated that CBD products could be available “in a high concentration, pure formulation as a pharmaceutical product” and “at a different concentration as a food product or dietary supplement.” This only adds to the rumors that the FDA may distinguish hemp extracts by those that include the full array of cannabinoids found in the plant (“full spectrum extracts”) and those that have isolated CBD alone (“CBD isolate”). At this point, that distinction is just conjecture, but Gottleib’s recent statement is an indicator that FDA is at the very least considering this distinction. For more information on this and the Red Yeast Rice case that has lead to the widespread industry speculation, please see the following:
Gottleib went on to say that “We believe it does have therapeutic value and has been demonstrated [. . .] but I will tell you this is not a straightforward process. There’s not a good proxy for us doing this through regulation.” Gottleib is right. CBD doesn’t fit in nicely to the FDA’s general framework. That is one of the reasons why we write so frequently on CBD and the FDA.
Gottleib also noted that the FDA will hold a public hearing on hemp and CBD in April. That hearing is sure to draw a TON of interest, so stay tuned for that.
These recent updates from the FDA and USDA are not groundbreaking, but they do provide some new information, including when and how the public can provide input into the critical rulemaking process. We will continue to monitor FDA, USDA and other federal agencies as they figure out how to regulate legal hemp.
USDA and FDA Shed Light on Hemp and CBD Read more on: Felicia Sullivan's Blog
The Oregon legislature has been grappling with cannabis for five consecutive years. Talking with those in Salem trenches, one senses some fatigue. At this point, over a month into the 2019 session, a preponderance of legislators appear vaguely inclined to “let it ride” and drop the big ideas when it comes to cannabis. This means we are unlikely to see a full-scale merger of the medical and recreational cannabis programs in 2019 (too bad), and that most of the legislation will be maintenance oriented and reactive.
How did we get here? When Oregon representatives first met in 2015 to codify Measure 91, there was tremendous buzz. The Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation was convened, and for three consecutive sessions (two long ones and a shorty) Oregon passed bill after bill (after bill) to stage and shepherd its cannabis programs. Following the 2017 session, however, the Joint Committee was dissolved, on the inclination that Salem would start treating cannabis more like a standard policy issue. The 2018 short session therefore saw comparatively limited action, consisting principally of a non-emergency gut-and-stuff marijuana bill, and an omnibus hemp bill to build out that program.
Today, we are aware of just two marijuana lobbyists in Salem, down from 25 or so in 2015, and a dozen or more just two years ago. Some of the trade groups have gone quiet or faded away entirely. Fortunately, legislators like Floyd Prozanski, Ken Helm and Julie Fahey remain with their extensive experience on cannabis policy, and Governor Kate Brown is still here to sign all the bills (she has never vetoed a cannabis bill). All in all, though, there is less energy and probably less expertise for this stuff than before.
Still, industry watchers should still expect a few noteworthy developments in the coming months, after committee work is done. Some of these laws will arise out of necessity (such as to accommodate the 2018 Farm Bill). Some may be out of near necessity (such as addressing oversupply in the OLCC system). And anything else would be either housekeeping or progressive new laws, like a social consumption framework, or protecting employees for off-work consumption.
Today, there is are 22 or so early-session bills on any number of cannabis issues, kicking around committee. It’s probably not worth getting too granular or even excited about the bills before crossover day, which is the date at which bills die if they haven’t moved out of their respective committees of origin to the floor (or to another procedural or joint committee). Legislation that crosses over and passes into law will likely look different—perhaps drastically so—than currently drafted. Crossover day happens in a couple of weeks.
Given the foregoing, this blog post is not going to examine the draft bills in detail (if you’re interested in doing that yourself, they are available here). Instead, I’m going to outline a few topics getting some discussion, and a few others with a shot at clearing committee and becoming actual laws.
Hemp. There’s almost nothing filed on hemp right now. The sole, skinny bill is HB 2740, a placeholder establishing an Oregon Industrial Hemp Commission and not much more. Rest assured, though: there will be more. Oregon must shape its hemp program for certification to the federal Department of Agriculture as per the 2018 Farm Bill, which will take some preparation by the legislature to ensure that Congressional guidelines for hemp economy states are met. Drafting is happening as we speak, and we expect a fuller hemp bill to pass this session.
Limits on Marijuana Production. There is too much marijuana in Oregon, inside and outside of the state-sanctioned systems. This was the finding of the Oregon State Police Report, the HIDTA Report, the recent Secretary of State Audit, the recent OLCC Report to the Legislature and probably anyone who has spent a little time on the back roads of Jackson or Josephine County.
In a recent blog post, I mentioned that Governor Brown recently weighed in on this vexing issue, requesting a pre-session filing of Senate Bill 218, which would allow the OLCC to refuse to issue marijuana production licenses “based on market demand and other relevant factors.” This would give legislative backing to the slow-walk OLCC already has commenced on license curtailment. Will the Governor’s skeletal proposal stick as written? It seems unlikely. The big consideration here is how (and not “if”) the legislature will protect those who have already invested resources into an application. OLCC may also push back on the Governor’s approach, and request that the legislature take care of any moratorium itself, rather than delegate this problematic task. All in all, though, the smart money says a cap on production is coming. The theory is that processors, wholesalers and retailers are already self-sorting in the free market, but production needs guardrails. Cut off the head of the snake.
Social Consumption. Every year, we see social consumption bills. Every year they fail. Typically, these bills are overbroad in that they seek to legalize cannabis cafes and indoor smoking lounges, which would require an exemption to the Oregon Clean Indoor Air Act (that law is slowly phasing out a few grandfathered cigar bars and smoke shops). Do Oregonians want to return to the days where employees and others sit in rooms filled with haze and smoke? Although there are compelling arguments to be made in support of populations who live in Section 8 housing, tourists, etc. (some of which were made in yesterday morning’s hearing), we don’t see it happening. This means the two bills on tap, SB 639 and HB 2233, probably need excision of the lounge licensing concept if they are to advance. Permits for temporary (outdoor) events, on the other hand, might have legs as long as alcohol isn’t present. The public tours for cannabis businesses contained in both bills could definitely work. All in all, chances are probably 50-50 that some version of one of these bills passes.
Local Grow Tax. You can find this concept enshrined in HB 2382, which would allow for county taxation on both recreational and medical production, based on canopy size. This bill is a natural extension of the Southern Oregon Marijuana Initiative, a logic model produced by the estimable Rob Bovett at the Association of Oregon Counties. It is probably dead as written: industry will step on this hard. This means that additional tax revenues to counties would need need to come through reallocation, which means that the Joint Committee on Ways and Means must be convinced to move $30 million or so from the General Fund to various localities. Not happening.
Interstate Compact. Kudos to Adam Smith and the Craft Cannabis Alliance for pushing the exchange idea so hard for so long. But are we going to see licensed marijuana export anytime soon? Probably not. The legislature could start down the path, though, by adopting suggestions and language from this issue’s work group, which seems to have traction. If we get legislation, it will likely be a gut and stuff of Prozanski’s pre-session filed SB 582. There are two big questions here. The first is the scope of whom is allowed to export and import, with possible consensus consolidating around “almost everyone”– licensed producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers. Another big question is: what will the “trigger” look like, allowing these sales to commence. For example, will sales be allowed if and when Congress re- or deschedules? Or when we get another federal tolerance memo? Technically, Governor Brown could enter into an interstate compact at any time, but if sales commenced before the federal door opened significantly, Billy Williams has pledged to shut it down. This means that any bill we get on export will be to tee things up and nothing more
Off-Work Use. This should have happened already. Let’s hope Oregon gets it right in 2019, so that cannabis consumers are treated like alcohol consumers, and patients have access to medicine without fear of job loss. The hope is that HB 2655 crosses over and the legislature looks at reasonable carve-outs for safety and employers reliant on federal grants. It needs to get done.
We will keep you posted with insights and developments on the current session as things move ahead. Until then, if you’re interested in learning how we got here, below is an archive of “round up” posts on the Oregon marijuana legislation going back to 2015.
The article Oregon Cannabis: 2019 Legislative Forecast and Report was first published on Felicia Sullivan
In case you missed it, or would like to revisit some of the information, below is the recording from last week’s lunch hour webinar on west coast hemp CBD after the Farm Bill.
Stay tuned for future posts answering some of the questions we weren’t able to get to during the webinar.
Until then, enjoy!
The following blog post West Coast Hemp CBD After the Farm Bill: The Video was originally published to The Felicia Sullivan Blog
Cannabis creams and ointments with CBD
The many benefits offered by the cannabinoids such as CBD that are found in cannabis have been the subject of research for years, with numerous studies that directly relate the use of CBD with an improvement in a wide range of diseases or symptoms. Products such as CBD creams and cosmetics are now widely available on the market, and often also include other substances such as rosemary, tea tree or even terpenes (as we will demonstrate).
As we mentioned, it’s relatively easy to find this type of cream these days, but we also know that many of you grow for yourselves or have access to CBD-rich cannabis. Therefore, today we’re going to explain how to prepare a cream with CBD easily at home, with no more danger or difficulty than cooking any simple recipe! In addition, we will take a look at the main uses for this type of cream, which, as you’ll discover, can range from pain management to psoriasis.
How to make CBD cream at home
The kind of cream we make will depend on the final mix and the type of compounds we use in its preparation. The easiest and cheapest is to start from a few buds of CBD-rich cannabis and prepare a cream that will contain many of the cannabinoids and terpenes present in the flowers. On the other hand, we could also employ a pure CBD extract, to which we can add terpenes or other compounds. The latter would, logically, be a more professional option although, if we work only with pure CBD crystals, we lose the benefits of what we call the entourage effect, by which the various compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) work in synergy to enhance and modulate their effects.
To keep things simple (and taking the relatively high price of pure CBD and isolated terpenes into account), here we’ll show you how to prepare a cream using CBD-rich buds. The process is divided into two steps, and we’ll give you a brief explanation of the reasons behind each step, so that you’ll know what you’re doing throughout the entire process, and why. There’s nothing to fear, you’ll quickly see how simple it is! Before we start, let’s look at the items we’ll need to make our own cannabis cream. Of course, you can adapt the proportions according to the number of buds you have or the final amount of cream you want to obtain.
Material & ingredients required to make CBD cream:
Step 1. Extracting the cannabinoids and terpenes with vegetable oil
The first step is to make the cannabis oil, which involves dissolving the cannabinoids and terpenes that the buds contain, in vegetable oil (it can also be sunflower, almond, coconut oil, etc). The type of oil we choose will depend on the availability and the specific properties we want to give the cream. Once our infused oil is ready, in step 2 we will then mix it with the beeswax to make our cream. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, one step at a time!
To make the extraction, we pour the water and the olive oil into a saucepan and add the ground-up dried buds, broken down using a grinder (which increases surface area to facilitate infusion). On a low heat, we increase the temperature gradually, never exceeding 100ºC. It must be hot but not boiling! After 2-3 hours, during which time we stir constantly, we can strain the mixture carefully to separate the vegetable matter from the liquid. For this, we will use a fine sieve and cheesecloth to filter the liquid into a container. Once this is done, we put the liquid in the fridge for a little while to help the water separate from the oil containing the cannabinoids and terpenes, allowing us to easily remove the oily layer.
Indeed, as soon as we remove the container from the refrigerator we will see how the oily layer that contains the active compounds of interest to us has solidified and risen to the surface, separated from the water below it. We can remove the oil with the help of a spoon and move on to start preparing our cream!
Step 2. Making the CBD cream
Now we have separated our cannabis oil from water in solid form. Now we put it in a saucepan and we apply low heat, just enough to return it to liquid. At this point, while stirring gently, add the essential oils that you want (just a few millilitres will be enough!), and then add the beeswax while continuing to stir on low heat. As you will see later on, the beeswax gives the cream the perfect texture when the mixture solidifies.
Once we have a homogeneous mixture, and before it cools, it’s the perfect time to pour the cream into small, sealable jars or pots so that we can always carry one with us and benefit from the properties of CBD, wherever we are. Once it’s been poured into the jars, allow it to cool and solidify, and in a matter of minutes, we can use it!
It is important NOT TO USE this type of cream on the mucous membrane areas, for example, the inside of the mouth or nose.
Uses for cannabis cream with CBD
This type of CBD cream is frequently used to treat a range of ailments such as muscle pain, arthritis or osteoarthritis, due to the already well-known anti-inflammatory properties of some of the most important cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. In addition, many cannabinoids and terpenes also possess antibacterial and antifungal properties, which in certain cases can offer effective treatment for skin problems like psoriasis, an irritating chronic inflammatory skin condition.
Using the appropriate vegetable and essential oils for each ailment can be very useful when dealing with specific problems. We can select certain oils depending on their properties and the final result you want to obtain, for example, a cream to help maintain perfect skin, or one that deals with pain or inflammation effectively. In our blog post about the effects of terpenes, you can consult a list of the various terpenes, their properties, as well as plants – and oils – where they are normally found.
Certain CBD creams and patches are prepared using an agent to allow better, faster assimilation of the active compounds through the epidermal barrier, such as PLO (Pluronic Lecithin Organogel), Pluronic F127, corn oil, cotton or safflower seed oil, as well as various kinds of fatty acids. All of them improve penetration of the skin, which increases the effectiveness of the compounds present in the cream or patch. There is more information regarding this in the bibliography of this article, although the use of these substances should be restricted to those with chemical and pharmaceutical knowledge.
Bibliography of research into CDB consulted for the writing of this article:
The post How to make cannabis creams and ointments with CBD appeared first on Alchimia blog.
The blog post How to make cannabis creams and ointments with CBD was initially published on The Felicia Sullivan Blog