Mexico is a place where you can find anything. It may take some hunting, but eventually you’ll find it. Such is the case with good weed and quality hemp products, a large portion of which are imported, both legally and illegally from the United States and Canada.
Soon, the country may be given the go ahead to produce its own legal marijuana for personal use. Scientists are now on the side of medicinal marijuana. And earlier this year, Mexican Secretary of Tourism Enrique de la Madrid suggested that legalizing pot would help reduce crime in a country battling its worst homicide rates in years.
Mexico’s stance on medical marijuana has been murky for at least a decade, when the government decriminalized “small amounts” of the substance for personal use in 2009. In 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to grow “mota” for personal use, though the ruling only pertained to four plaintiffs in a case regarding its medicinal use for children suffering from epilepsy, and Mexican citizens as a whole have not yet been given the green light to grow.
In 2016, it was ruled legal to import CBD oil to Mexico. The majority of it comes from the US.
An Essential Activist
Julio Zenil, editorial board member for Cáñamo (cannabis) Magazine, organizer for Mexico’s annual Million Marijuana March and producer of ExpoWeed, has been on the forefront of marijuana activism for years.
“It’s not just about stoners wanting to get high,” Zenil said. “It’s about compassion and realizing that cannabis can change people’s lives.”
Zenil traveled to Europe in 2000 where he made a documentary film on marijuana regulations in the region, in hopes of educating the Mexican public and helping to disassociate a cultural perception of marijuana users as drug addicts or, in general, “bad hombres.”
The activism helped in terms of education. When Mexico City’s annual Million Marijuana March began in 2000, it attracted a few people. But it’s since gained thousands.
But the major turning point in how marijuana was viewed in Mexico came about with the case of a young Mexican girl named Grace who suffered from hundreds of epileptic seizures daily. CBD oil not only reduced the occurrences, but eliminated them all together.
Last year, the COFEPRIS, essentially Mexico’s FDA, gave some permissions to allow medications such as CBD oil to be imported by certain companies, for use by private citizens. According to Zenil, though, the plant is still “taboo”.
In June 2017, COFEPRIS decided on new rules that will soon be enacted, including laws that allow medical research and use of marijuana.
The announcement of the new laws was supposed to take place in the first three months of 2018, but has been a bit stalled. COFEMER, a Mexican agency responsible for promoting regulatory reform policy, is now keeping an eye on the COFEPRIS timeline, making sure the process advances.
The situation is a bit sensitive as Mexico will elect a new president on July 1.
“No candidate wants to take a position on this issue because it has some cost, even if they will allow it or not when they are in charge, they are trying to avoid the issue,” Zenil said, adding that he was informed by COFEPRIS that the new marijuana regulations will be published by November, when the new president takes office.
Colombia is an example of a country with a traumatic past related to drugs, that has now started to take advantage of its growing conditions. Mexico should be no different, Zenil said.
“Maybe there are some groups that don’t let us take advantage of our conditions,” he said. “Even though the quality and availability of marijuana in the US has improved, there is still some high quality marijuana being sold to the states illegally. Why should we be fighting and killing each other in Mexico if you can buy it legally in San Diego? Plus there are a lot of gringos in Mexico who have brought their culture with them, and they don’t like to smoke cheap weed.”
According to the new laws, it will be possible to cultivate medical marijuana in legal cannabis fields, Zenil said. “There will be protocols to be fulfilled whether you’re applying for permits as an individual or a company, with favor given to big companies and pharmaceutical companies.”
In the meantime, CBD oil from the US and Canada is being imported legally in many instances, and sold at high prices. Though there are plenty of Mexican-made CBD products and high quality herb on the market, and there are groups who are teaching people about extraction methods in order to make homemade oils for personal use. Zenil has a theory that some CBD oils sold in the US as “American made” are actually produced in Mexico, taking advantage of the lower labor cost.
Things are Changing
Leopoldo Rivera, editor in chief of Cáñamo – which originated in Spain and is now co-produced with Colombia, Mexico, Spain and soon-to-join Uruguay, says he’s seen Mexico’s view toward medicinal marijuana change a lot even in the past four years.
Securing a license to publish a magazine based on the use of cannabis was difficult in Mexico, due to the fact that the printed product is subject to review by a government censorship board known as the Comisión Calificadora de Publicaciones y Revistas Ilustradas (The Qualifying Commission of Illustrated Publications and Magazines).
“The Commission determined that the magazine was not legal because it was against the morals and customs of decent Mexican standards,” Rivera said. “Marijuana has always been seen in a negative way by the Mexican media, however everybody has a pothead in the family and knows they’re a normal person.”
The Cáñamo team took the issue to court and eventually earned approval to print, but Rivera sees the future of Cáñamo advancing in the digital world – at least in Mexico – in part to reduce its carbon footprint.
And as for the ganja? It’s expected that medicinal marijuana will be available in pharmacies, holistic health stores and by individual vendors, without need for a prescription.
“When it comes to medicine in Mexico, there are about 11 categories, going from controlled medication that requires a prescription, all the way to herbal supplements and vitamins that can be purchased by anyone,” Rivera said, adding that COFEPRIS will review stores that sell marijuana products, and those stores will have to apply for permits.
The law says that people will be able to produce marijuana for scientific and medicinal purposes, Rivera said. “We have no reason to import something that we can produce here. We have the land, the people, the climate. We have everything to do it ourselves.”
A Grower’s Market
Currently, imported and nationally produced CBD products and quality Mexican marijuana cost about what they would cost in the United States. But Rivera imagines that with time, the prices will reduce once products are created in Mexico and the the regulations are relaxed, adding that “people want to do this legally.”
“We as a movement will always seek that all citizens have the right to grow,” Rivera said, adding that they believe education is key to Mexico’s new relationship with marijuana, as it is with alcohol. “The long-term objective is free, universal and responsible access to marijuana. That you can grow it, or you can buy it. We refrain from using the term ‘recreational’ because that does not reflect all of the uses. For as many people as exist in this country, there are uses for marijuana.”
Rivera adds that violence is a byproduct of marijuana’s clandestine nature on both sides of the border.
“Everyday here in Mexico there are people who are profiled and searched for drugs, and sometimes they are detained for days. It’s a daily violence against individual rights. It’s violence against the patients that need marijuana as their treatment. Then there’s the question of mafias. Marijuana is not their principal market anymore. I look at the legalization of marijuana like I look at condoms: they don’t stop AIDS from existing or cure it, but they can stop it from spreading. At least, this money wouldn’t end up in the hands of organized crime.
“For every person who is able to grow their own marijuana, that contributes to reconstructing our social fabric.”
The post Mexico’s March Toward Legalization is Thanks in Part to its Northern Neighbors appeared first on High Times.
1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.
CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.
2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?
Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!
99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.
In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?
The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.
5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?
We feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.
6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?
Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.
7. What is the best method of use?
For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.
8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?
There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.
9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?
Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative side effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.
10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?
As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.
When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.
The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.
For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?
In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.
12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?
Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.
13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?
No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.
We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor there, Cannawell.
14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?
Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†
Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.
15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?
We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. We also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.
16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?
We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.
17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?
CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.
Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.
18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.