We first heard of this of all places, at Super Zoo in 2017, the world’s largest pet retailer trade show in the world. A former Colorado oil vendors happened to be there as we shared information on the cannabis industry happenings.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, just one of many cannabinoid compounds in the cannabis plant. This makes up a large portion of the industrial hemp plant from where the oil is extracted. The other cannabinoids can consist of CBG, CBN, CBC’s,etc. Aside from these general CB compounds in the cannabis plant, there are also THC compounds. THC is famously responsible for the “high”. Industrial hemp that is rich in CBD does not generate a “high”.
Many people who do not operate in the cannabis space are unfamiliar with these nuances in terminology. Least of all, being aware of pharmaceutical companies that are positioning themselves for the CBD market to be blown wide open. One such entity is GW Pharmaceuticals out of the UK who has a trademark pending on the terminology “CBD”. If they are awarded this trademark, all business using the term “CBD” will have to cease and desist in its usage. In the meantime, this term is steadily growing, and commonly associated to describe the oils extracted from the hemp plant. Currently this trademark term is being used generically, and the trademark owner may need to take aggressive measures to retain rights to the trademark. GW Pharma is fighting for the sole use of the “CBD” term.
What is PCR Hemp oil?
In comes PCR oil. It stands for phytocannabinoid rich oil. In essence, this is a much more complete definition of what CBD oil truly embodies. We believe it’s a much more targeted definition of what the cannabis oil truly is. Phyto, meaning of a plant, or relating to a plant. In short, it is ALL the plant derived cannabis compounds in the oil, and not just the CBD compound in particular. In short, it is a fancier name for what is commonly known as CBD.
Any full spectrum oil is just this, a whole plant oil with all the benefits that nature had intended. This includes the trace amounts of THC, and all the other 113 active cannabinoids.
If GW Pharmaceuticals wins the right to exclusively use the term “CBD”, the next game of semantics will be on. We will have to find a new generic term to replace this. Perhaps this will be the use of “PCR”. As language and uses constantly evolve, the uses of terminology in the cannabis space will not be an exception. It will be interesting to see what happens to this common use of this acronym in the next couple of years or so. Watch out for a possible rise of “PCR” and other terms to substitute “CBD” in the event this happens.
In just under a year, CBD was used to describe any and all products made with industrial hemp. Now there has already been a shift in the cannabis space where people are no longer embracing it as a marketing term. This all due to the consequences of garnering unwanted attention.
When Bark Avenue Hemp Treats started out, we used Bark Avenue CBD Dog Treats as a descriptor. And within a few months, products using the terminology “CBD” were starting to get flagged by numerous organizations. We had our credit card processing shut down; the denial and or ending of listing products on platforms such as Amazon and EBay; and the dis-allowing the promotion of our Facebook advertising page. In a similar fashion, Google Ad Words soon followed.
So, these are just some of the examples of what operators in the cannabis space have to deal with. Aside from the typical business fires that one has to douse on a day to day basis, we have those specific to an emerging market. So those of us who choose to work with products like this, despite it being “everywhere”, doesn’t mean it can be treated just like any other legal product on the market. This is the main reason we started making a concerted effort to using “hemp”; sadly, just the general public just started opening their eyes to the terminology of “CBD”. It’s a tricky, daily balancing act of trying to be a popular well known brand whilst flying under the radar; and –keeping abreast of the laws and expensive attorneys to keep one’s company out of trouble.
Consequently, there was a large oil producing company that literally had to re-brand their company since it had “CBD” in its name. To this day, I only remember them by their original name…
CBD vs. Hemp
Thus far “hemp” has been the more accepted “innocent term” in contrast to CBD. But, people are still confused about CBD and hemp.
CBD is the active compounds extracted from the hemp plant via the oils. Hemp is a subset of the actual cannabis plant where the CBD’s are extracted. So, it’s a choice of whether to call it by the plant that supplies the active compounds or, to call it by the active ingredient extracted from the plant. But they are one and the same.
The beauty about the hemp plant is that it can be used for clothing, fiber, building material, a substitute for some plastics, and lastly for the oil.
If CBD becomes a proprietary term for use only by GW Pharmaceuticals, this will be a much more complicated market with made up monikers. This will further confuse the general public. And it will a create a setback on any educational progress we have made about what is CBD good for.