You may have noticed by now that CBD Clinic™, the creator of your topical pain relief products, is part of Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte’s Web, which was founded by the Stanley brothers in 2014, is an industry leader in creating ingestible whole-plant hemp CBD extracts. If you’ve ever considered using CBD dietary supplements with your patients, or if your patients have asked you for advice on the subject, you’ve likely had many questions of your own about where to start and which products to trust. Not only are there multiple CBD companies out there, you also, unfortunately, can’t always believe what they tell you. A 2017 study analyzed 84 CBD products available online and found that only 31% of them were accurately labeled with respect to CBD content. About 43% percent had higher concentrations and about 26% lower concentrations than claimed.(1)
As a healthcare practitioner, you only recommend the best for your patients and clients. Trustworthy products and companies are a must: they use the highest quality ingredients, are transparent about their operations, and welcome third-party oversight to confirm they are doing what they claim they are doing. In an industry where regulation is still evolving, Charlotte’s Web not only meets these requirements, it exceeds and excels at them. By the time a practitioner receives a Charlotte’s Web™ product, it has been tested over 20 times from cultivation through manufacturing. This is why Charlotte’s Web is known as The World’s Most Trusted Hemp Extract™.
This article will help you get to know Charlotte’s Web. It will also highlight why you may want to add ingestible CBD products along with topicals as an optimal approach to supporting your patients’ health and wellness.
About Charlotte’s Web
In 2011, the Stanley brothers developed proprietary hemp genetics that we still use today. The brand name is in honor of a little girl named Charlotte Figi who suffered from Dravet Syndrome, a rare, debilitating seizure disorder. Using a hemp extract with high CBD, Charlotte went from having more than 300 seizures a week to about one a month. Today, Charlotte’s Web is the leading, globally recognized CBD company, a position earned by relentlessly staying true to the mission that began with Charlotte Figi: to improve people’s lives naturally. We like to say that Charlotte’s Web is more than a name; it’s a promise. And we embody our dedication in numerous tangible ways.
Why Add Ingestible CBD Products to Complement Topical Use?
You’re already using CBD CLINIC™ topicals with your patients and clients, so why would you consider adding ingestible products, such as Charlotte’s Web™ CBD tinctures and capsules? The answer lies in the very nature of the human body itself, specifically the endocannabinoid system (ECS) . As you know, topical CBD interacts with ECS skin receptors local to the site of application. However, humans have ECS receptor sites throughout our bodies, from the central nervous system and immune system, to organs in the periphery. Using a holistic approach with both an external application and internal use can optimize the benefits and potentially lead to quicker results.
A Quick Review of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is probably the most important physiological system most of us never learned about in our training! Although its existence was speculated in the 1960s, it wasn’t discovered in humans until the 1990s. In fact, the ECS is found in all living organisms with the possible exception of insects.
The ECS interacts with every known biological system, including the immune, endocrine, cardiovascular, and neurological systems. It supports a multiplicity of functions that are crucial to homeostasis. Fundamentally, the ECS is the master regulator of physiological homeostasis behind all biological processes.
The ECS consists of cannabinoid receptor sites; endocannabinoids; and enzymes for the biosynthesis and metabolism of these endocannabinoids. The term endocannabinoid refers to cannabinoids that are made by the body, in contrast to phytocannabinoids, like CBD, which are found in plants. Both our endogenous cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids can interact with the ECS.
Humans have more receptor sites for endocannabinoids in our brains than for ligands of all other biological systems combined, a testament to both the complexity and reach of the ECS.
Factors that Affect ECS Function
Pain, stress, aging, and environmental toxins are among several factors that can affect the ability of the ECS to support homeostasis. A leading ECS researcher has coined the term Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency to describe certain health conditions that might be associated with decline in ECS function.(3)
For a more in-depth description of the ECS, see https://cbdclinic.co/blog/endocannabinoid-system/
Why Charlotte’s Web Is Different – CBD Sourcing and Quality Must Haves
The origin of the CBD is of vital importance. How the hemp is farmed and how it’s processed matters because hemp is a phytoremediator, readily absorbing everything in the soil and groundwater. Harmful additives, therefore, such as pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and heavy metals can undermine both the quality and safety of CBD, which is why very high safety and quality standards need to be employed to protect your patients. Without proper safeguards, hemp plants can contain traces of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and heavy metals as well as highly inconsistent THC levels. Not all CBD manufacturers source their hemp from the U.S., which makes it even harder to ensure the highest standards.
To ensure quality and safety for your patients:
- We partner with small American family farms.
All of our full spectrum hemp extracts are made from hemp grown in Colorado, Oregon, and Kentucky. Each state has unique characteristics that make it a great place to grow hemp. The hemp fields in our home state of Colorado enjoy an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. In Oregon our hemp grows in the Willamette Valley, fondly referred to as the “land of milk and honey” and our plants agree. In Kentucky our hemp enjoys rich soils and natural rainfall for lush growth.
- Our suppliers are ethically focused.
Our farms are currently 90% USDA Organic Certified while using 100% organic farming practices. All plants are grown using only responsible and sustainable practices.
- All of our farming operations abide by all current local, state, and federal guidelines for growing hemp. Our Oregon, Kentucky and Colorado farmers are registered with their respective state departments, which binds them to strict codes of practice.
Quality Control and Consistency
Charlotte’s Web maintains stringent quality controls that are administered by independent auditors from field to final product. It begins with diligent testing of the soil before a field is even commissioned, and extends throughout the farming, development, and manufacturing processes to ensure safe and consistent products.
To ensure safety and dependability for your patients:
- We supply our farmers with hemp plants that have consistent, proprietary genetics.
Many manufacturers don’t grow their own hemp and instead purchase hemp plants from the open market. This can translate into random combinations of hemp compounds in their final products, and, consequently, varying health and wellness benefits from batch to batch. Consistency from plant to plant means every bottle of Charlotte’s Web hemp CBD extract has the same phytochemical signature batch after batch and year after year. The same phytochemical profile for extracts means consistent and reliable effects for your patients. This level of whole-plant standardization is extremely rare and is one of many factors that distinguishes Charlotte’s Web within the industry.
- Our hemp is repeatedly tested for impurities.
If pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are used in the vicinity of hemp cultivation, the CBD extract could contain residues of these harmful chemicals. Knowing this, we test our CBD extract for traces of around 20 different solvents, over 60 pesticides and herbicides (including glyphosate), mold, aflatoxin, heavy metals, and more. The results of these tests are publicly available as a Certificate of Analysis (COA). You can find COAs specific to each batch online. The COA is also where you’ll find information for cannabinoid potency so that you can feel assured that what appears on our product labels is accurate.
Third Party Audits and Certifications
In addition to making the Certificate of Analysis of our products publicly available, Charlotte’s Web has established standards more stringent than the industry requires.
U.S. Hemp Authority Certified
Our extremely high standards for quality and trust, as well as our dedication to transparency, have earned Charlotte’s Web the official stamp of approval from the U.S. Hemp Authority™, which develops comprehensive guidance for hemp growers and processors. Companies are granted a license to use the U.S. Hemp Authority’s Certified Seal by meeting these stringent self-regulatory standards, along with an independent audit. Receiving a stamp of approval from the U.S. Hemp Authority is another factor that sets the best full spectrum CBD oil apart from the rest. This quality seal, which can be seen on all of our products, places an emphasis on high standards, best practices, and self-regulation.
Self-affirmed GRAS means a company has gone through the rigorous process of validating the safety of its product ingredients. An expert panel unanimously concluded that Charlotte’s Web’s full spectrum hemp extract is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in accordance with stringent regulatory safety guidelines and safety data available using well accepted toxicological principles. The results are published in the peer-reviewed journal Toxicology Reports.(2)
NSF Certified for GMP Compliance
Our FDA-registered facility follows the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) protocols. In addition, Charlotte’s Web was awarded a 98.9% rating in a voluntary third-party audit for compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP).
American Herbal Products Association
Charlotte’s Web follows the American Herbal Products Association’s contaminant guidelines and specifications for Good Quality. All of our products comply with California’s Prop 65 regulations, and anything not covered by these guidelines is compliant with EPA standards.
Charlotte’s Web is honored to join the more than 3,500 companies in 74 countries that have become B Corp certified. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Such corporations work toward reducing inequality and poverty and creating a healthier environment, stronger communities, and more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. Becoming a B Corp is the logical progression of the values of respect and integrity with which Charlotte’s Web was founded.
Summary of Key CBD Research
When CBD is ingested, it can interact with ECS receptors throughout the body. This means it can potentially have an overall systemic effect, which can complement topical benefits. In addition, whole-plant hemp extracts contain a multitude of other plant compounds (see Full spectrum Hemp Extracts vs CBD Isolates– is there a blog?) that may be beneficial for your patients’ health and wellbeing.
Here are some of the systemic effects research indicates ingestible CBD might have:
Supports Regular Sleep Cycles* (link to FDA disclaimer at bottom)
A review of CBD clinical research suggests that cannabinoids may favorably impact sleep disturbance, with study participants often reporting a subjective improvement in their sleep quality.(4) The systemic acute administration of CBD in mice appears to increase total sleep time, in addition to increasing sleep latency in the light period of the day of administration.(5)
Supports a Sense of Calm and Focus and Relief from Everyday Stresses*
A randomized controlled study recreated a situation likely to induce anxiety in most people, namely public speaking. Participants’ anxiety levels were measured using subjective self-report and objective physiological measures (e.g., heart rate and blood pressure). The group pretreated with CBD showed significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in performing public speaking compared to the placebo group.(6)
The sense of relaxation reported by healthy participants who were given an oral CBD extract correlated with activity in the limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain. Participants also reported decreased symptoms of anxiety. Participants receiving placebo did not show the same effects on brain imaging and did not report significant changes in their anxiety.(7)
Animal studies suggest that CBD interacts in various ways with the serotonin neurotransmitter system and has been shown to block the negative effects of fearful memories through that mechanism. In one study, CBD also reduced the heart rate and anxiety levels of rats submitted to 60 minutes of enforced restraint via its influence in the serotonin neurotransmitter system.(8)
Several experimental studies show that CBD may support neurogenesis, which is believed to further enhance its beneficial effects on anxiety.(9)
Recovery from Exercise–Induced Inflammation*
Plant-derived cannabinoids are anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive in animal models of arthritis. The mechanisms of action seem to be independent of cannabinoid receptors, and cause suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines that are produced by lymphocytes and macrophages.(10) A review of research cites several studies demonstrating that CBD supports normalization of systemic inflammation in various settings. CBD was observed to be efficacious in a number of animal models of neurodegenerative and inflammatory environments.(11)
Full–Spectrum Hemp Extracts vs CBD Isolates
Charlotte’s Web pioneered the CBD industry by creating reliable, consistent, high-quality ingestible CBD products. However, our extracts are More Than Just CBD™. Because hemp naturally contains phytocannabinoids and other plant compounds, we use extraction methods that capture the “full spectrum” of what the plant has to offer.
So far, scientists have identified about 113 distinct phytocannabinoids in hemp in addition to cannabidiol (CBD). These include cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN), all of which, along with CBD, are being studied to explore their potential health benefits. Hemp is also rich in many other compounds such as terpenes, phytosterols, essential fatty acids (EFAs), and flavonoids. In fact, hemp also contains unique flavonoids, known as cannaflavins, that are only found in the hemp and cannabis plants.
For a hemp-derived CBD product to be considered “full spectrum,” it must contain a wide variety of compounds found in the original plant (as well as no more than .3% THC). By contrast, a CBD isolate is filtered and processed until the end-product contains nothing but CBD, without any other supporting phytocompounds. Using the whole plant maximizes the potential benefits your patients can receive. This is due to a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
The Entourage Effect
The concept of the entourage effect will be familiar to naturopathic doctors and herbalists, as it is similar to the idea of synergy, whereby whole plants are used in herbal formulas with the understanding that the combination of all their ingredients will have a greater and more balanced effect than using isolated plant constituents. The entourage effect is the name given to the corresponding idea that all the compounds in the hemp plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, phytosterols, and EFAs work best when combined in products because together they optimize each other’s effects on the endocannabinoid system. A 2015 study found that when participants were given a CBD isolate, benefits on pain and inflammation ceased earlier than they did for participants given a whole-plant CBD extract. In addition, participants given the whole-plant extract were responsive to variations in dose, and much less was needed to produce the same results.(12)
Hemp Extraction Methods: Alcohol vs Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Original Formula is our flagship full spectrum hemp extract. It contains 50mg CBD per mL, which is not the highest serving of CBD. Our highest level of CBD comes in our 60mg per mL full–spectrum hemp extract. With only a 10mg per milliliter difference, it may seem confusing to choose between them. Both are full–spectrum hemp extracts featuring a range of cannabinoids, plus terpenes, flavonoids, phytosterols, fatty acids and many other beneficial plant compounds. But it’s actually how they’re made that results in dynamically different extracts.
Original Formula has always been extracted using alcohol to create a rich mix of synergistic compounds relatively high in terpenes. All other Charlotte’s Web™ products, including the 60mg extract, are derived using a supercritical Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction process. This environmentally friendly, state–of–the–art extraction process results in the most CBD per serving, with a smoother taste and a different phytochemical profile than that of the Original Formula.
Original Formula’s small-batch, slow production is a nod to how we began. As our company has grown, our family of customers continues to request that we don’t ever change this formula, despite the industry’s push for innovation. We have promised never to change it as a way of continuing to honor Charlotte and all of those early customers. Charlotte’s Web is a member of the Environmental Leadership Program and continually strives to set the standards for sustainable manufacturing processes. Alcohol is removed from the final Original Formula extract through a gentle heating process, and its removal is verified by third-party testing. We have innovated strategies to reuse the alcohol and reduce waste in this process by 90%.
What Does This Mean for You?
As is common with natural products, you may find that one formula works better for a patient than the other depending on that patient’s individual biochemistry. We recommend that initially you advise your patients to try both formulas. Then in due course, you can consult with them to determine which extraction style best served their health and wellness needs.
How to Use Ingestible CBD Products
Charlotte’s Web™ ingestible full–spectrum hemp extracts are crafted to work in harmony with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Results come by way of steady use, in other words, using it regularly and starting low and going slow, which will make beneficial changes more sustainable. In addition to the potential overall systemic benefits, another advantage to using ingestible whole-plant hemp CBD extracts is that you can advise your patient to gradually increase (or decrease) the amount they take each day, depending on the concentration of CBD they are using, their unique physiological profile, and their specific health and wellness needs. In general, it’s recommended that your patients take their product at the same time each day, but you may on occasion advise them differently. For example, you may counsel your patient to increase frequency to three times per day, and suggest they consume a little more in the morning or before bed, depending on their individual circumstances. Ingestible full spectrum hemp extracts may affect everyone a little differently and work gradually over time. Generally speaking, your patients should see consistent effects in 4-6 weeks of regular administration, but sometimes earlier.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is CBD legal for use as a dietary supplement?
The legal status of hemp and hemp-derived products, including those containing CBD, may vary from state to state. However, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and removed it from the federal Controlled Substances Act, as well as all hemp extracts and cannabinoids (including CBD), with the stipulation that they must not contain more than 0.3% THC. The FDA has asserted that “CBD products” cannot meet the federal definition of “dietary supplement;” however, it is Charlotte’s Web’s opinion that full spectrum hemp extract (containing naturally occurring CBD and other natural hemp constituents) does qualify as a dietary supplement, in the same manner as any other commercially available herbal formula derived from a plant source.
Will patients test positive in a drug test?
Most CBD goods, due to the nature of their cultivation and production, will inherently have trace amounts of the psychoactive molecule THC present in them. Hemp plants grown in the United States must have less than 0.3% THC. Since this is the case, there is an inherent chance that CBD products could trigger a positive for THC during a drug screening. This is because it is not generally known how much THC is needed to trigger a drug test, and individual metabolism causes people to process CBD differently.
Ingestible and topical applications are two of the most common ways that CBD is used. Topical CBD interacts with endocannabinoid system receptors in the skin that are local to the site of application. However, humans have endocannabinoid system receptor sites throughout our bodies, from the central nervous system and immune system, to organs in the periphery. The addition of ingestible whole-plant hemp CBD extracts can complement your patients’ topical use by having systemic effects that may potentially help with exercise-induced inflammation, everyday stress and anxiety, and sleep cycles.
Charlotte’s Web is the industry leader because we go far above industry standards. We don’t use chemical pesticides or herbicides on our plants and manage our facilities in accordance with current good manufacturing practices (cGMP). We perform a full battery of tests including microbiological contamination, heavy metals, potency, and residual solvents. This includes a 60+ panel of testing for pesticides and herbicides, as well. All Charlotte’s Web™ products are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, with no BPA in our containers (or products!).
You can be assured that what we say on our product labels is an accurate reflection of our product content. We are dedicated to bringing you quality products that deliver consistent results for your patients.
Welcome to the Charlotte’s Web family!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- Bergamaschi, Mateus M et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 36,6, 2011, 1219-26
- Crippa JA et al. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J Psychopharmacol 2011; 25:121-130
- Resstel, B M et al. 5-HT1A receptors are involved in the cannabidiol-induced attenuation of behavioural and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats. British journal of pharmacology vol. 156,1 (2009): 181-8
- Soares V and Campos A. Evidences for the anti-panic actions of cannabidiol. Curr Neuropharmacol 2017; 15:291-299
- Cannabinoid-based drugs as anti-inflammatory therapeutics. Nat Rev Immunol 5, 400–411 (2005). doi.org/10.1038/nri1602
- Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 51 (2011) 1054–1061. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.01.007