Untangling Charlotte’s Web, the Low-THC Hemp Cultivar with Powerful Health Benefits

The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the mental health of people all across the world. Complaints from patients related to stress levels have been at an all-time high. Hence, everyone must find a way to relax—be it exercise, meditation, playing video games, or binge-watching your favorite TV shows. 

One relaxation tool that has recently been gaining a lot of popularity in Canada is hemp. If you are a Canadian citizen over the legal age of 19, then Charlotte’s Web, which happens to be one of the most popular hemp cultivars, could be an option for you to soothe your stress levels.

Why Hemp?

It is a common misconception that hemp and marijuana belong to two distinct species of plants. In reality, however, they’re two different colloquial names for cannabis, a flowering plant belonging to the family of Cannabaceae. The critical difference lies in their legal definition.  

According to the 1979 book, the Species Problem in Cannabis: Science & Semantics, “hemp” is defined as cannabis with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of 0.3 percent or less by dry weight. On the other hand, cannabis with a THC content higher than 0.3 percent is defined as “marijuana.” It is also used interchangeably with “weed” and several other terms.

Now, 0.3 percent of THC is not enough to elicit substance intoxication delirium, or what is commonly known as “getting high.” Also, it does not produce any psychoactive effects. However, THC is still a potent psychoactive agent and can bind to the cannabinoid receptors in your brain and produce their relaxing effects. 

What’s So Special About Charlotte’s Web?

Charlotte’s Web is a strain of Cannabis sativa known for its high CBD or Cannabidiol content (up to 20 percent by dry weight) and an extremely low THC content (less than one percent by dry weight). It has a green, nugget like shape with tiny hairs and a resin covering its outer layer. It also has a distinct, redolent, earthy aroma. But what is most interesting about this strain is its origin and the story of its namesake. 

Charlotte’s Web was developed in 2011 by the Stanley Brothers as a crossbreed product of marijuana and industrial hemp. However, the final product being so low in THC content was labeled “bland.” It was destined to be another marijuana strain to fade into oblivion until the brothers came across Charlotte Figi’s mother in 2012. 

Charlotte Figi was a 6-year-old Colorado-born girl diagnosed with Dravet’s Syndrome—a rare epileptic syndrome caused due to the malformation of the brain during the first year of child development. Having tried every treatment possible, her parents eventually turned to the Stanley Brothers for a potential treatment plan using their high CBD, low THC product. Miraculously, Figi’s treatment took immediate effect, and her grand mal seizures were reduced by a significant margin from 300 per week to three to five per month. The Stanley Brothers named the strain Charlotte’s Web as a namesake.

Apart from its clinical effects, Charlotte’s Web also has a profound relaxing effect on your body and can help with sleep issues. A few hits will cause you to experience mild euphoria while numbing your pain receptors. It can help you get rid of any stress or anxiety that you might have been experiencing before.  

How to Use Charlotte’s Web?

Charlotte’s Web is only a strain of sativa marijuana and can thus be consumed like any other strain. Inhalation is, by far, the most ubiquitous way of consuming cannabis. Bongs, pipes, and rolling papers are popular ways of smoking cannabis. Although not as common, it can also be taken in by oral ingestion using pills, ingestible oils, or tinctures. Before discussing the medicinal properties Charlotte’s Web is known for, we first have to understand the difference between CBD and THC’s psychoactive effects. 

Both CBD and THC have the same molecular formula, have the same structure as our body’s endocannabinoids, and attach to our brain’s cannabinoid receptors. However, they have different functional groups and atomic arrangements and thus differ in their binding potency. THC binds strongly to CB1 receptors in the brain and elicit a feeling of euphoria. However, CBD binds weakly to CB1 and also requires THC as a prerequisite. Thus, it can alleviate some of the unwanted psychoactive effects of the more potent THC.

Since Charlotte’s Web has a high CBD, low THC formula, you might buy Charlotte’s Web sativa for the following: 

  • Seizures
  • Psychosis
  • Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and other mental disorders
  • Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine

Although touted as an effective medication for Dravet’s Syndrome, it has not had a good enough success rate to back that claim. This is possibly due to the varying genetic predisposition of the patients.

Reaping the Benefits

If you are a legal consumer who is suffering from anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression and is open to cannabis as a treatment option, then you shouldn’t look any further. Charlotte’s Web brings with it most of the medicinal benefits of hemp without any of the unpleasant psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.