What Is CBD Oil? Is it Okay for Christians to Use?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that comes from cannabis plants and is found in marijuana. Until recently, CBD oil contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the most active ingredient in marijuana which creates a “high” in its users. Now, CBD doesn’t contain much, if any, THC. But is it okay for Christians to use?
- Hope Bolinger Author
- 2019 11 Jun
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that comes from cannabis plants and is found in marijuana.Those who use it have seen various benefits such as a reduction in epileptic seizures, reduction in anxiety, increase in pain relief, and help in quitting addictive behaviors such as smoking – possibly even opioid addiction disorders.
Until recently, CBD oil contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the most active ingredient in marijuana which creates a “high” in its users. Now, CBD doesn’t contain THC, according to this Mayo Clinic article, or at least it may not contain large enough quantities to alter the mental state of its user.
CBD can cause some side effects such as fatigue and dry mouth. In some clinical trials, users experienced liver problems, irritability, nausea, and tiredness.
CBD can come in a variety of packages such as the oil, an extract, a vaporized liquid, and a capsule. However, of these CBD products, the FDA has only approved of a CBD oil by the name Epidiolex.
Is CBD legal?
Medicinal marijuana is legal in most places, except for Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Although not specified in this WebMD article, CBD oil might fall under the medical marijuana umbrella due to its medicinal qualities.
According to a recent Harvard article, “All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.”
In addition to the benefits listed above, researchers claim CBD oil can help with ailments such as depression, cancer-related symptoms, Type-1 diabetes, acne, insomnia, and Alzheimer’s. And CBD oil works these benefits without the mind-altering symptoms that accompany THC.
Also, according to a World Health Organization report, CBD does not produce addictive effects that are common in abused drugs. “In particular, unlike other drugs of abuse, it does not activate the mesolimbic dopamine (reward) pathway in the brain or potentiate the effect of rewarding electrical stimulation” (pg. 14). This means, those who use it won’t get addicted to it.
While the FDA approved Epidiolex, the CBD market is largely unregulated. The FDA held a public hearing May 31, 2019 about CBD, but it appears CBD oil is still not regulated. That means distributors can write what they want on the label of a CBD product.
This is a significant risk if a consumer is concerned about the purity or potency of their CBD Oil. As the Mayo Clinic said, “A recent study of 84 CBD products bought online showed that more than a quarter of the products contained less CBD than labeled. In addition, THC was found in 18 products.”
In addition to the side effects listed above, the lack of research on CBD can bring about questions as to whether the benefits of CBD oil are truly a direct causation or some other correlation. The public needs more information about this product to make a safer choice.
The Mayo Clinic suggests consulting your doctor if you plan to use CBD products.
But even if it’s helpful and legal and safe, is it okay for Christians to use?
Can Christians use CBD? What does the Bible say?
The Bible doesn’t have anything specific to say about CBD because its writers would not have encountered this. Although CBD didn’t really come into existence as its own product until 1963, the Bible might have a thing or two to say about what Christians should do when we encounter gray areas.
We should, of course, avoid abusing any substance that can affect our state of mind (Ephesians 5:18). Anything that impairs our judgment can compromise our conscience and allow for spiritually poor decisions. And, considering CBD oil is not regulated, that can allow for certain vendors to slip elements into the products (such as THC), which can affect our judgment.
But what about the FDA approved Epidiolex. Can Christians use that?
It comes down to conscience.
Paul encountered a dilemma of conscience in Rome (Romans 14). Some Christians believed eating meat sold at the temples of pagans was wrong and would allow for demonic activity to enter their lives. Others thought of the meat as an innocuous purchase and did not worry about the spiritual harm.
Although Paul recognizes neither Christian in this scenario was right or wrong about the subject, he encouraged Christians to exercise caution, especially when partaking in such meat around each other.
If a Christian at the table believed the meat carried demonic forces, Paul admonishes Christians not to eat the meat in front of them and cause them grief or put a stumbling block in front of them.
In other words, “You may believe it’s not wrong. But if someone in your company thinks it can cause them to sin or has strong convictions against it, don’t flaunt it in their presence.”
To use another example, some Christians will drink for social occasions. In moderation, alcohol has minimal effect on the body and on one’s judgment. However, if you place a wine bottle in your house in front of a guest with a history of alcoholism, you’re placing temptation before his or her eyes. Although we may not see a drink every once in a while as a sin, we cause them grief by placing it on the countertop at a social gathering with them.
The same biblical principle can apply for CBD oil. Some Christians view the use of any cannabis product as a sin, even if it does not cause any effect on one’s judgment.
Others see it as a product that can relieve pain. But if a Christian gathers with another, especially a Christian who has a history with addiction to marijuana-related products, they ought to exercise caution.
Cannabis For Christians? God’s Greenery Combines Hemp CBD With ‘Biblical Ingredients’
The industrial hemp used in the God’s Greenery product line is imported from Europe.
How do you market products that might mistakenly be associated with getting high to a group that values sober-mindedness? Michael Klein knows the first step is to arm them with knowledge.
According to separate surveys conducted in 2019, 65 percent of American adults describe themselves as Christians, and 14 percent say they use CBD. Klein, the CEO and founder of God’s Greenery, recognized the overlap and launched his company when he saw that the “underserved audience” needed a place to talk and learn about the compound in a way that aligned with a Christian worldview.
“We identified that there was this growing chatter online of Christians who were using hemp-derived CBD as part of their wellness program,” he says. “The world of CBD is so cluttered and so confusing. You have 3,000 different brands that generally think they’re talking to everyone, but of course if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.”
Michael Klein is the CEO and founder of God’s Greenery, a hemp CBD company geared to Christians.
Initially built as a community platform, God’s Greenery came online in late 2018 with an expectation that there would be some pushback from its target audience. There wasn’t. “It was more of, ‘I love CBD, now I have a place to talk about it,’” he says. “But as we continued to grow, the feedback was, ‘Great, thanks for the education, now what do I buy?’”
A Trusted Strategic Partnership
When Klein didn’t have a good answer for those who weren’t sure what to look for, he and his team decided to take the opportunity to “reward the community” by creating their own line of products. After meeting Dr. Jason Mitchell, N.D., the cofounder and co-CEO of HempFusion and a fellow man of faith, the two decided to form a strategic partnership to develop hemp-derived CBD products that Christians could trust.
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Describing HempFusion as “the most conservative hemp company, period,” Mitchell says it was his team’s regulatory portfolio and commitment to safe and high-quality product—the company imports its organic hemp from Europe, testing it and even providing batch reports online—that won Klein over. Today, HempFusion provides the raw material for the God’s Greenery product lineup.
“We’re kind of the intelligence inside the bottle for them, with their flair and formulation,” Mitchell says. “We helped to make sure that it was manufactured correctly, tested appropriately, and stable, so that when they offered a product to their consumers it was truly of value.”
So what makes the products for Christians?
The Fit & Flex capsules by God’s Greenery combine hemp-derived CBD with other ingredients like . [+] turmeric oleoresin and rosemary.
A quick browse of God’s Greenery’s online store offers a line of two varieties of capsules (one for activity and one for sleep) and a hemp oil geared to the anxiety sufferer aptly named “Oil of Gladness.” Ingredients include hemp oil and other “biblical” plants and herbs such as rosemary, grape seed extract, basil oil, flax oil, lemon balm, and chamomile.
That, and a guarantee that the products are non-intoxicating and “won’t interfere with daily living” as they contain amounts of THC that are so low, they are almost non-detectable.
CBD For Christians, Or Just Marketing?
A skeptic may look at this brand and draw the conclusion that these are just clever marketing techniques. But faith-based marketing is nothing new. Plus, there’s no denying that a certain finesse is required to address the topic of cannabis and hemp with doubtful family members and friends who may very well be convinced that both are, for lack of a better term, the devil’s lettuce.
Mitchell, himself a former doubter of the beneficial properties of cannabis and hemp, says God’s Greenery and the mission to spread the word about CBD is more about expanding the minds of “an audience that deserves to have the truth” than it is about capitalizing on a trend in the health and wellness marketplace.
“I was one of those idiots that was out there saying that anything cannabis-related should be illegal, that it was a drug, it’s a narcotic, that it was crazy and people just wanted an excuse to get high,” he admits.
When he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2011, he took it upon himself to learn about the body’s endocannabinoid system. Although he says medical cannabis was nowhere near responsible for curing his condition, it opened his mind to the reality that the compounds in the plant weren’t “just a gimmick.”
Mitchell asserts that despite years of unhealthy conditioning and stigma around cannabis, even the most conservative Americans are feeling let down by the medical community as a result of the opioid crisis, and as they look for alternatives, CBD presents itself as a safe option.
Dr. Jason Mitchell, N.D., is the cofounder and co-CEO of HempFusion. His company provides God’s . [+] Greenery with raw hemp material.
“When you look at the elders within a church and within a Christian community, they do maintain a high level of conservatism, and I think for many there’s a really good reason for that,” he says. “Being too liberal in too many areas can lead us to this wide path as opposed to the path that’s narrow.”
For Mitchell, it comes down to a matter of where the lines of that spiritual path are drawn: “If we’re going to draw the lines on facts, great; if we’re going to draw the lines on a hypothetical that was created by man to villainize something, I think we need to revisit that.”
Covid-19 And Social Currency
Klein’s solution to spreading the word about CBD, amid Covid-19 no less, is two-fold: The online platform is still used to share knowledge with curious Christians and potential consumers, while a newly implemented ambassador program enables customers to donate to different charities and earn extra cash for sharing their God’s Greenery experience with family and friends.
“I look at everything, particularly in the world of CBD, as social currency. When you discover something that you love, you want to share it with people,” Klein says. “Launching a brand during a pandemic has many challenges, but at the same time we have a lot of time in front of our screens, and the ability to earn extra income right now, in addition to giving back, is very, very appealing for people.”
While from a business standpoint both Klein and Mitchell keep their focus on CBD, Mitchell recognizes the medical benefits that THC has, too. (After all, both plants and compounds are created by God, right?) Although it might be too early for cannabis marketers to try and convey the benefits of THC to Christians in the way that God’s Greenery has with CBD, the science is already there.
“I think the more we make it controversial, the more people will hide from it,” he says. “There is a tremendous amount of research to show that THC is a widely useful cannabinoid. Plus, there are over 100 different cannabinoids, and then you go even further and realize it doesn’t stop there,” he says.