CBD isn’t just a cannabis product anymore. Here’s a quick look at lichen CBD, an alternative to the more popular cannabis-based CBD products.
- 99.7% pure CBD extracted from lichen
- 100% THC free
- Molecular structure is identical to cannabis-based CBD
- The same medicinal effects as cannabis-based CBD
- Lack of THC and cannabis origin means it is legal
- Can be obtained over the counter without a prescription
What is CBD?
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a naturally-occurring compound found in many sources. It is most popularly known as one of the over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, extracted as CBD oil from either marijuana or hemp. The compound can be used as a treatment for several medical conditions, including epileptic seizures, inflammation, pain, and even cancer.
CBD does not have psychoactive effects, even when cannabis-based, unlike THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is sought after by recreational cannabis users for that “high” feeling. However, cannabis-based CBD, whether sourced from hemp or marijuana, does include traces of THC, given the difficulty in isolating the compound from the many other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
Such THC content, no matter how small, tends to discourage some from accepting CBD as a medical treatment. Despite the increasing acceptance of cannabis, it remains a controlled substance in most countries. Even though Australia legalised cannabis for medical use in 2016, cannabis-based CBD can only be obtained with prescriptions, and only after jumping through some major, bureaucratic hurdles.
An alternative source of CBD is lichen. Lichen CBD has a molecular structure that is identical to cannabis-based CBD. In fact, lichen CBD is purer than cannabis-based CBD, given the lack of the many other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant that have to be eliminated in order to isolate cannabis-based CBD.
The noteworthy difference between lichen CBD and cannabis-based CBD is the lack of THC. Alternatives to cannabis-based CBD, such as Lichen CBD, are 100% THC-free, making them legal therapeutics that can be obtained over the counter, without a prescription.
How does Lichen CBD fit in with Livervort, Perrottetinene, and other non-cannabis derived products?
Lichens are essentially two organisms in one. They are a combination of a fungus and a cyanobacterium or alga, or sometimes even both of those in a symbiotic relationship with the fungus. You’ve seen them before, probably in your backyard or on a tree, growing in some shaded, damp area in a garden or soil or even on concrete walls.
Liverworts grow in the same condition and places as lichens, and look quite similar. Not only do they look similar and grow in similar areas under similar conditions, but they both produce cannabis-like compounds.
While lichen contains CBD, liverworts contain perrottetinene, a compound that’s related and very similar to THC. According to research, perrottetinene, like THC, is a psychoactive substance that also has medicinal benefits, thanks to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, the substance is already being sold and purchased as a legal high.
The legal aspects of non-cannabis substances such as lichen CBD, liverwort perrottetinene, and citrus CBD are what make them such valuable alternatives to cannabis-based CBD and THC. These non-cannabis sources aren’t illegal, and so the extracted compounds, though similar and as effective as those found in cannabis (if not more effective) can be purchased and used without any fear of law enforcement.
These alternative substances are not popular everywhere, but they are in some areas. In the United States, lichen CBD is already very popular. There, a company called Grön Chocolates specialises in several lichen-based CBD products. Liverwort perrottetinene and citrus CBD are also quite popular in some areas around the world.
What does the science say about the efficacy of Lichen CBD?
Lichen, as a CBD source, is quite new. As a result, scientific studies concentrating on lichen CBD in particular are a bit scarce. However, the molecular structure of the CBD extracted from lichen is identical to cannabis-based CBD, and so the science regarding the efficacy of hemp and marijuana-based CBD applies to lichen CBD.
When compared to over-the-counter and prescription products, CBD has proven more effective most of the time.
Further, hemp-based and marijuana-based CBD contain traces of THC; lichen CBD, on the other hand, is completely free of THC. This is beneficial to those who seek CBD products but want to avoid THC, as well as to scientists who need a pure form CBD for studies into the effects of the compound, in general.
How much does lichen CBD cost?
Cannabis compounds are generally hard to source. Cannabis plants must be cultivated under the best conditions, harvested properly, and their compounds must be extracted through ideal processes with the ideal equipment, after which the extracted compounds’ percentages are still likely to vary. Add to that the fact that the crop and its products are highly regulated, even where legal, and the result is a lengthy process with pretty high price tags.
Lichen CBD, on the other hand, is sourced from lichen -- a readily available organism. The extraction process simply involves a mixture of lichen and, perhaps, citrus by-products such as lemon peels, put under high heat and high pressure for a particular length of time. That’s all that’s needed to isolate the CBD from lichen. This, of course, demands less resources, which in turn leads to cheaper CBD.
In the United States, for example, the FDA have approved only one cannabis-based CBD product called Epidiolex, which can only be obtained on prescription. Annual dosage of Epidiolex costs a ridiculous US$32,000. That’s around US$96 per daily dosage. However, alternative CBD sources could cost as low as a third of that, even lower in some cases.
Is Lichen CBD legal in Australia?
Unlike cannabis-based CBD, lichen CBD is legal in Australia. To obtain cannabis-based CBD products in Australia, you’d need to obtain a prescription and go through a lengthy, bureaucratic process before getting your hands on the product -- IF you get approved. In fact, 2 years after Australia legalised medical cannabis products, only 500 CBD prescriptions had been approved.
Cannabis-based CBD products are regulated because of their source -- Cannabis. They generally contain some THC even though they are CBD products, causing them to be illegal for recreational use. Even hemp oil can only be imported into Australia without approval if its CBD content is 0.0075 percent or less, and THC content is 0.005 percent or less.
Lichen, on the other hand, has no THC -- the highly regulated substance found in cannabis-based products. As a result, lichen CBD can be purchased over the counter and without a prescription.
Final words -- A new Lichen CBD trend?
Lichen CBD is relatively new, and so whether or not lichen CBD will catch on as a new, global trend is yet to be determined. However, lichen CBD has all the makings of the cannabis-based CBD alternative that opponents and proponents alike could welcome. The CBD source is 100 percent THC-free, meaning no psychoactive effects of any kind. It is pure CBD that requires less resources to extract, meaning it’s also cheaper than cannabis-based CBD products. Further, it’s not illegal for any use -- be it medical or recreational -- and can be purchased over the counter, without any prescription.
That being said, with any growing popularity of any CBD products will come some governmental scrutiny. The CBD market is a huge one -- estimated to grow to 2.3Bn by 2025. This means a lot of players will rush into the market by any means, which could result in some bad apples making outrageous claims of CBD effects, as well as introducing some bogus CBD products. With that possibility, lichen CBD and other alternative CBD products might attract some governmental regulation at some point. However, no such regulation can be expected to reach the levels of cannabis-based products, given the lack of THC here. For now, though, lichen CBD is legal for you to try without any bureaucratic hassles.