2021 HME Business Handbook: Pain Management
Developing a Better Understanding of Cannabinoids
CBD has become a blanket descriptor for a range of chemical compounds that HME providers and DME pharmacies should more closely comprehend in order to help their clients.
- By Nick DiFrancesco
- Jun 01, 2021
As the public’s acceptance
of cannabis products
continue to grow, a growing
number of consumers have been
looking to CBD (cannabidiol)
and hemp products in hopes
of alleviating pain and
inflammation, anxiety, and
However, “CBD” has become a
blanket term for therapeutic hemp
products and that CBD is just one
of the currently 160+ identified
potentially therapeutic cannabinoids.
Other cannabinoids that
have been identified with therapeutic
Like CBD, CBN is nonpsychoactive,
meaning that it does
not elicit a “high.” CBN can be
used effectively as a sleep aid or
sedative. This cannabinoid has
also been shown to help regulate
the immune system and works to
relieve the pain and inflammation
caused by several conditions.
CBG works to fight inflammation,
pain, nausea and may work
to slow the proliferation of cancer
cells. Research has shown it also
significantly reduces intraocular
eye pressure caused by glaucoma.
Delta-8 THC is a federally legal
form of THC that naturally occurs
in both hemp and marijuana
plants. Like other cannabinoids,
Delta-8 THC can be synthesized.
Users report that Delta-8 THC
is one-half to three-quarters as
psychoactive as Delta-9 THC.
As these cannabinoids gain popularity,
both the legality and safety of these
products should be of utmost importance
to the HME provider selling them.
As for legality, it can be confusing.
The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill states that hemp
cannabis and cannabinoid products
are federally legal provided that these
products contain no more than 0.3
percent Delta-9 THC by weight and that
these products are 100 percent industrial
hemp-derived, not synthesized. Per the
2018 U.S. Farm Bill, all hemp-derived
cannabinoid products and cannabinoids
such as CBD, CBN, CBD, CBG, Delta-8
THC, etc., are federally legal as long
as these products do not exceed 0.3
percent Delta-9 THC by weight.
It is much cheaper and much easier
to produce synthetic molecules such
as CBD, CBN, CBG, and Delta-8 THC.
This, in turn, leads to greater profit, and
many cannabis companies offer these
man-made, less-expensive, and federally
Remember, cannabinoids are molecules
found in plants. In nature, these
molecules vary from plant to plant and
harvest to harvest. It is much more costly
and much less efficient for a manufacturer
to derive these nutrients or cannabinoids
from natural plant sources than it
is to synthetically manufacture them.
Unlike synthetic nutrients, synthetic
cannabinoid products are currently
federally illegal as these cannabinoids
are not derived from industrial hemp
per the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill. Reputable
cannabis companies providing therapeutic
products are well aware of this
regulation and will always offer 100
percent hemp-derived cannabinoids.
This brings us to safety. Hemp
cannabis products are commonly available
in topical lotions and salves, oral
tinctures and gummies, concentrates, or
the hemp flower itself via inhalation. With
so many delivery systems, it is imperative
to ensure a “clean” and safe product.
Ensure the manufacturer fully discloses
all ingredients and all manufacturing
and extraction processes. Choose
hemp products from companies that
proactively provide independent third
party certificates of analysis (COA) from
reputable labs that provide the following
- Total Cannabinoids
This ensures the
final product contains cannabinoid(s)
labeled in the amounts they are labeled
at. Also, this states that the product
does not exceed 0.3 percent Delta-9
THC by weight.
- Pesticides and Herbicides
states the product does not contain
potentially toxic synthetic pesticides,
herbicides, and residuals.
- Heavy Metals
States that the product
does not exceed acceptable levels of
lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury.
- Residual Solvents
The product does
not contain potentially toxic residual
solvents such as butane or hexane.
The absence of molds,
yeasts, and fungus in the product.
Also, providers should always choose
reputable cannabis brands that proactively
provide all certificates of analysis
and regulatory certifications.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
- CBD has become a catch-all
acronym for a variety of therapeutic
cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN
and Delta-8 THC.
- The legality and safety of these
products should be of utmost
importance to the HME provider
- Reputable manufacturers should
fully discloses all ingredients as well
as all manufacturing and extraction
- They should also provide independent
of analysis (COA) and a variety of
elements providing the product
is safe, clean and contains what it
To read more news and features about
pain management, visit hme-business.com/pain. To learn about PūrWell’s
formulations for the healthcare
marketplace, visit purwell.com.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of HME Business.
Nick DiFrancesco is founder and Chief Executive Officer of PūrWell (www.purwellc.om), which markets exclusively to healthcare providers, physicians, and independent pharmacies. PūrWell's proprietary formulations are crafted specifically to meet the needs of the healthcare marketplace, offering a range of strengths and applications for seamless customized treatment. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.