With 500-plus products able to be made from hemp plants, medical researchers may be only beginning to discover its health benefit applications. However, innovative leaders of one Nashville company, LabCanna, are matching those discoveries with new product creations to provide therapeutic respite from a variety of health conditions and chronic illnesses.
LabCanna officially started in January 2016 after co-founders Joshua Camp and Ian Leadon participated in Tennessee’s Industrial Hemp Research Program under the federal 2014 Farm Bill. A few months later, Ian met Matt Chapman. Because the two instantly connected over the potential behind this medicinal plant, Matt is now LabCanna chief operating officer and partner.
In April 2016, LabCanna was awarded Tennessee’s first-ever hemp processing license, and its owners recently opened a retail store in Nashville located at 1006 Gallatin Ave.
Hemp is one of the oldest U.S. domesticated crops and is used in hundreds of eco-friendly products, including clothing, building materials, renewable plastics, food and fuel.
Joshua says their products work through a healing ingredient called cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD. LabCanna manufactures a range of products, from pure CBD isolate to full lines of tinctures, topicals and edible products. By manufacturing products with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that are under the legal limit of 0.3 percent THC, Josh says there are no psychoactive effects from consuming the products.
Current studies show CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant qualities.
Medical and scientific results indicate CBD also is used successfully as seizure treatments, cancer fighter, tumor preventative, sleep aid, neuro-protectant and cognitive enhancer.
“Additionally, CBD supports healthy heart function, vascular health and gastrointestinal health,” Joshua says.
Joshua says the LabCanna teams use both a closed-loop, super-critical carbon dioxide extraction process that creates phase changes from very cold temperatures and high pressure and a cryogenic ethanol extraction process to remove desired components from the plant. Next, a winterization process removes fats and lipids; then all residual solvents are removed. Finally, a complex distillation process is used to isolate individual compounds, such as CBD.
“Not only are our products safe, but they can also be taken by kids and animals. Our bodies are designed with two types of receptors for compounds such as CBD. That means you cannot overdose on CBD, and only small amounts are needed to experience the benefits,” Joshua says.
Most people report that between 20 milligrams and 60 milligrams of CBD per day are effective, he says, while anxiety or chronic pain consumers usually would need more.
“CBD has roughly a nine-hour half-life in the body, so the initial recommendation is to take it only twice per day,” Joshua says.
In the spring of 2017, a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found CBD reduced the number of convulsive seizures in children with Dravet syndrome, a severe and often fatal form of epilepsy.
Furthermore, the Epilepsy Foundation states that “some people living with uncontrolled seizures have reported beneficial effects and reduced seizure activity when using medical cannabis, especially strains rich in CBD, or CBD.”
LabCanna offers products for humans and pets in the forms of capsules, supplements, pain creams, salves, foods, tinctures, gummies and skin care products.
Joshua says the predominant inquiries they receive are about inflammation, children with epilepsy, Crohn’s disease and multiple scoliosis.
He says they recently opened one of the best processing facilities, which will enable international partnerships.
“To have helped so many people in such a short time and realized this level of growth is nothing short of a genuine blessing. I don’t go a day without recognizing this path is my God-given mission in life,” he says.