Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of eighty-five cannabinoid compounds located in the cannabis plant also known as marijuana. Over the years, scientists and researchers alike have spent a considerable amount of time going over the possible medical uses of it. Most of the public’s knowledge falls on the best-known compound of cannabis which is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. While marijuana contains both CBD and THC, the compounds are vastly different from one another. THC causes the mind-altering high when it is either smoked or ingested, but CBD does not affect the brain that way. It is not a psychoactive drug.
The popularity of CBD products has skyrocketed in recent years. Many people are seeking an alternative and natural way to treat a variety of health issues, and problems. Or, they rather not add onto the amount of prescription drugs they are currently taking.
CBD Health Benefits
Research into the potential benefits that CBD can relieve are everyday stress and anxiety, chronic pain often associated with inflammation or auto-immune conditions like arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease, improved sleep, nausea, acne, general body aches, mild depression, and maintaining a blood glucose level.
While CBD treatment seems incredibly promising, most of these studies lack the extensive research and trialing in humans. Their study groups did not have a large enough pool of people to draw information from, or even a control group to compare results from, to see whether the users experienced a placebo effect or if they benefited from CBD. Fortunately, with the popularity of marijuana and it being legalized throughout the United States, more research is being invested into the benefits of CBD, and CBD-related products. Earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a CBD derivative in the use of treatment for those who suffer from epileptic seizures. It will only be a matter of time before more researchers and scientists embark on testing how well CBD works with the human body.
CBD Oil Hemp Growing
Marijuana farmers have selectively chosen to breed their plants to contain higher levels of THC, as well as related compounds, to give the buyer a different experience for each sort of strain is out there. Unlike marijuana farmers, hemp farmers do their best to not modify the plant, and to keep it free of outside interference. Hemp plants are the choice to extract CBD oil from, and it comes out as an oil. Once it has been extracted, it is often diluted with an oil carrier like hemp of varying concentrations.
Types of CBD Products
- CBD isolate – pure, no contaminants or THC.
- CBD e-liquids – used for vaping, can come with nicotine or THC
- CBD concentrate – placed under tongue, highly concentrated, no flavor
- CBD supplement – taken like a daily vitamin
- CBD tinctures – often flavored, dripped onto tongue like the concentrate
- CBD topicals – applied directly to the skin like lotions, or lip balm
- CBD edibles – released slowly over time due to digestion, discreet, easy to dose
- CBD wax – mostly used for dabbing, highly concentrated.
CBD Without THC
Some CBD oils do end up having trace amounts of THC, which is important to consider for those who are frequently drug tested at their job, if they operate heavy machinery, or for other relate. Products that qualify as a legal hemp product must fall under a .03% THC threshold. A reputable seller, or even a company, will offer products that follow this guideline. Purchasing CBD, or even an edible, with anything less than that percentage will not alter the user’s mind, nor will they fail drug tests. When it is below this number, it falls in line with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Chemical Free CBD
The hemp plant is like a sponge when it comes to holding in both the good and bad from air, water, and the soil it grows in. Meaning, hemp has the capability to accumulate harmful pollutants like pesticides, herbicides, or even heavy metals. Farmers have incorporated pesticides and herbicides in their daily routine to protect their crops from disease, insects, and even fungi. Herbicides are used to control weeds so their crop is not suffocated. These chemicals can harm us just as much as they harm the pests they are trying to keep away.
There are numerous cancers linked to the exposure of pesticide and herbicide use after extensive research. Of course, this is the last thing that anyone wants to have in their product, so it is especially important to know where the plant comes from, what farm, and whether it is organically grown or not.
As mentioned before, when CBD is extracted from hemp, it is often mixed in with another oil to dilute it. Shady companies do their best to get as much money as possible by deceiving their customers into thinking they are receiving more product for less, which means they will dilute it so there is little to no CBD present. When buying, the concentration level of CBD is important to remember to make sure you are getting exactly what you are paying for. Quality CBD products contain somewhere between 250mg, and 1,000mg CBD per fluid ounce. A 4 ounce bottle containing 250mg of CBD has 62.5mg of CBD an ounce, which is not anywhere near enough to experience the full benefits.
When in doubt, use the formula to determine on what to purchase. It should be: total CBD in milligrams, divided by the number of ounces in the item. The resulting number will give you what sort of concentration level is in the product.
The cheap extraction method to get CBD from hemp is to use harsh solvents, but there are often leftover chemicals following the extraction process that can make you sick. A safer, highly recommend alterative is to use a CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction is a method of using high pressure, and low temperatures on the plant, where it is then able to pull as much CBD possible without introducing even more chemicals to the mix. Once the CO2 pressure is shut off, it evaporates and leaves little to no trace of extraction. This makes the product higher quality free of butane, propane, and ethanol. CO2 is used by many other companies who produce dietary supplements, as well as foods.
As it stands currently, CBD is part of an unregulated industry, which makes the quality of the oil vary with each separate company. Anyone is capable of starting up their own company to sell CBD products, to put misleading information on their products’ labels, and then sell it to unsuspecting consumers for easy money. This makes it especially important for the consumer to do extra research off to the side. The first step is to locate a company that is completely transparent in everything they do, and who also has a valid telephone number you can call. If it is difficult to get a hold of the company you wish to purchase from, then that should be a warning sign that the company is not legitimate. It is critical that CBD is sourced from farms in the United States, as well as organically grown, because other countries do not have nearly as many requirements to produce a safe product for consumption.
Types of CBD Storage
- Dependent on what the carrier oil is, most times stored like olive or coconut oil
- Dark and dry pantries in an upright position away from extreme temperatures
Storing CBD items properly will increase its shelf life.
Finding The Right CBD Manufacturer
Ensure that the product is being tested by laboratories that have no connection to the company you are purchasing from. Accredited laboratories will always test their CBD to ensure there are no harsh pesticides or herbicides, residual harmful chemicals from the extraction process, bacteria and fungus from the growth stage, foreign matter and heavy metals. Some states do a better job of testing products than others, specifically those states who have legalized both the recreational and medical use of cannabis. Others, like those who only have medical cannabis laws, also require some form of testing.
High Quality vs Low Quality CBD
As true with any other product, the higher the quality, the higher the cost will be. The benefit of paying more is that you will know where the CBD came from, what sort of tests the product went through, and that the company is following laws and rules put into place by enforcement agencies. If a company, or even a seller, is making too good to be true claim about how well a CBD product works, it is infringes upon the guidelines set forth in the 1994 Dietary Health and Education Act set forth by the Food and Drug Administration.
3 Types of CBD
- Raw – not processed, not filtered
- Decarboxylated – higher potency of CBD
- Filtered – referred to as “gold” by companies. Heavily filtered for purity, high quality.
Is CBD Is Safe?
CBD can have side effects that are rare, but is overall well-tolerated by most of the population. Taking too much can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, dry mouth or even depression. It can interfere with medication, so it is always important to discuss with your doctor if you plan on taking something that contains CBD, or any of its related products.