What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant. There are two strains of cannabis plants – the marijuana plant and the hemp plant. The former has a higher amount of THC and not as much CBD, while the latter has higher CBD content and less THC.
CBD is not psychoactive like THC. It won’t get you high or alter your state of consciousness in any way. When you’re consuming CBD oil, you don’t have to worry about carrying on with your daily routine as usual.
Are there any proven benefits of CBD?
So far, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved CBD in treating two severe forms of epilepsy. No other CBD uses – whether as medication or as a dietary supplement – have been FDA approved.
However, other potential benefits are under evaluation by the scientific community. Countless personal accounts of patients suffering from a wide range of chronic diseases testify how they rely on CBD to alleviate their symptoms. According to a study done by a renowned Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research firm, 62% of CBD users are taking CBD oil to help maintain joint and muscle health, manage stress and support a positive mood.
You don’t need to have a medical condition to take CBD. Even completely healthy individuals enjoy CBD products since they feel it upholds the natural balance of their bodies and helps them face daily stresses. We are eagerly awaiting more scientific data on the extent of the effects of CBD on the human body.
Types of CBD Oil
CBD oil is also known as ‘hemp oil’ or ‘hemp extract.’ It is not to be confused with hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is a cooking oil that contains no cannabinoids. It is a nutritious oil that you can use as a salad dressing, but if you wish to try CBD, then it is not the ideal choice.
CBD oil is extracted from industrial hemp plant flowers (without traces of seeds, leaves, stalks, or other parts of the plant). The best method of extraction for CBD is CO2 extraction, which you should look for when buying CBD oil products. CO2 extraction is non-toxic, doesn’t leave behind solvent residue, and only extracts the cannabinoids and other useful substances, such as terpenes and flavonoids.
There are three types of CBD oil on the market:
Full-spectrum CBD oil contains cannabinoids, terpenes and proteins, fatty acids, fiber, flavonoids, and other compounds. Cannabinoids found here (aside from CBD) are cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and dozens more. Yes, you read that right – the full-spectrum CBD oil contains THC, but less than 0.3% of it, which is not enough to get you high.
The reason full-spectrum CBD is popular is that it exhibits what is called an entourage effect. The entourage effect means that the cannabinoids and terpenes in the oil work together to enhance each other’s effect. The CBD taken in combination with other cannabinoids and terpenes will have a stronger effect than pure CBD taken by itself.
Because of the entourage effect, you may feel high even though the oil contains trace amounts of THC. If this is of concern to you, you can choose a broad-spectrum CBD oil instead.
Broad-spectrum CBD is almost the same as the full spectrum, but it doesn’t contain any THC. It still has all the other potentially beneficial ingredients, and it also exhibits the entourage effect, but it holds no potential of altering your consciousness.
CBD isolate is precisely what it says it is – pure CBD without any other cannabinoids or compounds included. CBD by itself won’t cause an entourage effect. If you want more potent results, you will have to go for one of the two types of oil outlined above.
Types of CBD Products
Once you choose the oil type you feel would be the best for you, it is time to decide on the most suitable form of that oil. CBD can be taken in many different ways, depending on what you’re hoping to achieve with it, how fast you need it to take effect, and what you’re comfortable with.
One of the easiest ways to consume CBD is by mouth. You can look for CBD drinks and foods infused with CBD, CBD capsules and soft gels, and other similar products that you swallow. When you feel like taking your daily CBD, simply help yourself to a drink, and you’re good to go.
When ingested this way, CBD takes up to four hours to bind to its target receptors in the body. The onset of its effects is slow, but they last for a more extended period of time, which is why chronic patients prefer CBD edibles.
If you are savvy in the kitchen, you can even add CBD oil to your favorite recipes! If you’re on a special diet, watch out for the ingredient lists of these CBD products. Some products may contain sugar or animal products, which aren’t suitable for those following a vegan diet.
Topical CBD use means applying CBD on the skin. For this purpose, you can choose from CBD creams, ointments, balms, and a variety of other skin-friendly products. (Our upcoming salves and CBD face masks also fall under this category!) When used this way, CBD passes through the skin barrier in low quantities and doesn’t exhibit many (if any) effects in the body. Instead, it affects the local area, and many use it for local pain or skin irritations (even though we’re still unsure of the extent of CBD’s benefits in these cases).
Before you topically apply CBD, it would be best to perform a patch test to ensure you won’t have an adverse reaction to any ingredients in the product. Take a small dab of the formula and apply it on the inside of your forearm. If there is no redness, swelling, or itchiness in the next 48 hours, you’re not sensitive to any of the product’s ingredients.
Vaping or smoking CBD
Inhaling CBD might be a good option for those who are already smoking or vaping. The onset time here is only a handful of minutes since CBD gets rapidly absorbed through the alveolar (lung) membranes straight into the bloodstream. If you want quick effects, then smoking or vaping CBD is the fastest delivery method.
Smoking CBD is a bit tricky, however. You either need a water pipe and a CBD oil concentrate, or you need to learn how to roll a joint from hemp flowers. If you want to smoke a joint, beware that hemp flowers contain some amount of THC that will likely make you feel intoxicated.
Alternatively, CBD vaping is incredibly popular. To do this, you will need a vape pen or a vape kit and CBD vape oil. Learning how to navigate a vaping device is easy, and vaping is safer for the throat than smoking.
How to Choose the
Right CBD Product
What form of CBD you will take is entirely up to you. Consider the different onset times and what method would be most convenient for you. Many love taking CBD edibles, but you might want the faster onset time of a CBD tincture. Others are passionate about vaping CBD, while for those who are suffering from a lung condition, this isn’t a valid option.
Aside from thinking about the type of CBD oil you’d like and the best type of CBD product, there are a few other things to pay attention to in the process of buying CBD.
Organic farming is the type of farming that encourages the cycling of resources, preserves biodiversity, and promotes the ecological balance of the soil. Organic produce is usually not treated with pesticides or food additives and is a practice focused on the natural qualities of the earth. Hemp plants that are organically grown contain no pesticides or other harmful chemicals and are harvested sustainably.
Additionally, look for CBD harvested from local, US hemp farms. These plants are regulated by the US Department of Agriculture and are less likely to cause any problems due to poor farming practices.
Because CBD is not controlled or tested by the FDA, all CBD products you’re looking at should be examined by third-party labs. These lab reports will verify whether the product packaging actually contains what it says it does on the label. A test from a third-party lab could also ensure that the CBD product doesn’t contain any heavy metals, toxic residues, or mycotoxins.
Don’t even consider buying products that don’t have a certificate of analysis or whose brands are vague about the tests they perform on their products. Safety first!
Traceable chain of custody
A chain of custody is essentially a paper trail (or a digital paper trail, in this day and age). It includes every single person or organization that was involved in the process of creating a product, from cultivating the plants to packaging the CBD oil. An easily traceable chain of custody means that you can easily see who or what handled your product and for what purpose before it reached you.
In case anything is wrong with the product, it will make it easy for you and the brand itself to figure out at exactly what point in the CBD production the issue occurred.
As you can see, a lot goes into deciding what CBD oil product is the most suitable for you. We hope that this beginner’s guide to CBD taught you new things and helped you narrow down your choices.
Remember to choose whether you want a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolated CBD first. Then consider the form of CBD you wish to take: whether by mouth or under your tongue, by inhaling or applying it to the skin. Finally, make sure that you’re looking at high-quality CBD products from US-grown organic hemp that have been tested by a third-party lab.
The brand you’re considering should be transparent about its products and the benefits of CBD. Aside from those used in the treatment of two specific epilepsy syndromes, positive CBD effects have yet to be confirmed by science. CBD does not prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. It might help with your symptoms and restore harmony to your body, but it also works differently on different people – there are no universal CBD effects that will work on everyone. Any brand that claims the opposite is not being genuine.
If you’re ready to take your first CBD steps, why not check out our line to determine which CBD product would be ideal for you? In just a few clicks, you will already have a CBD product you’ll love to use. It doesn’t get any easier than that!