What is CBD oil?
They are two kinds of the Cannabis sativa plant: Hemp and Marijuana, both produce chemical compounds called Cannabinoids.
While hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis family, they actually come from different breeds of the Cannabis sativa plant and that’s about all they have in common. Hemp is defined as a cannabis plant that contains 0.3 percent or less THC, while marijuana is a cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3 percent THC.
It is thought that cannabinoids are responsible for protecting cannabis plants against damaging UV rays from the sun. They are also thought to protect the plants against insect grazing. The resinous nature of the cannabinoid cocktail means that it sticks in the mouths of insects who attempt to eat the plant. The terpenes and flavonoids occurring alongside cannabinoids are strong in flavour, and this also contributes to protection against insects.
Although there are many cannabinoids, we will mention only CBD.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the hemp plant. Not to be confused with the marijuana that some people smoke. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with the human body via the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. The ECS is responsible for regulating bodily functions like sleep, our immune systems, as well as mood. However, where THC produces a tell-tale ‘high’, CBD is entirely non-euphoric. This has made it a very attractive, very legal option for many looking to incorporate it into their lifestyle to balance their health and wellbeing.
How CBD works
All cannabinoids produce effects in the body by interacting with cannabinoid receptors, which form part of the endocannabinoid system.
The body produces two receptors:
CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, particularly in the brain. They co-ordinate movement, pain, emotion, mood, thinking, appetite, memories, and other functions.
CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.
THC attaches to CB1 receptors but CBD stimulates the receptors so that the body produces its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids.
CBD may benefit a person’s health in various ways.
- chronic pain
- arthritis or joint pain
- anxiety and depression
- sleep disorder
- cluster and other headaches
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- allergies or asthma
- epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- lung conditions
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
How CBD is extracted?
There are three major ways of extracting CBD from the cannabis plant: Alcohol, Oil and Supercritical CO2 extraction.
Alcohol extraction involves steeping the seeds, stems, and flower parts of the hemp plant in a high-alcohol solution, or pure alcohol. The mixture is heated, and the whole spectrum of cannabinoids is leached out of the plant material and into the liquid. This method is cheap and relatively simple.
Oil extraction works in a similar way to alcohol extraction. Plant parts rich in CBD are fully submerged in a liquid, this time an edible oil. The oil can be olive, coconut, grapeseed, or a range of others. Again, like alcohol extraction, oil extraction extracts a full spectrum of cannabinoid compounds, and is easy to do, and inexpensive.
In more recent years, a small number of companies have perfected the art of supercritical CO2 extraction of CBD. CO2 stands for carbon dioxide, a common gas in the atmosphere. CO2 is super cooled, and then used to dissolve the CBD out of the plant material. This method is costly and complicated but allows these manufacturers to produce up to 99% pure CBD.
CBD vs. Hemp Oil
Whilst they are similar in some ways, it is important to know the difference between CBD and Hemp Oil, especially as a consumer. When buying hemp or CBD products, you want to be sure you know what you’re getting, but with websites and companies using the terms interchangeably it can become confusing. Below is our easy-to-read guide, which will hopefully make things a little bit clearer.
What is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil, of course, comes from the hemp plant (a variant of the cannabis plant that doesn’t get you high) and it is typically extracted from the seeds which can contain as much as 50% of their weight in oil. Hemp oil can be made from the seed of any plant in the cannabis family however industrial hemp is the only plant used for hemp oil. For the most part these seeds are typically used for their nutritional value and the amount of psychoactive substance contained in them is minimal (typically <0.3%).
Uses of Hemp Oil
Due to its low amount of saturated fats, hemp oil has found a spot in many kitchens. It is great for cooking, full of nutrients and can add a crispy and nutty taste to foods ( It can work as a great salad dressing). It is also being used as a main ingredient in a myriad of health products, from shampoos to conditioners and soap, with producers taking advantage of its high vitamin E content. Ideal for replenishing the body and protecting it from free radicals. Additionally, hemp oil can be used as a base for different forms of plastic, instead of petroleum.
People can generally find three different types of CBD oil on the market:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil – contain a variety of cannabinoids ( incl. THC) and terpenes, flavonoids that naturally occur in hemp and cannabis.
- Broad-spectrum CBD oil – same as full spectrum CBD but without THC.
- CBD isolate – contain only CBD
The Difference between hemp oil and CBD oil?
Hemp seed oil and CBD oil both derive from the cannabis plant. CBD oil comes from the flowers, leaves, and stems, while hemp seed oil uses extract from the seeds of the cannabis plant.
Whilst CBD is emerging as a medicine with many applications and the science to back it up, hemp oil is packed full of nutrients and is making its way into the world as a great food or supplement.
As CBD is a primary cannabinoid used to help a range of minor to serious medical conditions, it is important that those seeking therapeutic products know the difference between hemp and CBD.
We always recommend checking with your doctor before starting any new supplement. This is especially important if you are taking doctor-prescribed medications.
Choose how to take a CBD
Sublingual administration is a fancy term which means holding something under your tongue. Your tongue has a lot of blood vessels, which makes it easy for things held under your tongue to be absorbed into the bloodstream. CBD oils, can all be taken by placing a few drops under the tongue and holding it there for about 90 seconds before swallowing.
Some products containing CBD are designed to be applied directly to your skin. This way the CBD does not enter the bloodstream, but rather is absorbed by the skin itself wherever it is applied. This is perfect for localised applications. Various products exist, but the most common of this type are balm and serum or bath bombs. Some companies also include it in everyday products including skincare.
Last but certainly not least, CBD can be inhaled using a vaporiser. A vaporiser will heat the CBD oil or infused E-Liquid just enough to vaporise it, avoiding the hazardous byproducts of combusting. CBD taken this way enters the bloodstream directly via the lungs. Since it doesn’t have to make its way through your stomach or liver, it enters your system much faster than by other methods, and is by far the most efficient method of consuming CBD.
Once you find your optimal CBD method and dosage, please note that it may change if you switch products. Some manufacturers are less trustworthy than others, so different CBD sources may have different effects. Always start with manufacture recommended dosage.
How do you figure out how much CBD is in a dropper?
Typically a dropper holds 1 ML of liquid. You can use this simple formula to determine how much CBD is in its dropper:
Total CBD in Bottle ÷ Number of Millilitres in Bottle = MGs of CBD in a Dropper
For example: a 30ml CBD oil that has 1800MG of CBD:
1800 ÷ 30 = 60MG of CBD per 1ml
Only compare strength between the same products, full spectrum with full spectrum or broad spectrum with broad spectrum etc.