For millennia, cannabis has been used for spiritual and medicinal purposes. Ancient cultures would manually separate the resin from marijuana buds and concoct unique forms to treat a wide range of medical ailments. Fast forward to today and the modern cannabis consumer has a cornucopia of marijuana-infused products to choose from.
One of the cannabis market’s most in-demand products is CBD oil, an extracted liquid containing one of marijuana’s most common and non-intoxicating compounds, cannabidiol (CBD). Due to CBD’s ever-growing popularity, first-time consumers are left wondering what exactly is CBD, how it’s made, and how to take it. Here’s everything you need to know about CBD oil.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of two major cannabinoid compounds found in marijuana. The cannabis plant is composed of hundreds of potentially therapeutic compounds including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more. Two of the most abundant compounds in cannabis products are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. THC consumption is known to elicit hallucinatory effects, increased sensory perception, and other effects associated with a “high.”
CBD oil is an extracted liquid containing one of marijuana’s most common and non-intoxicating compounds, cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD, however, doesn’t produce the same psychoactive effects as THC. Instead, CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that acts on similar signaling systems in the body, but via different mechanisms of action, some of which are still being researched. CBD has been shown to have numerous medicinal benefits, although the compound is regulated differently in every state.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a popular CBD-rich product that can be made from marijuana or hemp for that matter. CBD-rich products include topicals, smokeable flower buds, edibles, concentrates, suppositories, transdermal patches, vape oils, and so much more. CBD oil contains a concentrated amount of CBD diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil.
Concentrations and cannabinoid variety vary in CBD oils. Some may only contain CBD, while others may contain a mix of THC and CBD for a balanced effect. CBD oil itself can be infused into a variety of edibles or topicals or be added into a vape cartridge with additives for easy consumption. CBD oils can also be used as tinctures for oral or sublingual delivery.
What Is the Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?
CBD oil can be derived from two different sources: marijuana and hemp. Marijuana and hemp belong to the same Cannabis sativa plant species. The difference between the two plants lies in their morphology and chemical composition. Hemp plants are longer and thinner compared to shorter and wider marijuana plants.
In addition, hemp plants produce a trace amount of THC compared to marijuana plants, which are traditionally grown to have the highest possible THC potency, reaching up to 30 percent or higher. Some marijuana plants have a more balanced ratio of CBD and THC. Under Federal Law, hemp-derived CBD products must contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Many studies, however, have suggested that CBD and THC interaction could improve some medicinal benefits.
CBD oil contains at least trace amounts of THC.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil?
Medical and recreational consumers choose CBD oil for many reasons including its non-intoxicating effects. CBD oil is also a convenient and discreet delivery method that can be taken nearly anywhere and at any time without the smell and smoke. CBD oil can also provide fast-acting relief by dropping a few drops under the tongue and leaving the CBD oil there for up to 90 seconds.
Besides the convenience of taking CBD oil, consumers choose CBD oil for a variety of health reasons. Scientific studies are making it increasingly clear that CBD, and other marijuana cannabinoids, are effective at treating everything from chronic pain to anxiety. CBD oil has been shown to provide numerous health benefits including:
CBD Oil for Pain
Cannabis has been used as an analgesic for centuries. Studies have confirmed that CBD can modulate the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates functions including sleep, pain, and appetite. Studies have shown CBD to be an effective pain-reliever for chemotherapy, arthritis, chronic pain, MS pain, muscle pain, and spinal cord injuries. CBD oil for pain is now a popular option for many consumers looking for alternative treatment forms.
CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression
Studies have shown that CBD can have notable effects on the symptoms of anxiety and depression. One Brazilian study found that a 300mg dose of CBD significantly reduced social anxiety before a simulated public speaking event. Animal studies show that CBD reduces stress and heart rate, as well as improves insomnia associated with anxiety.
CBD Oil for Cancer
CBD may be able to reduce cancer symptoms and help patients adhere to chemotherapy treatments. CBD can relieve cancer-related side effects such as anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and pain. Some studies have even shown that CBD inhibited the growth of cancer cells and induced cell death in cancer cells only. More research is needed to confirm CBD’s effectiveness on cancer.
CBD Oil for Acne
Acne can be caused by genetics, bacteria, and inflammation under the skin’s sebaceous glands. CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects work to not only reduce the swelling, but also decrease sebum production, which causes the blemishes.
CBD Oil for Neurological Disorders
CBD has shown tremendous promise for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. Neurological disorders lead to nerve and brain damage, but CBD has proven in animal studies to decrease inflammation and cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. CBD has been particularly effective at treating symptoms related to epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
CBD Oil for Heart Health
Poor cardiovascular health can lead to stroke, heart attack, or metabolic syndrome. CBD has been shown to effectively reduce blood pressure. Experts believe CBD’s relaxing and stress-relieving properties help manage blood pressure spikes.
How Is CBD Oil Made?
If you’re wondering how to make CBD oil, there are a few ways to extract the compound from the plant. CBD oil can either be made from dried marijuana or hemp flower buds. The starting material must undergo a closed-loop solvent-based extraction process to separate the cannabis resin from the organic plant matter. Extraction companies use a variety of solvents including the two most popular solvents, butane and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Both extracts produce a final CBD oil product through a similar process. The solvent is pushed through a column filled to the brim with cannabis. The solvent is able to dissolve the trichomes found on cannabis flowers, leaves, and stems. CO2 and butane produce varying CBD oil potency and flavors. Butane hash oil (BHO) extracts rich in CBD are then infused into a carrier oil to increase absorption in the body.
How to Buy CBD Oil
CBD oil comes in many different shapes, sizes, and flavors. For the truest representation of a strain’s original chemical profile, consumers should opt for full-spectrum CBD oil over a CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains the complete range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in the marijuana or hemp plant. Researchers believe a synergistic interaction between compounds results in more effective medicinal benefits.
Below are a few helpful tips for finding the right CBD oil for a specific medicinal purpose:
- Consider the oil’s CBD and THC potency. Consumers should look for hemp-derived CBD for no-THC oil and marijuana-derived CBD oil for a ratio of THC and CBD. Marijuana-derived CBD oil is only available in states with cannabis access laws.
- Buy American-grown hemp, especially from states with strong hemp programs including Colorado, Oregon, and Kentucky. CBD oil bought from overseas producers often lack the appropriate testing to ensure purity and potency.
- Look for test results or a certificate of analysis from a third-party cannabis laboratory to ensure confirm the oil’s cannabinoid content. Lab testing also tests for residual solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals.
How to Use CBD Oil
CBD oil comes in varying concentrations. CBD effects can depend on genetic and environmental factors including a person’s metabolism, CBD oil dose, and the medical condition being treated. Consumers should always consult a doctor before incorporating CBD oil into their health care routine.
Health experts recommend users start off with the lowest dose possible and gradually increase the dosage to achieve the desired effects. For example, a user can start off with 20mg of CBD oil a day. After a week, the user can have a better expectation and feel of the effects and increase by 5mg the following week if needed.
CBD oil makes dosing simple and convenient. CBD oil bottles usually come with a dropper that can administer single drops, each a consistent dose of CBD. A single drop is about 0.5 mL. A 10-mL bottle that contains 200 drops and 1,000 mg of CBD will contain about 5 mg per drop.
While CBD oil is generally considered safe, some users may experience some mild CBD oil side effects include dizziness, appetite changes, fatigue, depression, and low blood pressure. More research is needed to determine how to maximize the effectiveness of CBD and minimize the adverse side effects, which are considered rare.
CBD oil is an increasingly popular cannabis product that has reached mainstream success. Its non-intoxicating effects and increased prevalence in major drug stores and health shops have made CBD oil a staple in health-conscious consumers’ repertoire. While more research is needed on the effects of CBD oil, all signs are showing the positive health benefits of CBD oil for a plethora of medical conditions.