What is CBD Oil and how is it made?
CBD oil, sometimes called CBD tincture, represents one of the most simplistic and versatile hemp products available on the market. Typically, CBD and other desired cannabinoids are extracted from the hemp plant and combined with a carrier oil to create this popular tincture. The extraction process used determines the quality of CBD oil. A few extraction methods are currently used to generate a majority of the products on the market:
CO2 extraction – Perhaps the most popular mode of extraction among trusted CBD companies, the CO2 extraction process involves passing pressurized, liquid CO2 through the hemp plant to separate the desired cannabinoids. Once completed, the CO2 can be recycled and used again for future extractions.
Vegetable oil – The process of separating cannabinoids through vegetable or olive oil is not as ideal for large scale operations, but it creates a clean extract. These oils need to be stored in a cool, dark place for preservation and used within a certain time frame for effectiveness.
Chemical solvents – Butane, alcohol and other chemical solvents can extract CBD and other desired cannabinoids from the hemp plant. However, this process can lead to unwanted residuals in the sample, which can potentially be harmful.
After extraction, the CBD is mixed with a carrier oil like MCT, hemp seed, avocado, grapeseed or olive oil to boost absorption.
Some oils are enhanced with natural ingredients like turmeric or melatonin to deliver additional benefits and support.
What is the difference between CBD hemp oil and marijuana CBD?
CBD from industrial hemp has little to no THC – the compound in marijuana responsible for intoxication. Generally, hemp plants contain less than 0.3 percent THC and are federally legal. On the other hand, marijuana plants contain up to 30 percent THC and vary on legality by state, but remain federally illegal. Marijuana CBD may also cause a “high” depending on its THC contents, whereas hemp-derived CBD oil does not cause any psychoactive effects. CBD does not have psychoactive characteristics, which explains the shift in its legal status over the last few years.
How to use CBD oil
A quality CBD oil gives you the freedom to make CBD-infused drinks, recipes and topicals. CBD tinctures are taken sublingually, or under the tongue. Place your desired serving under your tongue and hold it there for a minute before swallowing. The tissues absorb the CBD more quickly into your bloodstream for faster results. You can also use CBD in creative ways:
- Recipes (smoothies, acai bowls, salad dressings, avocado toast)
- CBD oil massages
- Skin creams & face serums (dab a drop of CBD oil on blemishes for quick resolution)
There’s no limit to the possibilities for CBD oil in daily life. Recipes online contain supplemental ingredients that provide complementary wellness benefits.
How much CBD oil should I take?
You may experience the effects of CBD differently depending on your age, weight, metabolism and severity of symptoms. A general rule of thumb is to start small and gradually adjust your serving size to meet your needs. 10 to 15 milligrams mark a typical starting amount for beginners. Because CBD oil encourages relaxation and enhances natural sleep, you may want to take it at home to see how it affects you.
What should you look for when shopping for CBD?
The CBD industry is flooding with new companies every day, but without regulation from the FDA, it can be challenging to know who to trust. Industry standards set by the top CBD brands and manufacturers give consumers a guideline when it comes to buying safe and high-quality products. When shopping for a CBD product, look for a few things:
Sourcing – A company should know where its CBD is grown. Currently, most CBD comes from Kentucky, Colorado or California, as well as some Eastern European countries. Hemp grown in the U.S. requires licensing and regulatory standards that keep the public safe.
Extraction – As previously mentioned, most reputable CBD companies use the CO2 extraction method when mass producing products.
Lab testing – You want to know what you’re putting in your body, and a third-party lab test report helps you find that information. An accredited, independent lab should conduct lab tests, and the results should be made easily accessible on the product page, the Q.R. code on the label or in a designated section of the company’s website. Verify that the oil contains the right amount of CBD, THC and any other cannabinoids (if the oil is full- or broad-spectrum).
How does CBD oil work?
You may have experienced first-hand the therapeutic benefits of CBD oil, but how does this miracle compound profoundly impact the body? The Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, is a network of receptors, chemical compounds produced in the body known as endocannabinoids and the enzymes that break down those compounds. The ECS is responsible for regulating a range of bodily functions including pain, sleep, memory, fertility, immune response and more. CBD oil interacts with the ECS to keep these biological processes in working order, which explains the effective relief you may feel after taking it.
What symptoms respond to CBD oil?
Research reveals a wealth of healing properties in CBD oil: anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain-relieving), anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antioxidant, to name a few. Based on customer testimonials and anecdotal evidence, CBD oil has the potential to ease many discomforts:
- Chronic stress
- Chronic and acute pain
- Redness and irritation from skin conditions
- Joint pain and inflammation
- Muscle cramps and aches
Does research support the use of CBD oil for health symptoms?
In the grand scheme, CBD oil is relatively new on the health scene. While it was used during 2000 B.C. in Chinese medicine, the legal status of this product in the Americas halted advanced studies about its usefulness. Long-term research is currently being conducted to determine the role CBD may play in treating health conditions and at what dosage. Preliminary studies suggest that CBD oil may benefit symptoms, especially anxiety and sleep.
Situational anxiety: public speaking
A 2011 double-blind study presents strong evidence for CBD as a treatment to anxiety, specifically General Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). A group of 24 people with SAD were randomly assigned a placebo or 600mg dosage of CBD and simulated a public speaking assignment. A group of healthy controls also participated. The study found that there was no significant difference in the vital signs and self-assessment results of the control group and the CBD group. However, the placebo group experienced increased blood pressure, heart rate and skin response during the assignment and gave adverse reactions to the final self-assessment.
Case study: sleep and anxiety
A large case study found that patients given CBD on a regular schedule experienced a decrease in anxiety or an improvement in sleep, depending on their needs. Although, some patients did stop seeing results for rest during the second month of regular use. Generally, those with anxiety maintained decreased levels of worry throughout the study. More research needs to be done to determine the optimal dose for managing symptoms without fluctuation.
CBD shows promise in reducing both the physiological and psychological signs of stress. Anecdotal evidence supports CBD as a potential treatment for pain and inflammatory conditions and other mood disorders.
Can CBD oil help my pet?
Humans are not the only species with an ECS. In fact, all mammals have an ECS giving them the potential to reap the benefits of CBD. Many pet parents are opting for pet CBD oil as a way of relieving prevalent symptoms:
- Anxiety – separation, travel and situational: thunderstorms, fireworks, vet, groomers, etc.
- Joint pain and inflammation – arthritis, osteoarthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia
- G.I. issues
Don’t reach for your personal CBD just yet. Pet-specific CBD oils contain milligram doses more proportionate with both small and large animals, unlike the high potency options available to humans. Not only does pet CBD oil contain different carrier oil to support your pet’s absorption, but it also features flavors that your pet will enjoy like bacon, chicken and beef.
Additional Research on CBD Oil
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients
NCBI – Cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoid system: signaling and function in the central nervous system
NCBI – Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series