CBD oil is the latest rage in the health and wellness industry. And while you’ve likely heard many people talking about how great it is, you may still be wondering, “What is CBD oil?” We’ll help explain this new trend.
CBD oil comes from cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are compounds in cannabis that produce different effects in users. CBD is one of the most prominent cannabinoids, along with THC. It can be found in marijuana, but it’s also present in hemp. Hemp is a member of the cannabis family that doesn’t contain THC, so it doesn’t get users high. The 2018 Farm Bill allowed the sale of CBD oil as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC.
What’s In CBD Oil?
Manufacturers of CBD products can extract the cannabinoid from hemp or marijuana plants. So it won’t contain or only contains trace amounts of other compounds. This extracted CBD usually comes in the form of an oil. This oil can be sold as-is or combined with other ingredients to create new products.
Cannabinoids for your endocannabinoid system
There are three types of CBD products. Full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate.
Full spectrum CBD hemp extract contains all the cannabinoids that help keep your endocannabinoid system in balance. These other cannabinoids are CBN, CBG, CBC and THC (among others.) Federally legal CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC, which isn’t enough to get you high — as long as you take the recommended doses.
Broad-spectrum CBD hemp extract contains all the cannabinoids, but no THC. So both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD products offer the entourage effect. The entourage effect is where all the cannabinoids working together provide a greater effect.
CBD Isolate is just pure CBD. There are no other cannabinoids and no THC. This is great for beginners or people who are adverse to any THC.
CBD represents only a fraction of the cannabinoids present in marijuana and hemp. But the extraction process ensures the oil contains high amounts of CBD and little to no amounts of the others. This is why even if a CBD product comes from a marijuana plant, users will not get high.
CBD Oil Has Been Around A While
While the CBD craze may be recent, scientists and researchers have known about it for several decades. In the 1940’s, University of Illinois chemistry professor Roger Adams discovered CBD in hemp. He later became the first person to separate it from hemp in order to study its benefits and properties.
In the 1960’s, an Israeli chemist named Raphael Mechoulam continued Adams’ research and helped synthesize cannabinoids and described their chemical structures for future research. Mechoulam’s research eventually led to CBD oil’s therapeutic use, as opposed to simply research purposes.
CBD oil is sold in many different forms. It can come as a tincture, where users apply it under their tongue using a dropper. CBD oil can also come inside of a CBD pill, like a capsule or vitamin, and swallowed. It can also come in a cartridge for use in a vape or e-cigarette.
There are also three different types of CBD oil. Full-spectrum CBD contains compounds from the entire source plant, which means it can contain all cannabinoids including THC. Broad-spectrum CBD contains most of the compounds from the source plant but will remove THC. CBD isolate will remove all other compounds and cannabinoids so only CBD remains. While you may think the CBD isolate is the best form since its pure CBD, but there’s actually a scientific effect called “the entourage effect” that shows that CBD is actually more effective if the product you use contains other cannabinoids. This is because the cannabinoids work together and heighten each other’s effects.
5 Tips for Using CBD Oil
Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is widely celebrated for their medicinal value. Promising research suggests that CBD oil is a safe treatment option for a range of medical conditions. It can potentially help with everything from anxiety and depression to symptoms associated with arthritis and cancer. But in order for any product to be effective, you need to use it correctly.
Here are some tips on how to use CBD oil so you take advantage of all its medicinal properties.
1) Establish what you want to use it for
Although this may seem obvious, it’s an important point because the dosage of CBD oil and whether it will be effective or not depends on what it is being used for. Existing research suggests that CBD oil could help ease symptoms like:
- Anxiety and stress-related issues
- Pain and inflammation
- Acne and other skin conditions
- Seizure conditions
2) Be sure to take the correct dosage
Most (if not all) substances used for the treatment of medical conditions need to be administered with caution. Especially when it comes to the dosage. The same applies when consuming CBD oil.
Getting the dosage right may increase the effectiveness of the product. Before taking CBD oil, refer to the packaging as it should indicate the dosage. Most CBD oils come with a dropper, making them easy to take. Using the dropper, deposit the required amount of CBD oil under your tongue. Experts suggest holding the oil in your mouth for around one minute before swallowing. That helps aid absorption of the compound.
How much CBD oil should you take?
If the packaging does not indicate a recommended dosage, it is best to start with the smallest dosage and increase it if necessary. You could start with a dosage of between 20 to 40mg per day. This may involve minimal math. Check the packaging of the oil to see how much CBD each drop of oil contains. That will establish how many drops you need to take.
You can gradually increase the amount of oil you take in the weeks that follow until you feel the effects. While humans can tolerate fairly high levels of CBD (up to 1500mg), you should still be cautious. Especially when increasing the dosage as there is a slight chance that you may experience side effects. Try not to exceed a dosage of 50mg per day unless instructed by your doctor. And keep it at 10mgs per day if you’re new to CBD.
It is best to consult with a CBD-friendly doctor before taking CBD oil. A doctor will also be able to advise you on the best dosage for your condition.
3) Listen to your body
It is crucial that you pay close attention to how your body reacts to CBD. If you are experiencing severe adverse effects, seek medical attention. Ask your doctor whether it would be wise to continue taking CBD oil or if your dosage should be altered.
According to Harvard Health Blog, some people are advised not to use CBD oil, including individuals who are on medications like blood thinners, thyroid medication, and heart medication. If you’re on any sort of medication, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor before using CBD.
These medications could have severe drug interactions with CBD oil. You should also never stop taking medication prescribed by your doctor or replace medication with CBD oil. Always consult with your doctor before starting or increasing a CBD regimen.
Remember: CBD products do not affect everyone the same. There will always be a slight variation from one person to the next.
4) Opt for a high-quality product
If you’ve browsed through different CBD products online, you have likely noticed that many of them do not come cheap. This could have you on a frantic search to find the most affordable option. But when it comes to CBD products, it may be best to splurge a little more for a top-quality product than a knockoff. The knockoff is basically worthless if it’s label can’t be trusted.
Higher quality products are non-toxic as harmful substances like pesticides are not used in the production process thereof. Before buying CBD oil from a company, be sure to research them to ensure that they are reputable. This includes checking that their product is third-party lab-tested. That way you can be sure it is free from any harmful ingredients.
Sometimes products are marketed deceivingly. So it is important to check that the product does not only contain hemp seed oil. While hemp seed oil promotes health and is perfect as a carrier oil, it does not always contain CBD. If you want to reap the benefits of CBD, it is best to make sure the product contains it.
If you’re wary of buying an expensive product because it may not work for you, try a sample first. See how your body responds and if it’s worth it.
5) Be patient
CBD oil might not have any effect after the first few doses. Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict how many doses it will take for the product to take effect. That’s because research relating to CBD is still in its infancy. Some people may see improvements after just a few doses, while for others, it can take as long as months.
It might take time, effort, and experimentation to find out which product works for you. But it might just be worth your while. CBD oil may not have the desired effect after trying different dosages and brands. If not, consider trying a different delivery method like tinctures, capsules, or gummies.
It may also just be that the product is not suited to you, based on your genetic and metabolic makeup. The truth is that CBD does not work for everyone. And if it does not work for you, speak to a health professional about alternative options.
So, now you should know everything you could possibly ever need to know about CBD oil. Now you just need to research which oil is right for you.
Joseph has been writing and editing for a wide variety of publications over the last decade. His most notable roles were at Playboy, where he helped relaunch the iconic brand’s digital arm and Civilized — where he has written extensively about all aspects of CBD.