09 Jan What is CBD Oil? – The Ultimate Guide to CBD Oil
Introduction – The Ultimate Guide to CBD Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound produced by the cannabis plant, is quickly growing in popularity and headed toward mainstream acceptance. CBD oil is finding its way into a variety of products, from tinctures and drops to CBD-infused edibles and CBD balms, as well as a wide range of cosmetics. CBD oil is even becoming popular among pet owners who wish to help their pets live longer, healthier lives.
Before we continue, we’d like to make an important distinction right up front to avoid potential confusion. We’ll go into this in more detail later, but it’s important to note that hemp oil and CBD oil are not the same product. Hemp oil is the oil extracted from hemp seeds and is generally used for cooking and as a dietary supplement. Hemp oil does not contain any CBD or other cannabinoids. CBD oil, on the other hand, is made by extracting the essential oils from the plant’s flower clusters and contains cannabinoids, terpenes and other active compounds.
With that clarified, let’s delve into The Ultimate Guide To CBD Oil.
A Short History of CBD Oil
CBD oil has a long and storied past. However, as little as a quarter of a century ago, no one had ever heard of CBD. Today, modern science has identified a family of molecules known as cannabinoids as well as the human endocannabinoid system. We’re just beginning to understand how CBD affects the human body.
The History of CBD Oil in Ancient Times
The earliest written record of the use of cannabis appears in ancient China around 6000 B.C., shortly after human civilization arose, but the most direct evidence of the use of cannabis as medicine began to appear around 2700 B.C.
In 2737 B.C., as recorded in the first editions of the Pen Ts’ao Ching, Chinese emperor Shen-Nung was using cannabis in topical ointments and teas to aid in pain relief.
As time went on and human civilization progressed, writings espousing the medicinal benefits of hemp began to appear in pharmacopeias across Asia.
The use of cannabis extracts as a blood thinner and anesthetic first appeared in the second century B.C. in the writing of Hua Tuo.
Around A.D. 77, the Romans began using hemp extensively in the healing arts. In his writings, a scholar by the name of Pliny the Elder claimed that cannabis extract was helpful for pain relief.
In India, cannabis was considered a sacred plant gifted by the gods. The Atharvaveda was considered a storehouse of knowledge that was useful for everyday life. This manuscript details the use of flowers and seeds in a variety of balms and tinctures.
Cannabis has even been found buried in the tombs of Ancient Greeks and Egyptians who also notated formulations for cannabis remedies.
The History of CBD Oil in the West
By the sixteenth century, cannabis was being cultivated all over Europe. Hemp was so valuable to society at that time that, in 1533, Henry VIII required all farmers to grow hemp.
Many physicians of the age, such as Garcia de Orta and Li Shih-Chen, were documenting the use of hemp extract as an appetite stimulant and antibiotic.
In the 1600s, hemp cultivation came to North American colonies. The colony of Virginia even created laws which mandated the cultivation of hemp by farmers. Similar laws were passed in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Hemp seeds were even considered legal tender and used to pay for goods and services in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
A popular medical text of the time called, “Anatomy of Melancholy,” written by Robert Burton, noted that hemp extract was helpful in dealing with mental health disorders.
By the eighteenth century, hemp’s medicinal uses were documented in “The New England Dispensatory” and “Edinburgh New Dispensatory”— two highly respected pharmacopeias of the day.
As the industrial age was unfolding, a surgeon named W. B. O’Shaughnessy began to extol the virtues of hemp remedies in the American Southwest. A professor at the Medical College of Calcutta, O’Shaughnessy conducted experiments to determine the effects of hemp extracts on animals and humans suffering from rheumatic diseases, cholera, tetanus and hydrophobia. His writings discussed the ability of hemp extracts to relieve pain and relax spastic muscles.
Hemp extract is also listed in the third edition of the U.S. Pharmacopeia as a pain reliever, sleep aid and antidepressant. And near the end of the 18th century, a doctor named J.R. Reynolds was conducting research into the ability of hemp extract to reduce tics and help asthma.
The History of CBD Oil in Modern Times
In the early 20th century, medicines such as opioids began to be developed. The use of cannabis-based preparations to relieve pain began to decline. However, many medications were developed which combined cannabis with other pharmaceuticals in everything from cough syrup to sleep aids.
By the late 1930s, the war on cannabis erupted, and the cultivation of cannabis became illegal. Again in 1970, cannabis cultivation was banned by the Controlled Substances Act, which listed cannabis — including both hemp and marijuana — as Schedule I substances with no medicinal benefits and a high risk of dependence.
In the late 1960s the mysteries of cannabinoids, including CBD, began to unfold as researchers discovered the role of the human endocannabinoid system in maintaining good health. We’ll discuss this in more detail shortly.
As the 1970s progressed, however, cannabis extracts were once again being used for healing. A quarter of a century later, in 1996, the state of California legalized the medicinal use of cannabis for a list of serious medical conditions.
Over the past few decades, there has been an explosion of research into the health benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids.
CBD has been quickly gaining acceptance in the U.S. as a result of media coverage by respected health experts such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The message of CBD’s healing powers is beginning to reach the masses.
Today, CBD oil is available to everyone and research into CBD’s effect on the human body has ramped up substantially.
Modern technology has provided methods of refining and isolating CBD, and even increasing the bioavailability of CBD oil through technologies such as nanoemulsions which make CBD water-soluble and increase its potency.
The demand for CBD is growing so quickly that sales are expected to surpass $1 billion by 2020.
How To Use This Guide
This guide is broken up into 5 sections:
- CBD Oil Basic Information
- CBD Oil and Your Health
- Research Studies on CBD Oil
- Administering CBD Oil
- Getting Started with CBD Oil
In Chapter 1 we’ll discuss some basic information about CBD Oil such as what it is and where it comes from. We’ll also provide answers to some of the most frequent questions asked by new CBD users.
In Chapter 2 we’ll go into some detail about some of the active ingredients in CBD oil and how they affect the human body.
In Chapter 3 we’ll delve into some of the research that’s being done by medical science to uncover CBD’s potential health benefits.
In Chapter 4 we’ll go over some of the products that contain CBD oil, and the ways in which CBD oil can be administered.
Then, finally, in Chapter 5, we’ll get you started by providing some advice on how to choose the right product for your needs and how to find a trustworthy source.
The information in the first three chapters falls under the heading of “good to know,” but if you’re anxious to get started, it’s not required reading.
If you’ve already started using CBD or have purchased some CBD, we recommend that you skip to Chapters 4 and 5 so that you can make sure you’ve got the right product for you, learn how to properly use it, and determine how much you should be taking. Once you’re clear on usage and dosage recommendations, you can go back and get better educated on how CBD oil works and what conditions CBD oil is commonly used to help.
Before we begin, The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires that we inform you that the efficacy of CBD oil products has not
been confirmed by FDA-approved research as a treatment for any medical condition. The information in this document is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
This guide contains information that will help you make educated decisions about why and how to use CBD oil. It is not intended to provide medical advice.
It’s important that the reader seek the advice of a qualified medical professional who is well versed in the therapeutic use of CBD before beginning use.
And with that, let’s get started.
Chapter 1 – CBD Oil Basic Information
In this chapter, we’ll discuss some basic information such as what CBD oil is, where it comes from and how it’s produced. We’ll also answer some of new CBD users’ most frequently asked questions.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a natural essential oil which is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant.
It is used by people all over the world as a dietary supplement and for a variety of therapeutic purposes.
CBD oil contains a variety of active compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes, which we will discuss in greater detail in Chapter 2. It has been shown in research studies to be well-tolerated and non-toxic to humans.
Depending on the formulation of a product, it may contain other active and beneficial ingredients as well such as hemp seed oil which contains omega fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds.
About the Cannabis Plant
Cannabis is one of a genus of plants known as Cannabaceae. There are two main species of cannabis that are cultivated for human consumption, namely Cannabis indica, and Cannabis sativa.
Sativa plants are taller and produce more fiber and are therefore the species from which hemp cultivation arose. Indica plants are shorter and bushier and less suitable for farming for either industrial purposes or for production of food, but well-suited for producing medical marijuana.
The Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana
Marijuana is high in the psychoactive compound THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in marijuana that causes a high.
Marijuana is rightly considered to be a “drug.” It is cultivated mainly for medicinal and “recreational” purposes. Both indica and sativa strains, as well as hybrids of the two, are used to produce marijuana.
The United States federal government considers marijuana to be a Class I controlled substance. However, many U.S. states have instituted legislation to regulate its cultivation and allow its use as medicine. Some states have also legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Hemp is not marijuana. Although hemp does contain some cannabinoids, it has negligible amounts of THC. In fact, in order to be legally cultivated, industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. Industrial hemp is grown for food and fibers. It contains relatively small concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes and is not the most desirable source of CBD oil.
While many of the CBD products on the market are produced from industrial hemp, the CBD oil in City Naturals
products is made from a CBD-rich cannabis
Types of CBD Oil
Let’s now take a look at some of the variety of types of CBD oil products and compare their qualities.
CBD From PCR Hemp vs. CBD From Marijuana
Essential oils can also be extracted from marijuana the same way they can be extracted from hemp. The essential oils made from marijuana are correctly referred to as cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is only legal in states which allow the cultivation of marijuana. Extracts made from marijuana may contain some CBD, but will also contain enough THC to cause a high. Therefore, cannabis oil is considered to be a controlled substance.
For the purposes of this document, we are only concerned with CBD oil produced from PCR hemp. We are not concerned with THC-containing cannabis oils made from marijuana, nor are we concerned with extracts of industrial hemp which have low levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Raw CBD Oil vs. CBD Concentrate
When the essential oils of the hemp plant are first extracted, the resulting product is considered raw hemp extract. This raw extract can be put through a series of filtration and distillation processes to remove unwanted compounds such as waxes and chlorophyll to produce various classes of oils differing in purity and CBD content. These refined oils are referred to as CBD concentrate or CBD distillate.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Earlier we mentioned another class of compounds called terpenes. Raw PCR hemp extract contains terpenes as well as other cannabinoid compounds similar to CBD. Because it retains the natural balance of cannabinoids and terpenes found in the original plant, we refer to these products as full spectrum oils.
CBD can also be isolated and purified. Pure CBD is known in the industry as CBD isolate. In their pure form, and at room temperature, cannabinoids are solid crystals. Purified cannabinoids are colorless and odorless. CBD isolate can be consumed directly or used as an additive in other preparations such as edibles and beverages; however, it is devoid of the beneficial terpenes and other cannabinoids found naturally in the plant.
Another term you may hear is CBD-rich oil. This term is generally used to label a CBD oil which has gone through some initial filtration and distillation steps to remove unwanted compounds such as chlorophyll and waxes. The resulting product has a higher concentration of CBD than the raw extract, hence the term CBD-rich oil.
The term CBD-infused can be used to describe either a product which has been infused with purified CBD isolate, or it can refer to a product which has been infused with a CBD-rich, full spectrum concentrate. A properly labeled product will specify which ingredients were used. If the ingredients include “CBD” or “CBD isolate,” then the product is not full spectrum. If the ingredients include “CBD-rich hemp oil (or extract)” or “full spectrum CBD oil,” then obviously you’re getting a full spectrum product. It’s important to know which is in a product because they produce different effects.
Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Another product which needs to be discussed is what is known as broad spectrumCBD oil. Full spectrum CBD oil, as we mentioned, retains the original concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes found in raw PCR hemp extract. Broad spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, is made by combining CBD isolate and individual terpenes with an oil base. It is not made with natural CBD-rich extracts. The CBD and terpenes in so-called broad spectrum oils have been stripped of their natural essence. Oftentimes, the terpenes used in these products are not even sourced from cannabis, but rather come from other, less-costly plant sources. Some even use dangerous synthetic cannabinoids and terpenes. Although broad spectrum oils are less expensive to produce, they are generally not sold at a lower price. These products are produced by companies that are far less concerned with the quality and effectiveness of their products than they are with simply maximizing their profits. If you’re going to spend money on CBD oil, get the real thing.
A List of CBD Oil Products
To summarize, there are a variety of products which contain varying levels of CBD as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes.
- Hemp oil — oil produced from hemp seeds, does not contain CBD.
- Raw industrial hemp extract — a low-quality source of CBD oil.
- Raw PCR hemp extract — a high-quality, full spectrum product which is rich in CBD and contains all the naturally occurring compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes.
- CBD concentrate or distillate — a full spectrum product from which unwanted compounds have been removed.
- CBD isolate — purified CBD, does not contain other beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids.
- CBD-rich oil — either full spectrum CBD concentrate or an oil infused with full spectrum CBD concentrate.
- CBD-infused — generally refers to a product infused with pure CBD, but is also used sometimes to refer to a full spectrum product.
- Broad spectrum oil — an oil which has been “doped” with CBD isolate and terpenes, or possibly dangerous synthetic compounds.
Now that we’ve cleared up these terms, let’s answer some of the most common questions asked by first time CBD users.
Frequently Asked Questions of Beginners
CBD oil, as you can see, is a complicated product, and the current CBD market can be compared to the Wild West. There are no real rules or regulations as to what a CBD oil product can contain and what it can be called. There is a lot of misinformation floating around. And, of course, this causes a great deal of confusion.
One of the main points of confusion comes from the fact that the media often uses the term marijuana to refer to hemp and vice versa. This raises other issues, the most common of which are the legality of CBD oil, whether or not it causes a high, whether or not it can cause you to fail a drug test, and whether or not it has any side effects. Let’s answer each of these questions in brief.
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
No. Properly produced CBD oil from hemp does not contain THC in high enough concentrations to cause a high.
THC acts upon particular receptors in the brain, which changes brain chemistry and therefore alters consciousness. CBD does not trigger these receptors. In fact, it may actually prevent them from reacting to THC and thus minimize its effects.
CBD oils produced by some manufacturers can contain trace amounts of THC. City Natural products, however, are produced using a technology that completely removes THC while leaving the other cannabinoids and terpenes intact. There is zero chance of City Naturals products causing a high.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
There is a lot of confusion on this issue. Hemp extract is considered a food product and is therefore 100% legal, just like peppermint extract or vanilla extract. The confusion is mainly caused by ignorance of the fact that marijuana and hemp are not the same plant. As we said, cannabis oil is not legal outside of states which have specifically legalized marijuana, and it cannot be sold or transported across state lines. This is not the case with hemp-derived CBD oil.
Does CBD Show Up On Drug Tests?
Considering that CBD is derived from cannabis, and that marijuana is a type of cannabis, and marijuana is considered a drug, it’s fair to wonder whether or not CBD will cause a false positive on a drug test.
Drug tests do not test for CBD. CBD properly produced from legal hemp cannot produce a false positive for THC use. CBD oil products sourced from marijuana, as we mentioned, are likely to contain some amount of THC and likely to make you fail a drug test.
Some CBD oil products which are sourced from hemp can also contain THC in some instances. The legal limit for THC levels in industrial hemp is less than three parts in 1,000, or 0.3%. For every 1,000 mg of CBD, which is an extremely high dose, there is less than 3 mg of THC. So, if you’re taking extremely large doses of a CBD oil product which has not had all THC removed, you may be susceptible to a false positive result during an initial urinary screening, but the chances are about 1 in 500 of this happening. A second screening to confirm THC use will invariably rule it out.
If you are required to undergo drug screenings by your employer, you need to be fully aware of the contents of your CBD oil. Don’t use CBD oil made from marijuana. You have no way of knowing that the product is THC-free unless you have a lab at home. In fact, we don’t recommend using any CBD product that does not specify that the product is completely THC-free, meaning all THC has been removed.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
While pharmaceutical drugs are often developed to target particular bodily systems and provide particular effects, Mother Nature is not always so exacting. The effects of organic compounds can be many and can vary from person to person. Oftentimes herbal compounds can have both desired effects and unwanted effects. We call these unwanted effects adverse side effects.
In order to determine if an effect is an adverse side effect, you need to know what the desired effects are. The effects which are desired by one user may not be desired by another user.
Let’s look at an example of how CBD might work differently for different people. Some people take CBD oil in order to help them regulate their metabolism and lose weight. Some users claim that this works like a charm, while others claim that CBD actually increases their appetite. If you’re trying to lose weight, an increase in appetite would be considered an unwanted side effect. On the other hand, if you’re trying to gain weight, an increase in appetite is a desired effect.
Will CBD Make Me Drowsy?
CBD has what are called biphasic properties. We’ll discuss this more in chapter 4, but this just means that CBD oil may have different effects depending on the dosage. Taken in nominal doses, CBD is unlikely to cause drowsiness. However, taken in higher doses, there is the potential that it could cause drowsiness.
Alcohol is a perfect example of a drug with biphasic properties. Below a certain blood level, alcohol provides a stimulating effect and can make its user more active and social, while larger amounts of alcohol can have a depressant effect resulting in unconsciousness.
Can I Give My Pet CBD Oil?
Yes, CBD is safe for pets. However, the size and activity level of your pet will determine the optimal dosage. Pets can range in weight from under a pound for rodents to many hundreds of pounds for animals such as horses. Some pets are pretty much sedentary and don’t get much exercise, while others are highly active and have a much higher metabolism. It’s a good idea to talk with a veterinarian who is familiar with CBD’s medicinal uses before you give your pet CBD oil.
Chapter 2 – CBD Oil and Health
What, Exactly, Is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is just one of several different molecules called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBD is not an acronym. Cannabidiol has been shortened to CBD simply because it’s customary for cannabinoids to have a three-letter designation, such as THC for tetrahydrocannabinol, CBG for cannabigerol, CBN for cannabinol and so forth. THC is the more famous member of the cannabinoids family. It’s the one that causes a high, and it’s mostly found in marijuana. We’ll take a quick look at some other common cannabinoids later on.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are active compounds produced by all cannabis plants. They account for most of the health benefits of cannabis. Cannabinoids found in plants are technically called phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids mimic compounds which we call endocannabinoids that are produced naturally by all mammals.
- Phytocannabinoids — Cannabinoids produced by plants
- Endocannabinoids — Cannabinoids produced by the human body
Other cannabinoids found in PCR hemp include cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabigerol (CBG). Cannabichromene (CBC) is the third most common cannabinoid found in cannabis. Like CBD, cannabichromene is non-psychoactive. Cannabigerol (CBG) is produced early on in the hemp’s growth cycle. Both CBC and CBG are believed to have properties similar to those of CBD.
What Do Endocannabinoids Do?
Endocannabinoids, those produced naturally by our bodies, are signaling molecules. They are technically called neurotransmitters. Hormones are a more familiar type of neurotransmitter.
A vast array of neurotransmitters are produced by the nervous system in response to various states of health and also environmental factors. They interact with receptors found on the surface of cells throughout our bodies. Their job is to instruct a cell to adjust its activities. This can include changing how cells react to other neurotransmitters.
In order to illustrate how neurotransmitters work, let’s use an analogy.
The brain doesn’t connect with every cell in your body, just like traffic officers can’t connect directly with every car on the road to be able to instruct individual drivers how to behave in every traffic situation. In order to manage traffic, we implement traffic signals. These include street signs, traffic lights, the lines on the road and so on. Traffic signals inform drivers where they can and cannot travel, when they should stop and when they should go, how fast they are allowed to move and so on.
Some of these signals can sense what’s going on in the environment, such as when a car pulls up to a traffic light. The sensor triggers a controller, causing the light to change, thereby changing the behavior of the drivers approaching that intersection.
In the same way, your body’s nervous system connects to a wide variety of sensors to keep track of every system in your body. The signals from these sensors are decoded by the brain and the nervous system. If it is determined that a system has gone out of balance, the nervous system produces neurotransmitters, which travel through the bloodstream and interact with receptors on cells, instructing them to adjust their behavior.
The Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
Now that we understand how neurotransmitters work to adjust our cellular activity, let’s take a look at the role of cannabinoids in particular and their role in maintaining homeostasis — a state of balance, within the body.
The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) has two components. First is the endocannabinoid receptors found on the surface of cells throughout the body. Second is the endocannabinoids themselves that interact with those receptors.
For an example, CBD is known to mimic a signaling molecule called anandamide. Anandamide is responsible for the production and uptake of serotonin. Serotonin is often referred to as the “bliss molecule” because levels of serotonin in the body are directly associated with mood. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter which is responsible for “runner’s high.” Serotonin levels are often low in people suffering from depression and anxiety. Supplementation with CBD has been shown to raise serotonin levels.
The endocannabinoid system is vast and far-reaching. It regulates a wide array of bodily functions, from appetite regulation to sleep patterns, moods, metabolism, immune response, the lifespan of cells and much more. This is the reason that CBD seems to effect such a wide range of conditions.
List of common cannabinoids
Below is a list of the most common cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis and some of the effects they are believed to possess.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) — The second most common cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant that is non-psychotropic (it doesn’t get you high).
- Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — The primary psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives users a feeling of euphoria.
- Cannabichromene (CBC) — This third most common cannabinoid, also non-psychoactive, is thought to have anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and anti-fungal effects.
- Cannabinol (CBN) — Believed to act as an appetite stimulant, antibiotic, anti-asthmatic, pain reliever and sedative.
- Cannabigerol (CBG) — Non-psychoactive and used as an antibiotic, antidepressant and pain reliever.
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) — Less psychoactive than THC and known to have neuroprotective properties.
- Cannabidivarin (CBDv) — Similar to CBD in its effects.
- Delta(8) THC — Similar to delta(9)-THC, less psychoactive and may have neuroprotective and anti-anxiety properties.
- THCa and CBDa — Compounds found in raw cannabis that are non-psychotropic and used for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Additional Functions of Cannabinoids
Although cannabinoids are mainly known for the role they play in the human endocannabinoid system, they also function in other ways.
For example, cannabinoids are known to have antioxidant effects. Vitamin C is an example of a common antioxidant.
The process of metabolizing food can produce harmful molecules we refer to as free radicals. These molecules can latch onto molecules in our cells, causing oxidation, the same process that causes metals to rust. Free radicals can harm or kill a cell and damage DNA. Antioxidant molecules such as cannabinoids can latch onto free radicals, rendering them harmless.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a class of volatile hydrocarbon compounds produced by the cannabis plant as well as most other plants. Terpenes readily evaporate at room temperature, and our noses are highly sensitive to them.
Terpenes are recognized as safe for human consumption by the Food and Drug Association and are used in a wide variety of food and cosmetic products.
In nature, terpenes act as both a repellent for pests and as attractants for pollinators and seed spreaders. In cannabis, terpenes are produced in highest concentrations in the plant’s female flowers.
Although terpene molecules are all very similar, each has its own unique scent and flavor. Various combinations of terpenes are responsible for the distinct aromas of cannabis strains.
Terpenes can also have powerful effects on our bodies. In fact, terpenes have been utilized by humans for millennia in a healing modality known as aromatherapy. For example, the scent of citrus is produced primarily by a combination of limonene and pinene, both of which are thought to elevate mood.
Below are some of the most common terpenes along with their reported benefits:
- Linalool has a floral scent and is prominent in lavender. It is used as a sleep aid as well as a pain reliever, and an anti-inflammatory. It has also been used for psychosis and anxiety.
- Terpinolene is produced by oregano, marjoram, cumin, lilac, citrus and conifers. It has been used to help insomnia for hundreds of years. It’s believed to be an anti-biological agent with antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Myrcene is found in plants such as mango, hops, bay leaves, eucalyptus and lemongrass, among others. It is thought to be useful for spasms, insomnia and pain. It’s also believed to have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Citronellol is produced in geraniums, rose and citrus. You might recognize its odor from its use as a mosquito and moth repellent. It’s thought to have anti-biological, anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating effects.
- Caryophyllene is found in basils, cloves and black pepper. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-biological, and antioxidant properties.
- Pinene is found in pine trees and orange peels. It is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects and has been used for centuries to help asthma.
- Limonene has a strong citrus odor and bitter taste. It is commonly used for toenail fungus, gastric reflux, depression and anxiety. It’s also believed to have immunostimulant properties.
- Humulene is found in hops and has an odor reminiscent of beer. It has been used for centuries for anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and appetite suppressant effects.
- Camphene has an earthy, woodsy aroma. It is a component of camphor oil and ginger oil, which are both thought to provide therapeutic effects.
- Terpineol is found in lilacs and other flower blossoms and has a sweet scent. It is thought to produce calming, relaxing effects. It also exhibits antibiotic and antioxidant properties.
- Phellandrene is produced in a number of herbs and spices. It is responsible for the aroma of peppermint. It is often used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat digestive disorders and systemic fungal infections.
This is just a short list of terpenes. There are many more.
Some terpenes can act as neurotransmitters. They can also act as serotonin uptake inhibitors, enhance norepinephrine activity and increase dopamine activity, all of which are known to produce antidepressant effects.
More importantly, terpenes also act on cannabinoid receptors and are known to modify the effects of cannabinoids.
The Entourage Effect
Although not as potent as cannabinoids in terms of their overall effects, terpenes are valuable medicinal components of cannabis.
The overall effect of the rich combination of cannabinoids and terpenes is known metaphorically as The Entourage Effect. In the case of cannabis, these cannabinoids and terpenes work together to produce a range of effects which is thought to be greater than the sum of its individual components.
More research is needed to determine the exact role that terpenes play in the overall effects of CBD oil, but it seems clear that terpenes work in concert with cannabinoids to produce a richer effect than CBD alone.
As we mentioned earlier, some CBD oil products are actually oil infused with pure CBD. These products do not have the added benefits of terpenes and other cannabinoids and do not produce the entourage effect. They are not recommended.
Chapter 3 – Research Into CBD’s Therapeutic Benefits
In just over a half century, cannabinoids have gone from obscurity to one of the most researched families of compounds in the world.
The secrets of cannabinoids are vast and they run deep. After many years of study, still very little is known about how cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system as well as other complex organs and systems in our bodies such as the immune system, the nervous system, the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the heart, liver, kidneys and the epidermis.
But one thing is certain — CBD does have an effect on all of these complex systems which themselves are not fully understood. Determining the exact mechanisms that are producing CBD’s vast array of effects might take many more decades.
In the meantime, much research is underway, and many studies about CBD’s effects on the human body have already been published.
In this chapter, we’ll take a look at some of the medical conditions for which CBD’s effects are being studied, and discuss the researchers’ conclusions.
History of CBD Research
In 1968, the University of Mississippi was entrusted with growing marijuana for research by the predecessor agency to the DEA. That same year, a report written by the UK government’s Advisory Committee on Drug Dependence stated that “the long-term consumption of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects… Cannabis is less dangerous than the opiates, amphetamines and barbiturates, and also less dangerous than alcohol…”
Only two years later, the United States declared marijuana a Class I substance with a high potential for abuse and no medicinal value. Two years after that, in 1972, a report based on a comprehensive study by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare recommended that marijuana be removed from the scheduling system and decriminalized. Then-President Richard Nixon rejected the recommendations.
In a court battle in 1976, a federal judge ruled that a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the government was using marijuana out of “medical necessity,” making the plaintiff, Robert Randall, the first legal medical cannabis patient.
In 1978, as a direct result of the lawsuit, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) began supplying cannabis to several patients whose physicians applied for and received “compassionate use” rights under Investigational New Drug Applications (IND) rules. Most of the medical research done on cannabis has taken place in the 40 years since 1978.
The human endocannabinoid system was discovered by researcher Miles Herkenham, Senior Investigator at the National Institute of Mental Health in 1990. This resulted in a wave of new studies into the pharmacological effects of cannabinoids.
It wasn’t until 1992, 20 years after the discovery of THC, that the first endocannabinoids were discovered, proving that the human body produces its own cannabinoids. The first endocannabinoid identified was anandamide. Anandamide is responsible for such effects as “runner’s high.”
In 1993, as research results began to pour in, the American Medical Student Association unanimously endorsed a statement calling for the down-scheduling of cannabis to Schedule 2. Since that time and based on reams of data, there have been scores of attempts to pressure the federal government to relent on this matter. So far none have been successful.
Let’s now take a look at some of the research that has been done in the past few decades into the mechanisms and effects of cannabinoids and the ECS.
Research Studies On CBD
A non-profit CBD information source known as Project CBD maintains a comprehensive list of conditions for which the potential therapeutic effects of CBD are being studied.
The preponderance of evidence presented as a result of these studies points to one conclusion: There is a vast array of human ailments which seem to respond to CBD.
Here’s a list of some of the conditions upon which CBD’s effects have been, or are being, studied:
|Antibiotic Resistance||Migraine||Sleep Disorders|
|Anxiety||Mood Disorders||Spinal Cord Injury|
Let’s now take a look at some of the individual studies.
Research Into CBD’s Effects On Mood Disorders
One of the most common targets of study into CBD’s effects is mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Much of this research suggests that CBD might have a positive effect on these disorders.
Research shows that CBD has an effect on levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, which we mentioned earlier. Anandamide is produced by the nervous system to stimulate the uptake of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is often referred to as the “happy molecule” because of its ability to improve mood.
People suffering from mood disorders such as anxiety and depression commonly show low levels of serotonin. An increase in serotonin can correspond to an increase in feelings of wellbeing.
Research results suggest that CBD might provide an effective remedy for both anxiety disorders and major depression.
In 2009, The British Journal of Pharmacology published findings from a Brazilian study on CBD’s effects on anxiety in a report titled, “5-HT1A receptors are involved in the cannabidiol-induced attenuation of behavioural and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats.” Authors of the report concluded that “CBD can attenuate acute autonomic responses to stress and its delayed emotional consequences by facilitating 5-HT1A receptor-mediated neurotransmission.”
A group of UK and Brazilian researchers studied the effects of cannabidiol on anxiety, fear and trauma. They published their findings in the 2016 December issue of Frontiers in Pharmacology in a report entitled, “Bidirectional Effects of Cannabidiol on Contextual Fear Memory Extinction.” The study involved mice that had been subjected to fear conditioning. They found that CBD “reduced contextual fear memory expression.”
This suggests that CBD might potentially be of help to those who suffer from conditions such as PTSD.
Research Into CBD’s Effects On Sleeping Disorders
The human body relies on what we call circadian rhythms (daily rhythms). Our brains determine which activities a cell should be undertaking at which times of day and our nervous system and endocrine system work together to keep cells on a daily schedule. Particular signaling molecules such as cannabinoids are released at particular times of day to adjust activities like metabolism.
Research suggests that CBD might help to balance the body’s circadian rhythms. In fact, many people who use CBD claim that they not only sleep better at night, but also have more energy and alertness during the day.
A review of the literature on the effects of cannabinoids on sleep disorders entitled, “Cannabidiol in Humans—The Quest for Therapeutic Targets,” was published in the journal Current Psychiatry. The report states, “Medium- and high-dose CBD is sedating, and has been examined in the context of a number of sleep disorders including insomnia. Initial basic research has suggested that medium-/high-dose CBD is associated with an increase in the percentage of total sleep.”
Another report on CBD’s effects on sleep disorders authored by researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Wholeness Center was published in The Permanente Journal. In the report, entitled, “Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report,” the authors conclude, “Pharmaceutical medications provided partial relief, but results were not long-lasting, and there were major side effects. A trial of cannabidiol oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep.”
Research Into CBD’s Antioxidant Effects
Antioxidants are like molecular landmines that attach themselves to dangerous molecules called free radicals and render them harmless. Free radicals can damage cells and even DNA, sometimes resulting in sickness.
In a research review article published in 2008 entitled, “Cannabidiol in Medicine: A Review of its Therapeutic Potential in CNS Disorders,” authors write that cannabidiol exhibits “sedative, hypnotic, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, many of which may be of therapeutic relevance as well as serving as leads for pharmaceutical development.”
Federally Recognized Medical Conditions
After multiphase clinical trials were completed, an FDA panel recently recommended approval of a CBD-based pharmaceutical called Epidiolex for treatment of intractable epilepsy.
Another concession by the federal government involves the Department of Veterans Affairs. In mid-June 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to add an amendment to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) annual spending bill that would prohibit VA interference in the participation in legal cannabis programs by US veterans. The amendment prohibits the VA from denying any services to veterans who use medical cannabis.
The amendment reverses a VA directive that prevents VA physicians from helping veterans access medical cannabis. It also directs the VA to conduct research into the benefits of medical cannabis using whole plant cannabis and extracts. This would include CBD oil.
Chapter 4 – Administering CBD Oil
In this chapter, we’ll take a look at some of the methods by which CBD is administered. We’ll discuss some of the factors involved in determining dosage. We’ll also look at the strengths and drawbacks of each method and discuss which methods are most often recommended for particular conditions.
Bioavailability of CBD
Not all methods of administering CBD are equal. Their effectiveness depends not only on the method of consumption and the ingredients in the product, but also the bioavailability of the CBD afforded by each method.
The bioavailability of any active compound is the percentage of a given dosage that ends up in the bloodstream and is thus available for your body to use.
In the case of CBD oil, the active ingredients include both cannabinoids and terpenes. However, for the sake of discussion, we’ll talk only about the bioavailability of CBD itself.
A bioavailability of 100 percent would signify that 100 percent of the CBD in the product is available to your body. The only way to achieve 100 percent bioavailability is through intravenous administration — meaning injection directly into the bloodstream.
Every other method of consumption will result in some percentage of the CBD becoming unavailable to the body for various reasons, such as becoming trapped in fatty tissues or metabolized (broken down) before it has a chance to enter the bloodstream.
Each method of CBD oil consumption has a particular range of bioavailability. We’ll discuss these factors next and will also touch on them when discussing the benefits and drawbacks of each method.
Bioavailability of CBD Tinctures
A tincture is a liquid — usually an oil or an alcohol base — which has been infused with CBD oil. Tinctures are taken sublingually, meaning under the tongue. When delivered via this method, the CBD in the tincture can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the veins and capillaries in the tissues in your mouth.
It is generally assumed that the bioavailability of CBD in tinctures is twice that of edibles — anywhere from 10 percent to 40 percent.
Bioavailability of Inhaled CBD
Aside from intravenous injection, the delivery method with the highest bioavailability is inhalation. CBD can be vaporized or atomized and inhaled. The vapor is absorbed into your lungs in the same way that oxygen is. Furthermore, the effects of inhalation are almost immediate. This is because the CBD directly enters your bloodstream through the capillary-rich tissues in the lungs in the same way that oxygen does.
The bioavailability of inhaled CBD is estimated to range between 25 percent and 60 percent. The actual number depends on the ingredients being vaporized, and other factors such as how much is inhaled in each puff, how deep it is drawn into the lungs, and how quickly it is exhaled.
How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Take Effect?
There are several important factors that come into play when determining the onset time of various methods of administration of CBD oil. Some of these variables are related to CBD itself, and others are related to how the human body reacts to CBD.
Because of unique genetics, no two people react to CBD oil in the same way. Furthermore, factors such as age, health, weight, circulation and metabolism can all affect the onset time of the effects of CBD oil.
A factor that can be influenced by all of the above is the number of cannabinoid receptors in the body, how they are expressed, and the ability of the body to produce endocannabinoids. An individual who expresses more receptors or produces fewer endocannabinoids may be more sensitive to CBD than someone with an abundance of endocannabinoids or a lack of receptors.
There are also numerous other factors involved such as the type of product being used, how it’s being used and how much is being used. The onset of edibles will typically be longer than that of tinctures, for example.
As we mentioned, the onset time of inhaled CBD is virtually instantaneous. The onset time of edibles and capsules can range anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour. And the onset time of tinctures can take up to 20 minutes.
These figures are to be considered general guidelines and will vary from person to person, as we mentioned above.
CBD Oil Dosage Recommendations
As with bioavailability and onset time, the ideal dosage of CBD depends on a variety of factors including the product being used, the concentration of the CBD in the product, genetic makeup, sex, weight and so on.
Some CBD products list a recommended serving size. However, without taking into account all of the variables, the recommended serving size might be far too low or possibly even too high. In particular, the serving size will vary greatly depending on the condition for which the CBD is being consumed.
A dosage that is appropriate for one product might be much different than that of a similar product. This is because various CBD oil products contain varying percentages of CBD. Whereas one product might contain 10 percent CBD, another might contain twice that concentration.
The most important factor to be considered, however, is that both dosage and duration of use depend largely on the reason the individual is using it. One person might simply be using CBD as a supplement to support health and wellness, while another might be using CBD for a particular ailment.
Another factor to be considered is whether or not the product being used contains a full spectrum CBD oil with terpenes. For example, a terpene known as myrcene is known to make the brain-blood barrier more permeable, effectively reducing the required dosage for brain conditions.
Given all of the above-listed factors, determining your ideal dosage requires some thinking. Taking too little will not produce the desired effect and will be a waste of time and money. Alternatively, taking more than you need may not provide additional benefits.
It will take some research and experimentation to determine an ideal dosage for a particular person.
The method for determining a supplemental CBD dosage for health maintenance is different than that of determining a dosage that will effectively help a particular ailment.
Here are some general guidelines for determining a supplemental dosage of CBD oil:
Stick With One Product
It’s a good idea to put some thought into which product you’re going to use and stick with that product for a while. This allows you to gauge the effects of that particular product. If you switch back and forth between different products, determining a dosage will be much harder.
Start With a Low Dosage
When you first begin using CBD oil, it’s a good idea to start with a low dosage. This gives you a chance to determine your body’s reaction to supplementation with CBD. Most experts recommend starting with 1 mg of CBD for every 20 pounds of weight. Using this rule, someone weighing 100 pounds should start with 5 milligrams, while someone weighing over 200 pounds can start with 10 milligrams, and so on.
Start Before Bedtime
When first using CBD oil, it’s best to start at night — about an hour before bedtime. That way, if CBD has a tendency to make you drowsy you’re not dragging during the daytime. It’s uncommon for a low dosage of CBD to cause drowsiness, but it’s good to be sure. If you have no issues, take another dose in the morning. If CBD oil does make you sleepy, take it at night. And if it keeps you awake at night, take it during the daytime. Oftentimes CBD oil helps with both nighttime sleep and daytime focus, in which case it can be taken multiple times throughout the day.
Increase Your Dosage Slowly
If all goes well but you have not achieved your desired results, you can try doubling your dosage. Each time you increase your dosage, take a few days to make note of your condition including factors such as energy, sleep, mood and pain levels.
If a rise in dosage produces unwanted effects such as making you drowsy, back off to a lower dosage. For health maintenance, experts recommend a maximum dosage somewhere between 10 and 100 milligrams per day depending on your size, the bioavailability of the product and so on.
Using CBD for Medical Conditions
If you are trying to help a particular ailment with CBD oil, skip all the above advice and talk to a medical professional who is knowledgeable in the use of CBD as a therapeutic agent for your condition. Your condition may require larger doses of CBD than you would typically take for health maintenance.
Also, try to reach out to people who are successfully using CBD for your condition. There are websites dedicated to every ailment you can think of.
Can You Take Too Much CBD Oil?
CBD is completely non-toxic. Research into CBD’s effects on the human body has shown that CBD is well-tolerated in humans. You would have to consume quite a bit of CBD oil before it results in any truly adverse health effects. There is no known record of anyone ever being poisoned by or overdosing on, CBD.
However, taking more CBD than needed might cause some unwanted effects such as making you too relaxed for particular activities like work or sports.
Once you have arrived at a particular dosage based on the product you are using, it’s a good idea to stick with that product.
CBD Oil Delivery Methods
Let’s now take a look at some of the CBD oil delivery methods that are available and the pros and cons of each, in order to help you to determine which product, or products, are right for you.
Some of the factors that should be considered when determining which product is ideal for you are your lifestyle, the reasons you’re using CBD oil (such as for cannabinoid supplementation or for a particular condition), the onset time of the delivery method and the bioavailability of the method.
In regards to lifestyle, some products are more convenient than others, some products travel better than others, and some products are simply more enjoyable to use than others. Capsules are preferred for traveling, for instance. There’s nothing to drop and break or spill.
Certain delivery methods are better for certain conditions. For example, if you’re using CBD for a skin condition, you can take it directly by using a topical product.
But again, consult with a qualified medical professional to discuss the methods of administration which would be best for you
Onset Time Considerations
As mentioned, various methods of administration require different amounts of time to take effect. For example, edibles can take upwards of an hour or more to take effect, whereas inhalation methods are virtually instantaneous.
Bioavailability, as we pointed out earlier, is the amount of CBD that actually makes its way into your bloodstream. If onset time is not a consideration, your main consideration should be value. CBD is not inexpensive like products such as vitamins and minerals. You definitely want to try to maximize the value you get for your money. If a product has only 10 percent bioavailability, you’re essentially paying five times more for your CBD than if you used a product which has a 50 percent bioavailability.
Another consideration is how accurate you would like to be with your dosage. It’s easy to gauge dosage when you’re taking capsules, for example, but much harder to gauge dosage when vaping since it depends on factors such as how much you inhale and how deeply you inhale it.
With that knowledge, let’s take a closer look at the best uses, pros, and cons of individual delivery methods.
CBD Oils and Tinctures
Earlier, we discussed the fact that there are a variety of products which makers refer to as CBD oil. These can include everything from raw hemp extract to more refined products to pure CBD-infused oil. There are also a number of types of oil which are used as a base for CBD oil. Some CBD oil products also contain added ingredients such as additional terpenes, essential oils and vitamins.
Oral vs. Sublingual Administration
What we have not discussed is that there are also two types of CBD oil tinctures. The first, which we have described, are oil-based tinctures. However, there are also alcohol-based tinctures. Whereas oil-based products can be used both orally and sublingually (under the tongue), alcohol-based tinctures are generally only used sublingually.
Alcohol tinctures have a faster onset time and a higher bioavailability than oil-based tinctures. This is because blood is water-based, and oil and water do not mix well. This doesn’t mean alcohol is necessarily a better choice. In fact, alcohol tinctures are generally not full spectrum products and do not provide the added benefits you’ll get from the additional cannabinoids and the terpenes found in full spectrum products.
To use a tincture, simply place the recommended amount of drops under your tongue, where they will be absorbed directly into your bloodstream.
Tinctures generally come in a dropper bottle for obvious reasons; however, CBD oils can also just come in a plain bottle and be administered with a spoon in the same way that cough syrup would be taken.
Pros and Cons of Oils and Tinctures
Tinctures are generally used at home in the morning and the evening, and can also be used at work if your situation allows it. As mentioned, they can have a relatively quick onset time and higher bioavailability than edibles, and so are a better choice if you suffer from conditions such as anxiety.
The downside of tinctures and oils is that they don’t travel well. They can be messy if you’re trying to use them on the go. They also generally come in a breakable bottle with a breakable dropper. If you’re looking for a product to take hiking, for example, tinctures are probably not your best choice.
CBD Oil Capsules
CBD oil capsules are generally delivered orally. There are cases where you might want to puncture a capsule for use on the skin, but for the most part, this is an orally administered product.
Capsules are made with gelatin, which melts within minutes in your stomach and delivers the entire dosage of CBD oil. This means that none of it will get absorbed into the tissues in your mouth or throat. And, depending on whether or not you take them with food, very little is likely to make its way through the rest of your digestive system.
All City Naturals products (except tinctures) are formulated using a patent-pending water-soluble nanoemulsion technology which encapsulates the active compounds in nano-sized emulsions. The average size of nanoemulsion CBD oil droplets is between 4 and 200 times smaller than the industry standard. This smaller size leads to much higher absorption in the blood and, therefore, results in extremely high bioavailability. Because of this, less nanoemulsion CBD oil is needed to produce the same results as regular CBD oil.
Pros and Cons of Capsules
As we mentioned, capsules, because they dissolve quickly, will deliver a dosage of CBD directly into your stomach.
Capsules are also very convenient and easy to use with no mess, and they also allow for exact dosing. If a capsule contains 25 milligrams of CBD, assuming you’re using a reputable manufacturer with good production methods, you know you’re getting a dosage of 25 milligrams of CBD.
One downside of capsules is that they have a longer onset time. Also, as mentioned, when taken on an empty stomach, very little of the CBD will make its way into your intestines as most of it will be directly absorbed into the lining of your stomach. But this is easily avoidable by taking the capsule with food.
It’s also important to note here that capsules which do not use nanoemulsions have far lower bioavailability than those which do contain nanoemulsions.
CBD-infused topicals include skin creams, balms, salves and oils. Once again, these products can be infused with pure CBD, or they can contain a full spectrum CBD oil. The same rule applies — the products with the full spectrum oils will contain other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes.
Topicals often have a variety of additional beneficial ingredients meant to contribute to the overall therapeutic effects. For example, skin creams may contain moisturizers, vitamin E, collagen and so on. Pain creams may contain ingredients meant to help the product penetrate deeper into tissues and aid in pain relief. Salves may contain other soothing and healing ingredients such as aloe.
Topical products can also be very simple as well. In fact, CBD oil with no other ingredients can be used directly on the skin. CBD-rich oils are great for moisturizing. They provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to protect skin from damage. CBD oils often contain vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which are produced naturally along with the oil.
Pros and Cons of Topicals
Topicals are great for use on a particular area of skin or underlying muscles and joints. They deliver the CBD and other beneficial ingredients directly where they can do the most good.
However, they take some time to apply and can be a little messy. This may not be a concern for you if you use these kinds of products regularly.
Another thing to consider is that, when taken internally either orally, sublingually or inhaled, CBD will make its way to all areas of your body, including your skin. If overall skin health is your goal, you may just opt for one of those other applications rather than having to apply a topical all over your skin.
Which brings up a side note — when receiving a massage, generally an oil is used on the entire body. This is a great opportunity to give your skin some extra love by adding some full spectrum CBD oil to your massage oil.
There are two devices used to prepare CBD for inhalation — vaporizers and nebulizers. Vaporizers essentially heat a CBD oil preparation to a temperature where it evaporates into a gas. These are very popular and easy to find. Nebulizers simply convert a solution containing CBD into a mist or cloud and are less common at this time.
Pros and Cons of Inhalation
The faster onset time and higher bioavailability are obvious benefits of inhalation methods.
Nebulizers provide the added benefit of providing a measured dose, whereas delivering an exact dosage of CBD using a vaporizer is trickier. This is because most vaporizers — or vape pens, as they are commonly referred to — are not designed to vaporize an exact amount of solution. A lot depends on how big a puff a user takes and how deeply it is inhaled.
Another potential downside of vaporizers is that some ingredients are believed to be harmful when vaporized. For example, many vape oil solutions contain a petroleum-based chemical known as polyethylene glycol (PEG) — the same stuff that’s used as a coolant and antifreeze in car radiators. Although this product has been approved by the FDA for use in foods, some studies have suggested that vaporized PEG can be harmful to the lungs.
Chapter 5 – Getting Started With CBD Oil
How To Buy Potent, High-Quality CBD
The CBD market is currently expanding at a breakneck pace. Unfortunately, along with the good companies, bad ones are trying to capitalize on the trend. Many of them will do anything to cut corners and increase profit margins. Some companies will use inferior and unsafe products. Some are completely dishonest, selling so-called CBD oil products that have negligible amounts of CBD in them, or even none whatsoever. Or, even worse, they could contain dangerous synthetic CBD.
CBD oil is not a product on which you should skimp on quality. You need a trusted manufacturer that makes CBD oil products that are rich in natural CBD and terpenes.
Also, a recent survey by the Brightfield Group of CBD products found that a full 40 percent of CBD products on the market do not contain the amount of CBD listed on the label.
With all these CBD oil producers flooding the market with new products, it becomes difficult to know who to trust and where to find the highest quality CBD oil.
Identifying a Good Company
There are a few factors that need to be considered when searching for a company that makes high-quality CBD oil products. These include the source and variety of hemp, the method of extraction used to produce the raw hemp extract, whether or not the company uses nanoemulsion technology, and the quality of the other ingredients in the products they offer.
The good news is that a reputable company will gladly provide this information. If it’s not touted on their website, you can use their contact form to inquire about their hemp source, extraction method and the source of other ingredients. If a company will not provide you with this information, simply rule them out. There are plenty of respectable, high-quality CBD oil makers out there.
Preferred Hemp Sources
Hemp is farmed all over the world. The U.S. is only recently starting to rebuild its hemp industry after a century of prohibition. However, the U.S. produces some of the finest quality cannabis and hemp products in the world.
It’s important to understand that not all hemp is created equal. Industrial hemp is primarily grown for its seeds and fibers and is not bred to produce high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. PCR hemp, on the other hand, was specifically cultivated to be rich in cannabinoids and terpenes.
In order for a CBD product which is made from industrial hemp to contain the same concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes as CBD oil made from PCR hemp, industrial hemp CBD must be further refined, removing or destroying many of the naturally occurring beneficial compounds.
If a manufacturer specifies that their CBD was extracted from industrial hemp, it’s safe to assume that the product is either lower in CBD and terpenes than a product made with PCR hemp, or has been further processed and has lost some of its natural essence. Finding a company whose products are made with PCR hemp is highly desirable.
The lowest quality CBD oil products are usually produced in Asian countries such as China, where quality standards are far lower. CBD oil products produced in China are often made from strains of industrial hemp which are not rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. They are often extracted using cheaper methods that are harsh and can actually destroy cannabinoids and terpenes. They may contain toxic pesticides which are illegal in the U.S. or may be contaminated with molds and other biological toxins.
Quality of Other Ingredients
Although raw and refined pure hemp extract is available, the vast majority of CBD oil products contain additional ingredients such as vegetable oils, or other essential oils.
All the rules mentioned above apply here. Products produced in the U.S. are preferred. Products produced in Western Europe may also be of high quality, and product made elsewhere are quite often of lower quality.
Which ingredients are used can also be telling when determining if a company is trying to cut corners. Oils such as hemp seed oil, coconut oil and almond oil are generally healthy and of high quality. If a product contains ingredients you can’t pronounce or sound like chemicals, then the manufacturer is probably trying to cut corners.
For example, a product known as polyethylene glycol is often used in CBD vape oils. This is the same stuff found in your car’s radiator. Although it has been approved for consumption by the FDA, there is evidence that it may irritate the lungs.
One exception to the can’t-pronounce-chemical rule is an oil known as MCT oil. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. MCT oil is a natural product made from coconut oil. Coconut oil contains both medium- and long-chain triglycerides. Triglycerides, although sounding like a type of chemical, are simply the main constituent of human body fat. Without going into a biology lesson, let it suffice to say that MCT’s are easier for the body to process than raw coconut oil.
There are other exceptions to the rule. When in doubt just do an internet search on the ingredients in question and you’ll usually be able to determine fairly quickly whether or not a particular ingredient is safe and healthy.
Another factor to consider is third-party lab testing. Most serious manufactures will send their products out to testing labs to determine whether or not they contain any contaminants and also to measure the levels of cannabinoids in the product.
Because different strains and crops produce different levels of CBD, CBD oil can vary in potency from one batch to another. Any good manufacturers will want to know exactly how much CBD is in their products.
Another thing that’s extremely important to know is that the product contains zero THC or has THC levels that are so negligible, there might as well be none. Because THC is highly regulated, selling hemp-derived CBD oil which contains THC can mean the end of the line for a CBD company.
Many top manufacturers will provide the lab reports for the exact batch of products being sold. If one of the makers you are considering does offer this information, give them extra points.
CBD Oil Health Claims
This is worth touching on. Many companies will put CBD products on the market and make health claims about their product. Because health claims are not allowed by the FDA until a product is thoroughly tested and approved, these claims are a sure sign that a company does not know what it’s doing. Avoid them.
Finding a Trusted Manufacturer
Another way to narrow down your list of CBD oil makers is simply to do some internet research on CBD companies themselves. You’ll notice that some brand names will consistently be portrayed in a good light, while others might have an overabundance of bad reviews.
There are some smaller, more obscure companies which produce very high-quality CBD but may not have much in the way of reviews. Don’t necessarily rule them out. Use the methods above to determine if they will make the cut.
As we mentioned above, products produced in areas of the world other than the U.S. or Western Europe are usually of lower quality. There are plenty of great U.S. CBD oil producers to choose from, so it’s best to stick with U.S.-made products.
A Word On the Dangers of Synthetic Cannabinoids
You may have heard on the news about some people in Utah becoming seriously ill as a result of using CBD products which contained synthetic CBD — that is CBD produced in a lab instead of in a hemp plant. We can’t stress enough how dangerous these products are. Stay away from them at all costs. If you use the methods above to find a quality CBD oil maker, you should be fine.
To wrap things up, let’s summarize the important points that you should take away from this document.
It’s important to have some goals before you begin using CBD oil. For example, you may not be getting enough sleep, or you may be experiencing pain after working out. Determine what effects you’re hoping to get from CBD oil so that you can make a decision as to whether or not it’s working for you.
Determine Your Dosage
If you’re taking CBD oil for health maintenance, you should be taking lower doses of CBD. Anything over 50 milligrams a day may be more than you need. You may only need 25 milligrams or less per day.
If you’re trying to help a particular ailment, on the other hand, you might need higher doses of CBD. Or you may be taking medications with which CBD will interact. There may be other considerations. You really need to discuss your decision with a qualified medical professional who is well-versed in the use of CBD as a therapy for your particular condition in order to determine your ideal dosage.
Choose a Good Company and Stick With Them
Finding the right product for you from a high-quality maker is paramount. Once you choose a trusted brand and a particular product, stick with it for a while so that you can truly gauge its effectiveness.
We hope that you’ll take a good look at City Naturals and consider us as your preferred source for high-quality CBD oil products. We use only PCR hemp to produce our CBD oil. We use only full spectrum oils in our products, extracted using either supercritical CO2 or food grade ethanol. Our capsules, topicals, energy mix and dog treats are made using proprietary nanoemulsion technology, which gives our products a higher bioavailability than that of standard products. We use a patented process to remove all residual THC from our products, providing a 100% THC-free product. And we add only the highest quality ingredients