A Comprehensive 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 healthier lives. An example of the most common CBD Products can be found here.
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 are just beginning to understand how CBD affects the human body.
This Guide Has 5 Sections:
In Section 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 Section 2 we’ll go into some detail about some of the ingredients in CBD oil and how they affect the human body.
In Section 3 we’ll delve into CBD’s potential benefits.
In Section 4 we’ll go over some of the products that contain CBD oil, and the ways in which CBD oil can be used.
In Section 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.
CBD Oil Basic Information
In this section, 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 oil which is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It is used by people all over the world for a variety of purposes.
Broad spectrum CBD oil contains a variety of active compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes, which we will discuss in greater detail in Section 2. In each other’s presence, these compounds work even better.
Depending on the formulation of a product, it may contain other beneficial components such as omega fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
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 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, hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. Hemp is also grown as an industrial crop for the use of fibers in textiles and even building materials. Most industrial hemp is grown for its fiber and contains relatively small concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes, so it is not the most desirable source of CBD oil.
While many of the CBD products on the market are produced from this kind of industrial hemp, the CBD oil in ZenWorks Naturals products is made from a CBD-rich strain known as PCR hemp. PCR is short for phytocannabinoid rich — it contains as much as ten times the concentration of CBD as generic industrial hemp and only negligible amounts of THC. It does not cause a high.
Types of CBD Oil
Let’s now take a look at some of the types of CBD oil products and compare their qualities. It’s important to remember that, as the industry grows, some of these terms have evolved. These are the terms used by the hemp growers/production facilities. CBD companies put many different things on their labels, which can be confusing, but below are explanations of the widely used industry descriptions.
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 often 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, these products are referred to as full spectrum oils. Keep in mind that to be considered “legal” CBD is required to have a THC level below .03%, regardless of whether it is called a full spectrum or a broad-spectrum oil. This is not to be confused with full spectrum CBD oils that contain amounts of THC above .03%. These are only legal in specific states.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad spectrum CBD oil is very similar to a full spectrum 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 also contains these concentrations of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes but has all trace amounts of THC extracted. This is ideal for those who want absolutely no THC in their CBD products.
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.
Phytocannabinoid-Rich (PCR) OIl
Another term you may hear is phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) 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 PCR oil.
The term CBD-infused can be used to describe either a product which has been infused with purified CBD isolate or a product which has been infused with a PCR-rich, full spectrum or broad spectrum concentrate.
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. Again, this can be confusing, so be sure to read the label of your CBD product so that you know exactly which type it contains.
- Hemp seed 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 or broad-spectrum product which is rich in CBD and contains the naturally occurring compounds in hemp, including cannabinoids and terpenes.
- CBD concentrate or distillate — A full spectrum or broad spectrum product from which unwanted compounds have been removed.
- CBD isolate — Purified CBD that does not contain other beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids.
- Phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) — Either full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD concentrate or oil infused with CBD concentrate.
- Broad spectrum oil — An oil rich in CBD and the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp EXCEPT for THC.
- CBD-infused — Generally refers to a product infused with pure CBD but is also used sometimes to refer to a full spectrum product.
Frequently Asked Questions for Beginners
CBD oil, as you can see, is a complicated product and there is a lot of misinformation floating around which can cause a great deal of confusion. We’ll try to clear it up a little.
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
No, it doesn’t. 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. CBD oils produced by some manufacturers can contain trace amounts of THC. The legal limit is below .03%.
Can CBD Oil Cause You to Fail a Drug Test?
This is a complicated question that gets asked all the time. The short answer is, it depends. Most tests from a reputable lab will not show a positive result, however, less comprehensive tests possibly can. If drug tests are a requirement by your employer, it would be a good idea to speak with them prior to using a CBD product.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
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. While the unwanted side effects of CBD can be minimal, it is a good idea to test the impact it has on you by starting with a smaller amount at first and increase it slowly until you achieve the desired result. Lower the dose or stop using it if you notice any unwanted side effects.
Will CBD Make Me Drowsy?
CBD has what are called biphasic properties. This means that CBD oil may have different effects depending on the serving. Taken in nominal servings, CBD is unlikely to cause drowsiness. However, taken in higher servings, there is the potential that it could cause drowsiness. This effect can also vary from person to person.
Alcohol is a perfect example of a substance 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 with unwanted results.
Can I Give My Pet CBD Oil?
Yes, high-quality CBD is safe for pets. However, the size and activity level of your pet will determine the optimal serving size. 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 uses before you give your pet CBD oil in the form of CBD Pet Treats or CBD Oil Tincture for Pets.
CBD Oil and Wellness
What, Exactly, Is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is just one of many 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 arguably the most famous member of the cannabinoids family — it’s the one found in marijuana that causes a high. 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 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 human or other mammal bodies.
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 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 and how fast they are allowed to move.
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 supporting 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 example, a well-known endocannabinoid is 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 that is responsible for “runner’s high.”
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.
List of Common Cannabinoids
Below is a list of the most common cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis.
- 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 support mood and joint and muscle function.
- Cannabinol (CBN) — Believed to support joint and muscle function and aid a good night’s rest.
- Cannabigerol (CBG) — Non-psychoactive and used to support mood and joint and muscle function.
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) — Less psychoactive than THC.
- Cannabidivarin (CBDv) — Similar to CBD in its effects.
- Delta(8) THC — Similar to delta(9)-THC, less psychoactive and may support a relaxed mood.
- THCa and CBDa — Compounds found in raw cannabis that are non-psychotropic.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a class of volatile hydrocarbon compounds produced by the cannabis plant as well as most other plants. However, cannabis is currently the most terpene-dense plant known to humans. 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.
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 what’s commonly 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.
Some common terpenes include linalool, myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene, terpinolene, citronellol and camphene. The traditional uses of these terpenes and others vary, but they include use as support for muscle and joint function, mood and overall wellness.
In cannabis, terpenes are produced in the highest concentrations in the plant’s female flowers. 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 components of cannabis.
The overall effect of the rich combination of cannabinoids and terpenes is known 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.
CBD’s Effects On Mood
CBD is commonly used to support emotional stability. 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.
When your mood is low, you might be dealing with a low amount of serotonin. An increase in serotonin can correspond to an increase in feelings of wellbeing. It all goes back to the endocannabinoid system — a balanced ECS is a happy ECS.
CBD’s Effects On Sleep
Another common use for CBD oil is to help normal healthy sleep cycles. It’s no secret that a rough sleep usually results in a bad mood the next day, and nobody wants that. Taking CBD before bed may help you roll out of bed feeling fresh and energized the next day.
Federally Recognized Medical Conditions
After multiphase clinical trials were completed, an FDA panel recommended approval of a CBD-based pharmaceutical called Epidiolex for treatment of certain specific and rare types of juvenile 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 U.S. 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.
Using CBD Oil
Now, we’ll take a look at some of the methods by which CBD is used. We’ll discuss some of the factors involved in determining serving sizes. We’ll also look at the strengths and drawbacks of each method and discuss which methods are better for different situations.
Bioavailability of CBD
Not all methods for using CBD are equal. Their effectiveness depends not only on the method of consumption and the ingredients in the product, but also on the bioavailability of the CBD afforded by each method.
The bioavailability of any active compound is the percentage of a given serving that ends up being available for your body to use.
A bioavailability of 100% would signify that 100% of the CBD in the product is available to your body. The only way to achieve 100% 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.
Bioavailability of CBD Tinctures
A tincture is a liquid — usually an oil or an alcohol base — which has been infused with CBD oil. CBD oil tinctures are taken by mouth. When taken using this method, the CBD in the tincture can be absorbed pretty easily. The most common way to take a tincture is to apply it under your tongue using a dropper. Typically, the longer you are able to hold the liquid under your tongue before swallowing, the better. Anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes is recommended. It is generally assumed that the bioavailability of CBD in tinctures is twice that of edibles — anywhere from 10 to 40%.
Bioavailability of Inhaled CBD (Vape)
The method with the highest bioavailability is inhalation (Vape). 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 directly through the lungs, bypassing the digestive system. CBD Vape products (also known as E-Liquid or Vape Juice) are commonly sold as oil in bottles, similar to tincture bottles, that are used to refill vape pens and atomizers. A typical example of vape e-liquids can be found here.
The bioavailability of inhaled CBD is estimated to range between 25 to 60%. 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 using 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 take 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.
CBD Oil Serving Suggestions
As with bioavailability and onset time, the ideal serving 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, etc.
Some CBD products list a suggested serving size. However, without taking into account all of the variables, this should be treated as a suggestion and may not be the most effective for everyone.
A serving 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 amounts of CBD. Whereas one product might contain 10mg of CBD per serving, another might contain 50mg per serving.
The most important factor to be considered, however, is that both serving size and duration of use depend largely on the reason the individual is using it. One person might simply be using CBD to support general wellness while another might be using CBD to help maintain a good night’s rest.
Another factor to be considered is whether or not the product being used contains a full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD oil with terpenes. Due to the entourage effect, these types of products reportedly work more effectively than just CBD alone.
Given all of the above-listed factors, determining your ideal serving 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 experimentation to determine an ideal serving for a particular person.
Here are some general guidelines for determining your ideal serving 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 serving amount will be more difficult.
Start With a Low Serving Size
When you first begin using CBD oil, it’s a good idea to start with a low serving size. This gives you a chance to determine your body’s reaction to CBD. One option is to start with 1mg 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 serving size of CBD to cause drowsiness, but it’s good to be sure. If you have no issues, then take another serving in the morning. If CBD oil does make you sleepy, then take it at night. Often CBD oil is used to support both nighttime sleep and daytime focus, in which case it can be taken as needed throughout the day.
Increase Your Serving Size Slowly
If all goes well but you have not achieved your desired results, you can try doubling your servings. Each time you increase your serving size, take a few days to make note of how your body feels.
If a rise in serving size produces unwanted effects such as making you drowsy, back off to a lower serving.
Can You Take Too Much CBD Oil?
CBD is non-toxic. You would have to consume quite a bit of CBD oil before it results in any truly adverse health effects. 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 serving based on the product you are using, it’s a good idea to stick with that product and serving size.
Ways to Take CBD Oil
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.
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.
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 are generally delivered orally and are made with gelatin, which melts within minutes in your stomach and delivers the entire serving 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.
ZenWorks Naturals softgels are formulated using a 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 serving of CBD directly into your stomach.
Capsules are also very convenient and easy to use with no mess, and they also allow for exact serving sizes. If a CBD Softgels capsule contains 25 milligrams of CBD, assuming you’re using a reputable manufacturer with good production methods, you know you’re getting a serving 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 body 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 that do not use nanoemulsions have far lower bioavailability than those that 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 PCR CBD oil. The same rule applies — the products with the full or broad spectrum oils will contain other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes.
Topicals often have a variety of additional beneficial ingredients meant to contribute to the overall 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.
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.
There are two devices used to prepare CBD for inhalation — vaporizers and nebulizers. Vaporizers (for example, a CBD Vape Pen) 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.
Pros and Cons of Inhalation
The faster onset time and higher bioavailability are obvious benefits of inhalation methods.
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.
Another great way to take CBD is in the form of edibles, such as CBD gummies. They are fun and easy to take, and can easily be carried with you. Like capsules, gummies will have a longer onset time, but also are very convenient.
Getting Started With CBD Oil
How To Buy 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.
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% 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 can be 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, 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, then you can use their contact form to inquire about their hemp source and extraction method. If a company will not provide you with this information, then you should look elsewhere.
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 that 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, then 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 products made elsewhere are quite often of lower quality.
The ingredients used can also be telling when determining whether 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 that you can’t pronounce or that 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 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. MCTs are easier for the body to process than raw coconut oil.
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 whether the product contains THC. THC use may have serious consequences, so you should know whether your CBD product contains THC and in what amounts.
Many top manufacturers will provide the lab reports for the products being sold. If a CBD company is not willing to provide you with lab reports for their products, you should consider going with another company.
CBD Oil Health Claims
This is worth touching on. Many companies will put CBD products on the market and make serious health claims about their product. These claims are not supported by the levels of scientific evidence that the FDA requires. These claims are a strong sign that a company is exaggerating what its product can do. Take any major claims that companies make about their products with a grain of salt.
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. They may also provide quality products. Perform your due diligence on the company you choose.
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.
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 discomfort 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 Serving
If you’re taking CBD oil for health maintenance, you should be taking lower servings of CBD. Anything over 50 milligrams a day may be more than you need. You may only need 25 milligrams or less per day.
However, you may be using CBD for a reason other than wellness support and need a greater serving. 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 in order to determine your ideal serving.
CBD products are not for use by or sale to persons under the age of 18. They should be used only as directed on the label. They should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should be sought before using this and any supplemental dietary product. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are 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 CBD education before beginning use.