CDBs are getting a lot of attention these days. Many doctors are recommending it as an alternative medicine for a list of ailments that everything from seizures to anxiety. Many natural homeopathic and aromatherapy brands have introduced some form of CBD product. And the medical community continues to research this potential wonder treatment. But just what exactly is CBD, and how is it used? How is it made? As a consumer of alternative treatments it is important for you to educate yourself, and we hope this primer on CDB oils helps you in this regard.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil (sometimes referred to as “hemp oil”) is named for its chief chemical compound, cannabidiol, which occurs naturally in cannabis plants. Of late CBD has been hailed as a treatment for many medical ailments, including epilepsy, anxiety, chronic pain, acne and even cancer. Over the past two years, 17 states have passed laws legalizing CBD so that patients can obtain the drug without fear of prosecution from local authorities.
CBD oil is made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp (unlike most other medical marijuana products, which are usually made from plants with high concentrations of psychoactive THC). Because hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, CDB oil products are considered non-psychoactive.
CBD is just one of over 85 cannabinoids presently identified in the cannabis plant and is the second most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana after THC. In hemp, however, THC is only present in trace amounts, while CBD dominates the plant’s makeup. CBD interacts with our naturally occurring systems, but is non-psychotropic (it doesn’t cause a high). This makes it a safer, less controversial alternative, while still offering significant health benefits, especially to children.
Is CBD The Same As “Marijuana”
No, it is not. Until recently, the most well-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the most active ingredient in marijuana. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, but the compounds have different effects. THC is well-known for the mind-altering "high" it produces when broken down by heat and introduced to the body.
CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive. This means that it does not change the state of mind of the person who uses it. However, it does appear to produce significant changes in the body, which is where the medical and therapeutic benefits are derived from. Most of the CBD used medicinally is found in the least processed form of the cannabis plant, known as hemp. Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, cannabis sativa, but they are very different.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
All cannabinoids, including CBD, attach themselves to certain receptors in the body to produce their effects. The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It has two receptors for cannabinoids, called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found all around the body, but many of them are in the brain.
The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, among others. THC attaches to these receptors. CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They have an effect on inflammation and pain.
It used to be thought that CBD acts on these CB2 receptors, but it appears now that CBD does not act on either receptor directly. Instead, it seems to influence the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
How Is CBD Oil Made?
Producing high-quality CBD oil starts with selecting the appropriate cannabis genetics. Whether you are creating CBD oil from marijuana or hemp plants, selecting a strain that is naturally high in CBD is key.
Today’s popular CBD producers have worked for years to develop proprietary strains of cannabis that give each its unique appeal. While you can extract CBD from most cannabis strains, choosing a genetic that is naturally high in CBD will increase yields and quality.
This method requires the plant material to be soaked in a solvent, such as grain alcohol. Once the material soaks, the remaining liquid is full of CBD (and other cannabinoids). Once the solvent evaporates the remaining oil is ready for consumption. Today, there are larger operations that have been able to scale the extraction for commercial demand using ethanol as the solvent. Under this method the plant material in soaked in ethanol and then the resulting solution is put through a device that heats the alcohol solution, causing it to evaporate.
Another popular method to extract CBD from cannabis is with carbon dioxide (CO2). This process requires a bit more skill and certainly more equipment than the alcohol method. CO2 extraction involves a series of chambers that control temperature and pressure. Simply put, the CO2 is forced through the plant material. The temperature and pressure in the chambers cause the CO2 /cannabinoid solution to react and separate. As the cannabinoids separate, they are collected in different chambers.
How Is CBD Used?
CBD products can come in the form of oils, edibles, lozenges, beverage, gels, ointments, gel caps, sprays and ointments that can be rubbed onto the skin. One of the most common forms of CBD oil is a liquid form, where you ingest it using a dropper. The form of CBD oil you will use will depend on what ailment you are treating and your lifestyle preferences. The therapeutic benefits of CDB oil can also be obtained by using a vaporizer using an oil or concentrate vape pen.
A Final Word On CDB Oils
While there are many studies that validate the therapeutic benefits CBD oil it has been approved by the FDA as a medicinal product (it is approved as a food supplement however). It is also only legal in certain states. Before you take CBD oil speak to your doctor, and make sure any product you purchase for use has been laboratory tested. In terms of dosage, we suggest you refer to this handy primer and chart. As with any new item you are trying it is best to start slow and with a low dose.