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You’ve been looking around at CBD products and decide to try the oil. It has been all the rage you hear about. The CBD market has been explosive but how do you know you are getting the right type of CBD oil?
Below I will discuss what you should look for when buying CBD Oil.
Why CBD Oil?
To make the decision to purchase CBD oil you need to know what it is good for. Our bodies have an Endocannabinoid system with receptors called CB1 and CB2, the THC attaches to the CB1 receptors in our body, mainly the brain. Whereas the CB2 receptors attach to the areas in the body.
See the picture below for a great example of how the Endocannabinoid System works.
Since CBD is a non-psychoactive form rather than THC medicating with CBD makes it a great choice.
As you can see from the chart above, CBD mainly targets the body such as the immune system, major organs, muscles, eyes and more.
CBD may be a good way to manage your health and wellness.
Cannabis Oil Vs. CBD Oil
Firstly, if you are shopping for CBD oil you need to know the difference between CBD oil (hemp oil) and cannabis oil. There is a lot of confusion between the two but they differ in various ways.
Otherwise known as marijuana, the CBD extracted from the plant are generally from the leaves and buds. Here are some key things:
Can have two species Sativa and Indica
It contains higher levels of THC than the traditional ‘CBD oil’, which is typically derived from hemp.
Unlike hemp plants, cannabis plants grow more flowers, are shorter and have buds with crystals on it.
Cannabis oil is illegal in some states. However, it is legal to purchase in Canada at dispensaries and through regulated online websites.
It is used for medicinal purposes and for recreational purposes.
When extracting CBD from a cannabis plant there are a lot more options to choose from when using a cannabis plant. There are various strains you can extract from which will give you different types of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
It doesn’t take as many plants to extract CBD from whereas hemp CBD you do need more plants as the CBD concentration is lower.
Concentrations of THC can be anywhere between 15% to 40%.
Cannabis oil is much more costly than CBD (hemp oil). You are looking at anywhere from $80-$250 a bottle for some good quality cannabis oil grown from a licensed producer. Depending on the concentration levels of CBD to THC ratio, the price will vary.
The CBD market has recently exploded, you see CBD oil all over the place because it is now considered legal in the states and in Canada to consume. (Check with the legislation in your area to determine this, as the laws change frequently.)
Now that the ‘farm bill’ has been approved you can expect to see more CBD related products and for new companies to come out of the woodworks. Here are some key points about hemp.
Hemp is a member of the Cannabis Sativa family whereas the cannabis plant can be part of the Sativa or Indica family.
Hemp plants grow tall, thick stalks and can be grown medicinally (CBD) and for industrial purposes as well.
Industrial hemp has low THC levels naturally compared to the cannabis plant. The reason for the low THC content in hemp is that most THC is formed in resin glands on the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant. Industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce buds and therefore lacks the primary component that makes it psychoactive. (High THC levels)
THC concentration of hemp is fairly low, the standard is .3%
Not to be confused with ‘hemp seed oil’ which is extracting oil from hemp seeds – this offers no medicinal benefits to you for CBD.
hemp is relatively easy to grow outdoors in a range of climates as opposed to cannabis plants.
You can purchase hemp CBD oil for a reasonable price and the range varies with the amount of concentration. You can expect to pay anywhere between $30-$60 on average for a bottle of oil.
Choosing Quality over Quantity
Identifying the difference is the key to understanding how you decide what to use for treatment.
Since there are a lot of CBD products out in the market, and the lack of regulations taking place. It is currently not regulated by the FDA so there is a lot of ‘snake oil’ out there as they say it.
Unfortunately, many people out of desperation will purchase these products because ‘cannabis oil’ is not legal in their state or it is too costly to purchase. These people can fall victim to purchasing poor quality cannabis as a result.
Other Types of Cannabinoids
There are many different types and methods of CBD products you can use today. However, as technology advances and since there are over 100 cannabinoids discovered by scientists. We have the opportunity to experience other cannabinoids and their beneficial properties as well. Below are the ones that have just recently entered the market.
This cannabinoid is a result of oxidized THC, If THC is exposed to air and heat for an extended period, it breaks down to CBN. Studies have shown promising results that CBN may be an effective sleep aid.
You can extract CBN in a hemp plant but it is more abundant in cannabis.
This cannabinoid is considered the mother of all cannabinoids as it is the precursor to the main cannabinoids we are familiar with. CBG is still relatively new and you are able to extract it from hemp but many more studies need to be done, however, so far the studies have been promising.
Find out more about CBG in this article.
Choosing a good quality of CBD oil regardless on whether it is hemp or cannabis oil we should look at how it was processed as this is very important in determining the quality of the oil.
CO2 extraction otherwise known as supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the oil. This is common practice done by many commercial producers. This requires expensive machinery for this process and as a result, you will get a high-quality oil.
Ethanol. High-grade alcohol can be used to create good quality cannabis oil. It is commonly used as a food preservative and additive found in many products at the grocery stores and approved by the FDA. However, in the process of extraction, you can lose some of the cannabinoids. So the quality isn’t as great as a CO2 extraction.
Dry Ice/Ice water can be performed at home, using this process creates a powdery resin otherwise known as hash. This is pretty strenuous and not the best approach as you can lose some cannabinoids in the process.
Food grade oil, such as olive oil, can also be used to extract cannabis oil. As a result, you end up with an infused oil not a pure form of CBD oil. Also, oil is perishable and should be stored in a cool, dark place.
Full Spectrum is when you extract all the components of the plant and not just parts of it, including some THC. This is important to keep in mind so you have access to all the qualities of the plant such as cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
When you extract all the components of the plant and not just parts of it, with this method the THC is much lower in concentration than a full-spectrum (very small trace amounts) This is important to keep in mind so you have access to all the qualities of the plant such as cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids and if you need to take a drug a test.
It does have its benefits too, but it is recommended to use it with a full-spectrum oil, or broad-spectrum as well. Isolates are great for a super concentration of cannabinoids.
The amount of CBD oil can range from anywhere, it depends on your body weight, absorbency factor, and your digestive system. As you can see there are many variables at play. There is no hard-fast rule for dosages but they say on average for every 10 pounds of body weight to take about 1-6 mg of CBD. So for example, if you weighed 140-240 lbs you start off roughly with 20 mg but a smaller dose may be best depending on your pain level and tolerance.
Start Low and Go Slow
It is best to start out with the smallest quantity and go from there. On average 10 mg- 25 mg is a good starting point. Even though there are no psychoactive effects from CBD oil there is still a possibility you may experience some side effects if you take too much.
It is always best to buy something that is free from harmful chemicals such as pesticides.
When you purchase ‘cannabis oil’ from a producer it is likely that it is not organic. They do this because they mass produce and they need to do this for pest control, however, some companies may use chemicals that are more environmentally friendly. To check to see if the plant contains any chemicals it is always good to ask for a Certificate of Analysis. (COA)
If you are purchasing CBD oil especially online, you should ask for a Certificate Of Analysis check. This shows that the product was tested by a 3rd party at a lab and checked for common issues such as mould, pesticides, heavy metal etc…
If they cannot provide this then it is best not to purchase. This will also give you insight into the percentage of the cannabinoids, the types, and other essential information.
Avoid companies that make outrageous claims
There is a lot of companies out there that are gimmicky, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Stay away from aggressive MLM sales tactics and health claims. The FDA has not regulated the sale of hemp products and it affects everyone differently so such claims are not ethical.
Do your Research
I hope this gave you enough information to consider choosing the right CBD oil for you so you can confidently choose for yourself. These are the key points that should be explored when considering what to purchase.
For myself, I buy a good quality cannabis oil from a licensed producer and I also have a CBD oil (hemp) on hand for supplementing. It all comes down to your own needs, affordability and accessibility.
Feature Pic Source: https://www.flickr.com