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CBD Oils 101

CBD Oils 101

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found naturally occurring in cannabis plants, which is known as a cannabinoid.

Both hemp and marijuana are the same kind of plant, which is known by the latin name Cannabis sativa.

However, not all cannabis is created equal.

Some cannabis plants have been selectively bred for thick, heavy stalks, whose fibers have been used for centuries to make clothing, sails, paper and rope. Because of their affinity for industrial materials, this type of plant is known as “industrial hemp.”

Like most cannabinoids, CBD possesses therapeutic properties, but it doesn’t have the same intoxicating effects as its relative, the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

What is CBD Oil?

Sometimes viewed as the most “basic” CBD delivery method, CBD oil is an extract of CBD  suspended in a carrier oil. Usually, the carrier oil is olive, hemp, avocado, or medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which is derived from coconuts.

Typically, CBD oils are usually made through distillation, which is a process that involves the separation and purification of cannabinoids on a molecular scale.

Distillation starts with crude extraction, which undergoes a refinement phase in which plant compounds are gradually removed until the mixture is around 80% CBD. The remainder will consist of traces of terpenes, minor cannabinoids, and other plant compounds. From there, the manufacturer will continue to refine until a pure CBD isolate is obtained, or they’ll leave these compounds in the mixture to form a full-spectrum blend.

Will CBD Oil Make Me High?

No, CBD does not get you high, despite its relation to THC.

How, then, does CBD make you feel?

There’s a misconception that CBD is not psychoactive, and this isn’t true; CBD is psychoactive, it’s just not intoxicating.

Like THC, CBD is a mood-altering compound with some potentially therapeutic effects, particularly for ailments such as nausea, pain, and inflammation. And while the effects might not be quite as noticeable as the high you get from THC, many users report a sense of calm and relaxation.    

How Does CBD Oil Work?

So how does CBD oil work–specifically, how does it interact with our bodies?

All mammals, including humans, possess an internal network of cells, enzymes, and receptors that are located throughout both the central and peripheral nervous systems, widely known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS features two key receptors, CB1 and CB2, which bind with molecules called ligands in order to manage the release of neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and dopamine.

These receptors work together to facilitate several key functions in the body, such as mood, inflammation, memory, pain management, sleep, and even appetite.

The ECS generates its own cannabinoids, aptly referred to as endocannabinoids. However, there are also cannabinoids created outside the body, which are known as exogenous cannabinoids, and they’re found in cannabis plants.

Endocannabinoids like CBD and THC can also bind with the CB1 or CB2 receptors, which encourages the production of certain effects and physical functions throughout the body.

While this interaction is ultimately theorized, both THC and CBD has been shown to help with pain management, and THC alone has been shown to help raise appetite levels. And with its antioxidant properties, CBD possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are not considered dangerous, because they don’t affect the parts of the brain that regulate vital functions of the body. Unlike opioid receptors, the cannabinoid receptors will never signal your lungs to stop breathing. For this reason, it’s practically impossible to overdose on cannabis.

What are the Benefits of CBD Oil?

In recent years, CBD oil has gained sizable acclaim, and this has been heavily attributed to its therapeutic properties.

Currently, research on CBD is just beginning. However, there has been some interesting potential for the following benefits:

CBD for Insomnia

While the connections between CBD and a better night’s sleep is still not fully understood, it appears that the strength of the CBD oil plays a major role.

To be more specific, higher doses have shown signs of working more effectively than milder amounts. In one study, for instance, it was shown that a 160mg dose of CBD was connected to longer periods of sleep, while those who took 25mg of CBD seemed to experience no effect on their insomnia symptoms.

CBD for Pain Relief

In recent years, experts have determined that CBD has anti-inflammatory benefits, which has especially granted it appeal among individuals seeking a gentle, yet effective form of pain management.

For example, a clinical trial from one 2014 study from Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry found CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects in almost every condition that was covered by the study, including encephalitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS).

With the continuously growing research, experts are still assessing the numerous benefits CBD offers the body, and pain alone is a massive field of research.

At this point in time, there is still much to learn about the effects CBD can have on the body. However, experts do agree that CBD has an influence on the endocannabinoid system, which it interacts with through the CB1 and CB2 receptors, as discussed above.

Neuroprotective Benefits

Because of its affinity with the endocannabinoid system, some experts have suggested that users with neurological disorders may benefit from CBD oil.

CBD’s potential benefits for neuroprotective benefits are among the most studied uses for CBD. To be more specific, researchers are currently observing it for the treatment of neurological disorders, which include Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

And while it’s true that research on CBD for neuroprotective health is still fairly new, studies so far have shown promising results.

For instance, this study indicated Sativex to be safe and effective for the reduction of muscle spasticity in people with MS.

The study determined that CBD decreased spasms in 75% of 276 individuals with MS who were experiencing medication-resistant muscle spasms.

In another study, researchers observed that CBD oil had a significant reduction of seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome. However, some subjects in the study showed adverse reactions that were associated with the CBD treatment. Such adverse reactions included fatigue, convulsions, and fever.

Experts are also observing the potential benefits of CBD in the treatment of numerous other neurological diseases.

For instance, several studies such as this one have indicated an improvement in quality for patients with Parkinson’s disease, both in day-to-day life and quality of sleep.

That being said, researchers have issued warnings about the current lack of high quality data, indicating a lack of evidence supporting the use of CBD in clinical treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

That being said, one CBD product has FDA approval for use in the treatment of several seizure disorders.

Epidiolex is a prescription cannabidiol product that was approved by the FDA for the treatment of seizures, which tend to have an association with two severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

CBD Oils vs CBD Edibles

CBD gummies and CBD oil may have a lot in common, but they do have some major differences from each other, and understanding these differences will better help you gauge which product is right for you.

While CBD oils are both made with the same kind of CBD, these two delivery methods can be used in a number of different ways.

When deciding between the two, the main factors to consider would be:

  • how long it takes for the CBD to kick in
  • level of discretion offered
  • Is it beginner-friendly?

So, which CBD product kicks in faster?

In this category, CBD oil is almost always the winner.

Since it can absorb directly into the bloodstream,  this enables it to take effect much more quickly than CBD edibles. CBD edibles, on the other hand, have to undergo the digestion process, and this can take anywhere between 30 minutes to several hours.

But if it’s important that your CBD is discrete, this is when edibles such as gummies may be your best bet. With CBD gummies, you can enjoy your daily CBD wherever you are, free of the worry of turning heads or raising questions.

And while CBD gummies are quite beginner-friendly, there are many users who prefer the freedom and versatility allowed by CBD oils. And with the help of a premeasured dropper, newbies can experiment as they like with less guesswork.

If you seek a CBD delivery method that’s fast-acting and allows for flexible usage, CBD oil has the right pick for you. CBD oil is also going to be more affordable in the long run, which is also quite appealing to many users.

CBD Oil vs CBD Capsules

Now that we’ve compared CBD oils to CBD edibles, let’s talk about the differences between CBD oil and CBD capsules.

As you might have guessed (or known already), CBD capsules are capsules containing CBD oil. Individuals can take CBD capsules with some water, and the CBD will slowly release into the body as the stomach dissolves away the capsule’s casing.

The main difference between CBD capsules and CBD oils is the way in which the CBD is delivered and absorbed. For many users, CBD capsules are especially appealing because they’re so convenient and straightforward. Even more so, users often appreciate the fact that CBD capsules release slowly, so you don’t have to keep taking them throughout the day.

Tinctures, meanwhile, can be taken under the tongue, which is known as the sublingual method. With this method, the CBD absorbs through your tongue’s sublingual gland, which delivers it to the bloodstream without undergoing digestion.

And again, CBD oils offer a lot more versatility than CBD capsules. If your morning coffee or afternoon tea is something you look forward to, make it even better with a few quick drops of CBD! Additionally, CBD oil can be used in mocktails, baked goods, or even add it to some peanut butter and spread it on toast!

CBD Oil vs CBD Vapes

CBD vape E-liquids use the same CBD extract, but it’s suspended in a carrier oil that’s been thinned with agents like propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG).

Without the help of PG and VG, CBD becomes too viscous to properly undergo the vaporization process correctly.

CBD oils, meanwhile, are extracts with high concentrations of CBD suspended in carrier oil that might be more familiar, like olive oil or MCT oil. CBD oils are specifically formulated for oral consumption, but they are not suitable for the use of vaping, since it’s too thick and viscous to be heated by the coil.

CBD vape e-liquids, on the other hand, should be meant strictly for vaping, and are not suitable for eating, because PG and VG are not meant for oral use.

In short, CBD oil is not suitable for vaping, and CBD vapes should not be taken orally.

Whether you opt for a CBD vape or a CBD oil, all CBD products are meant to serve one purpose: to let you experience CBD’s therapeutic benefits.

With its precise dosing and significant bioavailability, CBD oil is often considered the most popular method of delivery.

But with the increasing demand for CBD products, there is a vast assortment of CBD products that help deliver the same effects, although CBD vape oils have lately been getting a bump on the popularity.

Is CBD Oil Safe?

Currently, the only FDA-approved CBD product is the drug Epidiolex, which is used for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy. However, the evidence behind CBD’s effects on the body is still quite limited.

Throughout the approval process for Epidiolex, CBD has been observed to have some potential risks and side effects such as a sedative effect, drug interactions, anxiety, or sleep disorders. Throughout clinical trials, some individuals reported side effects such as a shift in alertness, feelings of nausea, and changes in appetite.

With that being said, it’s nonetheless worth noting that Epoiolex has not been approved by the FDA for its efficacy beyond the realm of Epidiolex, and no assessments have been made regarding the optimal dosage for the average individual.

Experts have also voiced the recommendation that individuals only use products that have been third-party tested for potency, while additionally checking for contaminants like heavy metals or pesticides.

Most CBD product websites should have a Certificate of Authenticity. We advise avoiding those that do not.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

CBD edibles gained a massive spike in popularity after the 2018 Farm Bill was passed by United States legislature, fundamentally changing the way hemp and cannabis industries work.

Because of this legalization of hemp derivatives, manufacturers now have the ability to separate and refine compounds derived from hemp, and sell them commercially without worry of legal trouble. And while it’s true that CBD isn’t the only hemp-derived compound that’s gained popularity, it was one of the first to hit the market.

CBD is legal throughout most of the United States’ jurisdictions, However, it’s worth mentioning that the legal status of CBD in different states can get tricky, since the legality of CBD will heavily come down to the city and state in which you live.

While the Farm Bill prompted the removal of CBD from the list of Schedule I controlled substances, regulations mandated by the FDA are still vague when it comes to CBD, placing it in a bit of a gray area.

In general, the answer should be that yes, CBD is legal. However, that always comes with the disclaimer that legal status will depend on the state and local legislation you live in.

How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?

There are many young, hard-working individuals who use CBD to help them wind down, while also enjoying the additional benefits associated with sleep problems, feelings of overwhelm, and more.

But in order to get the most out of their benefits, it’s important that you get the right dosage that works for you.

The biggest challenge behind determining your optimal CBD oil dosage is the way in which body chemistry varies, and the fact that individuals can have different reactions to CBD. Numerous factors like body size, weight, and overall tolerance can play a role in how it interacts with you.

If you want to determine the proper CBD dose for your needs, it’s important to consider:

  1. What’s the strength of the whole bottle, in mg?
  2. How much CBD is in 1 milliliter (ml)?
  3. How much CBD is contained in the whole dropper?

By taking these questions in consideration, users can determine the proper dosage with your body weight in consideration, while adjusting the amount in milliliters per dropper to better match your dosage guidelines.

Dosing CBD Oil for Pain and Inflammation

CBD has quickly reached crowd-favorite status for a number of different reasons. However, pain management is especially noted as users’ reasons for taking , especially when it comes to managing pain symptoms.

While the FDA has not approved CBD as a pain medication, many customers report using them for a wide range of ailments, whether it’s chronic pain, or soreness from working out.

While CBD is not a cure for the underlying issues behind pain, it may be helpful in the purpose of managing the symptoms.

For example, CBD has become popular among those who suffer from migraines.

Anyone with frequent migraines knows how debilitating it can be. Currently, there is not sufficient evidence proving the benefits of CBD oil for migraines, but it’s believed that CBD affects the receptors in the brain responsible for the management of pain and inflammation.

When taking CBD oil for inflammation and general pain, there is no standard, universally recommended dose per person. However, most brands will state a recommended dosage on the bottle. Assuming that the CBD oil was purchased from a reputable brand, it’s generally best to abide by the recommended dosage.

At the end of the day, every individual is unique, which means our bodies respond in different ways based on our own set of traits based on genetics and lifestyle.

Dosing CBD Oil for Anxiety

Anxiety is a major mental health issue in the United States, affecting over 40 million Americans every year.

Anxiety can stem from a wide range of different issues; for example, stress is a common trigger for anxiety, and it can directly impact your quality of life. CBD oil has gained considerable popularity as a natural way to manage stress. Plus, it’s a non-intoxicating alternative to all of the potentially addictive opioids when choosing CBD.

While major trials are still ongoing, a 2011 study demonstrated great potential with the use of CBD for those with social anxiety disorder.

While the study incorporated a larger-than-average dose, we nonetheless recommend sticking with no more than 70 mg per day to stay safe.

Dosing CBD Oil for Sleep

A night of high-quality sleep is one of the most important factors contributing to stable mental health.

Whether it’s from anxiety, a hectic schedule, or poor sleep hygiene, millions of Americans suffer from a lack of sleep.

While CBD oil is not necessarily a sedative, it will be helpful with easing symptoms of anxiety and pain which, in turn, supports a healthier sleep pattern.

In one animal study from 2013, it was found that CBD helped with promoting total sleep time and rapid-eye movement (REM), although the study utilized highly concentrated doses. As with anxiety, it’s best to keep your dosage within 70 mg per day in order to reap the benefits more safely, and make sure to take the CBD oil at least 30 minutes prior to heading off to bed.