What Is CBD and How Can You Benefit from it?

Cannabidiol -- or CBD -- is one of 113 cannabinoids found in hemp plants and accounts for 40% of the plant extracts. CBD does contain a small amount of THC(0.3% or less), but when consumed it does not bind with the CB1 receptors in the body like high THC level products do; therefore, it has no psychoactive properties. In other words, no, it does not get you high. This also means it will not show up on drug screen testing for cannabis.

Hemp vs. Marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol, also called THC, is the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects. An average batch of marijuana contains anywhere from 5-20% THC content. Some premium marijuana can have up to 25-30% THC. Hemp, on the other hand, is regulated to only contain a max THC level of 0.3%, essentially making it impossible to feel any psychoactive effect or get a “high”. Rather, hemp contains high CBD content that acts as THC’s antagonist, essentially making the minimal amount of THC useless. 

CBD and Hemp Oil Extraction. CBD is extracted from Hemp plants. Some CBD products use Isolate or “full spectrum”, which is 100% pure CBD with all other compounds of the plant stripped away. Other methods use “broad spectrum” CBD extracts which only contain 80%-90% CBD or Hemp Oil, leaving 10%-20% of the plant's natural terpenes and Phytocannabinoids. Because of these natural plant compounds, broad spectrum concentrates are better absorbed by the body, giving you the best use of the CBD or Hemp Oil.

There are three main ways of extracting cannabidiol which yield different kinds of extracts. The safest way is CO2 extraction. CO2 is pushed through the plant at high pressure and low temperatures. Though it is the safest, it’s also the most expensive method of extracting CBD, which means the product you buy is going to be more expensive as well. The upside is CO2 extraction gives you the cleanest taste of the product.

Another extraction method is oil. People often use olive oil in making CBD oils due to the added benefits of pairing the two. It’s a clean and safe method, though it can leave an unwanted residue and can be a little messy to use.

The final, and probably least desirable, extraction method is ethanol. Extractors use high grain alcohol to extract CBD oil. It’s cheap, but it also destroys some of the beneficial oils found in CBD. 

Finding the best quality product. While most brands want to deliver high quality products, not 100 percent of companies maintain this same level of integrity. The first thing you should look into is how it was extracted and the source of the plant. For best quality and cleanest oils, CO2 extraction is the way to go. Hemp plants are “hyperaccumulators” meaning that the plant easily absorbs anything that is present in the ground where it was cultivated and farmed. If a hemp plant grew on rich soil, the resulting plant will be of high quality that can produce CBD oil in the same high-quality as well. Another thing to search the label for “Whole Plant” vs. “Full Spectrum.”

Whole plant extractions are more beneficial, giving you the most of you CBD or hemp oil products. 

What is the best CBD Product for me? There are hundreds of ways to consume CBD products, it all depends on your own preference. Some common ways are tinctures (drops), gummies, teas, vapes or e-juices, wax, and flowers. Finding the best product for you starts with finding your preferred method. If you’re someone who isn’t a fan of smoking or vaping, you can go the route of eating or drinking it in the form of gummies, baked goods or water drops. You can even get wax crumbles and sprinkle it on any food you like! And if you’re on the go and need quick and easy pain relief, there are even topical oils and creams. 

Hemp Seed Oil and Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil. Hemp oil is the same as CBD oil. It’s pressed from the leaves, flowers, and stems of plants and is rich in cannabinoids. Hemp Seed oil and Cannabis Sativa Seed oil are simply just oils that have been pressed from the seeds of the plant, rather than the plant itself. They contain NO CBD and do NOT hold the same properties and benefits as CBD. Hemp Seed oil is used in foods as dietary supplements and is sometimes found in beauty products. So, if you ever see Hemp lotions or Hemp beauty products, no, you are not getting CBD from those. 

CBD and Pain Management. CBD oil may reduce pain, inflammation, and overall discomfort related to a variety of health conditions. Researchers think that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help your cells respond. This creates anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects that can help with pain management. This means that CBD oil may benefit people with chronic pain, such as chronic back pain.

Side Effects. Small-scale studies have found that people generally tolerate CBD well, but some individuals may experience mild side effects. These side effects can include tiredness and fatigue, irritability, nausea, and trouble sleeping.

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