CBD has grown in popularity hugely over recent times as more people are turning to natural ways to cure common ailments.
CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. The difference between the two is the THC content. THC is associated with a feeling of ‘getting high’. Hemp plants grown industrially and used for the extraction of CBD contain greater CBD quantities and lesser of the THC.
These compounds have been shown to bring benefits in worldwide research.
The hemp plant is classified as a type of grass. It grows rapidly in infertile soil, uses minimum water resources and draws in high concentrations of carbon dioxide. The stalks, stems and roots are used to produce fibres for ropes, clothing and even hempcrete, which is used in the building trade. CBD is only extracted from the flowers and leaves.
These are just some of the benefits of the wonderous hemp plant.
What is CBD?
The hemp plant contains over a hundred different cannabinoids with CBD being one of them. Some others include; CBN, CBDA, CBG, CBC, THC, THCV and many more.
Industrially cultivated hemp are of a high CBD strain. Additionally, there are numerous terpenes and flavonoids present which are responsible for creating taste, smell and colour in many plant species.
Terpenes and flavanoids when combined with CBD produce the ‘entourage effect’. This helps strengthen the benefits of CBD.
The extract from hemp seeds is called hemp oil. Although good for you, it does not contain the beneficial cannabinoids.
Different CBD extraction methods
Cannabinoids are industrially extracted from hemp using these two main methods:
CO2 extraction – This method is the more expensive type of extraction as it uses liquified and highly pressurised CO2 and specialised machinery to extract cannabinoids from the raw plant material. CO2 extraction is the most advance and effective form of extracting CBD from the hemp plant and importantly uses no heat which can cause deterioration of the cannabinoids. It produces a highly potent, safe and chlorophyll-free CBD extract.
Products labelled as oils are normally produced by this method and will generally be unflavoured.
Solvent (Alcohol) extraction – This method uses solvents like ethanol or alcohol for extracting CBD from plant material. A less expensive extraction method, it also requires further filtration as chlorophyll is a by-product. This unfortunately also strips other beneficial cannabidiols from the final product. Alcohol can also remain in the final product which can be unpleasant. A recent study by UK CMC found one high street CBD oil product contained 3.8% ethanol – 3.4% qualifies as alcohol!
Products labelled as distillates are a result of this extraction process.
What are the different types of CBD products?
Three types of CBD products sold commonly.
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- CBD isolate
Full spectrum CBD oil contains beneficial cannabinoids including THC (up to the UK legal permitted level of 0.2%). But note that 0.2% is an almost negligible amount and THC is a beneficial cannabinoid. Some users may be allergic to it or may have concerns with possibly failing a drugs test.
Broad spectrum CBD contains the beneficial cannabinoids but with a lesser concentration of THC. It is economically unviable to remove all THC and all oils contain trace amounts. Our broad spectrum CBD oil contains only 0.02% THC.
CBD isolate – CBD isolate is pure CBD and comes in a powdered or crystalline form and contains no other cannabinoids. This type of CBD is a less expensive form of CBD. CBD cosmetics use isolate products or cheaper oils are a mixture of hemp seed oil and isolate crystals. These tend to be the cheapest (and least beneficial) type of oils.
How does CBD work?
Our bodies contain an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which has three components: receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoids complement the body by keeping internal functions running smoothly.
The ECS governs coordination, movement, pain, appetite, memory, mood, and numerous other necessary functions. When your body’s ECS is functioning well your body is in said to be in a state of balance or homeostasis.
Research has shown that cannabinoids (CBD) facilitates and aids the normal functioning of the ECS by enabling the binding of these vital receptors.
CBD is the facilitator that helps our body’s ECS to function optimally. See more here about the endocannabinoid system.
What are the benefits of taking CBD?
As mentioned above, CBD is an aid to your body’s optimal functioning of the ECS. Scientific trials have shown CBD to be beneficial in several ways.
- CBD can help with pain relief – Studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which may help reduce chronic pain. It does this by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity helping reduce inflammation and pain. See this study
- CBD could help reduce anxiety and depression – A reduction in anxiety and depression has been shown when CBD has been use regularly. See this study
- Cancer therapy – In a study conducted with 177 people with cancer-related pain were treated with an extract containing both CBD and THC. They found a significant reduction in pain compared to those who received only THC extract
- Acne & psoriasis – CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and a laboratory study found CBD oil prevented sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum and prevented the activation of “pro-acne” agents like inflammatory cytokines
- Insomnia – A 67% improvement in sleep was reported in one trial where adults with anxiety or sleep issues were given CBD capsules daily for 3 months. Another study found that CBD improved the symptoms of REM sleep behaviour disorder
- Heart health – CBD can help lower elevated blood pressure, a risk factors for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. See research
- Digestive health – Some evidence has shown that cannabinoids can help with various digestive symptoms. Studies suggest that CBD might be beneficial for nausea and abdominal pain as well as disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). See article here
Are there side effects to CBD?
Even with chronic use or doses as high as 1,500 mg/day, CBD appears to be well tolerated. Research indicates that the side effects of CBD are minimal and rare.
CBD does not appear to cause serious long term negative side effects.
While side effects are rare, some commonly reported types are:
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
These effects may depend on the amount of CBD you ingest, your age, your weight and any health conditions you may currently have. These may stop with continued use of CBD as your body adjust to it.
Choosing the best method to take CBD
There are several ways of benefitting from CBD. It will depend on the level of pain or the type of cure you seek. These are some ways CBD is consumed:
- CBD oils – a few drops are placed under the tongue and held for a short while. This allows CBD to enter your blood stream. See our oils here
- CBD vapes – provides a faster CBD absorption into the blood stream via the lungs. Effects may not be long lasting and dosing may be difficult to estimate
- CBD balms & topicals – ideal for treating localised pain. The cannabinoids are absorbed through skin which helps with muscular pains or skin conditions
- CBD sweets or capsules – are convenient to consume and provide a precise dosage, though the CBD absorption rate is low
CBD oil has been studied for its potential role in easing symptoms of common health issues, like anxiety, depression, acne and heart disease. For those dealing with cancer, it may provide a natural alternative for pain and symptom relief.
CBD is a powerful natural treatment for many common health issues and as more research is carried out, greater amounts are being discovered about the natural benefits of cannabidiols.
Check out our broad spectrum CBD products here