What is CBD?

CBD is one of the compounds which is present in the plants of the Cannabis family. There are two different ways in which CBD can be made. It can either be synthesized in a laboratory from chemicals or it can be isolated from its natural sources. It can be found in both the Marijuana plant itself and also in the industrial Hemp plant which comes from the same family. Although the chemical CBD is identical no matter which source it is derived from, there are differences between CBD oil derived from Hemp and that derived from the Marijuana plant due to the other additional compounds the plant contains.

CBD from Hemp

The Cannabis plant is used for numerous purposes. The differences lie in the process of extraction used, which parts of the plant are used and the cannabinoid percentages in the resulting product. Hemp is a plant of the Cannabis family which is bred for industrial and nutritional purposes rather than for recreational and medicinal use.

It’s important not to mistake CBD oil derived from hemp with hemp oil. Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. These have an extremely low CBD content and virtually no THC at all. While hemp oil itself offers health benefits in terms of its vitamin E and Omega 3 and 6 content, it doesn’t offer the benefits associated with CBD.

CBD oil derived from the hemp plant comes from the stalks of the plant, and not the seeds. Such oil contains CBD but virtually no THC and this makes them ideal for making CBD products for medicinal use that produce no psychoactive effects.

In order for any cannabis plant to be recognized as hemp rather than marijuana, it has to have a maximum THC content of 0.3%. CBD oil from industrial hemp plants are classed as dietary supplements by the FDA and this means that they can be sold in areas where CBD oil from medicinal marijuana plants is illegal. Unfortunately, this also means that CBD oil from hemp plants is not as rigorously tested as CBD oil from the marijuana plant and therefore it could have contaminants which could prove harmful, or lower levels of CBD than advertised on the product itself.

CBD from Marijuana plants

Although CBD oil can be derived from industrial hemp, it can also be derived from high-CBD strains of marijuana too. There are many strains which are currently being cultivated specifically for their high CBD concentrations, including Ringo’s Gift, Sour Tsunami, Cannatonic, Harlequin and AC/DC as well as the famous Charlotte’s Web strain. Although these strains are not legally permitted to be grown or sold where Cannabis hasn’t been legalized, they are available in the states which have now legalized medicinal marijuana. CBD oil produced from CBD dominant strains can then be used to make a range of beneficial CBD products including edibles, topicals, tinctures and concentrates.

Marijuana strains which have a high CBD content may or may not have a high THC content too. This means that they could have a THC level of over 0.3% (the maximum level of THC in hemp derived CBD products). Therefore, they may or may not produce a psychoactive effect which hemp derived CBD products will not.

The market for CBD oil derived from marijuana plants has strict testing standards and the concentration of CBD in these products is usually much higher than that in CBD products derived from industrial hemp. These products will have test results from state certified labs and will have their ingredients and CBD content fully listed.

CBD and other Cannabinoids

There are many compounds in the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the two primary cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, however CBD oils which also embrace the cannabis plant’s full spectrum of natural phytonutrients are widely regarded to be more beneficial. In the time before cannabis hybrids were created to produce strains with the highest possible THC content, naturally occurring cannabis strains in the wild had moderate levels of both THC and CBD together with other therapeutic cannabinoids which occurred naturally in the plant such as CND and CBG. Not only that, but cannabis plants also contain numerous flavonoids, phytonutrients and terpenes which work together with the CBD and THC compounds to produce something called the “entourage effect”.

It is known that if THC is added in any amount to therapeutic doses of CBD, the effect of the CBD is largely enhanced. This is why many CBD products derived from marijuana plants contain a variety of ratios of THC to CBD. You can find products which are 1:1 THC:CBD, 20:1 CBD:THC or 2:1 THC:CBD so patients can find the right combination to suit their individual needs and treat their unique symptoms most effectively.

Dosing CBD

CBD comes in a range of forms, just like THC. This means that each can be taken in different ways and the dosage is different.

CBD oil in its liquid or tincture form will often have a recommended serving size as well as the milligrams of CBD shown on the packaging. This information will tell you the right amount to take. The right number of drops should be placed under the tongue and kept there for around a minute so that the active compounds can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the tissues rather than have to pass through the digestive system. This allows for fairly rapid delivery and relatively swift relief to be experienced.

CBD oil can also be vaped in cartridge or e-liquid format or dabbed in the form of shatter or wax. This allows for an instant response since the CBD is immediately delivered into the body and brain although the effects only last for around an hour. It is also a more potent option for a more effective relief.

CBD-infused edibles and drinks are also an option although the effects are experienced much more slowly, taking up to an hour to be felt. The good news, however, is that the effect is much more long lasting at around 2 to 4 hours, and it is a very subtle and discreet form of usage. There is also the option of using CBD infused topicals which can be used to treat inflamed joints and sore muscles. They are slow to take effect but are easy to use and are suitable for use on just a specific area of the body.