What is CBD Oil | Get The Facts

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What is CBD oil? CBD oil is a promising natural remedy used to alleviate symptoms of various ailments, including chronic pain and epilepsy. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the term “CBD oil” sometime during the past year.

CBD oil got popular because of its main compound, cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol is a compound naturally found in cannabis that doesn’t have mind-altering properties—aka, it doesn’t get the user high. Hence, the most-asked question by people who want to buy CBD oil is whether it will get them high or not.

Let’s take a look at what CBD oil is, how it is used, and what health benefits it offers.

What Is CBD Oil?

To answer this question, we first need to explain: “What is CBD?”

What Is CBD Oil?

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CBD oil is made by extracting cannabidiol (CBD) from the cannabis oil. After extracting it, the oil is usually diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. [1]

To avoid legal issues, most manufacturers today extract CBD oil from the hemp plant, which is a variety of cannabis. Hemp became legal in the U.S. in 2018, after the signing of the Hemp Bill by President Trump. The main difference between hemp and marijuana is in their THC content. Hemp is legally only allowed to have 0.3% THC.

An important thing to keep in mind when buying CBD oil is checking to see whether it is extracted from organically cultivated hemp. This is an important point because you don’t want any pesticides or other chemicals in your CBD oil.

Cannabidiol is extracted using various methods, but the best one is the CO2 extraction method. [2]

  • CO2 Extraction Method. This method of extraction is the most commonly used one and is one of the safest extraction methods that provides a pure, safe, and potent end product. The CBD oil produced using the CO2 extraction method is free of chlorophyll, which is why this method is considered the best. During this extraction method, pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) is used to pull cannabidiol and other compounds from the cannabis plant. One of the biggest downsides of this extraction method is that it requires expensive equipment.
  • Olive Oil Extraction Method. This method of CBD extraction is performed using olive oil. This method is both safe and inexpensive.
  • Ethanol Extraction Method. The ethanol extraction method is used to create quality cannabis oil used for vape pens and other products.

Cannabidiol is extracted using various methods, but the best one is the CO2 extraction method.

CBD Oil and The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a complex system located through your body and regulates vital functions.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a crucial role in the way your body uses CBD oil to heal. Although the regulatory processes of ECS are yet to be discovered, the endocannabinoid system plays a huge role in maintaining the internal balance of the body. There are three main parts of the endocannabinoid system: cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes.

CBD has its own ways of communicating with and activating the endocannabinoid system. One of the ways is by increasing the levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid that has a structure similar to the phytocannabinoid THC.

The connection between CBD and anandamide is helpful for various conditions. Studies suggest that patients with epilepsy have lower levels of anandamide. According to a study, “There is also evidence of dysfunction in the endocannabinoid systems in epilepsy. Patients who were newly diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy have significantly lower levels of anandamide in cerebrospinal fluid compared with healthy counterparts.” [3]

The endocannabinoid system naturally produces an enzyme—FAAH enzyme—that helps break down anandamide.

So, to keep anandamide levels in the body high and ease the pain and seizures in patients with epilepsy, CBD oil is proven to downregulate the amount of the FAAH enzyme, allowing anandamide to increase its levels. So, by taking CBD oil, people with epilepsy benefit from the increased levels of anandamide in their bodies, which accordingly lowers the intensity of their symptoms.

CBD Oil and the Endocannabinoid System

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Full-Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate

The cannabis plant is also rich in other compounds, such as terpenoids and flavonoids. Terpenoids are aromatic compounds that are believed to give the plant its pharmacological values. So far, there have been 200 terpenoids described in cannabis, and they give the plant its characteristic odor. [4]

Terpenoids are important because of the entourage effect.

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So, according to this implication, the powerful synergy between the compounds in cannabis when used as an entire plant increases the plant’s potency compared to when each component is extracted and used separately.

There is a lot of research that supports the theory behind the entourage effect. A 2015 study that examined the impact of whole-plant cannabis extract with high levels of CBD compared to a CBD isolate in relieving pain and inflammation revealed that whole-plant CBD extract showed a significantly higher efficacy. [6]

So, if you want to get the most out of CBD oil, it is recommended to use full-spectrum CBD instead of CBD isolate. Let’s explain the difference between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.

Depending on the compounds extracted, CBD comes in its two most popular forms: full-spectrum oil and CBD isolate.

CBD comes in its two most popular forms: full-spectrum oil and CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum CBD oil is also known as whole-plant CBD oil and is extracted from the cannabis plant together with THC, other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. This means that full-spectrum CBD does contain a specific amount of THC, but it is usually not enough to get you high. The great thing about full-spectrum CBD oil is that it contains the compounds that are naturally found in cannabis in specific ratios.

And as the entourage effect tells us, the healing effects of cannabis don’t depend solely on THC and CBD as its main compounds. Rather, there are also other compounds—including terpenes and flavonoids—that better work in synergy, rather than in isolation.

On the other hand, CBD isolate, often labeled as pure CBD oil, is a CBD-only product. Although full-spectrum CBD oil works better than CBD isolate, it is worth mentioning that pure CBD oil also has its benefits. CBD isolate is perfect for people who want to avoid any effects that come from THC for legal or personal reasons but still want to benefit from it. If consumed in the right dose, CBD oil in the form of an isolate can be used for various ailments.

RELATED: Comprehensive List of Hemp Products to Hit Shelves in 2019

Proven Benefits of CBD Oil

What is CBD oil? CBD oil is one of the hottest products around. Many vendors offer CBD products claiming to have certain levels of cannabidiol in them. Although it is very hard to know whether that particular CBD product contains the amount of CBD claimed, it is always recommended to ask and check their lab results. Make sure the CBD oil you are buying comes from organically grown hemp, and that it is extracted using the CO2 extraction method.

Sources:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbdoil-benefits
  2. https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/cannabisoil-extraction
  3. http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/jpet/357/1/45.full.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6308289/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/
  6. https://file.scirp.org/Html/5-2500582_53912.htm
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5478794/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17157290
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19896326
  11. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2015/biology-potential-therapeutic-effects-cannabidiol

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