If you’re wondering, “What is CBD Oil?” You’re not alone. It’s taken the country and world by storm over the past few years, leaving many people with questions about the all-natural plant extract. Keep reading to find out more about the popular wellness product that’s popping up everywhere.
Table of Contents
CBD Oil Comes from Hemp
Some consumers confuse CBD with THC, the compound that comes from cannabis, also known as marijuana, and causes users to get high. CBD is a similar compound that is found in hemp. Its full name is cannabidiol, and it’s a phytocannabinoid, which is more commonly shortened to cannabinoid.
Hemp is a unique plant with over 545 naturally occurring compounds. There are at least 140 phytocannabinoids with similar properties to CBD. The organic formula also includes terpenes, flavonoids, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
The method used to remove the compounds in hemp is important. The two most common include CO2 extraction and ethanol.
There are three types of CO2 removal, subcritical, supercritical, and mid-critical. The difference between the three is the amount of pressure and temperature used for the extraction. Each has pros and cons depending on production levels, cost, and compound preservation.
Ethanol is a typical extraction method for many plant products, including essential oils. It uses high-grade alcohol to strip away the plant components and leave behind the blend of potent phytochemicals. The FDA labels the process as safe.
CBD Oil Interacts with the Endocannabinoid System
Your body has an endocannabinoid system. Also known as the ECS, it’s a complex system that helps regulate and maintain balance within the body. It’s also found in all mammals, which is why CBD oil works for you and your dog.
It plays a role in all major functions, including mood, appetite, digestion, inflammation, immune response, metabolism, memory, and reproduction.
The ECS contains endogenous cannabinoids (internal), cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, which is why the potential uses for CBD are so widespread.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and CBD Isolate
There are three main formulas for CBD. Full-spectrum or whole plant oil contains all 545 of the compounds found in the hemp plant, including 0.3% THC. The small amount isn’t enough to cause a high. In most cases, it won’t show up on a drug screening, too.
The isolate is exactly as it sounds. It’s 99.9% CBD.
What is CBD Oil Used For?
People use CBD for a variety of reasons. Some add it to their daily wellness routine to maintain a healthy quality of life. The hemp extract is commonly taken to reduce anxiety, such as uneasiness in social situations or to calm nerves before an athletic match.
Also, consumers use CBD oil to reduce inflammation following a vigorous workout or tough competition. Many find the plant-based oil improves their quality of sleep. When you aren’t as anxious or stressed and your muscles are relaxed, it’s easier to fall and stay asleep.
Possible Side Effects
Cannabidiol is safe, which is why the U.S. government approved the cultivation of hemp and the use of the plant’s compounds in 2018. There are a few side effects. These are generally mild, and consumers can usually reduce them by reducing their dose.
The most common include:
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Excessive sleepiness
Ways to Ingest
Another confusing aspect of CBD is the different ways you can use it. The oil is the base or a starting point for all other products. At the basic level, you have CBD oil, a tincture that’s taken sublingually.
The tincture works by absorbing through the membranes under the tongue into the bloodstream. This method has a fast onset of less than 20 minutes.
Some users don’t like the extract’s taste and prefer to mix it with food or drink. A popular option is blending it with juice or adding it to a smoothie. Keep in mind when using CBD oil orally and not sublingually under the tongue, it will take longer to work.
This occurs because the compound must go through the digestion process before the onset. Everyone’s body works differently, which means it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes to start.
Both methods, orally and sublingually, have about a four- to six-hour duration. This can vary depending on the potency and dose.
The other two ways to take CBD oil include vaping and topically. You should never vape hemp extracts unless you know the extraction process. Not all oils are safe to use with vaping devices. Carefully read the brand’s packaging before adding a direct flame to these products.
Hemp topicals are very popular. The CBD isn’t broken down in the liver, so the THC doesn’t get into your system. Additionally, the creams, lotions, balms, and ointments infused with CBD work in about 30 minutes, and you can re-apply as necessary.
Topical applications are also seeing a rise in popularity. These are easy to use and often combined with other ingredients to boost their wellness benefits. The most common, include,
- Beauty creams
- Lip ointments
- Muscle rubs
- Massage oils
- Bath products
There are also transdermal patches which are a little different from standard topicals. These release a little CBD over a few hours, depending on the strength. They work similarly to patches people use for quitting smoking.
CBD Oil Dosing
Most brands recommend starting with a low dose and slowly increasing it until you find the right amount to fit your needs. The most common starting dosage is between 10mg and 15mg. As a sleep supplement, people often use a higher amount.