CBD has found new stardom in the mainstream world of health and wellness. The buzzword pops up everywhere from morning coffee shops touting CBD cold brew and grocery store shelves housing CBD infused waters, to the seemingly safe tinctures available on Amazon coming from all parts of the world. Between the places it’s sold to the vessels for ingestion (tinctures, topicals, capsules, vapes, etc.), it can be a vast sea of confusion that can leave you wondering –What is CBD oil? What forms does it come in? What are the benefits? How do you get the most out for your CBD experience? And where is the best place to buy?
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of over one hundred chemical compounds found in cannabis plants (hemp and marijuana). CBD oil is the extract from the flowers and leaves from the plant and may contain other levels of the plant’s compounds and is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, unlike THC.
The CBD extract is then refined to 1 of 3 different types of oils that you’ll see while shopping.
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil: Contains a full array of compounds produced by its source plant – high levels of CBD, low levels of THC, and trace amounts of minor cannabinoids and terpenes. The “entourage effect” is synonymous with full-spectrum meaning there’s increased effectiveness of these oils thanks to the cannabinoids working synergistically.
- Broad Spectrum CBD Oil: Contains a wide array of compounds produced by its source plant however THC is removed
- CBD Isolate: Contains only CBD, all other compounds have been removed.
One important thing to note while researching and shopping, CBD oil and hemp seed oil are not the same things. Hemp seed oil is derived from hemp seeds and contains no active CBD.
What forms does it come in?
There’s a number of safe and effective methods for ingestion. Take a run through some of the most popular below:
Capsules: The CBD is in gel caps that are swallowed like a vitamin.
Concentrates: These are tablets that are placed under the tongue or along the cheeks and typically have the strongest dosage of CBD.
Edibles: These come in the form of food (like gummies or cookies) and are eaten like any nonmedicated snack.
Tinctures: The CBD is in liquid form and usually comes in in a glass bottle with a dropper. The dropper is used to apply the extract under the tongue for absorption.
Topicals: This comes in lotions, salve, or lip balms and is applied to areas of inflammation or pain for absorption.
Vapes: The CBD is in a cartridge and smoked with an e-cigarette, vape pen, or vaporizer.
What are the benefits?
CBD has a laundry list of potential benefits some of which may include anxiety relief, depression reduction, pain relief, alleviation of cancer-related symptoms.
How does it do this, you may ask? CBD not only interacts with our body’s nervous system but also the Endocannabinoid System which aids in the regulation of pain, stress, appetite, energy, cardiovascular function, reward perception, and the list goes on. The CBD oil engages with specific receptors in the brain that impact chemicals affecting these feelings – i.e.: reducing the absorption of the chemical associated with pain.
Keep in mind, while we do know a lot about these interactions, there’s still a lot of research yet to be done to understand the full scope of CBD and the effects on the body.
How to get the most out of your CBD experience?
So why are there so many products that contain ratios of THC and CBD, you might ask and why do people buy Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs CBD Isolate? It can be a very confusing feat to find the product that works best with your body.
There’s a lot of information out there about what makes CBD most effective when ingested, for example, including THC to aide in absorption. There’s varying research to support this claim but what it boils down to is your desire to feel any sense of high in conjunction with the impacts of CBD. Many products on the market now have ratios of THC to CBD to provide the feeling the consumer is in search of – whether it’s anxiety relief with a mellow high or calming inflammation with a dose of an easy body high.
Where is the best place to buy?
Your best bet for buying CBD products is a stop in your local licensed cannabis dispensary. The major benefit to this is that all CBD products sold there have gone through rigorous third-party testing, delivering consumers trustworthy results. This means that not only will you be consuming regulated substances, but you’ll have proof of potency and can rest assured your product is free from harsh chemicals (like pesticides) or any imitation oils. The same cannot be said when ordering tinctures from random Amazon shops that contain products coming from places like China.
As we collectively work towards cannabis legalization across the country, it’s important to remember that shopping at licensed dispensaries only helps the cause. Supporting shops where the products sold are safe for the consumers contributes to the confidence that cannabis can not only be used for medicinal applications but can be properly regulated for recreational use. So many times stories of counterfeit products flooding the market take the story away from the positive aspects of cannabis and shed light on circumstances that can be avoided when shopping at a licensed dispensary.
Lastly, shop local to support local and keep your favorite dispensaries open!
Be sure to read our article about Cannabis Tourism.