With such varied information across the internet regarding CBD and CBD-derived products, it can be difficult to understand exactly what it is, how it is made and how it interacts with your body. However, it is always essential that you know exactly what you are putting into your body and CBD oil is no different.
But before you do, let’s begin by explaining what CBD is and why it has so many medical benefits.
In basic terms, CBD or Cannabidiol is one of around 113 active cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Recent research has discovered that it can have far more powerful medicinal and therapeutic effects than any other cannabinoid found in cannabis.
Until the mid-2000’s, it was thought that CBD played no sole role in interacting with the human body in a therapeutic way. In fact, it was widely accepted that THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol was the only cannabinoid that could manipulate receptors in the human body.
However in 2005, researchers discovered a new receptor in the human brain, which they named CB2. This receptor, along with others, interacts directly with CBD (without the need for THC) to provide therapeutic or medical relief to certain areas of the body. This groundbreaking discovery essentially meant that THC and CBD need no longer be used together. THC is the cannabinoid that offers the psychoactive response from ingesting cannabis, basically the ‘high’. CBD on the other hand, does not contain any psychoactive properties, meaning that for those who weren’t simply looking to get high, could receive the medical help they needed.
CBD is generally considered to aid a number of conditions and ailments including appetite stimulation, controlling nausea and vomiting, causing muscle relaxation and drowsiness, anxiety control and antibiotic effects as well. Some studies also indicate that CBD aids in the treatment of some types of cancer and autoimmune diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and arthritis.
How is CBD Oil made?
Due to the aforementioned research suggesting that CBD has a wide variety of therapeutic properties, many cultivators and companies have started to create CBD oils in many different ways. It is important to note that cannabis oil is not always CBD oil. Cannabis oil often still contains THC and therefore psychoactive properties.
CBD oil is also not only made from the cannabis plant; it can also be extracted from hemp. The difference between the two plants and the subsequent CBD extraction is that hemp is bred to contain the lowest contents of THC possible, meaning that no psychoactive properties will be felt at all. Hemp derived CBD oil also has far fewer legal restrictions on its head than cannabis derived CBD oil.
Generally, the three most popular ways of making CBD oil are as follows:
- CO2 Method
- Ethanol Method
- Oil Method
The CO2 method of making CBD oil is generally considered the safest and best method. Carbon Dioxide is filtered through the cannabis or hemp plant at high pressure to produce pure CBD oil. While this method may be the most proficient, it is the most expensive.
The Ethanol method involves using high-grain alcohol to extract the CBD. This is a cheap method but can often destroy some of the natural oils contained in the plant.
The Oil method is fast becoming the most popular way of extracting CBD oil. This involves using a carrier oil (olive oil is most frequently used) to extract the necessary cannabinoid from the plant.
How does CBD Oil work?
CBD oil can be administered in a number of ways. It can be placed under the tongue sublingually, rubbed onto the skin, swallowed or vaporised and inhaled. However, whichever way the CBD oil is ingested, it does virtually the same thing inside the body.
Much like other cannabinoids including THC, CBD activates receptors in the body. These various receptors each play a key role in maintaining health in different areas of the body.
For example, CBD can activate the TRPV receptor, which mediates that body’s temperature control and pain perception.