CBD oils and other products are becoming increasingly more common to find in stores and online. So many people are trying it for their ailments, seeing its benefits, swearing by it, and telling all their friends and family about it. It provides relief for such a wide range of diseases, disorders, and other health issues which is making it progressively more popular. However, so many people, even those who use it, don’t know a lot about it.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a phytocannabinoid found in cannabis plants. It can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp plants, which are both two different forms of cannabis. Between what CBD is and what hemp is, people can get very confused about what the heck is actually in a hemp extract CBD oil.
1. Cannabis and Marijuana Are Synonymous
While it is true that marijuana is a type of cannabis, it is incorrect to think that all cannabis plants are marijuana. Hemp and marijuana plants both fall under the cannabis genus. Marijuana contains THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid, but cannabis plant must contain less that 0.3% THC in order to be classified as industrial hemp.
Marijuana has historically be bred to have higher levels of THC but now, as CBD is being recognized more widely for its therapeutic benefits, growers are cultivating high CBD strains of marijuana. Hemp has typically been used for rope, paper, clothing, and various other industrial uses but with CBD use on the rise, hemp is now being used to create hemp extract CBD oil. This is often a preferable option for some users because there are very low levels of the psychoactive THC molecule present in hemp. In the US, it may also be more desirable because hemp extract products are legal in most states while laws around marijuana are generally much stricter.
2. Hemp is the Male Cannabis Plant
It’s a common misconception that marijuana plants are female and hemp plants are male. Hemp and marijuana plants are dioecious, meaning they can be both male and female. In some cases they can also monoecious, which means they feature both male and female reproductive parts and can even self-pollinate.
Hemp and marijuana plants can actually cross-pollinate which, if this occurs, could create higher levels of THC in the hemp or lower levels of THC in the marijuana. This has become a cause for concern for both hemp and marijuana growers who legally grow their crops outdoors in the same state. However, crops that are not within close proximity of each other have little chance of cross pollination.
3. CBD is a Sedative
CBD itself is non-intoxicating and non-sedating. CBD oil made from medical marijuana may have sedating effects if large amounts of THC is present, but this effect is not caused by the CBD. In fact, CBD tends to have more of an alerting effect and can actually counteract the effects of THC when they are present in equal quantities of higher levels of CBD. CBD oil extracted from hemp will not have any sedating effects but it can still help with sleep issues by combatting anxiety and relieving other symptoms that may be affecting your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
4. CBD Binds to CB2 Receptors
It’s commonly known that THC binds to the CB1 receptors in your brain and creates the euphoric feelings of being high. Because your endocannabinoid system is comprised of both CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors, it’s often assumed that CBD binds to the CB2 receptors. CBD actually has very little binding affinity for either of these receptors and instead it affects other receptors and ion channels indirectly. It can act to stimulate or inhibit various hormones and neurotransmitters and can even have different effects when taken in higher or lower doses.
5. All CBD Products Are the Same
The cannabidiol molecule itself does not change from one product to the next but the type of product it is found in can make a big difference on its effects. Full spectrum hemp extract CBD oil will have next to no THC due to the very low, under 0.3%, levels that are found in the hemp plant. It will still contain the other useful cannabinoid and terpenes from that hemp plant, which can come with their own beneficial properties and can work synergistically with the CBD to enhance the therapeutic effects. This combination of favorable results is called the “entourage effect”.
CBD oil made from medical marijuana will also create the “entourage effect” but THC will be present in these products. Some strains are bred to have lower amount of THC and higher amounts of CBD but the levels of THC are still going to be more significant than what would be found in a hemp extract product. Even if the levels are low enough to not be intoxicating, they may still be high enough to show up on a drug test.
A CBD isolate will not only contain no THC, it will contain no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or any other natural plant materials. A CBD isolate is purified CBD and while this can be exactly what some people are looking for, it will not provide the other therapeutic effects from a full spectrum CBD oil.
6. Hemp Extract CBD Oil Is the Same As Hemp Seed Oil
One very easy mistake to make is that hemp extract CBD oil is the same thing as hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is extracted by a cold press process using only hemp seeds. Hemp seeds contain no CBD or THC and this product is very different than a hemp extract CBD oil, which would be made from the flowers, leaves, and stalks. While hemp seed oil does not contain any CBD it’s still a very healthy dietary supplement rich in Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids as well as vitamin E. It can be used for cooking or may be found in soaps and skins creams.
7. CBD Is the Non-Intoxicating Equivalent of THC
CBD and THC are very different, and not just because THC will get you high and CBD will not. Their chemical structures are nearly identical but the slight difference in them has a big effect on how they interact, bind with, and affect the receptors and ion channels in your body. THC directly binds with your CB1 receptors and creates feelings of intoxication but CBD can actually block these receptors, as well as stimulate or inhibit many other chemical processes within all of your physiological systems.
8. More CBD is Better
If taking a small amount of CBD helps to relieve a symptom, you may think taking more of it will make it extra effective. You may need to increase your doses to find your sweet spot but more CBD isn’t always better. CBD is a biphasic compound that will have different effects in different amounts. A very small amount may create a sense of alert focus while higher amounts may help to calm you. When trying to find your perfect dose, start low and slowly increase until you’ve found the right amount that works for you. If you continue to increase your dose and find you are no longer getting the desired effect then you’ll want to dial back the amount you’re taking. Keeping track of the changes in your symptoms will be very helpful in finding the right dose.
9. CBD Oil is Legal in All 50 States
Thanks to changes to the Farm Bill, hemp and hemp extract CBD oil are legal in all 50 states. However, this does not mean that all CBD oil is legal. In states where marijuana is illegal, CBD oil made from marijuana plants would also be considered illegal. The legality of your CBD oil will depend on what plant materials it was made from. Hemp extract CBD oil with it’s almost nonexistent levels of THC is the safest choice, especially in states where marijuana has not been legalized.
Hemp extract CBD oil can provide profound relieve for a very wide range of ailments. The CBD market can be a little confusing at times but once you understand what CBD really is, what it does, and where it comes from you’ll be able to choose the product you need. Being properly informed on the difference between the various products and plant materials can also help to keep you out of trouble with the law as well as prevent you from buying a product that might not even contain CBD.