The first step to finding your correct CBD dosage is getting as much information as you can about the product you’re using. What is the concentration of CBD? Are there third-party lab tests that can confirm that? The CBD industry is still mainly a grassroots therapeutic movement, and as such, largely unregulated. Concentration and purity levels can differ greatly depending on the manufacturing process.
I cannot personally vouch for most of the brands on Amazon currently vs. most of the merchants on our page here, but I include Amazon as a resource for the folks that are comfortable shopping via that platform. You can also find my beginners guide, The Cannabis Oil Companion on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. *We have been having some issues with our Amazon widget not displaying below intermittently in certain browsers, trying to troubleshoot this behavior, we apologize if this is not rendering for you. There is also a text link to Amazon's hemp oil section listed below.
There are over 85 cannabinoids that make up the marijuana plant. The most popular and well known of these is tetrahydrocannabinol, or better known as THC. THC is a psychotropic cannabinoid that causes a high when inhaled or ingested. CBD has no THC. This means those dealing with various forms of pain and depression can safely use CBD to curb negative effects on the body without having to turn to prescription pharmaceuticals.
For example, using CBD vape oil requires a vaporizer, something you may be unfamiliar with, and for a beginner it can be intimidating. But vaping is only one option, and if you’re new to the world of CBD, a tincture is your best bet—it’s portable, discreet, and easy to use. And with only a few drops or sprays on your tongue, it’s super easy to keep track of your daily serving size.
The reason for the low THC content in hemp is that most THC is formed in resin glands on the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant. Industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce buds, and therefore lacks the primary component that forms the marijuana high. Furthermore, industrial hemp has higher concentrations of a chemical called Cannabidiol (CBD) that has a negative effect on THC and lessens its psychoactive effects when smoked in conjunction.
To add to the challenges, brands in the CBD space are struggling to verify their own products. Laura White, founder of Soul Addict, started a CBD line after she found it helped her with crippling anxiety. Wanting to create a reliable product in both purity and potency, she’d test on top of the farm’s tests and kept running into the same problem: The lab results didn’t match. When White finally found a farm that had accurate tests, she’d partner with them. A few years later, Soul Addict now sources all its CBD through small, family-run farms in Colorado and White is in the process of integrating her own crops from North Carolina. The lesson she learned? Brands should be constantly testing their product to verify their farms’ reports.
But is there a possibility of CBD oil getting you high? Well, CBD oil comes from the extracts of hemp plants, which do contain very low levels of THC. If the extraction method used to get the CBD oil cuts corners or is done incorrectly, though, there is a chance that THC levels will be great enough to produce a high. This is where we can refer back to point number one – affordability vs quality!
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Conversely, to preserve most of the plant’s trichromes – these are the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids – look for Supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 extraction. This method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the medicinal oil. While this method is more expensive and involves complex equipment and expertise, it ensures quality.
Unregulated markets come with some obvious risks; lack of oversight, false claims, the potential for dangerous pesticides and contaminants. Cannabis, in states where it’s legal, is regulated. Sold in state-licensed stores (akin to states controlling liquor stores, except with higher taxes and much stricter regulations) aka dispensaries, you can be confident that the CBD-dominant cannabis tinctures, topicals, vapes, and edibles on shelves are accountable to purity and accuracy tests.
Watch Out For: Companies that do not have test results or refuse to give them to customers. Also be wary of companies who only test one batch of finished product and then assume that all future batches will be the same – big mistake. Hemp is a product of nature and thus, no two batches will ever be identical – even in the most regulated environment. The company must provide you test results for the actual product you intend to purchase as well as the plant material used to make it – otherwise you are jeopardizing your safety and the medical efficacy of the product.
Correct Answer: Organic ethanol wash – this is one of the oldest and most natural way to derive a full spectrum extract from the cannabis plant. A full spectrum extract strips all the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant – in this case, without the need to use any heavy machinery or toxic hydrocarbons. The ethanol solvent is carefully boiled out to leave a CBD extract that is 100% safe and solvent-free. Full spectrum extracts utilize the whole plant which results in an extract with greater medical efficacy than isolating and administering CBD, for instance, on its own.