For those needing a refresh, CBD or cannabidiol is one of the many compounds, or cannabinoids, found both in cannabis sativa (federally illegal) and industrial hemp (gray area) that has shown preclinical promise in treating anxiety and inflammation. Adding to its therapeutic legitimacy, CBD was recently FDA-approved to be used in an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex making it the first cannabis compound to be federally recognized. Over the last year, CBD’s become the darling of the wellness world, working its way into our juices, facials, creams, and cocktails, purportedly giving people the benefits of cannabis without the THC high. Very chill.
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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.
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Hemp also contains fatty acids which have been known to be great for the body. Unlike its marijuana counterpart, hemp contains high quantities of CBD and low volumes of THC for which its grown. While marijuana is illegal to consume in many states, hemp is slowly becoming more popular and more states are legalizing the uses of hemp oil for its citizens.
“The need for enhanced bioavailability of the CBD phytonutrient is paramount”, adds Moriarity, “but tricky to accomplish without synthetic chemicals.” Most CBD products do not offer any bioavailability optimization, so 90 percent of the CBD is lost to first-pass effect, a phenomenon of drug metabolism whereby the concentration of a drug is greatly reduced before it reaches systemic circulation.
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CBD oil is similar to other products in that it is capable of being “watered down.” Some companies will try to eke out a higher profit margin by fooling their customers into thinking they’re getting more for less. It is important to pay attention to the concentration level of the CBD oil you’re buying in order to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for. Although concentrations of CBD can vary quite a bit across the broad range of CBD products, a quality product will start off having somewhere between 250mg to 1,000mg per fluid ounce. This matters because if you were to purchase a 4 ounce bottle that contained 250mg of CBD, your concentration would be a mere 62.5 mg of CBD per ounce – hardly enough to reap the full benefits of CBD. It’s always important to look at the concentration level of the CBD you’re buying.