The compounds found within cannabis (known as cannabinoids) are very similar to the ones produced naturally by our bodies. These cannabinoids have been observed to relieve the symptoms of various conditions by attaching themselves to particular receptors in the brain, thereby blocking or boosting certain signals. This can help bring calm to an otherwise stressful situation.
To get almonds from an almond tree, you can just shake the tree. To get juice from an orange, you can simply squeeze the fruit. But getting CBD oil from hemp is a much more complicated process. The cheapest and easiest ways to extract CBD oil from hemp commonly involve harsh solvents that can leave chemical residue in the CBD oil. The best, and most reliable extraction method, uses carbon dioxide (CO2) under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to pull out as much CBD as possible without introducing contaminants. Once the CO2 is no longer under intense pressure, it simply evaporates, leaving virtually no trace of extraction on the CBD oil.
To determine the purity and potency of every batch of Hemp cannabis oil each individual extraction is analyzed through a High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) system, a Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) system, and other methods to test for aerobic organisms, yeast, fungus, E. coli, pesticides, heavy toxic metals, cannabinoid potency, and terpenes.
Watch Out For: Companies who won’t disclose their extraction method or utilize hydrocarbons like butane and propane. These substances are toxic in high amounts and even with proper purging, most hydrocarbon extracts contain residual solvent. Other extraction methods do not result in a full spectrum extract – meaning they were not able to extract all of the beneficial compounds from the hemp plant (i.e. you don’t get the full range of benefits).
As I mentioned earlier, when consumed, the cannabinoids found in CBD attach themselves to certain receptors in your brain and immune system. One such receptor, the CB2 receptor, helps manage pain and inflammation in your immune system. When you use CBD oil for pain, it impacts the way your brain and body respond to the signals they’re sent—ultimately helping to reduce pain and inflammation.
That’s why, when it comes to purchasing CBD products, you need to know what to look out for before you start browsing. Do you know which companies have a reputation for producing low-quality versus high-quality CBD products? Do you know which lab results you should ask to see? Or which manufacturing certifications point to quality practices being adhered to?
With the market of medical marijuana and CBD (Cannabidiol) growing, it is important to know why something is legal and what exactly is illegal. It is also important to understand the laws around the importation of Hemp (which is legal to import) versus the States, not federal, laws that have legalized marijuana. This way you can purchase and consume with the good faith of knowing you are within your legal rights.
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Many users of CBD oil have reported a number of benefits to adding the supplement to their daily lives. From experiencing feelings of calm and relaxation to assisting in the relief of some symptoms associated with chronic illness, anxiety, and inflammation, CBD oil is certainly earning its fast-growing reputation as a powerful support for wellness.
You can purchase CBD and hemp oil in specialty retail stores – over the counter (i.e. nutrition stores and smoke shops). Physical stores offer buyers the ability to see the products before they purchase as well as gives them the chance to actively engage with store associates by asking questions and learning about other products that they might be interested in. When you are looking to choose a reputable and high-quality CBD retailer, it is also important to inquire about the product’s third-party test results. This way, you will be assured that you are getting a high-quality and safe product as reputable companies will invest in such tests to gain the trust of their customers.

Is it full-spectrum? Full-spectrum is the use of the whole hemp plant vs. an isolate which extracts the CBD from the plant. Using marketing terms like “pure” and “all natural,” isolates are sometimes not hemp at all and synthesized in a lab. While the efficacy of full-spectrum is debated in the scientific community, anecdotes and a study in Israel favor full-spectrum. In addition to potential benefits, there’s another reason you should be buying the whole plant: contamination. Chen notes that isolates are harder to trace back to origin and can be straight-up fake. Overseas lab-made isolates are cheaper than domestic versions, making the potential for contamination high. Utah recently grappled with synthetic CBD when 52 people became sick from an isolate. While isolates can be legitimate (FDA-approved Epiliodex is an isolate), you’re going to have to spend more time researching the brand’s products and practices. Put it this way, if you could get your vitamin C from Sunny D or fresh squeezed OJ, which would you prefer?
While researchers are calling for more robust studies on the role of CBD on mood disorders, there is promising research that points to CBD’s role as an anxiolytic – which means it has anti-anxiety effects. Another study showed CBD to have antidepressant effects comparable to those of the prescription antidepressant Imipramine. We noted above that CBD increases levels of glutamate and serotonin – and it’s these same neurotransmitters that play a crucial role in mood regulation.
There are new CBD companies coming online every week – these span the range from truly awful to really great. So how to choose the best? The quality of the CBD oil itself is obviously the most important factor – and many companies do take the quality of their products seriously. To reward those companies, we gave more weight to the quality of the product than any other category.
This may seem like a repeat of an earlier question, but while that question related to concentration of CBD in the product, this is simply a question of how much you’re getting in total. Most bottles are labeled in a similar way – “1,000mg CBD Oil” or “1,000mg Hemp Extract” – which generally means the entire bottle contains a total of 1,000mg of CBD.
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