In short, Cannabidiol – or CBD – is a cannabis compound that has many therapeutic benefits. Usually extracted from the leaves and flowers of hemp plants – though marijuana can also be a source – CBD oil is then incorporated into an array of marketable products. These products vary from the most common, like sublingual oils and topical lotions, to the less common (think CBD lattes). Basically, if you can dream it, you can buy it.
In the U.S., we live in a culture where more is often perceived as being better. And it’s easy, without even thinking about it, to apply that approach to CBD dosing. But when it comes to CBD, more is not necessarily better. In fact, for many, less CBD is more effective. One way to determine your optimal dosage is to start with a small amount of CBD for a couple weeks and then slowly increase your dosage, carefully taking note of symptoms, until you’re seeing the results you want.
GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices, and it covers the practices required to ensure products are produced according to industry standards. The agencies that control the authorization and licensing of the manufacture and sale of these products provide guidelines, and the manufacturer must adhere to these guidelines to make sure their products remain consistent and of high quality from batch to batch.
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?
Because the extraction used to make our CBD oil yields a full spectrum extract, our hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids, including CBD, CBC, CBG, CBG-A, CBC-A, CBN and many others. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our industrial hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavonoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp cannabis oil are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
I will continue to use bluebird botanical products loyally. Their customer service is exceptional. Their products are of exceptional quality and reasonably priced. Due to the dedication of their staff, I have been given back something I thought was lost to me: HOPE. I cannot thank BlueBird enough for their dedication to sharing a product that improves the quality of life for others.
What’s more, CBD vape oils require additional equipment. In order to transform the oil into vapor, you’ll need an e-pen or vaporizer. This means an extra investment on top of the vape oil itself. I therefore recommend that, if you’re a first-time user, you try a more accessible and affordable CBD product type to make sure it’s the right supplement for you, before graduating to vape oil.
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.
There is a growing number of medical cannabis dispensaries offering CBD-rich products in the U.S. Most physical dispensaries are required to operate under state health and safety standards set by law. The state conducts background checks on owner and staff, and dispensaries must meet security requirements and strict licensing guidelines. When buying hemp-based CBD oil (low in THC or/and CBD) you will not need a card, however, to purchase cannabis plant-based CBD oil patients need to be certified by a doctor who is part of their continuing care, and who’s registered with the state’s medical-marijuana program. That, however, applies only to those living in states that have passed medical marijuana laws. It is important for one to visit the dispensaries and get as much information as to whether their products have been tested and undergone clinical trials.
Strength is also an extremely important consideration. Beginners may find that it’s easier to control dosage using a lower strength tincture. On the other hand, experienced CBD consumers know that high strength tinctures are more cost effective. Although stronger tinctures cost more, you get more CBD oil and other beneficial cannabinoids in each drop. Most CBD brands offer more than one option for strength.
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Tinctures are ideal for CBD novices, as they’re not always as strong as other CBD product types. If you know how much CBD you require and you’re after a higher concentration, a regular CBD tincture is unlikely to deliver the goods. However, this is beginning to change as companies experiment with higher concentrations. In the meantime, consider a vape oil, paste, or concentrate to enjoy a stronger CBD experience.
Similarly, transparency is one of our top concerns when it comes to selecting the best CBD oil tinctures. Every product below is clearly labeled, so you can easily understand how much CBD oil / full spectrum hemp extract is in each bottle. You can also easily find the complete ingredients on the bottle, packaging or the company’s website. These brands are also open about where they source their hemp.
Tinctures start with a raw or decarboxylated oil, but they are a more palatable (tastier if you will) option. In order to make a tincture, emulsifiers and a carrier oil and flavoring are added to the base oil. They will be packaged with a dropper or spray top for ease of use. They may even contain sweeteners. These are a great starter product or an ideal daily food supplement for anyone who does not enjoy a hempy flavor. Some flavors, like spearmint and orange, will mask the hemp flavor while other lighter options, like vanilla, will complement it.
It sounds like the title of a children’s book, but like so much else that you learned in kindergarten, it’s true. Everyone’s body is different – but everyone’s endocannabinoid system is really unique. For reasons we don’t fully understand, receptors in the endocannabinoid system don’t respond predictably to cannabinoids from person to person. This lack of a predictable response makes standard dosing tricky.
Filtered oil has been through the most processing. Generally, filtered oil has been decarboxylated and then even further refined by filtering out the phytochemicals and plant materials. This makes the oil gold in color which is often considered the highest quality compared to raw or decarboxylated oil. Filtered oil is commonly referred to as “gold” CBD oil and is very popular among consumers. It also tends to be the most expensive, but this isn’t always the case.
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.
Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 – Amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of “marihuana.” Defines “industrial hemp” to mean the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Deems Cannabis sativa L. to meet that concentration limit if a person grows or processes it for purposes of making industrial hemp in accordance with state law. ~ https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/525