While THC affects your brain’s endocannabinoid receptors (resulting in the high), CBD does not attach directly to the receptors. Instead, it influences your body into using its own natural supply of cannabinoids more effectively. That is to say, it can inhibit or activate compounds in the ECS, which in turn can impact the amount of pain you feel or limit inflammation in the brain and nervous system.
CBD oil is a refined oil rich in the cannabinoid molecule cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD. Unlike it’s more infamous cousin, THC, CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t cause the traditional high associated with cannabis. And while CBD oil can be sourced from any cannabis plant, it is commonly derived from agricultural hemp—cannabis plants bred to express less than 0.3% THC and thus have no intoxicating potential.
In order to account for the low CBD content of these hemp plants, manufacturers have to process large volumes of raw material at a time, with the idea of extracting just enough CBD so that they can label their product as a “CBD oil.” While this method is fine in theory, what ultimately ends up happening (unless the manufacturer’s extraction methods are state of the art), is that traces of chemicals cane end up being left over in the final product. These chemicals can potentially contain harsh solvents such as butane, hexane, and propylene glycol, which has been known to break down into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.
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.