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.
As of now, there are only 9 states (and Washington, D.C.) that permit the use of marijuana on a recreational level. This means that, depending on where you live, it may or may not be possible to just walk into a dispensary and ask for a bottle of fine quality CBD oil. Also, some of those 9 states (even though they are recreationally legal for weed) may actually require you to obtain a medical marijuana card or a physician’s recommendation for CBD oil. If this is the case, though, it’s really no biggy as getting an online recommendation is incredibly easy nowadays, and can usually be done in minutes..
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?
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).
Others companies use organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol to process CBD. The ethanol, which is essentially grain alcohol, is used to remove unneeded toxins and residues from the base hemp plant. This method of extraction is generally considered to be the extraction process that yields the highest amount of cannabinoids among the different refinement processes as well as being considered the safest method of extracting CBD for human consumption.
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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.
Each capsule typically contains a fairly large amount of CBD. This makes it harder for new users to find that “sweet spot” of how much CBD their body needs. For example, if you’re using Tasty Hemp Oil CBD Gel Caps, in order to take more, you have to go from 15 milligrams (one capsule) to 30 milligrams (two capsules). Serving size is difficult to control, and that’s why CBD capsules are usually only recommended for more advanced users who know how much CBD to use.
The most common uses of ginger root are: a remedy for motion sickness and nausea, as a digestive aid, heartburn, gas, and bloating, a powerful anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, a warming remedy for colds, flus, and sore throats, for ultimate immune boosting properties, and aids in suppressing cancer cells as seen from recent research.
But, and there’s always a “but” when it comes to weed in America, unless you’re buying cannabis CBD in a state where weed is recreationally legal or have a medical card in a legalized state, you’re shopping in the unregulated market that is industrial hemp CBD. (Full disclosure: I've worked with restaurants to launch hemp-CBD drinks and am the co-founder of Nice Paper, a site about cannabis.)
There’s also been a lot of talk lately about “microdosing” CBD. This refers to an incremental process of finding your minimum effective dose. You can do this with any concentration of CBD oil, but lower concentrations will take longer. In a 2017 article in Rolling Stone, Dr. Dustan Sulak outlines his protocol for microdosing. You can begin this process by asking yourself three questions:
When it comes to CBD oil, cheaper is most certainly not always better because the production of quality CBD oil just isn’t cheap. CO2 extraction utilizes complex equipment and a high level of expertise as opposed to the cheaper and easier chemical extraction processes that can leave residue from toxic solvents like butane, propane, and ethanol in the CBD oil. While the CO2 extraction will generally lead to a higher price tag, it does insure quality, purity, and potency – especially when used to extract CBD oil from hemp that has been organically grown in the United States.