By now, you’ve probably heard someone mention CBD, especially if you live with a chronic condition like pain or anxiety.
If you have been thinking about trying it, you just want to get more information about CBD, or you want to learn how to use CBD oil, we put together this guide to go over some of the basic questions we hear most often around CBD and its many uses.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound produced by the cannabis plant, is quickly growing in popularity and headed toward mainstream acceptance.
CBD oil is a natural oil that is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant.
This oil has been finding its way into a variety of products, from oil tinctures to CBD-infused edibles and CBD creams, as well as a wide range of cosmetics. CBD oil is even becoming popular among pet owners who wish to help their pets live healthier lives.
Depending on how the CBD oil is made, it may contain other beneficial components such as amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
What Does CBD Oil Look Like?
CBD oil most commonly comes in the form of a liquid tincture which is designed for sublingual (under the tongue) consumption, or orally by swallowing the liquid that can come in a variety of flavors.
CBD oil is made by mixing the CBD extract with food-grade oil such as olive oil or MCT oil. The reason the CBD is mixed with a food-grade oil is that CBD is fat-soluble which means that it dissolves in fat instead of water and allows the body to store it in fat tissues.
The Different Types of Cannabis Plant
When talking about cannabis plants, the two types you’ll want to know more about are hemp and marijuana. They may be part of the same plant family, but they are very different when it comes to the compounds they produce.
Marijuana is high in the psychoactive compound THC – the compound that causes a high.
Marijuana is considered to be a “drug”, and it is cultivated mainly for either medicinal and “recreational” purposes.
The United States federal government considers marijuana to be a Class I controlled substance. However, many U.S. states have instituted legislation to regulate its cultivation and allow its use as medicine. Some states have also legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Hemp is different from marijuana, and a lot of what makes it different is the amount of THC in each. In order for hemp to be legally cultivated, it must contain less than 0.3% THC, which has been found to not be nearly enough of an amount to give you a high.
Hemp is also grown as an industrial crop for the use of fibers in textiles and even building materials. The hemp grown for its fiber is not the most desirable source of CBD since it contains small concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes. At the most basic level, terpenes can be thought of as the aromatic and flavor molecules cannabis contains. Terpenes are commonly considered the ‘essential oils’ of the cannabis plant.
While there are plenty of CBD products available that are produced from this kind of industrial hemp, the CBD oil in Neurorganix products is made from a CBD-rich strain known as PCR hemp. PCR is short for phytocannabinoid-rich, and it contains as much as ten times the concentration of CBD as the previously mentioned industrial hemp. Even though this PCR contains this much more CBD, it still must remain under the required 0.3% THC threshold, so it does not cause a high.
Types of CBD Oil
There are many different types of CBD oil out there, and it’s important to know the differences so that you can ensure you are getting a quality product.
CBD From PCR Hemp vs CBD From Marijuana
Oils can be extracted from marijuana the same way that they are extracted from hemp, but the oils made from marijuana are definitely different. The oils extracted from marijuana are referred to as cannabis oil. These marijuana extracts may contain some CBD but are intended to contain enough THC to cause a high.
If you’re looking for CBD, oil that is derived from marijuana is probably not what you’re looking for. You want to make sure you only look for CBD oil produced from PCR hemp, and for the sake of this guide, we will only be talking about hemp CBD oil going forward.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Raw PCR hemp extracts contain not only CBD, but other compounds such as terpenes. Full spectrum retains the natural balance of cannabinoids and terpenes found in the original plant and is why they are referred to as full spectrum.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Much like full spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD oil also retains the original concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes found in raw PCR hemp extract. The difference between the two is that broad spectrum CBD oil contains no THC. The THC is extracted from the CBD oil and is ideal for those who want absolutely no THC in their CBD products.
CBD can also be isolated and purified. Pure CBD is known in the industry as CBD isolate. Purified cannabinoids are colorless and odorless. CBD isolate can be consumed directly or used as an additive in other preparations such as edibles; however, it is devoid of the beneficial terpenes and other cannabinoids found naturally in the plant.
Types of CBD Oil Products
There are a lot of different types of products available containing various levels of CBD, as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes. Let’s briefly talk about them.
Hemp seed oil: Oil produced from hemp seeds. Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD.
Raw industrial hemp extract: A low-quality source of CBD oil.
Raw PCR hemp extract: A high-quality, full or broad spectrum product that is rich in CBD and does contain naturally occurring compounds in hemp, such as cannabinoids and terpenes.
CBD isolate: Purified CBD that does not contain other beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids.
CBD concentrate or distillate: A full or broad spectrum product with unwanted compounds removed.
CBD-rich oil/Phytocannabinoids-rich (PCR): Full or broad spectrum CBD concentrate or oil infused with CBD concentrate.
Broad spectrum oil: An oil rich in CBD and the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp, other than THC. The THC is extracted.
CBD-infused: Generally refers to a product infused with pure CBD, but is also used sometimes to refer to a full spectrum product.
Now that we’ve cleared up those terms, let’s dive into some of the most common ways to consume CBD.
How To Use CBD Oil
One reason CBD has become so popular so fast is the various methods out there to use CBD oil. This allows people to be able to choose their method of use to best meet their specific needs. Here are the most common forms of CBD.
Oils and Tinctures
These oils are infused with CBD and are placed under the tongue or taken orally with a dropper. The oral mucosa is full of tiny capillaries that absorb the compounds quickly making oils and tinctures a common choice for people looking for quick benefits or for anyone who can’t take capsules or softgels.
The downside of tinctures and CBD oils is that they don’t travel well. Sure, they can be brought with you, but depending on where you’re taking them, they can be messy. They typically come in a breakable bottle with a breakable dropper, so if you’re looking to take CBD with you somewhere with the possibility of them breaking, tinctures may not be your best bet.
Capsules and Softgels
If you are able to take capsules, taking CBD softgels or capsules is very convenient and easy. If a CBD Softgel capsule contains 25 milligrams of CBD, you know you’re getting 25 milligrams of CBD. Assuming you’re using a reputable manufacture with good production methods.
Capsules and softgels take longer to feel the effects than an oil, but the effects also typically last longer. Neurorganix’s softgels contain water-soluble nanoemulsion technology which encapsulates the active compounds in nano-sized emulsions. The average size of nanoemulsion CBD oil droplets is between 4 and 200 times smaller than the industry standard. This smaller size leads to much higher absorption into the bloodstream which results in extremely high bioavailability. Because of this, less nanoemulsion CBD oil is needed to produce the same results as regular CBD oil.
CBD-infused topicals include skin creams, salves, balms, and oils. CBD topicals are usually used to help with skin, muscle, or joint problems. They’re applied directly to the skin, typically on or near the problem area.
Topicals can have a variety of additional beneficial ingredients meant to help with the overall effects. Skin creams may contain moisturizers. Pain creams may contain a cooling sensation. Salves may contain other soothing and healing ingredients such as lavender.
Topicals are great for use on a particular area of skin or underlying muscles and joints since they deliver CBD directly to the area of contact. However, they can take more time to apply than simply taking a softgel, and they can be a little messy. If you’re used to taking these types of products regularly, this most likely won’t be a problem.
Gummies are one of the most popular ways to take CBD. They’re great because they taste good, they’re portable, and you know exactly how much CBD you’re taking. They typically have a longer-lasting effect over a product like CBD oil.
Something to look out for is making sure what the ingredients of your CBD gummies are. For example, our CBD gummies are vegan, since they’re made with pectin instead of gelatin, but most gummies are not this way.
If you’re looking for a CBD product to be fast-acting, a CBD oil may be the better choice though, since CBD gummies have to be digested.
How To Find The Right CBD Product For You?
Now that you know the different ways to consume CBD, let’s take a look at some of the things to consider for picking the right CBD product, or products, for you!
Some things to consider while deciding which product is best for you include which product is ideal for your lifestyle, the reasons you’re using CBD, the dosage of the product, the time to take effect, and the bioavailability of the CBD product.
When and how you plan you use CBD plays a vital role in which product fits your lifestyle best. If you travel often and will be taking CBD along, a product like a softgel may be a good bet since there is nothing to drop and break. Or if you’re main reason for using CBD is to help with muscle or joint pain, a cooling CBD cream might be your best bet!
Reasons You Use CBD
Why you’ll be using CBD is another big factor to consider when picking the best CBD product for you. For example, if the reason you’re using CBD is to support skin health or help with muscle or joint pain, a topical product can help faster than others. If you’re looking to calm down in high-stress situations, a CBD oil might be what you’re looking for because of the fast-acting nature of it.
Dosage of Product
Everyone is unique and everyone reacts differently to CBD. Some need less than others and some need more! Factors like genetics, general health, weight, and tolerance to CBD all affect the amount of CBD you’ll need to get the effects you hope to get out of CBD. You should generally start with a low dosage and increase slowly if needed.
Time To Take Effect
As we’ve talked about earlier, it is essential to know the time it takes for different products to take effect. For example, edibles can take around an hour to take effect, where CBD oil has a much quicker effect.
Bioavailability is the amount of CBD that actually makes its way into your bloodstream. If time is not a factor, your main consideration should be value. CBD is not inexpensive like products such as vitamins and minerals. You definitely want to try to maximize the value you get for your money. If a product has only 10% bioavailability, you’re essentially paying three times more for your CBD than a product that has a 30% bioavailability.
How Can CBD Help?
The world of cannabinoids is one that is not yet fully understood. After years of study, there are still new benefits and uses being found for cannabinoids and CBD.
The one thing that is certain up to this point, is that CBD does have an effect on our endocannabinoid system (ECS), as well as other complex organs and systems in our bodies. Learning how CBD can benefit you starts with having a better understanding of the ECS, so let’s start there.
The Human Endocannabinoids System (ECS)
The human endocannabinoid system has two components:
First is the endocannabinoid receptors found on the surface of cells throughout the body.
Second is the endocannabinoids themselves that interact with those receptors.
A well-known endocannabinoid is called anandamide (AEA). Anandamide is responsible for the production of serotonin. Serotonin is commonly referred to as the “bliss molecule” because levels of serotonin in the body are directly associated with mood. This is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for what’s commonly called “runner’s high.” These endocannabinoids help keep internal functions running smoothly. Since your body produces them as needed, it is difficult to know what normal levels are for each.
The ECS is complicated, and experts haven’t concluded all of the possible functions or exactly how it works. Although, credible research has linked the ECS to processes such as chronic pain, sleep, stress, and mood overall.
To learn even more about the endocannabinoid system, view our full blog here: What is The Endocannabinoid System?
The Entourage Effect
Something else that is important to have a better understanding of is what’s called the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is the overall effect of the combination of rich cannabinoids and terpenes. These cannabinoids and terpenes actually work together to produce a range of effects that are thought to be greater than the sum of any single cannabinoid on its own.
This is why higher quality CBD products are typically either full spectrum or broad spectrum. A CBD isolate has no chance of producing the entourage effect on its own without the other cannabinoids and terpenes.
So how does all of this tie into what CBD may actually be able to help with? Great question!
CBD May Be Able To Help With Various Health Conditions
Let’s start by saying that CBD affects everyone differently. What works for one person may not work for the next. There are different products and various dosages for this exact reason.
CBD for Mood and Stress
CBD is commonly used to support emotional stability. Research has shown that CBD has an effect on levels of the endocannabinoid, anandamide. Anandamide is produced by the nervous system to stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain, which is known to improve mood. It all goes back to the endocannabinoid system. Making sure your ECS is balanced makes for a happy ECS!
CBD for Chronic Pain
Another common use of CBD is to potentially help with is chronic pain, such as joint pain. Topicals such as a cream or salve are the most common for those looking for these types of potential benefits.
CBD for Sleep
CBD has also been known to potentially help maintain a normal sleep cycle. A rough night’s sleep can make for an even worse next day. Taking CBD before bed may help with getting out of bed easier the next day!
There is still a lot of research going into CBD and what the potential benefits are. This is a subject that is rapidly evolving, and we recommend asking your healthcare professional about how CBD might be able to help you.
How To Buy High-Quality CBD
Alright so by now you may have a good idea of what kind of CBD you may want to try, but how do you figure out who to trust to supply your CBD? That’s a great question because with how popular CBD has become, there are a lot of companies out there that will do anything to cut corners and increase profit margins. Some companies will use cheap and unsafe products. Others will sell “CBD oil” with little to no actual CBD in their products, or even worse, they could contain dangerous synthetic CBD.
CBD oil is not a product that you should skimp on quality. Finding a company you trust that makes CBD oil products is the key to a positive CBD experience. With that being said, how do you go about searching for a company that you can trust? Another great question!
Third-Party Lab Testing
One of the biggest factors to consider is third-party lab testing. Most serious manufactures will send their products to testing labs to determine whether or not they contain any contaminants and also to measure the levels of cannabinoids in the product.
Different strains and crops vary in the amount of CBD they produce. CBD oil can vary in potency depending on the batch they are produced from. Any manufacturer worth trusting will want to know exactly how much CBD is in its products.
Another thing that is tested in third-party labs is whether the product contains THC. There are people that do not want any amount of THC in their bodies, so having lab results that back up claims of THC-free products is crucial.
Manufactures you can trust will provide their lab reports for the exact batch of products being sold. If one of the CBD companies you are considering offer this information, that is a good sign!
Hemp Growing Standards
Hemp is farmed all over the world, and the US is only recently starting to rebuild its hemp industry. With that being said, the hemp industry in the US produces some of the best quality hemp products in the world.
It’s important to understand not all hemp is created equally. Some hemp is industrially grown primarily for its seeds and fibers and is not bred to produce high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. That doesn’t stop some companies from trying to utilize this hemp to create “CBD oil”. PCR hemp is hemp that was specifically cultivated to be rich in cannabinoids and terpenes.
The reason US produces some of the highest quality hemp in the world is that the standards for US grown hemp are much higher than in other countries, such as China grown hemp. Sure this hemp can be much cheaper, but its purpose was never to create high-quality CBD products or any CBD products at all.
CBD Extraction Methods
In order to create CBD oil, it is extracted from a hemp plant by applying pressure to it. How exactly the pressure is applied to the plant is one factor that separates high-quality CBD products from low-quality CBD products.
If the CBD oil is extracted by heat, this means that butane was used in the process, and the chemicals in butane will come into contact with the cannabinoids in the oil. Anytime aromatic chemicals contact each other, they will have a chemical reaction.
Chemical reactions alter the genetic profile of all compounds. Since butane is a hazardous material (even if it is distilled from the final product) the immediate interactions with the cannabinoids already will have diluted the quality of these CBD products.
Look for companies that use other extraction methods such as CO2 or food-grade ethanol. These all-natural solvents will ensure all cannabinoids and terpenes remain intact.
Wrapping Up The CBD Guide
If you’ve made it this far, good for you! I feel like we’ve become great friends with all of this time spent together!
You’ve learned what a fastly growing and complex industry the CBD industry is. CBD oil is a versatile supplement many people are incorporating daily to enhance the quality of their lives.
How will CBD help you? What other questions do you have? If you do have any, please feel free to reach out and we’ll make sure to help you out as much as we can!
This guide contains information that will help you make educated decisions about why and how to use CBD oil. It is not intended to provide medical advice.
Consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should be sought before using this and any supplemental dietary product. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.