Cannabis has been growing in popularity over the last decade and with this increased curiosity we have seen a lot of medical advancements too. CBD and CBD Oil has been studied numerous times and so this cannabinoid is well known for its medical benefits. Besides being one of the healthiest ways to consume cannabis, CBD is great for a number of ailments and is also non-psychoactive.
Because CBD is non-psychoactive, this cannabinoid is most commonly used for its amazing medical benefits. Cannabinoids in oil form are best suited for patients who want to avoid any negative effects that are found with consumption methods such as smoking.
WHAT IS CBD?
THC and CBD have the same basic molecular structure, with subtle differences in the arrangement of atoms that creates the difference between being able to get “high” or not. When cannabinoids enter our bodies, they interact with a biological communication system that is responsible for regulating functions such as:
- Immune response
THC and CBD have chemical structures similar to the body’s own endocannabinoids. This allows them to interact with our bodies cannabinoid receptors.
The main differences when we compare THC to CBD is that THC is psychoactive and the CBD is not. Also, THC is found in high amounts in cannabis whereas CBD is mostly abundant in Hemp.
BENEFITS OF CBD OIL?
- Skin care: Studies have shown that skin conditions such as eczema and acne can be reduced by applying CBD oil to the affected area on your skin.
- Swelling Control: One of the many benefits is the anti-inflammatory properties found in CBD. This has proven to be helpful in a range of conditions s
- uch as migraines, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
- Pain: CBD has been shown through studies to be a very effective painkiller. CBD oil is recommended to treat a wide variety of pain, from severe back pain to pains associated with different diseases.
- Controlling Diabetes: CBD oil can be effective against certain types of diabetes. By reducing inflammation, the oil prevents damage to cells that produce insulin.
- Anxiolytic and Sedative: CBD oil has become a great alternative to sleeping pills and benzodiazepines. Thanks to CBD having a sedative and anti-anxiety effect it has proven very popular with those who suffer from insomnia, PTSD and even restless leg syndrome.
- Neuroprotective effect: CBD oil has fantastic neuroprotective properties. This is why it has
been shown to be an effective treatment of Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
- CBD Oil for Seizures: CBD oil first gained major popularity when it was found to be effective in treating certain types of epilepsy.
CBD OIL SIDE EFFECTS
In general, CBD oil is very well tolerated. Some people report that it causes a slight drop in their blood pressure or it makes them feel sleepy. Because there are cannabinoid receptors in the skin, you may notice dry skin after using CBD. Studies have shown that CBD will not affect the following:
- Blood pressure
- Heart Rate
- Food intake
- Sensory Perception
It was shown that extremely high daily chronic doses affected the liver metabolism and some fertility measures. Although this is true, you would need to be taking extremely large amounts over an extended period of time for this to happen.
CBD AND A DRUG TEST
Hemp derived CBD isn’t typical cannabis but depending on the strain, it could contain trace amounts of THC. If you are using extremely high doses of CBD (1000mg a day) then your exposure may be high enough to give you a positive test result. This should be considered a false positive but it may land you in trouble depending on who the test is for, so just be aware of this.
SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
So, CBD is effective in treating many different ailments. This is only possible because the human body contains an Endocannabinoid system. This is a group of cannabis receptors located in our brains and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. Cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system by sending cannabinoid “agonists” (chemical messengers). This system in our bodies is responsible for all the psychological and physiological effects of cannabinoids we consume.
FORMS OF CBD
CBD ISOLATES – CO2 EXTRACTION
The CO2 method involves pressurizing the plant material using carbon dioxide. This method
produces a relatively stable, pure and potent oil. This definitely isn’t a DIY job unless you planning on going into business. This method is pricey and involves some fancy gear and equipment and isn’t a very easy way of producing oil.
CBD TINCTURES, EXTRACTS, ABSOLUTES (SOLVENT EXTRACTION)
Manufacturers use solvents such as hexane, ethanol, ether or methanol to extract the cannabinoids from the plant material. This is the most common method manufacturers use for vape pen cartridges. Solvents are highly effective at drawing out the oils, but there are a few problems with this method.
- Purity: if manufacturers use a high-quality ethanol like high-proof grain alcohol, but if they used cheaper solvents like hexane or petroleum derivatives, you don’t want those residues anywhere near your body.
- Integrity: Solvent extraction destroys the plant waxes, which have their own set of benefits.
MAKING YOUR OWN CBD INFUSED OIL
- Source your plant material. You will need a good amount of dried bud that is a high-CBD strain of cannabis that contains only trace amounts of THC.
- Decarb your cannabis. Spread your cannabis on a baking tray and bake them for 45mins at 105 degrees Celsius. This will allow the cannabinoids to “activate” and allow them to be more bioavailable.
- Transfer your buds to a glass jar, leaving a little room at the top. Completely cover the budsith lightweight oils like extra virgin olive oil or sweet almond oil. Put a lid on and let them sit for 2-3 weeks. A couple times per week throughout the steeping process, you should flip the jar over and back upright to distribute the oil
- Use a cheesecloth-lined strainer to separate all the plant material from the oil. Now you have CBD infused oil to use as is or to make into salves and balms. There are loads of recipes online to help you with that. Store it in a dark glass container in the fridge.
HOW TO TAKE YOUR CBD OIL
There are a few different ways you can consume your CBD oil. As you can imagine, some methods are more effective for certain applications. The dosage to be taken all depends on age, weight and the goals you are trying to achieve.
You can inhale the vapours from your oil by using a specialised vape pen. This is the fastest acting delivery method of CBD, and probably the easiest once you own a pen and cartridge. I would advise against smoking your oil, this will wreck your throat and irritate your lungs just as cigarettes would do. If you are a newbie to cannabis, start slowly and go from there. Some people can have an unpleasant reaction to the vapour.
To ingest CBD, take it right out of the dropper, in a capsule form or made into candies, gums or baked goodies. Compared to inhaling your oil, eating it will take a little longer to take effect.
You can drop oil directly under your tongue, or place a lozenge under the tongue, Sublingual delivery takes about as long as ingestion would to take effect.
CBD is able to cross the skin and go into the bloodstream. A benefit to this method is that you can rub CBD infused oil or salves right onto the affected area.
So, is CBD oil right for you? Only you will be able to decide. There are so many variables so the best thing would be to get your own GP involved in the process. The studies that have been conducted so far have shown us that CBD is not harmful, it’s not addictive and it has the potential to have positive effects on a long list of ailments. All we can do is take the information we have and make our decisions from that.
There are so many positives and potential for CBD to change lives for the better, it is amazing. Cannabinoids have all the right stuff to replace pharmaceutical medicines and help patients choose a healthy and natural alternative.
Written, October 2018