Simplifying CBD Oil

CBD oil explained

This article contains all you need to know about CBD Oil. Image Credit: By venars.original on Shutterstock

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol – or, CBD – is probably most recognized due to media coverage in the last decade which reported that it had the capability to instantaneously stop epileptic seizures in children and miraculously cure skin cancer. This caused an immediate divide in the country: many people and organizations wanted to make sure this miraculous substance was accessible to people who need it, while others went to great lengths to make sure no one could get their hands on this potentially dangerous, virtually unresearched compound. This is largely because CBD is found in the cannabis plant, and these extreme reactions are due to complete misunderstanding of marijuana as a whole.

Cannabis (marijuana and industrial hemp) is a natural, leafy plant composed of hundreds of different complex chemical compounds. Cannabidiol is one of these compounds: it is produced abundantly in a sticky, resinous substance that secretes from glands found all over the stem, leaves, and flower of a mature, female cannabis plant. This also happens to be where another popular compound called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) resides. The ratio of CBD to THC in a plant depends solely on the strain that is being grown. Some strains are hybridized to produce a higher CBD content, while others are bred to contain more THC. This is important to know, because while both CBD and THC have powerful medicinal qualities, they each have very different physical and psychological effects:

  • Ingesting too much THC can cause you to feel anxious and paranoid. It can slow your motor skills and cognitive function, and interfere with your ability to sleep. Also, did we mention cottonmouth and the munchies?
  • CBD, on the other hand, has very few side effects. In fact, CBD can’t even get you high. Overdose is possible, however: at worst it will just make you feel extremely lethargic. Sleep it off: any mild undesirable effects of CBD rarely last longer than a couple hours.

What is CBD oil and how is it made?

CBD oil is an extract of a CBD-dominant strain of cannabis plant. The CBD-dominant strain is important to remember because cannabis extracts (like CBD oil) are made of whole plant matter. If an extract is being made out of a THC-dominant strain, your result would be a THC oil (usually referred to as just cannabis oil). Typically, this oil is made with the intent to get the user high.

Think of the vanilla extract you have in your kitchen cabinet: it’s pretty likely that vanilla was extracted from a vanilla bean the same way CBD is extracted from a cannabis plant. Commercial extraction methods don’t trail too far from DIY methods. If you do your research and follow the steps, extracting CBD from marijuana or industrial hemp (both species of cannabis) can be quite safe and fairly simple:

  • C02 extraction method is typically used on a more commercial basis. The equipment required to produce large-quantity CBD oil is expensive, however, a method to do your own C02 extraction using dry ice has been met with success by many people.
  • A Canadian man named Rick Simpson made cannabis extracts popular in the early 2000s when he claimed that his ethanol-extracted CBD oil cured his skin cancer.
  • Infused oils (like olive or avocado) have become more popular recently, as it is probably the most convenient, hands-off extraction method there is. Again, make sure you are using a low-THC, high-CBD strain of cannabis, or you’ll end up with some super potent stoner oil.

Is CBD legal?

This is quite possibly the most common question regarding CBD. Unfortunately, it’s not a simple answer. Marijuana is considered a Schedule I Drug by the DEA (along with LSD, cocaine, and heroin), which makes it federally illegal. Because the DEA fails to recognize and isolate CBD from the marijuana plant, this, as a result, makes cannabidiol federal illegal by association.

This is where things get tricky. For states that have legalized marijuana use, CBD oil is highly accessible. But even though marijuana and CBD might be legal on a state level, they still always remain federally illegal. On a lighter note, the DEA has released statements saying they have no intention of coming after anyone using CBD oil, and that local law enforcement shouldn’t, either.

I’m pretty healthy, can CBD oil still benefit me?

The answer is an overwhelming YES. You don’t have to suffer from a chronic illness to benefit from CBD oil: it has been found to be a valuable tool in optimizing overall health. This is because of the specific way it interacts with a system in our bodies called the Endocannabinoid System. This complex messaging network regulates many of our body’s vital and most delicate functions, including:

  • Mood
  • Pain sensation
  • Pleasure and reward
  • Appetite
  • Sleep regulation
  • Temperature regulation
  • Memory
  • Immune function

This system only responds to the cannabinoids produced naturally within our body, or outside cannabinoids, like the kind you find in cannabis. CBD has been found to not only assist in the optimal function of the Endocannabinoid System (therefore, positively effecting what it regulates), it is also considered to be a powerful in many other ways, including:

  • Antioxidant: If you’ve paid attention to anything in the last 10 years, you’ll know how important antioxidants are to keep our bodies clear of disease and cancer-causing free-radicals. In the US patent of cannabidiol, it is recognized as an effective and powerful antioxidant.
  • Analgesic: CBD is effective at treating internal and external pain, both chronic and acute.
  • Anti-inflammatory: From your muscles to your skin, CBD has been found to be quite the soldier in combating inflammation. This can even play a part in athletic-induced inflammation: CBD has been found to even assist in recovering from strenuous post-gym sessions.
  • Anti-anxiety: It’s not news that millennials are known as the most anxious generation yet. Between social anxiety, anxiety from public speaking, and random panic attacks brought on by pretty much nothing (i.e. daily stress of millennial life), CBD has been found to be able to calm pretty much all of it.
  • Anti-depressant: Many people turning to CBD because of the way it interacts with the ECS, which regulates mood and pleasure. You don’t need to be suffering from depression to reap the benefits: a recent study concluded that CBD had fast-acting anti-depressive effects. Who doesn’t need a good pick me up now and then?

How do I find a quality CBD oil product?

Finding a quality CBD oil product is not as easy as a google search and a few quick label scans. Unfortunately, because the FDA doesn’t recognize CBD as a dietary supplement, they don’t regulate anything in the market. This means that labels on the bottle can contradict what is actually being found in the bottle.

This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find a good CBD oil product. Reputable companies are out there, so do you research and ask lots of questions. Stick to companies that have positive, legitimate reviews and quality customer service ready to give you thorough answers your questions.

How will I feel on CBD oil?

Most people who take CBD oil report feelings over relaxation, calm, and well-being. Depending on the type of administration, you could feel the effects immediately (with smoking), or in about an hour or so (orally). Noticeable effects of CBD can last up to 4-5 hours, although it will remain in your system for about 3 days to a week. This just means you are reaping the benefits of CBD oil long after you take it.

Will I fail a drug test on CBD oil?

The thought of a cannabinoid circulating your system for up to a week is enough to make anyone think twice, especially since it’s pretty difficult to get through adult life these days without having to take some type of drug test. Be it pre-employment or mandatory drug screening, you don’t want to have to think twice about whether you will pass or fail when the time comes.

Failing a drug test as a result of ingesting a CBD oil product is possible, but extremely rare, and typically only in cases of extreme dosing. Standard drug tests only look for THC and its metabolites, so no matter how much CBD is flowing through your system, you’ll be just fine. The exception to this is if your CBD oil somehow carried more than just trace amounts of THC, and the THC was picked up in the test. This is another reason to always make sure you are using quality CBD products.

Are there dangerous side effects to CBD oil?

The most dangerous side effect found in relation to CBD has to do with the way it can interact with certain medications. Talk to your doctor before taking CBD, especially if you are taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications found on this list.

CBD is considered to be a highly effective, safe drug to use. Take the time to do proper research, and ask as many questions as you can. Always properly dose any supplement or medication, and since everyone is different, it’s important to listen to your own body when using CBD oil.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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