Understanding CBD oil with our guide
What is CBD oil and where does it come from?
Cannabidiol (CBD), one of over a 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, is growing exponentially in both popularity and fashionability. People as diverse as soccer moms, your grandparents, hipsters and hippies alike are lining up for it. CBD is finding its way into a ton of different product types: CBD oil, CBD drops,CBD capsules, cannabis-infused edibles, balms and cosmetics and much more. CBD oil is now even becoming the go-to remedy among pet owners who wish to help their little cherished companions enjoy stress-, anxiety- and pain-free lives.
CBD oil: differences between hemp and cannabis
Despite the general popularity of CBD oil, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding hemp, cannabis and CBD. A lot of people still think of hemp as being different from cannabis, and that hemp is medicinal and cannabis recreational.
However, without getting too technical, hemp plants are simply a strain of the Cannabis Sativa species that has been preferentially bred and cultivated to produce long, fibrous stems, primarily for use in industrial applications. Hemp also has a high CBD content while being very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), making it ideal for extracting the CBD hemp oil used in therapeutic, cosmetic, and nutritional products.
Cannabis on the other hand refer to the wide range of strains and species that belong to the Cannabaceae family of plants. Cannabis also tends to have a high THC content and low CBD content, which is why it has traditionally been associated with recreational use. But just like CBD, THC also has therapeutic benefits and is used medicinally in the form of medical marijuana, cannabis oil, cannabis drops and other types of cannabis plant extracts.
A brief history of hemp and CBD oil in Europe
After unearthing an urn near Berlin that contained leaves and seeds of the cannabis plant, archeologists believe that hemp first made its way to Northern Europe around 500 BC.
However, it is during the 1st Century AD that hemp really came into its own when the Romans really embraced its use. Pollen records show that the earliest peak in hemp cultivation dated to the Roman times. Historians believed that their occupation was responsible for introducing England to hemp around 70 AD.
By 400 AD, hemp was so well established in both Europe and England that it became one of the most economically and socially important crops. And by 600 AD, Germans, Franks and Norsemen (a.k.a. the Vikings) were making hemp seed oil, sails, paper, rope and clothes from it.
By the 14th and 15th centuries in Europe and England, 80% of clothing and textiles were made from hemp. And because of its strength, and resistance to water and salt, the shipping industry was almost wholly dependent on hemp canvas, rope and oakum for its sailing ships. Many historians believe that these hemp sails and ropes made Columbus’s trip to the Americas possible. Other fibres would have decayed somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.
By the 1800s, hemp has become such a vital part of European society that it actually started a war. At that time, the British Royal Navy was almost completely dependent on Russian hemp to stay afloat. In order to stay ahead of the English Navy, Napoleon signed a treaty with Russia to cut off supplies of hemp to Britain. However, Russia went back on the treaty and Napoleon was compelled to invade Russia in an attempt to put an end to Britain’s main hemp supply.
Fast forward 200 years and hemp represents an annual market opportunity of over €692 million in Europe. Traditionally used for food and fibres, hemp is now also used to make hemp-derived CBD oil and other therapeutic, personal care and recreational products.
How to obtain CBD Oil? - Extraction methods
You probably know that you can get different types of olive oils, such as heat extracted and refined, cold-pressed or virgin. The same logic applies to CBD drops, oils and extracts, that come in various types and grades. It all starts with the way in which CBD is extracted.
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through CO2 extraction
During CO2 extraction, the plant material called biomass is filtered through a series of chambers, isolating the different cannabinoids and terpenes at different temperatures (controlled by using CO2, hence the name). It is then literally squeezed out of the plant using pressure. Currently, CO2 extraction is the most widely used and preferred extraction method as it can isolate and remove desirable plant compounds without leaving any residues behind.
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through solvent extraction
Solvent extraction is an alternative and cheaper process involving the introduction of a solvent - usually ethanol - to the hemp plant. This solvent base dissolves the cannabinoids to extract them from the plant. The mixture then goes through an evaporation process, theoretically leaving only the plant compounds behind.
CBD oil post-extraction production
Once the crude hemp oil is obtained from either CO2 or solvent extraction, the product needs to be made consumer ready through a winterization and/or isolation process. The desired end-product type will determine which process is used.
Process for full- or broad-spectrum CBD oil
For full- and/or broad-spectrum, hemp derived CBD drops, winterization is used to remove waxes and other impurities. What is left behind is a full- or broad-spectrum CBD oil that contains a wide range of cannabinoid acids (uncarboxylated precursors of cannabinoids) / cannabinoids (carboxylated cannabinoid acids) like THC and CBD, terpenes and flavonoids.
CannabinoidS and cannabinoid acids commonly found in full- and/or broad-spectrum hemp CBD oil include:
Cannabidiol (CBD) / Cannabidiolic acid (CBDa)
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) / Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa)
Cannabinol (CBN) / Cannabinolic acid (CBNA)
Cannabigerol (CBG) / Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa)
Cannabichromene (CBC) / cannabichromenic acid (CBCa)
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) / Tetrahydrocannabivarin carboxylic acid (THCVA)
Cannabidivarin (CBDV) / Cannabidivarinic Acid (CBDVA)
Terpenes Commonly found in full- and/or broad-spectrum hemp CBD oil include:
Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene
Process for cannabinoid isolates
For cannabinoid isolates, the crude hemp oil is put through a process called centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) in which all other compounds are removed, leaving behind a close to 99% pure CBD or other cannabinoid isolates.
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How DOES CBD oil work WITh your body?
The reason why CBD Hemp oil and cannabis oil has the ability to interact with our bodies is because of the endocannabinoids system (ECS), the human body’s very own biological cannabinoid producing and processing system.
Understanding CBD oil = knowing the endocannabinoid system
The ECS is vital in helping us stay healthy because it keeps our bodies in a continual state of balance, or homeostasis. Like the story about “Goldilocks” where everything is just right, the ECS makes sure that conditions within the human body is optimal for all cells, tissues and biological systems to function at their best.
But, like anything else, the ECS can become dysfunctional, which causes our bodies to fall out of homeostasis. Scientists now believe that many of the symptoms and diseases we experience are due to something going wrong with our ECS.
How Cannabinoids (and CBD oil) work on the ECS?
In what is called “Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome”, scientists believe that an imbalance can be mediated by the cannabinoids found in hemp plants and cannabis drops. This is because, when plant cannabinoids like CBD and THC are introduced into the body, they attach to, and regulate the same CB1 and CB2 receptor cells that endocannabinoids and other neurotransmitters do. This, in turn, helps to kick-start the ECS and rebalancing our biological systems.
The Effects & Benefits of Using CBD Oil
Hemp or marijuana derived CBD oil has been shown to be helpful for a range of medical conditions. The known positive effects of CBD oil are linked to its analgesic (pain killer) anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and anticonvulsant (anti-epileptic) therapeutic properties.We will take a look at some of the conditions that CBD can help with. Please note that the information provided here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult with a doctor / physician if you have any medical conditions or use any prescription medications. Medical advice should always be sought before starting any new treatment, including the intake of CBD products.
CBD oil for chronic pain and inflammation
It is commonly accepted by the scientific community that CBD has analgesic properties. It contributes to reduced pain and inflammation by controlling and suppressing α3-glycine receptors producing the sensation of pain. CBD may also exert an immunosuppressive effect, which in turn is also reducing inflammation and pain.
CBD oil against cancer and treatment side-effects
Scientific experiences and research have found that CBD can help treat cancer by causing death and necrosis of cancer cells. It also stops cancer from spreading by targeting the GPR12 protein, which may be involved in metastatic cancers. CBD also seems to reduce tumor size through regulating Id-1 expression, the gene thought to regulate tumor growth.
CBD oil against anxiety and depression
CBD oil against insomnia and sleep disorders
Although CBD is used by many to feel alert and energized, others leverage CBD oil to fight off their sleeping disorders and insomnia. Cannabidiol has shown to improve sleep due to its ability to induce feelings of calmness and relaxation by preventing the breakdown of anandamide. Studies have also shown that CBD promotes REM sleep, the sleep-stage thought to promote emotional health.
CBD oil against arthritis and arthrosis
Usage of CBD oil: modes of intake
How to use CBD oil and other hemp products?
1. CBD Oils & Tinctures
CBD oils and tinctures usually come in a dropper bottle and can be either full- or broad-spectrum. Depending on the benefits sought and local law environment, it can be hemp-derived or a cannabis oil. Sometimes, it is also made from a CBD Isolate mixed with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil or MCT (medium-chain triglycerides). A few drops are usually taken sublingually (i.e. put under the tongue) and held there for 30-60 seconds before the rest is swallowed.
2. CBD Capsules
Nothing more than a hemp tincture or cannabis drops in capsule form, these are good for elderly people who have difficulty with swallowing or consumers who do not like the taste of full-spectrum CBD oil. CBD capsules are simply swallowed with water.
Edibles, like the name suggests, are CBD-infused products that are consumed the same way as any other type of food or drink. Popular edibles include things like gummies, lollipops, and other types of candies and baked goods.
4. Topicals & Cosmetics
These types of CBD products come in a variety of forms, ranging from creams and balms, to transdermal patches. They are placed directly on the skin from where the CBD is absorbed and released into the rest of the body.
5. CBD Flowers, Vapes & Concentrates
Usually inhaled either through combustion, vaporization or what is known as “dabbing”, these products are becoming increasingly popular due to the effective, efficient and fast onset of action as well as their higher bioavailability.
Dosage of CBD Oil : how much should you take?
Because medical cannabis research is still in its infancy, we have a lack of evidence with regard to symptom-specific dosages. However, medical practitioners, expert users and anecdotal evidence all suggest that it is best to “start low and go slow”. This generally means starting at a dose of 25 mg CBD taken twice daily and then gradually increasing that amount by another 25 mg every 3-4 weeks until symptom relief is experienced.
That said, everyone’s ECS is different and will interact differently with cannabinoids. That is why your optimal dosage will involve a bit of trial-and-error, keeping things like body weight and symptom severity in mind when trying different dosages.
Read our CBD usage and dosage page for more information.
CBD Oil Side Effects
The safety profile of CBD has been well established, and to date, not one single case of toxicity or overdose from use of hemp-derived CBD oil has been reported. However, for some people there may be an adjustment period in which their bodies are getting used to it, while others may just generally be more sensitive to the CBD Oil effects.
Although CBD rarely has any negative impact on humans, in very rare cases, mild side effects may be experienced. These can include:
Caused by the way CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the salivary glands and easily remedied by drinking something refreshing like a glass of water.
Dizziness and lightheadedness
Because CBD has the ability to reduce blood pressure, some people might feel dizzy or lightheaded. Drinking a cup of coffee usually helps.
Diarrhea or change in appetite and weight
Very rare and mostly found in children and adults using the FDA-approved cannabis drug called Epidiolex (which has an extremely high CBD content).
CBD has been found to impact the activity of the cytochrome P450 enzyme system that metabolizes pharmaceutical drugs and can lead to overdoses. Speak to your doctor if you are using any other medications.
Experiences with CBD oil effects
Hemp tincture effects vary depending on the type of product, the way in which it’s consumed, how much of it is taken as well as the THC and CBD content found in the product.
Moreover, as mentioned, everyone will have different ways of experiencing CBD oil effects. The first thing to realize is that CBD does not have the same psychoactive effects as THC so you will not feel the “high” that recreational cannabis users do. You will also not suffer from any of the negative effects of medical cannabis or CBD products containing higher THC levels.
So what are the experiences and effects of cbd you can expect?
When using a full-spectrum CBD oil that still contain trace amounts of THC the best way of describing the effect is as being similar to a “runner's high” which is essentially caused by a flood of endorphins that lifts the mood in a completely natural way.
Users often also report experiencing a heightened sense of awareness, ability to focus better and an overall sense of well-being when smoking CBD flowers.
Final Thoughts on CBD oil
Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC are powerful therapeutic agents and it is important to remember that, just because something is natural, it doesn’t mean that you can jump in at the deep end and expect everything to be just fine. Always speak to a medical practitioner or health care professional before starting a CBD regimen.Once you have cleared using CBD with your doctor, make sure to buy qualitative hemp oils such as Endoca CBD oil, or a Swiss CBD oil available in our CBD shop. All of the hemp oils are coming from reputable companies and are tested by independent third-party laboratories. Similarly, when you buy cannabis oil, double-check the CBD and THC content to ensure the products are legally compliant where you live. Buying CBD oil in from Switzerland is a safe bet, as you know these will contain less than 1% THC.