In the last couple of years, CBD has burst onto the wellness scene. In fact, CBD has become so popular that entire skincare and beauty product lines have been released with the additive, and many restaurants have even begun to incorporate CBD into their food and drink offerings.
Yet, despite its rather quick adoption, much of CBD, its composition and different uses is still shrouded in mystery. We’ve created this article about CBD oil—where it comes from, how it’s made and more. You’ve come to the right place for a comprehensive beginners’ guide to the basics of this product.
What Does CBD Stand For?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating compound produced by the cannabis plant.
What is CBD?
Over 100 different cannabinoids have been identified by scientists, with the two most notable being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, a crystalline compound and the main active ingredient of cannabis) and CBD. There are two cannabis plants: hemp and marijuana, and CBD have been found to be produced by both plants. Right now, CBD derived from hemp is legal whereas CBD derived from marijuana is more tightly regulated.
Both THC and CBD are known to be sources of antioxidants as well as amino acids. Unlike THC, though, CBD is non-psychoactive and will not produce the same mind-altering effects that THC does.
CBD is known to work with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which are cell receptors and molecules throughout the body that regulate things like muscular and skeletal health, the immune and neural systems, physiology, general mood, and inflammation and pain.
History of CBD
CBD use can be traced all the way to 2700s BC when a Chinese Emperor drank a cannabis-infused tea to help with his ailments. It is also believed that Queen Victoria used CBD.
Fast forward to 1839, when Irish researcher and physician Willian B. O’Shaughnessy introduced the therapeutic use of Cannabis into Western society.
In the early 1940s, American chemist Roger Adams made the first successfully isolated cannabidiol (CBD). He also first identified THC.
Where Does CBD Come From & How is it Made?
The CBD content in our products is derived from industrial hemp, a form of the cannabis plant which is naturally high in CBD and very low in THC.
There are several similarities but also differences between industrial hemp and marijuana. Both come from the same plant—cannabis sativa L.
Hemp is a taller plant of up to 15 feet in height. As long as it is only pollinated by its own crop, hemp remains extremely low in THC levels (less than 0.3%). CO2 extraction methods will not produce any psychoactive effects. It is used industrially to make oils, ointments, clothing and fabric from its fibers, and more.
Cannabis normally only reaches a height of up to about 5 ft. and produces higher levels of THC (more than 0.3%). It is, therefore, more commonly used to extract THC and used for its psychoactive properties.
The Making of CBD
Once the hemp plant is harvested, it’s left to be “cured” or air-dried in a well-ventilated area for about three to four weeks while hanging upside down. Next, the plants are taken down and stripped of their flowers, which are then taken to processing to be ground down.
The fine grounds are then steeped in methanol, which removes the compounds that give the plant a strong scent. Then, it goes through a “winterization” process where it’s exposed to cold temperatures in order to remove the fatty acids and lipids.
After being subjected to cold temperatures, the grounds are distilled twice, once in warm water which extracts the oil in its raw form, and then a second time to further remove any contaminants.
Once the oil has been extracted, it is subjected to further quality control testing by a lab and either added to a carrier oil or used for another CBD product such as ointment or soap.
Research Is Still being Done
While CBD usage has increased, a lot of the scientific research is still behind the booming trend. That is why it’s important that users of CBD carefully scrutinize the companies they buy CBD products from, as there are both low- and high-quality products available. You can find a comprehensive CBD buying guide here.
Is Hemp Oil the Same Thing as CBD Oil?
Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are very different things. CBD is a component of the cannabis plant, and CBD oil is extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stems of cannabis.
On the other hand, hemp oil is more of a “carrier oil” much like grapeseed or jojoba oil. While it is a wellness product, it only contains trace amounts of cannabidiol.
These differences are important to bear in mind as more marketing around these two oils can be confusing, with many trying to pass hemp seed oil as the same thing as CBD oil. The concentration of CBD in the product is also key.
Is CBD Illegal?
The legality around cannabis can be confusing, especially given that each state in the U.S. has its own regulations around cannabis-based products and the legal restrictions are constantly changing.
In 2018 the Farm Bill was passed which changed the status of hemp from a Schedule I drug, differentiating it from other cannabis plants. It allowed for hemp to be cultivated more broadly and easily, albeit with certain restrictions. The sale, transport, and possession of hemp-derived products were made completely legal so long as the items were produced in consistency with national laws. In short, industrial hemp-derived CBD oil is federally legal.
Right now, general cannabis for medical and recreational use is available in the following states:
What Forms Does CBD Take?
There are many forms of CBD available and Certain methods for taking it may vary from person to person. Some of the readily available forms of CBD include:
Infused baked goods
Topical creams and balms
Patches and more
Many consumers opt to take CBD by ingesting it, as this is one of the most efficient methods to deliver the active compounds in CBD through the bloodstream. CBD can be ingested with edibles, tinctures, capsules, tablets, and more.
Tinctures, when held under the tongue, absorb the CBD for fast delivery to the system. Vaping CBD oil or infused e-juice is an even faster method in getting the cannabinoids into the body’s system.
We hope this information about CBD has been educational and helped give you more of an idea on the forms of CBD and how it’s taken. Overall, CBD provides a different alternative to the norm. And, with research ongoing into cannabidiol’s many uses, the future and demand for CBD products will hopefully stay on the upswing.