What is CBD?
Cannabis has over 100 known cannabinoids in it. The most well known is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is responsible for the “high” you get from marijuana. CBD, or cannabidiol, is gaining recognition for it’s health benefits, including pain relief, reducing inflammation and easing anxiety and depression, just to name a few. Both marijuana and hemp contain the same cannabinoids, but in different concentrations. By definition, cannabis has to contain .03% or less THC to be considered hemp, so you will not experience the “high” you get from marijuana by using hemp products.
There are many CBD products on the market. There is currently no standard in labeling, so it can be confusing. You may see names like “CBD Oil,” “CBD Extract” or “CBD Tincture,” or “Hemp Oil, (Extract or Tincture).” Hempseed oil comes from pressing the seeds of the cannabis plant, while hemp oil usually refers to an extract made from the plant material, (not from pressing the seeds). Flowers (buds), stalks and leaves all contain cannabinoids.
So what are you actually getting when you buy CBD Oil?
All CBD must be diluted in carrier oil. Common ones are olive oil, coconut oil, MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) and hempseed oil. Some companies use vegetable glycerin to dilute the extract. Pay attention to the ingredient list, so you know what you are putting in (or on) your body. Many of the products out there are an isolate of the single cannabinoid CBD. Others contain a full spectrum of all the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavinoids, vitamins, essential fatty acids (like Omega 3 and Omega 6), protein and other beneficial phytonutrients and plant compounds cannabis has to offer.
What is best?
There is still much research that needs to be done, but preliminary studies indicate there is a greater benefit when all the compounds work together in what is known as the “Entourage Effect.” Every cannabinoid and terpene found in cannabis has a specific biochemical effect, so a product that contains a full spectrum extract may be more effective than a product that has a CBD isolate. All of the plant compounds work in unison to reap the maximum benefit.