This guide provides a detailed overview of the main aspects people often wonder about when considering using CBD oil. From finding out if you can use CBD in California to discovering the best ways to have it complement your health and lifestyle, use this as your quick reference guide on CBD oil.
CBD Oil: the Basics
What is CBD and How is CBD Oil Made?
Firstly, ‘CBD’ stands for cannabidiol and this is a chemical—also called an active compound—that exists in the hemp plant. Hemp, like marijuana, originates from cannabis plants. However, they come from different varieties (strains) of the cannabis sativa plant. While marijuana may have high levels of THC—a cannabinoid with psychoactive properties—hemp plants have very little THC. Levels are 0.3% or less.
CBD oil is made from hemp plants, by extracting the oil from the plants. During the process cannabis that has been ground up is placed inside a container and CO2 in solid form (also known as dry ice) is pumped inside, resulting in Supercritical CO2. This spreads through the cannabis and absorbs compounds such as cannabinoids (like CBD) and terpenes.
The end result is a liquid (oil) which consists of CO2 and CBD.
Legality of CBD
The laws around the use of CBD have changed over the years, and countries have different guidelines regarding these products.
In the US, at one time it was on the controlled substances list, but since 2018 CBD that originates from hemp is no longer included on this list. Technically this makes CBD legal on a federal level, but there are also state regulations and local legislation to consider.
States adjust their laws all the time and some states still list CBD as a controlled substance. Even laws regarding the use of CBD in California have changed as recently as 2021. Also, laws may stipulate whether it’s legal to use CBD products for medicinal purposes only, or recreational use too.
Therefore, anyone looking to sell or purchase CBD oil should consult local authorities’ current guidelines on the matter. To play it safe it’s also best not to cross state lines with CBD products and in the US it’s usually only legal for persons over 21 to purchase it.
Types of CBD Oil
On the CBD market you’ll see mention of the following types of CBD, with the name referring to the manufacturing process and the effect it will have on you:
– Full-spectrum CBD: Here you can expect the CBD oil to have a full spectrum of compounds that are naturally present in the hemp plant. It’s natural for this type to contain some THC, although levels will always be low. There may also be terpenes that are responsible for the plant’s smell.
– Broad-spectrum CBD: Although you’ll still have other compounds in this oil, it will have much less THC. This is thanks to additional extraction processes to specifically remove this compound.
– CBD isolate: This is the purest form of CBD and here compounds like other terpenes and cannabinoids will be absent. The benefit is that there’s much less chance of ingesting THC. However, in the absence of other compounds, the effect of the CBD product may be different, sometimes less effective, than full-spectrum CBD.
Uses of CBD Oil
The reason so many individuals fought for CBD to become legal in the US and other countries is because there are so many people who can report it’s positive effects. Studies are ongoing to understand the exact ways these cannabinoids affect humans, but there are many who use it to improve or manage their wellbeing in the following areas.
There are various medical applications of CBD oil, with a popular one being to help treat addictions. CBD can help patients experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms as less intense. This is especially used to help with heroin and tobacco addiction, but it can be valuable for someone trying to overcome an addiction to alcohol, stimulants or opioids as well.
Furthermore, although it should not be seen as a cure, there is proof that it can assist with reducing symptoms of the following conditions:
– Autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia, in order to improve sleep and treat chronic pain.
– ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), thanks to CBD being able to soothe synapses that are overactive.
– Autism, by preventing excessive overstimulation.
– Cancer, or rather the side effects of treatments like chemotherapy, since CBD can reduce nausea and improve appetite.
– Chronic and short-term arthritis, by reducing pain levels and making patients feel more comfortable, while also helping to decrease inflammation in the joints.
– Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, by regulating dopamine levels.
– Neuropathy, usually caused by inflammation related to a variety of other conditions. CBD oil could help diminish inflammation and provide relief from pain in the feet or other body parts caused by the peripheral nervous system being in overdrive.
– Seizures, such as ones related to epilepsy, by calming the brain’s electrical pathways.
It’s vital to discuss treatment with a medical professional, but often CBD can complement existing treatments of these conditions.
Individuals can also use CBD oil to assist in managing general health and wellbeing. Some people report that it helps lower blood pressure, which is good news for anyone concerned about maintaining heart health.
General health and energy levels can improve or be maintained thanks to the following:
– Improving sleep patterns
– As a powerful antioxidant, users may be able to fight off illness and the effects of aging
– It carries value as a treatment for general headaches or even migraines, since it affects the body’s pain receptors.
– You may enjoy a healthy appetite, making it easier to ingest necessary nutrients
– Improve skin conditions like acne or eczema, through anti-inflammatory properties
The extent of CBD oil’s benefits even stretches to managing psychological conditions and this has helped many patients find breakthroughs in mental health. Conditions it can be considered for include but isn’t limited to:
– Anxiety, whether it’s social anxiety, general anxiety or even panic disorder.
– Depression, by helping to improve sleep cycles and general mood.
– PTSD, by improving sleep, preventing excessive fear memories and making individuals feel less anxious.
– Schizophrenia, since it has the capacity to act like antipsychotic medication. Note that studies are ongoing.
Some people also use CBD to manage their pets’ health. Note that CBD oil products manufactured for human consumption aren’t appropriate for animals and thus far there are no approved cannabis products that veterinarians can prescribe.
However, because not all pet products are FDA regulated, there are some treats and items available containing CBD. Still, federal laws make it illegal to officially use it as a pet food ingredient. Research local legislation in order to ensure you act within the law when acquiring CBD products to care for your pets’ health.
How to use CBD Oil: Different CBD Oil Forms to Consider
The popularity of CBD oil has motivated many developments in the market, so these days you can obtain it in various formats. This makes it easy to customize your CBD oil usage to your lifestyle. For example, certain forms of CBD oil are more portable. Therefore, as long as it’s legal in your state to transport these products, you can easily carry it with you and use CBD oil products on the go.
Examples of CBD oil forms are:
– CBD oil to be taken orally: You can ingest the oil by placing drops under your tongue, resulting in quick uptake into your system.
– CBD isolates: By purification and filtration, CBD oil is turned into a powder. You can ingest it with other food items like honey, mix it into other supplement powders or place it under your tongue.
– Gummies: CBD infused gummies that are flavorful are more palatable than many other forms of CBD oil. It’s also easy to use these in public without attracting attention, since they look like normal candies.
– CBD oil for vaping: Depending on your vape device, either CBD oil or a CBD isolate in solid form can be turned into vapor.
– Capsules: Another palatable option to try is taking CBD capsules in the same way you would any other medication in pill or capsule form.
– Topical creams and ointments: A topical product will affect the skin as well as the muscles below. Depending on the product, the effects could be further reaching, such as causing overall relaxation.
Products are available in different concentrates and each person responds in a unique way to the substance. Therefore start with small dosages, such as 2.5mg/kg of body weight, two times a day. Over time you can increase the dosage and depending on your reason for using it and your response to it, your ideal dosage can be anything between 20mg and 1,500 mg/day.
Potential Drawbacks of CBD oil
Using a natural product like CBD oil carries benefits compared to pharmaceutical products, such as it being less addictive. Also, there’s less chance of CBD causing allergic reactions. However, there are some possible drawbacks to consider:
– Affecting mental health, such as causing irritability, anxiety or depression
– Interacting with other medication
– Feeling lightheaded
– Reduced appetite
– Feeling fatigued
– Blood pressure too low
– Dry mouth
If you monitor your response to CBD oil, you’ll know if it’s necessary to reduce the dosage or stop using it. You can also consult your doctor and obtain advice on how to best use CBD oil as part of other health treatments.
The many ways CBD oil—in various forms—can potentially benefit users’ health make it clear why there are so many people promoting it and working to get it legalized on federal, state and local levels in the US. However, it’s also vital that people use it responsibly to enjoy optimal results without putting their health at risk.
Author: Anna Joubert is a cannabis enthusiast and a digital marketer working with State Cannabis Organizations. Her main goal is to help reduce the stigma around cannabis in the USA by educating people about the many uses of the plant. She is passionate about cannabinoid medicine and cannabis awareness.