Cannabidiol or CBD is one of more than 60, naturally occurring chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the Cannabis Sativa plant.
When people who are not familiar with CBD hear the word cannabis, they automatically associate it with getting high. This, however, does not apply to CBD, as it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is a cannabinoid that gives cannabis its psychoactive properties.
Studies show CBD is considered safe, non-toxic and non-psychoactive. It is growing in popularity as ongoing research has uncovered that it has numerous properties that make it ideal for tackling a whole array of medical challenges. Some of those properties include anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, pain relieving, anticonvulsant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic and anti-oxidant.
Using these properties, CBD is resolving medical conditions such as neuropathy, inflammation, epilepsy, insomnia, vomiting and nausea, anxiety, cancer, depression, and schizophrenia.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil Production
CBD oil is extracted from the resin glands also known as trichomes. They are found in seeds, stalk, leaves, and flowers of the cannabis plant. The resin also contains flavonoids that add to the many benefits that CBD is able to provide. For instance, flavonoids contribute to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
There are a number of ways to extract CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The method used determines the potency and level of purity. It also determines price and which final products the extracted oil can be used for.
• CO2 Extraction Method
This extraction method involves using pressurized carbon dioxide to separate the desired chemical compounds from the rest of the source plant material in a machine called a closed-loop extractor.
There are two different types of CO2 extraction methods that manufacturers can use. The first is subcritical extraction that involves low temperature and low pressure. The second is supercritical extraction that involves high temperature and high pressure.
The subcritical process produces smaller quantities but it is more pure and potent as no heat was introduced. The supercritical process gives larger quantities by comparison but they are less potent as the heat damages some of the compounds.
The machine required for CO2 extraction is high-tech and is extremely costly. It also requires a lot of know-how so though this method is extremely safe it is more common with larger manufacturers.
• Carrier Oil Extraction Method
This is an age-old extraction technique that involves the use of either hemp seed oil or olive oil to extract CBD oil from the source plant material.
The process begins by heating the source plant material to activate its chemical compounds. It is then added to the carrier oil and heated further after which the CBD oil is extracted.
CBD oil extracted via this method contains high concentrations of omega 3 and omega 6 acids and is best used in products that will be consumed via the mouth like capsules and edibles or applied on the skin like creams.
Although this type of extraction method is inexpensive, it prevents the carrier oil from being totally evaporated. This affects the potency and shelf life of the final product so it can only be used to make small batches at a time.
• Solvent Extraction Method
This extraction technique makes use of solvents like butane, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, grain alcohol, or ethanol to extract CBD oil from the cannabis plant.
The process involves combining the source plant material with the chosen solvent to draw out the chemical compounds into liquid form. The mixture is then evaporated to separate the liquid from the CBD oil.
Though this extraction method is inexpensive, as it requires no specialized equipment. However, it leaves traces of the solvent used in the final product. This reduces the potency and can also result in unpleasant side effects like nausea or vomiting from ingesting residual solvents. Chlorophyll may also find its way into the final product depending on the solvent used and it alters the taste and appearance.
Common Ways of Consuming CBD oil
After the extraction process is complete, CBD oil is used to make products that can be ingested via the mouth, put under the tongue (sublingual), applied on top of the skin (topical) or be inhaled.
Pros and Cons of Different Types of CBD Products
For most people, their CBD product of choice is determined by factors such as concentration levels, ease of use, price, lifestyle, and condition they are treating.
These can be added to food or drink, placed under the tongue or directly on the skin. This product may contain some residual toxins from the extraction process so negative side effects may arise. It also takes longer to feel the effects as the CBD concentration levels are low and also due to the fact that some is metabolized in the gut and the liver before it gets into the bloodstream.
CBD in capsule or pill form make it easy to keep track of dosages and modify if and when you need to. If you are not a fan of swallowing pills though, you may not want to choose this option. Also, as with tinctures, effects will be delayed as the capsule breaks down. This can be both a pro and con. It’s a pro as the effects don’t overwhelm you especially if you are a first-timer. It may be a con as relief is delayed.
Sprays tend to have lower concentrations of CBD oil which is good for beginners. They are easy to use though getting a consistent dose will take some practice.
These are easy to use and you can apply them directly to the area you are seeking relief like a sore muscle. They can get messy though and dosing is also tough to control.
This involves heating CBD oil and inhaling the vapors produced. Effects are felt sooner as the vapor goes directly into the blood stream via the lungs. Dosing is also easier to manage and keep constant. Not a good option though for people with compromised lung functions.