In order to convince people to buy CBD oil or other products made of hemp or containing cannabidiol, companies claim that their CBD can cure pretty much anything from cancer to acne scars, yet they have no scientific argument to back up their statements. It’s therefore not surprising to see that people are reluctant when it comes to purchasing such products, or that they feel overwhelmed and have no idea how to buy CBD oil without getting scammed.
However, since the 1950s it has been lumped into the same category of marijuana, and thus the extremely versatile crop was doomed in the United States. Industrial hemp is technically from the same species of plant that psychoactive marijuana comes from. However, it is from a different variety, or subspecies that contains many important differences. The main differences between industrial hemp and marijuana will be discussed below.
Is it full-spectrum? Full-spectrum is the use of the whole hemp plant vs. an isolate which extracts the CBD from the plant. Using marketing terms like “pure” and “all natural,” isolates are sometimes not hemp at all and synthesized in a lab. While the efficacy of full-spectrum is debated in the scientific community, anecdotes and a study in Israel favor full-spectrum. In addition to potential benefits, there’s another reason you should be buying the whole plant: contamination. Chen notes that isolates are harder to trace back to origin and can be straight-up fake. Overseas lab-made isolates are cheaper than domestic versions, making the potential for contamination high. Utah recently grappled with synthetic CBD when 52 people became sick from an isolate. While isolates can be legitimate (FDA-approved Epiliodex is an isolate), you’re going to have to spend more time researching the brand’s products and practices. Put it this way, if you could get your vitamin C from Sunny D or fresh squeezed OJ, which would you prefer?
Watch Out For: Companies who won’t disclose their extraction method or utilize hydrocarbons like butane and propane. These substances are toxic in high amounts and even with proper purging, most hydrocarbon extracts contain residual solvent. Other extraction methods do not result in a full spectrum extract – meaning they were not able to extract all of the beneficial compounds from the hemp plant (i.e. you don’t get the full range of benefits).
Another field in which CBD is creating a buzz is in the area of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Both conditions have been treated with a variety of medications, courtesy of Big Pharma, that have had varying levels of success. Again, the long list of side effects can be off-putting to someone who just wants to get through the day without the sweaty tension of anxiety or the gray haze of depression.
Both varieties contain CBD and THC (albeit at different levels), which are the two primary compounds in the Cannabis sativa plant. The Cannabis plant is also very diverse, as it can grow in many different forms. The most common types are Sativa and Indica, but there are more, with each type having dozens – if not hundreds – of different adaptations and different ratios of active compounds, also known as cannabinoids.
CBD may be best known for its relaxing, calming effects. CBD reduces autonomic arousal, having the inverse effect of THC on the body. CBD’s anti-anxiety effect is why many in the cannabis community talk about how CBD relieves paranoia, although that is not scientifically proven yet. CBD is also known for its anti-nausea and pain relieving effects. It really depends on why your body’s specific needs and the quantity in which you take CBD.
Tinctures start with a raw or decarboxylated oil, but they are a more palatable (tastier if you will) option. In order to make a tincture, emulsifiers and a carrier oil and flavoring are added to the base oil. They will be packaged with a dropper or spray top for ease of use. They may even contain sweeteners. These are a great starter product or an ideal daily food supplement for anyone who does not enjoy a hempy flavor. Some flavors, like spearmint and orange, will mask the hemp flavor while other lighter options, like vanilla, will complement it.
Some companies, especially those who sell their products at a ridiculously low price, may use cheap methods when extracting CBD oil. This requires toxic solvents that are dangerous to our health such as propane, hexane, pentane and butane. Two of these are commonly used in gas stoves and ranges, such as propane and butane, and all of them are hydrocarbon gases found in petroleum.
But there’s a big difference between the two. Hemp seed oil has been pressed from hemp seed, and it’s great for a lot of things – it’s good for you, tastes great, and can be used in soap, paint – even as biodiesel fuel. However, hemp seed oil does not contain any concentration of cannabinoids at all, including CBD. So by all means, stock up at your local natural food store. Just don’t expect to reap the benefits of a true CBD oil when you cook with hemp seed oil.
I will continue to use bluebird botanical products loyally. Their customer service is exceptional. Their products are of exceptional quality and reasonably priced. Due to the dedication of their staff, I have been given back something I thought was lost to me: HOPE. I cannot thank BlueBird enough for their dedication to sharing a product that improves the quality of life for others.
CBD oil is similar to other products in that it is capable of being “watered down.” Some companies will try to eke out a higher profit margin by fooling their customers into thinking they’re getting more for less. It is important to pay attention to the concentration level of the CBD oil you’re buying in order to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for. Although concentrations of CBD can vary quite a bit across the broad range of CBD products, a quality product will start off having somewhere between 250mg to 1,000mg per fluid ounce. This matters because if you were to purchase a 4 ounce bottle that contained 250mg of CBD, your concentration would be a mere 62.5 mg of CBD per ounce – hardly enough to reap the full benefits of CBD. It’s always important to look at the concentration level of the CBD you’re buying.