CBD products are very much in demand at the moment. Around the world, an increasing number of people use CBD oil daily to complement their healthy lifestyles. If you have no idea what CBD products are exactly, but you want to start using them, you may find yourself faced with the following questions: What are CBD substances and oils exactly? What are they made from? How can they help me? Why would I start using CBD oil? How do they produce CBD? Is it safe to use and how do you take it?
You will find the answers to all of these questions below.
CBD comprises ‘cannabidiol’ and yes, you are right in thinking that it is made from the cannabis plant. Cannabis? But that is ‘pot ’or ‘marijuana’, isn’t it? That is the stuff you buy at Dutch ‘coffee shops’! And if you smoke or eat this you get stoned or high! Yes, that is true, but actually, cannabis is just another name for ‘hemp’. Basically, there are three types of hemp:
- Cannabis Sativa (fibre hemp or industrial hemp)
- Cannabis Indica
- Cannabis Ruderalis
Man’s special connection with cannabis
Since time immemorial, man has used the Cannabis Sativa and Indica plants for all kinds of purposes. As long as 8000 years ago, the Chinese made clothes, medicines, shoes and ropes from these plants. Hemp was also grown because it was an essential source of nutrition for both animals and people.
The incredibly versatile Cannabis plant has many applications. The fibres of the plant are incredibly strong and durable and yet silky and soft. Its flowers and leaves have healing properties, so they have traditionally been processed into medicines to treat all kinds of ailments. Its seeds are bursting with proteins, minerals, vitamins, lots of healthy omega fatty acids and essential amino acids. For this reason, nutritionists have classified hemp seeds as ‘super foods’.
Thanks to its many valuable properties, cannabis has been known and used all over the world for many centuries. It was not until the 1960s that scientists discovered how this plant actually works. It was then that they identified that the THC and CBD cannabinoids were the healing substances of the plant, which in turn, led to the discovery of the so-called endocannabinoid system in our bodies. According to many people, this was definitely one of the most important discoveries in the medical history of the past 100 years.
A revolution in medicine: the endocannabinoid system
Hemp is one of the very few plants in nature that produces cannabinoids. Back in 1963, Dr Raphael Mechoulam, a professor in organic chemistry, carried out research into the chemical composition of the cannabis plant. He was the first to isolate the CBD cannabinoid from the plant , which he later synthesized.
The following year he discovered that the active, so-called psychoactive substance of cannabis is THC. He was also able to determine the chemical structure of THC, which he then also synthesized.
Dr Mechoulam and his lab team then discovered ‘anandamide’ (AEA ), which is naturally produced in the body. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that affects receptors in the so-called ‘endocannabinoid system’. The substance attaches itself to the same receptors of that system in the central nervous system, to which cannabinoids such as CBD and THC also attach themselves.
Cannabis occurs naturally in our bodies
Anandamide can be seen as a ‘cannabinoid’ that is produced by the human body itself. Conversely, cannabinoids that are ingested and absorbed by the body can mimic and replace anandamides.
Together with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, anandamide plays a vital role in our bodies. The system influences, for example:
- pain signals;
- motor functions;
- the ‘forgetting’ (processing) of impressions and experiences;
- the immune system.
Anandamide may produce (slight) ‘intoxication’ comparable to THC when the substance activates the endocannabinoid system. For example, anandamide causes the euphoric feeling you experience after you have been jogging or running, working out or doing other physical activities. Fun fact: singing also activates the endocannabinoid system!
Initially, scientists thought that anandamide and cannabinoids receptors were mainly found in the brain but in the 1980s it became clear that these occur in the whole body. The so-called CB1 receptors mainly occur in the brain (the central nervous system), liver, lungs and kidneys. CB2 receptors are spread throughout the body and can also be found, for example, in the skin and around stem cells, which means that they play a vital role in the immune system.
At the moment, research is still being carried out into the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids and mainly into the role they can play in the human body. Many researchers, scientists and doctors are very optimistic and enthusiastic about the results that this research has already yielded. Some see CBD oil (and other products containing cannabinoids as a component) as a future miracle drug.
The different cannabinoids
Many more cannabinoids were discovered after CBD and THC had been identified. An impressive 120 cannabinoids can be found in cannabis and they all have a different effect on our bodies. It is entirely possible that many more cannabinoids may be discovered in hemp in the future.
At the moment, oil is made from THC, CBD and CBG (cannabigerol) as these substances have beneficial effects on the endocannabinoid system and the many essential functions for which this system is responsible.
The only cannabinoid that causes intoxication is THC. All other currently known cannabinoids are non-psychoactive and therefore they do not cause any highs.
Most CBD oils do not only contain CBD, but also a range of other cannabinoids. CBD oil usually also includes the following substances:
- CBDA (Cannabidiol acid)
- CBC (Cannabichromene)
- CBN (Cannabinol)
- CBG (Cannabigerol)
- CBV Cannabivarin
CBD oils that also contain other cannabinoids (except for THC) are called full-spectrum oils. Such CBD oils also contain the so-called terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds which can be found in nature. Depending on the variety, hemp plants contain 140 to 200 different terpenes that give the plant its specific smell. Terpenes are also thought to have the ability to affect the endocannabinoid system and to bind themselves to receptors.
So why use CBD oil?
The idea behind using CBD oil is actually very simple and has everything to do with balance. Feeling ‘under the weather’ can be seen as the endocannabinoid system being out of balance. The important thing is to restore the balance of the system by supplementing it with external cannabinoids.
All vertebrates have an endocannabinoid system. Therefore, CBD can also be given to pets to rebalance their systems. We have a separate page on our website that is dedicated to the use of CBD products for pets.
Unfortunately, the UK government does not allow us to do what is allowed in many other European countries: we are not allowed to indicate which CBD products may be used to remedy specific ailments or problems. Our government considers CBD oil to be a ‘food supplement’ and, therefore, it has stipulated that it is not a ‘medicine’. We are therefore only limited to promoting it as a food supplement and we cannot make any medical claims on our products.
Substantial differences between THC oil, cannabis oil, hemp seed oil and CBD oil
THC oil is the same as cannabis oil. It is an oil made from the ‘buds’; the flowers of cannabis plants that have a high THC content. The THC oil that is made from it contains a lot of THC and when you use it, you get high. Because cannabis oil is psychoactive, it cannot be sold freely in the UK.
Another, often-heard name in connection with cannabis oil is ‘Rick Simpson oil’. Besides CBD, this oil also contains high levels of THC and makes you ‘stoned’ when you use it. For this reason, Rick Simpson oil is not legally available in the UK.
It is absolutely impossible to get stoned’’ or ‘high’ from using CBD oil. In fact, in some cases CBD ‘mutes’ the THC effects when these two cannabinoids are used at the same time. It is simply impossible to get ‘under the influence” from CBD, no matter what dosage you use.
To sell CBD oil legally in the UK, it may not contain more than 0.2% THC. The oils we offer on our website are subject to stringent control checks and all remain well below this level.
Hemp seed oil is, as the name suggests, made from hemp seed. Hemp seed does not contain any THC substances and the oil that is made from it does not either. Using hemp seed oil does not get you under the influence, high or stoned. This healthy oil if freely available in the UK, because it is 100% natural and rich in vitamins. Moreover, it can be used in baking and cooking.
The making of CBD oil, a brief explanation
CBD as well as other cannabinoids are sourced from cannabis and the method that is used, is called extraction. Currently, there are three extraction techniques:
Solvent extraction: the cannabis is soaked in a liquid solvent such as ethanol (alcohol). This mixture is then filtered off, after which the alcohol is removed from the remaining liquid through evaporation. What remains is pure CBD.
The disadvantage of this method is that the oil may contain a residual amount of solvent. Heating highly flammable solvents can also pose a fire or explosion hazard. The advantage of alcohol extraction is that it is a relatively cheap and simple method, which can be done at home, if necessary.
Olive oil extraction: this method extracts cannabinoids using (olive) oil. The advantages of oil extraction are that it is a cheap and easy method and it is completely safe. Nothing is heated and no flammable substances are used. The disadvantage is that it is a slow method: oil-drenched cannabis has to soak for about seven days. After this, the residue can be filtered out and the oil can be used. Another disadvantage is that the extract does not have a high concentration of CBD.
Supercritical CO2 extraction: with CO2 extraction, carbon dioxide is put under extremely high pressure, making it ‘supercritical’ and causing it to behave like a solvent. The liquid CO2 acts like a solvent and passes through the cannabis, as a result of which the cannabinoids are separated from the biomass. The cannabinoids are captured, and the carbon dioxide can be reused.
CO2 extraction requires sophisticated and expensive equipment and is mainly used at an industrial level to produce large quantities of oil. This method has significant advantages:
- It can extract all cannabinoids and other substances (such as terpenes) from the plant;
- It is possible to choose which specific cannabinoids or substances must be extracted;
- Clean end product, without any residue;
- Clean, environmentally friendly extraction technique.
CBD oil obtained using the CO2 method is also called ‘RAW’ oil. RAW’ simply means that the oil contains the complete range of cannabinoids, terpenes and other substances of the plant. RAW oils are therefore full-spectrum oils, but without the psychoactive substance THC.
In this context, the extraction methods are sometimes also referred to as ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ extraction. The ‘hot’ relates to the first two methods in which the solvents have to be evaporated from the extract by heating them, which results in the loss of certain cannabinoids (such as CBDa, THCa and CBGa). With ‘cold’ extraction (i.e. via CO2) nothing is heated, and the cannabinoids are retained in the oil.
Lots or little CBD: the plant is important
In the past, CBD oil was mainly extracted from the ‘industrial’ fibre hemp (Sativa), as this species contains little or no THC and much of the desired CBD. Conversely, the Indica variety was mainly used to extract oil with high THC content.
Nowadays, hundreds of different types of hemp are grown, all with their own cannabinoid and terpene profiles. Of course, the type of raw material and the type of cannabis is significant for the result of any extraction process. Plants that naturally produce a lot of CBD will also yield a lot of CBD after extraction. The same goes for all other cannabinoids.
Cannabis cultivation is fully organic and under strict supervision, and no pesticides or herbicides are used. Harvested hemp as a raw material for CBD oil is, just like any CBD oil you will find on our website, a product that is 100% free of any artificial or synthetic ingredients.
The ‘types and sizes in CBD oil
On our website we sell CBD oil in different concentrations: from 2.5% up to and including 18%. The bottles also contain different volumes of oil, measured in millilitres (ml). The calculation to know how many milligrams (mg) of CBD each bottle contains is simple:
A 10 ml bottle of CBD oil with a 15% concentration contains 1500 mg of CBD. So, the formula is: content x concentration x 10.
A 10 ml bottle contains about 200 drops. This bottle contains about 5 mg of CBD in each drop.
Just like the cultivation of the plants, the production process of CBD oil is under the strict supervision of quality controllers. Each oil produced in a laboratory is checked for the content of the various substances it contains. So, you can always be sure that your oil contains what it says on the label.
How to take CBD oil
One of the many advantages of taking CBD oil is that it is easy to use. Each vial comes with a pipette, a dropper that you fill with the oil.
Stand in front of the mirror so you can count the drops. Dispense the desired number of CBD oil under the tongue and hold this in your mouth for 30 seconds. Then swallow it with some water, and via the mucous membranes of the mouth, the oil is absorbed by the body immediately.
You can also add drops of CBD to food after which the body absorbs it through the stomach. It will take longer for the CBD oil to take effect because it must first reach the endocannabinoid system.
Another big advantage that CBD oil is easily dosable.
What dosage? A matter of listening carefully!
Many people are uncertain about how much CBD oil they should take, especially when it is their first time using it. As far as the concentration of CBD oil is concerned, we recommend the following as a basis:
- 2.5% – 5%: for children and pets;
- From 5% and above: for adults.
Most adults are advised to start with 10% CBD oil.
Dosage of CBD oil is a matter of slowly building up and listening carefully to your body. For example, start the first two weeks with 2 drops twice a day. Does the dosage feel good for you after these two weeks? Then you don’t have to change anything. Do you feel that you are better off with a higher dose? Then increase the dosage daily by one drop, until the desired result is achieved.
Please note! Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not recommended to use CBD oil.
If you are taking other (heavy) medication, we advise you to consult your doctor before you start using CBD oil.
The use of CBD oil is also completely safe and there are no known side effects that can be attributed to CBD. An ‘overdose’ of CBD is also impossible: the only ‘side effect’ of overdosing CBD is the one you feel in your wallet. This is when you use more of the product than your body actually needs.
Feel fit with CBD
Healthy nutrition, moderate alcohol consumption, exercising, avoiding stress and no smoking: these are the well-known ‘tile sayings on the wall’ that characterise a health-promoting lifestyle. Now a new tile has been created for many people: “Feel fit with CBD”.
So, join this rapidly growing group of people who have already experienced the benefits of CBD oils and make your choice from our extensive range of CBD oils. If you need help with this, you can always contact us, of course. Our staff will gladly assist you in answering all of your questions.