Buying CBD for the first time can be a little overwhelming. You might know that CBD stands for cannabidiol but beyond that… Where to start? Because CBD oil is relatively new in the modern consumer world, many sellers will take advantage of people’s ignorance on the subject. That’s why we wrote this CBD buying guide.
We’ll walk you through how companies extract cannabinoids and what to avoid. We’ll explain the difference between “isolates” and “full-spectrum” products. So when it comes to buying CBD, sellers won’t take advantage of you. Our goal here is to make you a well-informed consumer.
But first, what is CBD? Is it different from cannabis or “marijuana?” Does CBD get you high? Are there side effects? Why would someone even want to buy CBD oil?
What is CBD?
It’s common to call CBD “non-psychoactive,” but this is technically incorrect. Some cannabis strains are more potent than others, and not all types of cannabis will get you stoned. A cannabis strain that is low in THC and high in CBD will not produce apparent effects. But CBD does interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. So it is, technically, psychoactive.
But this is splitting hairs. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) causes the stereotypical effects of cannabis or “marijuana.” Cannabidiol, or CBD, works behind the scenes to repair damage in the body, like inflammation. There are no noticeable effects on the mind. Someone can take CBD and still drive a car and go to work. If you’re experiencing inflammatory pain, taking CBD in the morning can help you get through your workday.
CBD works because, as mentioned, it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS helps regulate our mood, appetite, sleep, pain responses, and immune system. Our ECS has natural cannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors. CBD is an external cannabinoid that attaches to our cannabinoid receptors. The body doesn’t treat these external cannabinoids as toxins but accommodates them as therapeutic and medicinal substances.
CBD is anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsive, antipsychotic, anti-anxiety, painkilling, and works as an effective sedative. Cancer patients swear by it. Suppose you’ve exhausted other options or are sick of the adverse side effects of pharmaceuticals. In that case, it may be time to take CBD seriously.
Buying CBD: Cannabis vs Hemp
If you’re worried about trace amounts of THC, this can be avoided by buying CBD oil sourced from the hemp plant. Technically, cannabis and hemp are the same plant species – cannabis sativa. But because hemp is so low in THC, it’s often used to extract CBD. When buying CBD, you might see labels like “full spectrum” or “CBD isolate.” Here’s what each of them means:
Full-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds found in cannabis, including THC. Often, products balance the THC to CBD ratio at 1:1. So while full-spectrum CBD gives you a psychoactive buzz, it won’t be as strong. CBD has a counter effect on THC, reducing the risk of THC-induced anxiety and paranoia.
Full-spectrum CBD also contains terpenes and flavonoids. Terpenes give the cannabis plant flavour and can have a soothing effect. Likewise, flavonoids have a calming effect. Research suggests flavonoids (found in many plants, including fruit and vegetables) have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
Broad-spectrum CBD removes the THC but keeps terpenes and flavonoids. The best option for those looking to benefit from the range of cannabinoids available but not wanting the buzz associated with THC. However, THC is known to magnify the painkilling and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, so there is a trade-off.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products enhance CBD’s healing properties through the entourage effect. This theory says that CBD works better when present with other cannabinoids instead of taking CBD alone.
CBD Isolate removes everything except CBD. This option is ideal for those uncertain about potential allergies to terpenes or flavonoids. It’s rare but not uncommon to have an allergic reaction, similar to how someone may react badly to lavender or pollen. Suppose you don’t respond well to certain fruits or vegetables or have seasonal allergies. In that case, it’s best to begin on the safe side with CBD isolates. Another option for the allergy-conscious is to try organic CBD, as many produce allergies originate from the use of pesticides.
Buying CBD from a Reputable Source
There are several methods used to extract CBD. Our CBD buying guide recommends CO2 extraction.
This method pulls the cannabinoids from hemp via pressurized carbon dioxide. That means we can make CBD oil without adding extra heat, killing any bacteria present. The raw CBD extract from the CO2 extraction can then be further processed to isolate pure crystalline CBD.
Some manufacturers may try to use toxic solvents to extract CBD. You’ll find CBD oil on the market made from hydrocarbon solvents like propane or butane. Avoid CBD oil made from these solvents. Propane and butane can leave toxic residue behind.
Extracting CBD oil will often be done via alcohol or olive oil solvents. While nothing is inherently wrong with these solvents, they don’t produce CBD oil as pure as the CO2 extraction method.
Buying CBD Oil
We cannot stress enough the importance of buying high-quality CBD oil. Because of its history with THC-dominant cannabis and the drug war, the regulatory framework around CBD isn’t so clear-cut. Each country takes a unique position, with some countries, like the United States, having different regulations for different states.
However, with a few rare exceptions, most of the world has legal hemp. And with legal hemp comes a regulatory framework ensuring manufacturers abide by quality standards when extracting CBD for therapeutic and medicinal purposes.
At Green Cuisine CBD, we extract CBD from selectively bred organic hemp found in the sub-alpine regions of Slovenia. Using hemp, we ensure THC amounts remain negligible. We also use CO2 extraction to isolate cannabinoids safely and efficiently.
CBD has no adverse side effects. However, that doesn’t mean it’s risk-free. As mentioned above, those with terpene allergies should avoid full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products and look for CBD isolates.
You should also consult your doctor before adding CBD to your routine. CBD can interact with enzymes in the liver that metabolize other medicines. Depending on the pharmaceutical you might be taking, this can lead to unpleasant side effects.
How to Use CBD
Okay, so we know what CBD is, how it’s extracted, its potential risks, and the many benefits. So far, our quest to become conscious CBD buyers is on track. But how do you use CBD? What can first-time buyers expect?
First, you have to decide how you’d like to consume CBD. Many people like oils and drops, as they pack the biggest punch and are often the most cost-effective. But CBD balms are an option if you prefer to rub ointment on sore parts of your body.
Smoking CBD herb (or CBD hash) is another option. So long as you’re not worried about inhaling plant matter, smoking provides a rapid onset of CBD’s healing effects. There are also vape options for those concerned with smoking.
When buying CBD, there is no universal agreement on the proper dosage. A common rule of thumb is 5mg of CBD every 10 pounds. However, one’s age and metabolism will play a factor. As well as your reasons for using CBD. Some people find 50mg a day enough to satisfy their needs.
As little as 15mg may cure your insomnia or soothe sore muscles. Others, such as those with severe depression or anxiety, may require up to 600mg daily. If you’re buying CBD for your pet, you’re best to start with super-small doses.
Fortunately, there is no lethal overdose of CBD, so you can experiment with a dosage that works best for you. We hope this CBD buying guide helped you become an informed consumer. CBD is a natural treatment for the symptoms of many diseases. You and your loved ones deserve only the best!