If you spend any time reading about the latest happenings in the lifestyle and alternative health sectors, it’s just about impossible to go more than a few days without seeing something about cannabis. Industrial hemp was legalized nationwide a few years ago thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill – and since then, research into its potential benefits has kicked into overdrive. Some of the results of this research have been extremely promising, and a handful of hemp-based medications have appeared as a result.
Since industrial hemp and its extracts are available for anyone to purchase without a prescription, millions of people have decided to take the plunge and try CBD for themselves. Maybe you’ve read some CBDMD reviews and decided that now is the time for you to give CBD a shot. Before you do, though, we hope you’ll take a moment to read this guide. CBD oil is an amazing product, but it’s easy for new CBD users to end up disappointed because they’ve purchased the wrong product for their needs.
This is the newbie’s guide to CBD oil. Reading it, you’re going to learn the most important things that you need to know before buying a CBD product for the first time. Before we really start digging in, though, let’s start at the beginning. What is CBD oil, anyway?
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is an herbal supplement made from an extract of industrial hemp flowers. Industrial hemp is a specific type of cannabis that’s almost completely free of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Specifically, industrial hemp has a THC content below 0.3 percent and can’t get you high regardless of how much you consume.
Until recently, THC was the only cannabinoid that most people were aware of. The truth, though, is that over 120 cannabinoids have been identified so far. THC was simply the most famous cannabinoid for a long time because it’s the one that gets you high. CBD doesn’t produce euphoria, and it is the most plentiful cannabinoid in most hemp strains.
We have a long way to go before we’ll fully understand all of the different cannabinoids and what their benefits are. For now, most of the research continues to focus on CBD. The results of hundreds of CBD-related studies are freely available online. Reading those studies can serve as an excellent starting point if you want to learn more about how CBD interacts with the body.
How Is CBD Oil Made?
The process of CBD oil production begins with the flowers of industrial hemp plants. The flowers are ground and put into an extraction machine that uses heated, pressurized carbon dioxide to release the essential oils from the plant material. Essential oil of hemp – also known as hemp distillate – is the basis of all CBD oil products.
After CBD oil makers extract the essential oil from hemp flowers, the next step is usually to refine and filter it a bit to improve the flavor. The refinement process removes bitter-tasting components such as chlorophyll and plant esters. Some companies even take the process a step further by using techniques such as fractional distillation to remove all traces of THC from the hemp distillate. Although there’s no risk of getting high from using CBD oil, some people don’t want to consume THC in even trace amounts because they’re nervous about failing a drug test.
Before the hemp distillate can become a finished product, it needs to be mixed with a carrier oil. The most common carriers for CBD oil are hemp oil, MCT oil and olive oil. The carrier dilutes the hemp distillate to the proper strength while also improving the flavor and mouth feel of the product.
How Do I Use CBD Oil?
Using CBD oil is extremely simple. All that you need to do is take a dropper of oil and place it under your tongue. Hold the oil there for about 30-60 seconds before swallowing it.
Although negative side effects are extremely rare with CBD oil, a few people do report drowsiness when taking it. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to stay around the house and avoid driving when you take CBD oil for the first time. Most people, however, report no overt effects at all from CBD. Start with one dropper of CBD oil per day and stick with that dosage for a while before reevaluating and considering whether you want to increase the dose.
If you don’t enjoy holding CBD oil under your tongue, you can also add the oil to a food or beverage or simply swallow it directly. However, the absorption speed of the CBD will be much slower compared to taking the oil sublingually.
What Should I Know About CBD Oil Before Buying It?
If you’ve decided that CBD oil is right for you, don’t just jump up and buy the first bottle that you see. These are the four things that you should know before you buy CBD for the first time.
- You should know that the seller is trustworthy and reliable. Fake CBD products do exist, so it would be unwise to buy CBD oil from a questionable source such as a convenience store or gas station. You need to know that the seller is getting its products either from the original producer of the CBD oil or from an authorized distributor.
- You should know the bottle’s total CBD content. Don’t just buy CBD oil based on its price; knowing the total CBD content is the way to gauge the relative strength of the different brands.
- You should know whether you’re buying full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all of the cannabinoids and terpenes from the original plant, which means that it may contain trace THC up to a maximum of 0.3 percent. Broad-spectrum CBD has the THD distilled out. CBD isolate contains only CBD and no other cannabinoids.
- You should know the company’s lab test results. All trustworthy CBD brands send their products to outside labs for analysis and publish the results for anyone to see. The test results will prove that the product actually contains the amount of CBD advertised on the label.