Every day you hear about CBD. What is this elixir anyway? Let’s talk about some basics. What exactly is CBD oil? Under the umbrella of cannabis there are two primary plants. The marijuana plant and the hemp plant. Hemp often gets confused with the marijuana plant because they look very much alike and are classified under cannabis. Both plants are comprised of compounds called cannabinoids. Unlike the marijuana plant, the hemp plant contains a very large proportion of cannabidiol or CBD. There are over a hundred cannabinoids known to date. In order to legally sell CBD the product must contain .3% of THC. CBD containing less than .3% of THC does not need a prescription from a doctor and can be sold as a supplement.
CBD oil is a liquid product that consists of the cannabinoid infused in a fatty carrier oil. Carrier oils are typically medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as coconut oil. Other carrier oils found can be extra-virgin olive oil, grape seed oil, or commonly found in hemp derived products, cold pressed hemp seed oil. So basically, CBD is made from cannabidiol and a carrier oil. But many products contain much more. When all the compounds are extracted from the hemp plant it is referred to as full spectrum. Terpenes, flavonoids and other vital nutrients are included in full spectrum. Sometimes manufacturers will add aromatic ingredients like essential oils to finish their products and give it a more palatable taste. Because of this, CBD oil may vary dramatically in color, consistency, and flavor.
Concentration is very important when selecting a CBD oil. This is where the consumer can become very confused. When a bottle states a particular amount of milligrams it means that the entire bottle has that amount. For example. If a 1 ounce bottle claims to have 500 mg that means there are 500 mg in the entire bottle. When talking about strength it means we are talking about potency. Often times packaging becomes extremely confusing to interpret. It is very important in order to accurately deciphered the potency that it be broken down into milligrams and volume. A 500 mg bottle in a 1 ounce bottle will have a significant different potency than a 500 mg 2 ounce bottle.
Currently makers of cannabidiol oils have not settled on a standard measurement for concentration. CBD products are still not regulated. At the time of this writing there are no legal standards for acceptable levels of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, heavy metals and other contaminants. Screening for them is not required, and there are no restrictions on selling products that contain them the only thing that legally matters as of this writing is staying below .3% THC threshold. When making a decision to purchase a CBD products it is important to examine it’s certificate of analysis. Most reputable companies do third party lab testing. That is what is referred to as a certificate of analysis. Generally a QR code will be supplied for the consumer to access it and verify the contents. The consumer should still be cautious and make sure the certificate of analysis matches up with the company name and the lot number. Some unscrupulous companies will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers and supply a certificate of analysis that is fraudulent.
The CBD world is exciting and life-changing for many. With some fundamental education and understanding a consumer will be likely to make an accurate decision for them. Reading endless amounts of information about CBD online can be exhausting. A reputable brick and mortar should have an educated staff that can answer questions accurately.