CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s used in a variety of products, including CBD oil.
And while it feels like everyone is talking about CBD — and with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian naming it as an important part of their health routine — the amount of information out there about it can be overwhelming. So if you’re feeling confused about what the product really is and what it can do for you, you’re not alone.
Before you jump into the fad, find out: Does CBD really live up to all the hype?
What Is CBD Made of?
CBD is extracted from the cannabis (marijuana or hemp) plant. It’s one of more than 500 compounds researchers have found in the plant, many of which have been found to have far-ranging health benefits that are not related to drug use or getting high.
Most CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant, which naturally contains high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC. When it is extracted, it’s highly concentrated and potent, much like essential oils such as peppermint or lavender are. The CBD oil is then typically mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut, hemp seed, or olive oil, to create a product that can be used commercially.
CBD oil can also contain other elements from the cannabis plant, including:
- Minor cannabinoids. These include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabichromene (CBC). These may have therapeutic potential for a variety of conditions, including stress and sleeplessness.
- Organic compounds called terpenes. These compounds are found throughout nature — science has identified more than 20,000 naturally occurring terpenes, and there are around 100 in the cannabis plant. Terpenes provide plants and flowers with their pleasant aroma and have been found to create various medicinal effects in the body. For example, limonene may help ease anxiety, pinene can ease breathing and has antibacterial properties, and linalool can promote deep relaxation. These are all terpenes found in the hemp plant.
- Flavonoids. These compounds provide the myriad of colors found in plants and flowers. While flavonoids are still being studied, there is some indication they could have interesting therapeutic effects of their own.
How Is CBD Oil Made?
Not all CBD oil is made equally. Products can vary in quality based on a multitude of factors — farming and manufacturing practices included. One of the most important things to look for when evaluating the quality of CBD oil is whether it’s made from whole plant CBD or CBD isolate.
Whole Plant CBD vs CBD Isolate
CBD isolate is a purified form of CBD; this means everything else (including the other beneficial compounds we mentioned above) has been taken out. This might sound attractive to many people who have been trained by the market to seek the purest product available. But purity isn’t necessarily better when it comes to CBD oil.
In hemp, there is a unique synergy found among the hundreds of molecules in the plant — this has become known as the entourage effect. To quote Aristotle, this is when “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”
Science has yet to prove how the entourage effect works. However, anecdotal accounts suggest that whole plant CBD is more effective. You also typically don’t have to take as much whole plant CBD to experience positive effects. This is why many find broad-spectrum CBD products, which include all of these beneficial compounds with as little THC as possible, to be the most effective.
Is CBD Marijuana?
It’s easy to get confused about the difference between all the products that can be derived from cannabis. But know that not all of those products are marijuana.
Cannabis, marijuana and hemp are words used to describe the plant itself. The plant is harvested and used in a variety of ways, including making rope and clothing.
Marijuana refers to cannabis plants that have more than 0.3% THC. It can refer to both recreational and medical cannabis, but the key differentiator to remember is that marijuana contains a relatively high amount of a compound known as THC.
Like we mentioned above, most CBD products on the market are derived from hemp, and contain either less than 0.3% THC or zero THC. So, no, CBD oil isn’t marijuana, meaning it won’t get you high. (Stay tuned for more on that below.)
Is Hemp Oil the Same as CBD Oil?
Some CBD brands call their CBD products hemp oil for legal reasons, which has understandably created much confusion with both brands and consumers of CBD.
The only way to know whether a product marketed as hemp oil is CBD oil is by looking at the label. Check for ingredients listed as CBD or cannabidiol. It’s also a good idea to look for third-party lab tests that confirm cannabinoid content, as well as whether the products contain dangerous pesticides, heavy metals, or mold.
You might also see products called hemp seed oil. This is an oil extracted from hemp plant seeds and is a nutritious source of Vitamin E and the essential fatty acids Omega 3 and 6. However, hemp seed oil never contains CBD (unless it’s been added) or any other active ingredients found in CBD oil. That said, many CBD companies use hemp seed oil as a carrier oil for their CBD products.
What Does CBD Feel Like?
People take CBD for different reasons: to ease stress, to reduce soreness or stiffness, to aid sleep, or even just to find balance and boost optimal health. And for each and every person, CBD’s effects are different. Some people feel very relaxed, while others might experience greater alertness or concentration.
Though CBD will not produce the “mind high,” or feeling of intoxication, that marijuana is known for, some people do report feeling “body high.” This sensation can range from feelings of deep relaxation to sleepiness — sort of like the feeling of contented tiredness you get after a good yoga session.
What Are CBD’s Uses?
Though it’s soothing effects for the mind and body are the easiest for most people to spot when they begin taking CBD, the compound has a huge range of other uses and benefits. While research is still being done into the full extend of CBD’s therapeutic effects, it is widely accepted CBD can be used for the following:
- Relieving discomfort
- Reducing stress and tension
- Supporting healthy sleep patterns
- Balancing the body’s inflammatory response
- Soothing stiff muscles
- Increasing mental clarity and focus
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
No! , CBD oil doesn’t cause the high that’s associated with marijuana. The compound that causes the intoxicating effect associated with marijuana is called THC, and CBD oil doesn’t have enough (or often any) THC to cause the type of euphoric effects related to marijuana.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
Very few people experience CBD side effects, especially if the CBD oil they have bought comes with third-party lab tests. But occasionally, some people report feeling energized when what they really want to do is sleep, or they experience some minor stomach upset. Overall, though, CBD has an excellent safety record that’s been acknowledged by the World Health Organization.
Is CBD Oil Addictive?
There is also no risk of becoming addicted to CBD. In fact, the compound is currently being researched as a potential drug to reduce the cravings involved in cocaine, heroin, and tobacco withdrawal.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
Because of the lack of THC, CBD oil made from hemp is legal in all 50 states — though many do have restrictions on how the product can be labeled and what it can be included in. Many states, for example, don’t allow CBD to be included as an ingredient in actual food, and some only allow it to be used medically under certain conditions.
Where to Buy CBD
There are currently hundreds of CBD oils on the market in the United States, and it can feel like an insurmountable task knowing which CBD oil brand to choose from. To help ensure safety and effectiveness when buying CBD oil, it’s important to look for CBD made from organic hemp using the cleanest extraction methods possible.
Our SHEbd THC-Free CBD products are made from 100% organic certified American-grown hemp. We have developed our own proprietary extraction technique to remove all traces of THC while keeping the other naturally synergistic compounds intact.
But don’t take our word for it. We test all our CBD products in house. The results are then verified by a third-party lab, and we have certificates of analysis and potency reports available for review. This, combined with our commitment to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, ensures you can trust that your THC-Free CBD oil contains just what it says on the bottle.
At SHEbd, we take great pride in our products. In addition to a THC-Free Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil, we offer THC-Free Broad Spectrum Hemp Softgels, THC-Free Broad Spectrum Hemp Balm, THC-Free Broad Spectrum Comfort Cream, and THC-Free Broad Spectrum Hydrating Hemp Sheet Face Masks. Check out our online store or contact our customer service team, who will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about our SHEbd CBD line of products.