CBD: All your questions answered.
Milligrams, percentages, dosage, health claims – CBD is a space shrouded in miscommunication, false claims and indigestible scientific jargon. No one knows what to believe or who to listen to. With so many questions and so few clear answers, we’ve done our best to list everything you need to know…
Milligrams, percentages, dosage, health claims – CBD is a space shrouded in miscommunication, false claims and indigestible scientific jargon. No one knows what to believe or who to listen to.
With so many questions and so few clear answers, we’ve done our best to list everything you need to know before purchasing a CBD product, in plain English…
NOTE: There’s quite a lot in here (we like to be thorough), so don’t feel bad if you don’t get through it all in one sitting. Better to bookmark the page and refer back whenever you have questions about CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is just one of over 100 identified cannabinoids found naturally in the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. In contrast to the more widely known cannabinoid, THC, it has no psychotropic properties (so won’t get you high) and is completely legal. CBD is widely regarded for holding therapeutic and health benefits.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals which make up the active ingredients of the cannabis plant. They are basically any chemical that can interact with the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies.
What is CBD used for?
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Dr Dani Gordon (Canadian and US double board certified medical doctor, writer, speaker and published researcher and leading specialist in clinical cannabis medicine) stated: “It can be used for a variety of purposes, things like inflammation, anxiety, stress, or just to support general wellness.” These largely describe the ailments a lifestyle user may take CBD for, but it is also gaining plaudits for its ability to alleviate the symptoms of people who suffer from Epilepsy and/or Parkinsons.
How does CBD work?
This question has no definite answer, yet.
As we know CBD is a cannabinoid (there are around 100 known others in the cannabis plant). Interestingly our bodies have an entire regulatory system, which uses cannabinoids to control several major processes, including appetite, sleep, mood, and memory. Click here to read more about CBD and the Endocannabinoid System.
Does CBD get you high?
No. CBD is non psychoactive. That may disappoint some of you, but for the rest of us who take CBD to try and keep level, the absence of THC is more of a necessity than a letdown.
Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum vs CBD Isolate:
If you have been out shopping for CBD you will more than likely have come across these 3 terms and we agree they sound confusing. Each describes a different type of CBD oil with a different cannabinoid profile, and each has a different effect once consumed. The full collection of cannabinoids forms what is referred to as the “cannabinoid spectrum.”
At two ends of the spectrum we have Full-Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate. Full-Spectrum CBD is the term used to describe a CBD oil that contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids that are found in the hemp plant. This includes the notorious psychoactive agent THC. CBD Isolate is the opposite, and contains CBD solely, in absence of THC and any other compounds usually present. There is research to suggest that in losing the other rich diversity of cannabinoids, CBD isolate is less potent and less effective.
Broad-Spectrum CBD sits in the middle. It’s Full-Spectrum CBD but without the illegal THC compound. With broad-spectrum CBD (which is what we use to make AVER tinctures, click to shop), you have a product that is potent but with none of the psychoactive effects. This is the most effective type of CBD oil you can buy legally in the UK.
How to use your CBD oil tincture:
Squeeze the dropper and fill half the glass pipette. This volume represents approximately 25mg of CBD, which is a nice dose to start at.
Drop the oil under your tongue and hold the liquid, without swallowing, for a full minute. This will allow the CBD to be absorbed directly into your bloodstream through a set of glands under your tongue called the sublingual glands. This process dramatically increases how quickly you feel the effects from CBD, as the CBD quickly enters the bloodstream without having to first move through the Gastro Intestinal tract where it is partially broken down and lost.
Take once per day, morning or night depending on when you feel you need it. If the benefits are escaping you, up your dosage. Try taking the 25mg dose, twice per day. Importantly, the WHO has classified CBD as having a good safety profile, so feel free to increase your dosage (incrementally) until you feel benefits, but we recommend that you do not exceed 200mg of CBD in any 24 hour period.
Why is CBD so expensive?
Generally, you get what you pay for when it comes to CBD. The process of making a good CBD product is expensive. Cheaper products are cheaper because they often have not been made using best practice methods. There are three main steps which contribute to the quality and price of CBD products: testing, harvesting and extracting.
In this new industry you shouldn’t just trust any brands product labelling. The product should be reliably tested by a third party laboratory. This is expensive. The price of CBD oil is inexorably tied to the cost of requiring these tests. This is made worse by the fact that these specialized tests are not widely available.
When it comes to costs of harvesting, an acre of hemp can cost between $300 and $600 per acre to harvest in the US, which makes the best CBD in the world. This makes it surprisingly expensive even to harvest your crop after it has grown. Once you do get it harvested and ready, you still need to deal with a lengthy and expensive extraction process.
Hemp plant extraction can be incredibly expensive, as it requires extensive and costly equipment. The extraction process, using supercritical CO2 extraction methods, involves separating the cannabinoids from hemp plants using CO2 extraction. CO2 gets superheated to a state known as supercritical. This allows it to act as both a gas and a liquid. This unique quality allows it to easily penetrate the cellular walls of hemp plants and take the cannabinoids away. From there, they get suspended within food oils and made ready for consumption. But only after undergoing, even more, filtering in a process known as winterization.
Look for quality markers (see below) not milligrams. The amount of milligrams of CBD in the bottle indicates the concentration only. Here’s an example. There are two bottles of CBD, bottle ‘A’ is 15ml and contains 750mg of CBD, and bottle ‘B’ is 30ml and contains 1500mg of CBD. Let’s assume that both of these bottles are manufactured by the same company and adopt all of the quality markers below. You may assume that bottle ‘B’ is better than bottle ‘A’ as it has more CBD in it. But actually both of these bottles have the exact same concentration of oil in them. SO, if you were to use bottle ‘A’ for a month and bottle ‘B’ for the month after, there would be no difference whatsoever.
Quality marker 1 – Is it clearly labelled?
CBD should be listed as a total quantity in milligrams and as a percentage concentration. There should also be reference to any amount of THC that may be present. Look for a manufacturing date and batch number so that you can track down and hold accountable this specific product if needed. Select products with high quality ingredients – this means no corn syrup or trans fats, GMO’s thinning agents or preservatives.
Quality marker 2 – How is it manufactured?
You should always track the journey of how your CBD is made from its life as a component of the Hemp plant, all the way to the final product. There are a number of methods that are used in the market today with varying degrees of quality, purity and degradation. To ensure that what you are buying is of the highest quality, check how the hemp is grown, how the CBD is extracted and what other essential oils have been included in the final product. Steer clear of products using toxic solvents like BHO, propane, hexane corn other hydrocarbons. Supercritical CO2 extraction and/or food-grade ethanol are best.
Quality marker 3 – Has it been tested?
You want to look for a certificate of analysis to make sure that what you’re buying is what it says it is. That means asking for a a third-party-tested lab report if it is not already provided. A good CBD product should be tested to make sure that it’s not contaminated and to make sure it doesn’t have accidental THC levels above the allowed limit. You also want to see that it doesn’t have heavy metals or microbials, so, bacteria or fungus that can grow in these plants. There should be no herbicides or pesticides used either. Just CBD, other legal cannabinoids and a carrier oil (often MCT oil).
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a group of smelly, tasty compounds found in most plants. Apart from giving plants and fruits their characteristic aromas, terpenes can synergise when combined with CBD. Each terpene has a different effect when combined with CBD. Myrcene for example induces a mild sedative effect, whereas Limonene has been said to have mood boosting effects. Look for terpene profiles for a more targeted function to your CBD oil.
Snake oil or cure all?
Neither. Lots has been said about the health benefits of CBD and much is untrue. Click here for our short’ish’ summary of the clinical research done to date.
If your questions haven’t been answered contact us at email@example.com
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