CBD, or cannabidiol, has in recent times being given a lot of importance in health journals and other media. It has also generated some controversy due to its association with marijuana, though its proponents keep stressing the benefits of medical marijuana, and its increasing legal acceptance.
CBD is an essential part of medical marijuana, though most CBD oil is derived from hemp, which is a cousin of marijuana. Marijuana has hundreds of components, with CBD being just one of them. CBD by itself has no effects that indicate that it has any potential for abuse or that it will cause dependence.
Pure CBD causes no health problems, and this fact has been extensively researched. CBD is legal for use in most of the states in the United States, though the federal government does still put it in the same class as marijuana. CBD derived from hemp is considered legal, while that obtained from marijuana is not.
Cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is psychoactive and causes the high that most people associate with marijuana. CBD, however, does not have these psychoactive properties.
CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant, which is then again diluted using oil like hemp seed or coconut oil. CBD oil is often labeled as “hemp extract”. CBD oil can also be added to various products that make it easier for varied uses. So, you will find CBD oil in gummies, tinctures, vape oils, topicals, and capsules.
How is the CBD Oil Extracted?
CBD oil is extracted from the plant material (hemp) in different ways, like using carbon dioxide, through steam distillation, or through dissolving them in hydrocarbon or natural solvents:
1. Extraction by Carbon Dioxide
Supercritical carbon dioxide is CO2 that has the properties of both its liquid and gaseous state and in this process of CBD extraction, a series of pressurized chambers are used to subject the CO2 to high pressure and low temperatures, and this results in the extraction of CBD oil with high amounts of CBD.
The extraction starts with a chamber holding pressurized CO2, while another chamber, also pressurized, holds the hemp plant products. The CO2 is then pumped into the second chamber holding the hemp and causes it to breakdown, resulting in the oil separating from the plant material.
The CO2 and oil are then pumped into a third chamber where the gas evaporates, leaving behind the pure CBD oil. This is the preferred method of CBD oil extraction, although it does require specialized machinery.
The concentration of CBD oil produced by CO2 extraction can be as high as 92%. By adjusting the solvent and pressure ratios, a desired concentration of CBD can be extracted.
2. Steam Distillation Extraction
Steam distillation results in the CBD oil separating from the hemp plant. Hemp is kept in a glass flask that has both an inlet and an outlet.
The inlet connects to another container in which water is allowed to boil.
The outlet from the hemp containing flask leads to a condenser tube. Steam travels upward to the plant containing flask and separates the oil from the plant.
The vapors that lead out of the flask contain both oil and water. This mixture is then distilled till oil is separated from the water.
This process requires substantial quantities of hemp and there can be no control over the concentration of CBD obtained. Overheated steam can also damage the extract.
3. CDB Extraction by Dissolving them in Hydrocarbon or Natural Solvents
The process of solvent extraction is similar to steam distillation, and the solvent acts as a substitute for water. It is a process that is more efficient than steam distillation and also results in lower costs.
The solvent used can be toxic, but this can be avoided through the use of natural solvents like ethanol or olive oil. The use of solvents also results in the extraction of chlorophyll from the plant, and this can give the oil a bitter taste.
The extraction methods used indicate the quality of the product. It also makes sense to buy CBD oil and other products that have been tested by third-party labs.
CBD oil that is extracted can also contain other cannabinoids, though the product that uses hemp as a source will have less than 0.3% of THC, the psychoactive substance that is to be avoided. This low percentage of THC makes the oil legal in all parts of the United States.
The oil may also contain terpenes and amino acids, besides other cannabinoids, which are believed to be more effective in engaging the endocannabinoid system of the body.
Some people prefer to Try the CBD Colorado products that do not have even the smallest percentage of THC and to ensure this the extracted oil is cooled and then purified into crystalline isolate form. The result is a white powder that has no flavor or odor used to make different products like:
- Tinctures: when mixed with carrier oils to create tinctures.
- Gummies: combining it with organic corn syrup, juice, and natural flavoring
- Edibles: like chocolates or other baked goods.
- CBD capsules: use olive oil to create the casing.
- Vape oils: are created by combining the oil with vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol and some natural flavoring.
- Salves and topicals: combining CBD oil with essential oil and aloe vera crates.
CBD oil and its products have been used for several health issues, and its strongest advocates are those that used it in childhood epilepsy syndromes that did not respond to anti-seizure medications. CBD was effective in reducing the number of seizures and even able to stop them altogether in some cases.
The use of marijuana to relieve pain has a history that goes back more than 5000 years. The endocannabinoid system in the body regulates sleep, appetite, pain, and the immune system.
The body does produce endocannabinoids that act as neurotransmitters that bind these cannabinoid receptors to the nervous system.
CBD impacts this receptor activity and this helps to reduce inflammation and chronic pain.
CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety and depression are very common mental health disorders that our busy and stressful modern-day lives seem to cause. These were earlier treated with pharmaceutical drugs that often had serious side effects like insomnia, drowsiness, headaches, and others.
Many of these medicines are also addictive and this often leads to substance abuse. CBD oil has shown promise when it is used to treat persons suffering from anxiety and depression.
Its natural composition that does not depend on harmful chemicals has allowed the users of CBD oil products to live with their mental disorders. It can also act as an anti-depressant.
Different Ways CBD Is Being Used to Treat Diseases and Reduce Pain
- Reduce the symptoms that are related to cancer and the pain, nausea, and vomiting that cancer treatments do result in.
- Help in the treatment of acne, a skin condition that 9% of the population suffers from. The use of CBD oil reduces sebum production, an oily secretion that the body produces, and whose overproduction is known to be responsible for acne.
- It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can be of great help in treating acne.
- It can work on the endocannabinoid system and other systems that the brain uses for signaling and benefits those who have neurological disorders.
- Used to treat multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
- It has also been known to improve sleep for people who have Parkinson’s disease.
- Suggested that its use for patients with Alzheimer’s will decrease inflammation and halt neurodegeneration.
- CBD can also benefit the heart and circulatory system by reducing high blood pressure.
- People with schizophrenia and other mental disorders have had their psychotic symptoms reduced by using CBD oil products.
- It has also modified circuits in the brain, and this allows it to treat drug addiction.
- Stop the spread of lung, colon, brain, prostate, and breast cancer.
- CBD oil can also reduce the incidence of diabetes.
CBD oil and its various products are well tolerated by the human body, though it is known to cause some reactions like diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite and weight.
It is also known to react with certain medications, and that is the reason, that you need to consult your doctor before you start taking CBD oil. CBD stays in the human body for 2 to 5 days, though in some people it can stay for weeks. This can also depend on your BMI and metabolism. Higher doses will tend to stay longer, as will an increased frequency of usage. Use it for at least a week for you to know whether it works for you.
CBD oil has the potential to ease the symptoms of many health issues. While it is widely used to treat depression, anxiety, heart disease, and acne, it also affords cancer patients relief from pain.
Though CBD has many potential health benefits, its association with cannabis reduced its acceptance, and it is only now that its legal acceptance has led it to be now being vastly researched for its other therapeutic uses.
It has the potential for acting as a powerful natural treatment for many common health issues.