What is CBD Oil?
WHAT IS CBD OIL?
In recent months, there has been a great deal of publicity with regard to CBD oil - and the messages can be confusing. In this blog, nutritionist Jenny Logan tackles the frequently asked questions, to try and provide some clarity on the subject.
CBD stands for Cannabidiol. Because of this, some people are concerned that it could cause them to get ‘high’ or suffer the negative effects associated with cannabis.
So, question one - IS CBD OIL SAFE?
The short answer is yes. CBD is not part of the controlled drug – it is extracted from a different plant.
WHERE DOES CBD OIL COME FROM?
CBD comes from Cannabis sativa – known as industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is the same plant used to produce hemp seeds, hemp oil and hemp fibres.
It contains very low levels of the compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for creating the ‘high’. To be sold legally as a food supplement, CBD products must be proven to contain less than 0.2% THC.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A QUALITY CBD OIL?
To ensure the quality of any CBD product, it is sensible to investigate the following:
• Is the supplier well established? How long have they been trading for?
• Is every batch tested and checked for THC content? And what maximum level does the supplier look for?
• Is the product clearly labelled? Do you know exactly what you are buying, and what dose you will get each time?
WHICH CBD OIL IS BEST?
To identify a ‘good’ CBD product, there are a number of factors you need to consider:
• Where does the CBD oil come from? - A good CBD product will be produced using organically grown hemp. This is important because hemp plants easily absorb chemicals from the soil.
• How is the CBD oil extracted? - There are a multitude of ways to extract CBD from hemp, but a high-quality product should be produced using ‘supercritical CO2 extraction’. This method ensures that no chemicals or solvents are used and no part of the oil is damaged. It produces little waste and so is kind to the environment.
• Does it provide the ‘entourage effect’? – The best CBD products are ‘full spectrum’ products. Alongside the CBD, hemp contains a variety of other beneficial compounds which work in synergy with it. This is referred to as the ‘entourage effect’.
TAKING CBD – WHY TAKE CBD OIL UNDER THE TONGUE?
CBD is best absorbed sublingually – or under the tongue - so should be held in the mouth before swallowing. Unfortunately, it does have a strong taste, which can make this difficult.
Taking CBD in a base of MCT (coconut) oil can help to make the strong flavour palatable. And, MCT oil increases the absorption of CBD – making it doubly good!
CBD can be taken in drops or as a spray. Capsules are available but, because CBD is best absorbed under the tongue, they will not be as effective.
Because counting out drops directly into the mouth is not always easy – (or accurate!) – I believe that a spray, which provides an accurate, measured and consistent dose, is the better option.
Written by Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a nutritional therapist who has worked with clients in health foods stores and private clinics for over 20 years.)