Cannabidiol (or CBD for short) is a cannabinoid (sometimes referred to as phytocannabinoid) and therefore an active ingredient of the hemp plant.
CBD is fast becoming a world-wide sensation due to the benefits that have been reported for both significant conditions and general wellness.
There are two main types of cannabis plant strains, Indica and Sativa. Indica has a naturally higher CBD content and lower THC content. While Sativa has a higher THC and a lower CBD content.
But don't worry, CBD products will not make you "high" like the cannabinoid THC. The THC amounts are always either low, trace or zero. On the contrary CBD is said to have a calming and anti-inflammatory effect on the body, among other benefits.
For this reason CBD could help the body to relax and thus also be used against sleep disorders.
The best thing is that CBD is a safe natural product. In June 2018, the World Health Organisation confirmed in a report that CBD has no harmful effects on the body.
There are three types of CBD extract available:
- CBD full spectrum
- CBD broad spectrum
- CBD isolate
CBD products often contain other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. This is because these others substances work together and enhance the effect of the CBD. This is called the entourage effect. CBD oils with the additional substances are called full spectrum CBD.
Full spectrum oils can contain up to 0.3% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol - the substance in marijuana that gets you 'high'). The levels are so low that it is unlikely you will feel an effect, but it does mean that it may show up in a drugs test. Research shows that there are benefits - again, due to the entourage effect.
Broad Spectrum CBD contains zero THC. This ensures legality but does mean one may not benefit from the entourage effect. Information on broad spectrum oils can be confusing, because while they claim to have 0% THC, products actually may contrain traces amounts.
If it is important to you that your product to be completely THC-free, CBD isolates may be the best option for you.
High quality oils have gone through a CO2 extraction process which remove undesirable contaminants, such as pesticides and heavy metals, that can be toxic to us.
It is worth noting that this process can create by-products in the form of solvents. Producers hemp oil take great care to solvents using what's known as purging. When companies include this process the risk posed by solvents is significantly reduced. This is another reason why it's important to use reputable componies that offer a third party lab report.
CBD oils often come in oil tinctures, with a dropper for dosage, and are available in different strengths. Many companies demonstrate a passion for high-quality products and eco-friendly processes. Many contain only natural ingredients and use only non-gmo, organic hemp. It is said that the benefits of organically grown hemp include superior flavour, less impact of the environment, and less risk of contamination with dangerous toxins.
Many brands are keen to be as inclusive as possible and subsequently offer options for vegetarians, vegan and those who require gluten-free products, for example.
Depending on the brand, some oils can have a fairly intense taste. However, many are flavoured, for example with peppermint, which can only not add a pleasant taste, but sometimes add further benefits.