CBD Buyer’s Guide

WHAT IS CBD?

Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant with enormous therapeutic potential.

Although CBD doesn’t make people feel high like THC does, it’s causing quite a buzz among scientists, health professionals, and medical marijuana patients who are using CBD-rich products to treat a wide range of conditions—chronic pain, cancer, Crohn’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, antibiotic-resistant infections, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and more.

Academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere are currently studying the effects of CBD on these and other ailments. Scientists refer to CBD as a “promiscuous” compound because it confers therapeutic benefits in many different ways while tapping into how we function physiologically and biologically on a deep level. Extensive pre-clinical research and some clinical studies have shown that CBD has strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, anti-tumoral, and neuroprotective qualities. Cannabidiol can also change gene expression and remove beta-amyloid plaque, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s, from brain cells.

Extraction Method

Hemp oil can be extracted a number of ways, but not all are equal. The highest standard of extraction is the CO2 method, where hemp is put under high pressure and low temperatures. This process eliminates the need for using harsh chemicals. While this is a complex method, it is the cleanest and safest method of extraction and ensures a pure CBD product.

In contrast, some hemp oil producers use solvents such as butane or ethanol to extract hemp oil. While an effective method of extraction, this method strips the oil of plant waxes that Made By Hemp finds to be beneficial to the overall product.

Testing

Proper testing of hemp oil must be performed periodically in order to confirm potency and check for impurities. These tests ensure that the amount of CBD on the label is what is in the product. They also confirm that the legal level of THC (0.3%) is not exceeded. Proper testing shows the company’s transparency in its practice.

The results of these tests can be found in the form of a COA, or a certificate of analysis. A reputable source will test consistently and should have a recent COA available to anyone who asks.

Glossary of CBD Terms

Cannabis – A genus (group) of flowering plants that include three different species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa species.

Cannabinoid – A class of chemical compounds that react with our cannabinoid receptors.

Capsule – A small container that surrounds a supplement

Concentrate – A concentrated form of hemp oil. Concentrates are oils extracted right from the hemp plant without additives.

Concentration – The amount of a substance contained within a solution or in a volume of space.

Decarboxylation – A chemical reaction that requires heat to remove a carboxyl group and release carbon dioxide. The decarboxylation of CBD a (the precursor of CBD) to CBD “activates” the CBD. This allows us to experience the full benefits of CBD.

Extraction – The action of removing the cannabinoids and flavors of hemp from the plant parts.

Edibles – Food infused with CBD, such as chocolate or gum.

Hemp – A variety of the cannabis plant species that is grown specifically for industrial uses. Hemp has low levels of THC and high levels of CBD and thus does not have psychoactive properties.

Hemp Oil – Oil extracted from high-CBD, low-THC hemp. Hemp oil contains trace amounts of THC and is therefore non-psychoactive.

Infusion – the introduction hemp into another substance, such as food or skincare products.

Phytocannabinoid – the cannabinoid that is derived from a cannabis plant.

Psychoactive substance – A chemical substance that changes the function of the brain and creates an alteration in perception, mood, or consciousness.

Potency – The strength of a solution. Strength refers to how much CBD is in a product.

Sublingual – A solution applied underneath the tongue.

Tetrahydrocannabinol – A main psychoactive cannabinoid of the cannabis plant. Also referred to as THC.

Topical – Products applied directly to the body, such as lotion or salve.

Tincture – Liquid extracts that are taken sublingually.

Vape – Vaporizing the active ingredients of plant material for inhalation.

WHICH IS BETTER CBD OR THC?

Cannabidiol and THC (“The High Causer”) are the power couple of cannabis therapeutics; they work best together.

CBD and THC interact synergistically to potentiate each other’s curative qualities. CBD enhances THC’s painkilling and anticancer properties while lessening THC’s psychoactivity. CBD can also mitigate adverse effects caused by too much THC, such as anxiety and rapid heartbeat. When both compounds are present in sufficient amounts in the same cannabis strain or product, CBD will lower the ceiling on the THC high while prolonging its duration. (“Relaxing but not intoxicating” is how one patient described CBD-rich cannabis.)

CBD broadens the range of conditions treatable with cannabis, such as liver, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, which may be less responsive to THC-dominant remedies. CBD and THC both stimulate neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells, in adult mammals.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO TAKE CBD?

The most appropriate delivery system for CBD-rich cannabis is one that provides an optimal dose for a desired duration with few unwanted side effects.

CBD-rich cannabis flower varietals for smoking or vaping are available in some medical marijuana dispensaries, but many CBD patients prefer non-inhalable products made with cannabis oil concentrates. Although banned by federal law, measurable doses of potent CBD-rich cannabis remedies are available in many non-smokable forms and can be utilized in various ways. The time of onset and duration of effect vary depending on the method of administration.

CBD-rich cannabis oil products can be taken sublingually, orally (as edibles, lozenges, beverages, tinctures, and gel caps), or applied topically. Concentrated cannabis oil extracts can also be heated and inhaled with a vape pen. Inhalation is good for treating acute symptoms that require immediate attention; the effects can be felt within a minute or two and typically last for a couple of hours. The effects of orally administered CBD-rich cannabis oil can last for four hours or more, but the onset of effects is much slower (30-90 minutes) than inhalation.

WHAT IS THE RIGHT CBD: THC RATIO FOR ME?

Cannabis Therapeutics is personalized medicine. There is no single ratio or strain or product that’s right for everyone.

Optimize your therapeutic use of cannabis by finding the proper combination of CBD and THC that works best for you. A person’s sensitivity to THC is a key factor in determining the appropriate ratio and dosage of CBD-rich medicine. Many people enjoy cannabis high and can consume reasonable amounts of any cannabis product without feeling too high or dysphoric. Others find THC to be unpleasant.

CBD can lessen or neutralize the intoxicating effects of THC. So a greater ratio of CBD-to-THC means less of a high. In some states with medical marijuana laws, cannabis oil concentrates and other products with varying ratios of CBD: THC are available so users can adjust or minimize psychoactive effects to suit their needs and sensitivities. Those who don’t like THC have the option of healing without the high by using a CBD-rich remedy with only a small amount of THC. But a low THC remedy, while not intoxicating, is not always the most effective treatment option.

Patients of all ages need access to a wide spectrum of whole plant cannabis remedies, not just high CBD oil. In essence, the goal is to administer consistent, measurable doses of a CBD-rich remedy that includes as much THC as a person is comfortable with.

Potency

First, you’ll need to consider the potency of CBD in the product you are taking. Potency refers to the concentration of CBD in a product. After choosing the way you want to take CBD, you’ll need to decide the milligrams of CBD you want to take. We are not doctors so we cannot prescribe what CBD potency would be best for you. However, this can be discovered with research and talk with your physician.

If you are looking, to begin with, a low potency CBD product, edibles or low CBD capsules are a great place to start. These products will lightly introduce CBD into your system. For a medium potency, tinctures, vape, and capsules are a good fit. These products can be easily built up to create an ideal serving size. For the highest potency of CBD, CBD hemp oil concentrates are your go-to.

Is There A Specific CBD To THC Ratio That’s Better For Different Conditions?

Some patterns are beginning to emerge. For anxiety, depression, spasms, psychosis, and seizure disorders, many people report they do well starting with a small dose of a CBD-rich remedy with little THC. For cancer, autism, and many other diseases, some say they benefit more from a balanced ratio of CBD and THC.

Extensive clinical trials conducted outside the United States have shown that a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio can be effective for neuropathic pain. Note: The CBD:THC ratio is not an indication of how much CBD or THC is present in a given cannabis product or strain. Some people use cannabis products with different CBD: THC ratios at different times of the day (more CBD for sunlight hours, more THC at night).

Almost any cannabis strain or product theoretically could benefit a wide range of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders because THC and other cannabis components activate the CB2 cannabinoid receptor, which regulates immune function.

WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL DOSAGE OF CBD?

An effective dosage can range from as little as a few milligrams of CBD-enriched cannabis oil to a gram or more.

Begin with a small dose of high CBD/low THC oil, especially if you have little or no experience with cannabis. Take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose. Use the same dose and ratio for several days. Observe the effects and if necessary adjust the ratio or amount. Don’t overdo it.

Cannabis compounds have biphasic properties, which means that low and high doses of the same substance can produce opposite effects. Small doses of cannabis tend to stimulate; large doses sedate. Too much THC, while not lethal, can amplify anxiety and mood disorders. CBD has no known adverse side effects, but an excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose. “Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabis therapy.