CBD (or cannabidiol to use its full name) is a cannabinoid that was discovered around 60 years ago. But what is a cannabinoid and where do they come from? There are around 113 different cannabinoids in total, and they all come from varieties of cannabis plants. Different types of cannabis plants have been used throughout history, from practical uses such as hemp fabric, to using it as a recreational drug (also known as marijuana). But no, CBD will not get you high. This is because the part of the cannabis plant that can get you high is a different cannabinoid called THC, and CBD simply does not have an intoxicating effect on the human brain. This is also why THC is illegal in the UK, while CBD is not.
So while CBD is an extract from the cannabis plant, it’s not as simple and crushing up some plants and bottling what comes out. For a start, not all varieties of cannabis plant produce a reasonable amount of CBD, so you need to choose your plants carefully. Then, once the oils have been extracted from the plants, they need to be refined to remove anything that shouldn’t be there, carefully blended with a good quality carrier oil or other ingredients to make the final product, and rigorously tested to ensure it complies with all legal and safety guidelines. It is very important to make sure that the CBD oil you are taking is from a trustworthy source for several reasons:
- Nothing illegal – THC along with a couple of other less common cannabinoids are illegal if there is more that 2mg per container (a tiny trace amount). So the company extracting the oil from the plant needs to make sure that as much of the illegal and intoxicating stuff has been removed to make the oil you are taking is safe and legal.
- No contaminants – cannabis plants are known as “hyperaccumulators” which means they are great at sucking up any contaminants in the soil such as heavy metals. If these contaminants are allowed to get into the CBD oil, they could cause harm to the consumer, so you need to know your oil is free from any of that.
- Rigorous testing – as good as a company may be at producing good quality CBD, mistakes can get made, so it important for a company to carry out careful tests on their products, and any ingredients they get from other suppliers, to make sure that nothing bad slips through the cracks and gets to the customer.
- Accurate concentration – the other thing that testing is important for, is to ensure that the concentration that is advertised on the packaging is actually what you are getting. Testing has shown that some products on the market simply do not contain the amount of CBD they claim to, so be aware.
- Avoiding false claims – CBD is not licensed as a medicine, so no one is allowed to make any medicinal claims about it. And a fine print disclaimer simply isn’t good enough. There are many crazy, unsubstantiated claims out there about the benefits of CBD so be careful not to fall for these unethical practices.
Our company carefully traces our CBD oil from seed to consumer, tests all our products at our independent testing facility, and always aims to be truthful and transparent with our claims, so you know you’re buying from a company you can trust.
How to take CBD oil
One of the great things about the expanding CBD market is that there are now so many great ways to get the CBD to where it needs to be. But what is the best way to take it? Well, it depends.
CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors which form part of your endocannabinoid system – a vital system that is involved in monitoring many of your body’s everyday functions. These receptors can be found everywhere from the brain to the skin, so how you take CBD really depends on what part of your body you want it to focus on. If you are trying to boost your general wellbeing, or any particular function within your body, you should take it internally. But if you have a specific, external area in mind that you’d like it to work on, a topical application may work best.
For topical application, a balm is ideal for simple, on-the-go application for any reason. If you are looking for some intense skincare, a CBD-infused moisturiser is the way to go. Or if you’re in the mood for deep relaxation, take some time out for a massage with CBD body oil.
For internal consumption, capsules, coffee or gummies will all do a great job. But the most commonly recommended way to take it is in the form of CBD oil drops. These come in a variety of concentrations, flavours, and carrier oils, so you are sure to find something that suits you. So how do you choose? Carrier oils don’t make any difference to the actual function of the CBD oil, so most people just pick the one they like the flavour of most, especially for an otherwise unflavoured oil. However, if you want to put your CBD in a drink you would be best with an MCT carrier oil, as this short-chain oil blends best in liquids (particularly milky drinks). If you don’t want it plain, try one of our many flavours to add a little interest into your daily routine.
Picking a concentration may seem a little more complicated, but it still largely comes down to personal preference. Most CBD oils will be labelled somewhere between 5% and 20% CBD, although some are labelled with CBD in mg (milligrams). To convert from milligrams to percentage, divide the number of milligrams by the total volume of the oil in ml, then divide the result by 10. For example, if a 15ml bottle is labelled as containing 600mg (which may seem like a lot), it has a percentage concentration of only 4%. Companies can use this as a way to make it seem like you’re getting better value out of their products than you actually are, so be careful.
We recommend you start with a couple of drops of 5% oil, and take more if you feel you need it. All a higher concentration means is that you are getting more CBD per drop. For example, 4 drops of 5% oil has the same CBD content as 1 drop of 20% oil. So if you find you are taking a lot of a lower percentage oil, switching to a higher percentage can be more cost effective and last you longer, but you won’t miss out by starting on a lower percentage.
To take these oils most effectively, put the required number of drops under your tongue and let them sit for 30 seconds before swallowing. Just swallowing it will also work, but holding it in your mouth will allow it to pass through the thin membrane under your tongue and directly enter your system.