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CBD is one of the hottest wellness products on the market in the UK. It’s three letters that keep popping up whenever you search for anything to do with wellness. Despite its popularity, the same question comes up again and again.
What is CBD?
It would be easy just to give a basic definition, but to understand CBD; it's essential to dive a bit deeper. So let's get started!
We should start right off with why you’re reading this. You’ve heard about it, read about it and probably seen people using it – but what exactly is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and is found alongside other cannabinoids in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike some other cannabinoids like THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties, which means you can get the therapeutic benefit of CBD without feeling 'fuzzy-headed'. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in your body that helps you maintain homeostasis.
In the wide world of cannabis, people can easily get confused. You may think CBD, marijuana and cannabis are all the same thing. And you’re not alone.
While they're all part of the same family, there are essential differences between them that you should know.
Hemp and marijuana are both plants from the Cannabis Sativa family. The biggest difference between them is the levels of CBD and THC in each.
Hemp is used for seeds, oils and fibres. Marijuana is used more for its psychoactive properties, which are almost non-existent in hemp.
You can extract CBD from the hemp or marijuana plant, but hemp tends to have higher levels of CBD.
If you want to understand CBD, then you need to know your bodies natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). The system consists of endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. You don't need to know what all of those are, just know that they all work to create balance in your body through homeostasis.
They’re responsible for regulating things like mood, stress, sleep and a whole lot of other things that have an impact on your wellness. Get ready because we’re going to get a little bit scientific here.
The ECS will respond to cannabinoids from outside of the body as well, including CBD. Research has found that external cannabinoids like CBD can be useful in treating a variety of wellness issues. While research is still trying to figure out the exact way CBD interacts with ECS, they do know that it stimulates the system and helps with homeostasis in the body. It enables you to feel better.
You know what CBD is, how it works in the body, and what plant it comes from. Now - how do they get it out of the plant?
The extraction process is the way you take CBD from the plant and turn it into oil. Extraction is critical because it impacts the quality of CBD you’re going to get.
Carbon Dioxide Extraction
This type of extraction uses pressurized CO2 to separate CBD oil from the plant in a highly concentrated form. One chamber holds pressurized CO2, and the other section includes the plant where the CO2 is turned into a liquid before being pumped into the plant material. This process causes the oil to separate from the plant material. Both CO2 and oil are then pumped together into another chamber where the gas evaporates to produce CBD oil.
This type of extraction is one of the faster ways to go. The hemp plant is contained in a glass flask with both an inlet and outlet. The inlet connects to another container with a solvent that boils, and the outlet is connected to a condenser tube. The oil vapours that are separated from the plant are captured in the tube that condenses it into oil and the solvent. The solvent evaporates, leaving behind CBD oil.
Determining which solvent to use is crucial because it can affect the CBD. IPA is a good option because it has multiple medical uses and is considered to be safe.
This process usually happens after raw oil has been extracted. It removes any unwanted solvents, waxes or fats.
CBD Full Spectrum VS CBD Broad Spectrum and CBD Isolate VS CBD Distillate
These are some of the more popular types of CBD oil available, so it's essential to know the difference between them.
Full Spectrum:These products contain a whole bunch of abundant compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and CBD. These compounds in cannabis working together produce a better effect than using them by themselves. This relationship is called the entourage effect, and we will explain that for you coming up.
Broad Spectrum: This type of CBD oil has a lot of the compounds from the plant such as essential terpenes and oils, and has all the THC removed. Broad spectrum CBD also provides the entourage effect.
CBD Isolate:This is pure CBD, without any other ingredients. When the CBD is extracted, they remove all of the other elements only giving you pure CBD.
CBD Distillate: This is when you get the benefits of the whole plant in your CBD product, including cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins and fatty acids. This process removes almost all the THC.
What Is the Entourage Effect?
The entourage effect is when different cannabis compounds work as a team! A study by Dr Russo in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that terpenes and cannabinoids working together offer great benefits. Terpenes are flavor and aromatic compounds that are used in CBD oil and are also readily found in other essential oils. They are a type of organic compound found in plants that give them their aroma and taste and have excellent health and wellness benefits all on their own.
When taken together, they work better than when they're alone. That’s why full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD distillate products are such a great option.
Amphora uses CBD broad-spectrum distillate products because of all of the benefits, including the entourage effect. Amphora does not use any dangerous carrier oils. All of our products are organic and can be trusted to make sure you get all the potential benefits of CBD.
Now comes the best part—the products. There are so many different ways to take CBD, which is both a good and bad thing.
It’s great because you can find a product that best suits your lifestyle. At the same time, it can be a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of different products and brands out there that promise the best CBD experience. Choosing the right product comes down to how fast and long you want to feel the effects.
CBD oil is often used as a 'catch-all' term for CBD products in general, which can be confusing. If you’re using a CBD Oil directly, it will usually come in the form of a spray or a tincture that can both sprayed in your mouth or under your tongue.
The CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream through a membrane at the bottom of our tongue. This direct absorption means that the effects will start happening immediately because it doesn't have to be broken down by your stomach or liver.
CBD capsules are another hassle-free way to get the benefits of CBD. These are just like any other capsule that you swallow.
CBD capsules are absorbed more slowly into your system because of the pathway they take from the stomach to the liver. It will take a bit longer to feel the effects, but they will probably last longer. They offer a great way to start your day and feel the effects of CBD throughout it.
CBD can even be added to certain types of food. Typically it’s something sweeter like gummies. The absorption is much like a capsule because it’s also ingested and goes through the stomach and liver, which means that it will also take a bit longer to feel the effects although the effects will last longer.
Topicals usually come in the form of creams, lotions or balms that you put on your skin. Taking CBD this way is a bit different in the way it gets absorbed into your body. Because it’s applied to the skin, it doesn't enter the bloodstream, but it does interact with CBD receptors that are close to the skin. Topicals have a more targeted effect that will work on the area you applied it.
Inhaling is one of the most popular ways to take CBD because of how fast-acting and convenient it is. Using a vape pen to inhale the CBD means it enters your bloodstream quickly (remember bioavailability!). You can usually notice the effect in about 5 to 15 minutes. Amphora uses CBD distillate with flavoured and unflavored terpenes in their effect based formulations. We don’t use any carrier oils and only use organic compounds.
How does CBD make you feel? This question is hard to answer because it depends on you and the type of product you're using. Depending on the dosage, health issues, concentration and strength, it will affect you differently.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that CBD will make you feel ‘stoned’. It won’t. Unlike THC, CBD does not contain any psychoactive properties, so you don't have to worry about those types of side effects.
What Do People Use CBD Oil For?
The list of reasons why people use CBD is long. That’s a big reason why it’s so popular. Research is ongoing to find all of the benefits of CBD. Research to date has shown excellent results.
In a study of CBD users, over 60% of users said they used CBD to treat a medical condition with the top three issues being pain, anxiety and depression.
Some of the most popular reasons people use CBD are to help with:
- Sleep Issues
We hope this blog has given you a better understanding of what exactly CBD is. You can see why it’s good to go beyond just a quick google search of the definition. Now that you understand not only the meaning of CBD but also how it interacts with your body, so you can start incorporating CBD into your wellness routine.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.
Contributors | Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.