A Beginner’s Guide to CBD Oil: What It Is, How to Use It, & Where Do I Buy

Author: Jason Beverly

During its initial years of discovery in the 1840s, cannabidiol, currently more popularly known as CBD, started as a controversial substance. The Irish physician and medical researcher William O’Shaughnessy first investigated on his research the therapeutic effects of the cannabis plants. Later, other medical professionals considered studying the applications of cannabis to health and medicine.

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What is CBD?

CBD is commonly referred to as the "other" cannabis. It’s not the same thing as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Cannabidiol, the primary constituent found in cannabis plants like marijuana and hemp, has been associated with fewer negative side effects than THC. The euphoric, mind-altering effects to cannabis users are associated with the substance’s THC content, not the CBD content.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prevalent phytocannabinoid found in cannabis, which takes up about 40% of the entire plant. A variant of the cannabis family known as the hemp plant is an abundant source of CBD and only has trace amounts of THC, specifically 0.3%. While THC is known for its euphoric effects to its users, CBD is only accounted for its psychoactive properties, which means that it won’t make you high but it will affect your mood in some way.

The CBD compound interacts with the human body through binding to specific cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS plays a vital role in your sleep, mood regulation, appetite, reproduction and fertility, and memory. Basically, as the CBD molecules interact with your cannabinoid receptors, they start to cause possible benefits to your system.

What is CBD Oil and How is it Made?

In order to harvest CBD properly from cannabis and make it usable for topical use and consumption, CBD is typically manufactured into CBD oil. The oil primarily consists of CBD, but it’s up to the manufacturer to add more ingredients to increase its potency, add more therapeutic benefits, or more.

Numerous brands are present on the market today with varying concentrations, ingredients, THC content, and most importantly, the price. When choosing a competitive CBD oil in the market, it’s crucial to know how much does CBD oil cost today so that you won’t be overcharged for an average quality CBD oil.

There are three extraction methods used by manufacturers and growers today:

  1. Oil Infusion: The oldest of the extraction methods, oil infusion has been a tried and tested approach—even home growers can extract CBD through oil infusion. In this method, the plant is first heated to activate its cannabinoid through baking the flower at 280℉ for 60 minutes. Then, it’s added into a carrier oil such as medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and left to infuse. Since CBD is a fat-soluble compound, it’ll be absorbed best by a fatty carrier oil.
  2. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction: Another popular method is the carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction, where the cannabis material and liquid CO2 is pumped in a constant pressure into a chamber. Eventually, the CO2 will absorb the oils and flavors of the plant. Consequently, this CO2–cannabis mixture is pumped in another chamber where liquid CO2 returns to its original gaseous state, leaving behind the oils and flavors only.
  3. Liquid Solvent Extraction: Lastly, other substances aside from CO2 can facilitate the extraction of CBD which are originally more in their liquid state, including isopropyl alcohol, butane, hexane, and ethanol. However, this method may also extract chlorophyll and other impurities in the plant material, leaving a bitter taste and greenish tint.

To ensure that the CBD oil is in its best quality, the yield can be further processed through winterization, where CBD oil is combined with pure alcohol and allowed to freeze overnight. It can then be processed through a filter that will remove the fats and other undesirable materials. Then, you can proceed to the last step which is the distillation process, which most manufacturers use. As there are different compounds present in the CBD oil, you can boil off the compounds by using varying temperatures lower than the boiling point of the oil itself.

Benefits of CBD Oil

Why is this compound approved by many users? Apparently, studies centered on CBD were able to find a connection between this compound and how it can impact the body. Before incorporating CBD oil and other CBD-infused products into your skin, it’s best to consult with your doctor first if CBD is fit for your consumption.

CBD has various possible benefits for people of all ages, and even pets can benefit from CBD usage as long as regulated by your veterinarian. Here are some of the science-backed possible benefits that CBD can offer, but do take note that it’s not intended to act as a full treatment for any condition and should instead be used a supplement to a medically-prescribed treatment regimen:

  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Eases pain, inflammation, and discomfort
  • Promote good heart health
  • Reduces cancer-related symptoms
  • Possess neuroprotective properties
  • Helps in acne regulation
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Types of CBD Oil

Upon searching for CBD oil products both online and offline, you’ll notice that they’re identified in three main classifications, which determines the concentration of CBD in the product, as well as THC and other compounds. Check out how these types differ below:

  • Full-Spectrum CBD
    • When talking about full-spectrum CBD oil, this means you can enjoy everything that the cannabis plant has to offer, whether it be tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), terpenes, flavonoids, and less prevalent compounds, along with the CBD itself.
  • Broad-Spectrum CBD
    • Broad-spectrum CBD oil is the middle ground of the full-spectrum and isolated CBD. In broad-spectrum CBD, the essential cannabinoids present in the plant are preserved, but the THC content is removed, creating a hybrid of full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.
    • If you’re still a beginner with CBD oils, it would be best to pick this type of CBD oil so you can enjoy the full benefits of CBD oil without getting too intoxicated with THC.
  • CBD Isolate
    • As the name implies, CBD isolates are the purest, isolated form of CBD oil. During its production, all other cannabinoids such as THC, terpenes, and flavonoids were removed from the oil to leave behind only the CBD compound. Although you’ll be enjoying the full benefits of CBD, keep in mind that there will be no other beneficial cannabinoids present.

Ways to Use CBD Oil

Another reason why CBD oils are loved by many is its amazing versatility in terms of consumption. There are a variety of ways in which you can use CBD oils and, most of the time, these administering methods are directly connected to what benefit they offer and how quick you want the effects to kick in.

Therefore, are some of the best consumption methods and what health benefits it can offer you:

  • Sublingual Consumption
    • If you’re a cannabis newbie who seeks quick absorption, the best way to consume CBD oil is through sublingual consumption. This means you place a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue and hold it for 30 seconds before swallowing. You can start with a low-dosage CBD oil, then work your way up as you discover the best strength for you.
    • However, if you’re not a fan of earthy and strong tastes, it can be quite intimidating to take pure CBD oils. Choose a product with additional flavoring.
  • Oral Consumption or Ingestion
    • For a fun and friendlier way to consume CBD oil, you can take CBD supplements in the form of capsules and gummies. Also, you won’t have to worry about underdosing or overdosing since the right dosage and serving is already indicated by the product.
    • Apart from capsules and gummies, another easy way to ingest CBD oil is through adding a few drops on your salad, cupcakes, cookies, mashed potatoes, sauces, cheesecake, and more.
  • Vapor Inhalation
    • Inhaling vapor from CBD oil is a great method for people trying to quit smoking, since vaping is a better alternative. There are various vaping devices that you can choose from, as well as CBD vaping oils with different flavors. Through inhalation, the benefits of CBD can also be quickly absorbed.
  • Topical Application
    • In terms of skin problems or muscle and joint pains, CBD creams, ointments, balms, and waxes can be your ultimate companion. These types of products can target a specific painful area by simply applying or massaging it into your skin. Recently, CBD-infused skincare is also becoming quite popular.

How to Choose and Where to Buy the Right CBD Oil

Due to numerous CBD products available in the market today, it’s overwhelming to choose the best one that’s worth your money. When choose a good CBD oil, you can take note of the following tips:

  • The quality of CBD is mostly dictated by the plant’s growing conditions, quality control, and regulation. It’s ideal to choose a CBD oil or product derived from USA-grown hemp to ensure the best quality of cannabis-based products. This information can usually be found on the product’s label or the brand’s website.
  • Excellent production should always be equivalent to transparency. If a certain brand is confident in marketing their CBD product having the best quality, organic, cruelty-free, and other claims, they should be transparent on this through posting third-party lab testing on their website.
  • Lastly, you’ll know which products to buy and stay away from through looking at the product’s review. You can also ask your relatives and friends who use CBD oils and CBD-infused products for any suggestions. If your physician approves your use of CBD products, then you can also ask for their recommendations.

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About Jason Beverly

Jason Beverly is the Digital Marketing Director of The CBD Benefits, an informational website helping people learn about CBD. He's been researching, developing and writing about CBD & other cannabinoids for over 5 years. Jason uses CBD daily to treat for pain, anxiety and depression.

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