What is CBD Oil? Overview, Uses, and Products

CBD oil is CBD extract that is mixed with other plant oils. There are different types of CBD oil sometimes labeled as CBD tinctures. The differences between the types of CBD oil are how manufacturers extract CBD and what is in the final product.

So if you are looking for a CBD product that’s best for you, keep reading! You will learn how CBD oil is made, the different types, and ways to consume it.

What is CBD and how does it make you feel?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is not psychoactive like the well-known cannabinoid THC so it will not make you feel high.

The reported effects of CBD are calmness and relaxation. Many people use it as a supplement to support wellness.

Studies have shown that CBD can help ease pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, supported by anecdotal claims. It has also been shown to be effective in easing symptoms of neurological disorders like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

How is CBD oil made?

CBD oil is made by first extracting CBD from the cannabis plant using common methods such as CO2 extraction or butane hash oil (BHO) extraction. We will describe the most common ones.

CO2 Extraction

CO2 extraction involves placing the cannabis plant in a chamber filled with carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is turned into liquid by applying extreme pressure, which absorbs the plant’s oils.

More pressure is applied to the carbon dioxide and CBD liquid mixture resulting in the CO2 turning to gas and so it is separated and removed. The result is a CBD liquid extract and in its raw form, it looks almost black or dark green.

Alcohol Extraction

CBD is also extracted using an alcohol solvent like ethanol which is plant-based. The process includes decarboxylation or heating the hemp plant to activate the cannabinoids. Then the plant material is soaked in ethanol for a specific amount of time.

Next, the mixture is filtered in order to separate the liquids from the cannabis plant matter. After that, the liquid is left inside an open dish to let the ethanol evaporate. The result is a light golden liquid.

CBD tincture has been categorized as a product where CBD is extracted using only an alcohol solvent. However, not all CBD oil labeled as tinctures use an alcohol solvent in their extraction method.

CBD extracted with alcohol has a longer shelf life than CBD oil extracted by CO2 or other methods, but sometimes has a bitter taste to it. So flavoring or vegetable glycerin is sometimes added to the extract. Vegetable glycerin is an odorless syrupy liquid made by applying heat and pressure to vegetable fats. It is used to sweeten or moisten cannabis oil.

Carrier oils

The CBD extract in oils is mixed with carrier oils. Carrier oils are made from plants, such as MCT coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. They often have their own therapeutic properties and are lightly scented or unscented. Then sometimes essential oils are added to the finished product for flavors or aromas.

How does CBD oil work?

CBD works by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system and its receptors. THC mostly binds to CB1 receptors to produce its effects but CBD inhibits activity in CB1 receptors. So it can counteract the effects of THC. CBD also helps our body produce its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids and influences helpful non-cannabinoid receptors.

How do you use CBD oil and tincture?

If you take CBD oil orally by putting a few drops on your tongue or eating a CBD edible, it works as most cannabis edibles do. This means because it is digested and processed by the liver, it could take 1-2 hours to take effect.

CBD tincture is commonly taken sublingually or under the tongue where it is absorbed through the oral mucosa. Taking tincture sublingually often results in a faster onset, in as little as 15-30 minutes. You can also add CBD oils or tinctures to food or drinks.

You can use a cannabis topical with CBD oil by applying it to your skin so it doesn’t enter your bloodstream. It works by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors in your skin to produce the effects. The only exceptions are transdermal patches which may enter your bloodstream and could have psychoactive effects if THC is present.

Some cannabis concentrates also have CBD oil. These are often full-spectrum oil that you can vaporize in a vape pen or dab.

CBD isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum

CBD oil works differently depending on if it’s a CBD isolate, broad-spectrum or full-spectrum. 

  • CBD isolate contains only CBD. THC as well as terpenes and flavonoids found naturally in a cannabis plant are removed.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD includes CBD, terpenes, and flavonoids but not THC. 
  • Full-spectrum CBD contains CBD, THC, terpenes, and flavonoids.

If you don’t want THC in your CBD product, use CBD isolate, also called distillate, or broad-spectrum products. However, studies suggest that when taken with a little THC, CBD’s therapeutic effects could be more effective than with just CBD alone. This is referred to as the entourage effect.

If you are ok with having a little THC, full-spectrum CBD may be a good choice. Hemp products with very low levels of THC (.3 percent or less) shouldn’t make you feel high. Just check the labels so you know how much THC there is in each dose, which is often a ratio of CBD to THC.

How much CBD should you take?

It’s recommended to start with a dose of 2.5 – 10mg of CBD to ease anxiety or 160 mg for inflammation. CBD has a lower bioavailability or the amount to take effect than THC. So if you don’t feel it working after a small dose, try a little more and find a dose that works for you. Note it could take days or weeks of consistent dosing to ease symptoms.

CBD oil and tincture products

LivWell has a variety of products that include full-spectrum CBD oil including tinctures, edibles, topicals and concentrates. These products do contain small amounts of THC.

Examples of CBD oil products, also labeled as CBD tinctures, include:

We also carry a nice variety of cannabis edible products that contain CBD oil. Some examples include:

You can also purchase cannabis topicals with CBD oil such as:

We also carry vaporizer cartridges for vape pens with CBD to THC oil blends:

Bottom line

It’s best to buy CBD oil products at licensed dispensaries like LivWell to ensure that they are tested by third-party labs. If you do purchase a CBD oil online, check that it has a certificate of analysis (COA), which is a document from an accredited third-party lab that confirms the CBD product meets advertised specifications.

Also remember to look at the label on your CBD oil, tincture, or product for ingredients, dosage, and extraction methods. It may help you find a CBD product that’s best for you, along with your own experience. If you’re unsure, we encourage you to consult with your physician to ask whether cannabis products may be helpful for treating any specific conditions and symptoms.

*LivWell makes no claims regarding the health or medical benefits of cannabis.

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