CBD Cannabis Oil

Cannabidiol oil, sometimes referred to as a CBD tincture or elixir, is a food supplement that contributes to the well-being and balance of the whole body. It comes in the form of an aromatic fluid whose color varies from golden to dark brown depending on the degree of product refinement and the presence of additives. 

This picture shows a well-purified cannabis oil with a high concentration of cannabidiol (CBD). Sometimes, the products offered on the market are based on olive oil or other natural vegetable oils. The proportions of omega fatty acid compounds and other vitamins may vary from one label to another, too. It is important to note in passing that CBD is assimilated without any particular problem during digestion.

CBD Oil and the Other Cannabinoids

To this day, researchers have found approximately 120 different cannabinoids or molecules that are particular to cannabis. Cannabinoids are produced by 1.) the cannabis plant, 2.) inside our bodies or 3.) in laboratories.  

We refer to them, respectively, as 1.) phytocannabinoids (‘phyto-’ meaning from plants), 2.) endocannabinoids (‘endo-’ meaning inside the body) and 3.) synthetic cannabinoids. 

These molecules have acronyms to help name them quickly and easily. Thus: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), etc.

The CBD found in oil supplements is a phytocannabinoid derived most frequently from the variety of cannabis known as hemp.

From Cannabinoid Extraction to CBD Oil

First, in order to obtain the consumable versions of the molecules of the cannabis plant, it is necessary to go through an extraction and transformation process that starts with the plants’ cannabinoid-rich flowers.

The quality of the final product depends on the quality of the extraction, more so than the quality of the input plant material. While some processes involve the use of volatile solvents, the modern cannabis industry employs better, cleaner methods. The extraction of CBD is performed with CO2 and water, and it utilizes pressure variations and sudden changes in temperature. By changing the pressure and the temperature of the CO2, extractors can control which compounds are removed — or not removed — from the plant.

At the very end of processing, it is possible to obtain pure cannabinoid crystals with a CBD concentration above 99%. Then, the refined CBD is carefully mixed with oils, balms, or other food products to create the products found in stores.

Terpenes in CBD Oil

CBD and the other cannabinoids aren’t the only useful compounds found in cannabis. Another category of molecules accompanies them: terpenes. Terpenes are the aromatic oils that give cannabis it’s delightful smell, but they’re not just found in cannabis. Citrus, lavender, pine, and all the other scents of the natural world are the result of terpenes. Depending on the extraction process, many terpenes may be included in the final composition of plant-derived CBD oil.

CBD oil contains, among others, the following terpenes: myrcene, limonene, pinene, linalool, beta caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, humulene, and nerolidol. Each of these terpenic molecules has an effect on the body.

Myrcene, also found in citronella, is an antispasmodic, antibiotic, sedative and natural anxiolytic. Limonene, also found in citrus fruits, rosemary and mint, is a well-known antiseptic, muscle relaxant and antitumor. Linalool is found in lavender, bergamot and rosewood as well as cannabis, and it is an analgesic with anti-inflammatory, sedative, and antifungal properties.

The benefits of the terpenes of cannabis and their wonderful aromas are almost too many to list. But before investigating them any further, it is useful to mention another major asset attained when CBD oil and terpenes are combined together: the Entourage Effect.

The Entourage Effect and CBD Oil

The effects of cannabinoids and terpenes often work in synergy. That is, when multiple cannabinoids are ingested together, they have an effect that’s better than the effect of consuming them individually. 

As technology progresses, it is increasingly possible to modulate the effects obtained from cannabinoid oil formulations by playing on these interactions with terpenes. Emerging research on the Entourage Effect furthers our ability to craft oil, edible and topical products that focus precisely on a given aliment or desired outcome.

While an isolated terpene or cannabinoid can produce quite distinct effects their blend can accentuate some of the benefits of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Thanks to the Entourage Effect, CBD products that include terpenes and other cannabinoids can now target: cardiovascular health, muscle strain recovery, concentration enhancement, appetite stimulation and sleep improvement.

How to Consume CBD

There are four primary methods of for using CBD supplements: vaporization, ingestion, sublingual ingestion and transdermal application.

1.) Vaporization of CBD

Vaporizing cannabinoids is one of the most effective and healthiest routes of consumption. Raw plant material and specialized CBD oils can both be vaporized. Vaporizing cannabis is not the same as smoking cannabis; vaporizing avoids harmful smoke by-products while still delivering the benefits.

It’s important to note that some types of CBD oil are not meant to be vaporized; they’re formulated for topical applications and are not acceptable for a vaporizer. However, vaporizable oils are widely available and can be consumed in a manner similar to e-cigarette liquid.

A vaporizer raises the temperature of the plant material or oil to the precise temperature that releases the cannabinoids and terpenes. But the real benefit is that it keeps the temperature below the combustion point of the compounds that damage the respiratory system, compounds like tar and other pulmonary irritants.

2.) Ingestion of CBD

Many people prefer the simplicity of edible CBD formulations. So, CBD is often prepared in capsules or mixed with food products like candies or baked goods. Oils and tinctures that are meant for direct application to the tongue can be mixed with food as well.

CBD and other cannabinoids are readily absorbed in the digestive tract, so ingestion is an effective delivery mechanism. The effects of ingested CBD will not occur as quickly as a similar dose consumed with a vaporizer, but those effects will likely be experienced as longer lasting.

3.) Sublingual

Under-the-tongue drops, like vaporization methods, allow quick absorption of CBD. With this method, the CBD is transported via the mucous membranes of the mouth where nutrients and other compounds are absorbed very quickly. The time lag of other ingestion methods is largely eliminated. And the advantage is two-fold because any CBD not absorbed quickly in the mouth is soon uptaken by the rest of the digestive tract.

A sublingual dose of 100 milligrams will create noticeable effects, and it will do so quickly. For an elixir with a 10% CBD concentration, that means that just three drops will deliver benefits. Health providers and nutritional consultants often recommend a 100-milligram dose, and ingestible products will usually be proportioned accordingly.

4.) Transdermal

Transdermal products are applied to the skin. The fat-soluble nature of cannabinoids allows the transmission of CBD, so simple creams and balms are effective delivery mechanisms. When carried by a properly formulated balm, cannabinoids are absorbed by the body with great ease. Sublingual transmission is based on exactly the same principle of fat-solubility. 

The effects of cannabis on the skin are the object of numerous testimonies and personal experiences which often arrive at the same conclusion: ‘it’s a miraculous!’

The antiseptic, antifungal, bactericidal and anti-inflammatory qualities of cannabinoids may help address a variety of skin conditions, too. The most common of these conditions are psoriasis, chronic urticaria, chronic dermatitis, acne, and eczema.

For all these conditions, the development of targeted cannabinoid-based treatments improves the skin's cellular life cycle and healthy regeneration of epidermal tissues. There is considerable hope for research in the field of cannabinoids for skin use. Today, thanks to cannabinoids, some diseases that were once thought incurable are being reconsidered by researchers in a new light.

CBD as a New Cosmetic?

Today in Spain and the USA, many clinics and spas are specializing in the treatment of skin diseases with cannabinoids. CBD oil is part of the growing success of these therapies and, with daily use, can promote healthy, supple and properly regenerated skin.

Yet topical uses of cannabis are not new. The use of cannabis as an antiseptic ointment and as oil for skin use has been documented since at least the 1st century AD by the Greeks. In Western Europe cannabis has been applied to animal and human wounds since the 14th century to treat burns and ulcers. 

Now, there is research — in addition to many testimonies — which reports significant improvement of minor skin problems with the regular use of CBD oil or balm. The combination of moisturizers with CBD is a major asset for the skin health when used on a daily basis. In the future, many soaps and cosmetics may very well incorporate this miraculous cannabinoid.