Ten years ago, the term “CBD oil” may have conjured up ideas of cooking oil or some kind of industrial lubricant. Now, it seems like CBD is everywhere, from Forbes magazine to an ad on the side of a bus. However, there are still many who don’t know exactly what CBD oil is. What is CBD oil made of? Is it legal? Will it get me high?
It’s not just the term that you can see everywhere. It’s even the actual product. The 2018 Farm Bill removed CBD from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances (as long as it’s made from hemp) and ushered in a new golden era of CBD commerce. Sephora now carries a line of CBD skincare products, as does CVS. The new legislation will have a drastic effect on the hemp-derived CBD market in general: it was worth $390 million in 2018 and could grow to $1.3 billion by 2022.
CBD is growing
CBD’s move from the black market to the white market means people are freer to talk about it and to provide information to the public. As time goes on, the available information about CBD oil will become more thorough and backed by research. However, the research is lacking at the moment. We’ll cover what research there is below and also talk about anecdotal evidence for the benefits of CBD oil.
In a nutshell, CBD oil is an extract of the compound cannabidiol from either hemp or marijuana (more on the difference between those later) which are both varieties of the cannabis plant. In the last decade, more and more people have become interested in CBD products in the form of oils, edibles, vape cartridges, and tinctures. People report CBD oil helps with anxiety, pain management, and other ailments. However, there are so many options that choosing a CBD oil product can be a daunting task.
Humans have used cannabis for millennia. Cannabis originated somewhere in central Asia and was originally grown for its seeds and fiber. Countries in Europe and East Asia used cannabis in this way for hundreds of years and grew strains that were not psychoactive. In contrast, countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia cultivated cannabis for its psychoactive effects. Strains of the plant in these areas could contain up to 10% THC (the psychoactive compound).
The Chinese Emperor Shen Nung first studied the medicinal use of cannabis in around 2700 B.C. Cannabis turned up about 1000 years later on Sumerian tablets, which describe the medicinal use of the plant. Fast forward some more, and we see Bengal Army physician W.B. O’Shaughnessy describing cannabis as a treatment for seizures in 1843. Studies happened on animals and then on humans.
However, in the 1900s different countries put legal restrictions on the plant and research slowed. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, as we’re coming out of that now. Many countries have relaxed their restrictions in the last decade, and research has grown exponentially. With more research comes more public interest, and we can expect the next few years to continue this trend.
In this guide on CBD oil, we aim to answer all of your burning (or vaping) questions on CBD oil and leave you with a clear idea of what it is. We’ll talk about the plants that it comes from, the benefits people experience, the legality of CBD oil, and how people like to use it today.
What Is CBD OIL -Guide to all things CBD
What is CBD Oil, exactly?
CBD, THC, hemp, marijuana, cannabis, terpenes; it can get a little confusing after a while. Let’s start at the top.
Hemp vs Weed
Cannabis is a species of plant. Hemp is a variety of cannabis, and marijuana (weed) is another variety of cannabis. However, the difference between hemp and marijuana is more bureaucratic than scientific. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is cannabis with less than 0.03% THC. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and it’s the compound that gets people high. CBD stands for cannabidiol and it does not get people high. Instead, CBD provides people with a number of other benefits like pain management and decreased anxiety.
The Farm Bill made hemp a normal agricultural commodity. Now, hemp-derived CBD can be sold and consumed legally in most states, though some states are taking longer to apply the federal law to consumer CBD oil. CBD is not FDA-approved as a general ingredient yet, so you’ll see familiar disclaimers on the packaging about the product not being able to diagnose or treat diseases.
The status that hemp-CBD has is night and day from where it used to be. Now, companies can sell it across state lines, people can travel with it (within the US). We do have to say that not all law enforcement officials may be aware of what a hemp-derived CBD product looks like, so you should still use caution when traveling.
The endocannabinoid system
So why do people care about CBD or THC anyways? CBD and THC are two examples of cannabinoids, and there are over 100 cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis. Well, it turns out that our nervous system has the ability to interact with these compounds. Most of these don’t cause a noticeable effect on users. Minor cannabinoids include cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC).
CBD vs THC
THC is the one main compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, and it is primarily cultivated from marijuana. High-potency strains of marijuana may have as much as 25% THC, and extracts with even higher concentrations can be made. THC is still controlled by the federal government as a Schedule 1 substance. Various states may have decriminalized or legalized marijuana, but we don’t recommend traveling through airports or across state lines with the substance.
On the other hand, CBD can have positive effects on the body without impairing the senses. CBD can help with pain, anxiety, insomnia, and some cases of epilepsy. You can make a CBD extract from either hemp or marijuana, but only hemp-derived CBD is legal nationwide.
Can CBD make you high?
A natural thing to wonder is, does CBD get you high? The short answer is no. CBD cannot make you high. Now, you could come across a CBD product that has THC, but CBD on its own can’t get you high. That’s why it’s important to read all the labels on any product you’re thinking about buying. Also, be sure to take a look at the testing results. The law requires companies to test their CBD products to confirm exactly what’s inside, and trustworthy companies will share those testing results with their customers.
How is CBD oil made?
The first common step in making CBD oil is to extract the actual CBD from plant matter. Raw hemp can have anywhere from .5% to 10% CBD, but that’s not enough to make oil. At this step, a solvent removes CBD from the plant fibers (in most cases). A solvent works by literally dissolving cannabinoids away from the plant structure. The extraction process then filters out the solvent and what you have left is a concentrate that can be anywhere from 50% to 80% CBD. At this stage, other cannabinoids are also present (like THC).
Common solvents used in CBD oil extraction are butane, ethanol, and supercritical CO2. Each of these has its positives and negatives, but with the right equipment, any of them can create a safe extract. Some people prefer to stay away from butane extracts, but a butane extraction operation run in the correct way will provide a pure extract. Supercritical CO2 has the advantage of being environmentally friendly, and it doesn’t carry the same safety hazards that the others do. Supercritical CO2 can also be “tuned” to extract certain cannabinoids which can make the process more efficient.
Fractional distillation takes things to the next level. Fractional distillation uses controlled heat to vaporize certain compounds and then collect them. For example, a fractional distillation machine could separate CBD from every other cannabinoid and produce a pure CBD isolate. Distillation works because each compound has a slightly different boiling point. With temperature control, you can get specific compounds to evaporate and then collect in another tube.
Types of CBD oil
Generally, there are three types of CBD oil. These are CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD, and broad-spectrum CBD.
CBD isolate is pure CBD. It usually comes in a crystalline form, and you can mix it with an oil of your choosing to take it at home. It’s easy to work with as an ingredient. Since it’s very potent, you don’t need to use very much if you’re incorporating it into a cannabis recipe.
Full-spectrum CBD oil leaves all of the other cannabinoids in with the CBD. Some people prefer taking CBD in this way and feel it has a stronger effect because of the other cannabinoids. There has been some research about the “entourage effect,” which says that a compound is more potent when used together with the other compounds it naturally comes with. Full-spectrum CBD also includes terpenes for flavor and aroma, so it’s a little harder to cook with. One thing to know is that THC may be present in full-spectrum products, and full-spectrum products with THC may only be available in certain states.
Broad-spectrum CBD is somewhere in between full-spectrum and CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum usually eliminates THC from the mix. CBD companies may also create their own mix of cannabinoids and terpenes, using some while leaving others out. This is also considered broad-spectrum.
What is CBD good for?
That’s enough technical information for now. You probably want to know the benefits of CBD. After all, why is it becoming so popular, anyway?
According to Consumer Reports, about 64 million Americans used CBD within the past two years. They also found that 40% of people in their 20s say they’ve tried CBD. Those are some big numbers. What’s all the buzz about? It stands to reason that there must be something going on with CBD.
Well, there is. Many people claim that it helps them with chronic pain. According to one study, CBD was found to help with pain without causing adverse side effects. The researchers also noted that it helped people with MS (multiple sclerosis) the most.
Before we jump into some more benefits, it’s important to say that the state of CBD research is still very young. Many healthcare professionals are still undecided on the subject, and some say there is still too much we don’t know.
Since CBD was a controlled substance until recently, it was hard for researchers to do work in this area. Right now, the health and wellness community seem to be a bit ahead of actual data on CBD, but we can expect research to continue to grow in the coming years.
CBD benefits in humans
Even though there isn’t a lot of research on the benefits of CBD, many people report positive effects when taking it. The studies that do exist show a bright future for CBD. In some cases, CBD oil can be another option for someone who has to take opioids or other harsh medications. Just remember that CBD isn’t FDA approved yet, and it’s best to talk with your doctor before you consider changing your medication regimen on your own.
CBD and Anxiety
For someone living with anxiety, everyday situations and events can be tough. Finding a treatment that works for anxiety can also be difficult since many pharmaceutical drugs have undesirable side effects. It can seem like you have to choose between the lesser of two evils. Side effects of anxiety medication may include insomnia, drowsiness, agitation, and more. Some medications may also be habit-forming, which can cause even more problems.
The good news is that there have been some studies on anxiety and CBD. One of these studies found that people who had social anxiety were able to give a public speech much with less anxiety and discomfort after they took CBD. The study also gave a control group placebos. The study goes on to say: “Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. The one placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the other control group…”
CBD oil is able to interact with the brain’s serotonin receptors and regulate mood. It’s also been shown to have effects similar to antidepressants, though those studies were only done in animals.
CBD and pain
Many people are starting to turn to CBD oil for their chronic pain, but that isn’t entirely new. People have been using the marijuana plant to cope with pain for about the last 5000 years. What’s new is the ability to isolate CBD and use it in controlled settings.
The two main types of pain CBD can help with are inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain. CBD oil, when ingested, can interact with the body’s glutamatergic system. This system is made of neurological pathways that control cellular excitement. Examples of neuropathic pain include nerve trauma, sciatica, and neuropathy.
Examples of inflammatory pain are arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and muscle aches. Inflammation is a natural process for the body when cells react to damage, but sometimes this system can get out of control. When damage happens, like a scrape or pulled muscle, your body sends inflammatory agents to the tissue. These agents actually work to kill the damaged cells so your body can replace them.
When the system works, it helps you heal from injury. But when it gets out of line, it can lead to chronic inflammatory pain. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties on the cellular level, and people have found relief for inflammatory pain using CBD oils. Another piece of good news is that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis work differently than medications like Ibuprofen. Because of this, your body isn’t at risk for ulcers or other side effects that come with NSAIDs.
Sativex is an oral spray that combines CBD and THC. It’s available in a few countries to help treat multiple sclerosis. One study looked at a group of 47 people diagnosed with the disease and assessed their response to Sativex. They found that the people who took Sativex had less pain and fewer muscle spasms. There has also been some research into CBD oil and arthritis with promising results. Even without large amounts of research, many people choose to try CBD oil for their pain since the risks of side effects are low.
If you are considering taking a CBD oil for your pain, the best thing is to start slow. Small doses tend to work well for pain relief—you can start around 10mg/day and move up from there if you don’t feel anything. Stick with products that only contain CBD, not THC. You can find hemp-derived CBD oils online and order them from most states in the US.
CBD oil and epilepsy
CBD oil treatment for epilepsy is probably the most researched aspect of medicinal CBD today. Epidiolex is a plant-based CBD oil treatment for epilepsy and has been undergoing research for the past few years. In 2018, the FDA approved it to treat certain forms of epilepsy, indicating that it has some success. It’s the first and only CBD treatment so far that the FDA approved—though, there will be many more where that came from (fingers crossed).
Gold standard trials include people in a placebo group and a test group who do not know which group they belong to. Gold standard studies also require that the researchers themselves don’t know who is given a placebo and who is given the CBD oil. This eliminates bias and gives the most transparent data.
Multiple studies showed that CBD oil helped decrease seizures in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex is now available across the US by prescription for people with LGS and Dravet syndrome.
Is CBD addictive?
CBD oil is not habit-forming or addictive. You can take it every day for twenty years and then stop on a dime with no problem. As we said before, there isn’t a huge amount of research on CBD right now, but its non-addictive nature is generally accepted. It’s nice to imagine more treatments from CBD that could replace habit-forming treatments like opioids and other pain medications.
CBD oil and cancer treatment
To be sure, we are not claiming that CBD is a cancer treatment itself. There are too many naturopathic “alternative” treatments to cancer that cost people their lives already. What we are going to look at is the ability for CBD to help with the side effects of cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.
Cancer is a terrible disease, but going through the treatment to fight it isn’t a walk in the park, either. Side effects of chemotherapy can include fatigue, easy bruising, infection, nausea, vomiting, and appetite changes. CBD oil can’t help with all of the side effects, but it can help calm down nausea and vomiting. Oncology wards already offer patients drugs that fight side effects, but sometimes that’s not enough. In one study, a CBD and THC mouth-spray were more effective at fighting nausea and vomiting than standard treatment for a group of people undergoing chemotherapy.
Cancer treatments can also cause pain as a side effect. Doctors often give patients medication to help with the pain, but again, sometimes it’s not enough. Another study found that patients who received a combination of CBD and THC extract (THC: CBD) had less pain than those who took THC only. Twice as many people in the THC:CBD group experienced at least a 30% reduction in pain when compared to the THC or placebo groups. The study analysis states “THC: CBD extract is efficacious for relief of pain in patients with advanced cancer pain that is not relieved by strong opioids.”
Other benefits of CBD oil
In addition to the research, many people report experiencing benefits from CBD oil in other areas. Forums, social media, news articles, and more contain anecdotal evidence on personal experiences. Of course, these accounts aren’t medical advice, but they can help someone choose which product to go with when they’ve already decided to try CBD oil. Other benefits include general relaxation, falling asleep faster, improved social function, and better focus at work.
Types of CBD products
If you’ve chosen to try out CBD, it can be tough to choose where to start. Here’s a breakdown of some common types of CBD products:
Liquid CBD products allow you to add them to various recipes and incorporate them into your diet. You can add liquid CBD into a morning smoothie or parfait. Some companies even offer health and energy drinks that incorporate liquid CBD. Liquid CBD is water-soluble (obviously) which means it can mix with a wide variety of other liquids.
These are also known as tinctures. They often come in an oil form with a dropper attached to the lid. Many tinctures instruct you to hold the oil under your tongue for a few seconds before swallowing it to improve absorption.
CBD oil vaporizers
Out of these six types of CBD products, vaporizers work the fastest. The CBD molecules are absorbed into your blood through your lungs in a matter of seconds—CBD taken orally may not be felt for 30 minutes. However, the jury is still out on whether vaping poses other health risks. It’s best to find a brand that provides a vaping cartridge that doesn’t contain thick flavorings or other additives.
CBD oil capsules
Capsules let you take your CBD oil along with your fish oil in the morning. It’s a convenient way to incorporate CBD into your daily routine. However, capsules may be comparatively more expensive since you pay for an extra step in the manufacturing process.
Sometimes you have a certain area where you need pain relief, and you don’t want to wait to digest an oil that will be dispersed around your body. That’s when CBD topicals come into play. There are many kinds of topicals, from ointments and moisturizers to lotions and conditioners. Some are meant to work on a specific ailment, while others are more general. Potency and efficacy can vary greatly between products and brands, so it’s a good idea to do some shopping around.
Edibles infuse CBD oil inside pretty much any kind of food. You can use CBD oil at home to make your own recipes and even enjoy a CBD burger or lasagna. Edibles available in stores or online are most often candy or some type of baked goods. Some companies even sell CBD infused coconut oil that you can use in recipes at home.
CBD oil benefits in pets
Now, we’ve talked a lot about the benefits for people who use CBD oil for themselves. But if you’re a dog lover, you know your dog has almost the same diet as you do (at least when you relax the rules). Why shouldn’t he get the same treatment for pain and anxiety?
CBD oil research on animals is a precursor to CBD research on humans, and there have actually been a number of studies on CBD in animals. However, most of these studies were done to extrapolate the findings to humans. There are plans for real pet-centered studies, but none have been published as of this time.
Regardless, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence from pet owners who have given their pets some CBD oil. Many companies also offer pet-oriented CBD oils and sprays that people can administer to their furry friends. Now, we obviously can’t talk to animals, but we can read their behavior. It’s not uncommon for a CBD oil to calm down an overly-excited dog, or to get a shy dog to come out of his shell a bit.
Since dogs, cats, and humans are all mammals, we share some of the same body systems. We can expect that CBD oil would help animals cope with neuropathic or inflammatory pain as well. Pet owners are often able to tell if CBD oil helps with their animal’s pain by reading their body language, and there are reports of CBD oil doing just that.
Types of CBD for pets
If you’re thinking about getting CBD for your pet, you have a few options. The easiest way to administer CBD oil is to use a tincture or drop form. That way, you can control the dosage each time and see what works for your animal. Some companies produce CBD sprays. With these, you’d spray the mixture onto your pet’s food right before mealtime. A third option is to give your dog CBD oil treats. However, this isn’t the best choice for pets that need large doses of CBD, since they’d have to eat many treats—though they would undoubtedly love that.
General rules for humans apply for pets too: start out small and stay on the same dosage for a few days to see if it works. The good thing is that it’s impossible to fatally overdose on CBD. Some minor side effects may come up like drowsiness or diarrhea. Stop treatment immediately if you sense any negative effects.
How to dose CBD oil
Since CBD oil often comes in a liquid form, it can be tricky to get the dosage right. The first thing to do is to talk with your doctor about what a good dose would be for your situation. Everyone is unique, and some people may respond to CBD differently than others. Working with your doctor is the best way to incorporate CBD oil into your life for the first time.
If you’re on your own, try to take things slow. It would be a good idea to start with half-doses if you know you’re sensitive to medications. A usual dose from a dropper may have between 5 and 10 mg of CBD. Keep yourself on the base dose for about a week to see if you notice any effects. You might not notice anything in the first couple of days, so don’t just jump into a high dose right away. CBD can be effective at reducing pain or anxiety at low levels.
Another thing to keep in mind is possible interaction with your other medications. There hasn’t been a lot of research on medication interaction, and it’s possible for negative effects to occur. If you’re on other medications, make sure to talk to your doctor and find out if using CBD oil is a good idea or not. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Side effects of CBD
CBD is a naturally occurring compound, but that doesn’t mean it’s a cure-all or is without side effects. However, side effects for CBD are relatively minimal when compared with other medications on the market.
The first thing to know is that there has never been a documented case of a fatal CBD oil overdose. An extremely high amount of CBD taken at once may cause some complications, but it won’t kill a person. Side effects at normal to high doses are relatively mild, and can include the following depending on the person:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in mood
Out of all of these, drowsiness and diarrhea are the most common. The latter may be partially caused by the fact that a large amount of oil was ingested. It’s not every day that you take a few swigs of vegetable oil, you know? High doses of CBD oil can be a shock to your system for that reason alone.
Let’s talk about one more thing before we wrap up this section on the benefits of CBD oil. It’s true that research is moving forward and CBD oil is showing signs of promise in many areas. However, CBD oil is still not a first-line treatment for any disease. Even patients that qualify for Epidiolex are expected to seek other treatment for LGS or Dravet syndrome first. There are many informal stories about CBD “curing” various diseases, but those aren’t accepted by the medical community. Don’t neglect conventional treatment just because you read that CBD can help with X or improve symptoms for Y.
Is CBD oil legal?
With all the recent changes in legislation, you may be left wondering, is CBD oil legal? The short answer is… it’s complicated. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp a regular agricultural product. That means that CBD derived from hemp is legal. However, there are still restrictions on how it can be sold. For example, at this time, people in Virginia can only buy CBD oil if they have a prescription. Also, since the FDA hasn’t approved CBD for general use, hemp producers aren’t allowed to sell edibles or food items with CBD oil.
The law requires that properly licensed growers produce hemp which adheres to federal standards. How that affects sellers and consumers is an ever-evolving landscape. At least consumers don’t have to worry about getting in trouble for purchasing or using hemp-derived CBD oil in most situations.
Some states are friendlier when it comes to hemp-derived CBD, and some aren’t. The friendliest states at the moment are Alaska, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Oregon, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.
States that would like to keep hemp CBD oil at arm’s length are Alabama, Arizona, California, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming. This list is only concerned with legislation regarding hemp, not marijuana legalization.
Traveling with CBD oil
After we experience it, CBD oil can become another daily necessity in our lives. But what are we to do if we need to travel to another state?
If you’re crossing state lines, the most fool-proof option would be to find a place where you can purchase CBD oil at your destination. That way, you wouldn’t have it when crossing a checkpoint. However, you’d have to use it all or throw the rest out when you come back if you want to keep the same principle. Let’s look at a couple of ways that you can travel with CBD oil.
Travel with CBD by plane
If you have marijuana-derived CBD, or if you don’t know where it came from, it’s a good idea to leave your CBD at home. Since marijuana-derived CBD is still controlled by the federal government, the TSA doesn’t allow anyone to travel with it.
If you have hemp-derived CBD oil, you’re allowed to fly with it under the law. However, local knowledge of policy can differ between airports and even between officers. We recommend that you keep a hard copy of the testing report for your CBD oil. That should prove that the provenance is from hemp for any officer who might take you aside.
Driving across state lines with CBD oil
When you’re taking a train or driving across state lines, things may get a little tricky. Some states have full legalization of marijuana, some states have decriminalized marijuana, some only allow medical marijuana, and some have strict laws on all forms of cannabis. You can check out an interactive map of marijuana legality by state here.
Now, marijuana laws are not technically hemp laws, but they are related. Even though the federal government changed the status of hemp, states still have the power to regulate how hemp-derived CBD is used and sold. True, you can find websites that ship CBD products to all 50 states. However, it can be another story when you’re actually driving across a state border with CBD oil.
Our recommendation for that situation would also be to carry a physical copy of the testing report for your product. Since it is federally legal, the worst that could happen is an officer decides to confiscate your CBD oil. Above all, don’t hide your CBD away. Keep it in a regular location, like a toiletries bag or with your other medications. If an officer finds it stashed away in some compartment, it might look a bit suspicious.
FDA does not regulate CBD
Just to reiterate, it’s important to know that the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products. That means they don’t have any control over testing of the products, either, and there really aren’t any guarantees as to what’s inside. The company can give you an ingredients list, and they can get third party testing done, but even that has its variables. The way individual labs test for CBD isn’t standardized. It’s possible that one lab may find a CBD oil has 85% CBD, while another says it’s 95%. That’s a significant difference.
Also, the manufacturing process is really just up to the companies themselves. If a company uses the same machines for extracts of CBD and THC products, contamination between the two is possible. The bottom line is that you should be cautious when starting a new CBD product. If you’re sensitive to THC, stick with CBD isolate and see if the company has more than one lab test their products. The test results should always be for the most recent batch, the one you’d be buying, instead of a general test result for the recipe.
Finally, be careful with homemade CBD oils. Unless you make it yourself from a tested CBD isolate powder, you can’t really know for sure what’s inside it. Fortunately, the new laws will have people going to established businesses for their CBD needs instead of friends-of-friends.
How to use CBD oil
There are many ways that you can use CBD oil. In fact, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Many oils come pre-flavored, so you can enjoy them right out of the bottle. You can take CBD oil sublingually by holding the oil under your tongue. You can vape the oil in a concentrate. Or, you can use CBD ointments and creams to provide comfort for specific areas of your body.
Cooking with CBD
A popular way of enjoying CBD oil is to cook with it. You can buy oils that are flavorless and add those to any type of food: savory, sweet, salty, or spicy. You can even carry a dropper around with you to add CBD oil when you go out to eat. One of the best ways of enjoying CBD with food is to make your own CBD oil by mixing CBD isolate with an oil of your choice.
High CBD cannabis oil recipe
Another option is to make your own cannabis oil using the process of infusion. This technique uses dry cannabis flower, so you’ll have to live in a state where you can get it legally. Also, if you want a high-CBD oil, you’ll have to start with a high-CBD strain of flower. Just know that this technique will also impart some THC into the finished product.
This recipe requires one cup of cannabis flower and one cup of your choice of oil (coconut oil works great). Start with one cup of your dry flower, and grind it down to a coarse grind. You don’t want to grind it too fine, as you’ll need to strain it out of the oil later.
It’s going to take some time
Next, add both the grounds and oil to a saucepan, double boiler, or crockpot. For the infusion to take place, you need to cook the mixture over a very low temperature for a long period of time. If you’re using a saucepan, set it to low and stir frequently for at least three hours (yes, that’s a lot of work). If you use a crockpot or double boiler, you’ll only have to stir the mix occasionally—though you need to cook it for six hours.
The reason for the low heat is decarboxylation. That’s when the CBDA and THCA turn into CBD and THC—stuff your body can actually interact with. If you scorch the mixture, you’ll destroy the active ingredients and the oil won’t have any effect. Scorching can happen at about 245°, so be sure to keep your oil below that temperature.
After you’ve stirred the pot about two hundred times and watched a whole season of The Office, you can take the oil off the heat. Let it cool just a little bit, and then strain the oil into your favorite receptacle, possibly a mason jar? Now it’s all good for you to cook with. But keep in mind—the rule about scorching still applies. This is an oil that you can sauté things with or bake with, but it’s not the best for cooking things on super high heat.
Now you know all about CBD oil…
…and you can go tell your friends! The next time they say “Hey, what is CBD oil,” you can tell them all about the endocannabinoid system, Epidiolex, and CBD dog treats. We hope this CBD guide has shed some light on this popular newly-legal remedy. Remember, states still have the power to regulate hemp-derived CBD oil, so it may not be available for purchase everywhere.
When starting a new product, make sure to take things slow and pay attention to what you feel. If you have any discomfort or side effects, stop taking it. It’s not worth it to take CBD oil just to be in the young crowd. Other than that, we hope you have fun exploring your options for CBD oil.