With all the enthusiasm surrounding cannabidiol (CBD) as a popular form of therapy, scientists are working tirelessly to answer basic questions about the health-promoting properties of this cannabinoid and how it can potentially help you both mentally and physically.
The number of different and innovative CBD products hitting the market day by day or hour by hour is growing exponentially. Therefore, it is crucial that the scientific knowledge about cannabis and its derivatives– usually incomprehensible to ordinary people– get sufficiently disseminated in academic and social circles.
Following this principle, this article looks at full- and broad-spectrum CBDs, focusing on the most popular products.
CBD & THC Basics
Before discussing topical and oral CBD products, Let’s first understand the most widely known cannabinoids derived from cannabis: Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Although these compounds show healing properties, one cannabinoid can treat a specific ailment better than the other. It is essential to know that CBD and THC are obtained from the same plant (Cannabis sativa).
Hemp plants contain higher amounts of CBD, while marijuana plants have higher concentrations of THC. Nevertheless, both plants are full-spectrum producers. Hemp and marijuana plants contain more than 100 other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which may have potential health-promoting properties.
Hemp & Marijuana
Many of us are unaware that the cannabis plant exists in male and female varieties. While sometimes marijuana is classified as the female version of the cannabis plant, hemp is categorized as the male version of the plant.
The marijuana plant (hemp) has a high CBD content with low levels of THC, and the marijuana plant contains a high THC content and a low CBD level. When evaluating which type of CBD will best suit you, it is illustrative to see the difference between male and female forms.
However, we should note that this distinction is not usually made in cannabis blog articles, including this one. Since it is literally “the whole plant,” a full-spectrum CBD contains THC. The cannabis compound THC is best known for its psychoactive properties and is predominantly consumed as medicinal or recreational marijuana.
Marijuana and hemp both originate from the cannabis plant and contain CBD and THC. Usually, hemp plants contain 0.3% THC or less, whereas marijuana plants contain higher levels of THC. Full-spectrum CBD products range from CBD oil to CBD edibles (gummies), topical creams, lotions, and capsules.
Full-spectrum CBD products also contain terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, proteins, essential oils, and small traces of THC and other naturally occurring elements.
CBD & THC
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the two best-known active ingredients extracted from hemp. The other is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which produces the “high” associated with marijuana. Cannabidiol does not induce a high feeling, but the idea that CBD is not psychoactive might be misleading.
CBD also changes your consciousness to a much lesser degree than THC. After consuming any CBD, you may experience less pain, if any, and feel more comfortable. Additionally, some CBD products contain small traces of THC. While CBD can be derived from marijuana, it can also be extracted from hemp, a male plant with less than 0.3% THC content. Hemp is often used to make cloth and ropes.
The hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, contains a cannabinoid called CBD, short for cannabidiol. CBD is not a psychoactive molecule and is an effective holistic treatment for many health conditions.
This property makes non-intoxicating CBD an attractive option for those seeking relief from pain and other ailments without the mind-altering impact of marijuana or other side effects associated with some pharmaceutical drugs.
THC is the psychoactive cannabis compound found in the marijuana plant. THC is responsible for triggering the high, often associated with marijuana.
Different Types of CBD; The Spectra
Full-spectrum CBD is usually derived from hemp and contains other cannabinoids, including small amounts of THC, in addition to CBD. Other components of full-spectrum CBD include terpenes, proteins, essential vitamins, fatty acids, and other naturally occurring elements from hemp.
Sometimes, full-spectrum CBD oil is referred to as “whole-plant” oil. When you use full-spectrum CBD products, it implies you’re getting everything, not just CBD.
Full-spectrum CBD products are made from the whole cannabis plant and contain cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. That’s why full-spectrum CBD oil is also called “whole-plant” oil. Full-spectrum CBD products contain at least 100 cannabinoids, including:
- CBN: Cannabinol
- CBG: Cannabigerol
- CBC: Cannabichromene
- CBDA: Cannabidiol acid
- CBDV: Cannabidivarin
- THCV: Tetrahydrocannabivarin.
CBN (cannabinol) is a cannabinoid obtained from oxidized THC. The longer the raw cannabis plant matures, the more cannabinol it produces from its THC content. CBN is also known for its relaxing properties.
CBN is famous for its potent sedative effects, the strongest of all cannabinoids in this regard. This cannabinoid is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.
Research has suggested that CBG may have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, and anti-fungal properties; scientists are also exploring its potential effects on glaucoma, skin diseases, and even cancer.
CBC is another cannabinoid attributed to an antidepressant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Cannabichromene is a cannabis compound found predominantly in the cannabis plant from tropical regions.
THC competes with CBD to be the most beneficial cannabinoid for humans; it is the psychoactive component and the characteristic ingredient in marijuana that is usually associated with the “high.”
CBDA is the 2-carboxylic acid form of CBD, or in other words, the chemical precursor to CBD. Raw cannabis plants contain this essential component. CBDV is a minor cannabinoid resembling CBD in terms of molecular structure.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol and other cannabis compounds, other than THC, in the plant; after the initial extraction, THC is entirely removed. Since broad-spectrum extracts contain multiple cannabinoids, they produce the “entourage effect,” similar to full-spectrum extracts. Put simply, broad-spectrum CBD can be considered a mixture of full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.
CBD Isolate is a powder or crystalline solid containing 99% pure cannabidiol. Extraction processes are used to remove all active species from the cannabis plant. After that, a refining process eliminates all other phytocannabinoids and all plant constituents.
What remains is the chemical compound CBD in pure concentrations. Phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids) are made by plants, and mammals produce endocannabinoids.
The form of the resulting products depends on the process, and it is either a large crystal or a white powder resembling a confectioner’s sugar. There might be a slight cherry taste left behind, but neither form of cannabidiol isolate should retain a taste, at least not in principle.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic, volatile compounds found in every plant (not just full-spectrum CBD products). Whenever you smell a flower or take a whiff of fresh fruits, you’re experiencing terpenes at work.
Although it is not apparent, we are surrounded by terpenes in various aspects of our daily lives. The terpenes give it its unique, individual odour when it comes to the hemp plant.
Many people don’t know that CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids have no smell, and the scent comes from whichever terpenes are present. In the case of THC-containing products, it is the mixture of terpenes and THC that gives a particular product its specific flavour.
However, the function of terpenes goes far beyond that of a flavour or aroma. Research suggests that terpenes may have additional beneficial properties. Scientists have been studying terpenes for some time and believe that specific terpene may have multiple therapeutic effects.
Several researchers believe that terpenes can be used in aromatherapy, i.e., these chemicals possess holistic healing effects. A plant may have a large class of different terpenes; in the case of the hemp plant, there could be 200 more terpenes. Companies that sell CBD products made from full-spectrum extracts usually have the terpene content tested by a third-party lab.
The Entourage Effect
It’s believed that CBD can be more effective when it is consumed concurrently with other cannabinoids. When you buy the best CBD oil, you usually get a molecular compound in an isolated form containing no other cannabinoids or terpenes.
Full-spectrum CBD products– using the “whole-plant” hemp– contain all the cannabinoids naturally occurring in the marijuana plant, along with trace amounts of THC.
The hemp plant contains dozens of different cannabinoids, each with unique properties. Cannabidiol is considered the most beneficial component for health.
However, the interaction (support) of other cannabinoids and terpenes can enhance the performance of the compound and its ability to interact positively with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This support is perhaps why people have turned to full-spectrum CBD in their daily health routines.
In the human body, the state of homeostasis–i.e., a stable psychological state– is primarily controlled by the ECS. This condition could be attributed to any process that living organisms utilize to maintain the stability necessary for survival. We are mainly interested in two cannabinoid receptors:
- CB1 receptor: It is substantially found in the brain and affects our coordination and movement, thinking, emotions, appetite, pain.
- CB2 receptor: It is mainly located in the immune system.
Cannabidiol interacts with CB1 and CB but does not bind to these receptors; this tendency is relatively unusual for cannabinoids. CBD products, full-spectrum or broad-spectrum, contain cannabinoids that bind to receptors in our central and peripheral nervous systems. The entourage effect can improve the functionality of your endocannabinoid system by working synergistically with multiple cannabinoids.
The Benefits of CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a common naturally occurring remedy used for various ailments. CBD is becoming increasingly important in the health field, as it relieves symptoms of conditions such as chronic pain and anxiety.
Cannabidiol is touted for various health issues, but the soundest scientific evidence shows its effectiveness in treating some of the most malignant childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome.
These syndromes don’t typically respond to anti-seizure treatments. There are some indications that cannabidiol may reduce the number of seizures and, in some cases, prevent them altogether in numerous studies. Epidiolex, discovered in 1940, was the first cannabis-derived/CBD-containing drug approved by the FDA for treating these conditions.
Animal, human, or self-reporting studies suggest that CBD may also help with:
- Anxiety: Research and clinical trials explore the anecdotal evidence that CBD can reduce stress.
- Insomnia: Investigations suggest that cannabidiol may help fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Chronic pain: Further human research is required to substantiate reports that CBD helps with pain management. One animal study indicates that CBD could relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis when applied to the skin. Other studies describe how cannabidiol can reduce inflammatory and neuropathic pain, challenging to treat.
- Addiction: Cannabidiol appears to be an excellent candidate for reducing cravings for tobacco and heroin under specific conditions. Animal models of addiction have indicated that cannabidiol may also help mitigate cravings for cannabis, opiates, alcohol, and stimulants.
There are several types of cannabidiol products, and many people consume CBD oil for various reasons, such as pain or depression relief.
Cannabidiol topicals are infused with CBD and applied topically to a specific part of the body. The CBD is absorbed into the pores and epidermis when using these topicals. After absorption, it starts working with the cannabinoid receptors in the skin.
Cannabis-based CBD topicals can also contain various beneficial nutrients that can help protect the skin from daily exposure to environmental contaminants. CBD topicals are usually enriched with other essential oils and ingredients that invigorate and moisturize the skin. CBD topicals can relieve mild physical discomfort.
Many people opt for CBD topicals because they can easily and quickly apply the health benefits of cannabidiol right where they need it. Plus, taking CBD topically is minimally invasive for CBD newbies because it doesn’t have to travel through the body to work.
This method of CBD consumption is usually immediate and more localized (centralized) than other types of ingestion. However, CBD topicals have low bioavailability, regardless of the application method. The skin isn’t porous enough for the cannabidiol to enter the bloodstream.
Common CBD Topicals
Manufacturers have produced CBD topicals that are applied to the skin by rubbing or massaging, including:
Skin Creams & Lotions: Cannabidiol skin creams and lotions have virtually the same texture as the regular body lotions and creams you might use. CBD products can contain different restorative components to improve skin health, e.g.Aloe vera and shea butter.
Salves & Balms: Compared to creams and lotions, CBD balms have a thicker texture due to some ingredients like beeswax. Typically, the texture is similar to the salves you apply to your skin and the lip balms.
Oils: Topical cannabidiol oils are very similar to massage oils, but they have an oilier, smoother feel. CBD topical oils are not identical to CBD oils. In general, cannabidiol oil is CBD as the CBD-containing products have been extracted from the hemp plant.
Others: Those CBD topicals mentioned above are the primary varieties available today. However, manufacturers constantly develop new formulas like tingly lubricants, bath bombs, long-lasting patches, etc.
Topicals containing CBD are absorbed through the skin, providing localized (centralized) pain relief. Since they’re non-intoxicating, you can enjoy the therapeutic or health benefits of cannabis without experiencing the cerebral euphoria that occurs with other delivery methods.
Also, CBD topicals aren’t psychoactive; they don’t have the same mind-altering effects as THC when applied to the skin. Hence, using cannabidiol in topical form may be a helpful alternative if you would like to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC.
There are many forms of CBD edibles, i.e., anything that can be ingested, such as chocolate, beverages, gummies, and candies. Packaged edibles allow the user to take a specific dose. However, it is essential to look at a product’s certificate to ensure that it contains the type and amount of chemicals stated on the packaging.
This evaluation has to be verified by an independent third-party lab. The most common test performed by a third-party lab is the cannabinoid profile test.
According to studies, the absorption of CBD edibles can be slow, variable, and erratic. Because CBD edibles must be digested and then metabolized by the liver, it takes a while for the CBD to reach the bloodstream.
The extent of CBD absorption by your body depends on the amount of food you have recently eaten. Although it can take up to six hours, peak levels in the bloodstream are usually reached within one to two hours. That variability makes CBD edibles the least predictable way to use CBD.
CBD oils are usually made from the hemp plant through an extraction process and then diluted with a carrier oil, e.g., coconut oil or hemp seed oil. Full-spectrum CBD oil is made using an extraction procedure that extracts the oil from the entire plant: flowers, stems, and seeds of the hemp plant.
Among all CBD products, CBD oil is perhaps the most potent. In addition to the cannabinoids, you’ll also find proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, and nutrients in them. Nowadays, CBD is incorporated into drink and food recipes for more natural consumption.
CBD studies indicate that cannabidiol positively affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Due to the intense effects of the best CBD oil, only a tiny amount of CBD products should be sufficient throughout the day. However, the optimal CBD dosage depends on a person’s weight, needs, and more.
CBD Oil Ingredients: Cannabidiol oils are base oils or carrier oils. These base oils dilute the CBD products, making them more accessible for the human body to absorb. There are several different base oils, including:
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Vegetable glycerin base
- Hemp seed oil.
The term “tincture” can be applied to any medication containing alcoholic media. Although they’re derived from hemp, CBD tinctures should be distinguished from CBD oils. Cannabidiol tinctures (in the liquid phase) are extracts of hemp combined with a mixture of alcohol, glycerin, or peppermint oil (cinnamon).
CBD tinctures can be consumed similarly to CBD oil, for example, sublingually. Compared to CBD oils, however, tinctures typically show lower CBD potency. They have a longer shelf life, and the optimal dosage varies from user to user.
In general, CBD tinctures possess a higher bioavailability compared to CBD oils because they contain alcohol. In tinctures, the added alcohol serves as a preservative that extends the life of CBD. CBD tinctures might also be cooked using water-soluble CBD, allowing an even faster absorption rate.
CBD Tincture Ingredients: The cannabidiol content in the tincture is much lower compared to the oil, mainly due to the presence of additional compounds to enhance the flavour. Some of these additives are:
- Vitamins like B12, C, D, etc
- Melatonin (a hormone associated with sleep-wake hormone)
- Essential oils; basil, lavender, etc.
Like e-cigarettes, vaporizers heat dry hemp flowers or CBD oils, creating an inhalable vapour. Vaping is the fastest method to feel the effects possibly. Peak levels in the bloodstream are usually within about 10 minutes. Inhaling CBD has a noticeable effect within minutes of inhalation.
The effects of CBD can last from three to five hours. CBD quickly enters the bloodstream when you smoke or vape cannabis, so an immediate effect occurs more rapidly than edibles.
As with edibles, many factors can influence CBD absorption, including:
- How deeply CBD is inhaled
- How long one holds their breath
- How hot a vaporizer operates
Finally, vape cartridges may contain propylene glycol, i.e., liquid alcohol that’s also found in e-cigarettes and may break down into formaldehyde. At high temperatures, formaldehyde can act as a probable carcinogen.
There are, however, “solvent-free” CBD oils available on the market that don’t have propylene glycol and come with a certificate listing the chemicals they contain.
What Is Bioavailability?
A particular compound’s bioavailability is its rate and extent of absorption into the bloodstream. Bioavailability is the absorption of CBD from the area where CBD was applied to your bloodstream when it comes to CBD.
Knowing the bioavailability of a substance is essential because it helps find an efficient dosage. In other words, the bioavailability of a substance determines the form in which you should take it and how much is needed.
In the case of CBD products, the bioavailability of a particular substance primarily depends on how it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Different methods of administration show varying degrees of bioavailability.
Recent research suggests that the absorption rate and resulting bioavailability of CBD increase significantly when cannabidiol is consumed along with fat. Some hemp-derived CBD products have higher bioavailability than others because CBD can enter the bloodstream more quickly and efficiently.
Even though CBD topicals are not expected to have high bioavailability, they allow for direct absorption of CBD in specific areas. One of the most vital roles of our skin is to keep substances out of our bodies, but the cannabidiol molecules of CBD topicals don’t necessarily need to enter the bloodstream.
These molecules bind and stimulate the CB2 receptors in the skin, which are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Difference Between CBD Oil & CBD Tincture
In most cannabis contexts, these terms– CBD oil and tincture– can be used interchangeably. However, they do have some slight differences; let’s take a look at them:
In CBD oil, cannabidiol itself is a carrier oil (base oil). CBD tinctures, on the other hand, contain a different alcohol base. Both mimic the same therapeutic impact, irrespective of their base. They are widely used to relieve pain and inflammation, stress, anxiety, etc.
CBD oils usually have an unpleasant taste when taken orally, and they can leave an oily aftertaste in the consumer. In contrast, CBD tinctures can come in various flavours, such as peach, vanilla, chocolate, and so on. This option facilitates the absorption of CBD tinctures when taken sublingually, i.e. placed under the tongue.
Compared to CBD oils, tinctures tend to have a longer shelf life because they contain large amounts of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. These alcohols act as preservatives. When a CBD oil spoils, it appears cloudy or foggy. CBD products should be protected from direct sun contact to prolong their life.
Commonly, CBD oils can be ingested by vaping, while tinctures can be consumed quickly mixed with food due to their alcoholic base.
Is Hemp-Derived CBD Legal?
Yes and no. It depends on where you live. Under some states’ laws, marijuana (full spectrum including THC D9) is legal for medical and recreational purposes. And in some areas, CBD products are not allowed at all. Ensure that you are aware of your state’s laws and the region where you will be travelling.
CBD products are still under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency has just started working out some rules for CBD sales. Officials have come up with new guidelines that could allow companies to sell CBD products legally.
Federal law allows CBD products derived from hemp with a THC content of less than 0.3%. However, even at such low concentrations, they are still illegal in some states. As of 2018, Congress has legalized hemp in all 50 states, making hemp-derived CBD products legal. However, the laws for marijuana-derived products are far less clear.
To make sure cannabidiol is legal in your area, check with professionals or the state health department’s website. As long as CBD products are derived from hemp grown outside the United States and contain no THC D-9, they are legal in all 50 states.
Epidiolex, a pure form of CBD oil, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating two types of epilepsy. CBD products are currently considered supplements, meaning they are not FDA-regulated. It is not permissible for a CBD company to make therapeutic or health claims about CBD products in its marketing.
Top 3 CBD Products You May Try in 2022
Here are three of the best CBD products, including the best CBD oil, that you may want to try in 2022:
CBD type: Broad-spectrum
CBD form: Gummies
This broad-spectrum CBD product is legal in all 50 states in the United States because it does not contain THC D-9. The absence of this intoxicating compound is mainly ensured by using only the hemp fibres, stems and seeds instead of the flowers.
CBD Hemp Extract
CBD type: Broad-spectrum
CBD form: Hemp Seed Extract
Nectar Leaf Extract is made from a unique strain of imported organic European hemp rich in cannabidiol – with potential therapeutic properties. This CBD product is fully standardized to guarantee that each bottle contains the exact amount of CBD specified: 10% by weight and is verified by an independent third-party lab. This option could be the best CBD oil to promote healthy sleep habits and manage stress.
CBD type: Broad-spectrum
CBD form: Hemp Seed Extract
This THC-free hemp food product is available to families everywhere. Each gummy has a consistent amount of CBD, so you do not have to guess the dosage.
In addition to the cannabidiol products already mentioned, we offer the highest quality extracts from Coffea (the coffee plant), Mitragyna Speciosa (the kratom tree). Please contact us right now if you want to try any of these products.