A comprehensive guide to CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound produced by the cannabis plant. It is what is known as a cannabinoid, or phytocannabinoid.
There are many cannabinoids in cannabis with THC (or delta9 Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD being the most abundant. With the relatively recent popularity of medicinal cannabis, the cannabis plant as a whole has undergone somewhat of a transformation.
Due to a growing body of scientific research, CBD in particular is quickly gaining popularity and is headed toward mainstream acceptance. CBD oil is finding its way into a variety of products, from tinctures and drops to CBD-infused edibles and CBD balms, as well as a wide range of cosmetics. CBD oil is even becoming popular among pet owners who wish to help their pets live healthier lives.
As its popularity increases, the volume of information grows along with it. Unfortunately, so does the volume of misinformation. Let’s take a deeper look at the cannabis plant in general, and more specifically CBD.
First this important note: all hemp products should be used only as directed on the label. Consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition, use prescription medications, or are pregnant or nursing. Doctor’s advice should be sought before you take any supplemental dietary product. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the FDA. Hemp products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
WHAT IS CANNABIS?
Cannabis is one of a genus of plants known as Cannabaceae. There are two basic species of cannabis that are cultivated for human consumption: cannabis indica and cannabis sativa.
Sativa plants are generally taller and produce more fiber, which made them the original target of hemp cultivation. Indica plants are shorter, bushier and less suitable for farming or industrial purposes, but this makes them well-suited for producing medical marijuana.
Cannabis is cultivated in two basic forms: marijuana and hemp. Marijuana is generally high in THC and low in CBD. Conversely, hemp is naturally high in CBD and low in THC. Hemp is NOT marijuana and marijuana is not hemp.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MARIJUANA AND HEMP
As previously stated, marijuana is high in the psychoactive compound THC, the compound in marijuana that causes the psychoactive high when used. Marijuana is (rightly) considered to be a drug as it impairs a person’s ability to function in a normal state. Marijuana is cultivated mainly for medicinal and recreational purposes. Both indica and sativa strains, as well as hybrids of the two, are used to produce marijuana.
The United States federal government considers marijuana to be a Class I controlled substance. However, many states in the country have instituted legislation to regulate its cultivation and allow its use as medicine. Some states have also legalized marijuana for recreational use.
While it does contain other cannabinoids, hemp has negligible amounts of THC. This is what differentiates it from marijuana. Hemp has been considered legal in the United States since the adoption of the 2018 Farm Bill.
In order to be legally cultivated, hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. Hemp is naturally high in CBD and can also be grown as an industrial crop for use in textiles or even building materials. Most industrial hemp is cultivated for its fiber and contains relatively small concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes, so it is not the most desirable source of CBD oil.
Unfortunately, many of the CBD products currently on the market are produced from industrial hemp. The CBD oil in Soul Blossom products is made from a CBD-rich strain known as PCR hemp (PCR is short for phytocannabinoid rich). This type of hemp has been specifically cultivated to contain as much as 10 times the amount of CBD as generic industrial hemp and only negligible amounts of THC in its natural state. It is also rich in other phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that are found in other cannabis plants.
Marijuana and hemp may look the same, and even smell the same, but they are completely separate and unique varieties of the same plant.
CBD oil is a natural oil extracted from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant specifically cultivated as hemp. It is used by people all over the world for a variety of wellness purposes. Depending on the formulation of a product, it may contain other beneficial components such as omega fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CBD OIL
Let’s now compare some of the different types of CBD oil products. It’s important to remember that definitions have a tendency to evolve over time.
Oils can be extracted from marijuana the same way they can be extracted from hemp. For the purposes of this explanation, we are only concerned with legal CBD oil produced from PCR hemp. We are not concerned with THC-containing cannabis oils made from marijuana, nor are we concerned with extracts of industrial hemp which have low levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Raw CBD oil vs. CBD concentrate:
When the essential oils of the hemp plant are extracted, the resulting product is considered raw hemp extract. The extract can also be put through a series of filtration and distillation processes to remove unwanted compounds (waxes, chlorophyll, and pesticides) to produce various classes of oils differing in purity and CBD content. These refined oils are generally referred to as CBD concentrate or CBD distillate.
Full spectrum CBD oil: As previously mentioned, there are other classes of compounds found in cannabis called terpenes and flavonoids. Raw PCR hemp extract contains these terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoid compounds similar to CBD, including trace amounts of THC (>.3 %). Because it retains the natural balance of cannabinoids and terpenes found in the original plant, these products are considered full spectrum oils.
Broad spectrum CBD oil: This product is very similar to a full spectrum oil. Like full spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD oil retains the original concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes found in raw PCR hemp extract. It also has all trace amounts of THC removed in the process. This is ideal for those who want absolutely no THC in their CBD products. Broad spectrum CBD oil is the type of CBD oil used in Soul Blossom products.
CBD isolate: CBD can also be isolated and purified. Pure CBD is known in the industry as CBD isolate. In pure form, and at room temperature, cannabinoids are solid crystals. Purified cannabinoids are colorless and odorless. CBD isolate can be consumed directly or used as an additive in other preparations such as edibles and beverages. However, it lacks the beneficial terpenes and other cannabinoids found naturally in the plant.
So for the consumers, it’s important to be label aware in order to understand which type of CBD is used in the products you are purchasing and using. If the types of oil are not easy or readable on the website or label, just walk away.