CBD (Cannabidiol) Oil: Everything You Need to KnowPosted by Josh Gape on
Cannabinoids are compounds that are found in both humans and plants.
In order to distinguish between the two, cannabinoids that occur naturally in the human body are called endocannabinoids, whereas cannabinoids that are found in plants are termed phytocannabinoids. Endo is derived from the Greek work ‘endon’, which means ‘within’. Phyto is derived from the Greek word ‘phuton’, which means ‘plant’.
Phytocannabinoids are derived from the Cannabis plant family, which has a number of different species, the most well-known being Hemp and Marijuana.
There are a few differences between these cousin plants, the main one being their CBD and THC contents – with THC being the compound that is known for having psychoactive effects. Hemp has a naturally high concentration of CBD and contains very low amounts of THC. Marijuana on the other hand contains high amounts of THC and lower amounts of CBD.
So, what is CBD? In short, CBD (cannabidiol) is one of many cannabinoids, which is predominantly found in the hemp plant. It has become extremely popular as a supplement in recent years as people all over the world have shared the beneficial experiences they’ve had from taking it.
How Does CBD Work?
As humans, we contain a vast network of endocannabinoids known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), that plays an important role in helping us maintain homeostasis. This system impacts many of our biological processes to aid us in staying balanced regardless of what life throws at us.
The process of our endocannabinoids binding with the cannabinoid receptors within the ECS is what triggers changes to help us maintain a state of equilibrium. For example, if someone has high levels of stress, endocannabinoids can bind with cannabinoid receptors to produce a calming effect.
There are two primary endocannabinoids:
- Anandamide; discovered in the 1990s, this neurotransmitter derives its name from Ananda, the Sanskrit word for bliss. This molecule is involved with appetite, memory, and pregnancy, amongst many others.
- 2-ArachidonoylGlycerol (2-AG); this molecule has been linked to our emotional state, seizure protection and cardiovascular health.
The ECS, endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are found all over the body; in our brain, organs, connective tissues, glands and immune cells and can subsequently enhance a wide variety of physiological functions, including:
- Stress Response
- Visceral sensation
- Hormone regulation
Although we produce endocannabinoids naturally within the body, we can also consume additional cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) by taking CBD. As supplementing with CBD is fairly new and scientific research is on-going, at this time no-one is able to make any definite claims about what CBD does or doesn’t do. This said, a lot of anecdotal evidence is suggesting that phytocannabinoids help boost the rate at which cannabinoids bind to the ECS and subsequently increase our ability to maintain an optimal state through the process outlined above.
How is CBD Made?
At APE, we start with the hemp plant and then use a CO2 distillation process to remove almost all of the THC, isolating the CBD and the other potentially beneficial compounds within the plant to create our tinctures. Following this process means our CBD oil has less than 0.01% THC, ensuring it is well below the legal limit of 0.02% in the UK. To provide further peace of mind, we have every batch of our CBD tested at the farm where it’s created and once again by a third-party laboratory to confirm both the THC and CBD levels in the product. Having such a low level of THC means that our tinctures have no psychoactive effect whatsoever. This testing allows us to confidently state that the level of CBD on the label matches what’s in the bottle. This is a promise that many CBD companies can’t make as demonstrated by the programme ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ on the BBC. During one episode they tested 12 over the counter CBD Oils for CBD and THC levels.
- One brand had 40% less CBD than what is advertised on the bottle
- Another had zero 0% CBD
- A third had 20x the limit of THC
- One even had 50x the limit of THC
Broad Spectrum vs Full Spectrum vs Isolate CBD
There are three types of CBD tincture; broad spectrum, full spectrum and isolate. Each has differing levels of CBD, THC and the other components that naturally occur in the cannabis plant.
There are around 500 compounds in cannabis plants, over 100 of which are classed as phytocannabinoids. CBD and THC are the most well-known of these, however, there are others that, in addition to CBD, are being suggested to have medicinal benefits. These include; cannabigerols (CBG), cannabichromenes (CBC), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabinodiol (CBL).
Full spectrum CBD contains all the phytochemicals naturally found in the plant, however, it has a THC content above what is legal in the UK.
Broad spectrum also contains the entire spectrum of cannabinoids, however the THC is extracted, making it legal in the UK.
Isolate CBD removes all other compounds, such as the ones listed above, to leave just the CBD.
At APE we sell broad spectrum CBD, for two reasons:
- It’s 100% legal in the UK
- The Entourage Effect
Within the world of CBD, it’s suggested that there’s a synergy between the compounds of the cannabis plant. Each component works together to amplify the therapeutic properties of the others to enhance the potential benefits of the plant. Considering this, we wanted to include the widest array of compounds possible, whilst complying with UK law.
If you’re interested in reading some of the feedback we’ve had on our CBD Oil, you can do so here.