So you want to buy CBD oil and you’re doing your research, getting lots of information together. Good for you! The truth is, you can find CBD oil for sale in many places online and in shops, but where do you find the best CBD oil and what should you look for when shopping? We’re going to put it all together here, answering your questions with this Ultimate CBD Buying Guide.
CBD 101 – What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD for short), is one of over 100 known cannabinoids naturally occurring in cannabis plants. CBD has been scientifically found to benefit a number of physical and other conditions. It’s a natural mood lifter and much more, all without psychoactive effects, which means you will not feel ‘high’ or altered if you take CBD.
History of CBD & Legal Status
You may be surprised to know that humans have been using hemp from as far back as 8000 BCE when the Chinese domesticated wild hemp into a cultivated crop. From there it’s been found in BCE era sites in southern Russia and at ancient burial sites in other areas of the world.
Moving forward to the early days of the US, many of the founding fathers were actually hemp farmers. We’re talking George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. Hemp was such a valuable crop in the early days of the US that it was against the law to refuse to grow it. In fact all US schoolbooks were made with hemp or flax paper until the 1880s.
It wasn’t until the early 1900s that producers of tree-based paper and fuel began to see that hemp was a threat to their budding empires. Thus began a decades-long onslaught of political maneuvering to claim hemp was a menace, responsible for immoral behavior, eventually to be regulated as a narcotic and banned. Despite many efforts in touting the benefits of hemp including a designation as a ‘Billion Dollar Crop’ by Popular Mechanics, an experimental car body 10 times stronger than steel made by Henry Ford, and a USDA film during the World War 2 era to promote growing hemp for products such as parachutes, ropes and various other uses, by 1958 the last hemp crop was harvested and processed.
Though there were a number of attempts to re-legalize, decriminalize, and remove penalties for possession and distribution of Cannabis, it remained banned in the US until the medical cannabis movement began in 1996 when California became the first state to legalize the use of medical cannabis. Between 1996 and 2012, several US states including Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Maine, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Vermont, New Mexico, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Arizona, made changes to state laws by either legalizing medical cannabis or decriminalizing cannabis.
In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 years of age or older.
Hemp farming became legal under president Obama in 2014 with the Farm Bill, and many more states adjust their laws about the medical and recreational use of cannabis.
Since then, the shifts have continued, not just in the US but in other countries as well with Uruguay legalizing all aspects of cannabis and the Mexican Supreme Court concluding that the consumption and cultivation of cannabis is a fundamental human right for the free development of one’s personality. Well said, Mexico.
CBD oil, specifically, has had an upswing in legalization beginning in Utah in 2014. It has now become legal to sell hemp-based CBD products (with negligible THC content) in all 50 states.
Most recently, in June 2018, the Senate Farm Bill was passed, which includes all of the Hemp Farming Act, including the permanent legalization of hemp and products such as hemp-derived CBD. Getting these new changes from the Senate Farm Bill into the House farm bill is the next hurdle to be overcome for legalizing hemp farming in the US.
Disclaimer: The writer of this guide is not a lawyer and has no legal training or experience. The information in this guide is solely their opinion and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult a lawyer for legal advice. Also, the information in this guide is current as of the time of publication, and the laws discussed may be different depending on when you read this.
How are CBD Products Made?
CBD products are made through a series of steps starting with the farm and ending in the bottle. First, hemp plants are grown and the crop is harvested. Once the hemp plants have been harvested, CBD is extracted from the raw plant. There are various methods used for extraction including lipid extraction, CO2 extraction, and Ethyl Alcohol extraction. Depending on the extraction process utilized, the resulting hemp extract will either be a Full Spectrum extract or an Isolate extract. Both types of extracts will have a high amount of CBD present. The difference between them is the Full Spectrum extract will include many other potentially beneficial cannabinoid compounds from the whole plant, while the Isolate extract will only contain CBD.
A producer will then process the extract into various means of delivery to the human body and the endocannabinoid system within. These delivery methods range from carrier oils, to salves and creams, tinctures, powders, and infused water. Carrier oils may be placed into capsules or gel caps, tinctures are dispensed using glass droppers, salves and creams are rubbed into the skin, and powders can be added to food or drinks.
Where is Hemp Grown? Is it Organic and/or Sustainable?
Hemp is grown in many locations around the world. Most commonly, the hemp plants that end up in CBD oil for sale come from either Europe, China, or the US. Because of the wide variety of countries and the legalities within, as well as the choices individual growers make in their farming practices, the sustainability and organic practices are quite varied.
If your preference is to purchase organic and sustainably grown hemp products, it’ll take a little research into the producer’s websites, reading labels, or asking questions. Many companies are not even aware of how their hemp supply has been grown. These companies purchase CBD after it’s been extracted from the plant and go on to produce and package their products. If a company who has CBD oil for sale is aware of sustainable and organic practices, they’re likely to say so since it’s an important factor for many consumers.
Functional Remedies is proud to be a full-fledged farm-to-bottle producer, monitoring every step of the process from seed selection all the way through farming, extraction, and product production. Functional Remedies was actually the first company to develop its own genetically selected strains of hemp in order to maximize the entourage effect. Functional Remedies uses organic and sustainable practices at its own farm in Pueblo, Colorado. Nestled between mountains and bordered by two mountain-fed tributaries, it’s an ideal ecosystem for growing high-quality hemp. Functional Remedies hemp goes through testing by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) which ensures that THC levels are 0.3% or less, and that there’s no mold, pesticides, or other chemicals in the plants. After passing this screening, plants are harvested and sent to the lab where the high-quality CBD oil is made. After even more testing, the CBD oil is processed into capsules, tinctures, or salves and tested yet again before it ends up ready for our customers.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
It’s important to note that CBD (Cannabidiol) is not the same as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). These are two distinct compounds occurring within plants of the Cannabaceae family and of the species Cannabis Sativa L.
THC is what we’ve come to know as the psychoactive compound that creates a ‘high’ from the use of marijuana, and marijuana plants are bred to contain as high as 30% THC. When we look at hemp cannabis plants, in order to comply with legal requirements, no more than 0.3% THC may be present on a dry-weight basis. This is only a trace amount of THC and is not enough THC to produce a psychoactive effect.
Regardless of whether its full spectrum or isolate, high-quality or low-quality hemp derived CBD oil, don’t expect to get the “high” or psychoactive effect from using it, because it’s not going to happen. There simply isn’t enough of the THC compound to create this effect. Using CBD oil will not impact perception, reaction time, or behavior.
Who Can Use CBD Oil?
CBD oil is, generally, safe for use for just about anyone, even pets. But what about children and CBD oil? The legality of treating children with CBD oil depends on the laws of each state in the US and also varies by country. Be sure to know the legal status of CBD oil where you live before treating children.
The Endocannabinoid System and How CBD Works
The Endocannabinoid System comes from the term Endogenous Cannabinoid System, also known as ECS. This is a system in the human body made up of a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules in the body called Endocannabinoids. This system is present in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. The job of the Endocannabinoid System is always to find homeostasis, meaning optimal balance, within the body. The ECS may be the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.
Cannabinoid Receptors are abundant in the central nervous system, immune cells, gastrointestinal tract, and in the peripheral nervous system, and they are actually crucial for optimal health. Cannabinoid receptors play a significant role in body functions such as:
- Appetite, digestion, hunger
- Immune function
- Motor control
- Pleasure and reward
- Reproduction and fertility
- Temperature regulation
Endocannabinoids are the molecules that work with the Cannabinoid Receptors. The body produces some of its own cannabinoids, but most of them come to us from food, especially Omega 3 fatty acids.
Enzymes are an important part of the ECS function, as they clean up and break down any leftover cannabinoids that haven’t found a receptor to bind with. In fact, the endocannabinoid known as anandamide (aka, the Bliss Molecule), a neurotransmitter that affects the immune system, eating and sleeping patterns, and pain relief and it is believed to ease anxiety and nervous thought patterns. Aandamide is broken down by an enzyme called FAAH. However, anything referred to as the Bliss Molecule, certainly seems worth keeping around, don’t you think?
Here’s the good news, CBD stops the enzyme FAAH from breaking down all of the anandamide, thereby making it more available for use by our cells. This is how CBD can be a natural mood lifter without psychoactive effects. (1)
The Endocannabinoid system also helps cells communicate with various organs and systems in the body and regulates our internal and cellular homeostasis. But guess what? The ECS also influences a person’s social behavior, often promoting sharing, humor, and creativity! This may be a direct influence on a person’s open mindedness and ability to move beyond limiting patterns of thought and behavior from past situations. How many of us would like to receive that benefit! (2)
How interesting that as humans, we have this wonderful Endocannabinoid system just waiting to be brought into homeostasis with so many awesome benefits!
What are the Side Effects?
Overall, there are few side effects from using CBD oil and it’s a very safe product. However, it’s always important to point out any contraindications or cautions with anything we add to our health regimen. It’s important to determine if we have any conditions or factors that could affect the amount of CBD or how often we are able to take it safely. Factors that we want to be aware of when determining how we use CBD include:
- Hepatic Drugs – High doses of Cannabidiol can potentially inhibit metabolism of hepatic (liver) drugs and decrease p-glycoproteins in the body.
- Parkinson’s Disease – High doses of CBD may cause an increase in tremors and muscle movement in those dealing with Parkinson’s disease.
- Low Blood Pressure – More likely with higher doses, CBD hemp oil side effects can include a drop in blood pressure and lightheadedness.
- Dry Mouth – Some people experience dry mouth or cotton mouth associated with the use of CBD oil. This is not permanent or dangerous, and drinking water can help alleviate the condition.
- Tiredness – Sometimes people, especially those on higher doses of CBD oil, can experience tiredness. For this reason, it’s recommended that the daily dose of CBD oil be administered in the evening before bed – unless you’re one of the few who actually find themselves more alert after taking CBD oil.
If you’re concerned about any of the above conditions and how they would interact with CBD oil use, it’s important to consult with your doctor and consider avoiding high doses of CBD oil.
How Much is Enough CBD Oil?
It’s one of the most common questions about CBD oil, “How much hemp oil should I take?” Unlike prescription pills and other medications there is no set dosage for CBD oil. Because CBD hemp oil is used by so many people for such a variety of concerns, a one-dose-fits-all serving doesn’t make sense. Here’s how to find your way to the dosage that’s best for you.
Start Low – Typically, and most certainly with Functional Remedies CBD oil for sale, you would have to take A LOT to encounter negative impacts. That said, be aware of the potency of your CBD oil when you start experimenting with dosage.
Monitor Your Progress – When you start using CBD oil and are experimenting for the right dosage, start by writing down the conditions you hope to impact with CBD oil. Begin taking the smallest serving size twice a day, morning and evening, each day for a week. Each day record the status of the things you’re hoping to benefit. At the end of the week, based on the status of your condition, you can determine if you should increase the serving and you can begin to tell if you’re one of the people who will become either tired or more alert after a serving, which can help you determine what time of day to take CBD oil. Eventually, you’ll be able to determine if you can stick with the low-potency formula, take it more often, increase the serving size, or if it would be best to switch to a higher-potency CBD oil.
Pet owners have become interested in helping ease anxiety and nervous energy from thunderstorms, fireworks, or previous trauma in their pets with the help of CBD hemp oil. With pets, the recommended serving to start with is 1 mg for every 10 lbs in dogs, 1 mg for every 20 lbs in cats, and only 5 mg for every 1,000 lbs for horses. Start with two servings a day and monitor the animal closely to determine if this is an adequate dose or it should be adjusted. CBD tincture is a much easier application than pills. CBD can also be applied on the skin or paws of a pet suffering from pain, epilepsy, seizures, inflammation, heart issues, or cancer.
Does CBD Affect Everyone the Same?
The fact is, every one of us has a different biochemistry scenario which means that not everyone will react the same or get the same therapeutic benefit from CBD oil. Don’t assume that because a friend reported relief of a particular condition with a specific amount of CBD oil, that you’ll have the same experience if you follow the same regimen. We’ve all spent years building up the bodies and physiology we’ve got today, and we will need to monitor our own responses to adding CBD oil to our health regimen.
Genetics can play a part as well. Depending on our genetics we may have a more or less active Endocannabinoid system which can affect the strength of the oil we need in order to get the results we’re looking for. Genetics can also contribute to our sensitivity to CBD oil. Other factors such as metabolism, age, weight, and gender may influence how we’re affected by CBD oil. Again, this takes trial and error, starting low and tracking our results week by week.
What are the Different Ways to Take CBD?
We’ve got a wide variety of options for how we can take CBD into our bodies. We can take CBD as an oil by mouth or by vaporizing, as a powder, in a capsule, as a tincture, or as a cream or salve that is rubbed into the skin. With all these options, how do we choose which is best for us? Now that we understand how to find the potency and serving size that’s right for us, we can consider what type of delivery method we feel will work best when we buy CBD oil. It might become necessary to try a couple different delivery systems in order to know for sure.
Functional Remedies’ products come in 10mg, 25mg, or 50 mg Capsules; in 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1000 mg tinctures; and in a convenient ½ oz salve.
What’s Important to Consider When Choosing a CBD Product?
There are a few things we recommend considering when choosing your CBD oil product. Other things to think about could include:
- Delivery System – We just discussed this in the section above.
- Plant Quality – Where and how were the plants farmed? Were they grown organically and sustainably? Does the producer describe the plants as having high-density nutrients or other characteristics that affect the quality?
- Extraction Methods – Lipid Extraction which can also be considered Lipid Infusion produces an infused oil with lipids (or fats) that are easily welcomed in to the Endocannabinoid System. There are no solvents involved in the Lipid Extraction process, and Functional Remedies considers this process superior as it also creates a Full Spectrum product. CO2 Extraction avoids any chemical solvents as well, but it extracts only the Isolated CBD compound, thereby negating the opportunity to benefit from cannabinoids from the whole plant. Ethyl Alcohol extraction is another common extraction method producing the Isolated CBD compound. This process utilizes Ethyl Alcohol as a solvent and must be done carefully to remove any remnants of that solvent so it doesn’t end up in the final product.
- Full Spectrum vs. Isolate – Full Spectrum products contain elements of the whole plant which includes several potentially beneficial cannabinoids such as CBC, CBN, CBG, and trace amounts (under 0.3%) of THC. Isolates contain only CBD.
What is the Entourage Effect and What Does it Have to do With Full Spectrum Products?
As mentioned in the previous section, using the whole plant creates what we refer to as a Full Spectrum product. The Entourage Effect is achieved with the use of this Full Spectrum product. This is the most effective and natural delivery method of CBD which will maximize the body’s ability to receive the health benefits of CBD. Instead of focusing only on the CBD cannabinoid, Functional Remedies uses a whole-plant processing method that includes beneficial terpenes, chlorophyll, and other nutritional elements that work together to improve the effectiveness of the product. This is the Entourage Effect.
As Kai Metcalfe, the production lab director at Functional Remedies tells it, “The idea is the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. When you get isolated CBD, the range of efficacy is pretty narrow. You have to have a high-level dose, but then if you surpass that you do not get constant improvement. And some trials showed that increasing the serving size of isolated CBD did not increase its efficacy for very long. With a whole plant, there is a much greater chance of increasing the efficacy when you increase the serving size.”
Will I Fail a Drug Test if I’m Taking CBD?
Urine-based drug tests routinely screen for THC because of its psychoactive effects which can cause changes in perception and behavior. When taking hemp derived CBD products, they must legally contain 0.3% or less THC, which is such a trace amount that none of the psychoactive effects are produced. The active ingredients in Full-Spectrum hemp derived CBD products include other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and others which are not “cross-reactive” on a urine drug screen, meaning they do not yield a positive result.
In the case of an individual using unusually large doses of a cannabinoid-rich hemp oil product (more than 1,000 – 2,000 mg of hemp oil daily), there could potentially be a positive result from a urine drug screen.
If you’re concerned about testing positive on a urine drug screen, become informed of limits and expectations of your employer or the agency administering the test and determine the amount of CBD oil consumption as appropriate.
What are People Using CBD for?
Skin irritations and sore muscles are common reasons why someone would want to use a topical hemp salve with CBD oil. Topically, CBD oil is used for its anti-inflammatory properties and immune support for people struggling with skin rashes, pain, burns and more. Because CBD oil helps achieve homeostasis to several body functions, many people take CBD oil for sleep issues, stress, and general energy balancing. This improved homeostasis may also support the body’s ability to stay calm and centered which can be beneficial for calming stress, tension, and frustration while bringing in an improved ability to relax.
The 2015 study published by the Journal of Neurotherapeutics found that CBD “has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple [emotional challenges].” This study looked at the impact CBD has on many vital body functions including emotional behavior and response to adverse events. Functional Remedies customers have shared similar experiences in their reviews of our CBD tinctures and CBD capsules.
One Final Word
CBD hemp oil is now legal in all 50 states. It’s not required that you have a medical marijuana card or live in a state that has legalized marijuana in order to purchase CBD hemp oil. These are completely different products, as CBD hemp oil does not have any intoxicating properties.
We hope this guide for purchasing CBD oil can help you feel confident in selecting and purchasing a CBD oil that will benefit your health and wellness!
- Butterfield, D. (2016, July 28). The Endocannabinoid System For Dummies (We’ve Made It Easy For You) [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://herb.co
Dustin Sulak, DO “The Endocannabinoid System” [blog post]. Retrieved from http://norml.org