What Is CBD, What Does It Do and How Is It Made: A Comprehensive Guide

What Is CBD, What Does It Do and How Is It Made: A Comprehensive Guide


Today, wellness trends come and go as quickly as the seasons change. However, one term has made its way to conversations and headlines alike: Cannabidiol, or CBD. You’ve probably heard about it in your local café or seen it listed as a core ingredient in your go-to skincare products. 

It’s not uncommon to come across collections of CBD supplements while shopping online. And consider giving it a try as an add-in booster to your daily routine (post-workout smoothie or morning coffee). But what is CBD? Cannabidiol is a compound that is derived from the cannabis plant.

At its core, it is among over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. After being extracted from the plant, it is diluted with a carrier oil (coconut oil or hemp seed oil). This produces CBD oil - a core ingredient of multiple CBD products on the market today. But this compound has a lot more to its name. So, let’s dive into everything CBD is about, from its applications to legal status and more. 

What Is CBD?


CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. This plant contains various chemical elements that impact the body differently. Among these, two of the most popular ones are tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. These are usually extracted from two common herbs called: marijuana and hemp. 

Marijuana has higher levels of THC (the compound that causes a “high”) and lower levels of CBD. Conversely, hemp contains more CBD and minimal THC content. In essence, hemp is any part of the cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% THC. Hence, it is non-psychoactive. But how are CBD and THC different? 

Well, the former does not contain psychoactive properties (and it won’t make you high). This means it doesn’t induce that euphoric sensation that comes with marijuana intake. Such a characteristic makes CBD a versatile compound for various applications. 

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD available. This crystalline solid or powder contains no other compounds, like THC. CBD isolate is different from full-spectrum CBD products since those can legally contain up to 0.3% THC. This quantity may register on a drug test; however, it still doesn’t make you high. 

Can CBD Get You High?


In short, no, it can’t. The two main compounds in cannabis plants are CBD and THC. And the former is extracted from the non-psychoactive side of the plant. This means CBD won’t make you high or send you into a state of euphoria. 

Close Up of Dried Hemp Flower Placed in a Smoking Pipe

Photo by KUSHiN; Shutterstock

However, it is essential to double-check for the quality when buying CBD products. The FDA doesn’t regulate over-the-counter CBD products. This means that you could get a product that’s more or less potent than what is mentioned on the label. You may also end up with a product that contains THC in small amounts, the compound that makes you high. 

What Is the Legal Status of CBD?


The legal status of CBD in the United States isn’t set in stone since each state has its own. In 2018, the Farm Bill was introduced, making hemp legal nationwide. It also removed hemp and hemp-derived CBD from the list of controlled substances. In essence, CBD is legal if it comes from hemp. 

However, if marijuana (cannabis) is used to extract it, it is not legal. This is because marijuana is considered unlawful in the majority of regions. As you would know, many people freely buy CBD products online. This does not require a medical marijuana license and is legal in most places. 

The FDA has been regularly introducing regulations related to CBD. It has allowed researchers to study and conduct trials on the compound since 2015. However, they’re still deciding the rules for marketing and selling CBD products. 

Side Effects and Drawbacks of CBD


CBD has long been popular for its valuable applications around the globe. However, like every cloud has a silver lining, so does CBD. Some people may experience side effects from prolonged CBD use. 

These can include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Liver-related issues

High doses of prescription CBD like Epidiolex have given rise to liver-reported issues. Therefore, remember to consult your healthcare professional before starting regular use. This is especially crucial for individuals with underlying health concerns or those on medications. 

Plus, CBD can interact with other drugs you may be consuming (just like grapefruit does). So, if any of your medications or supplements come with a grapefruit warning, you should be cautious with CBD, too. This holds especially true for drugs like cholesterol medications. 

Ways to Administer CBD: A Variety of Options


There are various ways to administer CBD, each suited to different needs and preferences. The administration method you choose depends on the condition you’re addressing and your specific inclinations. 

  1. CBD Oils and Extracts: These are popular for their versatility. You can consume them by placing drops under your tongue (sublingual), allowing faster absorption, or mixing them into food or beverages. 
  2. CBD Capsules: These are convenient and offer precise dosing. They work like any other oral pill, taking a bit longer to take effect as they pass through your digestive system.
  3. CBD Patches: These patches are placed under the tongue and release CBD slowly over time. They can provide a steady, long-lasting dose.
  4. CBD Vapes: Inhaling CBD vapor is one of the quickest ways to benefit from its effects. However, it is essential to be safe and choose reputable products to avoid the potential health risks of vaping.
  5. Topical Preparations: CBD-infused creams, lotions, and balms are designed for localized relief. When applied directly to the affected area, they are excellent for addressing muscle and joint pain.

How Is CBD Extracted?


The process of CBD extraction begins from the hemp plant. This cannabis species is known for its low THC content. Therefore, its flowers are used for the extraction process. 

Before starting the process, the hemp is picked and trimmed, followed by drying and finely grinding it. CBD extraction primarily aims to separate the compound from other cannabinoids, especially THC (the psychoactive sibling). 

Once extracted, the CBD oil undergoes further refinement and purification. This gives rise to different CBD variants, like full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or pure CBD isolate. The following are a few standard extraction methods used for this compound.

Woman Doctor Holds CBD Oil and a Jar of Dry CBD Flower While Smiling

Photo by KUSHiN; Shutterstock

1. CO2 Extraction


CO2 extraction is a go-to for harvesting CBD from hemp. Here’s how it works: First, the hemp is placed inside a chamber, where carbon dioxide, in a supercritical state, is filled. Under pressure, CO2 transforms into a liquid. In this way, it becomes a versatile medium for absorbing the precious oils and flavors from hemp.

This CO2 then infuses the CBD into it, creating a liquid that contains both the gas and the chemical compound. Now, this liquid is whisked away to another chamber where the carbon dioxide regains its gaseous form. And it leaves behind the concentrated CBD extract.

CO2 extraction is known for its safety and efficiency. It results in a potent CBD extract, free from harmful residues and contaminants. However, this method might not always be entirely alcohol-free. In some cases, to further refine the extract into CBD isolate or distillate, additional steps involving alcohol solvents are necessary.

2. Solvent-Based Extraction


Before the CO2 extraction method became popular, CBD was extracted from the cannabis plant using liquid solvents. This approach uses various solvents, like ethanol, butane, or hydrocarbon. Often, isopropyl or propane may also be used. The main principle behind solvent-based extraction is the dissolution of the waxes within the cannabis plant. 

This helps release the cannabinoids, including coveted CBD, from the plant. Once this is done, the final step evaporates the trimmings and the solvent. This leaves behind a concentrated solution rich in cannabinoids. Conversely, the solvent-based extraction method is suitable for cost savings. 

Additionally, it is speedier than alternative extraction methods. However, there are downsides, too. This process deals with highly flammable liquids, which can be risky. Plus, this method may release other less desirable compounds (like chlorophyll) into the extract. Chlorophyll has a bitter taste, which can taint the flavor of the CBD product. 

3. Alcohol Extraction


Alcohol extraction is also a popular method for obtaining CBD. Why? Because it is a viable alternative to potentially harmful hydrocarbon-based solvents. In this process, alcohol is used as an extracting agent. It helps separate the desired plant compounds from the raw plant material. 

After this extraction, the alcohol is carefully evaporated. This method leaves behind a concentrated mixture that contains CBD and other valuable compounds (terpenes, flavonoids, and chlorophyll). 

This method can be used even by DIY enthusiasts with minimal specialized equipment, making it a preferred choice for many. The resulting product preserves a diverse profile of cannabinoids and terpenes alongside other beneficial plant compounds. However, it’s worth noting that alcohol extraction does have its drawbacks. 

Ethanol, as a natural solvent, tends to extract chlorophyll simultaneously with cannabinoids. This can impart a bitter taste to the final product, which might not be desirable for those seeking a more edible CBD experience.

Conclusion


CBD is a versatile chemical compound derived from hemp plants that has become quite popular recently. It has a non-intoxicating nature, meaning it won’t make you high. Therefore, CBD is a go-to for individuals looking for an alternative to THC without the psychoactive effects. 

As the CBD industry becomes more popular, looking for quality products that prioritize transparency is crucial. This is where Kushin’s 3CHI Calm CBD Oil steps in. It offers a carefully crafted, all-natural blend of broad-spectrum cannabinoids and terpenes. Formulated with precision in a coconut-based oil, their 1oz bottle comes with a metered dropper for precise dosing. 

Their rigorous lab testing ensures that the product contains less than 0.3% THC, assuring your peace of mind. So, if you want to add CBD to your routine, there’s no better option than Kushin’s 3CHI Calm CBD Oil. Take the first step towards a balanced you today!

Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1439/cannabidiol-cbd

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425762/

https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/featured-topics/CBD.html

https://www.lifespan.org/lifespan-living/cbd-what-it-what-does-it-do-and-what-are-benefits

https://www.health.com/condition/chronic-pain/what-is-cbd#citation-14

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/style/self-care/cbd-oil-benefits.html

https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/cbd-safe.html

https://grassandco.com/blogs/cbd-guides/how-is-cbd-oil-made

https://www.evopure.co.uk/how-is-cbd-extracted/

https://www.goodhemp.com/hemp-hub/how-is-cbd-oil-made-the-process-explained/

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