What is CBD?
What is CBD
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is just one of many different molecules called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBD is not an acronym. Cannabidiol has been shortened to CBD simply because it’s customary for cannabinoids to have a three-letter designation, such as THC for tetrahydrocannabinol, CBG for cannabigerol, CBN for cannabinol and so forth. THC is arguably the most famous member of the cannabinoids family — it’s the psychoactive one found in marijuana that causes a high.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound produced by the cannabis plant, is quickly growing in popularity and 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.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a natural oil which is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It is used by people all over the world for a variety of purposes.
Broad spectrum CBD oil contains a variety of active compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes. In each other’s presence, these compounds work even better.
Depending on the formulation of a product, it may contain other beneficial components such as omega fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Types of CBD Oil
Let’s now take a look at some of the types of CBD oil products and compare their qualities. It’s important to remember that, as the industry grows, some of these terms have evolved.
CBD From PCR Hemp vs. CBD From Marijuana
Oils can also be extracted from marijuana the same way they can be extracted from hemp. The oils made from marijuana are referred to as cannabis oil. Extracts made from marijuana may contain some CBD but are intended to contain enough THC to cause a high. Such extracts made from marijuana remain as illegal Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.
For the purposes of this document, we are only concerned with 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 first extracted, the resulting product is considered raw hemp extract. This raw extract can be put through a series of filtration and distillation processes to remove unwanted compounds such as waxes and chlorophyll to produce various classes of oils differing in purity and CBD content. These refined oils are referred to as CBD concentrate or CBD distillate.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Earlier we mentioned another class of compounds called terpenes. Raw PCR hemp extract contains terpenes
as well as other cannabinoid compounds similar to CBD. Because it retains the natural balance of cannabinoids and terpenes found in the original plant, we refer to these products as full spectrum oils.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad spectrum CBD oil is very similar to a full spectrum oil. Full spectrum CBD oil, as we mentioned, retains the original concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes found in raw PCR hemp extract. Broad spectrum CBD oil also contains these concentrations of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes but has all trace amounts of THC extracted. This is ideal for those who want absolutely no THC in their CBD products.
CBD can also be isolated and purified. Pure CBD is known in the industry as CBD isolate. In their 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 is devoid of the beneficial terpenes and other cannabinoids found naturally in the plant.
CBD-Rich Oil/Phytocannabinoid-Rich (PCR)
Another term you may hear is CBD-rich oil. This term is generally used to label a CBD oil which has gone through some initial filtration and distillation steps to remove unwanted compounds such as chlorophyll and waxes. The resulting product has a higher concentration of CBD than the raw extract, hence the term CBD-rich oil.
The term CBD-infused can be used to describe either a product which has been infused with purified CBD isolate or a product which has been infused with a CBD-rich, full spectrum or broad spectrum concentrate. A properly labeled product will specify which ingredients were used. If the ingredients include “CBD isolate,” then the product is not full spectrum. If the ingredients include “CBD-rich hemp oil (or extract)” or “full/broad spectrum CBD oil,” then obviously you’re getting a full/broad spectrum product. It’s important to know which is in a product because they produce different effects.
A List of CBD Oil Products
To summarize, there are a variety of products which contain varying levels of CBD as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes
- Hemp seed oil — Oil produced from hemp seeds, does not contain CBD.
- Raw industrial hemp extract — A low-quality source of CBD oil.
- Raw PCR hemp extract — A high-quality, full or broad spectrum product which is rich in CBD and contains the naturally occurring compounds in hemp, including cannabinoids and terpenes.
- CBD concentrate or distillate — A full spectrum or broad spectrum product from which unwanted compounds have been removed.
- CBD isolate — Purified CBD that does not contain other beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids.
- CBD-rich oil/Phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) — Either full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD concentrate or oil infused with CBD concentrate.
- Broad spectrum oil — An oil rich in CBD and the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp EXCEPT for THC.
- CBD-infused — Generally refers to a product infused with pure CBD, but is also used sometimes to refer to a full spectrum product.
Now that we’ve cleared up these terms, let’s answer some of the most common questions asked by first time CBD users.
CBD oil, as you can see, is a complicated product, and the current CBD market can be compared to the Wild West. There is a lot of misinformation floating around and, of course, this causes a great deal of confusion.
One of the main points of confusion comes from the fact that the media often uses the term marijuana to refer to hemp and vice versa. This raises other issues, the most common of which are whether or not it causes a high or if it has any side effects. Let’s answer each of these questions in brief.
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
No, it should not. Properly produced CBD oil from hemp does not contain THC in high enough concentrations to cause a high.
THC acts upon particular receptors in the brain, which changes brain chemistry and therefore alters consciousness. CBD does not trigger these receptors. In fact, it may actually prevent them from reacting to THC and thus minimize its effects.
CBD oils produced by some manufacturers can contain trace amounts of THC. Monarch Leaf products, however, are produced using a technology that extracts THC while leaving the other cannabinoids and terpenes intact.
It’s important to note that all human bodies are different and, if taking extremely large amounts of a product, CBD may cause drowsiness.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
While pharmaceutical drugs are often developed to target particular bodily systems and provide particular effects, Mother Nature is not always so exacting. The effects of organic compounds can be many and can vary from person to person. Oftentimes herbal compounds can have both desired effects and unwanted effects. We call these unwanted effects adverse side effects.
In order to determine if an effect is an adverse side effect, you need to know what the desired effects are. The effects which are desired by one user may not be desired by another user.
Let’s look at an example of how CBD might work differently for different people. Some people use CBD oil in order to support a good night of rest but may also feel drowsiness during the day. If you want to feel awake during the day, as most do, feeling sleepy would be an unwanted side effect.
Will CBD Make Me Drowsy?
CBD has what are called biphasic properties. We’ll discuss this more in chapter 4, but this just means that CBD oil may have different effects depending on the serving. Taken in nominal servings, CBD is unlikely to cause drowsiness. However, taken in higher servings, there is the potential that it could cause drowsiness.
Alcohol is a perfect example of a substance with biphasic properties. Below a certain blood level, alcohol provides a stimulating effect and can make its user more active and social, while larger amounts of alcohol can have a depressant effect resulting in unconsciousness.
Can I Give My Pet CBD Oil?
Yes, high-quality CBD is safe for pets. However, the size and activity level of your pet will determine the optimal serving size. Pets can range in weight from under a pound for rodents to many hundreds of pounds for animals such as horses. Some pets are pretty much sedentary and don’t get much exercise, while others are highly active and have a much higher metabolism. It’s a good idea to talk with a veterinarian who is familiar with CBD’s uses before you give your pet CBD oil in the form of CBD Dog Treats or CBD Oil Tincture for Pets.