CBD Oil Buyers Guide

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, it can also be call hemp extract. It is a compound found in hemp plants and can be extracted in the form of an oil. CBD oil is naturally extracted from the flower, leaves or stalk of the hemp plant. CBD interacts through with the body’s own endocannabinoid system.

Endocannabinoids are compounds that the body manufactures entirely on its own. They are responsible for homeostasis. They regulate just about every function of the body. CBD interacts with receptors that keep the body balanced and running normally. CBD is a potent and non-psychoactive. CBD is thought to be safe, and has relatively few and low risk side effects.

Will CBD Products Help Your Health or Illness?

Due to FDA regulations, we do not have the ability to state any claims regarding CBD products ability to help with specific ailments or diseases. CBD products are considered a nutritional supplement or food. A quick internet search will provide many peer-reviewed papers supporting the amazing properties of cannabidiol.

Product Types

Sublingual drops (also known as tinctures), vape oils, capsules, variety of edible products (including jelly beans, gummies, chocolates, chewing gum, drinks and more) topical creams, salves, concentrates, pet products, suppositories, transdermal patches. There is a wide range of different beauty product available.

How CBD works: Cannabidiol and the Human Body

Cannabinoid receptors are involved in a series of processes inside the human body, including the regulation of mood, pain sensation, appetite and memory. These receptors can be activated by endocannabinoids (produced by the human body) as well as by plant cannabinoids (like those found in hemp), and they’re grouped into two main categories: CB1 and CB2.

CB1 receptors are found mostly in the central nervous system, and in smaller numbers in the liver, kidneys and lungs, while CB2 receptors are part of the immune system and found in the hematopoietic blood cells as well.

How CBD works: Activating Adjacent Receptors

CBD does not stimulate these two receptors; instead, it activates other receptors, like the vanilloid, adenosine and serotonin receptors. By activating the TRPV-1 receptor for example, cannabidiol plays a role in the mediation of body temperature, pain perception and inflammation. Then, CBD inhibits the FAAH enzyme, a compound that activates the CB1 receptor. By doing so, CBD minimizes the activation of CB1 by THC, reducing its psychoactive effects.

The activation of adenosine receptors by CBD gives the anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol. Adenosine receptors are also involved in the release of dopamine and glutamate, two neurotransmitters that play major roles inside the body. Dopamine is involved in cognition, motor control, motivation and reward mechanisms, while glutamate is one of the major mediators of excitatory signals, being involved in memory, learning and cognition.

As previously said, CBD blocks the psychoactive action of THC, this being one of the reasons it’s generally considered advantageous to combine CBD and THC when for treatment purposes. However, the positive effects of cannabidiol are not dependent on the presence of THC, so you can still take advantage of the benefits of CBD by purchasing products that contain only non-psychoactive CBD.

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum contains more of the whole hemp plant. Full spectrum has all the cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp. Other naturally occurring cannabinoids found in full spectrum are Cannabicycol (CBL), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabichromevarinic Acid (CBCVA), and more.

Full spectrum hemp oil products typically contain less than 0.3 THC. With full spectrum CBD oil products, you have the advantage of something called the “entourage effect.”

Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum products contain an array of naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes with almost no THC. These products have often gone through additional processing to try to isolate and remove as much THC as possible while still maintaining the other cannabinoids and terpenes.

In other cases, they are isolate-based with additional cannabinoids and terpenes added in. Broad spectrum retain the maximum possible therapeutic benefit without THC exposure.


CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form possible because it has been separated from other cannabinoids, oils, plant material, waxes, chlorophyll, and more. Products labeled as isolates will generally be highlighted as being 99% (or higher) pure CBD. Usually, these products will have nothing but CBD in them because the CBD has literally been isolated from everything else. Isolate has no taste or smell.


This oil is typically purchased by people who are looking to get a CBD oil with all the other compounds that exist in hemp as well as CBD. Raw CBD oil has not been heated, cured, or filtered which allows for the other compounds to remain in the finished product. Since Raw CBD oil will not be processed any further than its original extraction all ingredients of the hemp plant are kept.

This includes all types of cannabinoids such as CBD, CBDA, CBC, CBN, CBV and CBG. In addition, small plant material, lipids (fats), chlorophyll, terpenes, pigments and phenols are also retained which contribute to the composition of the RAW CBD oil.

Raw CBD usually has a high content of CBDa. The color of this oil will usually be dark green to black and have a thick consistency. Raw will usually be the product of choice for people looking to benefit from the use of the entire hemp plant and not necessarily just cannabidiol. The flavor can be a bit sharper, bitter, earthy taste than normal CBD oil.

Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is the benefit you get from ingesting multiple components of the hemp plant together. The hemp plant has hundreds of trace compounds including cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids.

The entourage effect is the result of all these compounds interact synergistically together as opposed to just one or two of these compounds working in isolation. To get the entourage effect buy CBD oil that is Full spectrum or RAW. Broad spectrum and Isolate does not have all of the components to get the entourage effect.

What's The Right CBD Dosage?

No industry wide guidelines for dosing exist. Every brand and every product will come with general guidelines on how to use CBD. Finding the right dose can be a challenge because you are unique. The right treatment and dosage depends on your personal biochemistry and the health challenge you are dealing with.

It should also be noted that every brand of CBD oil can affect you differently because of how it is made and the different carrier oils used. It is recommended to go slow when first starting to take CBD. Monitor how you feel, your mood, cravings, and sleep. Increase slowly until you get the desired effect.

How Much CBD Oil Is Too Much?

There is no real limit on how much CBD oil you can take. It is always recommended to consult your physician if you are concerned about the amount you are taking. CBD oil has an extremely low toxicity that would require you to consume a large amount before experiencing severe adverse effects.

If you are above the minimal suggested CBD dosage on any product, then gradually increase the dose until you achieve the desired results. If you start experiencing any side effects decrease the amount of CBD oil you are taking. There is no established lethal dose of CBD. Chronic use/high doses of up to 1500 mg per day have been reported.

CBD Microdosing with Tinctures

Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is very different. That is way microdosing is the preferred method amongst CBD users to find the optimal dose. Micodosing gives you the desired results or optimal dose that you are looking for while using as little CBD oil as possible. By microdosing you are at less risk of overstimulating your cannabinoid receptors and experiencing side effects. Once you find the right dose for your needs, do not continue increasing, and simply continue with that dose.

Start microdosing by taking one drop – three times a day for the first week. Week two take two drops – three times a day. Week three take three drops – three times a day. Every week you will increase by one drop until you find the dose that works for you. Administer the drops sublingually. Hold under the tongue for up to 90 seconds so that the mucus membranes in the mouth can absorb the oil’s active ingredients.

Will You Fail a Drug Test?

If you are unwilling to accept risking a positive drug test, then you should not use any CBD oil product. Full spectrum CBD oil products can contain up to as much as 0.3 THC. Broad spectrum and isolate products are marketed as having zero THC. However, these products can contain trace amounts of TCH which overtime can build up in your body. Drug tests detect the presence of THC and even trace amounts of THC are enough to possibly trigger a positive test.

Factors that affect the risk of testing positive on a drug test are: CBD oil product type (full spectrum vs Broad spectrum and isolate), your metabolism and dose of CBD oil you take, the duration you have used CBD oil, and the sensitivity of the drug test.

Is CBD Oil Addictive?

Strictly based on chemistry, the answer is no. CBD cannot produce any physical withdrawal symptoms in and of itself upon cessation of use.

Will CBD Oil Get Me High?

THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid known for causing the “high” associated with cannabis products. CBD oil products are extremely low in THC (less than 0.3%). CBD is naturally non-psychoactive. You can feel more relaxed, which some people also associate with being “high.”

Is CBD Safe?

CBD is very safe. According to a 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) review, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?

While the majority of CBD oil users don’t experience any negative effects. Some people can experience minor side effects. Side effects include: headache, dry mouth, low blood pressure, drowsiness or wakefulness, inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism, sleeping problems, increased liver enzymes, and changes in appetite.

Some users have reported some stomach upset and diarrhea after using CBD oil. Digestive issues may also be caused by intolerances to a CBD product’s carrier oil or other additives.

Prescription Drug Interactions

Speak with a healthcare provider before combining CBD with any other medicines. Some evidence suggests that CBD increases the potency of other hepatic (liver metabolism) drugs. CBD oil can reduce the activity of Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzyme. Approximately 60% of all pharmaceutical drugs undergo metabolism by CYP450 enzyme. If combined properly, may actually help patients reduce dosage for these other pharmaceuticals. At sufficient dosages, CBD will temporarily deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, thereby altering how we metabolize a wide range of compounds. By inhibiting this enzyme the metabolism of the drug is reduced which increases the effects of the prescription drug you are taking. Because your body can’t metabolize the drug at a normal rate, over time this drug will accumulate in your body.

Types of drugs that can be affected include:

  • Steroids
  • HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Antihistamines
  • Prokinetics
  • HIV-antivirals
  • Immune modulators
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Antibiotics
  • Anesthetics
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-epileptics
  • Beta blockers
  • PPIs
  • NSAIDs
  • Angiotensin II blockers
  • Oral hypoglycemic agents
  • Sulfonylureas

CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding

Even though CBD has been deemed safe for adult consumption, not enough studies have been carried out for it to be deemed safe for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

What is Bioavailability of CBD?

Bioavailability refers to the percentage of actual product that gets absorbed into your bloodstream/system. How you take CBD also has an effect on the bioavailability of a compound. CBD does not dissolve in water. It collects in fatty tissue, reducing the amount that goes into the bloodstream. Factors such as body weight and product quality can greatly affect the active dosage of CBD.

How does each delivery method of CBD rank in Bioavailability?

Sublingual: 20-30%

Vaping/Inhalation: 30-40%

Oral: Approximately 5%

Topical: Does Not Apply

Transdermal: Approximately 70+%

Suppositories: 80-90%

How long does CBD take to work and how long does it last?

  • Vaporizer, you’ll experience the benefits of CBD almost immediately, and they can last for 2-3 hours
  • Sublingually (under the tongue) using drops or a spray, you’ll likely feel the effects within 20 to 40 minutes, and they can last between four and six hours.
  • Topically using a balm, salves or cream, it can take up to an hour to feel the effects, but they can last for up to five or six hours.
  • Capsule, concentrate, candy, or chocolate, it can take between 20 minutes and two hours to feel the benefits, and they should last between four and six hours after the onset.

What Are Terpenes In CBD Oil?

These essential oils are located in the trichomes of the hemp plant. Terpenes are responsible for the wonderfully diverse array of aromas and flavors associated with hemp. The hemp plant contains an estimated 120 terpenes. The processing method used by companies determines how many terpenes remain in the CBD oil you use.

The combination of these oils with cannabinoids creates an entourage effect, which enhances the properties provided by CBD. Each terpene has their own potential medical benefits. Terpenes are important in the final CBD product for their synergistic effect.

What are Flavonoids?

Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are responsible for the pigmentation of the hemp plant. There are about 20 flavonoids in the hemp plant. Flavonoids also play a role in the entourage effect of CBD oil. Flavonoids are important because they have shown to have beneficial effects such as: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-allergic activity.

Decarboxylation (CO2 method)

Decarboxylation refers to a chemical reaction that causes a carboxyl group to be removed. This results in the release of carbon dioxide. The process converts inactive components in raw hemp into active components. Decarboxylation is how CBDa and THCa is converted into CBD and THC. Drying and curing hemp over time causes decarboxylation to occur.

Through the process of Decarboxylation terpenes can be lost due to the heating process and overcooking the hemp. The temperature that is use in the decarboxylation process is extremely important because lower temperatures will allow more terpenes to be retained. The process of decarboxylation is seen as a way to up the strength or effectiveness of the CBD in the CBD oil and offers a faster reaction time for the CBD oil once it’s in your body.

Full Extracted Cannabis Oil (FECO)

FECO is where CBD oil is extracted using food safe ethanol. Ethanol is a top choice because it is able to extract both polar and non-polar compounds. Producers use a solvent to separate hemp resin from plant material, creating a highly concentrated product. In FECO all the beneficial compounds are extracted and preserved for consumption in the oil. The cannabinoid and terpenes profiles are concentrated and completely preserved, rather than burned off or processed out. This array of total compounds adds to the entourage effect.

What is CBDa?

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) is a chemical compound found in the resin glands (trichomes) of raw hemp plants (raw means unheated and uncured). CBDa becomes CBD when hemp is heated. CBDa will naturally become CBD as it undergoes degradation over time, but can be transformed more quickly through decarboxylation.

The process of decarboxylation is the act of heating hemp materials through cooking, vaporizing or smoking. CBDa is cleaner in the sense that there is no combustion involved, no solvents, and no toxic residue. CBDa differs from CBD in a number of ways including chemical composition, working mechanism and health benefits. Both CBD and CBDa have a positive impact on the body’s endocannabinoid system. The main difference between CBD and CBDa lies in the types of receptors they influence.

CBDa works by blocking the activities of receptors responsible for causing inflammation, such as COX-1 and COX-2. CBDa can enhance the potency of CBD, allowing users to take smaller amounts while retaining the same level of effectiveness. CBDa benefits from more terpenes then CBD because terpenes are lost during the decarboxylation process.

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a lesser known cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid and is the precursor to: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa), cannabidiolic acid (CBDa), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCa). CBG works by influencing the endocannabinoid system by binding with CB2 receptors or blocking other compounds from binding with CB1 receptors.

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