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Written by Gunnar R.

CBD oil: The best Cannabidiol product?

Of all the cannabinoid products currently available on the UK market, CBD oil is the undisputed favourite. Amongst other things, this is due to its suitability for precise dosing, its ability to take effect rapidly and reliably, and its high degree of purity. It does not cause any degree of intoxication and is very well tolerated. Cannabidiol oil is also readily available and effective against a variety of ailments. The taste is slightly bitter but, for most users, the advantages clearly outweigh this minor discomfort.

New trends are constantly taking off in the healthcare market. Currently, it must be admitted, CBD oil is indeed very “trendy”. But there is much to suggest that this hemp product is more than just a fad. A glance at the evidence, such as the product reviews that can be found on the internet, is enough to make this clear. There is one thing that you will very rarely come across, and that’s people with negative experiences. Quite the contrary: many users appreciate the calming, antispasmodic and appetite-suppressing effects of CBD oil. But what is cannabidiol oil anyway?

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is a natural product which is derived from the hemp plant. For many, quite understandably, the name “hemp” brings to mind the illegal drug cannabis and its psychoactive active constituent, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, you should know that the hemp plant contains some 500 (known) constituent compounds. THC is just one of them, as is cannabidiol. The latter is in no way intoxicating and, for this reason, all CBD products are legal. Various production processes are used to extract the CBD from the plant (in the initially inactive form of CBDa). But let’s take a closer look at the production of CBD hemp oil.

How is CBD oil produced?

As already mentioned, the hemp plant itself contains the inactive precursor CBDa. Here, inactive means that this compound barely generates any effects. In this context, the “a” at the end means that this form of cannabidiol is an acid: cannabidiolic acid. So, in order to produce cannabidiol oil, three steps are required:

  1. The extraction of CBDa from the plant
  2. The activation of CBDa by turning it into CBD (chemically referred to as decarboxylation)
  3. Dissolving the CBD in oil

To complete the first two stages of production, different processes, which make use of different fluids for extraction, can be used.

Production of CBD oil via CO2 extraction

First, the plant parts are chopped up and heated to 150 °C, after which liquid carbon dioxide, cooled and under high pressure, is introduced. The resulting reaction separates out the compounds found in the plant. The CBDa is then drawn off, converted into CBD, and separated from the other compounds.

Extracting CBD with alcohol

CBD dissolves well in alcohol, a fact which this method makes use of. Concentrated alcohol is added to the hemp. CBDa is dissolved out of the plant, activated and then drawn off.

Dissolving the CBD in vegetable oil

The removal of the active ingredient CBD from the hemp plant produces a kind of crystal. This is dissolved in oil, for example one of the following:

  • hemp oil
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
cbd-oil

When does it make sense to take CBD oil?

If you have decided to start taking CBD oil, there are a few things which you should bear in mind. Firstly, you need to think about the following two questions:

  1. What are you taking the CBD oil for?
  2. How should you take the product in order to get the best out of it?

Diverse areas of application

Cannabidiol products – including CBD oil – are used against a wide range of problems. These extend from nervousness and migraines to pain therapy for cancer patients. What follows is a list of possible indications for CBD oil:

Find out more

Knowledge of the healing effects of the hemp plant are nothing new. On the contrary, the versatility of this herb with the bright white flowers has been appreciated for thousands of years. What is comparatively new, however, is the great interest shown by the scientific community around the world in carrying out cannabidiol research. Within the context of clinical studies, the suitability of CBD for the treatment of cancer has been the subject of particular investigation. Scientists are particularly interested in two aspects:

  1. How successful is CBD in relieving the pain of cancer patients who are in the advanced stages of the disease, and to what extent can the use of other painkillers (e.g. opiates) be avoided?
  2. Can cannabinoids also directly combat cancer and reduce the size of tumours?

Furthermore, the possibility of using it in the fight against chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease is also of great interest. Today, CBD oil is already being successfully used to treat digestive complaints.

The right way to use CBD oil

Although CBD can now be administered in a number of different forms (e.g. CBD capsules, CBD cosmetics, CBD e-Liquids etc.), CBD oil is by far the most popular. This is mainly due to its widespread availability on the market. You can buy CBD oil in pharmacies and by mail order online. Most preparations are quite reasonably priced. Moreover, cannabidiol in the form of oil is very pure, takes effect quickly and – perhaps this is the most important argument – very easy to dose; even when you are on the move. The only thing which troubles many users a little at first is its bitter taste. However, a glance at the many advantages of this product is enough to make this a negligible concern for the vast majority of users. 

Advantage: Cannabidiol oil is absorbed by the body in two ways

The reason that CBD oil is so quick to take effect and reliable is the fact that it is absorbed into the bloodstream in two different ways:

  1. Through the oral mucosa when absorbed via the mouth
  2. Via the stomach once swallowed

Even if the taste takes some getting used to, you’ll do yourself a big favour by dripping the oil under your tongue (or on it, if you like) and leaving it there for a minute or so. This way the CBD can enter your bloodstream within a few seconds, meaning that you will very quickly feel the first effects. After this, you just swallow the drops. The rest of the active substance is then absorbed in the stomach.

If the taste gets too unpleasant for you, you can swallow the oil straight away. None of the active substance is lost – it just takes a little longer to take effect.

Tip

  • The best and fastest way to take CBD oil is to put it under your tongue and keep it there for about a minute before swallowing it. You can also drip the oil onto a spoon and thus better control the amount. Some users take CBD oil with honey to disguise the bitter taste

The fuller your stomach is, the longer it needs to take effect. As already mentioned, the effect begins very quickly if you leave the CBD oil in your mouth for a while. The speed of uptake via the digestive tract depends on how much you have eaten beforehand. Following a generous meal, it may well take 15 to 30 minutes for the active constituent to be completely absorbed. If you have eaten little, or nothing at all, everything happens much faster. You may be familiar with this effect from consuming alcohol. Before drinking alcohol, people talk about “lining their stomachs”. What this refers to is the fact that a full stomach makes you feel the alcohol less quickly and strongly thanks to the slower uptake into the blood.

However, you can take CBD oil independently of meals. Even taking it on an empty stomach is not a problem, as the substance is very kind to the stomach and easy to digest.

The right CDB dosage

In fact, getting the right dose of CBD plays a crucial role. While overdosing is harmless according to the World Health Organization (WHO), too low a dose can cause you to feel no effects at all. At the same time, the body should first have the opportunity to get used to this hemp product. On top of this, there is also the fact that there are different concentrations, depending on the producer. As you can see, the question of dosage is not one which can be answered in a single sentence. Which is a good reason to examine this topic more closely.

When you hold a bottle of CBD oil in your hands, you will probably notice that a percentage is given somewhere. This indicates the proportion of pure active substance in the carrier substance, i.e. in the oil. A bottle of 5% CBD oil therefore contains 95% oil and 5% of the pure active substance. Of course, there are also much more concentrated alternatives. On the basis of the number of drops and the strength, you can calculate the necessary dosage, which – depending on the indication – can vary greatly. N.B.: 20 drops of oil is about one millilitre.

The strictness of many authorities means that the recommended doses on these products are generally very low. This is because many authorities have seized oils which carried dosage recommendations which were too high. This in turn meant that, for legal reasons, producers had to come up with a solution for this problem. Therefore, do not allow yourself to be disconcerted by low dosage recommendations. Nevertheless, the general rule is: start low and then only increase the dose slowly.

An overview of some standard concentrations

As already mentioned, cannabidiol oil is available in different strengths. To help you get your bearings, some standard concentrations are listed below:

  • 1 drop of 5% CBD oil contains about 1.5 mg of cannabidiol
  • 1 drop of 10% CBD oil contains about 3 mg of cannabidiol
  • 1 drop of 15% CBD oil contains about 4.5 mg of cannabidiol
  • 1 drop of 20% CBD oil contains about 6 mg of cannabidiol
  • 1 drop of 25% CBD oil contains about 7.5 mg of cannabidiol

The first thing to be aware of is that everyone’s body reacts to CBD differently.  For this reason, every user should start off with a small dose at first and then slowly feel their way up to the correct CBD dosage. At the same time, experience has shown that, particularly in the case of mild complaints, small doses of CBD (e.g. 1–3 drops of 5% CBD oil) often provide effective help. Such mild complaints include:

  • mild sleep disorders
  • problems concentrating
  • mood swings
  • mild stress
  • excessive appetite
  • headache
  • digestive issues
  • stage fright

Somewhat larger doses of CBD are often needed for the following conditions (N.B. this is not always the case, however, and you should always start of with small doses of CBD)

Some illnesses are already being treated with medication which contains CBD. These contain relatively high doses of cannabidiol. Examples of this include:

  • Serious cramps and spasms (e.g. epilepsy)
  • severe acute and chronic pain
  • cancer (as a complement to conventional medical treatment!)
  • cancer pain
  • schizophrenia or psychosis

As you can see, no general recommendation can be given regarding the right dose. Dosage also depends on the age, general condition and body weight of the user. If a producer gives you explicit recommendations but fails to point the aforementioned fact out to you, you should be sceptical.

There is no doubt that CBD is very well tolerated. It neither affects you ability to drive, nor is it intoxicating or addictive. Nevertheless, the advice is: start with a low dose, e.g. 3 mg. Then, slowly but surely, increase the dose until you achieve a noticeable effect. In any case, it makes sense to always wait a few days or weeks before increasing the dose. Sometimes your body just needs some time to respond to the active substance. Increasing the dose too quickly can mean that you end up taking more CBD than you need to.

What can go wrong when it comes to dosage?

Of course, mistakes can be made during dosing, for example if you press too hard on the pipette and end up taking many more drops of CBD than you meant to. In contrast to many synthetic drugs, however, this is usually harmless:

  • According to the WHO, even a serious overdose will not lead to any significant damage, but nor will it lead to a stronger effect. Possible side effects are severe fatigue, drowsiness and low blood pressure.
  • CBD does not affect one’s ability to drive and is permitted for drivers.
  • Too low a dose can lead to a lack of effect.

Buying CBD oil: At a pharmacy or online?

Are you wondering where you should buy your CBD oil? Would you be better off at a pharmacy which you know and trust? Or should you get hold of it by mail order online? There is no overall answer to this question, as it is the quality of the product that counts, not the place where you buy it. However, you should definitely avoid using products,

  • whose origin you are unable to ascertain
  • whose labelling is unclear or incomprehensible in some other way
  • whose price is oddly low (compared to other products).

To an extent, it is possible to buy CBD in pharmacies. Not all brick-and-mortar pharmacies offer these products yet, but with growing popularity this is increasingly the case. Nevertheless, the retail trade in this country is still experiencing difficulties. A few chains of chemists offered CBD oil for a short time, but then removed it from their range again. At present, it appears that online mail order and online pharmacies currently offer the most CBD products.

When ordering CBD on the internet, take care to pay attention to the following points:

  • certified online CBD shop
  • well-established, well-known online pharmacy
  • lab analysis of the product where appropriate
  • no promises of efficacy
  • the organic certification of the producer, if “organic” is stated on the product

How do I find the right CBD oil for me?

  • Buying CBD without having a clue – What to do?

    Cannabis has been a natural remedy for centuries but still most people do not know much about CBD products. For many, the lack of information makes it even harder to find the right product. It seems hard to determine which products are the best and which producers are the most professional. Our CannaTrust team put together some information that may help you finding the right product without having to try too many different products and potentially losing a lot of money.

  • 1) Put the CBD content in perspective and compare

    The kind of information about CBD contents can vary from brand to brand. Some us percentages, other us milligrams. Especially with the percentages some brands try to cheat. Therefore, you should always try to find out how many milligrams of CBD the products contains. The price should be according to the amount of CBD in the product. With some quick calculations you will be able to compare products more effectively and possibly safe some money.

  • 2) CoAs provide information about the contained cannabinoids

    In a professional industry CoA (Certificates of Analysis) should not be necessary for each and every product. The CBD industry though is rapidly growing and many people try to make 'fast money'. As a result, there are numerous products of poor quality on the market. Therefore, you should always make sure the product you buy has a CoA with it. By that, you will know which cannabinoids in which cocentrations are contained in this product. You should also loom for where the CoA comes from. Best case is a CoA of a real third party laboratory.

  • 3) Do not fall for health claims

    The pharmaceutical-advertising law prohibits to sell dietary supplements in combination with health claims. CBD 'can' help, but that is not always to be taken for granted. Strictly speaking, someone who sells CBD is not even allowed to talk about the 'possible' effects of CBD. That is why it is important to stay away from brands and resellers who ignore this law. In contrast to those businesses stands CannaTrust. Since we do not sell any products, our users can freely write about their real experiences and therefore about the potential health benefits of CBD products.

    do-not-fall-for-health-claims
  • 4) CBD is not always the same

    The cheaper the better? We don't think so. We know that especially in the CBD industry there are numerous black sheep. These so-called black sheep sell substandard CBD from China or even synthetic CBD. We fight for the naturalness of CBD and therefore ask you to always critically check particularly cheap products for their quality. Additionally, before buying CBD oil you should decide if you would like to buy a 'full-spectrum CBD oil' or 'pure CBD oil'. Pure CBD oil contains CBD crystals solved in oil. Full-spectrum oil is made of a natural extract which contains numerous other cannabinoids besides CBD. Both versions have their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Read CBD ratings on CannaTrust.uk

    We as the CannaTrust team see it as our task to create transparency for the consumers. Therefore, before deciding on the right product you are invited to read real maniually verified experience reports of the products of our participating brands. The best: Everything is entirely transparent and without interest to sell! We will not manipulate you.

  • 5) Does the price decide?

    You cannot answer this question with "yes" or "no". The price should always be fair but you should not forget: At first, CBD products appear to be rather expensive. If you economize the investment over the time of usage and taking the possible benefits into account it is not. Of course you should not spend more money on CBD than you have to. High quality, organic products and professional distribution obviously create higher costs. You cannot say that expensive products are generally better though. You need to find the right product for you. After that, it makes sense to compare prices, use coupons etc.

  • 6) CBD tests and rankings

    Unexperienced users may want to be able to rely on rankings and tests of different products. In many cases though it is to be warned against the operators of such websites. Often enough those kinds of texts are created in order to draw users to the respective website and to make them buy certain products. Mostly, the operators receive a commission by providing so-called affiliate links. Such websites cannot help you with forming your own independent opinion.

    cbd-test (1)
  • Listening to your gut is ok!

    In the end we as the CannaTrust team can only provide you with advice, help and information. When it comes to buying a product you have to make your own choice and every one has different priorities. In the end it often comes down to the right gut feeling, trust in the product and recommendations by others. We hope that we can help you with finding the right product and that it eventually helps you.

First of all, you should know what it is you want to use the product for. Have you only just started taking it? Have you found the right dosage yet? These are what determine the dosage. As already mentioned, producers offer a wide range of concentrations. You also have the opportunity to search the internet for product reviews and award winners. But it is also the case that these products differ from each other in their composition. You should therefore find out for yourself which CBD oil suits you best. Do this by reading around and, of course by trying them out yourself.

Note

  • Pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding should refrain from taking CBD products. Among other things, the right dosage also depends on the medical indication. Read real product reviews at CannaTrust.eu

Taking products containing cannabinoids may result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.

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About the author

Gunnar R.

Gunnar R.

Gunnar has been with CannaTrust from the beginning. Within the team he is know for his enthusiasm for cannabis and CBD. As a business journalist Gunnar has been writing for renowned media such as Stern, Spiegel or 'Sueddeutsche Zeitung'. Additionally, he has been part of a large medical encyclopedia project and therefore has an extensive knowledge about medical devices.