CBD oil is a natural essential oil which is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant.
It is used by people all over the world as a dietary supplement and for a variety of therapeutic purposes.
CBD oil contains a variety of active compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes, which we will discuss in greater detail in Chapter 2. It has been shown in research studies to be well-tolerated and non-toxic to humans.
Depending on the formulation of a product, it may contain other active and beneficial ingredients as well such as hemp seed oil which contains omega fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds.
About the Cannabis Plant
Cannabis is one of a genus of plants known as Cannabaceae. There are two main species of cannabis that are cultivated for human consumption, namely Cannabis indica, and Cannabis sativa.
Sativa plants are taller and produce more fiber and are therefore the species from which hemp cultivation arose. Indica plants are shorter and bushier and less suitable for farming for either industrial purposes or for production of food, but well-suited for producing medical marijuana.
The Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana
Marijuana is high in the psychoactive compound THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in marijuana that causes a high.
Marijuana is rightly considered to be a “drug.” It is cultivated mainly for medicinal and “recreational” purposes. Both indica and sativa strains, as well as hybrids of the two, are used to produce marijuana.
The United States federal government considers marijuana to be a Class I controlled substance. However, many U.S. states have instituted legislation to regulate its cultivation and allow its use as medicine. Some states have also legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Hemp is not marijuana. Although hemp does contain some cannabinoids, it has negligible amounts of THC. In fact, in order to be legally cultivated, industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. Industrial hemp is grown for food and fibers. It contains relatively small concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes and is not the most desirable source of CBD oil.
While many of the CBD products on the market are produced from industrial hemp, the CBD oil in Joy Organics products is made from a CBD-rich cannabis sativa strain known as PCR hemp. PCR is short for phytocannabinoid rich — it contains as much as ten times the concentration of CBD as generic industrial hemp and negligible amounts of THC. It does not cause a high, and is therefore not considered a drug.
Types of CBD Oil
Let’s now take a look at some of the variety of types of CBD oil products and compare their qualities.
CBD From PCR Hemp vs. CBD From Marijuana
Essential oils can also be extracted from marijuana the same way they can be extracted from hemp. The essential oils made from marijuana are correctly referred to as cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is only legal in states which allow the cultivation of marijuana. Extracts made from marijuana may contain some CBD, but will also contain enough THC to cause a high. Therefore, cannabis oil is considered to be a controlled substance.
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.
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.
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 it can refer to a product which has been infused with a CBD-rich, full spectrum concentrate. A properly labeled product will specify which ingredients were used. If the ingredients include “CBD” or “CBD isolate,” then the product is not full spectrum. If the ingredients include “CBD-rich hemp oil (or extract)” or “full spectrum CBD oil,” then obviously you’re getting a full spectrum product. It’s important to know which is in a product because they produce different effects.
Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Another product which needs to be discussed is what is known as broad spectrum CBD 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, on the other hand, is made by combining CBD isolate and individual terpenes with an oil base. It is not made with natural CBD-rich extracts. The CBD and terpenes in so-called broad spectrum oils have been stripped of their natural essence. Oftentimes, the terpenes used in these products are not even sourced from cannabis, but rather come from other, less-costly plant sources. Some even use dangerous synthetic cannabinoids and terpenes. Although broad spectrum oils are less expensive to produce, they are generally not sold at a lower price. These products are produced by companies that are far less concerned with the quality and effectiveness of their products than they are with simply maximizing their profits. If you’re going to spend money on CBD oil, get the real thing.