How to Identify a High-Quality CBD Oil

How to Identify a High-Quality CBD Oil

by Erica Garza

how to identify a high-quality cbd oil
Papa and Barkley Product Photo Shoot in Beverly Hills. Brunch and cocktails. Photo Credit: Timothy Kuratek

The cannabidiol (CBD) industry is expected to hit $2 billion by 2022 as the cannabis compound makes its way into everything from bath bombs and makeup to dog treats and pharmaceuticals. Choosing a CBD product from the vast array of available products may seem daunting, especially when it comes to its most popular form: oil.

But it’s critical that consumers choose high-quality CBD oil, as low quality CBD may not offer the same health benefits, and can even contain toxins. To ensure you’re getting high-quality CBD oil, here are some things to look for across labeling, production standards and product descriptions.

CBD Labels: Words Matter

Words matter when it comes to CBD product labels. Luckily, a few descriptions are common among top-quality products. Products deemed “whole plant” or “full spectrum” are different from CBD isolate, or what is often referred to as “pure CBD.” Percentages for CBD isolate are typically 99 percent or higher, but have been refined to exclude other molecules from the cannabis plant. These include terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabinoids, which are believed to work synergistically with CBD, making the benefits exceptionally higher than CBD alone.

Another important factor to consider is whether the label reads “hemp oil” or “hemp seed oil,” which indicates a separate product from CBD oil. Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds, meaning there is little to no CBD content, whereas CBD oil is made from the leaves, flowers and stalks of the hemp plant—the only parts of the plant where cannabidiol is found.

Production: How Was the CBD Extracted?

While it may take some digging to uncover, finding out how your CBD oil was manufactured can tell you a lot about its quality. Some companies, especially those who sell their products for a significantly low price, may employ questionable methods when extracting CBD oil, such as using toxic solvents like propane, hexane, pentane or butane. Safer methods of extracting CBD include using organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol or supercritical CO2 extraction, which involves using carbon dioxide under high pressure in an extremely cold environment.

Something else to consider is where the product originated. If the plant from which the CBD was extracted grew in rich soil, the resulting product will have absorbed nutrients from that soil. But if the plant grew in soil containing heavy metals, like mercury and lead, the CBD may be high in toxins. If possible, try to locate CBD extracted from U.S.-grown plants, since U.S. farmers must be certified by state departments of agriculture.

What to Ask the CBD Seller

To find out how your CBD was produced, simply browse a company’s website or consider calling a customer representative if you can’t find the information you’re looking for. You may also want to inquire about lab results of product testing and whether or not the company adds extra ingredients to its oil (and why). A company that lacks transparency is a good indicator that you should look for your CBD elsewhere.

Erica Garza is an author and essayist. Her work has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, The Telegraph and VICE. She lives in Los Angeles.

References:

  1. https://www.thestreet.com/markets/cbd-industry-expected-to-hit-2-billion-by-2022-14683940
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/27/style/cbd-benefits.html
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits
  4. https://ministryofhemp.com/blog/identify-high-quality-cbd
How to Use CBD Oil for Pain from a Sports Injury

How to Use CBD Oil for Pain from a Sports Injury

by Erica Garza

how to use cbd oil for pain after a sports injury

From martial arts fighter Nate Diaz to professional cyclist Andrew Talansky, many athletes are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) to relieve the pain and inflammation of sports injuries as well as to enhance performance. Not only can CBD relieve discomfort post-injury; it can also serve as a protectant. Whether you’re a professional athlete or you just shoot hoops with your friends now and then, here are some ways you can use CBD oil for pain, specifically in relation to a sports injury.

How CBD Works

The cannabis plant contains over 400 chemicals, of which 70 to 120 are unique to the plant and known as cannabinoids. The two major cannabinoids in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which makes a person feel “high,” and cannabidiol (CBD), which has no psychoactive effects.       

Along with having antioxidant qualities that reduce inflammation, CBD interacts with the serotonin and vanilloid receptors in the brain, affecting one’s perception of pain. Some athletes report that CBD is so effective in relieving the discomfort of sports-related injuries that it has replaced opioid-based painkillers, which can have highly addictive properties.

Along with relieving pain and inflammation, some research shows that CBD can also serve as a neuroprotectant, which is ideal for football players who are at high risk for concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

In addition to general pain and inflammation, CBD has been shown to relieve muscle spasms, muscle soreness and even help a person sleep better.

Topical Versus Internal CBD

CBD can be used both topically and internally, from balms you apply to the skin to tinctures you hold under your tongue. The most common method of using CBD is oral, ideal for whole-body relief. CBD can be taken as an oil or tincture held under the tongue or vaped, or the remedy is also available in capsule form, which often makes it easier to dose. Taking CBD orally means that it will be metabolized faster, so you can feel its effects right away. This method may also potentially alleviate other symptoms like anxiety or sleeplessness.

When experiencing sore muscles or spasms, CBD applied topically can target the pain directly. Methods available include patches, balms, body oils and even bath soaks. The onset of relief may be more gradual, because it has to pass the transdermal layer, but its effects will also be long lasting, making it a suitable option for chronic pain relief.

CBD Dosage

CBD dosage depends on the user’s specific needs as well as the method used. Though there have been no serious potential side effects, keeping the dosage low (such as 5mg daily) is preferred to avoid intolerance, especially when using capsules, oils or tinctures. This dose can then be gradually increased over time.

When applied topically, CBD can be used more liberally, but keep in mind that its effects may take longer to set in, so patience is key.

It’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor about any pain you’re experiencing to make sure your sports injury doesn’t keep you benched for good.

Erica Garza is an author and essayist. Her work has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, The Telegraph and VICE. She lives in Los Angeles.

References:

  1. https://www.npr.org/2016/09/03/488150508/titans-linebacker-derrick-morgan-to-nfl-consider-the-benefits-of-marijuana
  2. https://www.si.com/nfl/2016/07/12/cannabis-cte-treatment-kannalife
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21238581
  4. https://www.outsideonline.com/2296261/athletes-ditching-ibuprofen-cbd-marijuana
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/
  6. https://www.muscleandfitness.com/features/edge/cbd-no-longer-banned-athletic-competition-heres-what-means-you
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27031992
Why Topical CBD Oil Is Just as Effective as Consumed CBD

Why Topical CBD Oil Is Just as Effective as Consumed CBD

by Natasha Burton

topical cbd oil

There are several methods for using CBD oil and reaping its benefits. As you’re likely aware, it can be ingested through vaping, pill form or used topically as a cream, among other means. But, depending on what you’re using CBD for, the method can really matter.

For instance, when using CBD for pain management, topical oils could be an easy, effective option for physical relief. Here’s what you should know about using topical CBD oil for pain.

Topical CBD Oil: Ideal for Fighting Pain

Various research shows that topical CBD oil can be an effective method to combat chronic pain. From arthritis to general inflammation, studies have found that topical CBD oil can be very efficient for pain management. Another study shows that THC and CBD can relieve pain associated with multiple sclerosis. There’s also research finding that CBD can help with more minor forms of discomfort like cramps and headaches. However, since some of these studies have been performed on animals, further research is needed to confirm CBD oil’s pain-fighting effects on humans.

Topical CBD Oil: How It Works

There are two key ways that topical CBD oil works to fight pain. First, the oil contains what are called endocannabinoids, or body signals that help you notice and manage various functions, including pain. CBD naturally raises the endocannabinoids in your body, helping to relieve discomfort.

Second, CBD helps limit your body’s inflammatory response when you have muscle soreness due to exercising or lifting weights. By working with the natural functions in your body, CBD eases a variety of pain types and helps make you more comfortable, whether you’re dealing with a chronic condition or just have temporary aches and soreness.

Topical CBD Oil: How to Use It

Topical CBD can come in a number of forms, like an oil, salve, lotion or even a patch. There are even CBD-infused bath salts and soaks to give you full-body relief. When you have an area of the body that’s in pain, you can use topical CBD the way you would a lotion to help combat the discomfort. The great thing about topical CBD oil is that it doesn’t enter the bloodstream when you apply it—meaning that it really targets just the area where you slather it on.

And, just to give you a heads up: You need to apply it liberally. Skin is designed to keep anything put on it from entering the body. Choosing a product with a high concentration of CBD and making sure that you apply enough to get into your skin’s pores will give you the best results. If you’re using it in the bath, follow the product instructions for how long you should soak, to really reap the benefits.

Using CBD Inside and Out

Depending on the ailment you’re hoping to ease with CBD, you should use the most efficient method for relief. For instance, if you’re using CBD oil for anxiety, vaping is considered the fastest, most effective means since ingesting in this way can send the CBD and its healing properties straight to your brain. Topicals, by contrast, can take a bit longer to be effective. (And, as mentioned, concentration matters!)

Trying a sample on a sore muscle before you make a purchase can be helpful—you may feel the effects right away, depending on the formulation.

Natasha Burton has written for Women’s Health, Livestrong, MSN.com, Cosmopolitan.com and WomansDay.com, among other print and online publications. She’s also the author of five books, including “101 Quizzes for Couples” and “The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags.”

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371734/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048583/
  4. https://www.chiroeco.com/science-behind-cbd-topicals/
  5. https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/should-you-try-cannabis-creams-pain-relief
  6. https://www.cannahealth.org/cbd-bioavailability-whats-the-best-way-to-absorb-cbd/
  7. https://www.consumerreports.org/marijuana/how-to-use-cbd-inhale-spray-apply-eat/
How Is CBD Oil Made?

How Is CBD Oil Made?

by Natasha Burton

how is cbd oil made

You may know about CBD oil’s various health and wellness benefits, but most of us are a little less informed about the substance’s production and what we should know before choosing a product to use. Whether ingested or used topically, CBD oil is made using a few different processes. To boot, it can even be different colors and contain contaminants, depending on how the cannabis plants used to make it are grown.

As you can imagine, these are all important considerations before making a purchase. Here’s what to know about how CBD oil is made and what to consider when assessing CBD products.

CBD Whole-Plant Extract Method

When looking at how is CBD oil made, one method is known as “whole plant extract” (and it’s also known as “full spectrum”). This means that, when the oil is made, it contains not only CBD but also some levels of THC, as well as other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, and terpenes, which are the anti-inflammatory agents within the plant. Typically, whole-plant is the more popular option. Research shows that full spectrum CBD oil can be more effective than isolate CBD oil—more on this in a moment—for treating inflammatory conditions.

Isolate Method

Comparatively, the isolate method means that the CBD oil extracted contains only CBD (that means no terpenes, fatty acids or other cannabinoids). Some people may prefer this method for one simple reason: Because it doesn’t have any level of THC, isolate method-produced CBD oil can be considered a less risky option for anyone who doesn’t want THC in their system. (The chances of this are low, but for those very cautious people, isolate can be a good option.)

CO2 Extraction

To make the oil itself, supercritical carbon dioxide process is the most expensive and purest way to go. This newish process uses fluid CO2—instead of chemicals—as a solvent, and it’s often used in the food industry for other commercial extraction processes, particularly to make coffee and omega-3 oil.

Ethanol Extraction

This extraction method is the most common. Basically, ethanol is used as a solvent to remove CBD from the cannabis plant. The upside to this is that it’s fast, it’s less power intensive than the CO2 method and it requires inexpensive equipment. The downside? Ethanol is super-flammable so the process requires certain precautions.

Color Choices

In addition to how CBD oil is made, there’s some variance in color, depending on the oil type. Filtered oil is yellow or gold and is considered the highest quality (meaning it may also be more expensive). Decarboxylated oil is heated to “activate” CBD’s healing properties and is known for being extremely potent. It’s typically more of an amber or brown color. Raw oil is usually dark or green-tinged, since it doesn’t get filtered and still contains plant fibers and chlorophyll.

What to Consider Before You Buy

The most important factor when choosing a CBD oil is not necessarily how it’s made and what process is used. What matters most is how the cannabis plants are grown and what contaminants, if any, they contain. While several states have legalized CBD, there is a still little regulation to protect consumers. Learning about whether topical or ingested is right for you, how much THC and CBD are in a product, and what testing was performed on the final product are some of the key things you should be sure to find out before choosing a CBD oil.

Natasha Burton has written for Women’s Health, Livestrong, MSN, Cosmopolitan and Woman’s Day, among other print and online publications. She’s also the author of five books, including “101 Quizzes for Couples” and “The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags.”

References:

  1. https://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=53912
  2. https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/full-spectrum-cannabis-extracts-vs-cbd-isolate
  3. https://echoconnection.org/cbd-oil-made/
  4. https://hempmedspx.com/make-cbd-oil/
  5. https://www.powerblanket.com/blog/cbd-extraction-methods/
  6. https://www.apekssupercritical.com/cbd-extraction-process/
  7. https://www.cannainsider.com/reviews/cbd-oil-color/
  8. https://www.consumerreports.org/marijuana/how-to-shop-for-cbd/

CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum Oil: What’s the Difference?

CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum Oil: What’s the Difference?

by Erica Garza

cbd isolate vs full spectrum differences

CBD is rapidly rising in popularity for health benefits that include relief from anxiety, pain, inflammation and sleep issues. While you may be familiar with these uses, did you know there are two distinct types of CBD products on the market? Learn everything you need to know about CBD isolate vs. full spectrum CBD oil, including the potency of each, recommended uses and how to decide between the two.

What Is Full Spectrum CBD?

The cannabis plant is home to hundreds of phytochemicals, which include cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds. Full spectrum CBD refers to products that contain more than CBD, such as other plant molecules like THC and healthy fatty acids. This version of CBD oil is minimally refined, so that most of the cannabinoids and terpenes remain intact. Full spectrum CBD oil is often called “whole plant” oil because the full plant extract is included.

What Is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is often labeled as “pure CBD” or 99 to 100 percent CBD. As you may have guessed from the name, these products have been refined to isolate only the CBD compound with no extra cannabinoids or terpenes. Its CBD potency is usually higher than full spectrum, meaning a small dose is recommended.

How to Use CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD is often preferable to CBD isolate because research shows that cannabinoids and terpenes occur in nature together and interact in useful ways. This synergy is referred to as the entourage effect and is thought to give CBD a wider reach as far as health benefits.

One study by Ethan Russo, M.D., illustrated the benefits of terpenes in full spectrum CBD, showing promising results for a variety of conditions. For example, the combination of terpenes pinene, myrcene and caryophyllene help to unravel anxiety, while combining terpenes linalool and limonene with cannabigerol (a lesser-known cannabinoid) shows promise in treating MRSA. Even terpenes linalool and limonene synergized with CBD make for a potent anti-acne treatment. This shows that full spectrum CBD is more of a full-body experience.

Another Israeli study on the potency of CBD isolate versus full spectrum CBD showed that full spectrum CBD was more suitable in clinical settings for such conditions as inflammation and anxiety. Pure CBD resulted in a “bell-shaped dose response,” which means that, when the amount of CBD exceeded a certain point, its therapeutic impact declined dramatically.

However, this doesn’t indicate that CBD isolate is never useful. Some users who are particularly sensitive to THC turn to CBD isolate to benefit from the cannabis plant without any of the psychoactive side effects. CBD isolates also allow users to track how much CBD they’re getting from each dose.

How to Decide Between the Two

Whether you choose CBD isolate or full spectrum CBD, you will likely experience the health benefits of the cannabis plant. With emerging studies, researchers are learning more every day about the difference between the two types of products. Further, for those living in states where full spectrum CBD remains unavailable, pure CBD often delivers a positive and legal solution. After all, CBD alone is better than no CBD at all.

Erica Garza is an author and essayist. Her work has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, The Telegraph and VICE. She lives in Los Angeles.

References:

  1. https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cbd-for-treating-anxiety
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30157131
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
  4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11920-017-0775-9
  5. https://file.scirp.org/pdf/PP_2015021016351567.pdf
  6. https://www.businessinsider.com/health-benefits-of-medical-marijuana-2014-4
What’s a Safe CBD Oil Dosage?

What’s a Safe CBD Oil Dosage?

by Edie Horstman

what's a safe cbd oil dosage
Papa and Barkley Product Photo Shoot in Beverly Hills. Brunch and cocktails. Photo Credit: Timothy Kuratek

What Is CBD Oil?

As more states legalize marijuana, the use of cannabidiol oil is on the rise. This non-intoxicating extract is one of the many chemical compounds in a class called cannabinoids which naturally occur in cannabis plants. Once the cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants, the CBD is diluted with a carrier oil, i.e. coconut or hemp seed oil. Due to its benefits and versatility, CBD oil is gaining momentum in the health and wellness world.

However, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-intoxicating. In other words, CBD is known to deliver mental and physical benefits without THC’s typical side effects that can include paranoia, munchies and dry, red eyes. Plus, CBD comes in many forms: you can drop CBD tinctures under your tongue, whip CBD-infused butter into savory dishes or massage a CBD-enhanced salve into your skin. Currently, CBD oil is available in all states where medicinal and/or recreational marijuana is legal.

Benefits of Cannabinoids

With cannabis websites and dispensaries sweeping the nation, it’s no surprise that CBD-infused edibles, drinks, dog treats and beauty products are becoming mainstream. And, for good reason. By interacting with the brain’s signaling systems, CBD can provide relief from stress, pain, digestive upset, insomnia and even protect your body from neurodegenerative diseases. In every sense, it’s a non-toxic, medicinal powerhouse.

In addition to reducing pain associated with various chronic diseases and lowering anxiety, CBD is also known to have beneficial effects on acne and athletic performance due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. Furthermore, research has shown that CBD oil may benefit those with substance addiction as well as those suffering from seizures.

CBD MCT Oil

CBD needs to travel through the bloodstream to reach its target, whether that’s the brain, immune system or another location in the body. For those looking for immediate, short-term relief, using a vaporizer to inhale CBD products is ideal. On the other hand, to maintain steady levels of CBD throughout the day, an oral product like a CBD tincture or edible is the best option.

In terms of sublingual usage, MCT oil is the most efficient way to consume CBD oil. Medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs, are medium-length fatty acid chains. A common source of MCTs is coconut oil. Beyond the cannabis industry, MCT oil is also used for better brain function, weight management and hormone balance.

When cannabinoids break down, they are stored in fat, as opposed to water. In other words, cannabinoids are fat-soluble and are best consumed with fat to increase absorption. However, not all fats are created equal—especially when paired with CBD oil. That said, the liver recognizes MCT oils as carbohydrates and directly metabolizes the oil into energy. Interestingly, it does this without causing free radicals because the liver processes the oil as fat. This rapid metabolism puts the cannabinoids to use right away. To summarize, MCT oil can assist with energy, metabolism and brain function, making it a beneficial addition to CBD.

Optimal CBD Dosage

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become the hot new product in states that have legalized medical marijuana. However, depending on your needs, CBD oil dosage will vary. Read below for optimal dosages, whether you’re looking for daily wellness or suffer from chronic pain or anxiety.

Whether you’re interested in reducing anxiety, performing better at the gym or improving your insomnia, CBD has a staggering variety of therapeutic properties. And, although the use of cannabidiol as a therapeutic, restorative substance is in its infancy, medical professionals and scientists are beginning to develop dosing schedules for everything from medical marijuana to CBD.

Once you find your optimal CBD method and dosage (listed below), you’ll want to ensure you’re using a high-quality CBD oil, as some manufacturers are less trustworthy than others.

Recommended Daily MG Dose
WeightEveryday WellnessMediumChronic Conditions/Pharma*
1252563250
1503075300
1753588350
20040100400
*High is very chronic pain + severe epilepsy. Low is everyday wellness.

Depending on your weight and pain level, you can adjust the amount you take daily. Keep in mind that, if you’re concerned about taking too much, we recommend speaking with a trusted medical professional before embarking on your CBD journey.

Edie Horstman is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, wellness blogger, and freelance writer. She works with health-focused brands, co-creating content in the digital marketing space. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20180507/cbd-oil-all-the-rage-but-is-it-safe-effective#1
  2. https://www.leafly.com/news/lifestyle/8-must-have-cbd-products-for-athletes-and-exercise-junkies
  3. http://www.governing.com/gov-data/safety-justice/state-marijuana-laws-map-medical-recreational.html
  4. https://papaandbarkley.com/cbd-pain-management
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579248/
  6. https://papaandbarkley.com/is-cannabis-medicine
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits#section1
  8. https://trainright.com/cbd-for-athletes-cannabidiol/
  9. https://www.verywellhealth.com/cbd-oil-benefits-uses-side-effects-4174562
  10. https://www.cbdinfusionz.com/blogs/news/what-is-cbd-mct-oil
  11. https://www.cbd.org/
  12. https://papaandbarkley.com/our-products