CBD: Understanding the Basics of Hemp Oil
Hemp has been cultivated for industrial use throughout the ages, used in the production of canvas, cloth, rope, and paper for centuries. These industrial products are typically created from the hemp plants strong, durable fibers.
The fact that hemp is a cannabis plant has fueled the controversy and confusion surrounding hemp-derived products for many years. For a while, it wasn’t even legal to grow hemp in the US. Fortunately, those times have changed.
Today, there is a significant amount of interest in the oil extracted from this multi-purpose plant. Hemp oil, CBD, is shown to offer a multitude of potential health benefits. We can help you understand the basics of this fascinating, natural product.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 potentially beneficial cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Some people are initially uncomfortable learning that CBD comes from cannabis, but we can assure you that there is no cause for alarm. There are two potential CBD sources, hemp, and marijuana. You may be reassured by the following:
The CBD extracted from marijuana contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as much as 30 percent. THC is the cannabinoid that causes marijuana’s psychoactive effects. It’s because of the THC that marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug. While the laws regulating marijuana use vary by state, typically marijuana is only available when prescribed by a health care provider.
While hemp is cannabis, the CBD extracted from hemp does not contain high levels of THC. The government is very clear on acceptable THC levels. To qualify as hemp, the plant needs to contain .3 percent THC or less. Even if you consume a large quantity of hemp oil, the likelihood of feeling “high” is very unlikely. Because there are no risks of THC interfering with your cognitive abilities or motor skills, hemp oil is available without a prescription.
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the more prominent cannabinoids found in cannabis extract. When you are searching for hemp-sourced CBD products, you will likely find CBD also referred to as hemp oil.
Hemp oil contains CBD. Consumers are looking for hemp-sourced CBD products. You may need to know that “CBD oil” and “hemp oil” are terms used interchangeably within the industry. Since CBD manufacturers are not able to include the term “CBD oil” on their product labels, products are often labeled as “hemp oil” or “hemp supplements”, and specify the amount of cannabidiol (CBD) they contain.
While reputable manufacturers will identify their products as CBD or hemp oil, you need to be aware of one more significant point. CBD is a cannabinoid found in the whole plant milled biomass of hemp plants. Hemp seed oil is the oil pressed from the seeds of the plant. There is no cannabidiol (CBD) in hemp seed oil.
When you are considering purchasing a hemp oil product, it’s essential to note the product ingredients. A quality CBD product will specify how many milligrams of cannabidiol it contains. For example, when you are searching for a CBD tincture, you will likely have a choice of several levels of potency, 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg or more of CBD in a 15-30 ml bottle. Capsules will be labeled according to the mg per tablet. If the amount of cannabidiol in a product is not specified, consider purchasing a different product.
The methods used to extract CBD are the same as the processes used to extract many other essential oils. While there are several extraction methods that would work, it’s important to use an extraction method that results in a product suitable for consumption. The methods most commonly used to extract CBD from hemp plant matter include:
Under heavy compression, carbon dioxide converts to a liquid form using a series of pressure and temperature-controlled chambers. During CO2 extraction, CO2 dissolves the plant molecules, separating the plant matter from the oil. The liquid CO2 then converts back to its gaseous state and disburses.
Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, is a common food additive and preservative. The use of ethyl alcohol is a form of chemical extraction. At low temperatures, ethanol extraction also removes unwanted chlorophyll.
It’s important to understand that hemp oil is not a medication or cure for any health problems, but it is a potentially beneficial dietary supplement. While results are preliminary, laboratory tests and animal studies seem to confirm the benefits of CBD for endocannabinoid support.
Your endocannabinoids system is what researchers call the network of messengers and receptors that regulate nearly every vital function in your body. Cannabinoids are the messengers of this system. The cannabinoids that your body produces on its own are called endocannabinoids. These naturally occurring cannabinoids bind with your endocannabinoid receptors to trigger the appropriate responses. Just a few of the processes regulated by your endocannabinoid system include:
Ideally, your body would make all the endocannabinoids it needs to keep your communication system functioning smoothly. Unfortunately, the endocannabinoids produced in your body (anandamide and 2-AG) are broken down quickly. There are times when your body may need more endocannabinoids than it has available. Without enough messengers, the receptors do not receive vital information. This can result in a system imbalance. Some researchers now believe that disease is the result of endocannabinoid system deficiencies, the failure of the body to maintain homeostasis.
Cannabinoids influence the receptors of your endocannabinoid system. The cannabinoids in CBD mimic the effects of your body’s endocannabinoids, essentially alleviating the effects of any endocannabinoid deficiencies, potentially restoring balance to your endocannabinoid system.
Understanding the basics of hemp oil and the potential benefits of supplementing your endocannabinoid system can help you make informed purchasing decisions. To learn more about the many potential benefits of hemp oil, visit CBDistillery. Download The Ultimate CBD User Guide to learn more about CBD extraction and the importance of selecting organic, non-GMO CBD products. We offer a quality selection of CBD tinctures, topical ointments, capsules, and CBD pet products; batch tested to verify product potency and purity.
What is CBD Wax Exactly?
While CBD is most commonly thought of in its oil form, there are various extract forms of CBD hemp products. Like all things CBD-related, for reasons not pertinent to this discussion, the education and information regarding CBD products have been muted or muffled. One of those products is CBD wax.
CBD wax, despite its lack of acclaim, is nearly as available and common as CBD oil. Is wax better, better for certain applications and uses, are they interchangeable? These and many questions will probably arise once you begin investigating CBD waxes. Let’s start with the basics…
We know that candles are made of wax. There are also other common uses for wax like crayons, beeswax, and even everyday lip balm uses wax. With CBD the extracts will form as an opaque oil. These oils are more solidified (resulting from a crystallization of the oils) than most typical oils. With regards to CBD wax, however, like most waxes, it can take on a varying number of forms.
The “purging” process is what defines the variations in the texture, moisture and various aspects of the resulting wax. Purging hemp-based CBD is essentially a crystallization process of nucleated fat lipids.
If you aren’t well versed in the CBD industry, you will probably be surprised to find very few products actually labeled just, CBD “wax.” What you will find, are labels such as “Wax,” “CBD budder,” or “CBD Crumble.” Don’t worry, this isn’t as confusing or as complex as it sounds.
These are all forms of CBD wax, each label is simply indicative of a particular type of wax form. Going slightly deeper, the advantage of our CBD wax and our process is that unlike isolate products, the terpenes come through naturally rather than being added.
All of our waxes are made through chromatography, meaning there is 0% THC in our wax. Hemp-based CBD products are great options for those looking for a 0% THC product but with terpenes and other natural, minor cannabinoids that offer so many benefits…
The Entourage Effect
One of those benefits is known as the “entourage effect,” and it is availed through CBD products that contain those aforementioned cannabinoids. The principle is that these cannabinoids work with and promote each other, in effect creating an interactive synergy between them.
Here is a quick look at the methods and the various labels you will find when searching for CBD wax…
Waxes like our newest 80% Broad Spectrum for our cannabis connoisseurs is a delightful mix of CBD and CBG. CBD Budder and Crumble have their perks as we will see but traditional wax has always been convenient and versatile. Like the best CBD products, it is pure and natural for all your CBD needs in a convenient wax form.
More like the consistency you would find in your everyday cooking butter found in the kitchen, this form was aptly dubbed “Budder.” CBD Budder is produced by using greater temperatures and increased air pressure during the purging process. CBD Budder, as you might expect, is fluffier and waxier but no less potent.
Apologies for those of you who aren’t fans but try to picture feta cheese. In many ways similar to that texture and how it crumbles, this was adorned the label CBD “Crumble.” While this wax is derived from a more typical extraction process, the difference is that this wax uses a pre-purged oil. That pre-purged CBD oil contains more moisture is a heavier, thicker oil. This produces the unique wax texture of Crumble, which is also known for having a distinct flavor.
Is it edible? Is it effective topically, will my skin absorb it? How do us use CBD wax exactly?
While wax is edible, oil is likely a better and healthier option. Provided the wax form contains some acting solvent, yes your skin can absorb it. There are specific products on the market for just that purpose. Typically speaking, if the wax isn’t specified for or designed to be a type of rub or ointment, it is likely intended for vaping.
If you vape or if you are familiar with the CBD or hemp world, the term “dabbing” is something you are probably familiar with or know about. It is simply the process of heating the wax and placing a small pellet-sized amount on your pen coil. The wax then vaporizes upon heating and hence, users are now vaping as the inhale.
Despite any claims promoting CBD use from the medical community, users have reported experiencing many positive benefits. These have been reported by users to range from reducing symptoms of specific ailments to overall benefits from daily use.
Everyone is different, from our chemistry to our DNA to how our body processes and digests, which means the best wax form for you will most likely depend on you. Experiment with what best works for you and what techniques have the most desired impact. Vape, roll, oils or ointments – your body and how you respond will tell you what works – and what works best.
CBD oils and isolates are the initial result of extracting CBD from the plant. While these oils are then purged to produce wax, the potency remains intact and the effectiveness of oil versus wax is dependent on the user.
CBD wax is just another way to experience the benefits of this amazing new industry and it could be the best way for you to experience CBD – but that’s for you to decide. Wax, Budder or Crumble – there is likely a CBD product perfect for you!
Choosing organic products, and products grown using organic practices reduces your exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals. Many people looking to limit their exposure to chemicals and pesticides are also interested in natural health and wellness products, leading them on a path to discovering the many potential benefits of CBD.
CBD is a natural supplement. Its extensive list of potential health benefits is due to its ability to mimic the functions of the neurotransmitters produced by your body. Since CBD is a plant extract, it’s important to be sure the products you select are of the highest quality, and while it is important to select products derived from plants grown with organic methods, there are other important considerations when choosing a CBD product.
CBD is extracted from cannabis plants. There are two potential sources, hemp, and marijuana. Since CBD sourced from hemp contains only trace amounts (less than .3 percent) of THC, you get all the potential health benefits of cannabis without the risk of intoxication.
Supplementing with natural cannabis products can support your endocannabinoid system. This is the system of neurotransmitters and receptors that facilitate the communication between your body and your brain.
While the function of this system is not entirely understood, researchers now believe that this vital system potentially regulates and stabilizes the processes in your body known as homeostasis.
Ideally, your body would produce all the neurotransmitters necessary to keep this system functioning efficiently. But the neurotransmitters made by your body break down quickly. When these messengers are depleted, the communication system can fail. CBD supplements your endocannabinoid system by mimicking the functions of the messengers (endocannabinoids) produced by your body.
You may have noticed during your investigation on the potential benefits of CBD, that you often see manufacturers highlighting the fact that their product is sourced from organic hemp, or hemp grown using organic practices. These are significant statements, for good reason.
The soil which hemp grows in needs to be free of harmful chemicals and pesticides. Hemp plants have the ability to draw contaminants from the soil it grows in. Hemp growers are well aware of this. Unless hemp is grown in soil that is free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, those compounds will make their way into the finished product. Reputable CBD manufacturers insist upon using hemp plants grown with organic farming methods. 1 Typically, organic practices involve:
After decades of banning the cultivation of hemp, the US Farm Bill of 2014 once again allowed for hemp cultivation in the US. Even though hemp can be grown legally in many states, the organic certification process for hemp and hemp products is still a source of controversy and confusion.
Typically, hemp crops are not certified. Although many cannabis growers have taken a particular interest in having their crops certified as organic, many accredited agents are hesitant to certify hemp crops.2 Their hesitancy may be because of the lack of clarity in the approval processes regarding hemp. It could also be due to the confusion surrounding the federal jurisdiction of hemp and hemp products.
The term “organic” is owned by our government. Any product labeled as “USDA Certified organic” must undergo official certification by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). It can take many years and thousands of dollars to complete the certification process.
Even if organic hemp, domestic or imported, were to be used to extract CBD, and all of the carrier oils and flavors are derived from certified organic sources, CBD products cannot be certified as a USDA Certified Organic product. That’s because any certifiable products need to fall within the jurisdiction of the FDA. Since CBD products are not FDA regulated, the products cannot be labeled organic.
CBD is a natural product, so you’ll want to be sure that your product manufacture adheres to the best possible practices. While CBD products cannot be certified as USDA organic due to FDA regulations, you will still want to be sure that your CBD is made from non-GMO, pesticide-free hemp.
To ensure the safety and potency of your CBD, rely on retailers who are willing to disclose their batch testing results and extraction methods. You should also look for CBD products that contain natural carrier oils.
Visit CBDistillery for a quality assortment of safe, pure, CBD products including tinctures, topicals, capsules, and CBD vape products. The purity and potency of our non-psychoactive hemp sourced products are available for viewing within the photograph section of every product.
You may be wondering how using CBD products effects drug screenings, if at all. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and have the information you need. Before we get into all the little details and science behind drug panels and how they react with CBD, let’s first discuss the different classifications of CBD.
When it comes to CBD products, the most commonly sold are full spectrum and isolate based. These can also commonly be known as pure, but in this article, but, for simplicity purposes, we will stick to the term “full spectrum” and “isolate based”.
Full spectrum is a product derived from the seeds and stems of hemp plants, which contains a combination of CBD, natural plant terpenes and cannabinoids such as CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol) and less than 0.3% THC. Just like CBD, these other cannabinoids and terpenes are naturally occurring in hemp and marijuana plants. Full spectrum products include oils, topical, and softgels among other options.
So what could this mean for CBD users concerned with drug screenings? Here’s where it gets tricky. Hemp-derived CBD products contain less than 0.3% percent THC. While there is no risk of intoxication or feel “high” from CBD products with these trace amounts of THC, that does not mean you are completely “safe” if screened. Even small trace amounts of THC can be picked up.
CBD users faced with routine drug screenings often turn to isolate products. The term “isolate” comes from the extraction process by which CBD is actually isolated from other elements and what remains should be pure CBD and nothing else. Most products claim to be around 99% pure. Which means some trace amount of other cannabinoids, including THC, could remain. When looking into isolate CBD, numbers make the difference. Products containing 99.9% CBD are less likely to have identifiable amounts of THC. Anything with 99.5% or less will contain higher trace amounts. There’s no guarantee either way, but the purer the CBD the less likely a drug screen will pick up any amounts of THC.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll refer to the most commonly used test. The UDS, or urine drug screen, is used more often due to its convenience, cost and pain-free procedure. The UDS analyzes urine for illegal and certain prescription drug usage. The test usually screens for amphetamines, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, methadone, and opioids (narcotics). Though typically screened through a breathalyzer (breath test) a UDS can also detect alcohol usage.
There are two forms of tests used for urine screening. Immunoassay tests give rapid results and are more cost-effective, but have a higher likelihood of giving false positives. A false positive is when a UDS shows positive for drugs when none were in the patient’s system. This type of screening also doesn’t pick up on all forms of opioids.
The next, more expensive test, is the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test. It works very similarly to the immunoassay, but requires more time and rarely results in false positives. Either test can produce a false negative. This is where no drugs are detected by the UDS, even though the patient had drugs in their system.
The immunoassay UDS doesn’t actually measure drugs. This test detects how drugs react within the patient’s immune system to determine it’s ability to build antigen-antibody complexes. The test has a cutoff limit, expressed in nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). Any amount above the cutoff number results in a positive screening.
Here’s one issue with the immunoassay UDS. With instant results, the individual administering the test doesn’t usually add the numeric values of the ng/ml to their findings. Typically, a simple positive or negative result is sent back to the party requesting the test. This is because most immunoassay screens don’t include the ng/ml percentages. More often than not there’s a simple test strip that turns a different color to indicate the presence of specific drugs.
When asked to complete a UDS, it’s good to note the potential for false positives. If you’re certain there are no drugs in your system, and your screening produced a positive result, you should inquire as to which UDS was used. If results were instant, it was most likely an immunoassay test. If this was the case, be sure to request a second screening utilizing a GC/MS.
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) tests are used to detect and study trace amounts of chemicals, as low 0.000000000001 gram. Gas chromatography (GC) works to analyze and separate various components in a substance, such as urine, to then test the purity of that substance and/or identify a specific compound. Mass spectrometry (MS) categorizes ions based on their mass. An MS analysis can be used in complex as well as pure samples. Together, put in simpler terms, the GC/MS measures the amounts of chemicals in a given sample by comparing it to a pre-measured standard (or clean) sample.
Although pure isolate CBD should contain very little if any amounts of THC, there’s never a guarantee that any cannabinoid is “safe” when it comes to drug screening. Because any hemp plant may contain THC, the active compound drug screens are designed to detect when testing for marijuana, any CBD product can still have at least trace amounts of THC which can ultimately lead to a positive screening regardless of how small the chance of that happening is.
It is less likely that a UDS would show positive for THC with a patient taking pure isolate CBD, than perhaps full-spectrum products, but the only way to be completely safe would be to stop all usage of any substances prior to your scheduled screening. Still, this is not a promise that your screening will come back negative, but it is not a bad idea to stop usage at least ten days (if not longer) before a urine test if possible.
Now that you better understand some of the terms of our industry, visit CBDistillery to view our quality selection of CBD products. While you are there, feel free to download The Ultimate CBD User Guide to learn more about the potential benefits of CBD, and how CBD could benefit your health and well-being.
Facing Facts: CBD Oil Is Not a Certified Organic Product
As the interest in CBD increases, so does the number of people looking to profit from the increased popularity, intensifying the competition between CBD retailers. As a result of this competitive atmosphere, too many companies are misleading consumers by making false claims. When you decide to purchase a CBD product, it’s important to have the ability to distinguish between the facts and the fiction.
While hemp is a natural product and typically grown using organic methods, far too often, CBD vendors claim their CBD oil is organic. You may need to know right here and now that this claim is misleading. At this point, it’s safe to say that organically certified CBD oil simply does not exist.
To Qualify as Organic Requires USDA Approval
Before any crop or product can be labeled as organic, it needs to be given official certification.1 While the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets the standards for organicprocesses, the certification process itself is conducted by recognized third-party agents.
For any type of crop to achieve organic certification, there must be strict adherence to every step of the process, from soil management to plant processing. The grower must adhere to stringent requirements, including the types of substances that are allowed to be used while growing and cultivating organic crops. The specific substances allowed or banned for use in organic farming are determined by the USDA. In general, decisions are based on:
- General toxicity
- The effects on human health
- Potential impact on the ecosystem
- Compatibility with sustainable agriculture
- Availability of alternatives
- The probability of causing contamination during use, disposal or manufacturing
- The potential for interaction with other materials
Many people do not realize that there are different levels of organic certification that can be granted. The three levels of organic certification:
- 100 Percent Organic – all ingredients and processes are certified organic
- Organic – contains some approved chemical additives with 95 percent organic ingredients
- Made with Organic Ingredients –a USDA approved certifying agent has verified that some of the ingredients are organic
The Importance of Growing Hemp by Organic Methods
While the 2014 US farm bill includes provisions for certifying certain hemp crops as organic, there are alternative certification methods for commercial cannabis. Typically, hemp is not certified organic.2 It’s important to realize that hemp can be grown by organic methods without receiving organic status. The most reputable CBD manufactures insist upon using the highest quality hemp sourced from plants grown using organic methods.
Compliance with organic methods is essential. Hemp has an amazing ability to draw toxins and metals from the soil. While this is beneficial when hemp is grown to absorb toxic waste, unless your CBD is extracted from organically grown hemp, your product could contain contaminants leached from the soil. Typically, the methods of growing hemp organically mean that:
- Planting organic seeds that have not been treated, exposed to, or modified by chemicals
- The soil is known to be free of toxins
- Hemp is grown without harmful growth hormones, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides
- Crops are grown without the antibiotics
- Hemp is grown and processed without the use of radiation
CBD Oil Does Not Qualify as a USDA Certified Organic Product
While the source of your CBD, hemp, can be grown with organic practices or certified as organic, and CBD is a natural product, CBD oil is not USDA certified organic. In order to be considered an organic product, CBD would need to fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA. Since CBD products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, CBD products cannot be certified as organic. Any company that claims their CBD oil is a certified organic product is misrepresenting the facts.
Verifying the Purity and Potency of Your CBD
To verify the purity and potency of your CBD, insist on investing in products from retailers who rely on Non-GMO, 100 percent natural, pesticide-free hemp. To verify the safety of your CBD, you will want products from retailers who rely on the safest CBD extraction methods and are willing to disclose the results of third-party product testing. Batch testing by a third party ensures the purity and potency of your CBD product, the product you rely on to support the function of your endocannabinoid system.
The Many Potential Benefits of CBD from Natural Hemp
Your endocannabinoid system is the network of messengers and receptors that regulate nearly every vital function in your body. CBD supplements mimic the effects of your naturally occurring neurotransmitters, potentially supplementing any endocannabinoid deficiencies.
While CBD is not a medication or medical treatment, this dietary supplement has the potential to provide relief for a multitude of symptoms.
The reported benefits of CBD are based on animal studies, laboratory tests, and the testimony of people who use CBD products. It can take several weeks of endocannabinoid supplementation before you notice the benefits you are looking for.
Don’t fall victim to fraudulent claims, misleading information, or risk purchasing an unverified product. At CBDistillery, our non-psychoactive products are sourced from non-GMO, 100 percent natural, pesticide-free hemp. The purity and potency of our products are verified by third-party batch testing. Visit CBDistillery for a quality assortment of CBD products, including vape products, tinctures, capsules, ointments and pet products.
- USDA. (2012, March 22). Organic 101: What the USDA Organic Label Means.
- Vermont Organic Farmers. (2014). Hemp Certification Requirements.
FDA. (2017). Organic on Food Labels.
Pure Spectrum. (2018, February 8). Organically Grown Hemp: Why is it so Important?
Whole Story. (2014, September 14). Organic Foods and Pesticide Residues.
Whole Foods Market. Principles of Organic Farming.
CCOF. (2017, July 17). Organic Cannabis Certification?