There are many questions regarding CBD (cannabidiol) and its use. The popularity of CBD and CBD products has increased significantly throughout the past few years (although it has been around far longer than that). But what are the benefits? When can you expect them? Where can you expect them? Here at Panacea Life Sciences we are committed to giving you the highest quality products as well as the highest quality information. This article will attempt to answer these questions and hopefully give you the information that you need to start or continue your journey with CBD. But first, let us start with the bare minimum basics that you should know before beginning.
What? CBD? What is that?
We should start at the beginning. What is CBD? What is it not?
CBD is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. The Cannabis sativa plant (generally known as cannabis) is a naturally found plant that comes in a handful of variations. We will be talking about two of those today, the hemp plant and the marijuana plant. The marijuana plant is the one you have likely heard or read about more. This plant has a high percentage of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This is another cannabinoid found in all Cannabis sativa plants.
THC gives users a ‘high’ or euphoric feeling. This feeling causes an inebriation of sorts and because of this the marijuana plant and use of THC products is not legal in all fifty of the United States. Some states have legalized the use of marijuana plants for recreational and/or medical purposes, even though THC is federally illegal. It is important to understand the laws in your state before using these products.
The hemp plant, however, is federally legal! Some states have laws that limit the production and sale of CBD, so please check your local regulations.! This is because of the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill allows farmers across the U.S. to grow and sell hemp products. Why, you may ask, is this hemp plant not illegal? This is because the amount of THC in a hemp plant is .3% or less. This amount of THC cannot give users a ‘high’ effect and CBD does not have that effect at all. CBD, however, has started to gain more researchers’ attention as it may have some health effects that one may benefit from.
How do people benefit from CBD?
So, how are people benefiting from using CBD? To answer this question, we must know the different uses of CBD. Here is a list:
- Antibacterial properties: There has been information coming to the forefront of the potential antibacterial properties of CBD. And this information may be true. In this study they concluded that CBD had the capability to kill certain types of bacteria.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: CBD has been researched for the possibility of joint health benefits. Panacea Life Sciences has done our own research regarding this aspect. We looked at dogs who are older and have joint health issues. During this study, we asked pet owners to administer CBD to their dogs two times a day for four consecutive weeks. The owners were to take a weekly test to show if anything had improved. At the end of the four weeks pet owners described their dogs to be more mobile. Therefore, the CBD may have helped with their joint health!
- FDA approved medications: There are several FDA approved medications that contain CBD. Epidiolex is the most well-known. This medication helps those with two severe types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. There are also a handful of others containing both CBD and THC that assist those going through anti-cancer treatments and the nausea it may cause. These are called Marinol (dronabinol), Syndros (dronabinol), and Cesamet (nabilone). These medications can only be prescribed by a healthcare professional.
- Promote a sense of calm: Promoting a sense of calm in those who have feelings of anxiousness may be quite helpful to some. In this study, they used brain imaging to test subjects who have SAD (social anxiety disorder). Those who were given the CBD showed a decrease in their social anxiety disorder via brain scans. Those who did not receive the CBD did not have any decrease.
- Skin health: Although CBD topicals usually never reach the bloodstream this does not mean that they cannot assist in skin health. In this study they concluded that those with and without skin conditions had improved skin health after the use of CBD topicals. They used several tests to test before and after the use of a CBD topical. Their evidence was enhanced by photographic evidence.
These are just a few of the potential benefits that CBD has to offer us humans. There still needs to be plenty of research to further understand CBD and other offers it has for us.
CBD: The Products
Now that you can see the potential benefits that CBD may have to offer you. What type of products are out there? Here are a few that we are experts in:
- Soft gels: A soft gel is a capsule that is full of CBD. Once the capsule is swallowed it goes through the digestive tract and then lands in the stomach. Once there the CBD is absorbed as the capsule is broken down. The CBD is absorbed by the stomach and enters the bloodstream from there.
- Tablets: A tablet is placed in the mouth and dissolves there. It enters the bloodstream from the mouth as the tincture does. You can add amounts of CBD with a dropper, but tablets are made with the same CBD content every time making it easier to know how much you are getting.
- Tinctures: This type of CBD gets into the bloodstream quickly. When the dropper full of CBD is placed in the mouth it is absorbed into the bloodstream from there. A tincture is an oil like substance that is added to carrier oil. Some tinctures come flavored to mask the earthy hemp taste that some users do not enjoy. Although tinctures give the CBD effects quite quickly, they have been described to last not as long as other products. These are similar to tablets in their bioavailability.
- Topicals: CBD topicals are a bit different than the others as they never reach the bloodstream. They, however, can reap benefits from the pores on the surface of the skin. These are best used frequently and in the same area. They come in lotions, salves, creams, and even hand sanitizer.
- Vapes: Panacea Life Sciences does not advocate the use of vapes, it is an option for CBD use. This way of using CBD has a high rate of absorption as it directly enters the bloodstream via inhalation. That being said it is important to note that the effects may be shorter lived and inhaling CBD may have negative health associations.
How do companies get CBD into the product? What is extraction?
You may have asked this question while reading the section above, you may not have. But we believe that it is beneficial to understand where your CBD comes from and how it is put into your products. The process in which CBD is taken from the hemp plant is called extraction. There are several different extraction methods that are used. Here are the three most popular ones to be aware of.
- Carbon dioxide extraction: Carbon dioxide is used to extract the CBD from the plant by using “supercritical” which, in simple terms means, using both carbon dioxide liquid and gas properties to extract. This is why carbon dioxide extraction is often known as Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE). In the beginning of the extraction, two different pressurized chambers are used. One, with the carbon dioxide, while the other contains the hemp plant. Then the chamber filled with carbon dioxide is pressurized and cooled to create liquid CO2. This is then pumped into the second chamber containing the hemp, where it infuses the hemp plant to solubilize the hemp oil allowing separation of the oil from the plant matter. The CO2 hemp oil mixture is then pumped into a third chamber where the carbon dioxide is evaporated, leaving behind pure CBD oil.
- Solvent extraction (hydrocarbons and natural solvents): This process is similar to the Steam Distillation extraction method. But, in this process one would use a type of solvent rather than water. The solvent and CBD oil are combined and then the solvent is extracted leaving the CBD behind. There are two types of solvents used: hydrocarbons and natural solvents. Some solvents that can be used include naphtha, petroleum, butane, or propane for hydrocarbon extraction. Natural extraction will use food-grade ethanol to extract the hemp oil. Following extraction the ethanol is removed by heat leaving a rich solvent- free hemp oil.
- Steam distillation: In this process, the steam separates the CBD oil from the plant itself. The hemp is placed in a separate container while a boiler is full of water beneath the hemp. Once boiling, the steam from the water travels upward to extract the CBD oil as a vapor from the hemp plant. The vapor from the plant is then trapped in a tube and added to oil or water. After this is collected, the oil is extracted from the water to make an oil. This process works well but requires a lot of the hemp plant and if the steam gets too hot it may damage the CBD oil extract.
The potential benefits of CBD are similar across all extractions methods. These may be a bit difficult to understand but knowing how your CBD is extracted from the hemp plant is important. If you prefer one of these methods over the other, make sure that the company you purchase your CBD from has that method. It is also important to make sure that the CBD goes through many tests to ensure their quality.
We here at Panacea Life Sciences test our products thoroughly before they hit the shelves. We test our products, so they are of the highest quality. We test for potency, toxins, microbials, terpenes, and solvents to ensure pure products.
What do these tests entail? What do they mean?
- Potency: This test is to make sure that the CBD levels that are posted on the labels are correct. To ensure that you are getting the correct amount of CBD with each product. This identifies the amount of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids found in the product.
- Toxins: This test looks at pesticides to ensure that there are none. Some hemp is treated with pesticides and herbicides therefore has the potential to get into the CBD, but this test makes certain that there is none.
- Microbials: During this test we look for mold and bacteria to make sure there are none after the extraction process.
- Terpenes: We use this test to identify whether the product is an isolate or full spectrum product. This shows the range of terpenes left from the plant at extraction.
- Solvents: Our products contain no solvents because of this test. Solvents like ethanol, propane, carbon dioxide or acetone can be left after the extraction process and we are sure to rid of these as they can be harmful.
How and where do you start?
Hopefully, you now understand what CBD is and the potential CBD benefits that you may receive from using the product. Now, where do you start? We suggest starting with a small amount of CBD into your daily life. This is easiest with a tincture, but you can try it with other products as well. Once you feel comfortable, increase the amount, and go from there. Try out different products to see which would work best for you. Making sure that you are getting the right CBD is important too. Do your research and be safe! If a company has not given you the label connected to the product it is possible that it is not a quality product. You can find CBD in stores, at a dispensary (they have CBD only dispensaries), or, the most popular way of shopping now-a-days, online! Perhaps you will see the potential benefits of CBD when you least expect them. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at [email protected].