Pills? Gummies? Oils? Isolates? Yes, that is right, oh my. These are just a few forms of cannabidiol (CBD) that are available. What are the differences? Is one better than the other? There are many forms and many different products. Whichever form you choose is up to you and your preference. It is best to be educated on these different forms before making your choice because there are slight differences to each of these products that could turn you toward one or the other. Here at Panacea Life Sciences, we want our customers to be well informed so that they can make the choice that’s right for them at each stage of their CBD journey. First, let’s make sure you understand what CBD is and what it is not.
Cannabidiol? What is that?
First things first, what is cannabidiol or CBD? It is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD comes in different variations such as the hemp plant and the marijuana plant. The hemp plant contains high concentrations of CBD whereas the marijuana plant contains more THC. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol should not be confused with CBD as they have different effects in the body. THC is more well-known because it has a psychogenic or inebriating effect on the user. CBD does not have psychogenic effects but does provide other potential health benefits. Since 2018 growing and selling hemp has been legal via the 2018 Federal Farm Bill. The Farm Bill has allowed farmers in all 50 states to grow and sell hemp legally. However, marijuana is not legal in all states, but a handful have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes as well as medical. CBD has been the less researched of the two cannabinoids, but has been the focus of many purported health benefits. We will touch on those later in the article. Now let’s move on to pills.
It is likely that you associate the word pills with medication. And it’s true, a majority of medications come in pill form. But, what about CBD? Here at Panacea Life Sciences, we offer softgels, an oral pill formulation. Softgels are easier to swallow than a pill. Once the softgels are swallowed, they travel along the digestive tract to get to the stomach. The outer layer of the softgel is dissolved and the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream through the lining of the small intestine. Like pills, effects of these softgels will not be felt immediately. The effects vary from when you can feel it because of when you take it, the amount of food you have eaten that day, etc. Softgels are a great way to get CBD into your system daily. Take it in the morning along with any other supplements or medications you may take. Quick and easy!
Softgels and pills are especially easy if you prefer not to taste the CBD. We also make softgels for your furry friends! These can be hidden in a treat or you can pierce the top of the softgel and administer it directly into their mouths.
Gummies are quite similar to softgels in the way that they reach the bloodstream. But how one takes an edible is quite different. Maybe you are a person who struggles with or just does not like swallowing pills or softgels. That is quite alright! That is where gummies come in. Our gummies are cherry-flavored and delicious! These are a fun way to incorporate CBD into your daily routine. These take a similar amount of time to get into the bloodstream as softgels. But rather than swallowing a softgel you are chewing a gummy that could definitely be described as candy-like! These are not made for your pet, so, stick to the softgels for them. Other than that, gummies are a great and yummy way to get CBD into your system daily.
Oils are often called tinctures. What is a tincture? A traditional tincture is an alcohol solution containing the botanical extract of interest. CBD tinctures are extracts mixed with carrier oils. We use coconut oil here at Panacea Life Sciences. But, what extraction methods are there? Which is best? Here is a list:
- Carbon Dioxide Extraction: Carbon dioxide is used to extract the CBD from the plant by 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 pumped into the second chamber that contains the hemp, where it breaks down the hemp plant and separates it from the CBD. That mixture is then pumped into a third chamber where the carbon dioxide is evaporated, leaving the CBD oil unaccompanied.
- Solvent Extraction (Hydrocarbons and Natural Solvents): In this process one would use a type of solvent to extract the hemp oil. The solvent and CBD oil is removed leaving the CBD oil behind. There are two types of solvents used: hydrocarbons and natural solvents. Using hydrocarbon extraction is the least preferred type of extraction because it may leave unwanted elements after the solvents have been extracted. Types of hydrocarbons that have been used for hemp oil extraction include naphtha, petroleum, butane, or propane.
- Steam Distillation: In this last 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 vapors 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 it is not very efficient, requiring high quantities of hemp plant to generate oil, and if the steam gets too hot, it can damage the CBD oil extract.
These are the most popular types of oil extractions. Here at Panacea Life Sciences, we test our extracts thoroughly for any solvents. Our extracts are also tested by third party labs for purity, residual solvents, and pesticides. Customers can view the Certificate of Analysis for their products using the QR code on all of our products.
What is an isolate? An isolate is an extraction that subtracts the desired cannabinoid or compound exclusively with no other cannabinoids present. So, an isolate will only have CBD or THC. There are many other cannabinoids present in hemp and marijuana, but these are the two most popular and abundant. Isolates will not have other cannabinoids or terpenes present whereas Full Spectrum has minor cannabinoids and terpenes. The percentages of each cannabinoid will vary by where you purchase them. CBD is legal only when containing less than 0.3% THC.
Other Types of CBD
What other types of CBD are available?
- Tablets: This type of CBD product is placed in the mouth and dissolves there. Once it dissolves, the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream from the mouth. Tinctures are similar to tablets because of the process in which it gets into the bloodstream and how quickly a person is able to reap the benefits.
- Topicals: Salves, lotions, creams and even hand sanitizer are in the category we call “topicals.” These products never reach the bloodstream but are absorbed into the skin by the pores. CBD topicals have been described to have many skin health benefits when applied liberally and often.
- Vapes: Panacea Life Sciences does not advocate for the use of vapes, but it is an option that one should be aware of. When the CBD vape is inhaled it absorbs through the lungs to get into the bloodstream. This is also a quick way to get CBD into one’s system, but it may cause lung issues.
- Etc.: There are many more types of CBD. There are even CBD-derived FDA-approved medications like Epidiolex.
Uses of CBD
Now that you know more about CBD products, how can they be useful to you? There are several reasons. CBD has been described to promote a sense of calm and increase skin health. There are medications that contain CBD. CBD has antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory properties. These are just a few of the ways people can use CBD. Promoting a sense of calm in those who may feel feelings of anxiousness is a big one. A lot of people take CBD daily for this reason or even right before bed to settle nerves. Skin health is another popular reason that one may want to use CBD. There are creams and lotions that could help benefit your skin health. Another topical, hand sanitizer, has antibacterial properties and may rid your hands of harmful bacteria. There is indeed CBD that is made into medication. Epiolodex is one of them. This is used to help those who have severe forms of epilepsy. It helps control seizures. There are also several types of CBD medications that assist those going through cancer treatments with the nausea that may follow. Anti-inflammatory properties are another reason some people use CBD. We did a study about these properties on our canine friends who had osteoarthritis. Pet owners described their pets to be more mobile! There is still much research to be done surrounding CBD, but this sounds promising.
Oh my, indeed. There are so many ways to use CBD as well as reasons to use CBD. SO, how will you use CBD?