What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is popular among people interested in their health and performance. CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis plants (Cannabis indica, sativa, and ruderalis), of which there are 120 named.
CBD and its safety have been questioned by authorities worldwide and particularly in Finland partly because its natural and best source is cannabis plants and partly because there is not enough researched information about its safety. In reality, the safety of CBD has been widely researched (1) and a critical report on the safety of CBD has been published by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) expert committee. According to WHO’s critical report, CBD is well-tolerated and has a good safety profile. It should also be noted that CBD oils are made from industrial hemp, which does not have intoxicating levels of the psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in cannabis plants. CBD oil cannot cause intoxication.
Key findings of the WHO report:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is well-tolerated and has a good safety profile There is no evidence of CBD being addictive or having abuse potential
- CBD has been shown to be effective in treating epilepsy in several clinical trials
- CBD product for epilepsy treatment (Epidiolex®) is available in pharmacies in EU
- Reported adverse effects of CBD are due to interactions between CBD and existing medications taken by the patient (read more about medications with interactions with CBD)
- So far, there is no evidence of CBD being used as a drug or causing any public health issues related to its use CBD can be converted to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) under laboratory conditions; however, this does not appear to have any significant impact on the use of CBD products
- It has been suggested that CBD may convert to delta-9-THC in the gut when acidic conditions are present Although more extensive human studies are needed on the conversion of CBD to THC in the gut and possible side effects of oral THC after oral CBD, it is highly unlikely that orally consumed CBD will cause significant THC concentrations and effects
- Neuroimaging studies in humans and animals have shown that the effects of CBD are generally opposite to those of THC
- Some studies have shown that CBD may reduce or counteract some of the effects of THC The potential toxicity of CBD has been widely examined and CBD has been found to be relatively low in toxicity
- While THC can increase heart rate, CBD does not have such physiological effects Clinical use of CBD is most advanced in the treatment of epilepsy
- There is also evidence that CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of many other illnesses
- One possible therapeutic application that has been studied is the use of CBD in treating addictions.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is a natural dietary supplement or cosmetic product. In both cases, it is a mixture of hemp extract and carrier oil. Hemp plants (Cannabis sativa L.) are bred to contain very little or no THC, so CBD oil does not get you high. CBD oil is usually CO2-extracted, which is a method widely used in the food industry and involves supercritical carbon dioxide extraction.
Legality of CBD oil – Is CBD oil legal in the EU?
Currently in the EU, the sale of CBD oil is only allowed as a cosmetic product. CBD extracts prepared as dietary supplements are classified as novel foods in the EU. There are several novel food applications for CBD oil and products and it is only a matter of time before CBD oils are allowed as novel foods.
How is CBD oil used?
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is dispensed using a dropper directly into the mouth or under the tongue. CBD oil can also be added to food or drink. Most, if not all, cosmetics sold or intended for external use can also be used internally. Some products give hints for this by mentioning “Not poisonous”.
CBD oil can be used on the skin as it is or mixed into your favorite cosmetics. The mixing ratio is 1:100, as a 1% concentration is enough because CBD is hydrophobic and the challenge is to get the CBD through the skin’s water barrier.
What is CBD oil used for?
There are numerous uses for CBD oil. Often, CBD is started to be used for a specific condition and its other positive effects are also noticed during use. The most common use cases are the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, and pain. All three are very common problems that almost every Finnish person suffers from at some point in their life. There are numerous scientific studies on the effects of CBD on these conditions, which can easily be found on Google Scholar.
CBD oil for insomnia:
CBD oil is well suited for treating insomnia as it affects the nervous system in a calming and balancing manner. When the nervous system is calmed and balanced, it is also easier to relax and get to sleep. In clinical trials, the efficacy of CBD for insomnia was not consistent with small doses, but rather with doses of 75mg and above. However, many of us and our friends have gotten help with insomnia with smaller doses. Of course, every now and then, 1-2 doses of 5% and/or 10% CBD oil are taken just to ensure the quality of the coming night’s sleep. One dropper contains about 15-20 drops.
One drop of 5% CBD oil contains 2.5mg of CBD, and 10% contains 5mg. So, 1-3 droppers of 5% CBD oil is equivalent to 37.5mg-100mg, and 10% is 75mg-200mg.
CBD capsules are capsules that contain cannabidiol and are usually available in strengths ranging from a few milligrams to tens of milligrams. Cannabidiol-containing capsules have a stronger effect on the intestines and stomach when taken orally. The content of the capsules usually consists of an extract made from hemp, which often includes other cannabinoids and active ingredients. Better-absorbing capsules contain high-quality fats that facilitate the absorption of CBD. The capsules are often made from the Cannabis sativa L. hemp variety, which contains very little or no intoxicating THC. CBD capsules do not cause intoxication or addiction. The best CBD capsules are extracted using carbon dioxide (CO2), similar to many CBD oils.
How are CBD capsules used?
CBD capsules are taken by swallowing them with a liquid. If desired, the capsule can also be opened and taken directly into the mouth or mixed with food or drink. The appropriate dosage is best found by starting with one capsule and increasing the dose as needed. Generally, capsules are used 1-3 times per day, depending on their strength.
How to find the best CBD oil?
The popularity of CBD is growing rapidly, and so are the options, as more and more people want to invest their money in it. For our CBD oil consumers, there are good and bad aspects. With the information below, you’ll know how to find the best CBD oil.
How to ensure the quality of CBD oil:
- Check the country of origin of the hemp used -> hemp absorbs heavy metals and impurities into the plant, so the soil matters
- Check the method of cultivation used -> organic is good, but only truly so with a certificate
- Check the method of manufacture of the CBD oil -> the safest option is CO2 extracted CBD oil
- Check the cannabinoid analysis of the CBD oil Check if there are analyses of the purity of the CBD oil
- Check if the CBD oil is properly packaged, meaning protected from light? (if the bottle is clear, the product will deteriorate more)
- Check the hemp variety used in the manufacture of the CBD oil -> The more varieties used, the more complete the natural spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds, and therefore a better interaction (entourage effect)
- Check if the CBD oil is made from biomass or hand-picked plant parts -> if made from biomass, it’s cheaper and if not filtered, the product may contain heavy metals and other impurities -> if filtered, the product does not have a full natural spectrum
- Check if the CBD oil has been decarboxylated -> if not, was it made by raw extraction -> in raw extraction, the best natural spectrum and interaction is present.
Downsides of the rapid growth of the CBD industry:
- Regulation is lagging behind, meaning there are no clear standards and regulations on how products should be manufactured and what they can contain.
- Due to the lack of regulation, the quality of CBD oil purity can vary greatly, and in the worst case, contain heavy metals or solvent residues.
- Due to the lack of regulation, the quality and effectiveness of CBD oil can vary greatly, and in some cases, the oils may not even contain CBD.
- The influx of people seeking to make money in the industry takes resources away from innovation and product development
Upsides of the rapid growth of the CBD industry:
- Competition is increasing, resulting in better products and services for those who use CBD.
- Price competition is intensifying, resulting in better prices for consumers.
- Availability and quality are improving, leading to increased regulation and development of the industry and products.