Buying and using CBD oil

on December 28, 2021

What is a good CBD strength?

Interest in alternative remedies, the use of supplements, and different ways to increase our wellbeing and avoid or treat illness has been steadily growing over recent years. One of the most popular products available within this industry is CBD, though it has been considered controversial due to its association with marijuana and the illegal drug trade.

While marijuana plants contain CBD, the “high” effect comes from a different chemical known as THC. Commercially available CBD oil is extracted from hemp plants that are not the same as marijuana plants and contain little THC, which is then further reduced during processing. So there is no risk of any psychoactive or addiction issues arising from the use of CBD oil.

Benefits of CBD

CBD oil is natural and safe but what is it good for? A variety of studies and anecdotal self-reports demonstrate its effectiveness in relieving a wide range of symptoms and conditions such as: anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain (including inflammatory and neuropathic pain), and addiction. In addition users have claimed it enhances the condition of their skin, aids good digestion, and improves their mood. Other possible long-term benefits, for example maintaining brain health or protecting against bone disease, are among the reasons why this product is gaining popularity.

Increasing use of the product means it is now easily available in a variety of forms and has been added to a range of products. One of the most convenient ways to take a CBD supplement is by using oil in a dropper bottle. It has no smell that would identify a person as a cannabis user, and it can be taken discretely even in a public setting such as at work or around family. Controlling the dose is simply a matter of counting the number of drops consumed.

Are there any side-effects of taking CBD?

CBD oil is normally well-tolerated, but like any other substance that is ingested, it can cause side effects. Just as some people cannot eat certain foods due to an intolerance which causes unpleasant effects such as an upset stomach, some consumers of CBD may experience unwanted results such as such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. There is some evidence that CBD can also interact with other medicines you're taking, such as blood thinners, so it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor if you’re taking any prescription medication.

One of the issues in studying both the benefits and any possible drawbacks of CBD has been the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products available over the counter or online. That is why it is important to look at how a specific product is grown and extracted to ensure that you are buying a high quality oil. It should also have been tested in an independent laboratory to back up the claims made by the manufacturer.

How to buy CBD

CBD oil is normally produced from the hemp sativa plant—naturally high in CBD and very low in THC. The CBD is extracted from the stems, leaves and flowers using a solvent, which might be a supercritical fluid such as CO2, a relatively innocuous organic solvent such as ethanol, or a more harmful one such as naphtha.

This extract is then added to another product. It may be mixed with other ingredients to create a balm to be applied to the skin, or put into a capsule to be taken orally. The most popular form is for it to be combined with a carrier oil (usually coconut or hemp oil) in varying concentration of CBD.

The bottle will be labelled with the amount of the contents (usually 10 ml or 20 ml for a dropper bottle) and the number of milligrams of cbd. This measurement refers to the total amount of CBD in the bottle and from this you can calculate the amount per drop, and therefore the dosage that you are taking.

For example a 10 ml bottle might contain 1000 mg of cbd. Ten millilitres is equivalent to 200 drops, or 5 mg per drop (1000 mg divided by 200). A 10 ml bottle with 3000mg of CBD provides 15 mg per drop (3000 mg divided by 200). Knowing this you can adjust the number of drops you take to adjust your total cbd dosage.

This calculation also allows you to make a good comparison between different products, where variations can be significant for the price as well as the strengths of CBD.

Should you buy the strongest CBD oil?

If you are considering trying CBD for the first time, you may be tempted to buy the strongest CBD oil you can find, especially if it appears to represent better value for money.

CBD works in the body by interacting with our endocannabinoid system. Each person’s biochemistry reacts differently so if you haven’t taken it before, it’s best to start on a low dosage and gradually increase it. An effective dose can start at 5 mg per day, and government guidelines state you should stay within a maximum of 75 mg per day. You can find out what works best for you through trial and error. However, if you start immediately with a high dose, you will never know if a lower dose would still have been effective.

There are two ways in which you can increase the dose. You can take more drops, or you can take the same number of drops of a higher potency cbd oil. By beginning with just a few drops per day of a low potency oil, and then working your way up if it doesn’t have the desired effect, you will be sure to minimize any possible ill-effects, while avoiding unnecessary expenditure.

What to be aware of when buying CBD oil

If you’re thinking of trying CBD oil for yourself, you may be feeling confused by the vast array of products currently available at massively different prices, and all with similar claims for effectiveness.

With the rise in the use of CBD oil, more studies are being carried out into its benefits and how it can be used for maximum effect. Regulations around the growing, production, labelling and sale of CBD products are also starting to come into force, meaning it is now more likely that a product on sale will be as described on the bottle. However, there are always some unscrupulous people who will try to take advantage of a popular trend, so it is worth doing your homework before buying.

Here are a few things to look out for that will help you make your decision. 

  • Pure CBD. For the sake of purity, you will want your CBD oil to be free from pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilisers and harmful solvents.
  • The concentration of CBD. Reputable producers have their products independently tested at an ISO certified lab. The certificate of analysis should be available either packaged with the product or on the brand’s website showing that the amount of CBD in the product is the same as the claim on the bottle.
  • Level of THC. In the UK it is illegal to sell a product that contains more than 0.2% THC which is the psychoactive component of marijuana that produces a “high”.
  • Super critical CO2 extraction. This extraction method is considered to be the cleanest, purest, non-toxic and most efficient. It will affect the price, as it is more expensive than other methods.
  • Full spectrum CBD. A full spectrum product contains a complete range of cannabinoids, as well as many other compounds including vitamins, minerals, terpenes and flavonoids. It is generally regarded as being more effective than oils that only contain isolates of CBD.

Increasing numbers of people are reporting excellent results from using CBD oil to treat a range of conditions and symptoms. If you decide to try it for yourself, and take care with the product you buy and the way you use it, hopefully you will be another success story.

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