The 411 on CBD
C-B-D…. Chances are you’ve seen these three letters everywhere from your favorite spa, in your skincare products, to wellness gurus adding it to their coffees + smoothies all over Instagram. But what exactly is it? Kayla here, founder of plant-based wellness company Luna Volta, to break down CBD basics and how to find the right product for you.
Cannabidiol (CBD for short) is one of the most well-known cannabinoids found in the hemp plant that can help to combat the body’s stress enzymes. CBD is non-intoxicating, unlike its famous cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Our body actually produces its own internal cannabinoids to keep us balanced and by consuming CBD, you can boost your endocannabinoid system which interacts with several other regulatory systems in your body. Think of drinking Vitamin C to boost your immune system. Same idea.
So what’s the difference between hemp and cannabis?? Hemp and cannabis are technically the same plant, Cannabis Sativa. Hemp has historically been bred to contain less than .3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) where cannabis contains greater than .3% THC.So to put it simply, the only difference between hemp and cannabis is the amount of THC that is present.
CBD can be extracted from both hemp or cannabis, and a full spectrum CBD oil extracted from hemp will contain trace amounts (<.3%) of THC as well as other cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are thought to work better when they are taken together rather than in isolation and this is known as the “entourage effect.” To get this, you will want to look for a whole plant/full spectrum extract.
What are tinctures and why is everyone taking droppers underneath their tongues?
A tincture is one of the most common forms of CBD oil on the market and one of the best places to start. For maximum efficacy and quickest absorption, the best way to consume the oil will be sublingually (i.e. Holding the oil underneath your tongue for 30 seconds – 1 minute). By holding the oil underneath your tongue, it can be absorbed by your mucous membrane (therefore bypassing the digestive tract) to go straight to your bloodstream. This allows for proper dosing and a more immediate effect. Consuming CBD via food or drink means the CBD is being broken down in your digestive tract and by the time your body consumes it, there is much less than you started with.
MYTH: CBD is a cure-all.
I like to think of taking CBD is like taking a vitamin. It helps to bring your body back into balance, and works in tandem with a healthy lifestyle – eating well, exercising, spending time in nature, meditation. No one thing is going to work as a cure-all. It is a combination of many things.
MYTH: “Cannabis Infused” skincare (Cannabis Sativa (Seed) Oil vs. CBD)
This topic comes up a lot as many brands are marketing “cannabis-infused” beauty products. Cannabis Sativa (Seed) Oil is a fancy way of saying Hemp Seed Oil, which has been used in beauty products for decades. Hemp seed oil is extracted from pressing hemp seeds (containing no CBD) together whereas CBD is mainly extracted from the flowers of the plant.
If searching for CBD, you will want to check the ingredient list for something like Full spectrum hemp extract, Phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp extract, whole flower CBD, or CBD isolate.
MYTH: CBD is non-psychoactive.
While CBD is NOT considered intoxicating, it can affect the way you feel, although you will not feel the “high” that the compound THC provides. A better term to use for CBD is non-intoxicating.
Look for a dark, amber bottle to protect against UV rays.
What does the product’s ingredient list look like? Are they using organic ingredients? Are there artificial colors or flavors added? Remember you will want to look for terms like Full spectrum hemp extract, Phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp extract, Whole flower CBD or CBD isolate.
CBD MG + recommended dose
With a variety of CBD products on the market, you want to know how many mgs are in each bottle, and specifically how much should be used during each dose. It is generally recommended to start small (around 5mg) and work your way up to find your sweet spot. I recommend keeping a journal or log to track how much you’re taking and how you feel. Be sure to keep in mind the time of day, what you’ve eaten that day, your mental headspace, etc.
Full spectrum vs. Broad spectrum vs. Isolate
Full spectrum products feature a wide array of cannabinoids (inclu. CBD) + terpenes that all work together in what is known as the “entourage effect”, Full spectrum (or whole plant) is the truest to the natural state of the plant. These products should still contain <.3% THC if derived from hemp.
Due to the legalities surrounding THC, some companies are creating “Broad Spectrum” products which contain CBD and other cannabinoids + terpenes but zero % THC.
CBD Isolate means there is ONLY CBD present, NO other cannabinoids.
Where does the brand source their ingredients? Ideally, you will want organic, American grown. Some states leading the charge in hemp-derived CBD are Colorado, Oregon, and Kentucky.
Batch numbers and third party testing
Does the brand third party test their individual batches? Each unique batch should be tested by a third party (not the brand, and not the farm or manufacturer) to ensure the potency of cannabinoids (and terpenes) matches their claims and to make sure there are no pesticides, residual solvents, or heavy metals present. Search for a brand that is transparent about their testing.
What does the brand’s leadership team believe in? What led them to build their company? What experience and knowledge do they have of the industry? If you can connect to the founding team in a positive way, you are more likely to trust them and their products.
Bonus tip: Terpenes!
Terpenes are where it gets fun. Terpenes are similar to cannabinoids in that they are also secondary compounds found not only in hemp, but throughout nature in other plants. Terpenes are a part of the plant’s defense system and help to protect from pests but most importantly, are the aromatic compounds that give plants their smell. Think of lavender’s soothing smell or an orange rind’s zesty aroma. What terpenes are present in a product is a better indicator of how you are going to feel after you consume a product (this is true for both hemp AND cannabis products).
Now that you’ve passed the basics, you’re ready to shop and try CBD for yourself as an educated consumer.
Takeaways – Do your research, find a brand you can trust, start low and slow, keep a journal to track your dosing and how you feel, track what other areas of your lifestyle you can make a positive shift in, begin to feel better.
A good place to start is with Luna Volta’s premium wellness hemp oil, NOVA. Luna Volta was founded after a sixty-day stint of #vanlife across America’s National Parks opened my eyes to the natural beauty on Earth and inspired me to build a company with a mission to honor and preserve our planet. Inspired by the Earth, the Moon, and the Stars, the name Luna Volta roughly translates to “Moon Time.” The company is founded on three guiding principles that impact our decisions across the board: quality, design, and sustainability. Our first product, NOVA, is 600mg full spectrum hemp extract blended into an organic coconut MCT oil. Our craft hemp is organically grown on small farms in the USA (in the Rocky Mountains in CO) that practice regenerative growing methods. NOVA is third party tested for cannabinoid and terpene potency as well as to ensure there are no pesticides or residual solvents present. To honor our sustainability mission, NOVA is hand-packaged with love in 100% biodegradable and plantable boxes beneficial to the declining bee population. Good for you, good for the Earth!
*This article was originally written by our founder Kayla Clements for our stockist, Shop Good. Read original article here.