Whenever there’s something new around, human mind swings between two thoughts. One is whether it should be tried out & the second is the inquisitiveness regarding the whereabouts & background of it. CBD or Cannabidiol has received a similar treatment.
With the growing popularity of CBD oil & its related products in the market, there has been a great demand for it world over. However, more than the demands, there are certain doubts & confusions that people often carry in their minds. These doubts & confusions include the extent of the intoxicating effect of CBD, its benefits, its legality & most importantly its extraction. This article will take you through a tour regarding the various things about CBD oil that everyone should be aware of.
The Legal Struggle
CBD oil is or cannabinoid oil, as the name indicates, is a herbal oil that contains the phytocannabinoid called cannabinoid from marijuana, cannabis & hemp plants. CBD has had a long relationship with humanity & traces its footprints back to the ancient Chinese as well as Indian civilization from where it spread to the rest of the world. Over this span of 4500 years, CBD has been celebrated, exiled & welcomed on a grand note.
After being discovered in the lab experiment by Dr. Roger Adams who was clueless about what he extracted, it was not until Dr. Raphael Mechoulam laid his hands on CBD to it out. Since then CBD has surfed extensively on speculations, researches, allegations & doubts. It was not until the revolutionary year 1998 when the Britain Government gave the right to GW Pharmaceuticals to cultivate CBD & explore its therapeutic abilities. The studies went on the positive curve & thus from 1st November 2018 onwards, CBD was legalized there for medicinal purpose followed by the U.S.A who too, passed the existence of CBD oil products.
This development of being accepted in both the U.K & the U.S.A country borders have now given CBD researchers a free hand on studying & discovering the various beneficial aspects associated with CBD.
The Making of CBD Oil
With 40% share in its mother plant (second largest share), CBD oil has many processes for extraction. Depending on the requirement,budget & size of the production scale, CBD oil is extracted & then sold in various forms both online & offline. General idea shared by all extraction methods pivots on a solvent which is passed through the plant material in order to dissolve the active compounds in the plant. The resulting cannabinoids, terpenes, & other plant materials are then collected as a solution for further processing before finally taking out the end product.
The various processes & methods involved in its making are as below:
1. SUPERCRITICAL CO2 EXTRACTION
With 90% efficiency & guarantee of the most concentrated form of CBD, this method entails passing through of CO2 gas under high pressure at low temperatures. This converts the gas to liquid state & thus is made to pass through the plant material where it acts as a solvent & gets the cannabinoids to mix in it without chlorophyll. In the final phase of the process, the collected solution is heated where CO2 vapourizes & only pure CBD oil is left.
Since it is a widely used method of extraction for its purity, the process requires well-trained operators & high-cost equipment. This in turn also increases the cost of CBD oil derived from this method apart from the purity factor.
- ETHANOL EXTRACTION
The name of this process clearly indicates that this method of extraction involves the use of ethanol majorly for extraction. Although this is a low-cost method, yet many companies in the market go with it. However, this method requires great precision which, when absent, results in low-quality CBD oil. Although, this method has extra processing towards the end for high-quality output.
Ethanol is a polar solvent & hence is extensively used as a food preservative & additive quite often than always. It is also regarded safe by the FDA. being a polar solvent, it mixes well with water & is also able to mix well with water soluble molecules apart from the cannabis compounds needed. Chlorophyll will also be a part of the end product which results in a dark color liquid towards the penultimate stages of the processing. However, the road doesn’t end here for CBD oil as chlorophyll can be removed with filtration process that has a catch. Often, other cannabinoids too might get sorted out along with chlorophyll including CBD which effects the purity & quality of it. Also, this method involves the risk of solvent contamination.
- HYDROCARBON EXTRACTION
This method involves the use of light hydrocarbon solvents like butane, propane, hexane, isopropyl alcohol, etc. These hydrocarbons, as we know, have lower boiling points which their extraction from the end product rendering CBD oil towards the end.
Though, unlike as easy as it sounds, this method is completely risky & unprofessional despite being cheap & cost-friendly. If it’s pure cannabis & marijuana & not hemp, then the output has a higher concentration of THC & lower concentration of CBD. also, the unsafe residue in it makes prone to act with the immune system & render negative impacts. Thus, despite being cheap, this method is not a commercially friendly & sought after method & carries many perils with it.
- LIPID EXTRACTION
It isn’t a very famous method which involves the use of fats & lipids to absorb & inculcate CBD from hemp. In this process, quite often, coconut oil is used & it doesn’t require any CO2 or other harsh solvents.
- 5. OLIVE OIL EXTRACTION
It is a home-friendly extraction method which involves decarboxylation of the plant by heating to activate the desired chemicals. Olive oil is then added & the solution is heated to 100 degrees. This will render CBD in the olive oil. The risk of turning rancid if not stored properly makes it a less viable method to be resorted to for CBD oil extraction.
CBD oil is no less than a wonder compound when talked about in terms of benefits. Its ability to work well for both humans & plants makes it a universal herb for various ailments. From being helpful during cancer treatments to itself being speculated as a cure for cancer, from treating anxiety & calming down the senses to reducing epileptic fits, this oil has proven to be a friend for the users with negligible & non-serious side-effects.
- ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
With the ability to regulate how the brain receptors interact with serotonin, CBD oil has the ability to help those fighting with depression & anxiety. In various studies, it has been proven that CBD has been able to minimize anxiety in people suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder while in animals, it has helped in soothing the sufferers of Separation Anxiety.
- PAIN RELIEF
Every mammal has its own bodily system that synthesises cannabinoids called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). CBD has been found to bind with the CB2 receptors of the ECS which controls regulates pain, memory, immune system response, appetite, etc. Thus, CBD helps in case of pain as it influences the pain & immune system response.
- EPILEPSY & SEIZURES
In the U.S.A, a form of CBD named Epidiolex has been approved by the FDA for prescription as a therapy for two rare epileptic seizures namely Dravet Syndrome & Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. The dosage however has to be given not before the age of the children is 2 years. All this has come after proven results.
- NEUROLOGICAL BENEFITS
The benefits of CBD binding with brain receptors isn’t just pain relief. It also helps in the regeneration of neurons & protects the brain from damage. This in turn points towards hopes for its usage in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, spinal cord diseases, & strokes. Besides, it also helps in limiting Parkinson’s Disease.
- ACNE REDUCTION & SKIN FRIENDLY
CBD oil or lotions when applied topically aid in countering the damage caused due to UV-rays & other modern-day environmental pollutants. Besides, they also prevent excessive & lower oil secretion by the sebaceous glands, thus preventing the growth of acne on the face.
Besides these, it has other benefits too which includes heart benefits, anti-oxidant properties, anti-cancerous, anti-tumor properties, relief from arthritis, etc.
Given the wide spectrum of benefits that it carries, CBD oil has become vastly popular among people & medical practitioners alike. It has also been legalised in the U.K & the U.S.A which has given high hopes to researchers across the globe for the study of CBD as a therapeutic potion. It is herbal in nature & hence, gives a better shield to those who prefer distance from allopathic line of treatment due to the omnipresent bunch of side-effects that come complimentary. This, in turn, is one of the main reasons for its popularity that it has ‘zero’ magnitude side-effects & that too, of temporary nature. Nevertheless, with research still on & the encouraging results, the future for CBD Oil is colourful. Also, CBD oil is now being ventured in other forms as well like gummy bears, tinctures, capsules, wax, vape oil, etc. which gives us an idea of the marketers are indeed expanding its forms & customizing it so that it caters to a wide base of consumers.