What’s in CBD oil ? It’s not all the same

What’s in CBD oil? The first thing that should be present is cannabidiol (CBD). The other things in, or not in the oil are dependent on a few factors. No matter the type of oil we are talking about the “oil” portion is a medium or carrier of the CBD molecules.

The medium carries the CBD molecules and the other components extracted from the plant of origin in a liquid form to be consumed.

We will learn about the mediums and additives that can be present in available products, and we will talk about the CBD molecule and the other beneficial components present in the more complete oils. Always remember you will pay more for a full spectrum oil than an isolate as a rule of thumb.

Isolate Oil – The one and only

When a CBD oil is made from an isolate it means that the CBD was isolated and extracted from the plant. That CBD isolate is then mixed with an oil to the desired concentration. The isolate is usually created using a carbon dioxide extraction method. The results are reliable and have little chance of contamination from the carbon dioxide as it evaporates during the process. There are other methods using butane and camping stove gas to extract and isolate.

The CO2 method has proven much safer and reliable as proven in the medical and recreational cannabis extraction fields.

If the label on the product says it has CBD and some type of oil and flavors it is an isolate. Isolates do not gain the same benefits that occur when the other molecules present in the plant are not stripped away. These oils are the least expensive and easiest to find.

Epidiolex the new CBD based FDA approved drug is really just a pharmaceutically refined CDB isolate. The extraction and isolation process used is proprietary, but rest assured it gets the CBD down to the molecule. I looked up what else is in Epidiolex besides Cannabidiol (CBD): dehydrated alcohol, sesame seed oil, strawberry flavor, and sucralose. You get the picture.

Distillate Oil – Just a drop in the bucket

A distillate extraction of CBD means a liquid dissolving agent was used to rinse or soak all the CBD from the hemp plant mass. That CBD rich agent was boiled to a temperature where the CBD could be separated via distillation. The distilled CBD, in turn, is added to an oil medium to the desired concentration.

Distillates suffer the same drawbacks as isolates in regard to the lack of the entourage effect. The entourage effect is referred to as the rest of the other cannabinoids and terpenes present in the plant in addition to CBD. Of course, non-medical patients or people not living in medical states have to do completely without the benefits of THC in the entourage. It’s not a deal breaker but diminishes some effectiveness of the CBD.

I do know it is possible to use an oil, sometimes coconut oil, and soak plant material to bind with the dissolve the CBD and also the rest without having to boil anything off. The problem with this oil is not the quality or presence of the full spectrum of cannabinoids, it’s the concentration levels of CBD.

A good concentration can be had from this type of extraction, but it takes longer and not widely used. This is my preferred method. It would take a very large dose of coconut oil made this way to get to the desired dosage if made from regular hemp, so the quality of the hemp used in this method is more crucial to get a good result.

Look at the label and if it says distillate you will know how the CBD got there. These will be less expensive like the isolates most of the time.

Some vape e-liquids use a process called winterization to freeze off undesired elements after an alcohol soak, then using a C02 blast to complete the process.

Distillation is useful for capturing flavor profiles from popular strains of cannabis. Some are fruity and other are pungent, and all are quite distinctive. These special flavonoids are present in some “wax” and “shatter” offerings available online and in your local shops. I am sure one could find these available in an oil form, but it may require some digging.

Full Spectrum Oil – Buy American

Right now full spectrum CBD oils from industrial hemp grown in states endorsing hemp production (Colorado, Kentucky, Tennessee,… ) are by far the best oils available for most locations. The reason I say this is that of the availability of legally grown hemp (less than .03%) done in states with legal agricultural supervision. Another good reason is that the plants are certified and monitored to be less the .03% THC.

Full spectrum oil means that not only the CBD from the plant was extracted, it means in a perfect world all the cannabinoids and active ingredients were too. There is a practical problem with this approach because so much plant mass is needed due to low CBD levels naturally present in industrial hemp. Contamination can be a problem especially with imported hemp which is not regulated about pesticides etc. like here in the states.

The results of the extraction are then mixed with a medium to the desired concentration levels. This mix if extracted well contains as many of the entourage ingredients as possible. These oils, if made from American grown hemp under a state program, will be a little more expensive than the others but will contain additional beneficial cannabinoid substances, with less chance for contamination.

High Resin Cannabis CBD Oil – It’s a sticky situation

high-resin-cannabis flowerThe most ideal oils come from high resin cannabis plants. The problem is getting one of these sticky things not to produce more than .03% THC. In a medical state, the THC is no issue at all and many CBD dominant strains are available to use for CBD full spectrum extractions. I have seen one grower claim in Colorado to have a strain that meets the low THC threshold but has big sticky flowers consistently.

Oils containing THC are contraband in most states and only available with some sort of qualifications in medical states. If you find a full spectrum oil made primarily from flower and leaf it will be superior to oils that are not. Expect to pay a premium for this type of oil in most cases.

I saw a shop get shut down after products on the shelf tested past the limit. It is imperative to make sure you know your source and what checks they have in place to keep that type of thing from happening. If someone took that oil and had to take a drug test they might fail and never have been high. Until the law changes many will have to wait for a legal treatment that includes THC as a CBD compliment.

A little surprise – It’s not what you thought

Our question ” What’s in CBD oil? ” turned out not to be what we thought. All the CBD oils have some type of oil medium. Common oils used are coconut, sesame, medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), and hemp oil. Many of the products contain a sweetener either natural or synthetic. Some contain dyes and aromatics as well.

CBD oil products vary both in CBD exclusivity and types of oil and additives. Those are all important things to know about any CBD oil product you may be considering. Of course choose what you can afford, just be aware of the compromises involved. In this area like most others, you get what you pay for.



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