CBD Oil is arguably the most powerful natural healing substance available. That is a bold claim that the scientific community backs up on a near daily basis.
The Black community has known about the physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits of marijuana for generations. Today, the research is clear: marijuana contains healing compounds that rival any pharmaceutical on the market.
Unfortunately, marijuana comes with a few drawbacks:
1. It is illegal. Black folk dont need to give them another reason to fire or arrest us.
2. Weed is inaccessible if you are not a smoker.
3. Marijuana comes with psychoactive effects. (I dont want to sit around being high and paranoid all day lol.)
If you want to take advantage of the healing power of cannabis without the drawbacks that come with smoking marijuana, CBD oil is the answer. Here is why:
1. As of 2019, CBD oil derived from hemp is legal nationwide.
2. CBD oil can be taken orally, topically, or as an aromatherapy or vape treatment. No Swishers necessary.
3. CBD oil has no psychoactive effects. There is no ‘high’ or paranoia that comes with using CBD oil.
These advantages have led to an explosion of CBD oil products and Black owned CBD Oil companies. And after my personal positive experiences with CBD oil, I believe it deserve a spot on every shelf.
What Is CBD Oil Used For?
With what scientists know about the ECS system, new treatments are being developed for conditions like
- significant weight loss
- cardiovascular risk factors of smoking and obesity
- suicidal thoughts
- anorexia (especially associated with HIV/AIDS)
- dry mouth
- concentration and focus
- symptoms of multiple sclerosis
- muscle spasms
- Parkinsons Disease
- Huntingtons Disease
- An array of cancers
- high blood pressure
- and too many other illnesses to list here! (Source)
If you cant afford expensive treatments or you are looking for something that wont have you ‘hooked’, CBD oil looks like a good alternative. I am not qualified to say, so seek the advice of licensed professionals.
But before you grab the first CBD oils you see online, Its important that you learn as much as you can about anything that you put into your body. Also, make sure you read our FDA and consumer protection disclosure here. By continuing, you agree to the disclosures we make on that page.
CBD Oil 101 – The Basics
There are three basics that you need to know about CBD oil:
1. The difference between hemp and marijuana plants
2. How oil is extracted from those plants, and
3. How CBD oil interacts with the human body
The difference between hemp and marijuana plants
CBD oil starts with the cannabis plant. If you are new to the term cannabis, there is one thing you must understand: Both hemp and marijuana plants are part of the Cannabis plant family. That means all hemp is cannabis, but not all cannabis is hemp. And all marijuana can be called Cannabis, but not all Cannabis is marijuana.
All cannabis plants contain substances called cannabinoids – chemical compounds that trigger receptors in your body’s endocannabinoid system (more on the ECS later). Cannabis plants contain at least 113 cannabinoids, but the two you need to focus on are:
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)
- and CBD (cannabidiol)
THC is the compound responsible for the ‘high’ feeling that you get when you inhale or ingest cannabis products. This is the compound that makes lawmakers nervous, and so only members of the cannabis family that contain less than 1% THC are legal under most circumstances.
Since hemp is low in THC, it is 💯 legal to consume the plant, and there are more than 50,000 different industrial uses as well.
In addition to being legal and non-psychoactive (wont get you high), hemp is a better choice for CBD anyway. As much as 40% of the hemp plant’s extract is pure CBD.
The takeaway: When you shop around for CBD oil, choose hemp based oils over marijuana based oils.
How CBD oil is extracted from plants
When you are getting started with CBD oils, you are going to come across a lot of marketing materials that talk about ‘extraction methods’. There are really only two points of concern:
1. the process that gets the CBD out of the plant, and
2. how much other ‘stuff’ comes out of the plant and goes into the bottle along with the CBD.
CBD Oil companies can use a variety of methods to get oils out of plants, but the two most wide spread are the solvent method and the CO2 method.
Companies that use the solvent method soak hemp plants in a chemical like alcohol or butane and and then boil the fluids down until a CBD base oil is left behind.
This method is cheaper for companies than using the CO2 method, but cutting cost corners can raise the risk of contamination. Solvents like acetone, ethanol, butane, benzene, and propane have all been shown to cause cancer under certain circumstances.
That makes the CO2 method the preferred method for extracting CBD oil. Here is how it works:
CO2 gas is put under high pressure and low temperatures until it turns into its ‘liquid’ form. That liquid is then used to extract CBD and the rest of ‘the spectrum’ from the plant. Once thats done, the liquid is de-pressurized and evaporates, leaving behind alot of oil with almost no trace of the CO2.
The above is an over-simplification of the process, but if you want to go deeper out, check out the video below.
Benefits of CO2 Extraction:
- Ensures high quality
- Uses no harsh solvents/chemicals
- Free of butane & propane, and ethanol
- It’s a standard solvent, widely used for foods and dietary supplements
The takeaway: Only buy CBD oils extracted using the CO2 method. They may be slightly more expensive, but you can be sure you aren’t drinking lighter fluid!
Whole plant vs Isolate Extraction
Earlier I mentioned that there are more than 100 different compounds that are found in cannabis plants. These compounds are the reason why cannabis plants have their healing properties, and they all work together to make good things happen in the human body.
So if a company throws away 98% of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, that means you are only getting 2% of what you need to get results from your oil.
Thats why you should only buy from companies that use the ‘whole plant’ to make their oils.
This method produces what we call ‘full spectrum’ CBD oil. All the cannabinoids present in the cannabis or hemp plant are there, along with vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll, terpenes, flavonoids, and fiber.
On the other hand, all that ‘other stuff’ found in full spectrum oils could actually cause some negative side effects that we arent aware of. While we dont know much about most of the other cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, we know alot about CBD!
Thats why some companies choose to isolate and extract only the CBD compounds. CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form, so you can be sure that you are getting the stuff you are looking for.
So between full spectrum and isolate oils, which method is the best? Based on research, we know that cannabinoids all work together in the human body to produce positive effects. This interaction is known as the ‘entourage effect’. That suggests that you may need a full spectrum CBD oil to get all the benefits you are looking for.
The takeaway: I encourage full spectrum oils that use the whole plant to extract CBD. However, if you experience unpleasant side effects, an isolate may work better for you.
How CBD oil interacts with your body
You probably didn’t hear about this in Biology class, but your body has a whole system called the endocannabinoid system – or ECS for short.
The ECS system has receptors and enzymes that are found in every part of your body – from your skin, to your lungs, to your heart, you name it.
This system is responsible for regulating processes like:
- pre- and postnatal development
- pain sensation
- concentration, focus, and memory.
Among the host of bodily functions that the ECS system is involved in, what matters most to those of you suffering from pain is this statement made by the United States National Library of Medicine:
It appears that the endocannabinoid system is intimately involved in tissue healing in the face of inflammatory conditions, correlating clinically with prevention and treatment of inflammation-mediated pain.
The takeaway: When receptors in your ECS link up with CBD, they can create a positive effect on memory, mood, sleep, pain sensation, inflammation, and immunity.
How To Take CBD Oil
Now that you know what CBD oil is, how it is extracted, and what it can help with, there are three ways to take cannabis oil. Those ways are:
- using CBD vape pens and vape juice,
- eating CBD oil edibles like brownies and gummy bears,
- and using CBD topicals.
The most important consideration for you is not how you take your oil, but how much of it you take.
There is no universal dosage for CBD oil. Several factors like the concentration of the oil, your weight, your level of tolerance, and your lifestyle all come in to play here.
Since the effective dose of CBD is different from person to person, the best way for you to take CBD oil is by conducting a self experiment.
CBD oil usually comes in a bottle with a dropper. So start by taking half a dropper full (25 milligrams) of CBD oil twice per day on an empty stomach and observe the effects over a period of a few days or doses. Then start adjusting your dosage either up or down.
After a few days, you will find the perfect dose for your particular condition. Trust and listen to your body even after you have consulted a licensed physician. Your health and comfort are in your hands!
Is CBD Oil Safe for Everyone?
There are no scientific studies to date showing any negative side effects of consuming cannabidiol on a regular basis. CBD has actually been extensively studied and proved to have only positive effects so far.
Sanjay Gupta of CNN discussed this in his documentary on the subject in the clip that you can view below.
I have emphasized the benefits of CBD oil for pain and other conditions, but I believe everyone should include a dose in their daily diet.
Research shows that using CBD as part of a preventative health plan can aid in the promotion of quality sleep, help reduce stress and anxiety, and act as a natural anti inflammatory agent. And as Harvard teaches, inflammation is the root of all disease. (Debatable if you are a follower of the Sebi philosophy. Discuss it here.)
CBD oil is as safe for children as it is for adults. In June 2018, the FDA approved the use of CBD to treat severe forms of seizures in children aged two and above. Do a quick google search for CBD oil for children and you will find thousands of testimonials from parents who will swear by it.
There is even a market for pets! I had an insane Jack Russel Terrier that had a few wires crossed. I started dosing her in the evenings and she finally started to chill out.
If you made it this far, pat yourself on the back. You are now more educated than 95% of the public on this topic. But you are not done yet!
Buying The Best CBD Oil For You
There is an old proverb that reads ‘to know and not to do is to not yet know’, so the best next step is trying some CBD oil for yourself.
To find the absolute best CBD oil online, here are the criteria you should look for.
- Organically grown and sourced from the United States
- THC levels below 0.03% (CBD oils are required to display certain information – like THC content – on their labels. THC is the stuff that gets you high, so if thats not what you are looking for, choose a CBD oil that is non-psychoactive and contains no THC.)
- Contains between 250mg to 1,000mg of CBD per fluid ounce (to ensure your oil isnt watered down)
- Free of contaminants (You will know if your CBD oil is pure if it has been tested by an accredited laboratory ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Accredited Laboratories. This matters because if you were to purchase a 4 ounce bottle that contained 250mg of CBD, your concentration would be a mere 62.5 mg of CBD per ounce – hardly enough to reap the full benefits of CBD. It’s always important to look at the concentration level of the CBD you’re buying.)
- Extracted using the CO2 method
- Contains a full spectrum
Based on the above criteria, here is where to buy the best CBD oils online.