Doesn’t it feel like you blinked and suddenly CBD oils are everywhere? In coffee shops, they mix them into lattes; in grocery stores, they line the beauty/pharmacy aisles. With tinctures specifically designed to help you relax at work or ease you into a good night’s sleep, all your stressed-out and sleep-deprived friends seem to be suddenly floating on a cloud of ease and comfort with their newfound CBD routines. But with so many new products and options all popping up so quickly, it’s hard not to have a million questions.
Will CBD Get Me High?
First things first: CBD is not the same thing that made you cough a lot and then scarf chips in high school. Most people use the words “cannabis,” “hemp,” and “marijuana” interchangeably, but cannabis is actually the name for the genus of plants. All of the plants within the cannabis genus contain compounds called “phytocannabinoids” and there are dozens of different ones. The most well known are THC and CBD. THC is the only one that gets you “high.”
The leaves and flowers of marijuana plants are used to make joints and edibles because they typically contain 15-20% THC. CBD oils are made from the hemp plants, which contain, at most, 0.3% THC. That’s why CBD oils don’t get you high.
Apparently CBD Is “Natural” – What Does That Really Mean?
It’s easy to get caught up in the scientific terms when you’re just trying to figure out how CBD oil can help you relax after work, without the hangover you get when you suck down a bottle of wine to unwind. But, even though the terms can be complex, learning about the way CBD oils actually work in the body is actually pretty cool.
Humans (all mammals, actually) naturally produce compounds called “endocannabinoids.” Endo means “within”–as in, within your body. All these compounds work together to keep your body’s systems functioning normally, an interconnected network inside your body that’s of course called the Endocannabinoid System.
Phytocannabinoids like CBD (phyto meaning “plant”–as in, a compound that occurs naturally in a plant) work with the Endocannabinoid System. Basically, if you regularly deplete yourself through stressful workdays and activity-filled weekends, a CBD oil can help.
What’s the Difference Between Hemp Seed Oil and CBD Oil?
Many CBD products are made from “hemp extract oil”—and the word “extract” in there is key, because there are also products called “hemp seed oil.” Despite sounding exactly the same (confusing), hemp seed oil is actually a different thing.
Hemp seed oil, also sometimes called “hemp oil”, is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant only, no phytocannabinoids there. The oil is rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, so it can do wonders for your skin, but beyond that it doesn’t have the same benefits as a CBD oil. It’s important to look out for this distinction to make sure you’re getting what you’re actually looking for.
The hemp extract oils that are the basis of CBD products are made from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, where all those beneficial phytocannabinoids live.
What’s Actually In These CBD Oils?
CBD is the best known non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, but it’s only one of dozens that live in the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. While each phytocannabinoid has its own health benefits, they actually work best when they’re consumed together, something scientists refer to as the “Entourage Effect.”
Some CBD oils contain only CBD, but some companies, like Charlotte’s Web, are using the science behind the Entourage Effect to make more complete hemp-derived supplements. For their CBD oils, Charlotte’s Web has grown their own full-spectrum proprietary genetics which allow all of the phytocannabinoids in the plant to work together in synergy.
Their 17MG CBD oil is formulated with first-time users in mind, so if you’re at the beginning of your CBD journey, it’s the perfect place to start. Alongside the 80 phytocannabinoids, the oil also contains naturally occurring terpenes, flavonoids, and other valuable hemp compounds that work synergistically to heighten the positive health benefits. The oil comes in four flavor options—Mint Chocolate, Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil—which can be a perfect boost in your morning power smoothie or lunchtime salad dressing, or enjoyed on their own.
So, This is a Natural Solution to Help Deal With My Everyday Stress?
Similar to the way the natural wine movement is promoting wines devoid of mystery dyes and chemicals, Charlotte’s Web takes care to ensure that the plants they use to make their products are free of contamination. They only intervene into the way the plants grow to account for the way human-made contaminants have affected an otherwise natural system.
Charlotte’s Web tests the soil they use for heavy metals before they plant, supervising the entire grow process of each seed that goes into that dirt. They make their oils using the entire plant and test the final product to ensure that each bottle contains the right levels of phytocannabinoids.
Any Other Questions? No? Good!
While there’s a lot of confusing language around CBD oils, once you break it down it’s actually easy to understand what you’re putting in your body and what benefits it can give you. CBD works with your body’s natural systems to help you manage everyday stress, sleep better, and function at a higher level—no matter what your day throws at you.