Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

How to Choose a CBD Oil

MAXX4 LOGO  You’ve heard of CBD oil, you keep hearing about the amazing results people are getting from it and you’d like to give it a try. But how do you choose which oil to buy? Do you want THC? No THC? Are they all as effective as each other? Here are the different factors you need to look for, broken down and explained so that you can make sure you get an oil that is going to give you results.

THC or no THC? 

There is a lot of fear and confusion around THC. Some people believe that any THC is bad and therefore should be avoided, others think it is the holy grail and take it in isolation and in high quantities. The truth is, it’s all in the balance. THC and CBD have a relationship that works best when they are used together. THC and CBD both fit perfectly into the endocannabinoid system in the brain but have different positive qualities.

  • CBD has been shown to help regulate your immune system, reduce inflammation and has been shown to help with an endless list of health issues such as depression and anxiety, digestive issues, epilepsy, cancer and many more.
  • THC has been shown to have amazing painkilling properties, protect brain cells and even encourage brain growth, reduce nausea and help people to sleep better, amongst other things.

However, as you might expect, nature knows best and when you start to isolate these elements it causes problems. THC used in isolation and in high doses, such as in recreational cannabis, can cause stress, anxiety and memory loss and causes a psychoactive high that is addictive. CBD is harmless when isolated but seems to be much less effective than when used in conjunction with the right amount of THC.

CBD calms the system down and blocks the ‘high’ you would otherwise get if using THC in isolation. CBD and THC, in the right quantities, enhance the positive effects of each other giving you much more powerful results.

Simply put – a high dose (up to the legal limit) of THC combined with the same or more CBD creates a more powerful positive effect with no side effects and won’t get you high or cause addiction.

mikhail-pavstyuk-8436-unsplash  The Law

So, the mystery of THC is solved but you are still unsure as to which levels and forms are legal and which are likely to give you a criminal record.

There are three forms of cannabis: medicinal, recreational and industrial.

Medicinal is produced from the marijuana plant and contains 50% THC and 50% CBD. It is legal in some countries but needs careful monitoring, due to the high strength, and therefore is only available on prescription.

Recreational is also from the marijuana plant but has often been modified to increase the THC levels and barely has any CBD in at all, which is why you get a high from it but very little benefits. It also has harmful, negative side effects. It is illegal in most European countries.

Industrial (including CBD oil) is produced from the hemp plant and is naturally low in THC and high in CBD. The legal limit for THC levels in most of Europe is 0.2% and a licence is required to produce the oil.

Simply put – go for a CBD oil made from industrial hemp and check that it is licensed and has no more than 0.2% THC (applicable to most countries in Europe)

jose-luis-sanchez-pereyra-1256038-unsplash  Whole Plant, Extraction Method and Purity

As we looked at earlier, nature’s medicine works best when used as nature intended. Some CBD oils are produced using only the seeds or stems of the hemp plant, but this means you are missing out on many other components including getting the maximum amount of terpenes. Terpenes are important as they work synergistically with the cannabinoids and influence their effect in the brain.

There are several different ways of extracting the CBD oil from the plant. Some methods use ethanol or even gasoline which then leaves traces of these toxins in the oil. CO2 extraction method is completely clean, using only harmless CO2 gas, which disperses leaving the oil completely pure. This purity can then be tested in a laboratory to make sure there is no contamination. Of course, you need to the oil to be grown and produced organically to be free of pesticides, too. Nobody wants toxic pesticides in their health product.

Simply put – look for organic, ‘whole plant’ CBD oil that is CO2 extracted and has been tested by a third-party lab.

oil 1  Which Carrier Oil?

Once the CBD has been extracted from the plant it is mixed with a carrier oil. The oil dilutes the CBD to the correct strength, makes measuring dosages easier and sometimes helps with absorption into the body. Some of the carrier oils most often used are sunflower, olive, hemp seed and MCT from palm/coconut.

Sunflower oil contains lecithin which not only helps with the absorption of CBD at a cellular level but has its own benefits too. Sunflower lecithin may help improve memory, strengthen the immune system and could even help prevent strokes and heart attacks.

Olive oil has larger fat molecules which makes it harder for your body to process and so less CBD is absorbed.

Hemp Seed oil may seem like a logical choice but, actually, is not very bioavailable to the body so is not great for absorption.

MCT Palm/coconut oil MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) are smaller fat molecules that are easily absorbed into the body but have been isolated from coconut oil or palm oil and therefore it is a mechanically altered substance and is not in its natural state. Due to this MCT can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, many people choose to avoid palm oil products due to the deforestation it causes.

Simply put – choose a natural, organic carrier oil with as many health benefits as possible, no side effects and that is easily and effectively absorbed into the body and cells.

Hopefully, this information has helped dispel some of the myths and mysteries surrounding CBD oil and you now feel confident in choosing the best oil for you

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