What is CBD oil? Information and therapeutic uses

Cannabidiol and products derived from it, such as CBD oil , are increasingly present in our lives. Creams, supplements, edibles, cosmetics, etc. Almost any product you can imagine can contain CBD and the explanation is simple: more and more people want to benefit from the therapeutic effects that this compound has.

What is CBD Oil

Although we just said that cannabis products are the future of modern medicine (reference) , there are still many people who think that this is nothing more than a passing fad. Or even worse: a miracle product.

The truth is that this idea is not surprising, especially if we consider the powerful marketing industry that is present in everything we consume. And that evolves as the tastes and demands of consumers do to respond to their needs.

However, this is not the case with CBD-based products. Especially because of the great scientific evidence behind them and that continues to increase every day.

At the end of the day, any derivative based on cannabidiol is formulated and designed to be used therapeutically , that is, as if it were a medicine. And, therefore, the scientific community is striving to discover the best way to incorporate this compound into our daily lives to optimize all its benefits.

This partly explains why there are different CBD supplements, foods or oils , since depending on the pathology we want to treat, we must use one or the other. Or even a combination of several.

In fact, the variety of options that we have at our disposal is such that it seems difficult not to find the one that best suits us. You just have to take a look at the different types of cannabidiol oil on the market to realize this.

Types of CBD Oil

In that sense, when we talk about CBD oils, a clear distinction must be made between the two most common types that exist.

Although we have already mentioned that all these products have a therapeutic effect , in the case of oils it is necessary to clarify the message a bit more. Why? The reason is simple: a CBD oil in the cosmetic world is not the same as CBD oils intended for the treatment of diseases through their sublingual intake .

In the first case, it is common to see products that include other derivatives such as vegetable oils, perfumes, butters, etc. That is, any element that serves to improve consistency, odor, or that favors its application topically as a cream.

On the contrary, in the second case the composition is much simpler, finding oils that only have two or three ingredients (including cannabidiol) to get a kind of tincture or extract that we can give different uses. For example, its consumption.

However, this simplicity in its ingredient list does not imply that it is a simpler product. In fact, depending on how CBD is obtained , we will find different products and qualities.

Although it is a topic that gives for more than one post (and which you can read more about here), we could not write about CBD oils and not talk briefly about the ways to extract it.

Specifically, the three most common are:

With vegetable oils

It is one of the safest, cheapest and "simplest" ways to extract CBD for therapeutic use. Besides being a 100% suitable method for consumption since it uses vegetable oils (especially olive and hemp) which are.

The process is as follows: after decarboxylation  of the plant, thanks to which the plant is heated until its chemical compounds are activated, it is mixed with the oil. Afterwards, this mixture is reheated in order to extract the CBD that will have remained in the oil.

Cannabis essential oil container with cannabis leaves and cannabis seeds

The downside of this method is that the resulting CBD oil has a shorter shelf life (as with any vegetable oil) and is not as concentrated as the CBD resulting from other forms of extraction.

With CO 2

It is the most advanced process and also the most complicated and expensive. While it is true that the result of CBD oil is of great quality and it is very rare that the final product has unwanted toxic elements. Therefore, it is the usual method of producing oils for therapeutic use .

In this case, the extraction is carried out through specialized machinery, so it is necessary to have prior technical knowledge. With it, we manage to apply different pressures and temperatures with which we will react to the solution and separate the CBD.

In addition, depending on the parameters we apply, we will obtain a CBD extract with a higher or lower concentration of cannabidiol . This extract will now be ready for use in other types of products.

With a liquid solvent

The third most common method is also one of the cheapest and fastest.

In this case, a liquid solvent is used to extract the CBD, such as ethanol, butane or alcohol. Simply mix the solvent and the plant and heat it until the liquid evaporates and we have the extracted cannabidiol.

However, there are two major disadvantages with this method:

The products used are highly flammable, with the risks that this entails during their production.

During the extraction, some compounds of the plant also beneficial to health are destroyed. In addition, the resulting product will have traces of the solvents that we have used for its extraction. Therefore, this form is not suitable for therapeutic use.

What is this oil used for?

Once we have seen the two main types of CBD oil that we find in the market, and the way to extract it, it is worth mentioning briefly the use that we can give these products.

As many will imagine, the CBD oils that we talked about in the first group constitute a new way of understanding cosmetics and caring for our interior from the outside. In fact, these oils can be used like any other product of this type: for hair and skin, for massage, for muscle aches and pains, etc. With the addition that we would be getting the benefits that cannabidiol has .

For example, it has been shown to be effective in the treatment of itching, psoriasis or atopic dermatitis, among many other skin conditions .

On the contrary, oils of the second type would have a much more marked therapeutic use . And therefore, before using them we should make sure of the daily amount we need and what concentration of CBD to look for in the oil .

In this sense, the therapeutic needs of each person will define the treatment to be followed. Therefore, we cannot give a general guide here that works for everyone. However, we recommend supervision by a specialist.

Finally, the sublingual application of CBD oils has proven to be the one that has the greatest effectiveness compared to other forms such as topical application, inhalation or the ingestion of CBD products.

Benefits of using CBD oil

Although whatever product we choose, one thing is for sure: CBD works. And we already know many of its benefits:

It is anti-inflammatory; has neuroprotective properties; lowers blood pressure; works as an adaptogen ; helps with anxiety; avoid nausea and vomiting; stimulates appetite (very useful in cases of anorexia and cachexia); has analgesic properties; and it has been shown to be effective in the treatment of epilepsy and Alzheimer's, as well as in the treatment of pain.

Also, unlike THC (another of the main natural compounds in the Cannabis sativa plant ), CBD has no psychoactive or psychotropic properties .

However, and despite all these benefits, it is necessary to mention again here that cannabidiol is not a miracle product that cures everything , as unfortunately you can read on some Internet pages that only seek to maximize their sales.

In that sense, the evidence that currently exists for treating epilepsy with CBD is the strongest we have. In fact, in April 2018 the FDA approved the marketing of Epidiolex, an effective CBD-based drug for the treatment of two rare and severe varieties of epilepsy .

And as we have mentioned before, there are numerous scientific studies that support its effectiveness and its use to treat many other pathologies. Without forgetting the testimonies of the people who use them or have used them to treat their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

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