Where can I get CBD Oil?

cbd oil

Where can I get CBD oil?

CBD is becoming readily available in health stores. Earlier this year, CBD oil launched at Holland & Barrett, starting at £19.99

However, Professor McGuire says it’s easy to get confused about what exactly it is that you’re buying. “The products sold in health stores often contain very small amounts of CBD, and may also be mixed with other compounds derived from cannabis.

“There is little evidence that these products have beneficial effects. In contrast, the CBD that has been found to be effective in clinical trials is pure CBD, and has a much higher dose.”

What percentage of CBD should I look for?

This will depend on what you’re looking to get from the oil.

The CBD oils sold in Holland & Barrett and other health stores contain up to 5% CBD. This can be beneficial when used as a health supplement.

Other oils available online contain up to 20% CBD – the most famous being ‘Charlotte’s Web’. Many claims have been made that products like these can alleviate mild to moderate mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

Here are 4 standards to look for when purchasing CBD medical hemp oil.

1. Extraction Methods

To obtain CBD-rich oil, you need to extract it from the cannabis plant. There are a handful of methods used, but typically this isn’t something customers know to ask about.

Not surprisingly, many companies use cheap methods that involve nasty toxic solvents such as propane, hexane, pentane, and butane, which are flammable hydrocarbon gases found in petroleum. Do you really want to consume this, especially if you are ill?

“Cannabis oil made with neurotoxic solvents like butane and hexane may leave unsafe residues that compromise immune function and impede healing,” explainsConstance Finley, founder and CEO of Constance Therapeutics.

Beware of companies who try to convince you that using a hydrocarbon method stays the most true to the plant. Butane is illegal for a reason.

“Butane extraction is cheap and efficient but is toxic to make and use,” adds cannabis and medicinal plant expert Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham. “Inhalation of butane residue can cause cardiac and respiratory problems.”

Some industry insiders argue that organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol, which is a grain alcohol, is optimal and eliminates certain toxins and residues in the raw plant material itself. But others say that while this extraction method yields a high amount of cannabinoids and is GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) for human consumption, it destroys the plant’s waxes, leading to a less potent oil.

Conversely, to preserve most of the plant’s trichromes – these are the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids – look for Supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 extraction. This method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the medicinal oil. While this method is more expensive and involves complex equipment and expertise, it ensures quality.

“The CBD oil obtained through supercritical extraction is a full-spectrum cannabinoid-rich product,” says Elizabeth Moriarty, Clinical Herbalist and Formulator at Luminary Medicine Company. “This method also produces a cleaner taste, and meanwhile, mycotoxins cannot survive this process.”

It’s also eco-friendly and non-flammable, creating a safer laboratory and manufacturing environment, as well as better product control, says Gabriel Ettenson, licensed physical therapist and general manager of Elixinol, an organic Hemp CBD Oil company.

Finally, olive oil or coconut oil can also be used to extract cannabis oil. According to Dr. Arno Hazekamp, director of phytochemical research at Bedrocan BV, which supplies medical cannabis for the Dutch Health Ministry, this method is both safe and inexpensive. “You won’t blow yourself up making cannabis-infused olive oil.”

With that said, cannabis-infused olive oil — whether CBD-rich or THC-dominant — is perishable and should be stored in a cool, dark place.

2. Sourcing

The quality of CBD oil is really based on its source; where was it grown, how was it grown, and what is the species of cannabis (e.g., sativa, ruderalis, or indica).

“The soil, climate, plants growing on the farm next door, the flowers in the farmer’s garden, etc. are all reflected in the final essence of the plant,” says Finley.

The main reason why hemp’s cultivation environment is so important is because the cannabis plant is a “hyperaccumulator,” meaning it easily absorbs contaminants from the soil while it grows. In fact, it’s used in bioremediation, a cost-effective plant-based approach to clean the environment of toxic heavy metals and organic pollutants.

“This is sadly why industrial hemp grown in non-food grade conditions is falsely being sold as CBD medicine over the internet,” says Finley.

So if the soil is polluted with heavy metals, then that plant will likely contain high levels of lead or mercury. According to Frias, there have been instances where children have almost died taking hemp extracts that were high in lead.

Essentially, “those companies have given the rest of the CBD industry a black eye because they were more interested in profiting off the sick instead of creating a quality product and testing it.”

Look for brands who source their cannabinoids from organic-certified, hemp-grown farms in pristine regions of Europe. “The German regulatory system is strict and enforced, providing confidence in the superiority of their harvest, processes, and extraction quality,” adds Moriarity. wordswag_1530913339399-1010449129.png

Meanwhile, independent testing by accredited laboratories with globally accepted analytical methods ensures the organic extract is intact from pesticides, heavy metals, or microbiological contaminants. And reputable CBD companies have lab results from independent labs available on their websites, this can also be used as an indicator for consumers about what companies are providing high-quality CBD.

When it comes to the “best” genotype, it really depends upon what one is hoping to treat or effect.

3. Bioavailability

Unfortunately, there have been instances where products claiming to have CBD in them tested at zero percent in a lab attempting to verify the results. In fact, in 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested products and fined companies that did not include any CBD despite reports. This also gives the industry a proverbial black eye.

So let’s say you are dealing with a product that contains CBD, the amount that actually enters the body and central nervous system is still a gray territory. In food products, cannabinoids are subject to degradation and reduced bioavailability, depending on overall formulation/delivery.

“The industry is pushing for more research here, as these studies on cannabis are relatively very new,” explains Joe Santucci of  Solstice, a commercial cannabis production company. “CBD can be an amazing, but a very expensive solution for those that need it, so maximizing bioavailability is going to be essential to lower the cost for people.

“In terms of ingestion, the general consensus is that sublingual (under the tongue) and/or rectal delivery provide the highest levels of bioavailability,” says Ettenson. Some believe that vaping also produces high bioavailability as well. “Topical and ingestion (through soft gels for example) have lower levels of absorption,” says Gabriel.

If you are vaporizing CBD-dominant strains of cannabis, bioavailability is through the alveoli, tiny sacs in the lungs, clarifies Kilham. If you are taking CBD strain capsules, he suggests eating some fat or oil, like a handful of nuts or some full-fat yogurt, to improve absorption and bioavailability. Cannabinoids are fat-loving molecules. They are taken up readily into the small intestine with a bit of dietary fat.

“The need for enhanced bioavailability of the CBD phytonutrient is paramount”, adds Moriarity, “but tricky to accomplish without synthetic chemicals.” Most CBD products do not offer any bioavailability optimization, so 90 percent of the CBD is lost to first-pass effect, a phenomenon of drug metabolism whereby the concentration of a drug is greatly reduced before it reaches systemic circulation.

Meanwhile, the products that do engage in optimization efforts “are generally using a synthetic chemical soup of solvents, surfactants, and emulsifiers — none of which must be disclosed on the label since they are characterized as ‘processing aids,’” says Moriarty, who co-formulated our Superior cannabinoid oil, the market’s leading solution.

The formulation, however, offers optimized delivery via mucosal membrane permeability in tandem with precision production/formulation methods. Her company, HERBOLOGIE, reduces the particle size of the cannabinoids and immerses them in a matrix of exclusively natural ingredients that work synergistically to enhance absorption through oral membranes. When cannabinoids are transported through membranes and directly into the bloodstream, the phytonutrients are delivered more quickly, and crucially, avoiding first-pass degradation in the liver.

“We know the manufacturing process can also influence bioavailability,” says Ettison. “For example, reducing the size of the CBD compound through the use of liposomes improves absorption and bioavailability.”

“When purchasing a CBD product, keep in mind that a transparent company’s CBD milligram (mg) strength is reflective of the actual active CBD in that particular product,” states Farias. “If a bottle says 250 mg of CBD, then that product should contain 250 mg of actual active CBD. However, a lot of companies currently in the market will list the mg dosage of their CBD hemp oil without publishing the strength of their actual active CBD.”

Ideally, look for CBD products that proportionately offer 4 or more parts CBD to 1 part THC, for maximum relief and minimal or no storage issues.

4. Greenwashing Tactics

Upon investigation there are companies that engage in the use of “window dressing.” For example, one popular brand brags that they use the superfood moringa. This of course lures people in. But keep in mind that for added antioxidant benefit, you would need to ingest 7.5 g (7,500 mg) within the context of a meal or beverage. The entire 30 ml bottle of said brand contains 33.3 mg; so at the recommended dose of 1 ml daily, the daily dose of moringa would only be 1.11 mg.

“The truth is that the gray zone of medicinal cannabis invites lots of shady characters into the burgeoning industry,” says Finley. “A lack of critical thinking, quality business practices, transparency about products and plants, all have been part of the black market.”

“When the conditions are “primed” in these four areas,  you set a high standard of quality for the whole plant efficacy, and CBD can provide outstanding health benefits for longevity and wellness in high grade medicinals used for health repair,” says Cherie Arnold, Founder and CEO of MediQI Energetics.

Look for products that are sold legally, with full transparency.

1992 discovery of the EndoCannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System

0By Julia Granowiz

Have you ever wondered why marijuana affects us the way it does? What is it that makes THC and CBD react with our bodies, healing and offering relief to the ill? What makes this plant such a diverse medicine, able to treat such a large number of vastly different conditions?

If you had asked this question fifty years ago, there wouldn’t have been an answer for you to find. Unfortunately, the extraction methods available in the early 1900s made it difficult to determine which one of the 80+ cannabinoids found in cannabis was the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the effects of marijuana.

The truth is, it’s only been in the last couple of decades that scientists have truly even begun to understand the ways cannabis works within our bodies.

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In 1988, the first cannabinoid receptor was found in the brain of a rat. Initially found by Allyn Howlett and William Devane these cannabinoid receptors turned out to be plentiful in the brain – more so than any other neurotransmitter receptor.
Soon after this discovery researchers started using a synthetic form of THC (which is actually FDA approved these days, to treat severe nausea and wasting syndrome) to start mapping the CB receptors in the brain. Not much of a surprise, the receptors were located primarily found in the regions responsible for mental and physiological processes including memory, higher cognition, motor coordination, appetite and emotions among other places.
This would only begin to explain how cannabinoids affect our brains and bodies – already however, it was becoming clear that cannabinoids likely played a larger part in our physiology than we ever expected. After all, why would we have cannabinoid receptors if cannabinoids could only be delivered from external sources?
It wasn’t until two years later in 1990 before the next big breakthrough; when Lisa Matsuda announced at the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine that she and her colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health had managed to pinpoint the DNA sequence that defines a THC-sensitive receptor in a rat’s brain.
Not long after this announcement they were able to successfully clone that receptor – allowing them to create molecules that “fit” or “activate” the receptors. Scientists were also able to develop genetically altered mice that lacked this specific receptor – meaning THC should have no effect on them.

When THC was given to the “knockout mice” as they were called, they found that because the THC had nowhere to bind, there was no way to trigger any psychoactive activity – proving once and for all that THC works by activating specific cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system.

Soon after, in 1993, a second cannabinoid receptor was found – as a part of the immune and nervous systems. Dubbed CB2 (the CB receptors in the brain officially dubbed CB1 receptors) receptors they are found to be plentiful throughout the gut, spleen, liver, heart kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells and even the reproductive organs.

However that curious, pesky question remained unanswered – why do we have cannabinoid receptors in the first place?

The answer to that question started to unfold in 1992, when the first endocannabinoid was discovered. Anandamide was the first, naturally occurring endogenous cannabinoid, or endocannabinoid. It was found by Raphael Mechoulam as well as NIMH researchers William Devane and Dr. Lumir Hanus.

This is still only one of two known and relatively well-understood endocannabinoids. It attaches to the same CB receptors as THC and it was named after the Sanskrit word for bliss.

A second endocannabinoid was identified in 1995, discovered by none other than Mechoulam’s group yet again. This second major endocannabinoid was dubbed 2-arachidonoylglycerol or “2-AG” to keep it simple. This particular endocannabinoid attaches to both CB1 and CB2 receptors.

It was these discoveries, working backwards, tracing the metabolic pathways of THC, which allowed scientists to discover an entirely unknown molecular signaling system that resides within us – and within thousands of other biological lifeforms, basically everything on our planet with the exception of insects.

Due to the role cannabis played in discovering this system it was rightfully named the endocannabinoid system. While we knew about the plant first – this cellular process has been happening within us for millions of years. According to Dr. John McPartland, the system started evolving as long ago as 600 million years back – when complex life meant a sponge.

There is evidence that a possible third CB receptor has still gone unidentified, thirteen years after the CB2 receptor was initially discovered.

Since then, we have found out that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining many of our normal bodily functions – everything from helping to maintain healthy bone density (as found in a study with mice and the previously mentioned “knockout mice”) to naturally preventing diabetes – and that’s only the beginning.

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It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come – fifty years ago THC had just been identified – now, thanks to the discovery of that one cannabinoid we’ve discovered an entire molecular system within our bodies that we never knew about.

Actually, the endocannabinoid system is possibly the single-most important system within our entire bodies – responsible for maintaining homeostasis. Basically, if our endocannabinoid system is out-of-whack, your whole body could be at risk as it is responsible for many of our normal day to day functions.

Is it so hard to think that if supplementing unbalanced naturally occurring endocannabinoids with the cannabinoids from cannabis is able to manage, relieve or control a condition (such as ALS, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s) and even cure cancer – that it might be possible to use the same process to prevent such conditions in the first place?
“I now believe the answer is yes. Research has shown that small doses of cannabinoids from cannabis can signal the body to make more endocannabinoids and build more cannabinoid receptors. This is why many first-time cannabis users don’t feel an effect, but by their second or third time using the herb they have built more cannabinoid receptors and are ready to respond. More receptors increase a person’s sensitivity to cannabinoids; smaller doses have larger effects, and the individual has an enhanced baseline of endocannabinoid activity. I believe that small, regular doses of cannabis might act as a tonic to our most central physiologic healing system.” – Dustin Sulak, DO (Taken from a blog post from NORML.org)