6 things to know about hemp-based CBD

Nearly all of the cannabidiol (CBD) products that you see sold in the United States, Europe or elsewhere are not actually made from standard cannabis, but a somewhat different strain known as industrial hemp.

Hemp also contains CBD, but much less of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is renowned – but also notorious – for its mind-altering effects. With virtually no psychoactivity in hemp, the plant is less controversial, and can therefore more easily be used to make CBD creams, e-liquids and tincture oils.

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Here are six things that you must know about hemp-based CBD.

Hemp-based CBD products must contain less than 0.3 percent THC

That’s for those made and sold in the US. In the UK, products are permitted to have no more than 0.2 percent THC, while in Switzerland the limit is raised slightly to 1 percent.

These thresholds all serve the same purpose – to prevent the CBD product being abused or taken recreationally. Hemp-based CBD is either sold as a medicine or wellness product, and is not intended to be taken like regular cannabis.

CBD products are made using supercritical CO2 extraction

The only downside about using hemp to make CBD products is that because the plant is a bio-accumulator, all of the harmful toxins and metals that are present in the soil get absorbed by the hemp. In its raw, natural state, it would be unwise to take hemp, and this also explains why you should only use products that have been grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides.

However, the supercritical CO2 extraction method ensures that all of these nasty components are filtered out from the CBD extract. Some companies use the cheaper solvent extraction method, using alcohol, but this doesn’t generate such a pure extract.

The most reputable CBD manufacturers also have their products examined by a third-party laboratory. This is essential in an unregulated industry such as this, as it brings some authenticity to the wholesale CBD products.

Full-spectrum CBD is different to CBD-isolate

CBD products are normally described as being either full-spectrum CBD or CBD-isolate. There are pros to using both. Isolate is made with just a CBD extract and some other ingredients (in the case of e-liquid, a carrier oil such as propylene glycol (PG)). In contrast, full-spectrum extracts are more complex as they contain all of the cannabinoids and terpenes that occur in the hemp plant. This generally means there will be trace levels of cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabidivarin (CBDV), other non-psychotropic cannabinoids with myriad of therapeutic properties.

People often take full-spectrum CBD in the hope of getting extra medical benefits, harnessing the ‘entourage effect’ – a synergistic interaction that happens between the compounds in hemp and cannabis. However, if taken copiously and regularly, the trace amounts of THC in these products can accumulate over time, as the cannabinoid is still detectable in the body several weeks after consumption.

Hemp-based CBD can relieve anxiety

The benefits of CBD for anxiety are some of the most intriguing discovered about the compound thus far. Anxiety is notorious because of the acute symptoms it causes, which cannot be easily remedied by standard pharmaceutical drugs such as SSRIs.

But CBD delivers potent relief from the first dose, positively altering brain chemistry to enhance the presence of soothing GABA neurotransmitters, which help to prevent overexcitement in the organ, which can trigger anxiety.

Hemp-based CBD is perfectly safe

With cannabis and its constituents banned and locked away for so long, it’s no wonder that many are hesitant about medicating with it today – even non-psychoactive CBD products. But with the World Health Organization now stating that isolated CBD, in its pure state, is safe for human consumption and poses no risk of addiction, attitudes are beginning to change. Industrial and medical grade hemp extracts can both be used to make CBD-isolate products.

No prescription or card is needed to buy hemp-based CBD

Hemp-based CBD is separate from the cannabis products which have recently been permitted thanks to cannabis legislation reform. Anybody is allowed to walk into a health store and purchase CBD or head online and buy CBD oil wholesale. This is because hemp products are not classed as being made from cannabis, even though hemp is a strain of cannabis sativa.

However, it is fair to say that the increased media attention on medical and recreational cannabis has increased the demand for hemp-based CBD, as CBD is one of the most talked about compounds from the plant.

Image Credits: CBD from 271 EAK MOTO /Shutterstock