What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is an organic compound belonging to the cannabinoid group. It is found in the highest concentrations in the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). Along with the better-known THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it is the most abundant substance in most cannabis varieties. The highest concentration of CBD is found in technical hemp, which in turn contains only a very small amount of THC.
Although CBD has a similar chemical structure to THC, its physiological effects are very different. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive. Scientists are investigating cannabidiol (CBD) for its therapeutic potential. So far, the results of their work look promising and suggest that CBD may have a wide range of applications in combating various health conditions.
How does CBD work?
The performance of CBD in the human body is closely linked to the endocannabinoid system with which CBD interacts – as well as other cannabinoids (there are more than 100 of them in cannabis).
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system is a complex system of cell signaling. It consists of a network of two types of receptors, CB1 and CB2. These are found in cells throughout the body and influence various biological processes. CBD indirectly stimulates these receptors.
The endocannabinoid system influences several essential processes in the human body. Among the most important are the proper function of metabolism, the immune system, and it is essential for maintaining the body's internal balance (homeostasis). It regulates, among other things, hormone levels, body temperature, sleep, and the processing of emotions, thus affecting our mood.
What does the term full spectrum (oil) mean?
There are different ways of extracting CBD from cannabis. Let's take a look at two basic results that extraction can have. On the one hand, there is the CBD isolate, on the other the full spectrum extract. Both terms refer to the number of naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant that can be found in the final product. These are mainly cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and vitamins.
The isolate contains only pure CBD, whereas full spectrum CBD oil contains a variety of compounds. It includes all the potent natural cannabinoids that the plant contains: CBN (cannabinol), CBG (cannabigerol), THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), and others, as well as terpenes (aromatic compounds) and flavonoids (with antioxidant properties, for example). In the context of full spectrum extracts, it is often said that the individual components work together to produce what is known as the entourage effect.
What is the entourage effect?
Individual cannabinoids, but also other substances in cannabis such as terpenes and flavonoids, have specific effects, but they also interact with each other and in most cases work synergistically. They reinforce each other's effects and develop the overall potential. This phenomenon of cannabinoids working together is called the entourage effect.
What are the effects of CBD use?
The effects of CBD depend strongly not only on the amount but also on the method of use. If CBD oil passes through the digestive system, it takes longer for the effects to express. When the oil is dripped under the tongue (called sublingual application) and absorbed, the effects come on quicker. This method of use allows more of the active substance to enter the bloodstream. For most users, it produces a clear and calming effect.
This cannabinoid has a low affinity for cannabinoid receptors but can nevertheless affect the endocannabinoid system through indirect mechanisms. Scientists are studying this cannabinoid for its therapeutic potential and the preliminary results look promising.
What is the difference between technical hemp and cannabis?
Although they are the same plant, the main difference lies in the genetic basis and the cultivation environment where the plants are grown. Cannabis (marijuana) and industrial hemp differ mainly in the content of the main phytocannabinoids. The industrial hemp used for the production of CBD oils is bred to contain high concentrations of CBD and very small amounts of THC. Marijuana usually contains a higher proportion of THC than CBD and other cannabinoids and induces the typical states of intoxication and euphoria.
How much CBD oil should I take?
Although we would like to advise you on the exact dosage, unfortunately, we cannot. The dosage depends on many factors such as your weight and height, gender, medical condition, or pain threshold. The average dose is 3-4 drops 3 times a day. It takes time to work out the correct dosage.
Each person is unique. This is also why it is inherently impossible to determine the exact ideal and most importantly universal dose of CBD oil. In the beginning stages of use, there are several basic factors to consider that can be very crucial in determining the correct dosage amount. These include:
- General health; a consultation with your physician is always recommended.
- The reason you have decided to start using CBD oil.
- Your weight; people with lower weight should take proportionately lower doses of CBD oil.
- Drug interactions; if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications (some dietary supplements can have the same effect), there may be conflicts leading to poor absorption of the medication or unwanted side effects.
How can I be sure that CBD oils are safe to use?
The quality of all our products and therefore the health of our customers is our top priority. To ensure the safety of our CBD oils, we carefully test them in the laboratory many times throughout the whole manufacturing process. The CBD is acquired using a state-of-the-art method called supercritical carbon dioxide (CO₂) extraction – it contains no solvents and cleanses the plant of any bacteria or fungi.
What is supercritical CO2 extraction?
Several technologies are used to separate the different components of cannabis. Supercritical fluid extraction, or supercritical CO₂ extraction, is currently the most efficient of all of them. We produce our Hemnia CBD oils and CBD crystals using this extraction method.
The natural herbs in their solid-state – in our case, the flowers of high-CBD industrial hemp – produce a liquid extract. CO₂ is used as the solvent.
Carbon dioxide, a gas at normal temperature and pressure, is converted into a liquid by compression. The process takes advantage of the fact that carbon dioxide cannot be further liquefied above a (critical) temperature of 31 °C by further increasing the pressure. The aim is to bring the highly compressed gas to a supercritical state (temperature above 31 °C and pressure above 73 bar) in which it exhibits extraordinary properties.
By controlling the pressure and temperature, the density of the supercritical fluid and thus its extraction power can be varied. As the density increases, so does the ability of CO₂ to dissolve substances.
This is a physical process in which no chemical reaction takes place, so the resulting extract is very pure without any residue. The ideal conditions for rapid extraction with maximum yield occur at pressures between 100 and 300 bar and temperatures between 40 and 50 °C.
Supercritical extraction does not require any toxic chemicals and uses a closed system in which used CO₂ can be recycled. It is therefore safe for humans and the environment. In addition, the extract is naturally purified of any heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides in the separation process, as these are not soluble in CO₂.
It is not only the most efficient but also the most environmentally friendly method of obtaining CBD extracts. It takes place at temperatures orders of magnitude lower and more stable than organic solvents. As a result, the resulting extract, which is always identical, retains more of the desired substances, such as terpenes. And we can offer you a richer and better quality oil.
This is an expensive method that requires not only specialized laboratory equipment but also the expertise of an experienced chemist. This also makes the resulting extract more expensive.
What is fractionated MCT C8 coconut oil?
No wonder coconut oil is one of the vegetable fats that has been growing in popularity in recent years. In many ways, it is beneficial to our body. That's why we use MCT C8 coconut oil to make our flavoured CBD oils.
The term MCT is an abbreviation for Medium Chain Triglycerides and refers to the length of the chemical structure of the fats contained in the oil, specifically the medium-chain saturated fatty acids. These contain between 6-12 carbons and MCTs are more easily absorbed compared to longer chain fatty acids. This light and stable oil is obtained by fractional distillation of coconut oil (hence the term fractionated).
Its health benefits stem mainly from its content of saturated caprylic fatty acid (C8). This is probably the most important component of coconut oil. It has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties and thus supports our immune system. It also aids digestion and nutrient absorption and is beneficial to brain function by providing an instant source of energy.
As coconut oil contains a relatively small amount of caprylic acid, it is often added to oils – including the one we use to make our flavoured CBD oils.
The resulting MCT C8 oil is ideal for macerating herbs and creating tinctures because it binds the active oil-soluble compounds very well. Due to its good absorbability, it helps to get more CBD into the bloodstream, thus enhancing its effects.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes, otherwise known as terpenoids, are aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis. They are found in leaves, fruits, flowers, rhizomes, roots, and also in plant resins. They are an essential component of essential oils.
Cannabis (hemp) contains over 200 different terpenes, each with specific properties. Terpenes give the cannabis plant its aroma and taste (of chocolate, berries, spiciness, exotic fruits, citrus, or pine resin, etc.), but they also affect our bodies. Each plant, depending on the variety, contains a specific mix of terpenes. It is their ratio (terpene profile) that very likely influences the final effect. The terpenes are thus the substances that, in addition to the ratio of cannabinoids and flavonoids contained, co-create the so-called entourage effect. This is why our CBD oils are made from a full-spectrum extract that contains a range of these substances.
The 9 most important terpenes found in cannabis include myrcene, limonene, (alpha- and beta-) pinene, caryophyllene, borneol, linalool, terpineol, nerolidol, and eucalyptol.
What are flavonoids?
Like terpenes, cannabis also contains other organic chemical compounds, including flavonoids. These plant substances, known as secondary metabolites, are found in all green plant foods – fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They have strong antioxidant effects and help our body to get rid of toxic substances that damage the body cells and also protect them from free radicals. Flavonoids generally have a positive effect on the human body, e.g. regenerate and strengthen blood vessels. They maintain the proper function of the immune system and act as a prevention of heart disease.
Some flavonoids (especially anthocyanins) serve as pigments. They bring out the bright colours of many fruits and vegetables and also hemp/cannabis. They are found in various parts of plants. In cannabis, they are found in high concentrations in leaves, branches, pollen, and buds. Current research focuses among other things on their potential to positively influence mood and improve memory.