Hemp Oil Extract: Everything You Need To Know
As hemp becomes more extensively researched and widely available, we are starting to realize the true power of this special plant.* But it still generates a lot of confusion. Today, we’re clearing up the murkiness surrounding hemp oil and hemp extract products and how to take them safely to reap their wide array of benefits.*
An introduction to hemp.
There are many varietals of the Cannabis sativa plant, all of which contain different amounts of THC (the psychoactive component), CBD (a nonpsychoactive component), and other phytocannabinoid components.
Cannabis sativa varietals that have more than 0.3% THC (much more) are commonly referred to as marijuana. Hemp is a genetically distinct plant varietal of Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC (i.e., trace levels), and it will not get you high.
For a long time, researchers were only concerned with studying delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component that is concentrated in marijuana. However, within the past decade, they have become increasingly interested in the therapeutic benefits of the other compounds found in both varieties but especially concentrated in hemp, namely cannabidiol (CBD).*
It’s important to know that although THC and CBD are the most studied components of cannabis, there are many more active compounds found within the plant, such as the phytocannabinoids cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), as well as terpenes and flavonoids.
Researchers believe that whole-plant hemp oils and extracts that contain these other compounds are more beneficial than isolated extracts of just CBD, for example, due to a synergy phenomenon called “the entourage effect.”*
Should You Use Topical CBD or Oral CBD? How absorption may impact your choice.
There are many ways to utilize CBD for your health, but two of the most popular routes are topical application and oral ingestion. Let’s dive into what they are, how they are used, and how they differ.
What is Topical CBD?
Topical CBD refers to lotions, salves, creams, or oils that have been infused with CBD, and are intended to be applied directly to sore muscles, aching or stiff joints, or at the site of inflammation. Topical and transdermal products typically have a bioavailability rate of around 45% ( 4 ). It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour for topical CBD to be absorbed and felt in the affected area.
When CBD is applied to the skin, it is absorbed locally but doesn’t enter into the bloodstream like oral or other routes of ingesting CBD. Because it is absorbed into the tissue of the location where it is applied, it is often utilized for localized muscle tension, stiff joints, or inflammation.
What is oral CBD?
Oral CBD can be defined in a few different ways and is often used interchangeably by different sources. Oral CBD can be categorized as edible (ingested), oromucosal (a mouth/throat spray), or sublingual (absorbed under the tongue).
Oral CBD comes in many forms. When it’s used in a tincture it is often infused into olive, coconut, or MCT oil. It can be distilled into a potent powder or isolate which can be mixed into another substance or baked/infused into an edible or beverage. CBD can also be developed into water-compatible nanoparticles, which have a faster onset than topical or oil-based options. Nanoparticle CBD can be mixed into water unlike oil-based forms of CBD which separate when mixed into water and take much longer to be absorbed.
Historically, the bioavailability of oral CBD options has ranged from about 13-19%(5), but the technology that breaks CBD particles down into nanoparticle water-compatible CBD increases bioavailability dramatically – as much as 4-5x more. Depending on the route of ingestion, traditional oil-based oral CBD may take 45 minutes to 2 hours to be absorbed and felt. Whereas nanoparticle CBD has a much faster onset and can be absorbed within minutes of being consumed.
Many ongoing studies and anecdotal accounts suggest that oral forms of CBD have the potential to support physical wellness and may create a sense of calm or reduce feelings of anxiety.
What are “bioavailability” and “absorption” and how do they fit into conversations regarding CBD?
The word bioavailable refers to the percentage of the substance (in this instance, CBD) that has a practical and active effect in the body. The term absorption is sometimes used in combination or in replacement of bioavailability but often refers to how our bodies process and utilize the compound.
The long and short; the bioavailability of a product is how much of the substance is intended to be delivered, and absorption is the level of effectiveness in delivering the medicine to your body and the way your body puts it to use.
The way the CBD is formulated – like a water-based nano CBD particle vs. an oil-based CBD- may also allow for more of the actual CBD compound ( sometimes up to 80% or more ) to be absorbed and utilized by your body. Overall, nanoparticle water-based CBD is superior in bioavailability, absorption, and has a faster onset compared to oil-based CBD options.
In addition, absorption is affected by several additional things:
The lipophilicity of CBD (a fancy word for fat-soluble nature)
The route in which we consume CBD (edibles, sublingual tinctures, combustion, etc.)
Naturally existing organ tissue differences (i.e., alveolar/lungs, dermal/skin, or gastric/the stomach and liver) ( 1 )
The extraction method that was used to isolate the CBD
Each person’s natural biological differences
And the time of day it is consumed
It can be challenging to pinpoint exactly how you’ll absorb CBD. It may take time to understand how your body processes and utilizes CBD, but keeping a log can help to narrow down what works best for you.
Is there anything you can do to increase the absorption of CBD?
In fact, there is! Choosing the right product can make all the difference. Knowing the source and extraction practices is important because not all products are made equally.
Consuming a product that has nanoparticle CBD can increase the potential bioavailability up to 80-100% and absorption to near 100% and have a much faster onset – taking mere minutes. Whereas some oil-based tinctures only offer up to 45% bioavailability, and when consumed orally can deliver a low absorption rate of 6%. The absorption of oils and capsules can also be slow, erratic, and variable ( 3 ), and may take anywhere from 60 minutes to 6 hours to reach full absorption.
One study suggests that a potential method to increase oral bioavailability is to administer CBD alongside a high-fat/high-calorie meal, which could increase bioavailability up to 4x versus consuming CBD on an empty stomach ( 2 ).
What is nanoparticle CBD?
Nanotechnology has been widely used in medicine because it increases the absorption of the substance into the bloodstream. When particles are broken down into microscopic pieces, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest or process them, but rather gets to work absorbing them into the bloodstream. This allows the particles to be delivered faster and to be absorbed at a much higher rate.
CBD is both hydrophobic and lipophilic – it doesn’t dissolve in water , but it does dissolve in fats. Breaking it down to the microscopic level allows CBD to dissolve better in water or other non-oil-based liquids. This makes nanoparticle CBD the closest thing to being “water-based CBD” on a microscopic level – even though it never fully dissolves in water. Due to the small size of the particles, they are absorbed easier by our tissues and are distributed into the bloodstream faster as well.
Nanotechnology has improved the oral bioavailability of CBD dramatically, offering effective new options to consume CBD. This makes nanoparticle water-based CBD the most versatile, bioavailable, effective, and fastest CBD option available.
If you are curious about water-soluble CBD, check out the shop pag e for products that fit your needs.
The Float Zone’s Blog Posts
Floating is a great modern day lifestyle hack. Great for body and mind, helps with so many conditions and intentions, works well in tandem with other therapies.
The Float Blog highlights many of the reasons why people float especially to address medical conditions, chronic pain, or other physical conditions. This comes usually after other interventions and therapies have been used or did not provide long-term improvement or success.
CBD Is Kryptonite to Inflammation
So many chronic conditions share a common underlying cause. Ultimately, the main issue is the powerful role of inflammation. Recent research has demonstrated that CBD has wide ranging activity on reducing systemic inflammation, and positively modulating the immune system. CBD has also been demonstrated to be specifically effective in dealing with various types of pain. 1
With dozens of different targets throughout your body, CBD has a staggering variety of therapeutic properties.2 There are several ways to appreciate CBD. Different delivery methods affect what it can be used for and how often to take it. If you’re looking for immediate, short-term relief, then inhaled products like a vaporizer might be ideal. On the other hand, if you want to maintain steady levels of CBD throughout the day, then an oral product would be more appropriate.
Orally, CBD can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream from capillary-rich areas underneath the tongue, along the gums and cheek. This route gets CBD into your bloodstream faster than swallowing. Under the tongue is generally quicker than against the cheek. However, because most of the CBD will eventually be swallowed, it takes roughly 0.5 – 3 hours to take effect. It is often suggested to keep CBD oil in your mouth for 1.5 minutes or more before swallowing. 3 It will improve absorption by vigorously swishing the oil around your mouth and even between your teeth — this increases the surface contact between the oil and your capillaries. 4.
1000 mg CBD Tincture from Healthy Roots
Finding the right dose of CBD is a highly individual process. Start with a very low dose. Try 3-6 drops of an oral formulation (10 mg or less), or a tiny puff off a vaporizer. This will be well below the recommended serving size listed on the product. Wait at least an hour for vaporizers, and a few hours for an oral formula before adding more. Any effects you feel will be the cumulative result of both doses. 5
Food can affect your body’s ability to absorb CBD, and more cannabinoids are absorbed on a full stomach. CBD is fat-soluble, and consuming with a healthy dose of fats can increase the amount of CBD that reaches your bloodstream threefold. 6
Once you find your optimal CBD method and dosage, be aware that it may change if you switch products. Some manufacturers are less trustworthy than others, so different CBD sources may have different effects. Also, scientists recently discovered that broad spectrum CBD extracts from cannabis or hemp plants are much more effective than so-called “pure” CBD isolates. 7
When CBD is inhaled, it passes to the lungs where it rapidly passes into the bloodstream. This is the quickest way to get CBD circulating through your system, but it also is effective for the shortest period of time. Peak bloodstream levels are within 10 minutes. If you’re mostly looking to try CBD for muscle aches and pains, a topical application (one you put on your body, not in your mouth) can be a good option. The value of topical applications is that they work quickly and target one area. Athletes love them for pain and injury. 8
Concentration, or strength, refers to the total amount of CBD in a given product and is measured in milligrams (mg). This is different from dosage, which indicates the amount of CBD per serving. For instance, if a bottle of CBD tincture has a concentration of 1000 mg and contains 30 milliliters (mL) of tincture, with 1 mL as the standard serving size, each 1-mL serving will contain approximately 33.3 mg of CBD. You are not ingesting 1000 mg with each dosage.
You may develop a tolerance to CBD over time, which can result in reduced effects from the same dosage. Higher subsequent doses may be needed to achieve the desired results. Oils and tinctures typically come in 15-mL or 30-mL bottles. These products vary significantly in terms of concentration, ranging anywhere from 100 mg to 5000 mg. The key to understanding tincture dosage is serving size, which is usually 1 mL per serving.
As discussed previously, CBD has incredible anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for a myriad of conditions. Whether vaping, ingesting oils and tinctures or through topical application, the concentration, dosage and delivery methods matter. Consider CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties for pain, relaxation, sleep or to improve the immune system. It may be just what the doctor ordered!
The author, Dr. David Berv, is a certified chiropractic sports physician, acupuncture diplomate. He is a co-owner of The Float Zone, and can be reached at [email protected] To read other posts visit our blog page.