CBD oil has grown into a popular food supplement. It’s sold in health food shops, talked about in the news, and promoted by celebrities, athletes, and influencers on social media.
Millions of people across the U.S., UK, and other countries are taking CBD oil in the hopes of improving their health.
Still, there’s much to learn about CBD oil, especially if you want to get the most out of its potential benefits.
In this article, we’ll explain what CBD oil is and highlight the 10 most important facts you should know about this natural health food supplement.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 120 active compounds called cannabinoids found in cannabis. Whereas its close cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can make you “high”, CBD is completely non-intoxicating.
CBD is used for many different health issues, including anxiety and pain. It can be formulated into an equally wide range of products, although CBD oil is the most common.
CBD oil combines a CBD-rich extract of hemp — the non-intoxicating variety of cannabis — with a carrier ingredient such as MCT oil for better absorption. Here are 10 key facts about this health supplement.
CBD oil has many potential health benefits
CBD oil appears to be good for a wide variety of everyday health issues. Most people take CBD oil to reduce occasional anxiety, support healthy sleep, and alleviate soreness and pain.
There are more clinical studies of CBD being published every year, providing further evidence for its positive effects on human health.
CBD oil is taken sublingually
Taking CBD oil can seem unusual at first. Whereas most supplements come in capsule form, CBD oil is applied sublingually — a medical term for administering active ingredients under the tongue.
As a result, the cannabidiol is absorbed directly into the blood vessels found in the surrounding tissues. This results in far greater absorption than taking CBD in the form of capsules, softgels, gummies, or other ingestible products.
It’s best to hold the oil under your tongue for at least a minute. After you swallow the oil, it travels through your digestive system and liver, after which the remaining CBD is absorbed.
CBD oil has subtle effects
Unlike many medications and supplements, CBD oil has relatively subtle effects. The best way to describe how CBD oil makes you feel is to imagine that it reduces whatever issue might be bothering you instead of adding a completely new sensation.
For example, if you’re worried, CBD oil might make you feel calmer. That’s why its effects can be difficult to notice and it may take you some time to find the right dosage.
CBD oil works faster than capsules
Thanks to its unique absorption method, CBD oil takes less time to work than capsule supplements. CBD oil can start working about 10–30 minutes after you take it.
In comparison, most capsule supplements (including CBD capsules) need 30 minutes to over an hour to be felt.
Another great thing about CBD oil is that its absorption is not affected by digestion, so you will always feel its effects within 30 minutes regardless of whether you ate recently or not.
The effects of CBD oil can last for six hours
One of the most common questions about CBD oil is how long its effects last. On average, CBD oil lasts for 4–6 hours, which is quite long for a supplement.
You will experience the strongest effects for the first 3–4 hours and a slightly weaker effect for the remaining time.
Most people take CBD in the morning, evening, at both times, or only when it’s needed.
It’s best to buy CBD oil online
CBD beginners are often confused about where to buy CBD oil. After all, you won’t find it on the shelves of your local supermarket or major online retailers such as Amazon.
The best place to buy CBD oil is on the internet. You can either CBD oil directly from a specific company or a marketplace that sells products from multiple brands.
This way, you’ll not only get the best price but also have a chance to research the CBD company and make sure that it can be trusted.
Having said that, you can also find CBD oil in some high-street shops in the UK. However, this method is not ideal because the price will likely be higher and you’ll have a harder time confirming the product’s safety and efficacy.
CBD oil is legal
CBD oil is perfectly legal in the UK and most European Union countries as long as it meets certain requirements. First off, CBD can only be derived from hemp, a variety of cannabis with low THC (<0.2%) levels.
This small amount is not enough to cause intoxication, which is why hemp is treated as an agricultural crop. Marijuana, on the other hand, is considered an illicit substance because it contains significant concentrations of THC.
Another UK-specific rule is that CBD oil products cannot contain more than 1 mg of THC per container.
CBD oil is not the same thing as hemp oil
One of the most common misconceptions about CBD oil is that it’s the same thing as hemp oil.
Hemp oil, more accurately known as hemp seed oil, is cold-pressed from hemp seeds. This oil doesn’t contain CBD or any other cannabinoids.
CBD oil, on the other hand, is made by isolating a CBD-rich extract from hemp flowers and other above-ground parts of the plant.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that CBD oil can contain hemp seed oil as a carrier oil. A carrier oil is an ingredient that makes it easier for your body to absorb CBD.
Most CBD oils contain coconut-derived MCT oil, but hemp seed oil is also a popular option. To reiterate, hemp oil is not the same as CBD oil. If you see this term, you should assume there’s no CBD or other cannabinoids in the product.
CBD oil works best as a whole-plant extract
CBD is not the only beneficial compound in the hemp plant. It also contains many other cannabinoids, as well as terpenes and other active substances such as flavonoids and fatty acids.
These compounds have beneficial effects of their own and also work in synergy with CBD and each other, producing what researchers call the “entourage effect”.
In simple terms, this means that CBD oil made from whole-plant hemp extract — usually called full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD — provides greater benefits than pure CBD (isolate).
CBD oil is not the only way to use CBD
CBD oil is not the only type of CBD product. Cannabidiol can also come in the form of capsules, softgels, gummies and other edibles, vape e-liquids, beverages, topicals, isolates, and other products.
Each of these forms has its strengths and weaknesses. Having said that, CBD oil remains the most popular way to use CBD because it offers the most benefits and the least downsides.
CBD oil is well-absorbed, cost-effective, versatile, relatively easy to use, and gives you control over the dosage.
Other CBD products might be better than CBD oil in some of these areas but none can match its overall practicality.