Now that marijuana is slowly becoming legalized across the country, it’s enabling scientists and doctors to study the effects of the plant to see how it can benefit people. Although most who smoke or ingest weed do it for recreational purposes, there is growing evidence that one form of the plant, CBD oil, can have profound healing properties.
Even though the research is still relatively new, it opens up a world of possibilities for many patients. So, with that mind, we wanted to look more closely at CBD oil: how it’s extracted, where it’s grown, and what it can do for people.
What is CBD Oil?
One of the primary elements of the marijuana plant is cannabidiol (hence the name cannabis). Unlike it’s more well-known and popular cousin THC, cannabidiol provides all of the health benefits of the plant without any of the psychoactive properties. Essentially, it’s a means of taking weed without getting high.
CBD oil is simply a concentrated mixture of plants that have low THC. There are a few ways to extract it, which we’re about to cover.
How is CBD Oil Extracted?
Typically speaking, there are three ways to get CBD from the marijuana plant. Here’s a brief overview of each process.
Carrier Oil Extraction
This method provides the highest potency, as it uses natural extraction methods to ensure that the CBD is left mostly intact. Also, you get more of the effects from the plant, because the whole thing is usually utilized with this method. The downside, however, is that the resulting oil has a short shelf life since there are no preservatives or chemicals to keep it from breaking down.
For manufacturers that want to generate more oil in less time, this is the way to go. It does require a lot of specialized machinery, but it ensures a speedy and efficient process. Essentially, CO2 is forced through the plant at high pressures, which helps to extract the CBD oil contained inside. Unlike the Carrier method, this is more selective in which strains are isolated, so you don’t get as many extra nutrients inside.
Technically, you can use grain alcohol to remove the CBD from a marijuana plant, but most manufacturers use ethanol instead because it’s easier to recycle. The plant material is soaked in the solvent, allowing the CBD to infuse into the liquid. Then, the ethanol is evaporated so that all that’s left is the oil. In many cases, manufacturers use specialized machines to ensure that no ethanol is wasted.
Where are CBD Flowers Grown?
When talking about marijuana, it’s essential to realize that there are two primary versions of the plant. Hemp is an industrial version, which contains little THC and it utilized for fibers and other materials. Drug plants, however, include much more resin, from which most of the CBD and THC is derived.
As such, some growers focus mainly on hemp, while others try to grow different drug plants. In the US, federal regulation is strict on which ones can be used for CBD oil, although the data they used is somewhat outdated. Nonetheless, states that have legalized growing and selling of weed are ideal for making CBD-rich plants.
Outside of the US, these plants are grown in a variety of places, including Netherlands and other parts of Europe. Any area that has lax marijuana laws are perfect for developing high CBD strains.
Benefits of CBD Oil
So why is all of this effort put into developing the oil? How does it benefit patients? Here is a brief overview of what CBD oil is being used for.
- Calms the Nerves: this helps with anxiety and other stress-related issues
- Anti-Inflammatory: many ailments are a direct result of inflammation somewhere in the body. CBD oil helps combat this problem
- Nausea Relief: CBD oil is ideal for cancer patients who would otherwise not eat due to treatments
- Seizure Relief: the oil has proven effects to reduce or eliminate seizures from affected individuals, including children
- Heart Healthy: cannabidiol strengthens the cardiovascular system and helps fight heart disease
As you can see, there is a lot that can be done with this amazing substance. As science continues to study its effects on the human body, we can expect much more positive results from taking CBD oil.