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CBD Concentrates for Beginners: How to Get Started

CBD products are becoming increasingly popular in 2021, and CBD concentrates are no exception.

If you've thought about trying CBD concentrates for the first time, you'll find that sifting through all the available information may be overwhelming. Never fear!

Below, we've gathered information on CBD concentrates for beginners so that you can get started with confidence and experience the natural benefits of CBD for yourself.

What is CBD?

CBD oil (cannabidiol oil) is made from cannabidiol, a natural compound called a cannabinoid. CBD is just one of many naturally forming compounds in the hemp plant, a variety of the Cannabis sativa. Unlike THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not produce a high and has no psychoactive effects.

How is CBD oil Made and What is it Used for?

CBD oil can be ingested, smoked, vaped, and even used topically. Experts both within and outside the traditional medical community claim it provides natural relief for pain, anxiety, inflammation, and other natural benefits.

To make CBD oil, the CBD compound is extracted from the cannabis plant through one of a variety of extraction methods, and then diluted with a carrier oil. Typical CBD extraction methods include:

  • CO2
  • Ethanol
  • Oil extraction
  • Hydrocarbon (propane/butane)
  • Steam distillation

What are Carrier Oils and Why are They Used?

CBD carrier oils are plant-based fatty oils that are used to deliver the CBD to the body and help it process the CBD properly. The most common CBD carrier oils are hemp seed oil and MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil. You can also find coconut, sunflower, olive, grape seed, avocado, and pomegranate oil in many CBD oils.

What are CBD Concentrates? How are Solvents Used to Extract Them?

CBD concentrates are pure and rich, used as the base of CBD oil. They are extremely potent, and usually need to be combined with a carrier oil. The most common extraction methods use steam distillation, carbon dioxide, or solvents.

Using solvents is one of the least expensive ways for manufacturers of CBD extracts to get as much of the CBD cannabinoid out of the hemp plant. The solvent is used to separate the CBD oil from the hemp plant material, resulting in a mixture of solvent and CBD oil. The solvent is then evaporated, leaving pure CBD extract.

While some industry-standard solvents like food-grade ethanol are relatively clean, certain CBD manufacturers will use noxious chemicals like propane or butane.

TIP: When in doubt, ask the CBD producer for a recent, independent lab test for residual solvents, just to be sure nothing is lurking in the final product.

How does the endocannabinoid system work?

CBD oil is known for its natural benefits precisely because it positively impacts the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system in the human body that was first identified in the 1990s.

And it processes cannabinoids found in nature– like CBD, CBG, and more– in ways that provide health benefits, according to researchers. Although there's much more to learn about it, scientists have found out the following details so far…

Homeostasis: Keeping things running normally

The ECS is responsible for keeping the body operating in a stable and healthy manner (a state known as homeostasis). The ECS helps regulate:

  • Body temperature
  • Mood
  • Metabolism
  • Appetite and digestion
  • Motor control
  • Learning and memory
  • Durable stress levels
  • And more.

Components: Endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes

The ECS consists of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids. These molecules are similar to the cannabinoids that appear naturally in hemp plants, but endocannabinoids are produced within the body.

The ECS also has CB1 receptors, mostly found in the central nervous system, and CB2 receptors, that are located mainly in the peripheral nervous system. Finally, the system has enzymes which break down cannabinoids once they have completed their function (such as relieving pain or reducing inflammation.)

What are the advantages of using CBD concentrates?

CBD concentrates are more potent, need less time to become effective, and require a smaller dosage to take effect. Concentrates are usually inhaled — for instance, through vaping or dabbing — and these delivery methods allow the user to experience the effects of the CBD more quickly than if they were to take the dose orally.  

Are there side effects? Can you get high if you take too much CBD?

Legal CBD concentrates cannot get you high. Commercially produced CBD concentrates come from industrial hemp plants, and manufacturers are required by law to keep THC levels in CBD products at or below 0.3%.

Possible side effects and risks of CBD

Always consult a medical professional before use if you are concerned about the side effects of CBD. CBD is known for its relatively small instances of side effects, making it a popular alternative to prescription drugs.

That said, if you take too much CBD at once or are sensitive to ingredients in the product, you may experience:

  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or oversleeping
  • Diarrhea

CBD may also interact with other drugs or medicines you are taking, and taking too much CBD at once may damage your liver.

Potential long-term effects of CBD

Researchers are still learning about the effects of CBD over time. Experts are currently investigating the answer to questions such as the effects of CBD on the growing brain, on the developing fetus, and on breastfed infants.

Which CBD concentrates are the best?

You should consult a reliable CBD review source and familiarize yourself with what makes a quality concentrate. A few of the more top-quality CBD brands includes Mission Farms, Mana Artisan Botanics, Absolute Nature CBD, and NuLeaf Naturals. In addition, here are other considerations when selecting a product:

Types of CBD concentrate products

There are a variety of CBD concentrate products, including vapes, lotions and creams, gummies and edibles, pills and capsules, and oils and tinctures.

Strength options

There are three types of CBD concentrates: isolates, full spectrum, and broad spectrum. CBD isolates are highly concentrated and only contain CBD. CBD full spectrum contains THC (under 0.3%) and all the active compounds in the hemp plant. Finally, broad spectrum CBD also contains all the active compounds of the hemp plant without the THC.

The best concentrates maintain the legal limit of THC of 0.3%, and have an efficient extraction method that produces CBD concentrates free of solvents, contaminants, and other impurities.

Can taking CBD cause you to fail a drug test?

Although CBD concentrates do not make you high, even very small amounts of THC can show up on a drug test. If you know you will be submitting to random drug tests at work, you will want to review your employer's policies and think about using broad spectrum CBD products or supplements made with CBD isolate.

As a double-check, be sure to review the company’s Certificate of Analysis for your CBD product. This will make sure it is verified by a third-party lab to contain 0% THC.

About CBD Oil Review

CBD Oil Review is known for its thorough, agnostic reviews, and has a five-badge system for reviewing quality, safety, charity, mission, and innovation in CBD products.

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