Cannabis and Health


CBD Oil for beginners: What is it and how do I use it?

Cannabis compound Cannabidiol (CBD) has made quite the splash in the world of health and wellbeing – and it seems its cult following isn’t slowing down. From edible gummies to CBD skincare, the various forms of CBD products online are multiplying. But one method of consumption remains the most popular way to take CBD, and that’s CBD oil.

So, what is it, how do you use it, and what makes for a high-quality product? We’ll go over everything you need to know in this Beginners Guide to CBD oil.

The number of CBD users is growing worldwide and with good reason. With its wide range of non-intoxicating, therapeutic effects, the benefits of CBD are available to everybody. Whether for pain management, alleviating inflammation, reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, or treating allergies, people are choosing CBD oil as a natural and safe solution.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a product extracted from marijuana plants (aka cannabis plants) using different extraction methods. Its main ingredient, CBD, is one of the 113 different chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. These compounds, known as cannabinoids, along with others known as terpenes, are thought to have a variety of therapeutic effects.

CBD has grown in popularity because it offers benefits like pain relief without making you feel high. This is because CBD, unlike THC (the other main cannabinoid found in cannabis), does not have psychoactive effects. In short – this means you can enjoy the benefits of medical marijuana without any intoxicating feelings.

Full-spectrum CBD oil vs Broad Spectrum CBD oil vs CBD isolate

The different types of CBD oils available are where it can get confusing. Generally speaking, CBD oils come in three variations: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains CBD along with all the other cannabinoids and terpenes that the cannabis plant naturally consists of. It is thought that this is beneficial because it allows all the compounds to work together in what is known as the Entourage Effect. Since the CBD isn’t separated from the other compounds, full-spectrum oils may contain a trace amount of THC. However, you are very unlikely to feel any psychoactive effects.

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is similar to full-spectrum oil since it contains the range of accompanying cannabinoids and terpenes – except the THC which is kept explicitly out of the end product. This is achieved, in most cases, by extracting the CBD oil from industrial hemp plants which naturally contain significantly lower amounts of THC than other cannabis plants.

CBD isolates refer to CBD products that are pure CBD, without any other cannabinoids or terpenes (and therefore no Entourage Effect). This kind of CBD extract, like broad-spectrum CBD, are also often hemp-derived CBD (produced using industrial hemp).

How does CBD Oil Work?

In short – the human Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is to thank for CBD’s effects on the body. It’s understood that cannabinoids and terpenes in CBD oil work together through the Entourage Effect to influence various functions in the body that help maintain a state of natural balance, also known as “homeostasis”. The list of potential benefits of CBD oil is lengthy, and (of course) varies from person to person. In the past several years, studies have suggested that CBD can help with anxiety, inflammation, migraines, and chronic pain.

How do I use CBD Oil?

CBD oil is known as one of the easiest and most effective ways to enjoy the effects of CBD. More than anything, its versatility makes taking CBD oil straightforward and quick. Whether choosing ingestion, sublingual, topical, or inhalation methods of consumption, there is something to suit everyone.

Perhaps the most effective way to take CBD oil is via the sublingual method, which requires placing a few oil drops underneath the tongue and holding it there for up to 90 seconds before swallowing. This is thought to help ensure the CBD is absorbed quicker by entering directly into the bloodstream and bypassing the digestive system.

Many people choose the ingestion method by using CBD oil to create CBD edibles, CBD smoothies, or CBD salad dressings. CBD capsules and CBD gummies are also ingested and are handy for maintaining consistent dosing on-the-go. Animal owners can also use this delivery method when treating pets with CBD.

The CBD oil topicals market is also growing with a wide selection of CBD skincare available in various forms of lotions, salves, or CBD creams. Some people prefer a CBD topical as it absorbs directly through the skin and can be useful for targeting specific areas of pains such as joint pain or muscle aches.

The inhalation method of taking CBD refers to either vaping CBD e-liquids (also sometimes referred to as CBD vape oil), high-CBD concentrates, or high-CBD strains. Vaping CBD flowers will give a different experience to e-liquids or concentrates. Since CBD flowers often have some level of THC, you will likely feel some intoxicating effects. Alternatively, vaping CBD oil will ensure that you consume a higher concentration of CBD without feeling high.

There are Pros and Cons to every CBD delivery method. The trick is finding what works for you.

Finding the Right CBD Oil Dosage

CBD dosages can be confusing and finding the right amount of CBD for you can take time. There are a variety of factors to consider including the types of CBD oils used and their CBD content, your history of CBD oil consumption, and the chosen method of consumption.

Everyone’s different, and we each have our unique history with the things we put into our bodies. And because we all have different body chemistries, our reactions to CBD oil will also be different. That said, you can determine how many mg of CBD your dosage should be by your weight and then gauge how your body reacts to that amount. The best guide to CBD oil dosing is to start with a low dose and gradually increase your intake over time. Just be sure to continue monitoring how your body reacts until you’ve achieved the right dosage for you.

Although there’s neither an exact dosing for CBD or CBD “overdose” established, the known side effects remain considerably less problematic and lower in risk at any dosage, when you compare CBD oil to pharmaceuticals. Just remember always to read the labels.

What is the Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil?

At a glance, hemp oil and CBD oil may appear to be the same, but it’s essential to understand how they differ. This controversy is mainly due to two different things: the vast amount of mislabelled products on the market for both oils and, the fact that they both derive from the same cannabis plant species.

Simply put, CBD oil contains beneficial cannabinoids, extracted from the flowers (and to a lesser extent, leaves, and stalks) and is used for medicinal purposes. Hemp oil, on the other hand, is made from hemp seeds (which do not contain any cannabinoids) and is mainly used for nutritional purposes. Think of hemp seed oil more like olive oil.

What Extraction Methods are Used to Make CBD Oil?

It is important to understand the different ways CBD is extracted, as they have a significant impact on the quality of the end product. CBD oil can be obtained from cannabis or industrial hemp plants. However, considering the current legal standing of CBD, many CBD oil products are extracted from cannabis plants that contain less than 0.1% THC, considered to be “industrial hemp”. Here are three commonly used methods:

Carbon Dioxide Extraction: Believed to be one of the cleanest methods for human consumption, Supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures. This catches CO2 in a fluid state, which efficiently draws out and preserves the purity of CBD along with other cannabinoids and terpenes.

Liquid Solvents: This method is appropriate for vape pen cartridges and other products. Plant material gets placed into a container along with high-grade solvents (usually butane, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, or ethanol), which strip it of cannabinoids and flavours. This transforms it into a liquid that will evaporate away from the mixture, leaving only concentrated chemicals and flavours in the form of an oily substance.

Carrier Oil Extraction: For this method (which is the oldest form of cannabinoid extraction), plant material undergoes decarboxylation. This is a heating process to activate cannabinoids in the plant. For cannabinoid extraction, plant material is then added to a carrier oil (usually olive, coconut, or hemp oil) and heated again to 100°C for about 1-2 hours. This process ‘infuses’ the carrier oil with the cannabinoids from the plant material.

Does CBD Oil Have any Adverse Effects?

As the old saying goes, “not all CBD oil products are created equal.” Because there are so many CBD sources and production techniques, some CBD products may not only contain CBD. Side effects, if any, could potentially come from the ingredients a product is mixed with (which may or may not be labelled). Also, how products are consumed affects how they’re absorbed in the body, so performing a little research first might help better determine which CBD product is right for you.

High-Quality CBD Oil Brands That We Trust

With terms like full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, CBD oil tincture, CBD isolates thrown around all over the internet, it’s no wonder looking to buy CBD oil can be daunting. That’s why we’ve sourced some of the best CBD products out there, from reputable brands who undertake thorough lab testing. Take a look at our top picks for high-quality CBD oils that you can trust.


Post author
Mell Green
Mell Green is an enthusiast of all things cannabis and writes content that represents some of the best things that we as a people can strive for: good health and happiness.
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