What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is extracted from the marijuana plant. Marijuana is just another name for cannabis or hemp, a strain of the plant used for non-drug use. Archaeologists tell us that recent evidence suggests that cannabis was one of the earliest cultivated agricultural crops and was grown as long as 10,000 and 12,000 years ago.
Cannabis contains over 85 cannabinoids or compounds which are slightly different in terms of chemical composition. The two most common ones are CBD or cannabidiol and TCH or tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD has properties which help prevent or treat a range of illnesses and conditions and it is increasingly being used as a dietary supplement, whereas TCH has a psychoactive ingredient which is the thing that makes people high.
Marijuana usually has a high THC content and hemp is richer in CBD. In many countries and in a number of American states, products derived from cannabis containing more than a trace of THC are considered illegal. The THC-CBD ratio helps set the bar between what is good cannabis and bad cannabis. Although the psychoactive element aside, THC has some redeeming qualities, and together THC and CBD offer a good supply of vitamins, minerals, essential oils, and omega-3.
How does CBD oil work in the body?
Cannabinoids work with the body’s endocannabinoid system which has receptors which are also neurotransmitters. CB-1 receptors are situated in the brain whilst CB-2 receptors are in found in the skin, digestive tract and reproductive organs. Cannabinoids produced in the body, work with CBD and THC. Additionally, CBD and THC, when taken together enhance, almost exponentially, the overall impact they have. This is called the entourage effect, which is why depending on the condition they are treating, some people choose to take a CBD product that contains are least some THC.
The body’s endocannabinoid system was only discovered in 1973, and it wasn’t until fifteen years later that Dr. Lumir Hanus and Dr. William Devane discovered the body produces its own cannabinoids. The function of the endocannabinoid system is to regulate the body’s many mechanisms, including the nervous system, memory, metabolism and the way we handle stress and stave off illness. They aim to create a stable environment and maintain homeostasis. When any of these things are out of balance, cannabinoids work to put things right.
What are the benefits of using CBD?
CBD can have both short-term and long-term benefits. Short-term, it affects the body when it is taken but the effects wear-off when it has been utilized. Long-term effects can only be maintained by continually taking CBD.
Where THC is present in CBD oil, the user will experience a high, the severity of which will depend on the amount of THC taken and their own sensitivity to it. CBD is used to treat high blood pressure and keep arteries unblocked. People who suffer from bouts of nausea or vomiting have reported how CBD has helped them tackle the frequency and severity with which they occur. Generally, CBD calms soothes and relaxes the individual and has been shown to counter depression and insomnia. CBD is an anti-inflammatory and helps arthritis sufferers, people with joint problems and multiple sclerosis, and as an analgesic, it can relieve pain and is effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Long-term effects of CBD, providing it is taken regularly, include fighting the development of cancer cells and strengthening the immune system. It has also been shown to reduce seizures in patients who are epileptic by about 23% (as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine). CBD has been used to both help prevent and to manage diabetes and to counter some of the effects of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
How is CBD made?
CBD is made by extracting the oil from the buds and leaves of the cannabis plant. Sometimes, this happens as a consequence of an industrial process where hemp is used to manufacture something else, such as paper or clothing. The most common industrial process involves using carbon dioxide (CO2) at low temperature and pushing it through the plant at high-pressure to extract the oil. In addition to removing chlorophyll and other substances that are not needed, this process also takes out ingredients such as plant waxes and essential oils which can have a beneficial effect. The end product is the purest form of CBD you can get.
The Rock Simpson method is another industrial process that uses hydrocarbons to extract the oil. Hydrocarbons are highly volatile and can cause fires and explode. Because of the specialist knowledge and expensive equipment required, using CO2 isn’t something that can be achieved by someone trying to produce CBD oil at home. For similar reasons and due to the dangers involved, using hydrocarbons in a home environment simply isn’t possible. There are two other methods of producing CBD, and as this piece is about making CBD oil at home, let’s have a look at them now.
Different methods of making CBD oil at home
Using alcohol to make CBD oil
Some industrial producers of CBD oil use ethanol, while it is possible to use this at home, a similar result can be obtained using high-grain alcohol which, incidentally, doesn’t leave nasty residues.
First, extract the buds and leaves from the plant and put them in a bowl. Cover with the alcohol you have decided to use and stir with a wooden spoon for five to six minutes.
Next, you need to strain the liquid using a very fine sieve or a straining bag. Take care to extract as much of the liquid from the mash as possible. You can repeat this step of the process until you feel you have got as much out as you can.
Using a double boiler. Heat the liquid until it is just below boiling point. You will need to use a thermometer for this. Monitor the process closely. In thirty minutes the alcohol will evaporate leaving only the CBD oil. Allow it to cool and then bottle it.
You can achieve good results using the above method. However, the finished product is never going to be as good as an oil made professionally. One reason for this is that professional producers have access to the very best cannabis plants.
Using oil to make CBD Oil
In this process, oil is used as the carrier; you can use a range of oils, although olive oil is always a popular choice. One benefit of this method is that you don’t get any unwanted ingredients as a by-product of the process and you also get any benefits contained in the oil used.
Try to obtain the highest-quality plant you can get.
Heat the plant in an oven at 220F for one and a half hours. Allow to cool and the trim off the buds and leaves and put them through a weed grinder.
Put the ground material in a mason jar, add the oil you are using in a quantity large enough to cover and to saturate the weed, but don’t go too mad as the amount of oil used affects the potency of the finished product.
Get a saucepan and place a cloth or tea towel in the bottom of it, put the mason jar with its lid screwed in place on top of the cloth and fill the pan with water.
Heat the water to 200F and check using a thermometer. You need to heat it for three hours, try to keep the temperature constant and check regularly to make sure there is always sufficient water in the pan and it doesn’t boil dry.
After three hours, take off the heat and leave for three hours. At the end of the three hours, heat again for three hours using the same method described above.
Leave overnight, after which you can bottle the oil.
Hemp V Medical Marijuana
Both THC and CBD have 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms; it is the way they are arranged that explains the difference between these two cannabinoids. CBD produced from hemp is not psychotropic, it doesn’t make people high and, in fact, counters some of THC.
THC is psychotropic and is illegal in many countries. Clear links have been established between THC and a range of personality disorders, including paranoia. In particular, when THC is taken during adolescence, there is a growing body of evidence linking it to schizophrenia in later life. The benefits that taking CBD can bring are becoming more widely known and many of the misconceptions previously associated with it are being dispelled.
Where to extract CBD oil
Make sure the plant from which you are going to extract the CBD oil is the very best you can get hold of because this has a significant effect on the finished result. Also, you need to be aware of the strain of cannabis you are using. Harle-Tsu yields 22% CBD, compared to 1% THC. Harlequin, on the other hand, has a high THC profile. You also need to read up on the law in the place in which you live os you can be sure you are not doing anything illegal.
A final word
There are clear benefits to taking CBD oil, unfortunately, it may be that the people who need it most either can’t source it easily or are unable to afford the commercially produced product. Thankfully, with a little bit of knowledge and using a relatively simple process, it can be made at home and whether you are using it for its general therapeutic and calming effect or you are treating a specific ailment, you can also ensure you have a supply available.