The vast majority of CBD oils come in bottles measuring either 15 milliliters (mL), or 0.5 ounces; or 30 mL, or 1 ounce. However, CBD concentration is more important than bottle size. Concentration refers to the ratio of hemp oil solution (measured in mL) compared to the amount of CBD cannabinoid (measured in milligrams, or mg). A 15-mL bottle may contain 100 mg of CBD, 300 mg, 500 mg, or more. The higher the mg amount, the stronger the CBD oil will be. For this reason, the ‘mg’ measurement is also referred to as the oil’s strength; i.e., 400-mg oil might be called 400-strength oil.
The cannabinoids found in plants and cannabis are called phytocannibinoids. Of the 113 cannabinoids, the best known are THC. THC is famous and comes from marijuana. It is well known for it’s psychotropic properties and altered states of consciousness, it has also been credited for it’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system and is effective at treating glaucoma, PTSD and asthma. Hemp is the humble, less-known cousin of marijuana and recently another cannabinoid has been grabbling a lot of attention. CBD, whose psychotropic properties are nearly non-existent and whose benefits on the body is quite impressive. CBD has raised public awareness of both CBD and the medicinal properties of cannabis. The discovery of receptors in the brain that responds to cannabis and the identification of endogenous cannabinoid compounds in our own bodies that bind to these receptors is advancing our understanding of human biology, health and disease.
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CBD interacts with the body through the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) or endocannabinoid system. First discovered in the late 1980’s, the endocannabinoid system regulates the body’s homeostasis, or general state of balance, impacting such functions as mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, and pain and immune response. Like an acrobat on a highwire, as the environment around us impacts our normal balance, the endocannabinoid system “corrects” by mediating our body’s reaction to keep us level.
While there are producers who will tell you the difference between legal and illegal CBD comes down to whether your batch is derived from marijuana or hemp—both are plants in the cannabis family, but hemp contains very little THC compared to marijuana—the truth is that even hemp isn’t legal everywhere. In Massachusetts, for example, you’re allowed to grow marijuana at home, but it’s still a crime to grow hemp.
Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J. A., Hallak, J. E., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., Martin-Santos, R., … & Guimarães, F. S. (2012). A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation [Abstract]. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(32), 5,131–5,140. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716160
In terms of what’s actually legal, CBD operates in a gray area. Many Bay Area bars like Flore and Bottelón in the Castro started to offer alcoholic CBD drinks earlier this year until the laws got a little iffy this summer. Now you’re technically not allowed to put cannabis-based CBD oils and extracts into anything alcoholic due to slight traces of THC, but CBD derived from hemp is THC-free and thus OK for cocktails. At least that’s how establishments are operating for now.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a natural phyto-cannabinoid (or plant-based chemical compound) found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike other cannabinoids — namely tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, and will actually counteract these effects to a degree. CBD will induce feelings of sleepiness; for this reason, it can be an effective soporific for people who struggle to fall and/or remain asleep due to insomnia and other sleep disorders.