CBD oil is a natural extract from the Cannabis sativa plant. Its main active ingredient is CBD (cannabidiol), which is one of over 100 compounds known as cannabinoids. First discovered in 1940, CBD is a non-intoxicating compound with promising therapeutic potential.
The three types of CBD oil
There are three types of CBD oil: broad-spectrum, full-spectrum and isolate. Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil contain a range of natural hemp compounds aside from CBD, including minor cannabinoids such as CBG and CBC. These compounds are believed to work together to enhance the oil’s natural properties, through a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
The main difference between the two is that full-spectrum oil contains higher levels of the intoxicating cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), whereas broad-spectrum oil must legally contain non-detectable THC levels. In many parts of the world, including the EU, THC is illegal, and therefore full-spectrum products are also illegal in these regions.
The third and final type of CBD oil is CBD isolate oil. This is CBD in its purest form, containing just CBD and no other compounds from the hemp plant. While CBD isolate oil is free from THC, the absence of other compounds means that it has no potential to deliver the benefits of the entourage effect.
Where does CBD oil come from?
CBD oil is sourced from the stalks, stems and leaves of hemp plants. To produce CBD oil, CBD and other broad-spectrum compounds are extracted from the raw plant matter using pressurised carbon dioxide or a solvent such as ethanol or butane. CO2 extraction is the most expensive and most popular method, as it produces the cleanest output with minimal contamination.
Supercritical CO2 extraction, the most common CO2 method, involves increasing the temperature and pressure of liquid carbon dioxide until it becomes supercritical, taking on the properties of both a liquid and a gas. It is then passed through the plant matter, and the resulting solution is then processed in a separator to isolate the desired compounds.
While many brands finish their extraction process here, Naturecan goes a step further and uses chromatography to purify the oil. Using an advanced solution developed by Rotachrom called Centrifugal Partition Chromatography, Naturecan separates the desired compounds from impurities and removes as much THC as possible.
The next step involves using distillation to further refine the oil. At Naturecan, this produces a clean output with 90-95% CBD, at least 5% minor cannabinoids such as CBG and CBC, and non-detectable THC (0.01%).
Finally, a carrier oil is added to the concentrate. Naturecan uses an organic MCT (Medium-Chain Triglyceride) oil derived from coconut to provide a mild taste and improve bioavailability.
Is CBD oil legal?
Yes, CBD oil is legal in AU and many other countries worldwide, providing that it is sourced from approved industrial hemp containing legal levels of THC.
What are the potential benefits of CBD?
Research on CBD is still in its infancy. However, current studies suggest that it offers numerous potential health benefits and could support people suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia and other conditions.
How do you take CBD oil?
To take CBD oil, shake the bottle and use a pipette to place the required number of drops under your tongue. Leave the drops there for one or two minutes before swallowing to allow the CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the capillaries under the tongue.
How does CBD oil work?
CBD oil affects the body’s endocannabinoid system, a complex cell-signalling network that maintains balance within the body and regulates vital processes such as sleep, mood and pain. When CBD oil enters the body, CBD and the other compounds present in the oil support the functioning of the endocannabinoid system, and therefore contribute to keeping the body in a healthy, balanced state.
What should I look for when buying CBD oil?
Due to a lack of proper regulation in the CBD industry, there are many poor quality products available on the market. Many of these products have misleading label claims and no proof of independent testing, making it hard for consumers to know which products are safe and of high quality. If you’re looking to buy CBD oil, here are some important things to look for:
A trusted, reputable brand
Plant-based CBD oil that’s free from synthetic additives
Non-detectable THC content
Proof of third-party lab testing (for example, a certificate of analysis)
CBD sourced from legal, organic hemp plants