Understanding CBD Product Formulation and Consumption

Whether it’s a tincture, soft gel, salve, balm, or serum–scented or unscented–in a jar, or with a pump bottle–CBD products are just as diverse as the people who use them. Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is just one element among many terpenes and compounds found in the cannabis plant. Hemp, a specific species of the cannabis plant, is federally legal in the United States and is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved source to derive the active ingredient CBD.

In the United States, CBD brands and dispensaries putting hemp flower-based products on the cannabis market must adhere to the legal limit of THC content: 0.3 percent for products made from full spectrum hemp extract. CBD isolate, unlike full-spectrum CBD products, is CBD in its purest form, free of any other cannabinoid (like THC), terpenes and other byproducts.

There are many extraction methods used to obtain CBD extract, but the most common is CO2 extraction. This extraction method is more gentle than other methods as it is free of extra chemicals like alcohol, butane, or propane. The CO2 extraction method is a process that separates CBD from the hemp plant and removes traces of THC, byproducts, contaminants, and toxins, resulting in purity. This method results in the preservation of a full-spectrum cannabinoid profile and terpenes, which are therapeutic and aromatic profiles in hemp. The cannabinoids and terpenes work together to allow CBD users to experience the synergistic health benefits known as the ‘entourage effect’.

CBD products made from full-spectrum hemp extract like CBD oil soft gels and CBD oil capsules, lack detectable levels of THC. These internal products will always contain the hemp extract and a carrier oil like MCT oil. This carrier oil acts as a delivery mechanism to provide quick and easy absorption of the hemp extract. This ensures potent, high quality benefits.

CBD topicals take advantage of the profound impact CBD has on the peripheral endocannabinoid system. CBD topicals provide targeted results that enable them to help improve skin texture, soothe irritation and discomfort, restore joints and muscles, and protect skin from free radicals. The topical absorption of CBD is greater than the topical absorption of THC. Topical CBD products typically consist of natural ingredients that include health benefits of their own to positively impact how skin, muscles, and joints feel. The nourishing ingredients included in such products include aloe vera, lavender, olive oil, coconut extract, almond oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, herbs, and botanical extracts. Other common ingredients include citric acid, vegetable glycerin, chamomile, rosemary, cinnamon, sunflower seed oil, eucalyptus, grape seed extract, calendula, cool menthol-containing peppermint and peppermint oil. Each of these ingredients build and expand on the therapeutic benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids like CBG.

The amount of CBD and hemp seed oil dosage available in CBD capsules, soft gels, oils, creams, salves, edibles, and other CBD products can vary from product to product. For example, the grams of CBD extract or milligrams (mg) of CBD in a CBD ointment may differ from the mg of CBD in CBD-blended beverages, or bottle of CBD capsules. Whether it's 10mg or 1500mg, the milligrams refer to the strength of the cannabidiol in the product. For example, 10mg, 15mg, 25mg, 50mg, 100 mg, 500mg, and 750mg of CBD all have different strengths. A higher dosage like 600mg of CBD indicates greater substantial power than a lower dosage like 25mg of CBD. The right dose of CBD that allows you to harness the maximum benefits of this ingredient—whether it's 25mg of CBD, less, or more—depends on your body weight and the product's potency and quality.

Not all CBD products are created equally. Poor quality hemp, crude extractions methods, non-organic ingredients, and poor product formulation all play a role in determining the quality and efficiency of CBD products. Unfortunately, you cannot trust all CBD products and brands to offer the highest quality products, so it is important to do your research and have an understanding of CBD product formulation and its consumption. Look for companies who offer transparency: independent lab tests, list all of the ingredients in their products, offer education and information, and most importantly–will answer your questions.  CBD and other hemp extract products are intended for therapeutic use, so it is vital you only use the best.