Complete Guide to CBD

What is CBD? Cannabis vs. THC vs. CBD

Every person has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which in short means that everyone has receptors specifically for cannabinoids. Cannabinoids interact with the body through the endocannabinoid system, a biological communication system that regulates many biological functions, such as;

  • Circulatory system
  • Central nervous system
  • Digestive system
  • Immune system
  • Immune response

CBD and THC have chemical structures similar to the body’s endocannabinoids, which allows them to interact with the endocannabinoid system.

The main difference between CBD and THC? THC causes euphoria and other mind-altering effects, CBD doesn’t. Not even in the slightest. This is because THC binds to the CB1 receptor in your endocannabinoid system while CBD does not.

It is also interesting to note that CBD and THC are very similar in terms of molecular structure (21 Carbon atoms, 30 Hydrogen atoms, and 2 Oxygen atoms), it's simply how the atoms are arranged that make the difference between you getting high or not. CBD will never have a psychedelic mind-altering effect on you. 

What does CBD do? CBD oil benefits

Since cannabis and cannabinoids have been removed from the list of Schedule 7 drugs in South Africa we are finally able to get our hands on CBD to do proper research and development!

Research is emerging and more comprehensive studies are still needed, but science is getting there. Here is what we have discovered so far regarding the beneficial properties of CBD; 

  • Anticonvulsant - Suppresses seizure activity
  • Antiemetic - Reduces nausea and vomiting
  • Antipsychotic - Combats psychotic disorders
  • Anti-oxidant - Combats neurodegenerative disorders
  • Anxiolytic/Antidepressant - Combats anxiety and depression
  • Anti-inflammatory - Combats inflammatory disorders
  • Anti-Tumor/Anti-Cancer - Combats tumor and cancer cells
  • Pain Management - Manages nerve and muscle pain
  • Pet friendly - Very beneficial for family pets

There’s more, OCD, PTSD, autoimmune conditions — CBD is worth a look in any disease process that’s rooted in inflammation (which is most of them).

Types of CBD Available:

  • CBD Isolate:
    • "CBD isolate is a form of CBD, or cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound present in the cannabis plant. Unlike full-spectrum CBD products, CBD isolate does not contain any THC — the psychoactive component of cannabis. … Most other CBD products contain at least a small percentage of THC."
  • CBD Full Spectrum Dab:
    • This product contains less than 0.00001% THC-A and is produced by blending 99% CBD with a careful selection of terpenes from a variety of strains to achieve a full bodied and balanced taste with a strong citrus kick.

      This product is extremely great for people who suffer with anxiety, arthritis, eating disorders and much more!

  • CBD Cartridges:
    • CBD vape cartridges are an easy and convenient way to jump into the world of vaping CBD. Cartridges are slim cylindrical vape tanks containing CBD vape oil, a form of CBD designed for vaping. They are a practical way to get your daily dose of cannabidiol.
  • CBD Oil:
    • CBD Oil is a great way of taking in CBD, most oils are often Full Spectrum therefore include terpenes which are very beneficial.
  • CBD Edibles:
    • Designed for convenience, CBD edibles are the perfect option for small dosages while on-the-go. Best of all, they all taste great! 

CBD side effects

CBD is generally well tolerated. Some people report that it makes them sleepy or drops blood pressure. The reviews we did found that extremely high chronic daily doses affected liver metabolism and some fertility measures, but you need a lot of CBD to get there. (Over 50 000mg for the average person per day)

Just like grain and vegetable farmers, cannabis producers spray their plants with pesticides and synthetic fertilizers (At Smokey Eyes we ensure all our plants are only given natural and organic pesticides and fertilizers). So, there is no chance you can end up with adverse effects from these harmful chemicals that have nothing to do with the active ingredient, CBD. All our products undergo rigorous lab testing by the NAFS (National Analytics and Forensic Services) to ensure the product is safe to consume and will work as intended, before it is made available to the public. 

Does CBD show up in drug tests?

Hemp-derived CBD isn’t the same as regular cannabis, but depending on the strain it could contain tiny trace amounts of THC — not even close to amounts that will get you high.

If you’re using extremely high doses of CBD (looking at 2000 mg a day or higher every day), your exposure may be high enough to give you a positive result, although extremely unlikely) This should be considered a false-positive result since CBD use is not illicit drug use.

If your employer does random drug screens, dig into your HR materials to see if using CBD might lead to any hassle. It really shouldn't be a problem, however if it is a problem, an alternative to consider would be CBD Isolate. CBD isolate has no chance of showing up on a drug test, so even if your employer has a problem there is a way around it should you choose to use CBD. 

Is CBD legal?

This is not legal advice and wasn’t reviewed by any lawyers, so consult a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction to find out whether CBD is legal or not in your area.

In May of 2020, the Department of Health made the historic decision of making the cannabis derivate cannabidiol available for wholesale distribution in South Africa. 

CBD products are now legal, but there are limitations on the market imposed by the Department of Health. Firstly, any products on the market may only contain a maximum daily dose of 20 milligrams (mg) or less. (Which is ridiculous but nothing is stopping you from buying as much as you like and consuming what is truly beneficial to your situation.) 

Secondly, CBD products can’t claim to cure or treat any specific condition. They can only advertise broadly about general health enhancement or promise to relieve minor symptoms. (Again also ridiculous but it is still progress nonetheless) 

Forms of CBD and extraction methods

CBD isolates – CO2 extraction

The CO2 method involves pressurizing the plant material using carbon dioxide, which results in a relatively stable, pure, potent oil. This isn’t a DIY job unless you’re going into business, because you need pricey equipment (Around R5M) and expert training. If this is the kind you want, you can look for “CO2 extracted” CBD oil on the label.

CBD tinctures, extracts, absolutes (solvent extraction method)

Manufacturers use solvents such as hexane, ethanol, ether, or methanol to get the medicinal oils out of the plant material. This is the most common method manufacturers use for vape pen cartridges. Solvents are highly effective at drawing out the oils, but there are a few problems with this method.

  • Purity. This process can leave up to 20% of the solvent behind. That’s not an issue if the manufacturer used high-quality ethanol like high-proof grain alcohol, but if they used cheaper solvents like hexane or petroleum derivatives, you don’t want those residues anywhere near your body.
  • Integrity. Solvent extraction destroys the plant waxes, which have their own set of benefits.

CBD infused oil

Most commonly, you’ll see CBD oil infused in extra virgin olive oil. This involves steeping the plant in olive oil for several weeks. CBD infused oils are perishable, so keep it in a dark glass container in the fridge.

How to make a CBD infused oil in 4 steps

  1. Source your plant material. You need a good amount of dried buds of a high-CBD strain of cannabis that has only trace amounts of THC if any.
  2. Decarboxylate. Sounds like something out of a science lab, but this just means you spread them out on a baking sheet and bake them for 45 minutes at 107.2 C. This step makes the medicinal oils in the plant more available on a biological level.
  3. Steep. Transfer your buds to a glass jar, leaving a little room at the top. Completely cover the buds with lightweight oils like extra virgin olive oil or sweet almond oil. Put a lid on and let them sit for 2-3 weeks. A couple of times per week throughout the steeping process, you should flip the jar over and back upright to distribute the oil.
  4. Strain. Use a cheesecloth-lined strainer to separate all the plant material from the oil. Now you have CBD infused oil to use as-is or to make into salves and balms. There are lots of recipes online for that. Store it in a dark glass container in the fridge.

If your oil takes on a funky smell or grows scum or fuzz at any point during or after the process, dump it into the trash and start over.

How to take CBD

There are several delivery methods, and some applications are better than others for certain things. Dosing depends on age, weight, and what you’re trying to achieve with it, so it’s best to consult us or a medical doctor for advice on dosage. 

Inhalation

You can inhale the vapors using a specialized vape pen. This is the fastest acting delivery of CBD, and probably the easiest once you have your pen and cartridge. A great added benefit with the vape pens are terpenes, terpenes are added into the CBD cartridges to add some natural flavor already present in the cannabis plant. These terpenes are extremely beneficial for human health. 

Ingestion

To ingest CBD, take it right out of the dropper, in capsule form, or made into gummies, candies, or baked goods. Compared to inhalation, it takes a bit longer to take effect. 

Sublingual

You can drop the oil right under the tongue. Sublingual delivery takes about as long as ingestion to take effect.

Transdermal

CBD can cross the skin and go into the bloodstream. A benefit to this method is that you can rub CBD infused oil right onto the affected area.

So, is CBD for you? Only you can decide, and with so many variables, it’s best to bring your functional medicine doctor in on this one. So far, the science says it’s not harmful, it’s not addictive, and it has the potential to have massive positive effects on a long list of ails. But, it’s illegal in a lot of places, for reasons that have little to nothing to do with protecting the public. Biohacking is all about taking the information that’s available to you and making your choices from there.

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