Ever since hemp has been legalized, a product known as CBD has surged in popularity. A chemical compound found in hemp, CBD, or cannabidiol, is non-intoxicating and does not cause the noticeable euphoric effects associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from hemp plant and contains low amounts of THC. The most potent and concentrated types of products are derived from fresh plants and the extraction method defines the type of product made.
Utility Formats in Which CBD Products are Manufactured
The three main types of CBD available are:
Pure CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from hemp. The extract is then diluted with a carrier oil like coconut, olive or hemp seed oil, to get a product that is more practical to use.
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD which eliminates even the chance of trace amounts of THC or contaminants. CBD isolate makes it easier for accurate dosing and is easily dissolved in carrier oils.
CBD wax is made by treating the extract to solidify and crystallize it. The wax comes in different forms, and is also referred to as CBD shatter, live resin, crumble or budder. This is a highly concentrated potent form of CBD, used via dabbing and with due caution.
The Wide and Creative Range of CBD Products
The oils, isolates and wax are then used as base ingredients for different types of products intended for specific uses. Each carry a unique set of properties discussed in detail below:
CBD edibles are made by adding an extract or an isolate into food products like gummies, chocolate, cookies, brownies, etc. It’s an interesting way of taking CBD with the main benefit being ease of use.
The effectiveness largely depends on the concentration of the contents and more CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream if these edibles contain oils and fats. Low effectiveness can be attributed to the fact that in its edible form, it is processed through the liver which reduces the concentration. Edibles are often made from CBD isolate which lacks the, "Entourage Effect" of a high-quality full spectrum extract.
Known mostly as CBD oil, and consumed sublingually by being placed under the tongue, a tincture is the oil- or alcohol- carried form of CBD. It is usually packaged in a small bottle with a dropper. The liquid inside comprises several components:
- CBD extract or CBD isolate base
- A carrier liquid – Hemp oil or MCT oil is mixed with the extract or isolate to increase the volume of the liquid and help deliver the CBD. These oils also help the CBD to get absorbed into the stomach walls and membranes.
- Optional additives like sweeteners, flavors, terpenes & more - Added for a variety of reasons, these optional additives like sweeteners or flavoring are added to mask the grassy flavor of the extract.
CBD isolate, the crystalized form of CBD, contains 99%+ potency of the cannabinoid compound and comes in either slab or white powder form. Despite being a 'pure' form of cannabidiol, isolated CBD is actually less effective than full spectrum extracts; many people prefer isolates because they contain no THC which prevents any potential drug testing issues.
Aside from the fact that it does not contain any THC, its low cost and extreme versatility make it very popular. It can be mixed with a carrier oil to create an isolate-CBD oil tincture, used in edibles and drinks, and other forms of intake.
CBD capsules are simply a pill-form, either softgels or in a two-piece capsule, of CBD extract that can be consumed just like any other supplement - swallowed. By and large, the contents of the CBD capsules contain the following ingredients:
- CBD Extract or CBD Isolate – This decides the overall quality of the pill. A full or broad-spectrum CBD extract base will give you the maximum potential health benefit because they provide the entourage effect. Isolate-based capsules are less effective as they only contain the single CBD cannabinoid.
- Oil Carrier (Hemp, Coconut, or MCT oil) – Oil carriers are added to increase the body's ability to absorb the cannabinoids contained in the capsules. Since CBD and other cannabinoids are fat soluble, they break down and bind with fats and are quickly and effectively absorbed by the body.
- Powder Filler - An isolate-base and filler is often used to create a dry capsule that contains a powder.
- Optional Ingredients – Sometimes, optional ingredients like herbs or supplement additives are added to provide additional benefits, but do not influence the benefits of the CBD content.
Just like normal vaping, CBD extracts or isolates are vaporized via a traditional vape pen or cartridge. This method of taking CBD has proven to be the quickest, due to the high bio-availability that comes with the molecule being inhaled.
The other way of vaping is by using vape oil, also called vape juice or e-juice. The CBD vape oil is heated, turned to vapor, and inhaled when vaping through loaded refillable cartridges for use in a vape pen or vape mod. Besides CBD isolate or CBD extract and thinning agents, natural and/or artificial flavors are added to improve the flavor of these vape juices.
An oily substance that ranges from a dark black paste to a honey color and consistency, CBD extract contains cannabis plant materials, waxes, fatty acids, cannabinoids, and terpenoids. Typically, non-psychoactive, CBD extracts are formulated to provide the maximum benefits. They are commonly packaged in a syringe that allows you to accurately dose and are the central component used to create all other CBD products.
CBD concentrates are high potency extracts of the hemp plant which contain a high level of cannabidiol and are usually dabbed or vaped.
There are many different types of CBD concentrates based on the method of extraction used to produce the final product:
- Crumble, a moist concentrate that 'crumbles' into pieces is created by eliminating oils from a cannabis extract.
- Shatter is created by infusing terpenes into isolate slabs.
- Wax is the CBD concentrates in a wax format.
- Terpsolate is created by infusing terpenes into isolate powder creating anything from a powder to a viscous mixture.
CBD Beauty Products
Cannabidiol is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient in beauty products that help users reduce pain and inflammation, and provide additional stress relief and relaxation, as opposed to traditional products.
CBD is added to a host of beauty products like:
- Moisturizing Gels/Creams/Lotions
- Bath Bombs
- Lip Balm
CBD Pet Products
CBD pet products are specifically formulated for animal use, with appropriate dosing or application methods for pets. There are a wide variety of pet-specific CBD products on the market intended to help improve your pet's life, like Tinctures, Capsules, Cookies / Treats and Sprays.
The Current Market Trend for CBD Products
As expected, the legalization of hemp has built a new market and CBD products derived from hemp are gaining major momentum. CBD in various forms (CBD oil, a popular form for its benefits), is infused in just about everything from sparkling water to vape pens, wellness and beauty products and pet products too, making the most of what the hemp plant can legally offer.
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About the Author: Gene Bruno
Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG) - Mr. Bruno possesses nearly 40 years of dietary supplement industry experience. With a Master's degree in nutrition and a second Master's degree in herbal medicine, he has a proven track record of formulating innovative, evidence-based dietary supplements. Mr. Bruno currently serves as the Senior Director of Product Innovation at Twinlab Corporation and sits on the Board of Directors at Huntington College of Health Sciences.