There are a huge variety of CBD products on the market and the types and number can be somewhat confusing. We were confused too, at first and so, at Blue Lotus Botanicals, we have spent years learning as much as we could about the CBD, cannabis, oils, extracts and everything in between. This article is intended to provide some straightforward definitions and explanations that will hopefully cut through some of the confusion.
Our products are created for self-care and wellness. We aimed to offer a product range that would honor CBD in its most effective form to help you attain the wellness benefits of both the CBD and the other non-intoxicating terpenes from the cannabis strains that are cultivated specifically for that purpose.
CBD From PCR Hemp vs. CBD From Marijuana
Oils can also be extracted from marijuana the same way they can be extracted from hemp. The oils made from marijuana are referred to as cannabis oil. Extracts made from marijuana may contain some CBD but are intended to contain enough THC to provide therapeutic effect from the THC and/or to invoke its intoxicating effects. Such extracts made from marijuana remain as illegal Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. While some patients may need to obtain products with THC from a medical dispensary here in Florida or elsewhere, Blue Lotus Botanicals is committed to bringing those products that are under the legal limit for THC (.3%) and are therefore legal under the federal 2018 Farm Bill and Florida Senate Bill 1020.
For the purposes of this document and to clarify the types of products carried by Blue Lotus, we are only concerned with CBD oil produced from PCR (phytocannabinoid rich) hemp. We are not concerned with THC-containing cannabis oils made from marijuana, nor are we concerned with extracts of industrial hemp which have low levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Raw CBD Oil vs. CBD Concentrate
When the essential oils of the hemp plant are first extracted, the resulting product is considered raw hemp extract. This raw extract can be put through a series of filtration and distillation processes to remove unwanted compounds, such as waxes and chlorophyll, and produce various classes of oils differing in purity and CBD content. These refined oils are referred to as CBD concentrate or CBD distillate.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Full spectrum oils are those that contain all the original compounds contained in the cannabis flower – cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Terpenes are simply the other plant compounds. They include items such as myrcene and limonene, which are found in various essential oils and have been studied for their therapeutic effects, and similar to CBD, have been used for centuries to enhance wellness. Because these products retain the natural balance of cannabinoids and terpenes found in the original plant (including trace amounts of THC), they are referred to as full spectrum oils.
For detailed information about the terpenes found in the various cannabis strains, visit our friends at Greenflower Botanicals.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad spectrum CBD oil is very similar to a full spectrum oil. Full spectrum CBD oil, as we mentioned, retains the original concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes found in raw PCR hemp extract. Broad spectrum CBD oil also contains these concentrations of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes but has all trace amounts of THC extracted. This is ideal for those who want absolutely no THC in their CBD products.
CBD can also be isolated and purified. Pure CBD is known in the industry as CBD isolate. In their pure form, and at room temperature, cannabinoids are solid crystals. Purified cannabinoids are colorless and odorless. CBD isolate can be consumed directly or used as an additive in other preparations such as edibles and beverages; however, it is devoid of the beneficial terpenes and other cannabinoids found naturally in the plant.
This infographic from the website, herbcollector.com shows the difference in a very straightforward fashion:
CBD-Rich Oil/Phytocannabinoid-Rich (PCR)
Another term you may hear is CBD-rich oil. This term is generally used to label a CBD oil which has gone through some initial filtration and distillation steps to remove unwanted compounds such as chlorophyll and waxes. The resulting product has a higher concentration of CBD than the raw extract, hence the term CBD-rich oil.
The term CBD-infused can be used to describe either a product which has been infused with purified CBD isolate or a product which has been infused with a CBD-rich, full spectrum or broad spectrum concentrate. A properly labeled product will specify which ingredients were used. If the ingredients include “CBD isolate,” then the product is not full spectrum. If the ingredients include “CBD-rich hemp oil (or extract)” or “full/broad spectrum CBD oil,” then obviously you’re getting a full/broad spectrum product. It’s important to know which is in a product because they produce different effects.
A List of CBD Oil Products
There are a variety of products which contain varying levels of CBD as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes. Here is a summary of these types of oils:
Hemp seed oil — Oil produced from hemp seeds, does not contain CBD.
Raw industrial hemp extract — A low-quality source of CBD oil.
Raw PCR hemp extract — A high-quality, full or broad spectrum product which is rich in CBD and contains the naturally occurring compounds in hemp, including cannabinoids and terpenes.
CBD concentrate or distillate — A full spectrum or broad spectrum product from which unwanted compounds have been removed.
CBD isolate — Purified CBD that does not contain other beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids.
CBD-rich oil/Phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) — Either full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD concentrate or oil infused with CBD concentrate.
Broad spectrum oil — An oil rich in CBD and the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp EXCEPT for THC.
CBD-infused — Generally refers to a product infused with pure CBD, but is also used sometimes to refer to a full spectrum product.
Now that we’ve cleared up these terms, let’s answer some of the most common questions asked by first time CBD users.
Frequently Asked Questions of Beginners
CBD oil is a complicated product, and the current CBD market can be compared to the Wild West. While CBD products are legal both federally and in most states, they are, as yet, unregulated by the FDA. Consequently, there is a lot of misinformation (and unfortunately mislabeling) floating around and, of course, this causes confusion. The state of Florida has put labeling guidelines in place, and the USDA has very recently come out with interim regulations for the cultivation of PCR hemp for CBD extraction. These are a great start, but until further clarity is provided through regulations, it is critical to obtain your CBD from a reliable source.
One of the main points of confusion comes from the fact that the media often uses the term marijuana to refer to hemp and vice versa. This raises other issues, the most common of which are whether or not it contains intoxicating compounds or if it has any side effects. Let’s answer each of these questions in brief.
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
No, it should not. Properly produced CBD oil from PCR hemp does not contain THC in high enough concentrations to cause intoxication.
THC acts upon particular receptors in the brain (CB1 receptors),, which changes brain chemistry and therefore alters consciousness. CBD does not trigger these receptors. In fact, it may actually prevent them from reacting to THC and thus minimize its effects.
However, if you are concerned with drug testing for your employment or simply do not want to have any THC in your CBD oil, you need to choose a broad spectrum or isolate product. The chances of failing a drug test because of the trace amounts of THC in a full spectrum product are extremely small, but no one can guarantee a clean drug test if you ingest THC in any quantity.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
While pharmaceutical drugs are often developed to target particular bodily systems and provide particular effects, Mother Nature is not always so exacting. The effects of organic compounds can be many and usually vary from person to person. Many herbal compounds can have both desired effects and unwanted effects. These unwanted effects are known as adverse side effects.
In order to determine if an effect is an adverse side effect, you need to know what the desired effects are. The effects which are desired by one user may not be desired by another user.
An example of how CBD might work differently for different people is in how drowsy it may make you feel. Some people use CBD oil in order to support restful sleep, but may also feel drowsy during the day. If you want to feel awake during the day, as most do, feeling sleepy would be an unwanted side effect.
Will CBD Make Me Drowsy?
CBD has what are called biphasic properties. This just means that CBD oil may have different effects depending on the serving. Taken in nominal servings (see our dosing guidelines for details), CBD is unlikely to cause drowsiness. However, taken in higher servings, there is the potential that it could cause drowsiness. This is why almost everyone who writes about dosing says “start low, go slow.” There is no point in taking more CBD than is therapeutically effective. However, there is equally no point in taking a dose that is too low and deciding prematurely that CBD does not work for you. Some people find 10mg twice a day very effective, while others require 5 times that.
Alcohol is a perfect example of a substance with biphasic properties. Below a certain blood level, alcohol provides a stimulating effect and can make its user more active and social, while larger amounts of alcohol can have a depressant effect resulting in unconsciousness.
Can I Give My Pet CBD Oil?
Yes, high-quality CBD is safe for pets. There are products specifically made for pets, which should not contain any pet-unfriendly additives. However, pets can take CBD any CBD oil that does not contain additives (flavors, other herbs etc). However, the size and activity level of your pet will determine the optimal serving size. Pets obviously range dramatically in weight from under a pound for rodents to many hundreds of pounds for animals such as horses. Some pets are like my 12 year-old lab Jillian – the most strenuous activity she engages in these days is cuddling. While others are like Margaret’s dog Ferris and can clear a 6 foot fence in a single bound. Metabolism, activity level, and severity of condition can all affect the required dose. It’s a good idea to talk with a veterinarian who is familiar with CBD’s uses before you give your pet CBD.
The typical recommended starting dose for pets is 1mg per 10 pounds of body weight. This is why pet specific products are often formulated with a lower mg per bottle than those for people. If you are using a product that contains 4mg per drop and your pet weighs only 10 pounds, you likely want to get a product with a lower mg per drop to make dosing easier.
We are happy to speak with you individually about your questions and concerns. Reach out to us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-235-0635 if you would like to have a conversation.