CBD products have officially infiltrated the markets, appearing in everything edible, from lattes and smoothies, to face masks, and even hand sanitizers. The compound known as CBD has become a popular natural remedy for many common ailments and can be sold in the United States.
Have you come across the CBD toothpicks that can clean your teeth while delivering an all-natural relief from tooth pain? Or maybe tried potato chips made with strain-specific hemp plants and infused with pure Cannabidiol? Perhaps you may have heard of the tree-free, organic CBD toilet paper with renewable hemp cellulose fibers that promise a ‘feel-good’ sensation.
While some people swear by the healing powers of CBD, it still retains a negative connotation to having ‘recreational effects’. We find out what all the fuss is about and why CBD is suddenly getting so much attention.
What exactly is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one of 113 chemical compounds called cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD makes up 40% of the plant’s extract and is the second most predominant active ingredient found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. The two main species of the Cannabis sativa plant are called hemp and marijuana.
The main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is associated with the ‘high sensation’ people get when they take marijuana. Hemp has a higher concentration of CBD while marijuana has a high percentage of THC. CBD, however, is not a psychoactive compound.
Cannabidiol – laying positive footprints in the medical world
CBD has gained momentum in the health and fitness world as an appealing pain relief option for those looking for natural remedies without the mind-altering effects of pharmaceutical drugs. It has a long history of providing pain relief for various ailments and dire health conditions, including neurological disorders and other serious diseases.
The Chinese transcribed their use of cannabis for a myriad of medical conditions, including malaria and gout from as far back as 2900 B.C . Four thousand years later, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018 approved cannabidiol under the trade name Epidiolex as a treatment for two epilepsy disorders. Due to insufficient research and lack of scientific evidence, it is difficult to pinpoint the real benefits of CBD oil in the treatment of health-related problems.
How is CBD consumed?
There are a variety of ways to ingest Cannabidiol. It can be inhaled in the form of cannabis smoke or vapor, with CBD Pre Rolls being the most popular. These are instant relief methods that are delivered in about 10 minutes but wear off after around 2 hours.
CBD has been produced as an aerosol spray for the mouth and cheek, or as tinctures. CBD Tinctures are liquid drops placed under the tongue that offer pain relief within half an hour. It is also available as a liquid prescription solution or as dried cannabis.
One can buy CBD Topical Salves containing CBD-dominant hemp extracts that can be applied to sore muscles and ligaments. CBD is also available as edible capsules, gummies, or baked goods.
Cannabidiol’s effects on the human body
More and more people today are integrating CBD into their health routine to support their molecular and cellular health. Although nothing has been set in stone, scientists understand that CBD has some effects on the brain, but it is still unclear what the exact causes of these effects are. An accepted theory amongst medical practitioners is that it indirectly acts on the endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, preventing the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects mental function.
Studies have shown that CBD acts on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps control cognitive performance, mood regulation, stress management, and pain perception. It also improves memory and the immune system’s responses.
People who suffer from schizophrenia and other mental disorders would benefit from CBD as it helps to reduce psychotic symptoms. There have been numerous medical trials that have proved successful in calming down anxiety and insomnia with CBD. Medical researchers have also proven that CBD can modify brain circuits, especially in people recovering from drug addictions.
Although CBD is generally considered safe, some people may have adverse reactions to it. Side effects associated with CBD include changes in appetite and weight, fatigue, or diarrhea. It should always be considered as a dietary supplement and not a replacement for prescribed medication. It is always advisable to discuss using CBD with your doctor to avoid potentially harmful reactions.
There are various types of CBD
You can generally find three different types of CBD currently in existence.
This contains all the chemicals naturally found in the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant. Full-spectrum CBD utilizes all the good compounds in the plant and amplifies the health benefits of each individual cannabinoid. Although it has a slightly concentrated form of CBD, it has an incredibly low level of THC (below 0.3%). People who consume full spectrum CBD regularly may get a false positive during a drug test.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil
Broad-spectrum CBD is also made from all the compounds of the cannabis plant with the main difference being that it does not contain any THC. It is completely removed after the initial extraction process.
As the name suggests, the Isolate separates cannabidiol from all the other ingredients in their natural environment. It is usually 99% pure CBD concentrate and does not offer the full healing effect that full-spectrum CBD offers. This is why it is relatively cheaper than the rest.
The difference between CBD oil and hemp oil
Even though they come from the same cannabis family, hemp seed oil and CBD oil have different characteristics and desired effects.
Hemp Seed oil is obtained from cold pressing the seeds of Cannabis sativa and is commonly used as a natural supplement. It has high concentrations of omega-3 and omega6 fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid, and vitamins B and D. It contains no cannabinoids.
CBD oil, on the other hand, is much more expensive than hemp oil because it contains a 12 – 18% concentration of cannabidiol. It contains less than 0.3% THC content and can be used for recreational purposes.
As much as the healing properties and effects of Cannabidiol are still being studied, people with debilitating diseases should at least look into the health benefits of CBD. It just might be the natural pain remedy the world needs.
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If you’re a resident of The Republic of Ireland or you’re a tourist on a visit to the Emerald Isle, you may be wondering where you can buy CBD oil. Now, before finding that out, and also understanding how to select the right type of oil, it would be a good idea to see if buying CBD oil in Ireland is legal or not.
Ireland’s stance on the sale and purchase of CBD oil
Despite the numerous health benefits CBD has been observed to offer, the legality of CBD is still in question in many places, and this includes Ireland.
To sell or purchase any item under the “medicinal/health” classification in Ireland, the product or ingredient must first be granted the status of medicine. However, in the eyes of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), cannabis and its derivatives have never been considered “medicinal products.” This makes it extremely difficult to trade in any cannabis-derived ingredient or product in the country.
In late 2016, the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill was rejected in Parliament. It was then that the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, commissioned the HPRA to study the health benefits of cannabis, after sustained backlash from citizens and legal parties who were pro-medicinal CBD. The report, published in February 2017, provided ample evidence of the numerous health benefits that medicinal cannabis and CBD oil reviews, in particular, provide users. An announcement was then made by the Health Department to allow the legal use of medical cannabis; but only in select cases to treat patients with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and those undergoing chemotherapy.
When did CBD oil become legal in Ireland?
CBD oil has always been legal in Ireland however, the only type of cannabis derivative that is legal in Ireland is cannabinoids used as food flavouring agents or food supplements. The reason these supplements are legal is that most CBD food supplements are derived from the hemp plant.
How to get a hemp license in Ireland
Hemp, a type of cannabis plant, contains a significantly less amount of THC. This makes it much safer and less psychoactive than other forms of cannabis. To legally grow and harvest hemp, growers must get sanction from the HPRA and must obtain a special grower’s license.
Next, they must follow EU-defined extraction methods to derive the hemp oil and other natural ingredients; failing which they will be barred from selling their CBD products in the Irish market. For example, cold-pressed hemp oil is legal to sell in Ireland. However, hemp oil that is extracted using any other technique or which undergoes further purification or processing requires not just HPRA authorisation but also authorisation from the EU.
Novel Food Authorisation of Cannabidiol
Today, the legality of cannabis and cannabinoids remain in the grey area due to the novel food authorisation issue currently been lobbied in the EU commission by the Cannabis Trade Association. However, pharmacies and stores in Dublin have started selling CBD products which contain less than 0.2% of THC. This is because of the recent amendments to Irish law, which have recognised CBD (hemp-derived CBD) as a non-cannabis product, making it legal. These oils and products must be developed according to HPRA and EU standards to be accepted in the market. Cannabis-derived CBD oil is still illegal in Ireland.
How to Buy CBD oil in Ireland
When we talk of legal CBD in Ireland, we talk of hemp-derived CBD.
Today, Ireland has many dedicated stores and pharmacies which stock and sell CBD products. There are many specialised websites and online businesses which also sell CBD oil across the country. CBD hemp oil, extracts, soft gels, vape kits, protein powders and salves are some of the products that can be purchased.
While quality and regulatory compliance are the same online and offline, the major difference that you’ll find when trying to purchase CBD products in Ireland is that while e-commerce stores sell full-spectrum CBD products, the brick-and-mortar stores and pharmacies stock only CBD isolates.
Before you decide to buy CBD oil in Ireland, it’s important that you understand the fundamental difference between isolates and full-spectrum CBD to ensure you purchase a product that is right for you.
CBD isolates vs full-spectrum CBD
CBD isolate is pure CBD. Once the oil, chlorophyll, wax and other ingredients are removed from the hemp plant, only a pure powder is left behind. This crystalline powder is called the CBD isolate.
On the other hand, is CBD derived using the entire hemp plant. This CBD is developed by retaining all the waxes, chlorophyll, other cannabinoids and oils present in the hemp plant. It is this type of CBD that contains trace amounts of THC (only up to 0.2%).
So, which is oil is better?
While it may seem like CBD isolate is more potent and powerful because of its pure CBD form, this isn’t true. Research shows that the benefits offered by the hemp plant’s other ingredients enhance the health benefits offered by the CBD. This makes full-spectrum CBD oil a much better option for patients. When combined, all of the ingredients inject numerous minerals, vitamins, terpenes, compounds, fatty acids and fibres into the body, which offer a myriad of health benefits. This helps patients experience faster and more effective relief.
However, since Ireland enforces extremely strict rules in the sale of CBD oil and products, you may have to settle for CBD isolates if you shop at the physical stores.
But this doesn’t mean that CBD isolate is any less beneficial. In fact, many users prefer the isolate because of the complete absence of THC. This makes the isolate perfect for users who have a very sensitive constitution and who may be physically unable to ingest the THC safely. It is also useful for sports professionals, armed forces, Gardaí officers, doctors and other professionals who wish to gain the medical benefits of CBD without worrying about THC showing in drug test results. CBD isolate can be mixed with a carrier oil like olive oil and grape seed oil and then consumed either directly, or used for cooking or baking.
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