Welcome to CBD 101 

Everything you need to know about CBD all in one place. Brought to you by Hemp Crate Co, the premium CBD Subscription Box. 

What is CBD?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a natural compound that is found in the cannabis plant. It’s one of the 114 known cannabinoids found inside the cannabis plant; CBD, CBG CBN and THC are all cannabinoids. Yes, CBD comes from the same cannabis plant where marijuana (THC) is found.
However, there are quite a few differences between the two cannabinoids. The most important in many individual’s minds is that CBD, unlike THC, is non-intoxicating. You’ll hear a lot of companies and individuals (even some within this piece) state that CBD is non-psychoactive. That is not exactly true as the definition of psychoactive is “affecting the mind or behavior.” CBD will definitely not get you the ‘high feeling,' but it will affect the mind. It has been used in clinical trials for treating seizure disorders, PTSD, anxiety, depression and a host of other ailments. CBD does affect the mind, but in a positive, healthy and rejuvenating manner. You can experience all the touted public benefits of marijuana without the ‘high feeling.’ 

Marijuana has increasingly become more potent over the past couple of decades. This is leading people to have more anxiety and paranoia when consuming marijuana. This is never a concern if you are consuming quality 3rd party lab tested CBD products. The only form of CBD that can currently be legally cultivated hemp-derived CBD. To understand where CBD comes from it’s important to understand the differences between hemp and marijuana.  

Let’s take a quick look at a comparison of hemp vs. marijuana: 

Okay, so now you are thinking CBD won’t get me high so how exactly does it help me? We think this video from Leafly does a great job of introducing the cannabinoids. 

The Endocannabinoid System

Before we get too far into how CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) it is important to share the standard FDA statement which is on our website and should be on the site of any reputable CBD brand:

“These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.”

This FDA statement is important as you will hear many companies making false medical claims. The truth is the only product  approved by the FDA for treatment of a condition (epilepsy) with CBD oil  currently is Epidiolex as documented in our previous blog.

Now let's shift back to the education:

All animals (human or not) have an Endocannabinoid System within their body. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, tissues, glands, and immune cells. The goal of the ECS is to simply maintain homeostasis, which is a fancy way of saying it’s job is to keep everything calm and stable throughout your body. Just like an individual can have an Iron or Vitamin D deficiency, one can have a ECS deficiency. 

The Cannabis plant is made up of phyto-cannabinoids (ie. THC and CBD) and these cannabinoids interact with Cannabinoid (CB) Receptors that exist within our bodies. Just like when you get sick and take medicine that’s design to boost or restore your immune system, when you take products containing THC or CBD they bind to these receptors and help to restore your ECS to its natural state. This is often referred to as the ‘Calming Effect.’

There are two different types of CB Receptors in our bodies: CB1 and CB2. This visual, from papaandbarkley.com, does a good job in showing where the receptors are located throughout the body:

What are the types of CBD and what differentiates them? 

The three main types of CBD are full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. They simply refer to different ways that CBD can be delivered and consumed. There are benefits and drawbacks to all 3 so it's important to be an informed consumer. One of the benefits to a CBD subscription box like Hemp Crate Co is that you can try all different forms of CBD in any given crate! Let's compare the 3 types. 


Full Spectrum

 Full Spectrum refers to cannabis-derived from the entire plant that contains CBD and other phytocannabinoids (any cannabinoid that is naturally occurring within the cannabis family of plants) such as THC, CBN, CBG, and CBC. This type of CBD provides the aforementioned ‘entourage effect’ as you getting all of the compounds together. Important to ensure that the CBD products you try have less than the legal Federal limit of 0.3% THC. All of our full spectrum products at Hemp Crate Co are compliant with that requirement as they are all 3rd party lab tested

 Examples Full Spectrum products in our online store:


Broad Spectrum

Broad Spectrum contains all phytocannabinoids in the cannabis-derived plant but does not contain any detectable amount of THC. With this type of CBD product you can still get the benefits of other cannabinoids and avoid the small amounts of THC that accompany Full Spectrum products. Many claim that there's not a difference between Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum. It's often not easily detectable but it's there. 

Example Broad Spectrum products in our online store:


Isolate

Isolate is a pure, crystalline powder that contains 99%+ pure CBD. CBD isolate contains no other phytocannabinoids. All the plant matter contained in the hemp plant, including oils, waxes and chlorophyll, are removed. This means isolate offers a finished product that's CBD and nothing more. These products are great for those looking for a pure CBD experience. You miss out on the entourage effect, but you get the peace of mind that you won’t fail a drug test, as long as the products you purchase are properly tested. You can read up on whether or not CBD will show up on drug tests in this blog

Examples of isolate products in our online store:


An emerging science in the CBD space is nanotechnology. Often used in beauty products and supplements, this technology is now making its way entire the world of CBD. It focuses on breaking down compounds into ‘nanoparticles.’ These extremely small particles are then better absorbed into the bloodstream which means that products utilizing nanotechnology have increased bioavailability. We have started seeing this extraction technique in CBD infused products such as CBD Living Water. Look for this technology to be expanded in the coming years as individuals will want to ensure they are getting a high degree of bioavailability in the products they consume 

Cannabinoid receptors are located through the body, however these two different receptors are each better at receiving different cannabinoids than their counterpart. For example, CB1 receptors, located primarily in the brain and central nervous system are more reactive to THC. CB2 receptors, located throughout the body, are more prone to CBD receptors. This is why CBD is often considered "non-psychoactive" because it is not as associated with the receptors found in the brain.  

Is CBD Safe?

There were over 70,000 related opioid related deaths in 2017. The total number of people that have died from overdosing on CBD is 0. Taking large amounts (more than 1500MG in one sitting) may make you sluggish and overwhelm your ESC, but it certainly will not cause you to overdose.

Most individuals tolerate CBD with little to no side effects, especially with moderate usage. If side effects are present they usually come in the form of nausea, diarrhea, drowsiness, and/or changes in mood or appetite

Millions of people are starting to understand just how beneficial CBD can be versus traditional medicinal treatments which often lead to addiction. You can not get addicted to CBD.

Is CBD legal to buy and consume?

Absolutely. Hemp Crate Co would not exist if it was not. There have been several positive pieces of legislation over the past five years that has paved the way for full legality of hemp-derived CBD products. Here are the key ones:

  • First, the Agricultural Act of 2014 opened up new doors for the hemp industry by legalizing some cultivation activities that have since allowed the industry to grow in unprecedented ways. 
  • Second, the 2016 Federal Omnibus Bill allowed interstate hemp sales from being prohibited. 
  • Lastly, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law in December 2018, effectively legalizing hemp at the federal level by removing it from the federal list of controlled substances and classifying it as an agricultural commodity. 

As of 2019, there are only three states with restrictions on all cannabis and cannabis-derived (hemp) products. These are Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. It is crucial and your responsibility to know how hemp-derived CBD extracts are treated in your state.

CBD Dosage

Disclaimer: Hemp Crate Co can not advise on specific dosages for the products we sell. The FDA has not provided a recommended daily intake for CBD.  

First, let’s take a quick look first at the most common intake method for CBD; sublingual (under the tongue) via an oil tincture dropper. This chart gives you a quick breakdown of how many milligrams of CBD you'll be getting depending on the concentration of your tincture. CBD is measured in milligrams generally, the metric unit of weight. This chart helps to show you how many milligrams you'll be getting depending on what size bottle of CBD you have. Just find your bottle size in the second column and then the third column will tell you the mg of CBD that come in one dropper of your bottle. 

Now you know how to quickly tell how much CBD is in the standard 1ML dropper. So you know the amount per dropper, but how much should you take? Again, we can’t provide a specific recommendations because all users are so different and there are no FDA tested guidelines to follow. However, we can provide a helpful chart for where users should start with dosage. We kept this chart extremely simple and like it because it can be used for both pets and humans. This is based off of user feedback we've received and other dosage recommendation sources (Honest Marijuana) and is intended to be a guideline only.

If you are taking CBD for the first time we suggest starting out moderately instead of aggressively. You can always increase your tolerance and find your ‘sweet spot’ over time. Each of our subscription boxes contain several hundred MG total of CBD across all the products. They are meant to be experienced over the course of 30 days. Use this chart to help get a gauge on where to start with your dosage, then work up and down over time. There will be plenty of goodies in your subscription box to find the right dosage for you!

Important to note as well that results are different for everyone. Some people feel the effects right away, even with a smaller dosage. Others require a larger dosage for a more sustained period of time. 

One final note about CBD dosage that is important to keep in mind when finding the right dosage for you is the concept of reverse tolerance build-up. There still needs to be more research in this area before results are conclusive, but early studies suggest that since CBD doesn’t actually bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body like THC does, there’s not a tolerance build up over time. This means that, unlike marijuana use, you won’t have to up your CBD dosage over time to continue to get the same results. In fact, some research suggests that the CBD begins to build up in your body over time. This means that over time you could potentially cut back your usage to see the same results. Yet another reason it’s important to closely observe the effects CBD has on your body with each fluctuation in dosage.  

Ways to take CBD

There are several ways to experience CBD: 

CBD Oil 

As mentioned previously, this is the most common method of intake and usually in the form of a tincture dropper. Usually taken sublingually (under the tongue). 

CBD Capsules

Oil converted into pill form. Most often used for convenience. Capsules generally have a time release casing and thus take longer to be absorbed than sublingual ingestion. 

CBD Topicals

Lotions, salves, creams, rubs and transdermal patches. Huge growth and innovation in this space right now. Easy way to get your CBD and often is mixed with other beneficial compounds such as aloe vera, tea tree oil, and menthol.

CBD Edibles

A fun and safe way to get your CBD. Results can take longer as the CBD has to be metabolized. However, they can also be more sustained vs. other methods. Ensure the food and beverage products you are taking are 3rd party lab tested.

CBD Flower

A burgeoning market. Looks similar to marijuana bud, but is concentrated CBD. Can be smoked as a joint, in a bowl, or vaped as dry flower.

CBD Vape Liquid (Juice)

Different than CBD oil you find in a tincture dropper. Manufacturers use a thinning agent to make the liquid less viscous. It is thinner than what you would find with standard oil. The oil tincture is meant to be taken sublingually and vape liquid is meant to be vaporized.

CBD Isolates & Concentrates 

Usually, these are reserved for more serious CBD users. Comes in a powder or wax form. Can be sprinkled into a vaporizer or bowl and smoked. Highly concentrated and pure.  


Bioavailability of CBD

Now that we know all the different ways to experience CBD, which one is the best for me?

That really is a personal question. Some individuals prefer the most popular method of using an oil tincture dropper under the tongue, others prefer the multiple benefits of topical CBD products, and others prefer the quick effect of smoking or vaping CBD. There is no perfect answer. It really depends on what YOU prefer. However, one thing Hemp Crate Co wants you to understand is that all of the products have a different bioavailability.

Bioavailability is the rate and degree at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream. Bioavailability for CBD products varies based on consumption method and concentration of said products. Since there has not been certified trials for CBD absorption rates there is a lot of varying opinions on what % of CBD is actually absorbed. Instead of sharing numbers, we will list the methods of highest bioavailability in order: Vaporizing or smoking of CBD flower and/or liquid, CBD oil if administered correctly under the tongue, and topicals have the highest absorption rates. Following behind are capsules, edibles and beverages. 

How is CBD extracted?

There are several ways that CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant. The most common, yet complex, method is through CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction generally follows the steps below:

  1. Raw cannabis plant is harvested and placed into a stainless steel tube called an extraction vessel. 
  2. Liquid CO2 is heated and pressurized separately until it reaches a point where it has both liquid and gas properties. 
  3. Once the CO2 has reached its supercritical state it is then mixed with the raw cannabis plant. This process ‘pulls out’ the active chemical compounds from the plant. 
  4. Once the compounds such as CBD, terpenes, and flavanoids have been extracted it is transferred to another device called a Separator
  5. In the Separator, a reduction in pressure allows the CO2 and CBD compound to separate. It leaves a sticky CBD resin. 
  6. From there, often the process is repeated for purity’s sake.
  7. An emulsification process using ethanol then further strips away unwanted minerals and lipids.
  8. Finally, the product is heat-spun to remove the ethanol from the CBD, leaving a pure cannabidiol product that can be used in a variety of products. 

Other less common methods of extraction include heat press, dry sifting, olive and grapeseed oil. These last two methods produce rather low yields on a per volume basis.  

History of Hemp

Hemp has a storied history in this country. The Native Americans were growing and using hemp before the pioneers arrived in this country 500 years ago. The fibers of hemp are incredibly durable so they were used for clothing, rope, and food. In fact, even prior to the Native Americans usage archaeologists have found hemp artifacts that are over 10,000 years old. This fun and informative video put together by Hempco shows the storied history of hemp. Pay close attention to the number of significant historic American names you hear throughout the video. 

 Okay, so if George Washington and Henry Ford loved and used hemp what went wrong and when? There are several theories of the downturn of hemp in this country, but most agree is centered in the time frame of the Great Depression which started in 1929 and lasted a full decade. The bottom really fell out in the early to mid 1930’s when some 15 million people were unemployed.

Prior to this time, marijuana wasn’t really used recreationally in the United States. Now with millions unemployed and social unrest people were using it more to relax. Soon, films started coming out talking about the negative sides of marijuana. How it made one crazed, some really extreme stuff. Check out this trailer for this 1936 film, ‘Reefer Madness.’ This is the same film that is spoofed in the opening of ‘Pineapple Express’

So long story longer, hemp gets tied to marijuana legislation due to its familial nature. In 1937 the United States passed the Marijuana Tax Act. This did not make growing hemp illegal. However, it added costly taxes and regulation which made it non-desirable to farmers. Compounding the problem, imported fibers at a much cheaper cost start to dominate U.S. manufacturing. All of this combined for a dramatic cultivation drop and really changed the perception of hemp.

In 1970, the government passed the Controlled Substances Act which created different schedules of ‘drugs.’ Since hemp is related to the marijuana family some portions of the plant were clumsily treated as a Schedule 1 drug.

Finally, 80 years after misclassification the Hemp Renaissance is underway in America. States across the country are receiving hundreds of farming permits which is also legalized and regulated through the 2018 Farm Bill. More and more studies will be coming out in the following years due to the new legislation.

Millions of Americans are just starting to learn about CBD and the interest is intense and growing by the day. Political unrest and the effects of social media have anxiety levels at an all time-high. Individuals are looking for more organic and homeopathic ways to treat oneself.

How do I choose the right CBD product?

That about covers it! Hopefully you feel as though you’ve now got a firm grasp on what CBD is, its history and how it’s produced and how it interacts with our bodies.

The final piece of the puzzle is arguably the most important one: purchasing quality products.

There are a lot of non-reputable brands and products out there. Repeat, a lot. Many individuals and corporations have came into this space to just capitalize on the emerging market. Product quality is not their top priority and it always should be. It can be confusing too as some of these companies look legit. There are ways to help weed out the good eggs from the bad.

  1. Always insist that the products you are purchasing have verifiable 3rd party lab tests. Any reputable company in this space is paying to have batches of their CBD tested consistently. These are usually available on the manufacturer’s website. What is becoming more and more popular is brands putting QR codes on each individual product. Both of these methods are tied to the batch number which allows you to trace your products’ CBD origin. We think the market will continue to move towards technology-based solutions like this.
  2. Never buy CBD direct from someone. You need to buy from a reputable company that has either a storefront, e-commerce shop or subscription service. As previously mentioned in this blog, we are not fans of individual affiliate marketing. This allows anyone to sign up to sell CBD products without understanding or caring for what he/she is selling. This usually leads to cheaper and more substandard products as the individual is all about making margin on the products, not ensuring the customers are getting the best and most reputable items.
  3. Read about the brands you are thinking about trying. You can find valuable information by simple Google searches, reddit forums, Facebook groups, etc. Look for companies that are often viewed as transparent and focused on quality and education.
  4. Test products to find out what you like. If you are new to CBD you may have no idea what may be your favorite way to consume.

You can do this on your own or let a company like Hemp Crate Co do the work for you. That’s what we’re here for afterall! We check all of these boxes:

  • We ONLY partner with companies that have verified 3rd party testing on any product we buy. We keep records of these items on our website. Transparently, some batch numbers may change depending on when we purchase our goods throughout the year. However, we can always get back to the test results for the CBD included in each product you would purchase. We also require all of our partners to fill out a vendor set-up form which asks additional questions about their cultivation, testing and quality control.
  • Hemp Crate Co is not just Joe Schmo off the street peddling CBD. We are an established company focusing on bringing the best CBD products to your door in an expedited manner. We do not use affiliate marketing.
  • The brands included in our boxes are all also reputable. We have taken the time to do the vetting. We are talking and partnering with top individuals at these companies. It isn’t simply a contractual relationship we have with our partners. We are incredibly proud of our customer reviews here and here.
  • We test our items before we put in our subscription boxes or on our store. We don’t say ‘yes’ to everything. There are plenty of products we test that we don’t move forward with. Hemp Crate Co is the filter for the substandard.

Thanks for reading! We hope you feel like you've gained some CBD knowledge. One of our pillars is education so please tell a friend about this guide who's curious about CBD. 

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