The Beginner’s Guide to Full-Spectrum All-Natural CBD Oil

A Quick Overview of CBD Oil

All mammals have a natural built-in endocannabinoid system. CBD can support homeostasis and general well-being.

CBD comes from the sister-plant to marijuana and it’s getting to be just as popular and sought after. CBD oil won’t get you high because it has less than 0.3 % THC in case you were wondering.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the most prominent organic botanical oils derived from the industrial hemp plant, also known as the Cannabis Sativa plant.

Many people are turning to CBD oil as an effective solution to chronic health concerns that mainstream medicine isn’t solving for them.

You might have noticed CBD products are showing up everywhere and in everything: CBD lotions massage oils in spas, tinctures in pharmacy chain stores, edibles in pet supply stores, and even splashes of CBD on offer in coffee at your local café.

The CBD boom is just beginning, but there are thousands of products to choose from. Cannabidiol sales are predicted to grow from 1 billion back in 2018 to 20 billion by 2021.

There are hundreds of compounds called cannabinoids and terpenes, found in the cannabis plant. The most studied compound is, of course, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in Marijuana. THC produces psychoactive effects on the human nervous system that make you high and give you the munchies.

Marijuana and hemp come from the same original Cannabis Sativa plant, but industrial hemp has been bred to have lower than .03 % THC. CBD oil won’t make you high, and it may even curb your appetite. The 2018 farm bill made the production and sale of hemp, and it’s extracts legal in the US.

All mammals have a natural built-in endocannabinoid system. CBD can support homeostasis and general well-being. More details on the endocannabinoid system to come — but first a review of our favorite organically grown, full-spectrum CBD oil brands, in case you want to dive in and try it right away

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Does CBD Oil Really Work?

Possible Benefits of CBD Oil:

A UK study shows promise for CBD in treatment of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of CBD.

  • Pain relief: Studies show CBD may have some impact on inflammation, arthritis, and other chronic pain.
  • Cancer patients who do not desire the side effect of marijuana are turning to CBD. Early studies found that CBD may help with inhibiting tumor growth.
  • IBS treatment: through integrating the brain-gut axis CBD oil may have reduced intestinal damage due to inflammation.
  • Sleep: cannabis has been used to help with sleep disorders for thousands of years. Clinical trials showed marked improvement in sleep for patients with chronic pain.
  • Glaucoma: CBD was found to have a neuroprotective effect on retinal neurons involved in glaucoma causes.
  • Epilepsy: Cannabidiol has been used to help in treatment-resistant seizures in children, with positive results.
  • Acne Vulgaris: CBD compounds have been found to inhibit overproduction of the sebaceous glands and soothing inflammation and may be a promising treatment for acne.
  • Mood disorders: Endocannabinoid system dysfunction is indicated in some psychiatric disorders, including depressionanxiety, and PTSD. CBD may help to bring this system back to homeostasis, alleviating symptoms.

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My First Week on CBD Oil

At first, I didn’t pay much attention to all the hype about CBD oil. I was skeptical. I assumed CBD oil was just one more snake-oil-scam for lazy people who want to feel better without making any lifestyle changes.

Then a friend of mine who has been in alternative healing for over 20 years told me she is now a rep for a CBD company.

My friend is a knowledgeable herbalist who hasn’t aged at all in the 25 years I have known her. If she was selling this stuff, maybe there was something to it. She has been dealing with pain from scoliosis all her life so she is an expert on pain management and found that CBD products helped.

Without knowing much about CBD oil, I reluctantly set aside my skepticism and ordered a bottle of high-potency full spectrum CBD drops from her company, hoping it would help with joint pain and tiredness I had struggled with on and off all my life.

The CBD oil arrived in a small amber-colored bottle. The oil was a light golden-brown color, containing full-spectrum CBD in a suspension of MTC oil.

I put a few drops under my tongue and held it there for a few seconds every morning and evening per the directions on the bottle. The oil had a mild flavor, hardly noticeable.

At first, I didn’t think anything was happening. Then about day 4, I noticed my meditation was excellent in the morning. I felt calm and focused, and maybe a little bit happier.

Weird, right?

Then during my morning yoga practice, I had the urge to pretzel into full lotus position. I hadn’t been able to get into full lotus for ten years because of a knee problem. Suddenly it was no problem no matter which leg I crossed on top. Wow, was I ever elated! I tried a bunch of other poses I had long since given up on, and those worked a little better too.

Excellent! Maybe this CBD stuff was really helping! Or maybe it was just a placebo effect?

Now I wanted to find out how CBD does its magic, so I dug into the research to see what the experts had to say.

CBD Oil Buyers Guide for Beginners

the many uses of hemp illustration

CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant. Compounds from the hemp plant have been used for thousands of years for herbal tinctures, fabric, rope and hundreds of other uses. Hemp oils were used in many herbal remedies the United States in the early 20th century until 1937; just about every farmer grew hemp. 

Even farther back during the colonial era, Americans were legally bound to grow hemp. Hemp was a staple crop and was so valuable that you could pay your taxes with bags of hemp seeds back in the 1920s.

Cannabidiol is the predominant non-psychoactive component of Cannabis Sativa. CBD oil contains less than 0.3 percent THC. The farm bill of 2018 made hemp legal to grow and exchange in all 50 states.

CBD from hemp and Marijuana come from the same original cannabis plant, but each is bred differently to produce different amounts of the active compounds. Industrial hemp is often cloned to keep quality consistent.

The Entourage Effect: Full Spectrum CBD VS Crystalline Isolate

Many people prefer natural, full-spectrum CBD products over synthetic CBD or a crystalline isolate which is made using chemical processes CBD.

Full-spectrum CBD includes hundreds of compounds found in the cannabis plant, including naturally occurring cannabinoids, plant terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, and essential oils.

The variety of synergistic compounds gives full-spectrum CBD oil what is known as the Entourage Effect. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The entourage effect produces many benefits you might miss by taking an isolated synthetic CBD compound.

Broad-spectrum CBD may have everything except the THC intact while Full spectrum CBD has up to 0.3 percent THC still available, not enough to get you high but a trace of THC may have synergistic effects.

Color and Potency of CBD Oil

Different brands of CBD oil vary in consistency, color, and potency, depending on the crop and the type of extraction.

Dark greenish brown hue: Raw CBD oil has thick viscous consistency and contains plant chlorophyll strong earthy flavor.

Light Greenish brown: decarboxylated more filtered and heated slightly to make CBD easier to absorb and process 

Golden yellow: decarboxylated and stripped of chlorophyll and lipids, mild flavor lower concentration of terpenes and other cannabinoids and a higher concentration of CBD.

Clear: isolate of only highly refined CBD with no other cannabinoids or terpenes usually suspended in MCT oil or coconut oil very fluid and highest potency. Crystalline isolate contains Zero THC.

Growing Location and Plant Quality

Reputable sites will list what state where the plants grew. Ideally, CBD products come from USDA certified organic hemp plants or pesticide-free, Non-GMO hemp farms in the USA.

CBD Extraction Process

Super Critical CO2 extraction method is the purest cleanest way to extract the CBD oil. The CO2 extraction method preserves many botanical plant waxes and terpenes that may be beneficial. CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide under high pressure at low temperature to isolate the oil from the fibers of the hemp stalks. 

Winterization, also known as decarboxylation, cools the oil to refine out impurities and activate CBD. Other processes use organic ethanol grain alcohol to distill hemp plants. 

Beware of toxic thinning agents, like propylene glycol (PEG) and polyethylene glycol (PE), vegetable glycerin, formaldehyde, pesticide residues, and other toxic chemicals.

Third-Party Testing

Reputable companies will supply third-party lab reports and make them available for you to view for each batch of CBD products. Product labels should coincide with specific batch numbers so you can check for consistency of the specific CBD product you have purchased. Lab tests tell you the potency of the product, THC levels, microbial levels, heavy metals, and pesticide levels.

Certifications and Endorsements

Reputable CBD companies may have certifications by hemp regulatory boards, though this is still in its infancy.

  • The US Hemp authority certification is a self-regulatory body that provides high standards for the hemp industry. Companies must pass stringent a quality third-party audit to receive the certification.
  • ISO 9001:2015 certification regulates international industrial standards for safety, reliability, and quality
  • Realm of Caring is a cannabinoid research foundation that partners with Johns Hopkins University. ROC gives their seal of approval to a few select CBD vendors.


Make sure you calculate the cost CBD milligrams per milliliter of liquid in the bottle. Different sizes of bottles and various concentrations of CBD products can be deceptive. Some companies list the total CBD content of the bottle rather than CBD mg per milliliter.

How does CBD Oil Work with the Human Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered in the 1990s. The human body produces naturally occurring endocannabinoids. Our own ECS produces compounds that are strikingly similar to the phytocannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. The human endocannabinoid system is part of the human nervous system.

The ECS is responsible for maintaining the homeostasis of the body. The endocannabinoid system regulates many of our bodily functions which is why people try CBD for so many different symptoms.

There are two cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. CB1 is found in the brain and central and peripheral nervous system. CB2 is found mainly in the immune system and the gastrointestinal system with a small number of CB2 receptors found in the brain. All vertebrates and invertebrates possess an ECS.

Cannabinoids like CBD and THC connect to our ECS receptors. They can help decrease inflammation, create a more relaxed state, or reduce pain. The endocannabinoid system is so new to the medical community that it is not taught in medical schools or veterinary schools yet. Research is still in the beginning stages.

CBD oil is not well regulated yet, so it is vital to find sources that provide transparency about their products and have third party testing. 

How do You Take CBD Oil?

  • CBD oil tinctures: Tinctures come dropper bottles in a carrier oil; coconut, CMT, hemp oil, grapeseed oil, etc. The carrier oil helps to makes the CBD more absorbable. A few drops are held under the tongue. The effects of tinctures are slower in onset but last longer than vaping CBD. It takes around 15 minutes to notice the effects.
  • CBD soft gel capsules: ingested orally. The advantage of capsules is that the dosage is premeasured exactly. CBD soft gel capsules take about an hour to make their way into your system.
  • CBD vape oil or vaping: CBD vapor is heated and inhaled through a vape pen or e-cigarette. Vaping is a fast-acting method of delivery. It only takes 2 minutes from lungs to starting to circulate throughout the rest of your body. A vape pen makes it easy to micro-dose for very fine control of your dosage throughout the day to control your symptoms. Bioavailability of inhaled CBD is much higher than ingesting the same amount through oral drops or edibles.
  • CBD Liposome spray is sprayed into your mouth. The liposomes are absorbed directly into the skin and go directly into the bloodstream. Liposomes are microscopic particles that can encapsulate CBD for rapid delivery. Liposomes increase the bioavailability of CBD.
  • CBD gummies: come in many different flavors and consistencies. CBD gummies are convenient and easy to store.
  • CBD Topicals: there are CBD lotions that can be applied directly to the skin.
  • CBD products for pets: drops and chewables are available in many flavors that pets enjoy.
  • CBD isolate powders: Contain only CBD. Powders are great for making your own CBD products. You can use CBD powder in foods and topical creams.

Dosage for CBD Oil

Everyone is different, and there is no standard set dosage for CBD. The dosage will vary depending on your body type, tolerance, level of pain, weight, and health. People take 10 to 30 to 60 mg of CBD per day. In general, the dosage is around 1 to 6 mg per ten lbs. of body weight.

More isn’t always better. It is best to take the smallest dose possible to alleviate your symptoms. Micro-dosing can be useful for some people so you may have to experiment to find the optimal dosage for you.

CBD can make you groggy during the day, so some people take a small amount during the day or take CBD only in the evening before bed.

For example, if you are a medium weight of 140 to 180 lbs:

16 mg initial dose during the day

35 mg nighttime dose

5 mg. if symptoms persist

CBD effects will wear off after about 4 hours, but CBD will stay in your system for 18 to 32 hours. For new users, check with your health care practitioner for dosage suggestions.

Will CBD Oil Show up on a Drug Test?

Full-spectrum CBD oil does contain a minuscule amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. There isn’t enough to make you high, but it might show up on a drug test.

A CBD isolate will not show up on a drug test because it contains zero THC. Jobs with drug testing are one reason some people prefer CBD crystalline isolates instead of full-spectrum products.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

The 2018 farm bill made the production and sale of hemp, and it’s extracts legal at the federal level. States still have individual restrictions on growing hemp. CBD oil from hemp plants can be shipped in all 50 states as long as it contains under 0.3% THC.

But the FDA still considers this to be a grey area and laws regarding possession of CBD vary depending on the state you live in. There are some states where you need a prescription for CBD products.

Is CBD Oil Safe?

CBD is considered to be very safe. There is no known toxicity level for CBD Doses up to 1,500mg of CBD were well tolerated without signs of toxicity. People can develop a tolerance to CBD. CBD is considered to be low on the addictive scale. There may be some mild symptoms of withdrawal from CBD. Inhaling cannabis smoke may have similar adverse effects as smoking tobacco.

  • CBD oil may decrease blood pressure. If you are taking prescription blood thinners CBD oil may not be for you.
  • CBD products may make you drowsy depending on how strong the dosage is. A lot of people find CBD to be an excellent sleep aid for this reason. Best not to use when you have to drive or handle heavy machinery.
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sedation
  • Cottonmouth
  • May inhibit the effects of some medications


Research on CBD is in its infancy, and there is an inevitable threat to big pharma because they would like to keep control of your health care with patented drugs.

Progress is slower than it should be with CBD because of financial greed and fear of the old sickness-care-regime. But the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in our own bodies cannot be denied.

Learn everything you can about the power of CBD products. The freedom to use CBD hemp products is essential because you deserve to have the most useful resources available. The earth has given us a gift that is naturally suited to our bodies for healing.

Many people are turning to CBD to help with a range of symptoms because they are getting better results with fewer side effects. This natural healer isn’t going anywhere. As we learn more about CBD treatments, it will benefit us in ways we cannot yet imagine.

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