A Beginners Guide to Cannabis

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Cannabis 101 | A Beginners Guide to Cannabis

 

As you may have noticed, our website is all about Cannabis.

While the terminology is different (ie CBD, Hemp etc..) we are talking about the very same plant that you see in piles on crime-watch. The Cannabis plant is widely misunderstood (even by those who use it too) and surrounded in myth, misinformation and outright speculation.

For us, CBD is the keystone on the road to full Cannabis legalisation – which is why big pharma and industrial agriculturists are slowing down the process to get their assets ready to meet demand. We can quite easily look into the future of Cannabis in the UK by looking over the pond into the US; whether you agree or disagree, Cannabis legalisation is around the corner.

When the time comes, we are a little worried that the years of prohibition will have caused a dangerous gulf in knowledge which will ultimately lead to irresponsible use or users who do not respect the power of the plant.

We wanted to take the time to put together a Cannabis 101 | A Beginners Guide To Cannabis to draw out the important aspects of Cannabis to spread learning and respect for the humble-herb.

We are passionate about education and do not advocate that you break the law in the county that you live in. This post is purely informational – Call us Cannabis Sommeliers = we’re not stoners, we just love the complexity. 

cannabis 101

 

History

Cannabis is one of the oldest, most mysterious species of plants that grow on our planet. Evidence of the use of Cannabis in human history dates way back to 8000BC (the Oki Islands near Japan) and the 5th millennium BC in China evidence of Hemp fibre was found. Cannabis is originally from Central Asia and India where it was used as a food source, for its fibres to produce materials (like clothes, rope and a primitive paper), for religious and recreational practices (we all know what that means).

The recorded popularity of Cannabis would spread quickly via the use of edible Hashish from Persia to the Arab world, and then on to Egypt. It would then find its way into southern Africa (via the nomadic Bantu tribes) and taken to western civilisation (via the Spanish, trade and colonisation).

The cultivation of Hemp has been recorded in the UK since 100AC where it was used for a wide range of purposes- and stayed that way for thousands of years.

From humble beginnings, the popularity of smoking, and eating cannabis grew, and its use in textiles and materials would be fundamental in the development of a quickly modernising world. Even in history as recent as the second world war where industrial hemp was used to produce US uniforms, canvas and rope to support the war effort. It’s popularity weaned as new artificial fibres were invented.

Cannabis then started to expand to new populations of western societies – although it was a niche sub-culture, it would start to creep into the mainstream. During the years after the war in the UK, and US, Cannabis was largely used recreationally at night clubs and musical events. It was not until the 1960’s that there was a dramatic surge in Cannabis use among college students and young people- particularly in the 1960’s & 70’s (The Beatles? Pink Floyd Anyone?).

While the origins of criminalisation started in the 1800s (when British colonial rule was concerned about the impact on its workforce), it was not until the US ‘war on drugs’ was there a global shift in general public attitude towards cannabis. Sadly, this had a huge impact on the ability to research the active compounds.

More recently, the understanding of Cannabis is evolving and there is now a growing interest in legalisation and regulation. Afterall, Cannabis has constantly been a firm fixture in mainstream culture and is still one of the most openly consumed illegal recreational drugs in the world and there is no sign of this trend slowing.

 

Strains

The first thing to know about Cannabis is that there are 3 main strains – Indica, Sativa & a Hybrid of the two. It is said in popular culture that an Indica is ‘chilled out’, a Sativa is ‘energising’ and a Hybrid is what it says on the tinfoil packet (a mixture of the two)

The Sativa is generally long and branchy with long life cycles (they prefer colder climates) while the Indica is generally shorter and thicker with shorter life cycles (& prefer warmer climates).

Thanks to prohibition, until recently there was very little understanding as to why these strains had different characteristics which are partly why they have been grouped in the way that they have – it also makes it easier for beginners to understand where to begin. We go into much greater detail into the cannabis strains in our blog post: Indica Vs Sativa.

The strain of the Cannabis does not dictate the experience that the user will have- the overriding influence on experience are the active phytochemicals found in Cannabis; these are Cannabinoids, Terpenes and Flavinoids.

 

Cannabinoids

Hopefully, if you have had a look around our website, you will already be an expert in Cannabinoids. These are active phytochemicals that attach to the network of receptors called the Endocannabinoid System. There are two main Cannabinoids in Cannabis: CBD & THC. There are other cannabinoids (such as CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDa, THCa, THCv, CBDv ) but we will keep it nice and simple for the moment.

 

CBD

CBD you will already know about- it is not psychoactive and has a wide range of well-being benefits. A product that has a very high percentage of CBD will not make you high and these days you’re more likely to find a tincture/ oil or bath bomb. CBD has been somewhat normalised in today’s world in these forms, and it is quite unusual for many to think about CBD in its true form: a cannabis bud.

For a little while, while the CBD industry here in the UK was still maturing, you could very easily find ‘CBD Flower’ in vape shops. This was Cannabis- but they had been cultivated to produce an abundance of CBD. In our book- CBD flower is the first step to full cannabis legalisation and is why there was such a quick effort to shut this aspect of the industry down. Although technically, CBD flower sits in a grey area of the law (it is both legal and illegal all at once) – it looks, smells, feels and tastes almost identical to a high THC strain- only a keen eye could tell them apart (THC crystals form on high THC strains).

 

THC

THC is the cannabinoid that most people are interested in; it is THC that is psychoactive and is the reason why Cannabis is still prohibited in the UK.

All the weird and wonderful side effects that are associated with Cannabis are caused by this Cannabinoid. In small doses, the Cannabinoid can cause a sense of Euphoria, make you hungry and make you feel a little dizzy. In high doses, it can, however, cause paranoia, insomnia, slowed cognitive function and anxiety. Longterm abuse of THC can have a serious impact on your long term health- including slower cognitive function, increased levels of mental health issues, insomnia and an increased risk of psychosis.

These side effects seem worrying right?!.. but think of it this way: Do you enjoy a beer at night? One or two on a Friday night is unlikely to cause too much trouble- now swap the 2 for 20 beers and there is a big difference

The negative impact of Alcohol is longer than most peoples arms- in the short term will cause nausea, slowed cognitive function, anxiety, depression, dizziness and an awful hangover. Longterm it can cause cancer, liver failure, degenerative brain diseases, immune-support failure and mental health issues.

There is an argument that high THC Cannabis should remain illegal- but we must consider that 20 pints of alcohol is a weekend’s entertainment to some. Obviously – both substances demand respect.

The real issue comes with the current underground market of Cannabis: The strains are either too strong, or have been sprayed with other drugs such as Acid, DMT or who knows what else. The street-weed is certainly not always safe, and is not what we would advocate for- we want education and regulation.

 

A Range of Cannabinoids!

The sweet spot is when the strain has a mix of both CBD & THC. They work together in perfect synergy to enhance/ regulate their individual characteristics. A differing ratio of cannabinoids changes the way the Cannabis interacts with our body.

For a really cerebral and ‘spacy’ effect- you go high THC. For a lower more grounded effect you choose a higher CBD strain. We produce two types of oils- a full-spectrum oil (contains THC) and a 0% THC oil – for those who have tried both, they will certainly tell you that there is a big difference.

 

Terpenes

We often refer to Terpenes as the unsung heroes of Cannabis- the effects of Terpenes are often attributed to those of Cannabinoids. They are most commonly known as the phytochemicals which give Cannabis its distinctive smell, taste/ flavour and somewhat contribute to the way experience. This is down to the fact that terpenes also impact the way that our body uses Cannabinoids and have their own important impact on the experience.  There are 8 main terpenes in Cannabis:

Pinene: Just from reading the name you may be able to guess where Pinene gets its name? That’s right, from Pines. You may also find Pinene in rosemary, basil, dill, some citrus fruit peels & pine nuts. It’s aroma is famously woody, deep, rich and earthy. Grab a handful of Pines or Rosemary and rub the pines between your hands; that is the aromas you are looking for.

Myrcene: Is a terpene that is most commonly associated with the Indica strain of Cannabis, but it can be found in Bay leaves, Hops, Thyme, Mangos, Lemongrass and Cannabis. Its is identified by its musky, earthy and herbal aroma that is akin to that of Cardimans and Cinnamon.

Limonene: Now, this one is for those who like the tang of citrus. As the name suggests, Limonene can be found in Lemon, Lime & Grapefruit Rinds (most citrus skins, actually), Peppermint, Rosemary, Juniper and Cannabis. It has a tangy citrusy aroma that is very identifiable. If you scrape a citrus fruit skin with a fork or take in the scents of a freshly peeled orange, then this is the aroma of Limonene. It is partly why adding Citrus rind to cooking or a Cocktail is so popular!

Linalool: Although Linalool is considered as a minor Terepene in Hemp and Cannabis, it is certainly the one you are guaranteed to be one of your all-time favourite scents; Lavander. Linalool is found in over 200 plants including, Mint, Nettles, Sage, Oregano & Thyme, Citrus Rind, Cinnamon, Rosewood and Cannabis. The aroma is distinctly floral in character- get yourself some Lavander oil to put in the bath. Glorious!

Humulene: Is another minor Terepene that has a distinct aroma that IPA lovers will know well. It has a hoppy, woody and deeply earthy. This Terepene can be found in Corriander, Basil, Northern American, Asian and European Hop varieties, Gensing, Ginger, Cloves and Cannabis. Imagine a nice cold IPA on a summers day; Citrus bitterness and a floral punch.

Ocimene: Is most famous for its sweet, herbal and often woody aroma that is very similar to that of Myrcene. This Terepene can be found in a whole host of pungent plants such as Hops, Mangoes, Bergamot (a type of Citrus fruit commonly found in Northern Africa and the Gulf region), Basil, Lavender, Orchids, Pepper, Mint, Kumquats and Cannabis.

Caryophyllene: Is a very interesting compound as it is the only Terpene to act like a Cannabinoid and interact with our Endocannabinoid System. It’s aroma is peppery, spicey and woody- imagine a handful of cloves. Caryophyllene is found in Cloves (surprisingly), Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Hopes Oregano, Rosemary and Cannabis Sativa (Which includes Hemp).

Terpinolene: Last, but certainly not least, Terpinolene is the really the key to making a Sativa CBD Oil different to an Indica Oil; Sativa CBD oils (like our Dina & Diablo) contain much higher levels of Terpinolene. The Terpene’s aroma is floral, piney and herbal, and it can be found in Apple Skins, Cardigans, Tea Tree Oil, Cumin, Lilacs and Cannabis.

 

Consumption Methods

Traditionally (and in history) Cannabis resin was produced to be edible, but as time has passed the favoured method of consumption seem to be either smoking or vaping. You can consume cannabis in a number of ways, and each has a completely different impact on your body/ your experience.

 

Smoking: Smoking seems to be the most popular consumption method, and has been one of the oldest methods of consumption that we cover. A thousand-year-old smoking pipe found in Ethiopia has Cannabis residue in it- and the fumes from cannabis were used in religious rituals way back to the plant’s origins in Asia. These days, you’re more likely to find cannabis in a ‘spliff’. The cannabis is ground and smoked on its own, or cut with tobacco/ other smokable herbs.

The combustion of the cannabis plant decarboxylates the active cannabinoid compounds which are drawn into the lungs with the burned plant matter. It is very common to smoke cannabis using a shisha or bong. Down to the combustion wastage, the experience is less potent, and the effects are quite heady, come and go relatively quickly. Smoking cannabis is not particularly healthy either.

 

Vaping: Similar to smoking, vaping a Cannabis product means that you consume the cannabinoids via your lungs. It means that you will feel the effects quicker, and they will be more intense, but the experience will last a fairly short period of time compared to other consumption methods.

There are two methods of vaping: a vape oil (which is a normal flavoured/ unflavored vape oil which has been infused with cannabinoids) or a burner/herb vape. The burner/ herb vapes heat up the plant in a pipe/ instrument which vapourises the essential phytochemicals but does not burn the plant- the ‘hit’ is cleaner, stronger and said to be much healthier than full combustion; you simply get all the good stuff.

We can also lump ‘dabbing’ here too – which is using a cannabis ‘resin’ or ‘crumble’ (a cannabinoid extract). This is often a very potent product and contains a high dosage of cannabinoids.

 

Edibles: Edibles are way more common than you think- particularly CBD edibles which are just about everywhere. You can find an array of CBD goodies in high street stores. THC edibles are still illegal in the UK but are particularly popular with elder generations who have long given up on the idea that weed will melt your mind – and when you’re in your twilight, who cares!?

While cannabis is still followed by a stigma, for some it is much more enjoyable and discrete to bake the cannabis into a food-substance. This can be a cake, bread or a fatty substance such as gelatine (gummies) – the fattier the food, the more effectively the cannabinoids will be absorbed.

The experience is much slower, can be more intense and can last for a particularly long time- THC rich edibles should be managed with some caution. Unlike inhaling the cannabinoids, it can take anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes for the cannabinoids to come into effect and up to 2 hours before the effects reach their peak. Plenty of first-timers, or overconfident uses, have been caught out by thinking that the edibles are not working and end up taking way too much (resulting in adverse side effects or getting way more baked than expected – pun absolutely intended).

As you are consuming the Edibles via your stomach you are more likely to feel hungry, the experience is often heavier.

Drinks: Lets class this as a subsector of edibles: you can find cannabis products of all kinds that are drinkable. If you want to go old-school, you can drink Hemp/ Cannabis tea which only requires some hot water. Alternatively, if you want to be more modern, there are a whole range of CBD infused fitness/ fizzy/ sweet and savoury drinks that can be found very easily in supermarkets or online.

 

Micordosing: This is very similar to an edible – and it is important to note that cannabis products are not always taken recreationally. Microdosing refers to the process of taking a carefully-considered amount of something every day. If you are reading this and already take a CBD oil, you are micro-dosing. Cannabis-based products come in a wide range of forms- including tinctures, capsules, dissolvables and even chewing gums. There are many things out there that are micro-dosed by millions of people every day- from CBD oils to Rick Simpson oils and more.

 

Topically: As easy as it sounds- putting some good old oil in your hair or on your skin. Cannabinoids are very easily absorbed into the skin so if it has a high THC concentration you may get high!

 

 

 

Is It Safe To Drive on CBD?

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Is It Safe To Drive While Taking CBD Oil?

 

The ability to drive is often the source of our livelihoods, freedoms, and happiness. The freedom that a vehicle can give us cannot be underestimated in our modern society.

Cannabis is most commonly known as a prohibited recreational drug that is used for people to get ‘high’. This notion is being challenged as an understanding of the plant is unlocked through research and this ‘evil’ or ‘harmful’ plant is starting to be known for it’s wide range of beneficial wellbeing outcomes.

As there is a rise in the use of Cannabis-derived products, there is also a concern that these products can either affect your ability to drive or, for those who are professional drivers and are subject to regular drugs tests, cause you to fail a drug test and lose your job (or worse, your licence).

So- Is it safe to drive while using CBD? Let us answer this question and clear up all of your worries.

 

CBD & Driving

In short, yes – it is completely perfectly fine to drive while taking CBD.

As you may be aware, THC is the cannabinoid compound that is responsible for the rush of euphoria that is known as a high. Other side effects of THC can be drowsiness, lethargy, interrupted motor skills, lack of spacial or time awareness, and in very extreme cases the worsening of mental health issues (such as anxiety, depression and more). It is worth noting that THC has huge potential for modern-day well-being, but it should be treated (like everything) with respect and caution.

It is for all of these reasons that consuming THC rich cannabis (the currently illegal stuff) can severely affect a person’s ability to drive or operate heavy machinery when consumed in large (or concentrated amounts).

CBD however, is almost the antithesis to THC, and works completely differently. CBD is not psychoactive and has not been found to cause any harmful adverse psychoactive side effects or affect our ability to coordinate our movements. In short- CBD will not affect your ability to drive.

There are some of our products which do contain a small amount of THC, and there is a very good reason for this. Full-spectrum CBD oils/or paste are considered as the ‘best’ CBD products that can be purchased based on a natural process known as the ‘Entourage effect’. This is when the cannabinoids (and phytochemicals) work together to regulate and enhance their benefits. There is an argument that suggests THC is essential to maximize the impact that CBD has.

Each of these full-spectrum oils, however, contain less than 0.2% THC which is the current UK legal limit. At this level (as long as you take the recommended dose), while the THC is still active inside your body, it is certainly not enough to impact your motor skills or ability to drive.

 

Drug Tests

If you are a professional driver or are somebody who is regularly drug tested for their occupation, there is a worry a CBD oil that contains even the smallest amount of THC will cause a fail in a drug test. The implications of this can be huge- it can mean the loss of your license, your job or a potential criminal charge. Scary stuff right?

Well, even though it is very, very unlikely that our products will contain enough THC to cause a positive result in a test, it is not unheard of and we cannot guarantee that THC will not be detected. Therefore, a full-spectrum CBD oil may be completely off the table.

It is for this very reason that we have produced a THC free angelic CBD oil range or CBD sprays. They are designed to contain 0% THC and still contain a broad-spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and natural hemp phytochemicals (to ensure the synergetic benefits of the plant can be achieved). These are ideal for those who are regularly tested, drive professionally, athletes, or those who simply do not wish to consume THC. A lot of time and effort has gone into the formulas to ensure that the  CBD is as effective as possible, without the presence of THC.

So, you can get your daily dose of Cannabinoids without the worry for it impacting your future!

 

Driving this to a conclusion

Sorry in advance for the awful pun… but to bring this journey to an end we can clear up that it is absolutely safe to drive while using a CBD oil and while full-spectrum oils maybe a little too risky for some, there are THC free options to ensure that you can stay calm and drive on!

If you are here to try some CBD then you may certainly be interested in our range of full-spectrum (contains THC) oils & paste: 5% / 500mgs Dina, 10% / 1000mgs Diablo & 1000mgs CBD paste. For those who like it strong, or without THC we have the 15% / 1500mg Dian, 20% / 2000mgs Deity, the 2.5% Cherub, 5% Virtue & 7.5% Ophanim!

 

THC Free CBD Oil & What are the Benefits?

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THC Free CBD Oil & What are the Benefits?

THC is the cannabinoid that makes Cannabis notorious. It is the ‘bad’ one of the Cannabinoid world down to the fact that it is among the few Cannabinoids which are psychoactive (means that it alters your state of mind). THC is the cause of the ‘high’ that people experience when smoking/ ingesting (currently) illegal Cannabis. For that very reason, THC has been prohibited by the Misuse of drugs act 1971 which means that it is illegal to possess or consume substances containing THC.

As time has passed, and more research has been completed we see that THC has been largely misunderstood and actually does have a wide range of benefits for your well-being (so long as it is taken with caution of course). For instance, our full-spectrum products contain a very small amount of THC (less than 0.2% which is the legal amount)- and those who try them can really feel the difference. This is partly down to what is called the ‘entourage effect‘. There is a big argument for including THC in a CBD oil formula!

But for some, even this small amount of THC maybe a little too much- particularly for professionals who are regularly drugs tested (like police, athletes, drivers etc…), or those who simply do not want to consume any THC whatsoever. In all honestly, while we would suggest that the full-spectrum oils are more effective, sometimes it is just not worth the risk!

That is why a THC free option is a good thing to have- but what actually are 0% THC CBD oils and what are the benefits?

What is a THC Free CBD oil?

A CBD Oil which is THC free is exactly what it says on the tin. Or is it? Technically, it is extremely difficult (pretty much impossible to be honest) to irradicate all traces of THC from a hemp-based product. So most of the time, even a 0% THC oil does contain either THCa or THCv which are not psychoactive. The only way that you can completely eradicate THC is by having an isolated CBD formula, which is not acceptable for human consumption according to the FSA (& the Cannabis Trades Association).

What makes a CBD oil THC Free, is a THC level of less than 0.0%. Most of the THC free CBD oils on the market do contain the previously mentioned raw THC molecules (THCa & THCv) but they usually only account for about 0.02% of the formula, which is bearly even detectable in the bottle (nevermind once it has passed through your body). It makes these products ideal for those who are regularly tested for controlled substances.

 

The Benefits of 0% THC?

Although there are many (maybe most people) in the CBD industry have a strong stance on the benefits of THC, there are many of us who would just prefer that there is no THC present at all. Particularly if you fall into the category of a being a police officer, teacher, professional driver or a professional athlete.

While you would be very unlucky to test positive while using a full-spectrum CBD oil, there have been instances where THC has been detected while being tested. It is very, very rare (and often it is found that the product contained more THC than was advertised) but for obvious reason, a negative on a spot-test cannot be guaranteed. There are too many variables to consider. 0% THC CBD oils contain such a low level of the raw THC compounds that it is bearly traceable in the bottle and will not be detected in a drug test. So they just give you that little bit more confidence that you can get your daily dose of CBD, without getting yourself accidentally into trouble.

Secondly, to be able to achieve a THC free CBD oil, the hemp plant must be refined down to a distillate, which only contains the cannabinoids & other valuable oils (like Terpenes). During this process, the plant matter, which is what gives hemp its strong ‘acquired’ taste, is removed leaving a substance that has very little flavor at all. Our THC free CBD oils have been produced with MCT oil (from Coconut) which in itself is almost tasteless. It makes them ideal for those who do not like the hempy flavours that put many off!

Is THC Free CBD Oil for you?

If you came here to see if you can find yourself THC free CBD oils then you have come to the right place. We have produced a range of low, and high strength CBD oils THC free! You can find them in our store 😀

How Long Does CBD Stay in the Body?

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How Long Does CBD Stay in the Body?

When you are taking CBD, it should be considered as a long-term change to your lifestyle. Cannabinoids are used to maintain your internal balance (by supporting the Endocannabinoid System). But what happens if you forget to take your CBD? How long does the CBD actually stay inside of your body? Well, this is a question that we ask ourselves all of the time, so we decided to do a little bit of research and see what we could find!

So, how long does CBD stay in the body?

Absorbing CBD

There are lots of variables that will affect how long CBD stays in the body; one of which is the process of absorption. This can be affected by a whole load of different things, like the method of consumption, the type, and the quality of CBD that you take (does it contain chemicals, heavy metals etc.. or poor extraction method).

As our body is mainly made up of water, and CBD is found in the form of an oil, it is particularly difficult for us to easily absorb Cannabinoids. The compounds must go through a couple of processes before they can be fully accepted and interact with the Endocannabinoid Receptors, and this really depends on which processes the CBD has gone through before it enters our bloodstream. For instance, if you take your CBD in the form of a capsule, it must go through the digestive system which is significantly less effective than taking the CBD oil sublingually. Other aspects that can affect the bioavailability of CBD are your body weight, metabolic rate, and whether you have eaten (if you take CBD on an empty stomach it is metabolized quicker).

All types of CBD have different levels of bioavailability which can affect how long CBD remains in the body.

How much & often do you take CBD?

This may be obvious, but the more CBD that you consume, the longer it should remain in your system. It just depends on how quickly your body can get through the dose.

Secondly, as your body gets used to using phytocannabinoids it uses them more effectively. It is why we also suggest to start low and slow if you’re new to CBD. The longer that you use CBD the more you get from it! If you’re an occasional user of CBD it is more likely that it will clear from your system quicker.

So, how long does CBD stay in your system?

Honestly, it is hard to say. All of the factors above can have an impact on the length of time it takes your body to use the CBD. Some estimates suggest that it can take between 2-6 days for your body to use up all of the CBD but that may vary wildly. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done to ensure that we know exactly how long CBD stays in your system.

What is the Difference Between CBD & CBDa?

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What is the difference between CBD & CBDa?

What is CBDa?

CBD is one cannabinoid out of a family of 113, and much like everything else in nature, cannabinoids come in a whole lotta shapes and sizes. 

You may have noticed that we have started to launch full-spectrum CBD products, which contain weird and wonderful acronyms like CBDa, CBDv, THCa, THCv, CBG, CBGa etc… and on and on. To understand how and why these oils and pastes do what they do, you need to understand just a little bit about the different types of cannabinoids. There is an argument out there that including a mixture of ‘raw’ cannabinoids (the ones found in our Dina (5%), Diablo UK made CBD Oil (10%) & Tenedor (paste)) into your diet has a much bigger positive impact on your well-being.

Unless you have a chemistry degree, where all of these cannabinoids come from can get a little confusing. I will try and keep it as simple as I can.

We also must stress, that CBD & CBDa products are to be sold as a food supplement and should be taken as part of a balanced diet. We cannot make any medical claims or claims of medical benefit. Also read about the endocannabinoid system!  

CBD vs. CBDA -What is Raw CBD Oil?

Cannabidiolic acid, also known as CBDa, is one of the main cannabinoids that are produced on the leaves, stems and flowers of certain cannabis varieties; like Indica, Sativa or Hemp. In very simple terms, CBDa is the raw form of CBD that can be found in the plant. This is often why you will see CBD oils that are described as ‘raw’ – it is simply down to the fact that they contain CBDa.  

It is not until this CBDa is decarboxylated, does the compound turn into CBD (which is what all the fuss is about these days). Decarboxylation is a fancy word for when carbon dioxide and hydrogen are removed from the CBDa compound- thus slightly changing the properties of the cannabinoid. More often than not, this process occurs naturally as the plant ages, is exposed to light and heat from the sun, or when it is burned- like when it is smoked or put in the oven. The same process happens for almost all of the cannabinoids. 

The most amazing example of this change is within THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol. The acid precursor of THC is…. you guessed it, THCa. While THC is known, and used, for its psychoactive properties, THCa is not psychoactive at all. The decarboxylation process must take place before you get any psychoactive reaction.

CBD & CBDa both share similar properties, but work slightly differently just as the differences between THC & THCa above. 

What does CBDa Do?

The main difference between the two CBD’s is the level in which they have been researched. We know far less about CBDa than we do about CBD.

CBD was discovered in 1963, but it wasn’t until the 1990’s that researchers learned how cannabinoids worked with the body. It is due to this, that we know very, very little about how CBDa works – there is also very little understanding as to whether the raw acid forms of any cannabinoid actually binds to either of the cannabinoid receptors. 

If you are going digging, try not to search for ‘CBDa but instead look for information on the Endocannabinoid System.

All I know is after trying both, I can certainly say that I like the food supplements which contain CBD & CBDa better and there are thousands of people who say the same. 

Where Do I Find CBDa?

CBDa can be found mainly in ‘raw’ CBD products. These include raw hemp extracts, raw CBD oils or ‘whole plant’ products like CBD flowers or whole plant juices.
 
It is safe to say that tinctures, oils and pastes with a mixture of CBD & CBDa are becoming more, and more popular by the minute. We are currently offering tinctures with 500mg, 1000mg, 1500mg & 2000mg of CBD & CBDa with free shipping across the UK (even in Glasgow or London – Available for Wholesale too).

Will I Build Tolerance To CBD?

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Will I Build Tolerance To CBD?

Our body is very special. We as a species have survived due to our ability to adapt to almost anything nature throws at us. Whether it is a change in environment, living conditions, or diet, the human body can adapt and overcome its challenges. It is why our body builds up a tolerance to a lot of substances.

An example being Coffee- our body gets used to the stimulation, so over time we need more to get that ‘Good Morning’ buzz. So does that mean that when we take a food supplement like CBD it becomes less effective over time, and we need to take more and more? You may now be asking ‘Will I build a tolerance to CBD? Let’s clear this up for you.

 

 

CBD Tolerance

Usually, building a tolerance to a substance is considered a positive thing and all of us experience our body’s ability to adapt every day.

Given how frequently CBD is consumed, it makes sense to assume that the body will react in the same way it does with substances like tea, coffee, or sugar. Factor in the various different ways that CBD can be taken (edibles, tinctures, oils, capsules, and topicals), and it is a perfectly valid concern. However, before we can answer whether the body builds a tolerance to the effects of CBD, we first need to explore how tolerance works.

Understanding How Tolerance Works

There are three main categories of Tolerance: Cellular, Metabolic and Behavioral.

Tolerance at a Cellular level suggests that the cells become less responsive to a compound. This is why our body gets used to a stimulant on a biological level- substances like coffee become less effective over extended use.

Secondly, Metabolic tolerance is where the body metabolizes the substance much more quickly and effectively. Metabolic tolerance is partly the response that enables the human body to get used to drinking alcohol- extended chronic use of alcohol actives enzymes in the live which metabolize the alcohol much more effectively.

Finally, behavioral tolerance is more of a psychological tolerance where we become attuned to the disruption a drug causes. For instance, it is very easy to get used to the feeling of intoxication and therefore it does not affect our performance so much. Tolerance can certainly be made up of one, or all of the tolerance levels- and the ability to adapt to a substance varies between person to person.

Cannabinoids & Tolerance

Cannabinoids are a strange one. It seems as though the two main cannabinoids (THC & CBD) are complete opposites in the way they work in our bodies. For those who are heavy THC users, they start to build up a tolerance to the compound- cellular tolerance and behavioral tolerance are very common with smokers. It is why many people have bad experiences when their tolerance to THC is low. Over time the cannabinoid receptors become almost desensitized and are less willing to bind with the compound.

Strangely, any evidence of CBD tolerance has not been found. There is some evidence to suggest that it accepted the same and can encourage the absorption of other cannabinoids. Although there is still a lot of research that needs to be completely, and there are a lot of variables that haven’t been taken into account, for now, it seems as though the body does not build a tolerance to CBD. Which is great because once you have found your sweet spot, you can keep that does steady.

It is suggested that the benefits of taking a regular CBD supplement improve over time and the longer that you take the supplement, the more able your body is using the cannabinoids effectively. So if you’re asking the question ‘Will I build CBD Tolerance?’- the answer right now is, no, quite the opposite.

The Benefits of Co2 Extraction

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The Benefits of Co2 Extraction of CBD

If you go onto a search engine and look up ‘CBD oil‘, there are thousands of companies selling ‘the best CBD oil’. Just because we say it is the best, it doesn’t mean that it is. While we may hesitate to wildly claim that what we provide is the ‘best’, we can certainly say that some production methods that are scientifically better than others; one of those processes is CO2 Extraction.

So, let us answer the question: what is CO2 Extraction and why does it produce a better CBD product?

 

What is CO2 Extraction

The process of Supercritical CO2 extraction uses pressurized gas (CO2) to extract specific compounds from a substance or its raw form; for instance drawing out a phytochemical from a plant.

CO2 is a “tunable solvent” which makes it extremely versatile for creating products by controlling temperature and pressure through a system of storage tanks, heaters compressors, extractors, and contenders. It allows manufacturers to extract light essential oils which are much more valuable than the heavier plant matter and lipid content.

In the cannabis world, this method can be used to extract Cannabinoids and terpenes, but otherwise, it can be used for producing coffee, teas, perfumes, and spices.

In very simple terms- this is how this process works (for the science geeks among you):

  1. A vessel is filled with plant matter (often called ‘biomass’)
  2. The system is pressurized (75 pounds a square inch) and the temperature is reduced to -69°C. The CO2, that we all know and love as a gas, turns into a liquid. After the gas is liquified, the temperature is increased to -32°C and the pressure is eased so to make the gas ‘supercritical’.
  3. The compounds are pulled from the biomass into another solution (in the separator). The solvent (CO2) is boiled out of the solution and evaporated so that the condensed liquid is stored in an accumulator. A sample is then taken to keep track of the extract quality
  4. The system is then depressurized and realized back into separator 2.
  5. The extract is collected

 

(Stolen from edenlabs.com)

 

Other Production Methods:

To give a little bit of reference to why CO2 is considered as superier, there are 2 other main production methods: Using a solvent & the Olive Oil Method:

 

The Solvent method

Solvent extraction methods involve the use of ethanol, propane, butane or another alcohol to extract the phytochemicals. The benefits of solvent extraction is that is fast, and easy to do and is very inexpensive. Which is great for a profit line, but not so great for the consumer. The solvents used are flammable which makes the process particularly dangerous. The method also only extracts cannabinoids and chlorophyll which gives some CBD products that really bitter taste. To add to this, the solvents dissolve the plant waxes which is a nutritious and beneficial ingredient in the hemp plant- therefore, the quality of the products are affected.

Not only are the products themselves of poorer quality, but the method can also be dangerous for a consumer. When the process is completed (you will learn more about the process in the next section below) the solvent leaves residue in the product which can be toxic. In a recent study- traces of petroleum residue and naphtha hydrocarbons were found in some CBD products produced by using the solvent extraction method. Now that is both scary and shocking!

 

The Olive Oil Method

The Olive Oil Method is one loved by those who create homemade CBD oils and is the most cost-effective and most simple. You can try this at home! You start by decarboxylating the Hemp Plants and flowers to turn the CBDa to CBD (or any raw cannabinoid into the active ingredient). This process was done traditionally with Olive Oil but you can add almost any oil you like. You would then add the plant matter to the oil and heat again over some time; this can be done over the hob or in a slow cooker for a couple of hours. The plant matter naturally infuses into the oil.

The issue with this method is that the oils created are not very concentrated and are often inconsistent; it is hard to measure the concentration of any cannabinoid. Plus the fact that the extraction is perishable and doesn’t last as long as alternative methods.

 

The Benefits of CO2 Extraction

If you have made it this far, well done. I myself writing this would have glazed over. But once you understand the benefits of a process like this, then it is easy to see why the CBD products that are produced this way are far superior.

Not any old cowboy can do this at home- Be safe in the knowledge that a professional who knows what they are doing is producing your CBD. All of this equipment, knowledge, and attention to detail requires a lot of skill and education. There are a few ways that you can make your own CBD oil at home – for instance, putting decarboxylated Hemp flowers into a slow cooker etc… but they are never quite right and the levels of cannabinoids are almost impossible to measure. It is fun experimenting but when it comes to serious CBD oils, it is always best to leave your well-being in the hands of a professional.

No Chemicals or Toxins- CO2 extraction does not use any kind of harmful chemicals that are flammable or petroleum-based solvents. It means that when the process is completed, the solvent (being CO2) turns back into gas and evaporates. It leaves no trace or residue which can taint the final product; meaning that what is left is cleaner and purer.

Safer & Cleaner Products- As you can imagine, a hemp plant that has been plucked out of the field may have spores of mold, residue or insects living in/ on the plant. No matter how hard you try, this is just part and parcel of growing something. The CO2 extraction process ensures that all of the unwanted bacteria, insects or other unwanted nasties are destroyed. So compared to

Greater control- You can either have as refined or as raw as you like. For instance, you can produce a raw plant matter rich paste (like our own hemp paste) or distill the product down to a distillate which only contains cannabinoids (which what our MCT blends use). By changing the temperature and pressure of the machines, you can have greater control as to how your product is produced.

 

The Benefits of Water Soluble CBD

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The Benefits of Water Soluble CBD

 

It is very clear that CBD faces some challenges; whether you are new to CBD or have been taking it for years, the same issues pop up time, and time again. The common issues are:

  1. CBD is considered to have relatively poor bioavailability (it’s hard for them to be efficiently absorbed by the body)
  2. The taste- we shall say nothing more
  3. Droppers can be fiddly and awkward to fit into your daily routine
  4. Lack of clarity around the dosage

 

All of these issues are faced by almost every single user of CBD- combine that with the fact that everybody’s experience using CBD will differ, somehow makes it a difficult well-being supplement to ever feel completely satisfied with. We’re not bashing the conventional ways of taking CBD, because they have their own charms and benefits, but we think that Water Soluble CBD is going to change things up a little bit.

 

CBD Oils & Bioavailability

Scientifically, one of the biggest issues with CBD is its ability to be absorbed into the body. CBD oil really should be taken sublingually (under the tongue), and that is down to the fact that this is the most effective way for CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream. But in this process, there is still a lot that is wasted and ingested via the digestive system/ liver (with is even less effective). If you do not take CBD correctly, at best you do not get value for money, at worst if it may do nothing for you.

The issue is that our bodies are made up of 60% water- and when CBD is extracted from the plant it is in the form of an oil which cannot be easily defused into our bloodstream (oils actually resist being absorbed-  which is why oil sits on top of water).

It is mostly an oil taken sublingually that is considered to be much more effective than a hemp seed oil capsule, or topical cream- or a CBD mattress cover (Sadly, those exist). Most of the CBD that you are ingesting is either damaged or wasted.

So, how can you overcome CBD’s natural resistance to being absorbed? Well, some bright-spark has produced a water-soluble CBD formula which bucks this trend!

 

Benefits of Water Soluble CBD

So, in theory, if CBD could be made water-soluble it can be way more effective, right? Yes. So long as the CBD is actually soluble in water. There are key players in the CBD manufacturing industry who produce ‘water-based’ products using what is referred to as a Nanoemulsion. Which isn’t particularly good for us. It isn’t actually water-soluble- more ‘water-compatible’. It is like Mayonnaise- the oil and water are held together by egg- rather than actually infusing together.

There are some who have actually cracked it and have produced a solution that is completely water-soluble. How this is done is currently under lock and key (usually to protect the interests of the company’s intellectual property). Once we know, we will share it with you.

But that is all well and good for a lab-coat, but what are the actual benefits of Water Soluble CBD in practice?

Greater Bioavailability (up to 10x more effective than traditional methods)

Down to the fact that the cannabinoid molecules are suspended in an active state in water they can be absorbed much, much more effectively. Water-soluble products are up to 10 times more effective than the traditional methods. This is not to say that they are any better or worse. During the process of production, a lot of the ‘other cannabinoids’ have been removed along with the natural plant matter. It means that the water-solubles do not have the same levels of natural plant matter than a whole plant oil, or paste.

Much better taste!

To be fair, some people don’t mind the taste of hemp- it lets them know that they are actually taking something (writing this, I am an avid paste guy and I am the same)! It is very easily foreseeable that there are many people out there that are put off by the taste, and can make the whole experience unbearable. Water-soluble CBD is very easy to consume and has a very slight sweet herbiness but almost unnoticeable in something that has a flavour (like juice or coffee). So, think away from the long face and get a water-soluble!

Easy to Use & Dose

A CBD oil with a dropper can actually be a little bit of a pain. Honestly, I could do without the dance in the mirror trying to count your drops, for it to spill down the side of your face, or on the side of the bottle. It takes a little bit of practice to count the drops and effectively dose the oil, hold it properly under the tongue and do it all while late for work. With the water-soluble CBD, you can simply get your drink of choice and drop 1-4 drops in without thinking about it again.

Easy to slip into your routine

The last of the major gripes about CBD is that it can be a little difficult to slip into your routine. We’ve all been there- you’ve forgotten to take your CBD today. What is so fantastic about the water-soluble CBD is you can very easily add it to your morning cup or coffee, your water bottle at work, your lunch cup of whatever (soup if you wanted to), or your herbal tea in the evening before you head off to bed. Water-soluble CBD also only needs to be consumed once per day too! Easy peasy.

What is CBE (Cannabielsoin)

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What is CBE (Cannabielsoin)?

 

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of Cannabinoids that can be found in the cannabis plant. So many in fact that we are finding new ones all the time. So, when we came across a little cannabinoid that we didn’t know about, we decided to do a little digging.

This cannabinoid was Cannabielsoin or CBE for short.

 

What is CBE?

In 1973, researchers found this compound but didn’t know anything about it. Although it had been mentioned, scientists didn’t even know its molecular structure until 1983. CBE is a cannabinoid which seems to be derived from CBD via a process of synthesis or metabolism. Although CBE is found naturally in the cannabis plant, Scientists used CBD to create CBE in a lab – this would be the first time a cannabinoid would be created by biotransformation. After a number of more years researching this compound, they found that CBE is a metabolite of CBD- this means that it is an end product of CBD. Much like CBD too, CBE is non-psychoactive.

As a side note – which isn’t really relevant but quite interesting – in 2008, Chinese archaeologists found a tomb said to be 2700 years old which was said to contain a large amount of cannabis (somebody’s mummy loved a joint… get it!?). Dad joke out of the way: when scientists tested the ancient cannabis, although CBC, CBL and CBN where the most abundant – CBD & CBE were also found.

 

What Are The Benefits of CBE?

There have been few studies done on CBE but there is still a lot we need to learn. In short- researchers found that CBE had a ‘negligible’ effect on the well-being of Mice, and did not seem to show at least the same potential as CBD or THC. In saying this, these studies were not very conclusive and there is still an awful lot left to learn about the actual role of CBE in the cannabis plant – or the human body. While you may have never heard of CBE, you are likely to have taken some if you take a full-spectrum CBD oil or product.

While science has not gotten to the bottom of the CBE mystery, the theory is that CBE is a part of what is known as the Entourage Effect; this effect in itself is somewhat of a mystery to modern science. The Entourage effect is a synergistic effect caused by all of the active ingredients in cannabis: from a wide range of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and healthy plant fats. When all of these active ingredients are combined, they work to enhance and regulate each other. It is a phenomenon not very well understood by science.

 

So, while we still can’t get to the bottom of this new cannabinoid, we know a little more than we did before. As research develops we are sure to find new cannabinoids and understand them more.

What are Terpenes?

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What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the unsung hero of CBD products and their impact is often overlooked, or their benefits are attributed to cannabinoids.

Terpenes are a set of non-psychoactive aromatic compounds that are produced naturally within a very wide array of plants and are responsible for the colour and smell of the flowers, spices, herbs and fruits we enjoy (hopefully) every day. Although Cannabis has a bad reputation, Terpenes can be found in some very ordinary items.

Terpenes are used during aromatherapy and can be found in some surprising places: you may already have them growing in your home or garden, sitting in your kitchen, hiding in your soap, aftershave/perfume or in your essential oil collection. Terpenes are the reason why Cannabis has such a distinctive smell, and have the ability to alter the effects of Cannabis and give identifiable characteristics to different strains.

Terpenes can also have an impact on the way the body uses cannabinoids (part of what is called the Entourage Effect), and actually have their own array of well-being benefits: there is lots of research going into the possible benefits of Terpenes which is exciting, to say the least! Trust us when we say there is a palpable difference between a whole plant CBD oil or paste with Terpenes, and one without it.

There are over 100 different Terpenes, but the ones that are most commonly found in nature (and Cannabis) are Myrcene, Caryophyllene, Limonene, Humulene, Ocimene, Caryophyllene and Terpinolene. So, what are terpenes, where can they be found and why are they relevant to CBD oils?

Pinene

Just from reading the name you may be able to guess where Pinene gets its name? That’s right, from Pines. You may also find Pinene in rosemary, basil, dill, some citrus fruit peels & pine nuts. It’s aroma is famously woody, deep, rich and earthy. Grab a handful of Pines or Rosemary and rub the pines between your hands; that is the aromas you are looking for.

Myrcene

Myrcene is a terpene that is most commonly associated with the Indica strain of Cannabis, but it can be found in Bay leaves, Hops, Thyme, Mangos, Lemongrass and Cannabis. Its is identified by its musky, earthy and herbal aroma that is akin to that of Cardimans and Cinnamon.

Limonene

Now, this one is for those who like the tang of citrus. As the name suggests, Limonene can be found in Lemon, Lime & Grapefruit Rinds (most citrus skins, actually), Peppermint, Rosemary, Juniper and Cannabis. It has a tangy citrusy aroma that is very identifiable. If you scrape a citrus fruit skin with a fork or take in the scents of a freshly peeled orange, then this is the aroma of Limonene. It is partly why adding Citrus rind to cooking or a Cocktail is so popular!

Linalool

Although Linalool is considered as a minor Terepene in Hemp and Cannabis, it is certainly the one you are guaranteed to be one of your all-time favourite scents; Lavander. Linalool is found in over 200 plants including, Mint, Nettles, Sage, Oregano & Thyme, Citrus Rind, Cinnamon, Rosewood and Cannabis. The aroma is distinctly floral in character- get yourself some Lavander oil to put in the bath. Glorious!

Humulene

Humulene is another minor Terepene that has a distinct aroma that IPA lovers will know well. It has a hoppy, woody and deeply earthy. This Terepene can be found in Corriander, Basil, Northern American, Asian and European Hop varieties, Gensing, Ginger, Cloves and Cannabis. Imagine a nice cold IPA on a summers day; Citrus bitterness and a floral punch.

Ocimene

Ocimene is most famous for its sweet, herbal and often woody aroma that is very similar to that of Myrcene. This Terepene can be found in a whole host of pungent plants such as Hops, Mangoes, Bergamot (a type of Citrus fruit commonly found in Northern Africa and the Gulf region), Basil, Lavender, Orchids, Pepper, Mint, Kumquats and Cannabis.

Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is a very interesting compound as it is the only Terpene to act like a Cannabinoid and interact with our Endocannabinoid System. It’s aroma is peppery, spicey and woody- imagine a handful of cloves. Caryophyllene is found in Cloves (surprisingly), Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Hopes Oregano, Rosemary and Cannabis Sativa (Which includes Hemp).

Terpinolene

Last, but certainly not least, Terpinolene is the really the key to making a Sativa CBD Oil different to an Indica Oil; Sativa CBD oils (like our Dina & Diablo) contain much higher levels of Terpinolene. The Terpene’s aroma is floral, piney and herbal, and it can be found in Apple Skins, Cardigans, Tea Tree Oil, Cumin, Lilacs and Cannabis.

 

Where Can I find Terpenes UK?

Other than in the natural spices, pines, fruits and whatnot that we have already mentioned in this blog post, you can actually purchase Terpene profiles from specific Cannabis strains online. Usually, they are found in tiny bottles and should be taken with caution- you will find that they are rather expensive.

Alternatively, you can find Terpenes in full-spectrum whole plant products, like our 500mg Dina & 1000mg Diablo and hemp extract El Tenedor Del Diablo.

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