The two most well known elements of a cannabis flower are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both are known scientifically as cannabinoids.
Simply, THC is psychoactive while CBD is non-psychoactive.
THC has been the most talked about and well known cannabis component for centuries, lately interest around CBD has seen a massive growth as more medical studies have been done on its benefits in helping treat everything from epilepsy, anxiety, sleep problems, crohn’s diseases
This has made cannabis a topic more people are talking about; those who had preconceived notions of cannabis being only a psycho-active social drug have been proven wrong by the benefits seen from CBD. THC is not the devil though. Many believe that CBD is not as effective on its own as it is with other cannabinoids like THC. Most cannabis products use CBD and THC along with other more specialized derivatives CBN, THCv, THCa, CBG in full spectrum cannabis medicine.
How CBD Extract Products Are Made
The two most common extraction methods for cannabinoids are: carbon dioxide (CO2) and butane (BHO).
The process of CO2 extraction is as follows:
- An extractor chamber is filled with ground cannabis/hemp biomass
- A pump forces pressurized carbon dioxide gas at the optimum temperature (CO2) into the extractor chamber.
- The CO2 interacts with the cannabis, dissolving the cannabinoid compounds it contains.
- The CO2 carries the cannabis oil particles past a pressure release valve to a cyclonic separator.
- In the separator, the pressure is lower and the carbon dioxide and cannabis oil separates.
- The carbon dioxide rises and is routed back to the CO2 tank for reuse in the case of a closed loop system.
- The cannabis oil, waxes and resins descends in the separator where they are captured by a collection vessel.
- The resulting substance is processed further into various products, such as CBD-rich “cannabis oil”, free of any solvents.
Vitalis r-series Extraction Machine
Tinctures vs. Caps
After the CBD is extracted the two most popular ways of consuming it is through tinctures or gel caps, both are smoke and vape free options.
In a tincture the CBD oil is usually mixed with some sort of flavouring, inside is a dropper and users drop 5-15 mg of oil under their tongue and let it settle for 20-30 seconds before swallowing. This method helps the product work faster as the body is able to accelerate the absorption of its chemicals into the body. The arteries under your tongue absorb the tincture into the bloodstream rapidly.
Gel caps are made from full spectrum and isolate CBD extracted from an industrial grown hemp plants. They are taken orally and don’t come into effect as quickly as tinctures do, there is also no flavour. Both gel caps and tinctures accomplish the same outcome, it’s just a users preference as to which method they prefer.
Doses & Ratios
The variation of cannabis products can be intimidating for a new user. Dosages and CBD/THC ratios are far more important than consumption method as the effects are much different.
According to Leafly, cannabis plants produce three different cannabinoid compositions
High THC, low CBD (e.g.,10-30% THC, trace amounts of CBD)
Balanced CBD/THC (e.g., 5-15% THC and CBD)
High CBD, low THC (e.g., 5-20% CBD, trace amounts of THC)
Further research should be done into whichever combination and method users choose. A CBD product that is 10:1 CBD to THC will not provide any psycho-active sensations, but might not work for people with severe cases of whatever ailment they are looking to help cure. A 2:1 CBD to THC ratio would provide more relief, but also might produce a psycho-active effect. It’s all about finding the right combination for the many different issues one could face.