Monthly Archives: February 2019

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is a well known active ingredient of the Cannabis plant, but did you know you can get it in oil form?Yes, we’ve already written about “What is Cannabis Oil?“, but the thing is…. CBD oil appears to be all rage right now.You probably know someone who has either tried it or sang the praises of its medical benefits. Its popularity among Canadians appears to be skyrocketing while globally, many countries are waking up to the remarkable health benefits offered by this exciting extract.With a broad and growing range of therapeutic capabilities and a host of studies to back them up, it’s fair to say the hype about CBD oil is real. As with any new medicine attracting interest, many questions from the public arise.

Like, how do you know if your CBD oil is pure? How does it work? And, what conditions has CBD oil been proven to help?

If you’ve only scratched the surface of this therapeutic cannabinoid, read on as we dig deeper into the versatility and medical scope of CBD oil.

Are CBD and cannabis oil the same?

Oil is a healthier alternative to smoking and has gained popularity with recreational and medicinal users. But what’s the main difference between CBD and cannabis oil?

Simply put, they aren’t the same thing, however it’s complicated.

Its many monikers make cannabis oil tricky to nail down because it’s a blanket term for a range of oils with different purposes. Hemp oil, hash oil, CBD oil, and THC oil all fall under that blanket along with others. Hash oil alone is another blanket term so yeah, it’s pretty complicated.

The main difference between CBD oil and cannabis oil is usually that the latter contains THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gets you ‘high’.

Let’s be clear though, THC is not the enemy unless abused and/or smoked over long periods of time. In fact, THC has its own array of medical benefits but it’s also very therapeutic when combined with CBD.

The ‘entourage effect’ happens when the cannabis plant’s most famous compounds unite, along with help of terpenes. This term refers to strength in numbers — better together than alone — when it comes to creating a medicinal force. Basically, when cannabinoids and terpenes all work towards the same goal, you’ll notice stronger overall healing effects.

While technically a cannabis oil, non-psychoactive CBD oil is never really used recreationally due to its lack of buzz. It’s primarily a healer. Although scientists believe more studies are required, it is definitely the star cannabinoid of medical cannabis and has the capability to treat numerous conditions and diseases.

Evidence suggests that it’s effective in the treatment of severe pain, epilepsy, anxiety disorders, arthritis, and schizophrenia just to mention a few.

Is CBD legal in Canada?

The short answer is yes, but you’d be forgiven for thinking the legality of CBD oil would be a formality in Canada.

A bird’s eye view of its qualities and capabilities would instantly lead you to think so. It’s a non-psychoactive compound with very few side effects that don’t get you buzzed.

So what’s the harm right?

Thankfully, CBD oil is legal but there’s still a ways to go. Alternative sources of CBD oil and other related products are not yet endorsed by the government for retailers. Meanwhile, any CBD products made by a licensed cannabis producer are fully endorsed by the government (just FYI, hemp oil is also a government-approved product).

So here’s where it gets tricky.

You may be a medicinal cannabis patient intent on using only government-approved products. Let’s say you have a joint (no pun intended) or muscular pain and buying a CBD topical seems like the next logical step. Currently, this would not be possible as the government has yet to approve cannabidiol creams or any cannabinoid edibles for that matter.

It really depends on how cautious and particular you are about where you obtain your CBD oil. If you need that government seal of approval then the cream and edibles will have to wait. If you are confident in your source — be it an online retailer or a local headshop — and happy with the quality of that CBD oil then this is not a problem for you.

Ultimately, these are cannabis or hemp-related products sold in a country where cannabis and hemp are completely legal. So there’s nothing illegal about buying CBD oil through unregulated channels.

Hemp vs. cannabis CBD?

For a simple comparison of hemp and cannabis, you could say that the values of the former are industrial and nutritional while those of latter are medicinal and recreational.

When all forms of marijuana were illegal in North America, hemp — a non-psychoactive relative of the cannabis plant — was incorrectly labeled and destroyed. Regularly and systematically chopped down and burned by the US government for its tenuous connections to cannabis.

Thankfully, we are now living in more enlightened, evolved times so hemp has made a comeback. This durable and versatile plant is used to make shampoo, clothing, makeup, food, building materials and more. However, when it comes to the production of CBD it comes a very distant second to the cannabis plant.

While both plants produce the therapeutic compound, hemp has nowhere near the same medicinal value as cannabis. This is due to its extremely low concentration of CBD and THC.

Contrast this with cannabis which can boast THC and CBD as its two most present elements. CBD oils are extracted by licensed producers with the sole goal of delivering maximum medical benefit.

This could be a THC/CBD mix to treat the likes of multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, nausea, certain cancers and psychological problems. Or maybe pure CBD oil to help those suffering from arthritis, epilepsy, anxiety disorders and many other conditions.

Explore In-Depth: The difference between cannabis CBD oil and hemp CBD oil.

But CBD is CBD so why should you care what plant it comes from if the end product is 100 percent CBD? Whether made through isolation from natural sources, or by synthesizing in a lab CBD from cannabis and hemp are identical.

So how does hemp CBD oil differ from that of its ancestor cannabis?

The extraction process reveals the real truth. Hemp oil is pressed and extracted from the plant seeds (which double as a nutrient-rich health food). While it is high in polyunsaturated fats and is popular in the cooking world it barely contains any CBD and almost no THC.

This is why hemp is not a controlled substance and overseen by the Industrial Hemp Regulations (IHR). Additionally, hemp is a bio-accumulator meaning it absorbs large amounts of whatever is present in the soil in which it grows.

This is a real downside since the growing methods and conditions for industrial hemp aren’t federally regulated. So, it’s hard to know when you’re getting a high quality, clean, and safe product. In the past hemp has been known to absorb pesticides, toxic spills and other dangerous chemicals and metals from the soil.

Cannabis, on the other hand, is often grown using soilless methods like aquaponics and hydroponics. These techniques eliminate the possibility of outside contaminants tainting the end product.

When processing marijuana the flowers, leaves, and stalks are used to create cannabis and CBD oil, both of which have a multitude of medical benefits. Due to its high CBD and THC content, it is instead regulated by the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) and the Narcotic Control Regulations (NCR).

Under the IHR, it is forbidden for hemp oil to contain any CBD at all and more than 10 parts per million of THC (0.3%) when it’s sold as a nutritional food. Since these are the cannabinoids known to possess therapeutic qualities be wary of any person or company lauding the medicinal value of hemp oil.

Why is CBD experiencing such a spike in popularity?

All across the internet comment threads on health-focused cannabis websites are filled with sentences like:

“It’s done wonders for my anxiety, I feel like a new person!!”

“My severe arthritis is all but gone thanks to CBD oil.”

Or, “I’ve had regular epileptic seizures for 12 years but since I’ve started taking CBD oil I’ve been seizure-free for 5 months!!”

Yes, comment threads themselves are often seen as the underbelly of the internet and with good reason. They play host to trolls and scam artists but they also allow good people suffering from bad illnesses to interact, help each other and voice their opinions.

It’s hard to deny the countless positive and genuine CBD oil reviews out there sprinkled across the web like nuggets of hope. These statements of elation and relief are organic proof of CBD’s ever-growing popularity.

The adoration for this medicinal compound is hardly a noodle scratcher. It’s a cannabis product for people who don’t like cannabis. Not only does it not get you ‘high’ but it could help you treat a devastating condition you are afflicted with.

So, let’s take a look at why the popularity of CBD oil is currently through the roof.

What does the research say about CBD oil?

Research on CBD wasn’t exactly plentiful before the turn of the millennium. Now, since the advent of cannabis legalization in Canada, it is probably one of the most researched substances out there.

Science has pointed to the relationship between the cannabinoid and our CB1 and CB2 receptors as the reason why it possesses such therapeutic value. CBD interacts best with CB2 receptors which aid in the regulation of appetite, pain management, and immune system functions like inflammation.

Explore In-Depth: Cannabinoid Receptors 101 – Why Do We Have Them?

Although experts recommend more studies be conducted on the subject, evidence is emerging that CBD may be a potent inhibitor of cancer growth. It has already shown promise as a treatment for several forms of the disease including lung cancer, leukemia, colon cancer and to a lesser extent glioma (brain cancer) and breast cancer.

Research also suggests that CBD is a neuroprotective compound that could repair the damage done to the brain by THC. It encourages neuroplasticity as well which is crucial to people in their twilight years. Additionally, scientists have proven — thanks to a deeper knowledge of the endocannabinoid system—  that CBD can ease or alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy as well as anxiety disorders, depression, and psychosis.

CBD oil could also become a popular mood stabilizer in the future. Its anti-convulsive, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and antipsychotic actions with minimal side effects make it seem like a good fit. On top of all this, it has had a positive impact in treating certain sleep disorders and addiction to cannabis itself.

There is a downside

While most CBD oil users don’t experience adverse reactions, possible side effects do exist. These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating and dizziness. Also, please always consult with a doctor before using CBD oil as it could interfere with medication you are already on.

The many uses of CBD oil

Backed by hundreds of peer-reviewed sources in scientific journals it has been proven that CBD may be therapeutic for the list of conditions below. Since it is still an understudied cannabinoid, future research could reveal even more of the compound’s medicinal potential in all of these conditions and possibly more, including:

Acne, ADD and ADHD, addiction, AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, anorexia, antibiotic resistance, anxiety, atherosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, autism, bipolar, cancer, chronic pain, digestive issues, depression, diabetes, endocrine disorders, epilepsy and seizures, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, heart disease, Huntington’s disease, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, liver disease, metabolic syndrome, migraine, mood disorders, motion sickness, multiple sclerosis, nausea, neurodegeneration, obesity, OCD, osteoporosis/bone health, Parkinson’s disease, prion/mad cow disease, PTSD, rheumatism, schizophrenia, sickle cell anemia, skin conditions, sleep disorders, spinal cord injury, stress, stroke and TBI.

What makes a ‘good’ CBD oil?

CBD oil is rapidly expanding and barely-regulated industry. This wild-west, ‘Green Rush’ scenario is sure to attract plenty of scam-artists trying to rip you off with below-par products.

Unfortunately, determining which CBD oils are high quality and trustworthy is a tricky business. Its surge in popularity means new sellers and brands are surfacing regularly, claiming their oil is the best.

Researchers in the US confirmed our worst fears about the number of fraudulent and unscrupulous sellers online. After analyzing the content of 84 CBD products purchased on the internet the results were concerning and rife with inconsistencies. Labeling inaccuracies and incorrect concentration levels were the two biggest offenders.

When compared to their advertised concentrations, products were badly mislabeled with 26 percent containing less CBD than stated on the label while 43 percent contained more, resulting in a dangerously high degree of variability. In addition to CBD mislabeling a bigger concern emerged. THC was detected in 21 percent of samples.

It’s completely understandable if this has made you wary of buying CBD online. To ensure you purchase the high-quality CBD oil you seek, allow us to ease those concerns by passing on some useful buying tips. These should help you to weed out the online scammers.

Manufacturing matters

With different CBD oil brands come different extraction methods. Beware of low prices as these companies may be using cheap extraction methods to achieve greater profits. Since CBD can be extracted using solvents some companies will use lower grade solvents to get the job done for fewer dollars.

Toxic substances such as propane, butane, hexane, and pentane are all examples of low-grade CBD extractors. Dangerous to our health, a product containing any of this quartet should be avoided. Ethanol — grain alcohol — or olive oil are viewed as the safest method of processing CBD oil for our consumption.

Last but not least, CBD oil can be extracted through “supercritical CO2 extraction.” This process happens using carbon dioxide under high pressure in ultra-low temperatures. Pricey, high-tech equipment is necessary for this method, the refinement of the oil is complex and specific expertise is required on the production side. The final product, however, is worth it as the CBD oil maintains its purity all the way through.

Using quality cannabis or hemp: Your source matters

This one is simple, to ensure quality use high-quality materials. This is especially important in CBD oil. Cannabis or hemp grown using hydroponics or aquaponics is ideal because both methods don’t require soil to consistently produce high-quality plants which in turn means very effective CBD oil.

Grown in soil both plants absorb whatever is present in the ground where it was cultivated. If the soil was rich and fertile then expect a safe, high-grade CBD oil but if the earth was laden with heavy metals like mercury and lead, the resulting oils will be tainted and toxic.

The presence of such metals in the oil would make it unsafe for humans to consume, especially children. Sadly, some manufacturers only have profit on their minds so investigate where the CBD brand sources their cannabis or hemp. Such information should be available on the retailer’s websites or via their customer service channels.

THC levels

THC is the celebrity cannabinoid present in both cannabis and hemp. This popular psychoactive compound is responsible for getting you “high.” The maximum and acceptable level of THC present in CBD oils should not exceed more than 0.3 percent, which is a trace amount. So be sure to check the labels or request lab results prior to making a purchase.

‘Whole-plant’ or ‘full spectrum’ labels

Another sign of a quality CBD oil is one that was manufactured using the whole plant. A 2015 study showed that using the entire plant instead of a single part ensures that your CBD oil gets the full range of primary and secondary constituents of the cannabis plant.

These include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that are generally believed to synergize with CBD, making the health benefits better than using CBD alone. Again, this is called the “entourage effect”.

Third-party lab results

A reputable brand of CBD oil will have nothing to hide. They will always provide third-party lab results to their customers. These independent labs exist to provide transparency. They ensure that CBD oil is everything it claims to be while protecting Joe Public from potentially-harmful impurities.

THC found more important for therapeutic effects in cannabis than originally thought

PUBLIC RELEASE: 

THC found more important for therapeutic effects in cannabis than originally thought

UNM researchers measure product characteristics and associated effects with mobile app

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

IMAGE
IMAGE: VIALS OF THC, THE NOTORIOUS PSYCHOACTIVE CHEMICAL IN CANNABIS, WAS FOUND TO BE MORE IMPORTANT FOR THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED. view more 

CREDIT: UNM

Researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) recently solved a major gap in scientific literature by using mobile software technology to measure the real-time effects of actual cannabis-based products used by millions of people every day.

Contrary to popular media-reports and scientific dogma, the psychoactive chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC,” showed the strongest correlation with therapeutic relief and far less evidence for the benefits of relying on the more socially acceptable chemical, cannabidiol or “CBD.”

In a new study titled, “The Association between Cannabis Product Characteristics and Symptom Relief,” published in the journal Scientific Reports, UNM researchers Sarah See Stith, assistant professor in the Department of Economics, and Jacob Miguel Vigil, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, found that THC and CBD contents were the most important factor for optimizing symptom relief for a wide variety of health conditions.

The findings were based on the largest database of real-time measurements of the effects of cannabis in the United States, collected with the ReleafApp, developed by co-authors Franco Brockelman, Keenan Keeling and Branden Hall.

Since its release in 2016, the commercially developed ReleafApp has been the only publicly available, incentive-free app for educating patients on how their type of product (e.g., flower or concentrate), combustion method, cannabis subspecies (indica, sativa, and hybrid), and major cannabinoid contents (THC and CBD) affect their symptom severity levels, essentially providing invaluable user feedback on their health status, medication choices, and the clinical outcomes of those choices as measured by symptom relief and side effects.

The study aimed to address the practical questions of knowing how fundamental characteristics of currently available and frequently used cannabis products, characteristics that often influence consumer choices, affect health symptom intensity levels. The average patient, across the roughly 20,000 measured user sessions and 27 measured symptom categories ranging from depression to seizure activity, showed an immediate symptom improvement of 3.5 points on a 0-10 scale. Dried flower was the most commonly used product and generally associated with greater symptom improvement than other types of products.

Cannabis is rapidly gaining popularity as a mid-level analgesic and promising substitute for prescription opioids and other classes of medications, which often carry undesirable side effects, dangerous drug interactions and risk of death. Presently, federal barriers restrict researchers from conducting cannabis administration studies in the U.S.

“We were able to fill the most significant absence in the previous medical literature, understanding the ‘efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States,'” said Vigil, quoting from the recently released report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana.

By studying products containing both THC and CBD, the authors were able to analyze the relative importance of these cannabinoids for symptom relief and side effect prevalence, advancing previous research examining either chemical in the absence of the other. One of the most striking patterns in the current results was that THC was generally associated with a more intense user experience, as measured by symptom relief and the prevalence of both positive and negative side effects.

“Despite the conventional wisdom, both in the popular press and much of the scientific community that only CBD has medical benefits while THC merely makes one high, our results suggest that THC may be more important than CBD in generating therapeutic benefits. In our study, CBD appears to have little effect at all, while THC generates measurable improvements in symptom relief. These findings justify the immediate de-scheduling of all types of cannabis, in addition to hemp, so that cannabis with THC can be more widely accessible for pharmaceutical use by the general public,” said Vigil.

“More broadly understanding the relationship between product characteristics and patient outcomes is particularly important given the lack of medical guidance received by medical cannabis patients,” said Stith. “Most receive only a referral for cannabis treatment from their healthcare provider with all other treatment advice coming from prior recreational experience, the internet, social interactions, and/or often minimally trained personnel working in dispensaries.

“This is very different from how patients receive treatment using conventional pharmaceuticals that come with clear dosing instructions and a standardized, uniform product,” she added.

The authors caution that cannabis use does carry the risks of addiction and short-term impairments in cognitive and behavioral functioning, and may not be effective for everyone.

“However, I have seen many people use it as a primary medication for a full spectrum of health conditions as part of their broader desire to gain more control over their healthcare treatment,” says Vigil, a perspective that seems to gaining momentum as cannabis appears to be re-emerging as one of the most widely used medications in the U.S.

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This investigation was supported in part by public donations to the University of New Mexico Medical Cannabis Research.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

How to Make Great-Tasting Weed Brownies

 

 

How to Make Great-Tasting Weed Brownies

BY SUZANNE ZUPPELLO

The foundation of a great cannabis brownie is the oil (or butter). A poor extraction in your oil or butter can turn great-tasting brownies into bitter-tasting bricks. This might be why Monica Lo, creator of Sous Weed, does not keep a brownie recipe in her arsenal. “I’ve eaten so many underwhelming and stale brownies from dispensaries,” Lo said, which is why she’s more likely to reach for salted caramel bark or a medicated cream puff when she’s in the mood for an edible. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t willing to help you make the best butter and oil for your own cannabis brownie recipe. Another great option to help you fine-tune your weed brownie baking prowess? A recipe from Stephanie Hua and Coreen Carroll’s cookbook Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen (included below).

<h2=”font-size: 30=”” px”=””>Here is The Best Weed Brownie Recipe Ever!</h2=”font-size:>

But first, let’s talk about the basics you need to master in order to concoct truly delicious special brownies. Lo and Hua recommends infusing your butter using the “low and slow” method. For Lo, that means using the sous vide method, which involves sealing your ingredients in an airtight container and cooking them in temperature-controlled water; Hua simply keeps her cannabutter ingredients in a saucepan. Neither method requires appliances you don’t already have at home—everyone likely has a couple Mason or canning jars around these days, which are great for easy sous vide prep. The key to making a great cannabutter, especially if it’s your first time, is to aim low with the amount of flour you’re using. This is especially true if you’re serving brownies or other cannabutter-laced treats to friends, says Hua.

When you’ve landed on the right amount of flower, you’ll need to decarb (or decarboxylation) it, which will activate the THC in the cannabis prior to infusing it with oil. Since the infusion needs to be done on low heat for at least two hours, the cannabis won’t reach a high enough temperature to activate the THC compounds. The process toasts the flower at 300°F for 10-20 minutes. After that, you’ll first add the flower to your butter or oil and then add to water, either in an airtight jar that will be immersed in a temperature-controlled bath or directly in a double-boiler. Both chefs recommend using a candy thermometer to ensure the mixture remains at the same temperature through the process (approximately 185°F).

After straining the flower through a cheesecloth and letting the butter cool, the water in the mix will separate, which you can discard. Or, nab a resourceful had from Hua if you don’t want to waste THC-laden water: you can use it to boil pasta for an extra hit.

By keeping a careful watch (and low temperature) on your cannabutter, you’re destined to end up with great brownies. Hua also stresses the importance of using the high-quality flower. Just as you wouldn’t normally bake with ingredients that taste bad, you shouldn’t bake with a flower you don’t enjoy. Use something you already dig, rather than opting for whatever’s cheapest.

While the taste of cannabutter is nice and nutty, some people prefer to mask the grassier notes. Hua recommends spices that add a classic flavor to your brownies, though she thinks chocolate and cannabis are perfect bedfellows. If you’re not going for her Booty Call Brownies, which you can make using the recipe below, you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to add great spice factors to your own cannabis brownies.

BOOTY CALL BROWNIES

FUDGY BROWNIE
Ingredients:
8 oz. unsalted butter
1½ cups plus 3 Tbsp. sugar
½ cup plus ⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
¾ cup all-purpose flour

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Line a 9” x 13” pan with parchment paper.

In a medium heatproof bowl over a double boiler, melt together the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, using a rubber spatula to stir the mixture occasionally until the butter melts and the batter starts to come together. It will look thick and grainy, and may even seem curdled. Don’t worry, it will smooth out later.

Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Transfer the batter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

One egg at a time, beat in the eggs on low speed, waiting until one is incorporated before adding the next, for 1 to 2 minutes per egg. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula about halfway through. When the batter looks shiny and smooth, add the flour. Mix for about 1 minute on low speed until it is incorporated and looks like the luscious, velvety brownie batter of your dreams. Alternatively, you can mix everything the old-fashioned way with a wooden spoon and some elbow grease.

Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan, scraping out the bowl with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 25 minutes until set. Let cool until you can touch the pan. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool faster.

COOKIE DOUGH SPREAD
Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ tsp. Canna Butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup mini chocolate chips

FINISHING TOUCHES: 3½ cups roughly chopped chocolate sandwich cookies
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Double boiler
NOTE: Cocoa powders can vary in density, so weigh your ingredients if possible.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: You can bake the brownies and toast the flour one day in advance. Cover the brownies with plastic wrap and refrigerate them. Store the flower in an airtight container at room temperature.

Directions:
Lower the oven temperature to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread the flour on the prepared sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time. Let the toasted flour cool before using.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the unsalted butter, cannabutter, sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Cream the mixture for about 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy, pausing halfway through mixing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cream and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again with your rubber spatula. Adjust the speed to low, add the toasted flour, and mix for about 1 minute until it is evenly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside at room temperature until the brownies have cooled.

TO ASSEMBLE: Using an offset spatula or pastry scraper, spread the cookie dough topping over the cooled brownies. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the cookie dough. Use your hands to gently smooth the dough into an even layer. Remove the plastic. Scatter the cookie pieces on top. Gently press them into the cookie dough spread.

Chill the brownies thoroughly (this is important to get clean cuts) for about 30 minutes before cutting. Run a knife along the sides of the brownie pan and use the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the pan. Cut the brownies into 18 pieces, 3” x-2⅛” each. Wipe your knife between cuts to keep the cuts sharp and clean.

These are best enjoyed right away (as if you could resist!). Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for one to two days, or freeze for up to one month. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

 

What is CBD oil ?

CBD is a well known active ingredient of the Cannabis plant, but did you know you can get it in oil form?Yes, we’ve already written about “What is Cannabis Oil?“, but the thing is…. CBD oil appears to be all rage right now.You probably know someone who has either tried it or sang the praises of its medical benefits. Its popularity among Canadians appears to be skyrocketing while globally, many countries are waking up to the remarkable health benefits offered by this exciting extract.

With a broad and growing range of therapeutic capabilities and a host of studies to back them up, it’s fair to say the hype about CBD oil is real. As with any new medicine attracting interest, many questions from the public arise.

Like, how do you know if your CBD oil is pure? How does it work? And, what conditions has CBD oil been proven to help?

If you’ve only scratched the surface of this therapeutic cannabinoid, read on as we dig deeper into the versatility and medical scope of CBD oil.

Are CBD and cannabis oil the same?

Oil is a healthier alternative to smoking and has gained popularity with recreational and medicinal users. But what’s the main difference between CBD and cannabis oil?

Simply put, they aren’t the same thing, however it’s complicated.

Its many monikers make cannabis oil tricky to nail down because it’s a blanket term for a range of oils with different purposes. Hemp oil, hash oil, CBD oil, and THC oil all fall under that blanket along with others. Hash oil alone is another blanket term so yeah, it’s pretty complicated.

The main difference between CBD oil and cannabis oil is usually that the latter contains THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gets you ‘high’.

Let’s be clear though, THC is not the enemy unless abused and/or smoked over long periods of time. In fact, THC has its own array of medical benefits but it’s also very therapeutic when combined with CBD.

The ‘entourage effect’ happens when the cannabis plant’s most famous compounds unite, along with help of terpenes. This term refers to strength in numbers — better together than alone — when it comes to creating a medicinal force. Basically, when cannabinoids and terpenes all work towards the same goal, you’ll notice stronger overall healing effects.

While technically a cannabis oil, non-psychoactive CBD oil is never really used recreationally due to its lack of buzz. It’s primarily a healer. Although scientists believe more studies are required, it is definitely the star cannabinoid of medical cannabis and has the capability to treat numerous conditions and diseases.

Evidence suggests that it’s effective in the treatment of severe pain, epilepsy, anxiety disorders, arthritis, and schizophrenia just to mention a few.

Is CBD legal in Canada?

The short answer is yes, but you’d be forgiven for thinking the legality of CBD oil would be a formality in Canada.

A bird’s eye view of its qualities and capabilities would instantly lead you to think so. It’s a non-psychoactive compound with very few side effects that don’t get you buzzed.

So what’s the harm right?

Thankfully, CBD oil is legal but there’s still a ways to go. Alternative sources of CBD oil and other related products are not yet endorsed by the government for retailers. Meanwhile, any CBD products made by a licensed cannabis producer are fully endorsed by the government (just FYI, hemp oil is also a government-approved product).

So here’s where it gets tricky.

You may be a medicinal cannabis patient intent on using only government-approved products. Let’s say you have a joint (no pun intended) or muscular pain and buying a CBD topical seems like the next logical step. Currently, this would not be possible as the government has yet to approve cannabidiol creams or any cannabinoid edibles for that matter.

It really depends on how cautious and particular you are about where you obtain your CBD oil. If you need that government seal of approval then the cream and edibles will have to wait. If you are confident in your source — be it an online retailer or a local headshop — and happy with the quality of that CBD oil then this is not a problem for you.

Ultimately, these are cannabis or hemp-related products sold in a country where cannabis and hemp are completely legal. So there’s nothing illegal about buying CBD oil through unregulated channels.

Hemp vs. cannabis CBD?

For a simple comparison of hemp and cannabis, you could say that the values of the former are industrial and nutritional while those of latter are medicinal and recreational.

When all forms of marijuana were illegal in North America, hemp — a non-psychoactive relative of the cannabis plant — was incorrectly labeled and destroyed. Regularly and systematically chopped down and burned by the US government for its tenuous connections to cannabis.

Thankfully, we are now living in more enlightened, evolved times so hemp has made a comeback. This durable and versatile plant is used to make shampoo, clothing, makeup, food, building materials and more. However, when it comes to the production of CBD it comes a very distant second to the cannabis plant.

While both plants produce the therapeutic compound, hemp has nowhere near the same medicinal value as cannabis. This is due to its extremely low concentration of CBD and THC.

Contrast this with cannabis which can boast THC and CBD as its two most present elements. CBD oils are extracted by licensed producers with the sole goal of delivering maximum medical benefit.

This could be a THC/CBD mix to treat the likes of multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, nausea, certain cancers and psychological problems. Or maybe pure CBD oil to help those suffering from arthritis, epilepsy, anxiety disorders and many other conditions.

Explore In-Depth: The difference between cannabis CBD oil and hemp CBD oil.

But CBD is CBD so why should you care what plant it comes from if the end product is 100 percent CBD? Whether made through isolation from natural sources, or by synthesizing in a lab CBD from cannabis and hemp are identical.

So how does hemp CBD oil differ from that of its ancestor cannabis?

The extraction process reveals the real truth. Hemp oil is pressed and extracted from the plant seeds (which double as a nutrient-rich health food). While it is high in polyunsaturated fats and is popular in the cooking world it barely contains any CBD and almost no THC.

This is why hemp is not a controlled substance and overseen by the Industrial Hemp Regulations (IHR). Additionally, hemp is a bio-accumulator meaning it absorbs large amounts of whatever is present in the soil in which it grows.

This is a real downside since the growing methods and conditions for industrial hemp aren’t federally regulated. So, it’s hard to know when you’re getting a high quality, clean, and safe product. In the past hemp has been known to absorb pesticides, toxic spills and other dangerous chemicals and metals from the soil.

Cannabis, on the other hand, is often grown using soilless methods like aquaponics and hydroponics. These techniques eliminate the possibility of outside contaminants tainting the end product.

When processing marijuana the flowers, leaves, and stalks are used to create cannabis and CBD oil, both of which have a multitude of medical benefits. Due to its high CBD and THC content, it is instead regulated by the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) and the Narcotic Control Regulations (NCR).

Under the IHR, it is forbidden for hemp oil to contain any CBD at all and more than 10 parts per million of THC (0.3%) when it’s sold as a nutritional food. Since these are the cannabinoids known to possess therapeutic qualities be wary of any person or company lauding the medicinal value of hemp oil.

Why is CBD experiencing such a spike in popularity?

All across the internet comment threads on health-focused cannabis websites are filled with sentences like:

“It’s done wonders for my anxiety, I feel like a new person!!”

“My severe arthritis is all but gone thanks to CBD oil.”

Or, “I’ve had regular epileptic seizures for 12 years but since I’ve started taking CBD oil I’ve been seizure-free for 5 months!!”

Yes, comment threads themselves are often seen as the underbelly of the internet and with good reason. They play host to trolls and scam artists but they also allow good people suffering from bad illnesses to interact, help each other and voice their opinions.

It’s hard to deny the countless positive and genuine CBD oil reviews out there sprinkled across the web like nuggets of hope. These statements of elation and relief are organic proof of CBD’s ever-growing popularity.

The adoration for this medicinal compound is hardly a noodle scratcher. It’s a cannabis product for people who don’t like cannabis. Not only does it not get you ‘high’ but it could help you treat a devastating condition you are afflicted with.

So, let’s take a look at why the popularity of CBD oil is currently through the roof.

What does the research say about CBD oil?

Research on CBD wasn’t exactly plentiful before the turn of the millennium. Now, since the advent of cannabis legalization in Canada, it is probably one of the most researched substances out there.

Science has pointed to the relationship between the cannabinoid and our CB1 and CB2 receptors as the reason why it possesses such therapeutic value. CBD interacts best with CB2 receptors which aid in the regulation of appetite, pain management, and immune system functions like inflammation.

Explore In-Depth: Cannabinoid Receptors 101 – Why Do We Have Them?

Although experts recommend more studies be conducted on the subject, evidence is emerging that CBD may be a potent inhibitor of cancer growth. It has already shown promise as a treatment for several forms of the disease including lung cancer, leukemia, colon cancer and to a lesser extent glioma (brain cancer) and breast cancer.

Research also suggests that CBD is a neuroprotective compound that could repair the damage done to the brain by THC. It encourages neuroplasticity as well which is crucial to people in their twilight years. Additionally, scientists have proven — thanks to a deeper knowledge of the endocannabinoid system—  that CBD can ease or alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy as well as anxiety disorders, depression, and psychosis.

CBD oil could also become a popular mood stabilizer in the future. Its anti-convulsive, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and antipsychotic actions with minimal side effects make it seem like a good fit. On top of all this, it has had a positive impact in treating certain sleep disorders and addiction to cannabis itself.

There is a downside

While most CBD oil users don’t experience adverse reactions, possible side effects do exist. These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating and dizziness. Also, please always consult with a doctor before using CBD oil as it could interfere with medication you are already on.

The many uses of CBD oil

Backed by hundreds of peer-reviewed sources in scientific journals it has been proven that CBD may be therapeutic for the list of conditions below. Since it is still an understudied cannabinoid, future research could reveal even more of the compound’s medicinal potential in all of these conditions and possibly more, including:

Acne, ADD and ADHD, addiction, AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, anorexia, antibiotic resistance, anxiety, atherosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, autism, bipolar, cancer, chronic pain, digestive issues, depression, diabetes, endocrine disorders, epilepsy and seizures, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, heart disease, Huntington’s disease, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, liver disease, metabolic syndrome, migraine, mood disorders, motion sickness, multiple sclerosis, nausea, neurodegeneration, obesity, OCD, osteoporosis/bone health, Parkinson’s disease, prion/mad cow disease, PTSD, rheumatism, schizophrenia, sickle cell anemia, skin conditions, sleep disorders, spinal cord injury, stress, stroke and TBI.

What makes a ‘good’ CBD oil?

CBD oil is rapidly expanding and barely-regulated industry. This wild-west, ‘Green Rush’ scenario is sure to attract plenty of scam-artists trying to rip you off with below-par products.

Unfortunately, determining which CBD oils are high quality and trustworthy is a tricky business. Its surge in popularity means new sellers and brands are surfacing regularly, claiming their oil is the best.

Researchers in the US confirmed our worst fears about the number of fraudulent and unscrupulous sellers online. After analyzing the content of 84 CBD products purchased on the internet the results were concerning and rife with inconsistencies. Labeling inaccuracies and incorrect concentration levels were the two biggest offenders.

When compared to their advertised concentrations, products were badly mislabeled with 26 percent containing less CBD than stated on the label while 43 percent contained more, resulting in a dangerously high degree of variability. In addition to CBD mislabeling a bigger concern emerged. THC was detected in 21 percent of samples.

It’s completely understandable if this has made you wary of buying CBD online. To ensure you purchase the high-quality CBD oil you seek, allow us to ease those concerns by passing on some useful buying tips. These should help you to weed out the online scammers.

Manufacturing matters

With different CBD oil brands come different extraction methods. Beware of low prices as these companies may be using cheap extraction methods to achieve greater profits. Since CBD can be extracted using solvents some companies will use lower grade solvents to get the job done for fewer dollars.

Toxic substances such as propane, butane, hexane, and pentane are all examples of low-grade CBD extractors. Dangerous to our health, a product containing any of this quartet should be avoided. Ethanol — grain alcohol — or olive oil are viewed as the safest method of processing CBD oil for our consumption.

Last but not least, CBD oil can be extracted through “supercritical CO2 extraction.” This process happens using carbon dioxide under high pressure in ultra-low temperatures. Pricey, high-tech equipment is necessary for this method, the refinement of the oil is complex and specific expertise is required on the production side. The final product, however, is worth it as the CBD oil maintains its purity all the way through.

Using quality cannabis or hemp: Your source matters

This one is simple, to ensure quality use high-quality materials. This is especially important in CBD oil. Cannabis or hemp grown using hydroponics or aquaponics is ideal because both methods don’t require soil to consistently produce high-quality plants which in turn means very effective CBD oil.

Grown in soil both plants absorb whatever is present in the ground where it was cultivated. If the soil was rich and fertile then expect a safe, high-grade CBD oil but if the earth was laden with heavy metals like mercury and lead, the resulting oils will be tainted and toxic.

The presence of such metals in the oil would make it unsafe for humans to consume, especially children. Sadly, some manufacturers only have profit on their minds so investigate where the CBD brand sources their cannabis or hemp. Such information should be available on the retailer’s websites or via their customer service channels.

THC levels

THC is the celebrity cannabinoid present in both cannabis and hemp. This popular psychoactive compound is responsible for getting you “high.” The maximum and acceptable level of THC present in CBD oils should not exceed more than 0.3 percent, which is a trace amount. So be sure to check the labels or request lab results prior to making a purchase.

‘Whole-plant’ or ‘full spectrum’ labels

Another sign of a quality CBD oil is one that was manufactured using the whole plant. A 2015 study showed that using the entire plant instead of a single part ensures that your CBD oil gets the full range of primary and secondary constituents of the cannabis plant.

These include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that are generally believed to synergize with CBD, making the health benefits better than using CBD alone. Again, this is called the “entourage effect”.

Third-party lab results

A reputable brand of CBD oil will have nothing to hide. They will always provide third-party lab results to their customers. These independent labs exist to provide transparency. They ensure that CBD oil is everything it claims to be while protecting Joe Public from potentially-harmful impurities.

Anxiety is the most common mental illness in Canada.In fact, 3 million Canadian adults report having a mood or anxiety disorder, and it’s been estimated that 1 in 4 Canadians will have at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime.

Whether it’s going to a job interview, taking a test, moving, or public speaking, any of these events can invoke nerves for some people, but crippling anxiety for others.

After all, these are all pressure-filled situations where stress or nervousness beforehand is common, even expected.

So when does anxiety become a serious condition and how can cannabis oil help manage symptoms?

If you or someone you know has an anxiety disorder, the next few minutes could prove helpful as we explore how cannabis oil can potentially help manage symptoms and more.

What is anxiety?

At some point everyone feels nervous or worried — this is typical low-level anxiety. Normal or mild anxiety becomes a disorder when the intensity of your uneasy feelings ramp up to an uncomfortable and problematic level. Your emotions become extreme, greatly interfere with your everyday life, and can last for months or even years.

Most people suffering from an anxiety disorder experience it differently than the next person.

There is large number of symptoms associated with chronic anxiety. They range from a thumping heart to nightmares to panic attacks and so on. Since your symptoms may be completely different to another person’s knowing how to spot them is crucial, which leads us to our next topic.

The different types of anxiety

Medical professionals aren’t 100 percent sure what causes anxiety disorders but theories have been floated. Among them are genetics, an underlying physical illness and/or certain traumatic experiences. Severe anxiety affects people in many different ways, listed below are most well-known types.

  • GAD: Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension. It can be triggered by the smallest thing or nothing at all. People suffering with GAD often struggle to control their anxiety and have problems concentrating on everyday tasks.
  • OCD: Obsessive-compulsive disorder occurs when recurrent, unwanted obsessions and/or repetitive compulsions negatively impact or impede a person’s life. These irrational behaviors — such as repetitive hand washing, counting, or cleaning — are often performed in the hope of banishing obsessive thoughts. Choosing not to perform these “rituals” can cause a spike in the sufferer’s anxiety.
  • Panic disorder: Symptoms of this condition include unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear. These bouts are usually accompanied by dizzy spells, chest pain, heart palpitations, restricted breathing and/or abdominal discomfort.
  • PTSD: Often associated with war veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder can develop after experiencing a traumatic event or ordeal in which deadly physical harm occurred or was threatened. Known triggers of this disorder include military combat, natural disasters or those caused by humans, serious accidents or vicious assaults on your person.
  • SAD: Also known as social anxiety disorder, this condition is characterized by a fear of everyday social interactions. Symptoms include intense bouts of anxiety coupled with extreme self-consciousness when faced with a certain social situation. Public speaking or eating in front of others are two examples of triggers. In its most severe form the sufferer can constantly experience symptoms when around others.
  • Agoraphobia: This is a fear of certain places or situations that make the person feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed. A panic attack will usually ensue after the negative feeling. Agoraphobics may try to avoid trigger places and situations to prevent these attacks. This can lead to certain individuals becoming reclusive.
  • Selective mutism:  Affecting mostly children it is an inability to talk in specific situations or places for a long period of time. This selective muted state can interfere with school and interacting with peers. For example, a child may talk at home but refuse to do so at school.

What is CBD oil?

This medicinal liquid is made by extracting cannabidiol – another name for CBD – from the flowers, leaves, and the stalk of the cannabis plant using solvents.

CBD is the second-most present and studied of the cannabinoids. It doesn’t deliver a ‘high’ to the user but instead has been praisedfor its impressive and broad range of therapeutic values.

How CBD oil helps with anxiety

Although more studies are required CBD oil has deservedly gained a reputation in recent years as a potentially-viable treatment for anxiety. It appears the collective interest of researchers has been truly captured. CBD as a treatment for anxiety is currently one of the most well-funded sectors of modern cannabis research.

The future looks bright for the humble, once-neglected cannabinoid. Its multiple therapeutic uses means CBD is even starting to challenge the popularity of its psychoactive cousin THC. Online stats have revealed that ‘CBD oil and anxiety’ rank high among the most searched topics on the web in the field of restorative and cannabis-related medicine.

So what is all the fuss about and how exactly does CBD help those with anxiety disorders?

Let’s delve into the science of it.

CBD interacts with your body’s own natural endocannabinoid system or (ECS). Present in nearly every cell in the body the ECS plays a vital role regulating such things as your digestive system, appetite, mood, memory and perception of pain.

Stress recovery and management is a primary function of the ECS as it relentlessly strives to achieve balance within your body, no matter what type of mayhem or serenity is occurring externally.

While interfacing with CB2 receptors CBD communicates with a neurotransmitter called GABA. Individual messages are then sent by GABA to a series of brain cells, or neurons.

That message usually tells the body it’s an appropriate time to shut down. Since a vast amount of brains cells are inhibited by GABA the results of that shut down are beneficial. They include a reduction in anxiety and a relaxing of the muscles which highlights CBD’s anticonvulsant and anxiolytic qualities.

Then there’s its versatility. A 2015 summary of prior CBD studies came to the conclusion that it’s a very promising treatment for several anxiety disorders. Which includes many of the above-mentioned types such as PTSD, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD, and generalized anxiety disorder.

CBD oil vs conventional anti-anxiety medicine

So you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you’re obviously upset and wondering how to proceed. Before going straight to your doctor in search of medication try using natural methods to tackle your condition first.

Exercise of all kinds such as walking, running, swimming and yoga can help with stress reduction in your life. The same can be said for relaxation methods like meditation, reading or simply taking a warm bath in silence.

This approach should be given a try before medicine is considered. However, if the natural route fails it’s time to make an important choice. Prescription drugs or cannabis extracts. Conventional anti-anxiety medicines are called benzodiazepines. They are like minor tranquilizers and are versatile sedatives.

‘Benzos’ are used as muscle relaxants, to induce sedation for surgery, to treat seizures and to aid those in the depths of alcohol withdrawal. Yes, they have useful functions and can soothe anxiety but what about the downside?

It’s been well documented that benzodiazepines come with an unpleasant collection of side effects. The tamer and most common of these side effects are drowsiness, sedation, loss of balance and dizziness.

However, people on heavier doses may experience amnesia, depression, problems breathing, confusion and disorientation. It seems wrong that a pill to treat an anxiety disorder comes laden with a whole other range of problems.

CBD oil, on the other hand, has very few side effects, none of which are too serious.

It can cause reactions like diarrhea and fatigue in some people and may interfere with certain medications so consult a doctor before trying it.

Although studies are still in their infancy CBD’s  safety profile is already established in a plethora of ways.  With a growing reputation as a respected treatment for several anxiety disorders it seems like the safer, healthier choice.

Aside from benefiting anxiety sufferers CBD appears to be a real cure-all that has the potential to change the world’s medical landscape forever. Multiple studies point to it being a promising treatment for depression, arthritis, epilepsy, certain cancers, psychosis and more.

How to best consume CBD oil

There a few ways to send your CBD oil to its destination. For the fastest results the oil should be dropped straight under the tongue for sublingual ingestion. Another very efficient method is to inhale it through vape pen but avoiding this method with children is recommended.

Then there’s edibles and drinks. CBD oil can be purchased as capsules, candy, foods, or beverages but for convenience you can always just add some of your oil bottle to a meal or a drink.

What about cannabis oil with THC for anxiety?

Cannabis oil goes by several different names. CBD oil falls under its umbrella as does THC oil. It’s a tad confusing but the simple difference is some oils contain non-psychoactive CBD and some contain psychoactive THC. Mixtures of the two are also popular for medical purposes.

THC is the most studied, present and stigmatized of the cannabinoid family. Also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, it is best known as the compound that gets you ‘high’ but that doesn’t mean its therapeutic uses should be overlooked.

Can a psychoactive compound like THC really help with anxiety?

THC and anxiety have a complicated relationship. For some, just one pull off a joint can flare up their anxiety symptoms, inducing worry, panic and stress. Sadly, it doesn’t end there. Heightened paranoia can afflict others following even minimal THC use.

This is understandable because, honestly, today’s THC levels in cannabis have never been higher, excuse the pun. However studies show that most anxiety disorders are not linked to increased cannabis use.

So what about the other side to THC? The one many fail to notice, the more useful side.

When it comes to treating anxiety the majority of people aren’t aware of the low-THC strains out there. CBD heavy strains with just a dash of THC are changing the way anxiety sufferers view the stigmatized cannabinoid. These CBD-THC hybrid strains help with several anxiety disorders, whether they’re turned into oil or consumed in another way.

However, that’s not to say THC-rich strains don’t serve a purpose too. When used in low doses, carefully chosen indicas, sativas and hybrids of the pair can help with the symptoms of GAD, PTSD and SAD.

To sum up

Right now it appears the sky’s the limit for the medicinal capabilities of CBD oil and for anxiety.

The truth is though it’s not going to help everyone — no drug in the anxiety field can claim it will — but it could prove to be a healthier alternative to ‘benzos’ and their harmful side effects.

As always, consult your doctor before trying CBD oil for your anxiety, and remember that calculating your dosage is key.