What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of over 60+ naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds found in Cannabis, an annual herbaceous flowering plant. CBD oil is derived from an organic substance formed in the plant’s secretions. Both marijuana and hemp are forms of cannabis. However, cannabis does not mean marijuana. Cannabis is the genus name and general umbrella term, under which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall. Until recently, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, was the most well-known and studied cannabinoid due to its abundance in marijuana. However, as the second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana and the top non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp, CBD has been gaining momentum in the scientific community and media.
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause any feeling of “high,” which contributes to its legalization across the United States. CBD does not typically have any immediate noticeable effect, though some customers have reported otherwise when using isolates.
Our CBD products and extracts are derived from hemp (not marijuana), and can also be referred to as CBD hemp oil, hemp-derived CBD oil, or plainly “hemp extracts,” since they typically contain more than just CBD. However, CBD oil is different from hemp seed oil and organic hemp oil, as these are derived from hemp seeds (not the resin) and do not contain cannabidiol.
All of Bluebird’s hemp crops are grown legally in Colorado, and all products are rigorously tested for safety, quality, and cannabinoid content.
How does CBD work?
CBD primarily interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a grouping of millions of cannabinoid receptors found throughout your body, but are primarily clustered in the brain and central nervous system. While CBD is a phytocannabinoid, or plant-based cannabinoid, your body also naturally produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids. Almost every organ of your body, including your skin and digestive tract, contains cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system has four primary purposes including neuroprotection, stress relief, immune response, and regulating the body’s general state of balance, impacting faculties such as appetite, sleep, mood, and pain.
Unlike THC, CBD does not interact directly with the two classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). This is why CBD does not cause any psychoactive effect. Instead, CBD inhibits the enzymes that break down endocannabinoids, leading to an increase in your body’s naturally-produced cannabinoids.
CBD’s molecular formula is C21H30O2, and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636.
What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “Ananda,” which translates to “peace”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.
If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what's the other 60%? What's in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?
We extract our hemp oil from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. The oil extracted contains naturally occurring phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), as well as many other types of natural molecules and phytochemical compounds.
Our Colorado hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids. The primary phyto-cannabinoid highlighted in our products is CBD. CBD is an active phyto-cannabinoid in hemp and is also the most abundant, at 40% of the extract’s make-up.
Phyto-cannabinoids are produced in hemp plants through biosynthesis. In addition to CBD, three other significant phyto-cannabinoids in our products are Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabigerol (CBG), and Cannabinol (CBN). Each of these are non-psychoactive and closely related to CBD.
Cannabigerol: When olivetolic acid and Geranyl pyrophosphate combine in the plants, they produce cannabigerolic acid. Many cannabinoids are made from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). CBG, one of the phyto-cannabinoids found in our extracts, is essentially the same as CBGA, but in non-acidic form.
It can be extremely difficult to extract CBG because most varieties of cannabis plants convert CBG into THC or CBD by the time the plant is mature for harvest. We are strive to offer hemp extracts that are endowed with CBG components.
Cannabichromene: CBC, another phyto-cannabinoid found in our products, is produced over time within hemp plants when CBGA and the CBCA enzyme synthesize to create CBCA, an acidic form of CBC.
Cannabinol: Unlike CBC, CBN is not derived from CBGA. Instead, it is formed in hemp plants when an acid called CBNA undergoes decarboxylation.
In addition to phyto-cannabinoids, our extracts are composed of other naturally occurring molecules such as:
- Amino acids
- Vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D)
- Fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6)
- Trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium)
- Nitrogenous compounds
Note that the Cannabis sativa L. our growers harvest is a type of carefully cultivated hemp. Hemp is a legal plant that the USDA defines as any Cannabis sativa L. variety containing THC concentrations of no more than 0.3%. This means the plant produces little to no THC, the phyto-cannabinoid found in marijuana that causes a feeling of intoxication.
Another key characteristic of our delicately crafted hemp is its surplus of CBD in comparison to marijuana.
Our hemp extracts may be extremely low in THC, but they contain an abundance of terpenes. Terpenes are organic compounds and isomeric hydrocarbons (C10H16) found within hemp flower excretions. At Bluebird Botanicals, we develop the genetics for our hemp in highly-specialized Colorado greenhouses and source our crops from outdoor farms, which use organic growing methods and no pesticides. These farms cultivate specialty hemp plants specifically bred to for the production of hemp and CBD oil.
In most cases, each cannabis plant strain’s unique characteristics are determined by the scent of its terpenes. These peculiar and powerful molecules influence the taste and feel of hemp extract. In addition to being an essential component of our supplements, terpenes are commonly leveraged in the production of balsams, essential oils, and other plant by-products.
The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
What's the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plants, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Colorado hemp we’re now using!
99% of the time marijuana has a large concentration of THC compared to CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a larger concentration of CBD compared to THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.
In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Hemp vs. Marijuana Derived Cannabinoids: Are they the same thing?
The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Marijuana contains a signficant amount of the chemical compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which causes the “high” feeling. However, marijuana is usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as CBD and CBG, making hemp the preferable option.
CBD comes from Cannabis sativa L, an annual herbaceous flowering plant. Cannabis sativa L. is the plant species, and does not mean our products will have the sativa like effects typically associated with those strains of marijuana. The indica and sativa distinction does not have as much bearing on the plant’s effects without the presence of THC. Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis are all subspecies of Cannabis Sativa L. Our hemp extract is made with cultivars that are bred with approximately 70% sativa and 30% indica genetics.
In addition to CBD, Cannabis sativa L contains organic compounds called terpenes. Terpenes are isomeric hydrocarbons (C10H16) used to create essential oils, balsams, and other by-products. When chemically modified through oxidation or other methods, terpenes become terpenoids (sometimes referred to as isoprenoids). Vitamin A is one example of a terpenoid.
Across all strains, Cannabis sativa L. plants contain 120 identified terpene compounds. These terpenes exist within the resin found on hemp or marijuana flowers. The scent produced by the terpenes helps to determine the quality of each particular cannabis plant strain. It also influences taste, feel, and other senses affected by interaction with the plant or its by-products.
As explained in “Terpene synthases from Cannabis sativa,” a report published by researchers Judith K. Booth, Jonathan E. Page, and Jörg Bohlmann, CBD is a class of terpenophenolic metabolites; These are organic compounds made in part by terpenes and natural phenols.
The interactions between terpenes and cannabinoids vary across Cannabis plant strains and each plant produces unique properties.
Booth, Page, and Bohlmann give the example of sesquiterpene β-caryophyllene. This terpene interacts with mammalian cannabinoid receptors. Effects may change based on the blend of cannabinoid and terpene. It is proposed that terpenes provide unique benefits when combined with hemp supplements.
For our products, we use CBD oil that is extracted from hemp, a legal plant low in THC. The USDA defines industrial hemp as any part or derivative of Cannabis sativa L. with no more than 0.3% THC concentration on a dry-weight basis. This definition applies to both seeds, fibers, and other derivatives of Cannabis sativa L.
As noted in the report by Booth, Page, and Bohlmann, various strains of cannabis plants produce terpenes differently. Commonly, hemp plants contain less resin than marijuana plants. The amount of resin found in hemp plants, however, does not affect the quality of CBD that we obtain from them. In fact, hemp plants are a far better source of CBD than marijuana plants.
What is the best method of use?
Our consumable capsules and extracts are derived from legal hemp plants. They are food supplements intended to be thoughtfully incorporated into the diet and taken orally. They are not sold for medical purposes such as preventing or treating diseases or ailments.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
Taking Dietary Supplements
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services suggests that consumers should prioritize eating a variety of nutritious foods over taking dietary supplements. No dietary supplement should take the place of a healthful diet. That being said, the agency does allow that some supplements can help support overall health and provide people with the nutrients they need. For instance, vitamin D and calcium help strengthen bones and omega-3 fatty acids may help some who have heart disease.
In the U.S., dietary supplements come with serving size suggestions located on the Supplement Facts label. We tend to encourage a “less is more” mentality when it comes to the amount of oils or capsules our customers consume on a regular basis. (We recommend starting out with 15 drops.) That being said, the serving size of our supplements is a matter of personal preference. We strongly encourage Bluebird customers to experiment with our products and consult with a healthcare professional as needed. This is the best way to identify the amount and frequency of consumption that works best for each individual.
The benefits and risks of some supplements on the market are undetermined by federal agencies. These supplements will undergo further study before any definitive claims may be made about their value to the human body. Our hemp extracts fall under this category of supplements. Consumers must be aware that just because a dietary supplement is on the market does not mean it is federally tested and approved. Many dietary supplements, like CBD oil, may be marketed before the FDA has rated their efficacy.
Our supplements are derived from industrial hemp, not to be confused with marijuana. Industrial hemp is a legal plant from which many popular foods are harvested. To create our products, we extract a full spectrum of compounds from the hemp plant. This full spectrum contains a stunningly varied array of phyto-cannabinoids, including CBD, CBC, CBG, CBN, and much more. Our extracts contain less than 0.3% concentration of THC, the component from Cannabis sativa L. that causes a high.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services also recommends that consumers should be aware of any active ingredients that dietary supplements may contain. An active ingredient of a substance is any component that produces a biological or chemical effect on the body. Our products do contain active ingredients. The most abundant active ingredient in our supplements is the CBD in our hemp extract.
Because of their active ingredients, it’s possible to experience side effects when taking dietary supplements. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services maintains that people are most likely to experience negative side effects by combining supplements or by taking them in place of or in addition to prescribed medicines.
Considered by many to be a very safe plant, hemp has a long and rich history of human consumption. Bluebird is proud to be a part of this legacy by providing the highest quality hemp consumables. You can learn more about the safety of our hemp extract supplements here.
Here is more specific information about the method of use and active ingredients in our products:
Extracts & Concentrated Extracts
These products are intended for internal consumption.
Because our hemp extract is a natural supplement that comes from a plant, it has a taste that some consider to be bitter and strong. While many of our customers like the flavor, some would rather find a way to mask it. If that’s you, try mixing the oil in honey, applesauce, or a smoothie. Another great option is to try our hemp extract in capsule form. These are easy to swallow with a glass of water or your favorite juice.
- Hemp Capsules: These products are intended for internal consumption.
- Isolates: Our CBD isolates are not intended for internal consumption.
- CBD Vape Oil: Our vape oil is intended to be vaporized, not internally consumed.
- Pet Products: These products are intended for internal consumption by pets.
What's the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?
The suggested serving size for our oil supplements is 15 drops, but we generally recommend experimenting a bit to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, and some will use upwards of the max servings per day as indicated on the supplement labels.
Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?
As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment, though there is so much information and personal accounts to read about on the web.
When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Hemp Classic, Hemp Complete, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.
The main difference between the three Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.
We also offer capsules for those that don’t like the taste and CBD Vaporizer products for those that prefer that experience.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a CBD hemp extract?
Definitely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our full spectrum hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a full plant extraction with many components not typically found in the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.
Article Credit: Bluebird Botanicals