cannabis oil and hemp
Last updated: June 19, 2020

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Even since before the recent legalisation of marijuana in Canada (October 17th 2018), pretty much everyone had already heard of cannabis. Its psychoactive effects made the plant popular for purely recreational use. But did you know that the marijuana plant possesses a compound with a wide gamut of healing properties? If you want to learn more, read on! In this new article we present cannabidiol, a natural healing remedy derived from marijuana.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is obtained from the dried leaves and flowers of cannabis sativa. It should not be confused with THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the molecule responsible for the euphoric effects of marijuana. On the contrary, CBD has an anticonvulsant effect and within the body it is able to reduce the transmission of painful signals to the brain. Today, it is used to treat many conditions, including anxiety and providing pain relief.

Key Facts

  • CBD is a cannabinoid with no psychoactive effects. It does not produce alterations of the behaviour nor of the perception.
  • It has been shown to be effective as a treatment for treatment-resistant epilepsy.
  • Some experts see CBD as a solution against insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain and nausea. These supposed benefits are currently under study.

The best CBD products available to Canadians

In Canada there are so many CBD products on the market now…. some are amazing… some not so much! Definitely organic CBD products are the way to go though. With so many products and characteristics, it may be overwhelming trying to find the right one. After researching the CBD market in Canada, we decided to create a ranking with the best products from the best manufacturers that are available to you. This list should help you find the right product and format to best suit your needs.

CannTrust — CBD (drops)

CannTrust is a federally licensed and regulated producer of medical cannabis, backed by more than 40 years of pharmaceutical and healthcare expertise. The manufacturer is committed to research and innovation, as well as contributing to the growing body of evidence-based research regarding the use and efficacy of cannabis. This particular product is the winner of the ‘Top High CBD Oil’ title from the Canadian Cannabis Awards in 2018. There are 40 mL of cannabis oil with over 1000 mg of activated cannabinoids per bottle

The formula is diluted into MCT (Medium-Chain-Triglyceride) oil for best absorption. That means 25 mg of CBD per mL, and 2 mg of THC per mL. These drops are easily consumed orally, each bottle is supplied with a measured 1 mL syringe graduated at 0.1 mL increments, where 1 mL of oil = 25 mg of activated cannabinoids. The 40 mL content is equivalent to 10 g of dried cannabis product. This product is made from hybrid varieties of cannabis.

Kootenay — Root Beer Edibles (hard candy)

Kootenay is a manufacturer deeply committed to providing their customers with the best CBD products. Their CBD is extracted from the finest hemp plants and cultivated under the highest qualities standards for Canadian farms. In addition, their CBD is obtained using a supercritical CO2 extraction method that makes our products the purest in the Canadian market. This product is made in the form of hard cadges and root-beer flavoured. There is 25 mg of CBD per candy, and there are 4 candies in each pack.

These Kootenay treats are handmade by a white hat chef. Crafted with CBD, these root-beer candies are perfect for any medical user wanting the relaxing, non-psychoactive effects of CBD in a tasty root-beer treat. Made from Full spectrum CBD, you get the added effects of full plant terpenes and cannabinoids. This manufacturer promises that their assorted hard candy CBD edibles will make you feel uplifted, relaxed, and create an overall feeling of happiness.

Creating Brighter Days — Pet CBD Tincture (drops)

Creating Brighter Days has set a goal to help care for your pet’s quality of life through restorative, healthful products. Their tailored, vet-approved formulations contain therapeutic cannabidiol (CBD), medicinal herbs and organic, non-GMO superfoods, resulting in quality nutraceutical products that heal and rejuvenate. All of our products contain medicinal ingredients called “adaptogens”, whose primary effect is levelling the stressors that result in inflammation—a root cause for many illnesses. Formulations and dosages in our treats have been carefully tested specifically for animal use and are vet-approved.

Their CBD products have been shown to alleviate pain and rebuild degeneration. This formula brings your pet’s body into alignment. The medicinal ingredients include 99.9% pure hemp derived CBD to promote balance and create homeostasis, pure coconut MCT oil with far-reaching anti-inflammatory benefits offering support for brain health, antioxidant-rich hemp seed oil to increase immunity and improve cardiovascular health, and pumpkin seed oil to reduce anxiety and prevent illness. Please note that this product is not water soluble, so it should not be added to your pet’s water.

Island Therapeutics — Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture (drops)

Founded and grown within the beautiful Cowichan Valley, Island Therapeutics specialises in handcrafted transdermal patches and other CBD infused natural healing remedies. Their passion in the cannabis industry shines through all of the delicately fashioned products they sell. Whatever the purpose for using CBD, whether it be to manage anxiety, pain, inflammation, depression, or simply levelling out your high, you are sure to love the effects of this full-spectrum Island Therapeutics CBD tincture.

This product is handcrafted using the highest quality materials available, these tinctures are sure to help you on your medical journey. Their full spectrum CBD tincture also contains other active plant compounds, that the CBD isolate tincture does not. This gives it the potential for a wider array of health benefits, as well as in some cases, people tend to find CBD more effective when used alongside other compounds of the cannabis plant.

Active ReLeaf — CBD Tincture – Natural (drops)

Active ReLeaf is a Vancouver based company and their mission is to provide new, unique and innovative delivery systems of the active ingredients in plants that can provide life changing benefits. To provide options and choice. To share and inspire holistic wellness by designing, developing and producing the world’s most innovative and best performing plant-based products. Their commitment to the values of transparency, sustainability and freedom guarantees best practices and top quality products. Active ReLeaf is about the movement to embrace mother nature and the powerful healing qualities she brings.

They explore options to help both our physical and mental well beings. By providing unique and innovative delivery systems of plants which can provide life changing benefits. This tincture is formulated from the whole hemp plant extract. All natural C8+C10 oil which is a 100% coconut-derived source of powerful medium-chain fatty acids that keep the body and mind at peak performance has been added to the formula. Instructions suggest taking 1-2 droppers every 3-4 hours, drop under tongue and hold for 30 seconds for maximum relief. There are 32 mg per dropper. Consult your family doctor for appropriate dosing.

Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about the CBD

The marijuana plant has been used since ancient times as an ornamental, textile and medicinal
element. However, our society has for a long time relegated cannabis to its purely recreational function. A change in mentality begun in last decades and now CBD from hemp, in all of its glory is one of the most sought after products in the Canadian cannabis market.  Its healing properties are being discovered across the globe and much research by endocannabinoid scientists is proving CBD is beneficial for a wide variety of health conditions.

Male biotechnology scientist chemist working in the lab

Isolating the CBD from THC allows you to take full advantage of its medicinal properties without getting high.
(Source: Amikishiyev: 115143267/123rf.com)

What is CBD exactly?

CBD is a non psychoactive cannabinoid that has shown amazing results for various ailments. CBD influences the release and uptake of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, leading to many potential therapeutic uses. Crucially, it does not contain any THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis oil; in other words, which does not get you high. These molecules have the ability to interact with cannabinoid receptors present in the body, modulating processes such as hunger, sleep, mood, body temperature and memory. They are divided into two main types:

  • Type 1 (CB1) cannabinoid receptors: They are present in the brain, liver, pancreas and peripheral fat.
  • Type 2 (CB2) cannabinoid receptors: They are found mainly in the cells of the immune system.

Cannabinoids can be divided into: phytocannabinoids (naturally synthesized by the cannabis plant), endocannabinoids (created by the body itself) and synthetic cannabinoids (manufactured in laboratories). CBD is a phytocannabinoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Cannabidiol was discovered in 1940, although its effects were not known until the 1960s. It was concluded that the psychoactive effects of THC are a product of interaction with the CB1 receptor. CBD has little affinity to this receptor, so it retains its medicinal effects without altering consciousness.

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Did you know that the first endocannabinoid discovered was baptised with the name “Anandamide”? In Sanskrit, this word means “inner happiness”.

How does CBD work in my body?

Although cannabidiol has little affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors, it is capable of binding to other cellular structures. This molecule has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective effects. In the table below you will find more specific information about the main effects of CBD on the organism:

System Function
Nervous Neurogenesis, creation of neuronal connections and reduction of inflammation.
Immune Mediator for the suppression of inflammation.
Gastrointestinal Decreased inflammation, reduced intestinal sensitivity and delayed gastric disposal.
Metabolism Multiple effects on appetite and energy production.
Respiratory Anti-inflammatory qualities and acts as a bronchodilator.
Cardiovascular Vasodilatation.
Integumentary (Skin, nails and hair) Anti-inflammatory properties and decrease in sebum production.

Currently, all these beneficial effects of CBD are under study. Most clinical trials have demonstrated the positive effects of cannabidiol in animals. Even though studies on human volunteers show promising results, it will be necessary to examine these findings further before firm conclusions can be drawn.

Finally, you must bear in mind that these actions refer to the use of CBD isolated and separate from THC. If these two substances are used together (e.g. cannabis smoked for recreational use), the effects of CBD will be different. In that case, the CBD will modulate the psychoactive actions of the THC, softening the euphoric effect.

cannabis oil and hemp

Many studies show that CBD oil can relieve the symptoms of many diseases.
(Source: Roi: 86787622/ 123rf.com)

What are the health benefits of CBD?

In recent years, CBD has become popular as a natural remedy for symptoms that can’t really be measured or tracked with modern medicine. Its use became popular after successfully treating a form of recurrent epilepsy in children. The following list shows a series of pathologies that respond to the administration of CBD as treatment:

  • Seizures and epilepsy: The use of CBD reduces the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures in certain treatment-resistant patients.
  • Chronic neuropathic pain: This pain, caused by a nerve injury, is very difficult to treat with current medicine. Some people successfully use CBD to relieve their painful symptoms.
  • Fibromyalgia: This disease produces generalised pain, insomnia and chronic fatigue. The use of CBD achieved an improvement in the symptoms of certain consumers.
  • Acne: The administration of CBD (topically or orally) appears to be able to decrease sebum formation and skin inflammation.
  • Hypertension: CBD has a small antihypertensive effect, which could contribute to a decrease in blood pressure in hypertensive people.
  • Nausea and vomiting: CBD has been used to treat the nausea and vomiting that results from chemotherapy.
  • Lack of appetite: Cannabidiol can stimulate appetite in sick, weakened and malnourished people.
  • Anxiety and insomnia: CBD has anxiolytic properties. It is not a sedative, however, it seems to favour the conciliation of sleep and alleviates nervousness.
  • Obesity: CBD appears to be able to alter the composition of body fat, facilitating its metabolism.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease: The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD can alleviate the discomfort caused by these chronic diseases.
  • Dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse): CBD, used in the form of lubricant or oil, allows pleasant and pain-free sexual intercourse.
  • Endometriosis: CBD can alleviate the pain caused by this disease that affects millions of women.
  • Asthma: Because CBD has acts as a bronchodilator, it has been found useful for treating asthma in those resistant to other treatments.
chemical formulas of elements THC CBD in marijuana medical strai

Many studies show that CBD oil can relieve the symptoms of many diseases.
(Source: Roi: 86787622/ 123rf.com)

Keep in mind that these results have been obtained from clinical trials that are still in very early stages. Many of these effects have appeared in-vitro or during animal experimentation. Further CBD research will be needed before firm conclusions can be drawn about these effects.

Cannabidiol also appears to work against more serious diseases. Some people argue that it is capable of slowing the progression of cancer cells. This statement is very enticing, but still needs to be corroborated by clinical data. Canadian experts are tirelessly investigating the veracity of this hypothesis.

In what formats is CBD available?

The making of CBD products starts with choosing a marijuana strain with a high content level of CBD. These products are the processes to create a resinous oil. Then, different methods can be used isolate this molecule by means of a series of chemical processes, like its extraction with alcohol or with CO2, leaving only the pure CBD oil. The cannabidiol will then be packaged in one of the following available formats:

Format Onset of effects Warning
CBD Oil 20-40 minutes May contain alcohol, vinegar, ethanol or artificial flavours.
Edible CBD (infusions, confectionery) 2 hours May give an unpleasant taste to foods.
Creams, Lotions 20-30 minutes Does not penetrate into the bloodstream – effects are limited to the area where it was applied.
CBD patches 4-6 hours Although topical in application, it does release its contents into the bloodstream.
Inhalers (vape)] Immediate Requires several inhalations to be effective. Effects Dissipate Rapidly.
CBD Capsules 2 hours Capsule may contain toxic ingredients. Gelatine for example, is not suitable for vegans.

In this supplemental guide we will focus on the uses of CBD oil. Other forms, such as smoked cannabidiol or vaping are associated with harmful effects at a pulmonary level – this is caused by the combustion of the product in the respiratory tract. The soft-gels contain gelatine, so they are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

The safest and most versatile form of CBD management and ingestion is oil. It will give you much more freedom when it comes to choosing the dosage and the most suitable ingestion mode for your specific case. Remember to choose a trusted manufacturer and, if you’re vegan, check that your item is free of animal byproducts.

What is the Canadian stance on the use of CBD

As Canada continues to quickly become an industry leader in holistic health matters, the current legalisation of marijuana in Canada allows for CBD oil to be prescribed for medical use and as a food supplement. Recreational cannabis was legalised on October 17, 2018, under the Federal Government of Canada’s Cannabis Act, but there still remains quite a bit of confusion about what products are legal. CBD oil made from cannabis plants, and produced by Health Canada approved Licensed Producers are legal, both medicinally and recreationally.

The use of CBD oil was actually legal through a doctors prescription since before legalisation. This was mainly due to the fact this product does not have any psychoactive effects. Before, it was subject to restrictive legislation which made it very difficult to buy and sell. Now, the number of manufacturers making quality products is rising and we are now able to purchase CBD oil in legal recreational outlets such as the Ontario Cannabis store, or approved brick & mortar retailers. However, keep in mind that CBD oil found in health food stores, convenience stores, or in illegal dispensaries is not legal or regulated for quality or potency.

How to use CBD oil?

CBD is a substance currently under study for which no Recommended Daily Allowance has been established. In general, the intake of amounts less than 25 mg/day is considered a “low dose” of CBD. The “average dose” is between 25-50 mg/day. Above that figure there is talk of “high doses”. Although in many other countries the ingestion of this product is not allowed, its ingestion is actually growing in popularity other nations, such as the USA.

Today, more expert consumers recommend starting with the lowest possible dose (2.5 mg twice a day) and progressively increasing the amount until the desired effect is achieved. Moreover, these oils can be used safely topically on the skin. You can apply it on inflamed and painful areas (for example, in cases of arthritis). You can also use it to treat acne, seborrhoea, and atopic dermatitis. Simply apply this oil over the problem areas and let it be absorbed.

CBD oil can come as a tincture; in a bottle with an eye dropper. It can also come in pre-measured capsules, making it easy to get the correct serving amount each time.  CBD comes in THC Free forms and is usually a CBD Isolate product. CBD can also be vaped and there are some really fun vape products in a multitude of crazy flavours! You can also buy CBD edibles in the form of many foods. With so much selection be sure you buy the correct CBD product for your situation.

What side effects are related to the use of CBD?

The use of CBD is generally considered safe. This substance is rapidly absorbed and completely eliminated in the urine after about 18 hours. Cases of drowsiness have been reported after using very high concentrations (more than 150 mg/day) of cannabidiol. Other side effects that are rare but may occur are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Less saliva production (dry mouth)
  • Change in appetite and body weight
  • Hypotension and dizziness
  • Disturbances in gait (clumsiness)

Serious cannabinoid side effects (such as paranoia and memory disturbances) are associated with use of THC. Moreover, if you use CBD frequently, we recommend that you monitor your liver enzyme levels: alterations in these parameters have been described by some people.

WHOWHO Expert Committee

“CBD is generally considered to have relatively low toxicity, although not all possible side effects have been studied.

What are the possible contraindications for the use of CBD?

Like any substance, CBD has a number of contraindications. Although this cannabinoid is considered safe if used by healthy people, individuals with certain pathologies should exercise caution when considering the use of this substance. The main pathologies that can negatively interact with the use of CBD are:

  • Parkinson’s disease: Very high doses of CBD can worsen the ability of these patients to move.
  • Severe psychiatric illnesses: A relief of the symptoms of these illnesses has been described for the first few days, followed by a “rebound” effect that can worsen the psychiatric state.
  • Liver disorders: CBD is metabolised in the liver. If this organ does not function properly, the CBD cannot be removed from the organism.
  • Severe Cardiovascular Disorders: Cannabinoids have been associated in general with an increased incidence of cardiovascular issues. People with some type of heart disease should exercise caution and consult their family doctor when using CBD.

These contraindications are associated to the oral consumption of CBD oil. If you use the product by topical application you should not worry about these possible negative side effects of this substance. The amount of CBD that penetrates through the skin into the blood is minimal.

To date, no adverse effects on the foetus have been reported following the use of CBD. However, experts caution that there is insufficient evidence to ensure that cannabidiol is safe for consumption during pregnancy and lactation. Therefore, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should refrain from using CBD products.

Cannabis oil, CBD oil cannabis extract, Medical cannabis concept.

CBD is not psychoactive and it is legal in several countries of the European Union, several states of the United States and in Canada.
(Source: Oubkaew: 105348048/123rf.com)

Can CBD negatively affect my medication?

CBD oil that is ingested orally will reach the liver and be metabolised by a series of proteins known as “cytochrome P450”. Many medications and drugs also depend on the actions of cytochrome P450 for their correct metabolism. Be careful if you use any of the following substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Corticosteroids
  • Statements
  • Antihypertensive
  • Antihistamines
  • Pro-kinetics
  • HIV treatments
  • Immunosuppressive
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Anti-arrhythmic
  • Antibiotics
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-epileptic
  • Beta-blockers
  • IECAS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory)
  • Oral diabetics

Concomitant use of CBD and any of these substances could delay the elimination of both compounds from the body, increasing both CBD and drug reserves above safe levels. If you are being treated with any of these substances, or if you are a regular alcohol user, consult your physician before using CBD.

James GiordanoProfessor of Neurology and Biochemistry at Georgetown University.

“The more alcohol you drink, the greater the effect of CBD, obtaining a potentiated effect that is superior to that of these substances separately.”

What is the price of CBD and which is the best product?

In the case of these products we recommend that you invest a little more to purchase a quality CBD product. The extraction and isolation of cannabidiol is a delicate process, requiring the use of expensive and technologically advanced machinery. It should then be packaged in an opaque container that protects against oxidation from light and air exposure.

It is essential to know in which substance the CBD is dissolved in. Artificial oils are cheaper, but toxic. On the other hand, olive oil, beeswax and coconut oil will provide you with vitamin E, Omega 3 acids and antioxidants. Your health is priceless, so we recommend that you choose the most high-quality options. You can find quality products in a wide price range, depending on format and concentration, items can go anywhere form C$10 – C$100+.

Shopping Criteria

Use extreme caution when deciding to purchase a CBD product. Even though its legalisation in Canada has open the door to a vast market that is now flooded with products, not all manufacturers adhere to Canadian quality control standards. In order to ensure you get a reliable product, it is important that you keep these purchase criteria in mind at the time of purchase:

Origin of ingredients

Quality CBD comes from hemp… and hemp loves to suck everything out of the soil… which means, if you are buying sub par CBD products from hemp that is not organic, you are ingesting whatever that plant was grown in.  Be sure to check your CBD products for lab analysis. Reputable companies post their certificates of analysis online. Today Canada imports most of its CBD products from the U.S.

The USA grows and manufacturers some of the most amazing CBD products on the market. Furthermore, choose a manufacturer that extracts CBD oil from natural sources. Synthetic cannabinoids are cheaper to produce, but have a number of undesirable side effects. Also, make sure to choose a brand that doesn’t use plants treated with pesticides. It’s crucial that your CBD oil is free of toxic substances!

CBD concentration

CBD oil products contain cannabidiol in varying concentrations. The mildest effects will be achieved with low amounts of CBD (around 5%), while preparations with 10-15% cannabidiol will be reserved for more severe cases requiring a fast and potent effect.

Concentration of other cannabinoids

Although CBD oil should contain only this cannabinoid as an active ingredient, small concentrations of THC have been detected 1 in every 5 articles. This molecule has psychotropic properties, so make sure your oil contains only CBD if you want to avoid euphoric and hallucinogenic effects.

Type of oil used

Once the CBD has been extracted from the cannabis plant, it must be dissolved in a suitable vehicle for ingestion. Olive oil and sesame seed oil are the most popular compounds when diluting cannabidiol. If you are allergic to any of these substances, be well informed before purchasing one of these items.

Packaging and preservation

Choose a package that allows the CBD to be stored in optimum conditions for as long as possible. A dropper dispenser and an opaque container will insulate the CBD from exposure to air and light, extending the shelf-life of the article. Once opened, cannabidiol oil remains in good condition for about three months.

Best value for your money

The CBD is perishable and its price is high. Make the most of it! If this is the first time you are looking to purchase CBD, we recommend that you start with lower concentrations, which are much cheaper. Items with more cannabidiol are more expensive and these are more suitable for experienced consumers.

Summary

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a very promising substance with continued growing popularity among Canadians. Its great potential when faced with those symptoms resistant to current medicine intrigues doctors, chemists and pharmacists alike. It is possible that in the coming years we will see a change of attitude towards this molecule. One thing is clear: CBD is here to stay.

Although CBD is a substance with wonderful properties, it should never replace medical treatment. Do not make drastic decisions and consult with experts before starting treatment with cannabidiol. If you use this molecule with caution, you can improve your quality of life while avoiding any unpleasant effects.

Did you like our CBD guide? In that case, don’t hesitate to leave a comment with your thoughts and share this article.

(Featured image source: Roi: 86787622/123rf.com)

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Our writers and editors at SUPPLEMENTNATION.ca focus on making your life easier by selecting the best available everyday products and supplements in the Canadian market.