What Is CBD Oil And How Does It Work?

What is CBD? Cannabidiol (CBD) is an element of the cannabis plant and has generated a lot of interest in recent years. CBD works in the body on a molecular level through multiple molecular pathways. CBD works by passing through cell membranes with the help of fatty acid binding protein (FABP) and the fatty acid takes the CBD into the cell walls. the FABP assures better absorption of the CBD.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS), an extension of our Central Nervous System, is composed of receptors, neurotransmitters and enzymes. The ECS receptors in the brain are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood and memory, synaptic plasticity, and motor learning. The ECS interacts with Cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant and Endocannabinoid that are produced by our own bodies. CBD and other Cannabinoids bind to the ECS receptors leading to a positive impact on health and overall well-being.

What Is The Difference Between Hemp And Marijuana?

Hemp and Marijuana are both derived from the Cannabis plant.

Cannabis is a family of plants with two primary classifications – Indica and Sativa. While marijuana can be considered a member of either the Indica or Sativa families, Hemp is a member of the Cannabis Sativa family.    Hemp contains 20%+ of CBD while Marijuana contains only 10%+ of CBD. Marijuana contains more than 20% THC (THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol gives the euphoric or dysphoric effects) while Hemp only contains less than 0.3% THC.

Health Benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD)

Various scientific and clinic studies supports CBD potential as a treatment for a wide range of symptoms including but not limited to:

  • Addictions
  • Antibiotic-resistant infections
  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • Joint Pain
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Nausea
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Reduces:
    • Risk of artery blockage
    • Anxiety
    • Insulin resistance and moderating blood sugars
    • Frequency and severity of Seizures
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stress

A high quality CBD Oil is a safe and legal option for those who can’t afford conventional pharmaceuticals or would like to try a natural healing alternative with little to no side effects.

Extraction Processes

Once the hemp leaves are harvested, how do we get CBD?  It has to be extracted from the leaves, stalks, and flowers of the plants.

  • CO2 Extraction- The CO2 method is the most common extraction for botanical elements. Even this common process is broken down further into Sub-critical and Super-critical Extractions.
    • Sub-critical CO2 Extraction: This method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and low temperatures to preserve, and maintain the purity of the oil.   Sub-critical CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller sized yields than super-critical, however they retain the important oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant.
    • Super-critical CO2 Extraction: Super-critical is a high pressure and heat procedure that harms most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much bigger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes.
  • Ethanol and other Solvents- High grade grain alcohol or other solvents can be used to create cannabis oil appropriate for vape pen cartridges and other products. The downside is this extraction method destroys plant waxes, other cannabinoids and chlorophyll.
  • Olive oil- Extra virgin olive oil can also be used to extract cannabis oil.  However, cannabis-infused olive oil whether CBD rich or THC dominant is perishable and should be stored in a cool, dark place.

Full Spectrum or Isolate?

Chances are you’ve seen some Full Spectrum or Isolate CBD Oil.  What’s the difference and which is best for you?

Isolate CBD Oil contains only CBD (cannabidiol).  Some argue that Isolate is the purest form of CBD.  During the extraction process they ISOLATE the CBD and remove the waxes, terpenes and other nutritious elements in the plant.

Full Spectrum Oil uses the entire plant.  In Full Spectrum you are getting the valuable CBD along with more than 100 different cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant.  Some of the other cannabinoids offer antibacterial properties along with  anti-inflammatory properties.  Terpenes is in other plants also.  This is what gives citrus and pine their aromas.  The use of terpenes assists in treating pain and relieving anxiety.

What is the Oil In CBD Oil?

Now that we know what CBD is and how it works then how does it get in the body? Once CBD is extracted from the plant it then needs a carrier to transport it throughout the body. Various carrier oils are used in CBD Oil products. The oil helps preserve the CBD and dilutes it into the various strengths. As we learned earlier, CBD needs a Fatty Acid Binding Protein to help get into the cell walls. Depending on the brand you may see some ingredients like Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, MCT Oil, Olive Oil, Sesame Oil and Sunflower Oil. Is one more beneficial than another? We will explore the various Oils and find out.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil has sparked a growing interest in human nutrition, food industry, and cosmetics. The monounsaturated fatty acids benefits the cardiovascular system and has anti-inflammatory effects. Avocado Oil is most commonly extracted with the cold pressed method.

Coconut Oil

The Benefits of coconut oil are well documented. It contains high antioxidants, slows down the aging process, aids in liver health, and also has cardiovascular and weight loss benefits. A good quality Coconut Oil is extracted by cold pressed. Coconut Oil is found as refined and unrefined. Refined has gone through a bleaching process and has filtered out any impurities. Unrefined coconut oil has no additives and retains the flavor of the coconut meat.

Grape Seed Oil

Grape Seed oil is a good source of vitamin E. However, Grape Seed Oil possesses a lot of polyunsaturated fats, making it one of the least effective carrier oils for CBD. This is because CBD mixes easily and more effectively with saturated fats.

Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil

Don’t confuse Hemp Seed Oil with CBD Oil. CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil come from different parts of the cannabis plant. CBD Oil uses the stalk, flowers, and leaves, while Hemp Seed Oil comes from the seeds of the plant. The seeds do not contain the same levels of compounds as the plant itself, but they still have nutrients, fatty acids, and useful antioxidants. The small, brown seeds are rich in protein, fiber, fatty acids, omega-3s and omega-6s. Hemp Seed Oil has antioxidant properties and may reduce symptoms of various ailments. Hemp seeds are said to be a super food and may be the most nutritionally complete food source in the world.


MCT Oil is a man made fatty acid and it stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride. MCT molecules are smaller than those in most fats and this makes them easier to digest. You can absorb MCT in your bloodstream quickly.  This is usually made from Coconut or Palm Oil.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil is higher in antioxidants than many other oils due to the least amount of processing required in extracting the oil. The oil is simply pressed from the fruit of the olive tree. The FDA even recommends taking 2 tablespoons each day of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and to reduce inflammation.

Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil is rich in copper, zinc, and magnesium and very beneficial for symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis and has anti-inflammatory properties, reduce swelling of joints, and can strengthen bones. Like other nuts and seeds, Sesame Oil can be dangerous as it can trigger allergies and some are severe.

Sunflower Oil

It is true that Sunflower Oil is high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 which we hear is a healthy combination. The truth is the Omega 3 and Omega 6 are effective in a 1 to 1 ration. Sunflower Oil has up to 70% Omega 6 which can increase inflammation. Inflammation correlates to heart disease, diabetes, increased risk of cancer and many other conditions.


Now we know what is CBD Oil, how it works in the body, the various extraction methods and carrier oils then which of the many hundreds of products should we try?  I’ll be sharing with you products and features of some of the most common or newest brands and products you can buy today.