What is CBD?
You might be hearing a lot about CBD in articles, media, and by word-of-mouth. The CBD industry is slowly on the rise, with more businesses now supplying the product as a supplement or skincare ingredient.
But what exactly is CBD, and why are people so crazy about it?
CBD, known in full as cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent chemical found in the cannabis (Sativa) plant; this plant is also referred to as hemp, which is a type of Sativa specifically containing more CBD (the much-vaunted cannabinoid we’re going to focus on in this article) and less THC (the thing that is, generally, associated with all the ‘druggy’ or 'psychoactive' parts of cannabis). THC is usually found in high amounts in the cannabis plant, which is why hemp is typically grown and seen as the world's primary source of CBD.
The word cannabis can actually be a pretty broad term; it basically refers to any organic product, or cannabinoid, derived from the cannabis Sativa plant. CBD is one of these cannabinoids. The reason why so many people are interested in the balancing effects of CBD is due to a host of newfound scholarly research which suggests that CBD has some serious clout when it comes to balancing and centring the body and mind.
And who doesn't need a bit of balancing and centring in their daily skin-care routine?
How Is CBD Oil Made?
Different methods are used to extract CBD oil from the cannabis plant. Standard procedure will usually involve CBD being added to a carrier oil.
These carrier oils vary according to the product. For a CBD face oil, you'll probably be better off with a hemp seed, avocado or olive carrier oil (great for skin health, prevents acne, great moisturisers and perfect for inflammation). If you want an ingestible oil, carrier oils such as avocado or coconut are perfect (both contain beneficial fatty acids and reduce cholesterol).
In general, there are three main ways CBD can be sold to you.
Full-spectrum CBD oil
This is CBD oil which contains cannabidiol as well as other organic cannabinoids.
Terpenes (aromatic compounds, responsible for the scents of different cannabis strains, with a range of aromatherapeutic and balancing effects) are some of the main cannabinoids added to CBD oil, along with flavonoids and other cannabis compounds.
However, what really discerns full-spectrum CBD from others is that it contains trace amounts of THC (usually less than 0.3%).
This promotes the 'entourage effect', which occurs when compounds in cannabis are combined and taken together, synergistically. There is evidence to suggest that combining cannabis compounds together promotes a more powerful centring effect on the body.
Most countries (including Sweden) don't allow the selling and consumption of full-spectrum CBD because it contains THC, even in non-intoxicating trace amounts.
Not to worry though, because, even with the absence of THC, the entourage effect can still occur to a high-quality, using broad-spectrum CBD oil
Broad-spectrum CBD oil
Essentially, broad-spectrum CBD is a full-spectrum oil, but without the THC.
Here at MANTLE, we pride ourselves on the quality of our broad-spectrum oil, which promotes balance within the body and mind.
The sanctity of the entourage effect is still well-preserved and nurtured in broad-spectrum CBD products and oils. To top it off, there is no need to worry over the possible adverse effects of THC in your broad-spectrum product. No psychoactive components of the cannabis plant are going to affect you when you use broad-spectrum CBD oil.
This is simply CBD, on its own, with no added cannabis compounds.
CBD on its own is usually cultivated by isolating it upon extraction. Sometimes it can also be made artificially in a lab.
In general, CBD isolate is considered 'lower quality'; it certainly does not provide the same centring effects that the other two types of CBD oil can provide, because there is no entourage effect going on in isolated CBD to help encourage restoration and balance.
Now you might have a clearer view of what CBD type to choose. At MANTLE, we use broad-spectrum CBD that is organically grown and cold-pressed in Switzerland. We are strong advocates for broad-spectrum CBD oil, and for incorporating it in your daily life as a simple self-care routine.
How Can CBD Be Taken?
We, at MANTLE, have a handy little guide, of sorts, on how to take CBD. It is helpful to read the instructions on your product, as that will usually assist you. With products like CBD capsules, it's easy enough to understand how to ingest the product; usually once or twice a day with a drink. Some CBD capsules are dissolvable, and need to be held under the tongue. Other methods might include CBD gummies and, again, the dosage advised will be written on the label. It is crucial to ensure you carefully read any literature accompanying your CBD product, as this will give you more confidence and knowledge of what CBD product and dosage is right for you and your needs.
With ingestible oil, you can pretty much choose how to take it: you can even take CBD oil on its own. Many people love to mix a few drops in their drink (usually 2-3, but read the instructions on your product). We recommend a couple of drops of CBD broad-spectrum oil to begin with, increasing to five drops a day (according to your preference).
However, if you should like to choose your own dosage by mg, the usual way to do so is calculating the total concentration of CBD in your oil.
This should be calculated by inspecting the label, which should tell you the milligrams per millilitre (mg/ml) of CBD oil. A milligram of oil is usually one full pipette; so a 20ml bottle will be worth 20 of those full pipettes. To work out the CBD concentration in your product, divide the total CBD content by the number of servings in the bottle.
So far, we've iterated what CBD is, and how it can be taken, as well as how to get the best dosage out of your bottle.
When you think of pain, it might be common to remember that time you broke your ankle, cut yourself with a knife while chopping a particularly stubborn carrot, or that pesky headache you had after a long day of squinting at your laptop screen.
But, we rarely think of pain associated with childhood trauma or past-memories, or even a present-day stressful situation; a pain so insidious, it settles into our bodies as adults and manifests itself in minor, niggling aches. Not quite capable of being boxed into phoney pseudoscience, research has taught us that stress and tension commonly manifest into the corporeal, proving that the relationship between mental and physical pain is a very real thing.
CBD and The Comfort of Ritual
There are some rituals which are, conclusively, bad. No blood sacrifice is encouraged by anyone at MANTLE!
However, the ritual of taking care of oneself is entirely encouraged by us. The ritual of opening one's eyes, trailing downstairs and pouring oneself a cup of morning coffee with three to five drops of our The Original Oil is greatly encouraged. The very fact that CBD can help balance the body and mind ensures that- while it certainly can't be called a substitute for medicine- it possesses centring effects. It is no surprise that CBD has been incorporated into so many lives and daily rituals, and continues to be prolifically used to keep us centred on what matters most in life.
There are some rituals, especially ones which centre around wellness and wellbeing, which are undeniably useful, and they make us feel good, too.
The repetitive morning motions of simply taking some oil under the tongue or adding CBD oil to your morning coffee has shown to be a balancing act for many people, as well as the perfect way to offset the jittery, panicky effect of a large dose of caffeine with the centering influence that CBD brings to the table.
Just the knowledge that you are actively doing something to become more balanced- such as adding CBD oil to your drink in the morning- can trigger the mind into becoming its own healing tool. Ritual therapy is a newfound phenomenon that is being looked into. Yet, the notion that rituals, especially ones centred around wellbeing, can have a positive effect on the mind and body is no surprise. Research has been conducted around how rituals can assist the brain into restoring comfort, balance and wellness.
Psychoanalysis aside, CBD is a pretty practical way to infuse your daily ritual with a little TLC (not to be confused with THC!).
The cannabis plant has been studied for years, and, although its potential has yet to be tapped, there is no doubt that CBD oil, in all its synergetic broad-spectrum-ness, holds the ability to balance you.
There are definite sources which provide us with newfound knowledge by the day. These sources tell us that there is a large portion of our mental and emotional health which is connected to bodily pain, discomfort and immunity.
CBD and The Power of Placebo
Perhaps the placebo effect can pave a relationship between CBD and wellness.
Before you dismiss the power of placebo, certain health journals have actually concluded that advocating for placebos doesn't mean the product is a failure or that it doesn't work: it means that the product may be working alongside our own beliefs that it will affect us the way we want it to.
The placebo effect has been undermined and misunderstood for a long time. Still, its potential and power has been scientifically proven, further backing the concept that the mind plays a large part in healing the body. Recently, scientific research has become a lot more comfortable acknowledging the placebo effect as a therapeutic tool, promoting the large role the mind plays in aiding bodily healing.
Interestingly, just like with CBD, scientists have yet to understand the whole picture of how the placebo effect works. But, general consensus agrees that placebos have a strong therapeutic influence. Evidence suggests that placebos actually help to increase feel-good neurotransmitters (such as dopamine and endorphins), essentially using the mind to trigger the body's very powerful natural neurobiological process.
Further linking the placebo effect with the sanctity of ritual, a lot of evidence suggests that, in order for the placebo effect to take place, we need what's called 'the ritual of treatment'. Essentially, the brain needs ritual for the placebo effect to truly take place.
You might be thinking: what is the point of telling us CBD might be promoting balance and centering for the body and mind via the placebo effect? Doesn't telling people that CBD might trigger a placebo effect in the brain only serve to negate the effect in the first place?
The answer is no.
The placebo effect actually transcends the smoke and mirrors deceptiveness we have come to associate with it. Instead, science tells us that the placebo effect does not diminish, even if we are uncertain about the properties of the product we are taking. Turning something, e.g. CBD, into a daily ritual can enhance the placebo effect.
The reason that the placebo effect has been shown to work so well is down to the therapeutic aspects of taking the product, the ritualistic event involved in imbibing or applying the product; even knowing that evidence circulating around the healing properties of said product is inconclusive.
So, the placebo effect teaches us that the act of swirling that CBD oil into your drink and taking those restorative, warm sips is one gateway to revitalising your wellbeing and finding a new sense of balance, regardless of the conclusive medical evidence behind such an act.
Consequently, in the spirit of consistency (the smoke and mirrors metaphor), we have to add that there is no smoke without a fire.
CBD and Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is an important means of a product gaining popularity. If we are going to discuss CBD, what better way to start than checking what other people have to say about it?
Kim Kardashian- an avid fan of CBD gummies- recently claimed that CBD has helped her in some ways in her tumultuous daily life. While not quite as dramatic as Kim, countless other celebrities and influencers such as Whoopi Goldberg, Busy Phillips, Jennifer Aniston, and Gwyneth Paltrow have all proudly included (and advocated for) CBD, in all its forms, in their busy daily routines. A great marketing standpoint...as well as a potent psychological means to enhance the placebo effect.
We have discussed the sanctity of ritual and the effectiveness of the placebo effect: celebrities (for what it’s worth) are human beings who have reported and claimed how effectively CBD has worked for them. As far as reinforcing the placebo effect of CBD goes, this is an effective way of observing evidence that CBD has helped other human beings in balancing their bodies and minds. Some of these celebrities have even claimed that CBD has positively impacted their skin and made them feel more centered.
So, the next time you reach for your morning coffee and slip in a few drops of that CBD oil, you can think about Kim Kardashian’s CBD-themed baby shower, and let the balancing effects come at you.
What Does The Evidence Say?
If we think of ‘evidence’ as conclusive scientific journals piling up in prolific amounts, then there is little real evidence to back up a wide range of the claims surrounding CBD.
However, if we look at this wide range of claims as their own substantial forms of evidence, including CBD’s possible connection to the placebo effect, then CBD might have the potential to become a powerful source of balance for all human beings.