What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) a major cannabinoids found in cannabis. CBD is rapidly gaining popularity in medical applications due to its unique therapeutic effects.
CBD is non-intoxicating at therapeutically relevant doses, so it does not cause the feeling of “high” that THC is known for1.
For patients unfamiliar with medical cannabis, CBD-rich products can serve as an excellent introduction.
What Are the Benefits of Using CBD?
High CBD products have been shown to be effective in helping to treat epilepsy, pain, anxiety, inflammation, and arthritis and other rheumatic disorders1–3.
How CBD Oil Works
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates many crucial physiological functions in the body. It contributes significantly to maintaining homeostasis, i.e. a steady state of internal conditions4. Some examples of functions the ECS regulates include4:
• Learning and memory processes
• Immune Responses
The cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as CBD, interact with several different targets within the ECS to cause the effects we feel when we consume cannabis. It is likely that the dose of CBD you take as well as the absence or presence of other cannabinoids and/or terpenes influence CBD’s interaction with these different targets. This is perhaps why CBD has been shown to have so many different effects such as anti-pain, anti-anxiety and anti-epileptic effects1.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, or CBD Isolate?
When looking for a CBD oil product, you may come across the following terms: full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. Here’s what they mean:
This cannabis extract retains most of the naturally occurring components of the whole dried flower it is made from. The cannabinoid and terpene profile in the extract is as close to the starting dried flower material as possible. The final product does not contain any external additives.
This means that your CBD oil would have CBD and all the other compounds present in the cannabis flower, such as terpenes and other cannabinoids (which could include THC), it was extracted from.
This cannabis extract contains most of the cannabinoid and terpene profile from the cannabis used to produce it. In these products, the CBD oil will have some of the other compounds originally in the flower removed during the manufacturing process.
For CBD oils, it is most common to see the THC content removed to minimize any risk of intoxication from these products. Alternatively, some CBD oil products will remove the terpene portion of the extract to improve the flavour while keeping the other cannabinoids.
This cannabis extract will only include the cannabinoids and/or terpenes listed on the product. So, a CBD isolate would only contain CBD. The final product will not have other compounds extracted from the original flower.
What Is the Entourage Effect and How Does It Work?
Individual compounds, such as THC and CBD, have been shown to have many potential therapeutic benefits. However, recent studies have also suggested additional therapeutic effects when the different compounds are combined. This hypothesis is also known as the Entourage Effect1,21.
For example, CBD extracts were found to be more effective at reducing pain and inflammation in preclinical studies than CBD isolates18,22.
Furthermore, in cultured brain cancer cells, THC and CBD together showed a synergistic effect in reducing cancer cell growth. However, the compounds independently did not have any effect23.
What You Should Consider When Purchasing CBD Oil
CBD and THC Content
One of the most significant differences between various kinds of CBD oils is the amount of THC present.
If you are new to cannabis or not comfortable with THC in your CBD oil, you will want to look for CBD isolates or a CBD extract derived from hemp (a cannabis plant that has <0.3% THC).
However, in some cases it may be beneficial for you to have some THC in your CBD oil (even if it is in low amounts) since there is some scientific evidence of the entourage effect between CBD and THC1,18,23.
CBD Oil Brand Reputation
Given that there are so many different brands and producers of CBD oils, you must make sure you purchase your product from a reputable source. In Canada, this means your CBD oil should be coming from a Canadian Licensed Producer of Cannabis. That means they are licensed by Health Canada and must follow specific quality and safety regulations.
While we know CBD has therapeutic effects, there is still much to learn about its medicinal properties. Therefore, it is best to avoid products that make exaggerated health claims.
You can purchase CBD oil from Aurora Medical if you have a prescription from a healthcare practitioner and have it delivered directly to your door. Your CBD oil will be clearly labeled with the CBD content (and THC content if applicable) on the packaging, and its product description will describe the extraction method.
You can learn how to get a medical cannabis prescription here!
Cost of CBD Oil
While it can be tempting to purchase the most affordable CBD oil, checking the brand’s reputation can ensure that you get a high quality and safe product.
Aurora offers a compassionate pricing program with a 30% discount on all our cannabis products for patients earning $40,000 and under annually, or patients on disability or similar government subsidy programs.
We also offer exclusive discounts to first responders, seniors, and pediatric patients.
Speak with a Medical Professional
If you are interested in adding CBD oil to your treatment regime, it is best to ask your healthcare practitioner for their advice on whether it would be a suitable therapy for you and what dosage would be best.
If you are not comfortable speaking with your primary physician about cannabis, or your primary physician is not familiar with cannabis, there are many healthcare practitioners who specialize in medical cannabis that you can speak to.
For instance, Aurora’s clinic partner, Canadian Cannabis Clinics, offers free virtual appointments and will assist you in getting started on your medical cannabis journey. You can book an appointment here.
Are there any side effects to CBD?
Side effects from CBD are usually characterized as mild-moderate in severity. The most common side effects scientific trials report from CBD are: sleepiness24, diarrhea and vomiting24, and dizziness25.
Have Questions About Medical Cannabis?
If you have questions about medical cannabis, reach out to your healthcare practitioner. They are best suited to help you understand how cannabis may support your health.
If you still have any questions or want to learn more, you can call our Client Care team at 1-877-9AURORA MEDICAL (1-877-928-7672) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are looking to get a prescription, you can book an online appointment with our clinic partner, Canadian Cannabis Clinics.
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