Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.  It is concentrated in the oily resin that is concentrated on the cannabis flower clusters, commonly called buds, that are covered in tiny, mushroom-shaped trichomes. There are also trichomes in smaller amounts on the leaves and on the stalk, but they have very low oil or CBD content.  There is no CBD in the roots or seeds of cannabis.


Trichomes by definition are a small hair or other outgrowth from the epidermis of a plant, typically unicellular and glandular. They are specialized glandular structures that contain the oily compounds, including CBD and terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for the taste and smell of cannabis. These trichomes protect the plant from heat and ultraviolet radiation and also has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and insecticidal properties.  Its stickiness also traps bugs, providing another layer of protection to the plant. Trichomes are fragile and break off of the cannabis flower. 



Therefore, CBD is extracted from the resinous trichomes of the cannabis plant.  The many different strains of cannabis plants have different levels of CBD and other cannabinoids in them.  Industrial hemp has a low resin content and is legally defined as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight.  It has fewer trichomes than the high resin cannabis plants, and thus has less oil.


There is evidence to support that CBD works best in combination with THC and the full spectrum of cannabis components, but our focus for this site is only on CBD due to the legalities of using marijuana/TCH in most states and known adverse effects of long term use, especially in children with developing brains.


Most health professionals know little about CBD and they lack the expertise needed to adequately counsel patients regarding use, dosing, methods of administration, or risk factors.  Those selling CBD often lack this same knowledge.  Our hope is to educate both sellers and consumers to help them recommend and use the products safely.


Absorption from the gastrointestinal tract is erratic and leads to variable pharmacokinetics. Bioavailability from oral delivery has been estimated to be 6% due to significant first-pass metabolism in the liver and low absorption rate in the GI tract.  Oral-mucosal/sublingual delivery has a slightly better bioavailability.  Because it is highly lipophilic, meaning it is attracted to fat, eating with a fatty meal can increase absorption.   There are many products available now with claims of up to 100% absorption, using nano-particles or Liposomes or other technology.  These methods have been used in other supplements for years, but there still limited proof they increase the benefits of taking CBD.


How Its Made


To start, you must have a plant rich in CBD.  There are several methods for extracting the CBD oil, the most common being CO2 extraction. Each method has pros and cons and will be discussed in this section. After extraction, the CBD oil may be refined and formulated into a variety of products: edibles, tinctures, gel capsules, vape oil cartridges, topicals, beverages, and more.


The purpose of extraction is to give a concentrated form of the CBD oil and other components of the plant.  Separating the CBD from the plant gives a very thick, potent oil. The texture and purity of which relies on the methods used to extract it. These cannabinoids are considered terpenophenolic which means they are terpenes and phenols, that CBD is soluble in both oil and alcohol.  Thus, the process of extracting CBD oil from cannabis often entails the use of a solvent that is good at dissolving an oil or an alcohol-based compound. Solvents that are commonly used to extract CBD from cannabis include supercritical CO2, ethanol, hydrocarbons (such as butane) and olive oil.


CO2 extraction is the most prevalent commercial method – as well as one of the safest ways – of separating CBD and other cannabinoids from cannabis biomass. At room temperature, carbon dioxide is a gas. But under high pressure and fluctuating temperature, CO2 liquifies while still maintaining the fluid dynamics of a gas. This form of CBD extraction is actually divided into supercritical, subcritical and ‘mid-critical’ categories but supercritical is by far the most commonly used. In fact, it is the most regularly used extraction method of all because it is safe and provides a pure end product. In this “supercritical” state, CO2 acts like a solvent, which flushes out the active ingredients from the plant matter.


Using the aforementioned equipment in a lab, you can turn CO2 gas into a liquid by ensuring the temperature drops below -69 degrees Fahrenheit while increasing the pressure to over 75 pounds per square inch (psi). At this stage, you have your starting point for CO2 Cannabis extraction. Once you have the liquid CO2, the next step is to increase the temperature and pressure past the point where the liquid becomes ‘supercritical.’ This term means the CO2 is now capable of adopting properties halfway between a gas and liquid simultaneously. Effectively, the supercritical CO2 is capable of filling a container (like gas) while also maintaining density (like a liquid). When CO2 is in its supercritical state, it is ideal for chemical extraction because it won’t cause the denaturing or damage that would make it unfit for human consumption.

This method is very effective because each compound can only be extracted by CO2 under specific conditions. Slight changes in temperature or pressure in a supercritical state allows for fine-tuning the extraction of CBD and other desirable plant components. As the pressure drops, a crude, waxy, CBD-rich substance, golden in color, separates from the gas and deposits into a collection vessel. Afterwards, the golden oil undergoes a process known as “winterization,” which purifies and refines the extract to increase its quality and value. The plant waxes, which are not appropriate to include in certain kinds of products, are filtered out, resulting in a safe, clean, CBD-rich oil that is free of chlorophyll.

Supercritical CO2 extraction requires expensive equipment and a steep operational learning curve. But unlike combustible solvents, such as ethanol or butane, CO2 poses no danger of fire or explosion.  


While other liquids such as ethanol can be used in liquid extraction in this process, olive oil is the most commonly used substance for this extraction which can be performed at home. The first step involves ensuring the raw plant material is decarboxylated. In layman’s terms, it means you have to heat the plant at a certain temperature for a specific length of time to activate the plant’s chemicals.

Most experts recommend heating at 248 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 minutes or at 284 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Once this step is completed, add the plant material to the olive oil and heat to 212 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 2 hours (and at least 1 hour). This process should result in the extraction of the cannabinoids, and ultimately, you should receive oil with the CBD content you require.

dry ice.jpg


The dry ice extraction method is another method of CBD extraction that can be performed at home although it takes a bit more time and effort than its olive oil equivalent. As well as the cannabis plant itself, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Around 3 pounds of dry ice.

  • A large piece of Plexiglas or a mirror.

  • A paint scraper or putty knife.

  • Thick gloves that are heat resistant and eye protection.

  • A clean 5-gallon plastic bucket.

  • 3 bubble hash mesh bags; sizes are 73, 160 and 220 microns.

  • 3 large, clean glass jars for storage.


Put on your gloves and eye protection, chop up the cannabis plant into small pieces and place it in the bucket. Cover the plant with the dry ice and leave it for 3 minutes; it is best only to fill the bucket halfway; this process causes the freezing of the trichome resins. Fit the 73-micron bag over the bucket and shake the ice & plant combo for around 4 minutes; this knocks the frozen trichomes off.

Turn the bucket upside down on the Plexiglas and shake as much resin through the mesh bag as possible. Scrap the resin off the Plexiglas with your scraper and place it into one of the jars. Repeat with the 160 and 220-micron mesh bags, and you’ll be rewarded with three different strains of extract.


The use of ethanol to extract medicinal compounds from cannabis and other plants has been a common practice in many cultures for centuries.  In 1854, the U.S. Pharmacopeia recommended ethanol-based tinctures of “Indian hemp” to treat numerous ailments, including neuralgia, depression, hemorrhage, pain and muscle spasm.


These odiferous tinctures were a standard part of American health care prior to the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which prohibited all forms of cannabis consumption. But homemade cannabis tinctures persisted as an underground folk medicine, particularly in marginalized Latino communities, despite federal law.





Using hydrocarbon solvents – such as butane, hexane and propane or mixtures thereof – to extract CBD from cannabis has major advantages as well as distinct disadvantages compared to other methods of manufacturing CBD oil. When properly implemented, this extraction technique is a very effective at separating cannabinoids and terpenes from unwanted cannabis components (e.g., chlorophyll), while preserving the unique scent and significant therapeutic attributes of the plant.

Potent cannabis concentrates made with hydrocarbons may resemble tree sap, ear wax, or brittle candy in texture. The product known as “shatter” (so named because of its glass-like appearance and the manner in which it breaks) is consumed via inhalation by using a “dab rig” or a high temperature vaporizer.

However,  butane and other hydrocarbons are highly flammable, neurotoxic solvents. If these solvents aren’t fully purged from the CBD oil extract, their consumption can be harmful – especially for someone with a compromised immune system. In addition to leaving toxic residues in the oil, unsafe manufacturing processes involving hydrocarbons have been known to cause deadly explosions.


CBD for Pets


To start, the American Veterinary Medical Association hasn't taken an official stance on CBD for pets.

The same endocannabinoid system that exists in the human body also exists within all mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. Considering the similarity of endocannabinoid receptors in humans and animals, it makes sense that CBD could treat these conditions as effectively in dogs, cats, and other animals.

As is the case for CBD oil for humans, there is no lack of anecdotal evidence to support the use of CBD in pets. But does that make it safe? or effective? There has been little research to show it is effective for humans and even less research for pets.

Where issues usually arise is in contaminated products – that is, products that have high levels of contaminants like heavy metals, residual solvents, and other byproducts of hurried or cheap CBD extraction.

The best thing to do is to first, consult with your veterinarian to ensure that CBD won’t interfere with your pet’s current medications or health conditions.

Advice from our Senior Medical Adviser:

First, talk to your vet. CBD can affect the metabolism of many important medications, therefore it is important to discuss it with your vet to make sure you won't harm your pet.

If you are given approval to start, start low and go slow. There are many options, and each is absorbed differently, so I cannot recommend dosing. CBD for pets usually comes in the form of yummy, edible treats in flavors that appeal to animals (but may also simply be in tincture form).

Chose your product wisely. Because CBD is unregulated, it can be difficult to know which CBD products have been formulated responsibly, are free from contaminants, and contain the ingredients that the product labels list. Minimally, look for products that claim to follow Good Manufacturing Practices or that have a seal from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) and state they are made for pets. A reputable company will have their Certificate of Analysis (COA) online that shows amounts of CBD, THC and contaminants. They should also have third party, independent testing. And remember, some human products have other things in them, such as xylitol or grape seed oil, that could be toxic to the animals.

Finally, make sure to store your product carefully at room temperature and avoid sunlight.

Stay with your pet after giving them CBD. CBD is considered non-toxic, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your pet after introducing something new to their diet.

US Hemp Authority


What is the US Hemp Authority?


As quoted by the US Hemp Authority website:  

     "The U.S. Hemp Authority™ Certification Program is our industry's initiative to provide high standards, best practices and self-regulation, giving confidence to consumers and law enforcement that hemp products are safe, and legal. In an effort funded by the US Hemp Roundtable, and joined by organizations such as the Hemp Industries Association, industry leading firms, top-tier testing laboratories, and quality assessors developed comprehensive guidance for growers and processors of hemp."

In an effort to standardize quality control in the hemp industry post-Farm Bill, the U.S. Hemp Authority launched a certification program to recognize companies that have taken steps to produce safe and accurately labeled hemp-derived products. While some business owners and stakeholders see this as a positive step forward for the newly legal domestic industry, others aren’t so sure

Kight Law Offices’ Rod Kight says several of his clients contacted him following the launch of the U.S. Hemp Authority’s program to air concerns about the organization’s work in the space. Kight authored an open letter, which was signed by 16 other industry stakeholders and formally issued on Feb. 17, 2019, to outline the reasons the group objects to the U.S. Hemp Authority’s Certified Seal program. One such reason is that they do not feel the standards are rigorous enough.  They also feel the certification puts a financial strain on smaller farms. 

CBD Expert's take:  The US Hemp Authority is step in the right direction and we look forward to regulations that are more stringent for growers to ensure the best possible products for all.



Cannabidiol (CBD) comes from the cannabis plant and is non-intoxicating.  Notice that we did not say it is not psychoactive, since the definition of psychoactive means ‘affecting the mind’ and we know that CBD can affect our mood and alertness.  In recent years, CBD has generated significant interest among scientists and physicians.  How CBD exerts if impact, however, is still being sorted out in the lab.  Being pleiotropic, it produces many effects through the more than 65 molecular targets that scientist have identified.


There are many receptors found on every cell membrane in the body, which act like gatekeepers to the cell.  Ligands are the counterparts that fit into those receptors, similar to a lock and key. Cannabidiol is one of those ligands which also modulates several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels.  It also acts through various receptor-independent pathways. Examples  of this are delaying the reuptake of endogenous neurotransmitters such as anandamide and adenosine and enhancing or inhibiting the binding actions of certain G-protein coupled receptors.


The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the many receptor systems in our bodies.  It is present in all vertebrates (organisms with a back bone), therefore it is not unique to humans.  The ECS is present on almost every cell type in the body, including the central nervous system, and it is thought to regulate appetite, pain sensation, mood, memory, and more.  It is also thought to be important in regulating our immune system and inflammation.


The endocannabinoid system is composed of:

  1.  Two endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonlyglycerol)

  2.  The enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids.

  3. Two receptors, CB1 and CB2 (cannabinoid type 1 and type 2 receptors)


There are over 100 cannabinoids documented in the cannabis plant, which consists of 3 species:  Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.  Originally grown in the Western world, the sativa variants were grown for fiber, oil, and to feed animals. Hemp, which has less than 0.3% TCH, is no longer a controlled substance, and has a high CBD to THC ratio.  Marijuana has a much higher THC content, generally between 2 and 20 percent, with specie now being bred with much higher THC levels.


“Medicinal preparation from the flowers and resin of Cannabis sativa have been used in China since ~2700 B.C. to treat menstrual disorder, gout, rheumatism, malaria, constipation, and absent-mindedness.  In medieval times, Islamic physicians use cannabis to treat nausea and vomiting, epilepsy, inflammation, pain, and fever.  Western medicine used cannabis widely in the 1800’s: before it was a common analgesic drug.” (Devinskiy et al., 2014)

At lower doses, the sympathetic system is activated, and those lower doses are thus considered ‘activating’.  At these lower doses, the parasympathetic nervous system is decreased, leading to an increase in heart rate and mild increase in blood pressure.  At higher doses, the parasympathetic system is activated, and the sympathetic system is decreased, resulting in lower blood pressure and slower heart rate.


CB1 receptors are mostly found on the cells of the central nervous system which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. THC is a partial agonist of the CB1 receptor, which means it only partially activates the receptor.  CBD was once thought to be an inactive part of the cannabis plant since it did not cause the high associated with its use.  It is still often described as being non-psychoactive, which was discussed above.


CB2 receptors are distributed amongst a majority of tissues, including the immune regulatory organs, especially the spleen, tonsils, and thymus.


CBD indirectly increases the endocannabinoid anandamide by inhibiting the enzyme FAAH.  FAAH job is to break down anandamide. By decreasing its breakdown, this leaves more anandamide available to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Several studies showed that cannabinoids down-regulate cytokine and chemokine production and, in some models, up-regulate T-regulatory cells  as a mechanism to suppress inflammatory responses



Thanks to the work of Jose Alexandre Crippa and colleagues and the University of San Paulo in Brazil and King’s College in London, we know that CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor and conveys analgesic  and anti-anxiety effect.  This G-coupled protein receptor is involved in a wide range of biological and neurological processes, which include anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea, vomiting, and more.


5-HT1A is a member of the 5-HT receptor family, which are activated by serotonin.  These receptors are found in both the central and peripheral nervous system and trigger various chemical cascades to produce an excitatory or inhibitory response, depending on the chemical context of the message.

CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid) is the raw, unheated version of CBD and was also thought to be inactive but it is now known it has a high affinity for the 5-HT1A Receptor (even more than CBD).  Preclinical studies also indicate that CBDA is a potent anti-emetic.  Unrelated to Serotonin, results of the current investigation revealed that CBDA inhibits migration of the highly invasive MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells, apparently through a mechanism involving inhibition of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A, coupled with an activation of the small GTPase, RhoA.



CBD interacts with various ion channels to give therapeutic effects, including its interaction with the TRPV1 receptor, which also functions as an ion channel.  This receptor/ion channel is known to mediate pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature.


TRPV is the technical abbreviation for “transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V.” It is one of several dozen TRP (pronounced ‘trip’) receptor subfamilies that mediate the effects of a wide range of medicinal herbs.   It is called a vanilloid receptor, named after the vanilla bean, which contains eugenol, an essential oil that has antiseptic and analgesic properties.  Vanilla bean has been used historically as a folk cure for headaches. 


CBD binds TRPV1, which can influence pain perception. Capsaicin (pungent compound in hot chili peppers) also activates TRVP1 receptors.  Anandamide, the endogenous cannabinoid, is also an agonist of TRPV1 receptors.



Some studies indicate that CBD functions as an antagonist that blocks, or deactivates, the G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR55.  It has been dubbed an ‘orphan receptor’ because scientist are still unsure if it belongs to a larger family of receptors.  GPR55 is expressed in the brain, especially the cerebellum.  It’s thought to be involved in modulating blood pressure and bone destiny, among other physiological processes.


When GPR55 is activated, it promotes cancer cell proliferation according to a 2010 study by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai.  It is expressed in various types of cancer.  CBD is a GPR55 antagonist. By blocking GPR55, CBD may act to decrease both bone resorption and cancer cell proliferation.



CBD may also exert anti-cancer effects by activating PPARs (peroxisome proliferator activated receptors) that are on the surface of the cells nucleus.  By activating PPAR-gamma, anti-proliferative effects are promoted, as well as the ability to induce tumor regression in cancer cell lines. PPAR-gamma activation degrades amyloid-beta plaque, which is a key molecule linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  PPAR receptors also regulate genes involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic function, which could mean benefits for those with diabetes.



CBD must first pass through the cell membrane by utilizing a fatty acid binding protein (FABP), which helps transport various lipid molecules into the cell’s interior.  They also transport TCH and the other endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2AG.  CBD and THC both modulate receptors on the surface of the nucleus that regulate gene expression and mitochondrial activity.


CBD may also exert anti-cancer effects by activating PPAR on the surface of the cell nucleus, since it has a strong affinity for three kinds of FABP. Once inside the cell, anandamide is broken down by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme, as part of is life cycle.  CBD interferes with this process by reducing anandamide’s access to FABP transport molecules, thus delaying endocannabinoid passage into the cell’s interior. 


Researchers at Stony Brook University state that CBD functions as an anandamide reuptake inhibitor, which leads to increased levels of anandamide. Reuptake inhibition may be a key mechanism by which CBD confers neuroprotective effects against seizure, as well as other health benefits.


The anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects are attributed to its inhibition of adenosine reuptake. By delaying adenosine reuptake, levels are boosted in the brain.  A1A and A2A adenosine receptors play significant roles in cardiovascular function, regulating myocardial oxygen consumption, and coronary blood flow. 



CBD also acts as an allosteric modulator, which means it can enhance OR inhibit how a receptor transmits signal by changing the shape of the receptor.  Some Australian scientists report that CBD acts as a positive allosteric modulator of the GABA-A receptor, which means it enhances the receptors binding affinity for gammaAminobutyric acid (GABA), the main inhibitory transmitter in the central nervous system.  The sedating effects of medications like Valium and other benzodiazepines are mediated by GABA receptors transmission.  By changing the shape of the GABA-A receptor the natural calming effects of GABA are amplified, thus CBD can reduce anxiety.


CBD also acts as a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor.  CBD does not bind the CB1 receptor directly, but it does interact allosterically and changes the shape of the CB1 receptor which weakens CB1’s ability to bind THC.  This leads to a decreased high when using CBD rich cannabis.

Drug Interaction/CYP450


The vast majority of science indicates that CBD oil is safe for use and consumption, however there are a few well described adverse effects as well as drug interactions.  If not fully understood, you could be putting yourself or those to whom you sell CBD product in danger.  One of these risks is the inhibition of the cytochrome P450 enzyme system.


When calculating medication dosing and interactions, doctors make calculations using the average time it takes for various drugs and medications to be processed through the CYP450 system.  If only one drug is being processed and the system is healthy, these averages provide accurate dosing information.    Some medications and substances, such as CBD, affect the processing time within this system and can make certain drugs metabolize faster, or slower, than if they were on their own.  If the system is unhealthy, as with liver disease or other illness, drugs may also be metabolized at different rates.



Cannabidiol (CBD) is metabolized in the liver using the cytochrome P450 system. The P450 system is comprised of over 50 enzymes, with six of them metabolizing 90 percent of drugs.  CBD is metabolized by CYP2C29 and CYP3A.  This makes it vital to review all medications when someone is taking CBD so that drug interactions can be evaluated.


Cannabidiol can inhibit the cytochrome P450 systems ability to metabolize certain drugs and increase processing times.  Grapefruit, watercress, St John’s Wort, and goldenseal all have similar impacts.  When this inhibition occurs, higher levels of certain drugs can be in your system at one time, leading to unwanted side effects or overdose.  You should consult your doctor to ensure it is safe for you to supplement with CBD oil. However, many physicians are unfamiliar with CBD or its interactions and may simply say it is not safe without true knowledge of interactions.  Find a physician who is knowledgeable and willing to work with you.

Any Drug that is metabolized by the CYP450 enzyme could potentially interact with cannabidiol.  Below is a list of drugs known to use the CYP450 system:

  • Steroids

  • HMG CoA reductase inhibitors

  • Calcium channel blockers

  • Antihistamines

  • Prokinetics

  • HIV antivirals

  • Immune modulators

  • Benzodiazepines

  • Antiarrythmics

  • Antibiotics

  • Anesthetics

  • Antipsychotics

  • Antidepressants

  • Anti-epileptics

  • Beta blockers

  • PPIs

  • NSAIDs

  • Angiotensin II blockers

  • Oral hypoglycemic agents

  • Sulfonylureas


This list does not include all of the potential medications impacted by cannabidiol. Nor will every medication in the categories contained on this list will cause an interaction. For these reasons, you should consult with a medical professional before supplementing with CBD oil.


There are also certain drugs that are known as prodrugs.  These need to be metabolized to produce the version that produces the therapeutic result desired.  This can lead to too little of the active drug if the CYP450 system is inhibited by other drugs or agents.  For example, codeine is a prodrug that is metabolized to morphine.  Vyvance and Concerta also fall into this category.



Alcohol depends on a few different metabolic pathways in the human body, with the primary enzymes involved being:

In people who only drink socially or occasionally, ADH and ALDH metabolize all of the alcohol.  When binge drinking (or during chronic consumption of alcohol) CYP450 assists the overloaded ADH and ALDH pathways.


Here are some interesting information about alcohol and CBD oil (most of these studies were done in mice, others with only small numbers of human subjects):


  • The CB1 receptor is a significant player in the reinforcing and motivating attributes of alcohol. [S]

  • Combining alcohol and CBD results in significantly lower blood levels of alcohol. [S]

  • CBD reduces the reinforcement, motivation and relapse for alcohol. [S]

  • CBD protects the liver from damage done by binge-drinking alcohol. [S]

  • CBD prevents against alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. [S]

  • CBD attenuates alcohol-induced liver steatosis, metabolic dysregulation, inflammation and neutrophil-mediated injury. [S]

  • Cannabinoids have an effect on nearly all enzymes responsible for metabolizing alcohol. [S]

  • CB1 receptor agonists (THC) encourage alcohol consumption, while CB1 receptor antagonists (CBD) decrease it. [S]


While the pharmacokinetics of alcohol and CBD are not yet well-defined, we do know that CBD inhibits the CYP450 enzyme system which also plays a significant role in alcohol metabolism.  It has been additionally shown, in mice, that CBD alters levels of ADH and ALDH to varying degrees.  Most importantly, be mindful and cautious when mixing CBD and alcohol.




The most famous and commonly used psychoactive drug in the world is caffeine.  Because of the popularity of CBD, some companies are now combining the two.  It seems this combination may be beneficial. 


Caffeine is very similar to adenosine molecularly.  Adenosine activates the A2A receptor.  Caffeine binds the A2a receptor and inhibits the reuptake of adenosine.  When adenosine binds the A2a receptor it leads to what is known as the ‘rest and digest’ effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. CBD is a partial agonist of the A2a receptor, so the theory states that by combining caffeine and CBD, adenosine is blocked, which results in more stimulation but reduced anxiety (by means of CBD’s effect on other neurotransmitters).  Note that high amounts of CBD are more likely to cause drowsiness and sedation. 


Caffeine is metabolized by the same CYP450 system, therefore CBD causes a slowed excretion rate of caffeine, which can prolong the effects of caffeine.  This can prolong the effects of your morning coffee, but don’t overdo it and keep yourself up at night!

caffeine metabolism.png

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate

full vs isolate.jpg

Isolate is the closest to 'CBD only' that is  currently available, which is made by extracting only the CBD and removing all other plant components (including THC, terpenes and other cannabinoids).  Some companies will call this THC free. We prefer to call it non-detectable THC.  Many labs test down to 0.1%, which means it could still have 0.09% THC.  Others may test down as far as 0.001%.  


Full spectrum refers to CBD oil that has been processed less and has many other cannabinoids and terpenes.  While not yet completely proven, using a product that has the full spectrum of cannabinoids is thought to produce an ‘entourage effect’, meaning that the phytocannabinoids work synergistically to give a greater or even different result. Full spectrum CBD oils will contain up to 0.3 % THC, which is the legal limit for hemp-derived CBD products. 

Broad Spectrum then lies between the Isolate and Full Spectrum products.  It refers to a CBD product that has CBD, other cannabinoids and terpenes, while attempting to remove as much THC as possible.  If it is a true broad spectrum, it would have many cannabinoids and non-detectable THC. Some companies are using 'artistic license' to call these products full spectrum.  Please read your labels closely.

Pharmaceutical grade CBD, which has been FDA approved to treat two specific types of pediatric seizure disorders, is now available under the brand name Epidiolex.  There are also unregulated, hemp-derived products that are infused with CBD isolate available over the counter and online.  Again, these are thought to be less therapeutic than broad or full spectrum oils.  They do have no detectible THC, which may be good for those looking for such a product. 

There should probably be another term, Narrow Spectrum, for those products that are THC free but also remove many other cannabinoids and compounds.

To recap, full spectrum may give you the best results, but a non-detectable THC-broad spectrum would be the next best option for those wanting the full entourage effect but no THC. 

THC free product may still contain trace amounts of THC and our research has shown a less then 0.2% chance of testing positive on a drug test, when purchased from a reliable manufacturer.



Agonist:  substance with the capability to bind to a receptor and activate it.

Allosteric modulator: Ligand which binds to a receptor at a site distinct from the endogenous agonist and can enhance or inhibit its action.


Antagonist:  substance with capability to bind a receptor and interfere with or block the action of the receptor.


Anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamide or AEA): A fatty acid neurotransmitter made from arachidonic acid. An endocannabinoid that has anti-inflammatory properties.

2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG):  Endocannabinoid AGONIST for CB-1 and CB-2 which is PRO-inflammatory.

Cannabinoid:  Collective term for substances from the resin of the hemp plant


Cytochrome P450 system: is a hemeprotein that plays a key role in the metabolism of drugs and other xenobiotics

Dabbing: Inhaling the vapors of a concentrated extract of typically marijuana.

Endocannabinoids:  Lipid molecules made by our body similar to substance found in the Cannabis plant and able to bind to cannabinoid receptors

Endocannabinoid system (ECS):  is a widespread neuromodulatory system that plays important roles in central nervous system (CNS) development, synaptic plasticity, and the response to endogenous and environmental insults. The ECS is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes responsible for the synthesis and degradation of the endocannabinoids. 

Entourage effect:  The premise that CBD is more effective with it is combined with other cannabinoids. Working together, a synergy is created that boosts the healing properties of CBD.  Promoted as the reason to use full spectrum CBD.

Flavonoids:  Found in plants, fruits, dark chocolate, teas. Felt to have anti-inflammatory and other beneficial properties (No FDA evidence, however).

G-protein coupled receptors: As their name implies, GPCRs interact with G proteins in the plasma membrane. When an external signaling molecule binds to a GPCR, it causes a conformational change in the GPCR.  G proteins are specialized proteins with the ability to bind the nucleotides guanosine triphosphate (GTP) and guanosine diphosphate (GDP).

Hemp: Plant used to make cords and rope, construction material, paper, textiles, as well as for its edible seeds, milk, and oil. It has less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.


Homeostasis: the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

Ligand:  Molecule that binds to a receptor 

Palmitoylethanolamid (PEA). A Cannabinoid

Parasympathetic nervous system: one of two main divisions of the autonomic nervous system. Sometimes called the rest and digest system, the parasympathetic system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.

Partial agonist: drugs that bind to and activate a given receptor, but have only partial efficacy at the receptor relative to a full agonist

Phytocannabinoids:  Cannabinoids origination from the Cannabis plant. This term does not differentiate between CBD and THC.   There are more than 100 phytocannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. 


Pleiotropic: having multiple effects

Psychoactive: affecting the mind

Sympathetic nervous system;  one of two main divisions of the autonomic nervous system.  Its primary process is to stimulate the body's fight-flight-or-freeze response.

Terpenes:  Resin from plant, responsible for taste and smell of cannabis.

Terpenophenolic: compounds that are part terpenes, part natural phenols, which means that CBD is soluble in both oil and alcohol.