The cannabis plant contains over 113 naturally occurring chemical compounds known as phytocannabinoids. These are concentrated oils, produced by the plant, found in the resin that coat leaves and flowers. The most commonly studied phytocannabinoids are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoids are carried through the human endocannabinoid system by binding to our CB1 and CB2 receptors. They help our bodies function optimally in order to maintain good health and wellbeing by mimicking the endocannabinoids naturally produced in the human body. Our skin contains the highest number of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies and can be activated by the use of cannabis-infused topical formulas. Cannabis topicals are creams, lotions, and balms used for skin care and therapeutic applications. Cannabis topical are known to have pain relieving effects, treat inflammation and relieve a variety of skin conditions. There are many ways to infuse cannabis into topical formulas, including Isolate, Distillate, Hemp CBD Oil, and Full-Spectrum CBD Oil. Always check the label to determine the type of infusion used. Extraction methods are distinctly different, and every infusion should reflect the intended use of the product. It is also important to know what works best for you. I use full-spectrum cannabis infusions made from organic locally available cannabis. This is the most synergistic, healthful approach to skincare and wellness, and produces the highest quality topicals.
CBD Isolate CBD Isolate is the most potent form of CBD containing 99% CBD-A. It is created by removing all plant matter from hemp plants (male cannabis plants) including terpenes, oils, waxes, lipids, and chlorophyll. The CBD is extracted and purified through multiple processes. The final product is a white crystalline powder that can be added to a carrier oil, and incorporated into the topical formula. Isolate is often produced synthetically. It can be very precisely measured for dosage, however CBD isolate is not reported to be effective in topical applications. CBD (Hemp) Oil Hemp oil is CBD extracted from male cannabis plants. They are non-flowering plants and contain a very low percentage of CBD. A large amount of plant matter is needed to extract a significant amount of CBD, which can raise the risk of contaminants. Hemp is a bio-accumulator and draws toxins from the soil. Hemp oil is made through industrial processing. This is not the same as Hemp Seed Oil which contains no cannabinoids. Full Spectrum or Whole-Plant CBD infused Oil Full-Spectrum CBD Oil is a robust herbal extract made from CBD-dominant strains of the female plant. It is a method of extracting CBD from the flowers or ‘buds’ by infusing them into fat or carrier oil. I often use coconut oil (fractionated or unrefined) olive oil, or cocoa butter. The major benefit of full-spectrum CBD are terpenes which give cannabis its unique smell and effects. Terpenes accentuate the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. They also improve the absorption rate of other medicinal ingredients, which makes full spectrum oil an excellent addition to topical preparations. Full-spectrum CBD oil also contains flavonoids that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It works in conjunction with terpenes and phytocannabinoids like CBD to create a potent entourage effect in cannabis infusions. In my professional opinion, the highest quality CBD topicals contain full-spectrum organically cultivated CBD Oil.