In the last five years, it seems like CBD is everywhere and in everything. Since the list of ailments for which CBD is used is long, we wanted to get to the bottom of some of our writers’ and editors’ most pressing questions on the subject.
TravelAwaits sat down with Tim McDonald, the cofounder and head of education for oHHo CBD products, and he very graciously answered all of our questions in the kind of detail we love. oHHo is an industry leader for producing some of the purest CBD and hemp products you can buy, and it turns out they have a travel story, too. Read on for the basics, and also check out
- CBD For Active Pets And Pets On The Go: Your Questions Answered By oHHo
- CBD And Your Health: From Safety To Treating Specific Ailments, Your Questions Answered
- CBD And Travel: What You Need To Know, Whether You’re Road Tripping Or Want To Use CBD Abroad
What is CBD? Is it cannabis oil?
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. It is a natural cannabinoid compound extracted from the cannabis Sativa plant that provides therapeutic benefits. It is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound, unlike its more famous intoxicating counterpart, THC.
Cannabis sativa plants can be divided into two main types: Marijuana and Hemp. The dividing principle is essentially whether or not the plant can get you high. Marijuana contains high levels of THC, up to 30 percent; hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC.
CBD also occurs in both types of cannabis. Marijuana plants have been bred for yielding THC so the levels of CBD can range from 0 percent to around 5 percent to 6 percent. Our hemp plants have been bred to contain a tiny amount of THC (less than 0.3 percent) and an abundance of CBD, between 12 percent and 20 percent.
When CBD is infused in oil it helps with stability, dosing, and bioavailability. Although you could correctly call it “cannabis oil,” this might confuse it with intoxicating cannabis oils containing high levels of THC.
Nowadays, it seems CBD is in everything! What types of CBD products do you recommend for a first-time CBD user?
We are pretty purist over here at oHHo, and we like to keep things natural. A full spectrum (FS) oil product is the most natural extract you can buy, and it is where you will find the most therapeutic benefit. FS products contain additional compounds from the plant, such as other minor cannabinoids and terpenes, which synergistically combine to create a boosted effect of the CBD. This is called the entourage effect.
We would recommend using a full-spectrum oil (often called tinctures) if CBD is new to you. With an oil, you are able to dose accurately and the duration of the effect can last up to 6 hours. Oils that provide graduated droppers enable the consumer to accurately measure how much CBD they are ingesting. If you divide the strength of CBD in the bottle by how many milliliters there is you can work out how much CBD is in 1 milliliter and you can go from there. For example, if the bottle is 30ml and contains 1500mg of CBD, 1ml will contain 50mg of CBD.
CBD works on a cellular level so your height, weight, etcetera is not a factor that affects how much you need. Knowing your correct dose is about finding the “Goldilocks” amount that is optimum for you -- not too little, not too much.
A principle of dosing CBD is to “Start low and go slow.” A moderate dose for a first-time user is around 15mg, and with oHHo oils, this is around 0.25ml of oil. If you do not feel the benefits, then we advise increasing by 0.25ml until you find that “just right” amount.
There is so much confusion around dosing CBD. To help, we decided to keep the same strength in our 1-ounce and half-ounce bottles so that you only need to make one calculation. We wanted to ensure our customers had at least 1 month's supply per bottle. At 5 percent CBD strength we are able to offer 100x15mg doses from our 30ml bottles of our Colorado and Oregon oils -- both contain 1500mg of CBD. Our New York oil is our strongest infusion at 7.5 percent and reflects our signature blend from our home state. Each 30ml bottle offers 150 15mg doses -- 2250mg per 30ml.
We do not recommend CBD vape cartridges as they often contain ingredients that are toxic when inhaled, including thinning agents.
As consumers, how do we differentiate which products contain quality CBD?
Such an important question. It is easy to grow hemp badly and produce contaminated extracts. When we moved into the industry we wanted to ensure we brought quality, transparency, and integrity to the consumer. Cultivating a premium hemp crop requires extensive horticultural knowledge, nurture, and respect.
CBD has the potential for contamination in the field and during the refinement process. The hemp must be grown organically as the plant will absorb any synthetic chemicals that are used on the land. Only buy CBD from a company that has full lab tests or certificates of analysis (COAs) that show you:
- Cannabinoid Profile/ CBD Potency
- Heavy Metals (lead, mercury, et cetera)
- Residual Solvents
- Microbial Contaminants
Are CBD products regulated? If yes, by what bodies? And what certifications can I look for on product packaging?
The FDA regulates the CBD market. Since the farm bill of 2018, the regulations have become more thorough although currently there is no legal requirement for companies to provide any lab results -- the only way to be sure your CBD is pure and potent.
Before oHHo launched we saw the unscrupulous nature of a poorly regulated, nascent industry. Many companies lie about the amount of CBD in their products, they don’t test for contaminants, and they make claims of miracle cures. It was clear that we needed to bring transparency and integrity and establish trust. We visit the land, we know how our plants are grown and by whom, we follow the process all the way to bottling, and we fully test every product that we sell, providing the details on our website prior to purchasing.
See an example of a COA (certificate of analysis) for our Oregon oil here (certificate opens as PDF).
What are the most common uses of CBD products?
The most common uses for CBD are for anxiety, inflammation, and sleep. The amazing thing about CBD is that it unlocks your endocannabinoid system (ECS), an internal regulatory system that keeps your body in optimum functionality.
Unlocking your ECS helps regulate physiological functions, such as healing, as well as psychological, giving you the best chance to fight off infection in addition to the anti-inflammation and anti-anxiety properties it possesses. CBD benefits are wide-ranging, and it can be used as a holistic component to establishing your optimum self and getting your body back into balance or homeostasis.
Where do you source the ingredients for your CBD products?
We typically work with farms that are cultivating only 5 to 40 acres of land for their crops. Our mission is to work with sustainable and regenerative cultivators to create bespoke, premium products. Producing a high-quality product requires nurturing from seed to sale. Small-scale farming allows a degree of personal nurture that is not possible on a large scale.
We are not interested in being part of the chain that sticks a label on the same standard product that thousands of others are selling. We provide something special, like a vintage wine, and at the same time celebrate the people and region from which it was cultivated.
Our hemp is hand planted, hand nurtured, and hand harvested. We never use synthetic chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, or growth hormones. We also look for farms that use chemical-free biodegradable plastic, drip irrigation systems, green cover (chopping and dropping green crops to add nutrients to the soil and to stop unwanted weeds), selective grazing of animals (goats, for example, who clear weeds, turn soil, and add manure), and also farms that leave fields fallow to avoid exploiting the soil’s resources. Our hemp is 100 percent sun grown in native soil, preserving the unique profile from the land it was grown on.
Are your ingredients organically grown?
Yes, this is an absolute for us. We know the land and the people who grow our hemp. We visit our farms regularly to ensure we see the entire process from farm to friend. Since 2018, hemp has been allowed to be certified organic. We are in the process of having all of our farms certified by the USDA although 2020 has created a delay.
Want to know more about oHHo’s products? Read up on CBD For Active Pets And Pets On The Go, CBD And Your Health: From Safety To Treating Specific Ailments, CBD And Travel: What You Need To Know, Whether You’re Road Tripping Or Want To Use CBD Abroad.