Photo Source: Endoca Instagram
PART 1 of 2
In my last post, I talked about some of the surprising and beneficial things that happened to me when I started taking the Raw Hemp Oil by Endoca; both in regards to my Crohn’s management and health overall. I also mentioned how steep of a learning curve I had when I began this journey into hemp/CBD oil. So, in this post, I want to share what I learned and provide you with a few more links to dive in a little deeper on your own.
First, is it hemp or CBD, what’s the difference?
This was one of my first questions when I started researching what to buy. To start with, CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a chemical that is found in both marijuana and hemp plants and interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Hemp oil and extracts are derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant (hemp), while cannabis oil and what some people smoke are from the Cannabis Indicas plant (marijuana plant). Some people may be familiar with the term tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound found in Cannabis Indicas (marijuana plants). Cannabis oil from marijuana plants contains high levels of THC and low levels of CBD and is illegal in most states.
In the U.S., industrial hemp (used for cannabidiol (CBD) oil) is defined as not having THC levels above 0.3% and is legal in all 50 states (West Virginia is the exception and defines industrial hemp having a THC concentration of less than 1%). For comparison, most cannabis strains average 10% THC and medicinal strains are often over 30%.
“Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil vs Cannabis Sativa vs Industrial Hemp” (great article but I have not used this brand of oil):
State limits for THC in industrial hemp:
Average THC levels of most strains:
Photo source: Endoca Facebook Video, Welcome to the World of CBD
How does hemp oil work in the body?
As I mentioned in my last post, it was only recently in 1992 that the first naturally occurring endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) was found in the body that led to recognizing the Endocannabinoid System. Since then, two cannabinoid receptors in the body have been identified and are referred to as CB1 and CB2.
The CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are predominantly found on white blood cells. In short, CB1 receptors regulate functions like anxiety and pain perception while CB2 receptors regulate the inflammatory process. When the cannabidiol (CBD) found in hemp oil (or CBD and THC found in marijuana plants) interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, some people experience the often-touted health benefits of pain relief, less anxiety, and easing of Crohn’s symptoms…among many others.
It is when THC binds with the CB1 receptors in the body that people experience the psychoactive effects of marijuana or cannabis oil. Because CBD does not bind with CB1 receptors, when it does bind with the body’s CB2 receptors, many people experience the reported health benefits without psychoactive effects.
Learn more about the connection between Crohn’s and CBD:
Learn more about the Endocannabinoid System:
How to choose a CBD product?
If you’ve decided by now that you’d like to give hemp oil a try, you might be wondering how you should go about choosing a product. There is no shortage of brands, each claiming to be the best, of CBD-only and full-spectrum hemp. So, how do you wade through the vast amounts of information and choose the best one for you?
Well, if you want to simply know what I’m using and start with that…I’m using the Endoca Raw Hemp Oil 1500mg. But, if you’re curious as to why I chose to use that specific hemp oil, then read on 🙂
Basically, there are 3 reasons why I chose Endoca:
- transparency of ingredients and full range of cannabinoids (full spectrum)
- extraction method
- company history and mission
It’s important to know what you’re taking and what’s in your oil. Not every company does third-party lab testing to verify their product and not all companies give easy access to their test results. The more reputable companies do prominently display their results, which allow you to compare side-by-side the products you are considering.
For Crohn’s, everything I read and came across recommended using a full-spectrum hemp oil. Full spectrum means that all of the plant cannabinoids are in the product rather than extracting only the cannabidiol (CBD). This is said to have a synergistic effect for how the product works, much like eating a real orange has more nutrients and benefits than taking only a vitamin C pill.
Since I was on the search for a full-spectrum hemp oil, I started comparing the lab results of the companies I was interested in purchasing from. In making my final decision, I narrowed my choices down to Endoca and Ned. When comparing the two, Endoca appeared to have more cannabinoids present (including CBDA, CBN, CBDV, and others) than Ned, so that broke the tie I otherwise had in my decision.
In the same way that people are concerned about whether or not their coconut oil is cold pressed, it’s important to know how the cannabinoids in hemp are extracted to help determine its quality. The three most-common extraction methods are CO2, ethanol, and olive oil.
The short descriptions of each are that: a) in olive-oil extraction, the plant is first heated and then fats are used to absorb and capture the plant compounds–this is typically an at-home method; b) in ethanol extraction, the water-soluble molecules are dissolved, but an additional filtering step must be done to remove chlorophyll, which also removes some of the cannabinoids; and c) in CO2 extraction, carbon dioxide, pressure, and low temperatures preserve and isolate the compounds while creating an oil that is free of chlorophyll and highly concentrated (Endoca uses supercritical CO2 extraction).
Extraction methods for hemp oil:
Company history and mission:
While this may not seem important to some, to me I believe that a company with a strong history, deep roots, and passionate owners/employees who care about the world and environment typically has a deeper connection to its products, quality, and service.
The Endoca story stuck out to me as one with a humble beginning and passionate owner who is dedicated to quality, sustainability, and making hemp oil available to everyone. They even created the Endoca Foundation, a non-profit organization to support The Endoca Institute of Cannabis, Natural Medicine and Sustainability and to help parents who cannot afford CBD oil for their children.
In my next post, I’ll be covering how much to take and tips for getting starting!