CBD Oils and Pastes
CBD oils and pastes are typically taken orally. Some brands also call them tinctures, which may or may not contain alcohol as a solvent. CBD pastes are pure concentrated extracts which have a relatively strong flavour. CBD oils contain the concentrated extract dissolved in an edible carrier oil, and can be natural or have different flavours added, such as peppermint or citrus, to make it more palatable. The properties of CBD mean it easily dissolves in oils and less easily in water. CBD is a relatively large, lipophilic (fat liking) molecule, which means it not usually water-soluble. This means that the absorption of CBD in the body can be slow and not very efficient. The bioavailability of the CBD is dependent on how well it is absorbed into the blood stream and is lower with products that go through the body’s gastrointestinal system. 1.
Increasing the Bioavailability of CBD
Studies have shown that taking CBD with food, particularly high fat meals, increases absorption and the bioavailability of CBD within the body. 2., 3., 4., 5. Sublingual tinctures and sprays that are held under the tongue for a minute or two before swallowing allow some of the CBD to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream which increases the bioavailability of the CBD. There are a few products on the market that claim to be water-soluble, where the CBD has undergone nanotechnology processing to break the CBD down into smaller particles to increase its solubility in water. These water-soluble products appear to be more easily absorbed with bioavailability increased in comparison to oil based CBD. 6., 7.
Further information on bioavailability and dosage can be found here.
Types of CBD Extracts
Full-Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and CBD Isolate
CBD products contain either full-spectrum extracts, broad-spectrum extracts or CBD isolate. Full-spectrum extracts, also called whole plant extracts, contain the full array of cannabinoids and other naturally occurring plant constituents including small quantities of THC. By law, CBD products in the UK cannot contain more than 1mg of THC per container. Full spectrum products are believed to increase the entourage effect and as such, the effectiveness of the CBD. 8. 9.
Broad-spectrum extracts have gone through additiona processing contain the full array of naturally occurring plant constituents except THC. These products are suitable for people who want to avoid THC altogether. CBD isolate has gone through extensive processing to remove all the naturally occurring plant constituents so that only pure CBD remains. Studies have shown that patients using CBD isolate had to use higher amounts of CBD to manage symptoms in comparison to patients using CBD rich plant extracts, with fewer side effects reported by those using CBD rich plant extracts. 10.
Extracts that have gone through the least processing are called Raw extracts. Raw CBD oils and pastes contain extracts have not undergone heat processing, meaning they contain CBDa (the precursor to CBD) as well as a greater range of terpenes and flavonoids, which are degraded during heating. As such, raw products are likely to contribute to the entourage effect to a greater degree than heat processed products.
Further information on the different types of CBD extracts can be found here.
The Flexibility of CBD Oils and Pastes
In addition to taking CBD oils and pastes orally, they can be also mixed with creams and ointments and applied topically to your skin. Many brands have their own topical products, but due to any number of reasons they may not suit everyone. You can add CBD oils and pastes to your own creams and lotions to make your own custom products (personally, I would only use the unflavoured oils for this). You can then use these instead of, or in addition to taking the CBD oils and pastes orally. Some people have reported that taking CBD orally and topically has helped to increase the therapeutic effect of the CBD. However, please be careful that you don’t overdose or you could experience unpleasant side-effects. This is particularly important if you take regular prescription medication.
Which CBD product should I buy?
All of these factors should be taken into account when deciding which CBD product to buy. All of the products featured on my website are high quality, safety conscious brands that have been independently lab tested. The products are arranged by brand alphabetically and all are delivered to the UK. In the interests of transparency, I have not personally bought and used them all, but I only feature products that I would buy and use myself.
When you click on any of the products you will be taken directly to the supplier’s website where you can read reviews and relevant information about the product you are considering. If you choose to purchase any of the products linked from my pages, I will earn a small commission from the supplier at no cost to you. You will pay exactly the same price as you would buying directly from the supplier. Any available discounts still apply. Occasionally the suppliers provide me with discount codes, solely for use by anyone buying through my links. These are shown beside each valid product.
1. Millar, S.A., Maguire, R.F., Yates, A.S. and O’Sullivan, S.E., 2020. Towards better delivery of cannabidiol (CBD). Pharmaceuticals, 13(9), p.219.
2. Pagano S, Coniglio M, Valenti C, Federici MI, Lombardo G, Cianetti S, Marinucci L. Biological effects of Cannabidiol on normal human healthy cell populations: Systematic review of the literature. Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Oct 7;132:110728. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110728. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33038581.
3. Nelson, K.M., Bisson, J., Singh, G., Graham, J.G., Chen, S.N., Friesen, J.B., Dahlin, J.L., Niemitz, M., Walters, M.A. and Pauli, G.F., 2020. The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Cannabidiol (CBD). Journal of medicinal chemistry, 63(21), pp.12137-12155.
4. Millar, S.A., Stone, N.L., Yates, A.S. and O’sullivan, S.E., 2018. A systematic review on the pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol in humans. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, p.1365.
5. Taylor, L., Gidal, B., Blakey, G., Tayo, B. and Morrison, G., 2018. A phase I, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single ascending dose, multiple dose, and food effect trial of the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of highly purified cannabidiol in healthy subjects. CNS drugs, 32(11), pp.1053-1067.
6. Hobbs, J.M., Vazquez, A.R., Remijan, N.D., Trotter, R.E., McMillan, T.V., Freedman, K.E., Wei, Y., Woelfel, K.A., Arnold, O.R., Wolfe, L.M. and Johnson, S.A., 2020. Evaluation of pharmacokinetics and acute anti‐inflammatory potential of two oral cannabidiol preparations in healthy adults. Phytotherapy Research, 34(7), pp.1696-1703.
7. Izgelov, D., Davidson, E., Barasch, D., Regev, A., Domb, A.J. and Hoffman, A., 2020. Pharmacokinetic investigation of synthetic cannabidiol oral formulations in healthy volunteers. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 154, pp.108-115.
8. Uziel, A., Gelfand, A., Amsalem, K., Berman, P., Lewitus, G.M., Meiri, D. and Lewitus, D.Y., 2020. Full-Spectrum Cannabis Extract Microdepots Support Controlled Release of Multiple Phytocannabinoids for Extended Therapeutic Effect. ACS applied materials & interfaces, 12(21), pp.23707-23716.
9. Maayah, Z.H., Takahara, S., Ferdaoussi, M. and Dyck, J.R., 2020. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of formulated full-spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis. Inflammation Research, 69(6), pp.549-558.
10. Pamplona, F.A., da Silva, L.R. and Coan, A.C., 2018. Potential clinical benefits of CBD-rich cannabis extracts over purified CBD in treatment-resistant epilepsy: observational data meta-analysis. Frontiers in neurology, 9, p.759.