As many of you may already know, CBD is an organic substance. An active compound which is carefully extracted from the hemp plant. This substance needs to be treated with the upmost care and respect, for consumers to reach the best results with it. Obviously this starts at the cultivation phase and extraction of cannabinoids from the plant material, but sure doesn’t end there. In fact, the most important part of producing effective and stable CBD products comes after the substance’s been extracted: its storage.
Producing CBD oil
Without boring you with too much details, we’d like to give you a quick explanation on what CBD actually is and how CBD oil is made. As we think this is important to know and helps to understand why CBD is stored the way it is.
CBD (short for Cannabidiol) is one of the many active compounds found in hemp. It is a fatty element that occurs naturally on the flowers and leafs of mature hemp plants. That’s right, CBD is not naturally present in all stages of the plant’s development. In fact, you’ll find the highest concentration of CBD in mature hemp plants. This has to do with the fact that cannabinoids like CBD, and other elements found in hemp, change during the development of the plant.
It has even been discovered that the cannabinoid Cannabigerol (CBG), described in this previously published blog, is the precursor of CBD. Meaning that before CBD becomes CBD, it starts off as CBG. Then after a certain process which happens while the hemp plant matures, CBG slowly turns into CBD-acid or THC-acid; depending on the cultivar (strain or variety of the hemp / cannabis plant). That’s why it is so important to know what hemp variety you’re using and when to harvest the plants - to know what you’ll be extracting and what effects the product might offer. This is the first step in producing the best hemp extracts for high quality CBD oil.
Oxidation of cannabinoids
As you would expect, these cannabinoids keep changing over time. And the rate in which they change depends on environmental factors. Luckily, CBD is a very stable component - and will stay CBD for about 10 years before it oxides and changes into the very rare CBD-HQ. At Dutch Natural Healing, we found a way to speed this process up, though. This puts us in the lucky position to be able to produce this very special cannabinoid ourselves, and offer it to consumers in our webshop.
Though other elements in hemp extracts are less stable. Take THC-a for example, which could pretty easily decarboxylate, turning it into the psychoactive delta9-THC. After which it can oxide and change into the more sedative cannabinoid: CBN. For this to happen, all it needs is UV from daylight and oxygen. Though this process too, needs several years to complete. And let’s be honest, most CBD oils don’t last that long with regular use…
Our best CBD oils are made with extracts from carefully selected hemp plants, which are harvested especially late. This ensures they contain a high concentration of CBD; but that’s not all. As we let our farmer ripe the plants a little more compared to other CBD producers. Resulting in a wider variety of cannabinoids - such as CBN, CBC and CBG - to aid the product’s synergetic entourage effect. After extraction, we make sure our products are stored well and stay stable. Accordingly, for CBG extracts and CBG oil we make sure our plants are harvested earlier to contain higher levels of this ‘stem cell’-cannabinoid.
Though cannabinoids are not the only substances present in our CBD oil - nor are they ones we need to keep stable. For the best entourage-effect, we make sure each CBD product we produce contains a wide variety of terpenes, too. These aromatic compounds give each cultivar their unique smell and taste - and determine the effects your cannabinoid product will have on the body and mind. In short, CBD products containing more limonene (also found in lemons) for example, will provide a more activating effect - perfect for use during the day. While CBD products with higher concentrations of the calming terpene myrcene or linalool, will have a more relaxing effect - and are therefore better suited for nighttime use. The richer your product is in terpenes, the better its effects will be.
And where cannabinoids are pretty stable and require a long time to oxide or degrade, terpenes are known to be highly volatile. Meaning that the slightest temperature change, ray of UV or whiff of oxygen may cause terpenes to evaporate - slightly decreasing the efficacy of the product with each particle lost. To avoid this from happening and ensure the longest possible shelf-life for our products; almost all Dutch Natural Healing CBD products are bottled in dark, UV-blocking bottles. After closing the bottles tight with a screw-on dripper cap, those terpenes are not going anywhere - unless you let them!
Obviously, you’ll find our CBD Curcumine edition and CBD HQ are bottled in transparant bottles. These products have a beautiful colour, which we love to see and show to the world. CBD HQ always comes closed with a spray-head, though. This means you won’t have to actually open the bottle (and let terpenes escape) to use the product. Curcumine edition is a water-soluble product, taken through a process which makes the terpenes less volatile. This product too, comes with a dripper which stays on the bottle at all times - to avoid evaporation of active ingredients. It is advised to store these in a dark and cool place and keep the bottles closed when not in use.