CBD beginners guide Page

What is CBD?

CBD is the most prevalent cannabinoid extracted from the plant Cannabis Sativa. It is a non-psychoactive and completely legal super supplement.

CBD can come in two forms:

CBDa – Cannabidolic acid

CBD – Cannabidiol

CBDa is the raw form of CBD. Once Cannabidiolic Acid is heated or decarboxylated, releasing the Carbon Dioxide, it converts to the active form Cannabidiol (CBD). When we purchase CBD we are usually looking for the active compound Cannabidiol which has been the subject of so many studies and clinical trials in recent years.

The Endocannabinoid System

The human body has an Endocannabinoid system (ECS) made up of cannabinoid receptors, when we take certain cannabinoids, such as CBD, these receptors are activated. Activated receptors help our body regulate homeostasis, which is the balancing of internal environments in spite of changing external ones. ECS receptors have been found everywhere scientists have looked; our organs, connective tissue, immune cells, immune system, the list goes on.

Research suggests the ECS can support and maintain several bodily functions.

How to take CBD

The most effective way to take CBD is sublingual (under your tongue). By ingesting CBD under your tongue, you maximize the absorption into your bloodstream. You should hold the CBD there for 90-120 seconds before swallowing for the best results. Remember to shake the bottle well before use.

How to dose CBD

Everyone reacts differently to CBD. It is recommended to start with a low dosage and gradually build up the number of mg you take per day, until you receive the desired effect. This way you’ll be able to find your correct dose more precisely. Start with half a dropper twice a day. After 3 days you may want to increase the dose to 1 full dropper (10mg) twice a day and so on until you feel the required improvement.

Different Formulas

Not every bottle branded as "CBD oil" is the same which can make purchasing very confusing. This can be simplified by putting CBD oils into three main categories:

Full Spectrum - When CBD oil is referred to as Full Spectrum it contains all cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Along with this spectrum of cannabinoids comes an ‘entourage effect’ which is a major factor in the efficacy of Full Spectrum oil. There are over 100 ‘identified’ compounds in the hemp plant. While most of these compounds have their own effects, they combine synergistically to provide a far better performance than any single compound, including CBD. This is the same version used in the Koha Ora Original Formula range.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a well known compound in this type of oil which contributes to the ‘entourage effect’. THC, known for its psychoactive effects, is present well below the European threshold of 0.2% in Koha Ora CBD. This makes it: completely legal, undetectable by many scientific tests, too small a dose to have any psychoactive effects, contribute to the products effectiveness.

Raw/whole plant - CBD oil is referred to as raw or whole plant when it hasn't gone through decarboxylation which involves heating up cannabinoids.. When this process isn't done you get some additional raw compounds from the hemp plant that aren't found after decarboxylation such as CBDa (cannabidiolic acid), CBGa (cannabigerolic acid), phenols, terepens, pigments and flavonoids which are believed to improve the 'entourage effect'. These additional compounds also change the taste, colour and texture of the oil giving it what is described as a more earthy feel. The combined CBD level in Koha Ora RAW products are split between CBDa and CBD. This product can be found in the Koha Ora RAW range.

Isolate - CBD isolate doesn't contain any of the compounds associated with the 'entourage effect' other than CBD itself which can lead to disappointment among consumers when this is realised. CBD isolate is popular among people who don't want to take THC, this is understandable though there are two points worth mentioning: the levels of THC found in non-isolate Koha Ora formulas are completely legal, THC is beneficial to the 'entourage effect’. This product is not stocked on our site.

These are the most popular CBD formulas. There are no set names for different formula mixes and so these might vary from company to company. The above are the generally accepted definitions for these formulas.

Different Extraction Methods

There are two different commercial extraction methods:

Solvent Extraction - This method involves using a liquid solvent such as ethanol, alcohol, butane or isopropyl and is the most common in the industry. The process works by running a solvent through hemp plant matter (such as flower or leaves) which strips the hemp of its cannabinoids. This cannabinoid filled liquid is then evaporated leaving behind crystalised cannabinoids.

There are some notable downsides to this method such as:

  1. toxic gasses released by the solvents are harmful to the environment.
  2. Traces of solvent can be left in the mixture, which poses an unnecessary health risk to consumers.

CO2 Extraction - This method is an example of green chemistry because it is a clean and safe process with no negative impact on the environment. It is the most expensive extraction method though comes with the benefit of giving the highest quality end product. This process works by putting liquid CO2 into a supercritical state, this supercritical CO2 is then passed through the hemp plant matter extracting its cannabinoids. The supercritical CO2 and cannabinoids are then separated. This is Koha Ora’s chosen extraction method.


Bioavailability is described as the rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream. The Bioavailability of CBD differs depending on how you take it, ideally you want as much of it absorbed into your bloodstream as possible. There are a few different ways people consume CBD:

1. Oral - This method includes taking CBD via capsules, edibles, beverages and mixing CBD oil with food. While all these methods are popular we recommend against them, this is because they all have low bioavailability percentages in the 4-20% range. This means for every 100mg you consume somewhere in between 4mg and 20mg is going into your bloodstream, which you will see is lower than other methods.

2. Sublingual - This method involves holding CBD under your tongue for at least 90 seconds. Using this method you can expect bio-availability to range between 14-35% which is significantly higher than oral consumption.

3. Vapor - This method involves inhaling the CBD directly into the lungs via a vaping device and a bio-availability level of between 34-46% can be expected. Before choosing this method there are some things to consider: it can be difficult to find the right evaporation level depending on the compound, there are questions regarding the safety due to lack of research, this method requires a specific knowledge of  different devices as not all work effectively at delivering the CBD.

CBD dictionary

This is our list of CBD related words and what they mean. We hope this will be a useful tool on your CBD journey:

  • 3rd party certification - A lab result that shows the different levels of Cannabinoid present in a tested batch of oil
  • 3rd party heavy metal certification - A lab result that shows the different levels of heavy metals present in a tested batch of oil
  • Anandamide - A neurotransmitter that regulates many natural functions within the body
  • Bioavailable - The rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Cannabinoid - A group of chemical compounds from the hemp plant that activate endocannabinoid receptors
  • Cannabis - A plant family with three species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis ruderalis
  • CB1 Receptors - A type of receptor found in the endocannabinoid system
  • CB2 Receptors - A type of receptor found in the endocannabinoid system
  • CBD-a - Cannabidiolic Acid is the precursor compound to cbd.
  • CBD - Cannabidiol, the most common compound extracted from the plant Cannabis Sativa.
  • CBD Oil - Sometimes referred to as the ‘carrier oil’ this is the substance that holds the CBD to make it Bioavailable.
  • CBG - Cannabigerol is the second most prevenalt compound extracted from the plant Cannabis Sativa.
  • CO2 Extraction - A method of extracting compounds from the hemp plant.
  • Endocannabinoid - Endogenous neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors like Cannabinoids.
  • Endocannabinoid System (ECS) - A system of receptors found throughout the human body that control homeostasis.
  • Enzyme - A molecule that speeds up reactions without being destroyed.
  • Extraction - The removal of something.
  • Full-Spectrum - CBD oil is referred to as Full-Spectrum when it holds all of the cannabinoids present in the plant Cannabis Sativa.
  • Hemp - A strain of the Cannabis Sativa plant species that comes from the Cannabis plant family.
  • Hemp Extract - Compound(s) removed from the hemp plant.
  • Hemp Oil - Oil that has been removed from the hemp plant.
  • Homeostasis - The balancing of internal bodily functions in spite of changing external ones.
  • Marijuana - A Strain of Cannabis Indica plant species with a high THC content that comes from the Cannabis plant family
  • Pipette - The glass pressure device used to take CBD oil.
  • RAW - A type of hemp oil that ‘t decarboxylated and so holds additional compounds.
  • Sublingual
  • THC - A Psychoactive compound found in plants from the Cannabis family. Due to regulation requirements all CBD oil in the UK must have less than 0.2% THC.