People everywhere are consuming CBD products - and for good reason! Ongoing scientific research continues to link CBD to a long list of benefits from combating inflammation to improving sleep to pain management. There are many forms of CBD found on shelves (topicals, capsules and gummies to name a few), but the most common form is a tincture, often referred to as CBD Oil.
CBD, like all cannabinoids, is lipophilic - that means it loves fat! CBD is most readily absorbed in the body when paired with a fat, which explains why tinctures most often use an oil for a carrier. MCT and hempseed oils are common carrier oils, but here at Lily Hill we prefer using organic extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in our products for its long shelf-life and great health benefits.
Types of Olive Oil
Olive oil is the liquid fat collected from pressing whole olives. How the olives are processed results in different grades of olive oil – refined and unrefined. Unrefined oils are pure and untreated which means there are no chemicals added or heat being used in the extraction process. This results in a purer oil with a stronger taste. Refined oils have been treated to remove any flaws and are usually lighter in color and milder in taste.
Extra virgin olive oil is an unrefined oil made from the first pressing of the olives. It is considered the finest grade because it has the freshest, fruitiest flavor and is typically darker in color than other grades of olive oil.
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
You have probably heard that olive oil is one of the shining stars in the Mediterranean diet. Inhabitants of the Mediterranean region have used olive oil for centuries; many believe that this is the key to its population’s youth and longevity. Olive oil is high in antioxidants - these reduce the negative effects of free radicals that can contribute to the development of disease.
Inflammation is thought to be one of the key drivers behind certain chronic health problems, including Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes. The predominant monounsaturated fat in olive oil is oleic acid, which makes up almost 3/4 of the oil content. Studies have shown that oleic acid has an anti-inflammatory effect that has been compared to ibuprofen in terms of its profile and potency. It is suggested that this acid may be able to help fight cancer by protecting healthy cells from the genes linked to cancer cells.
Olive oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in preventing heart disease. The body transforms these acids into prostaglandins, which are substances that can block inflammation and help regulate heart, liver and kidney function. EVOO also promotes heart health by reducing blood pressure and improving healthy cholesterol levels.
Olive oil is great for your skin too, which is why we use it as a base for our salve. Its humectant properties moisturize and soothe dry and sun-damaged skin. The oleic acid also supports the skin's natural breathing process and sebum production.
Olive Oil and CBD
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biochemical communication system that regulates many of the body's everyday functions. Cannabinoids (like CBD) bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the ECS, setting off a chain reaction that triggers different effects such as improving sleep and countering pain. If the receptors are damaged, the effects may not be so potent.
An intake of sufficient omega-3 and omega-6 is needed to repair and replace CB1 and CB2 receptors. This repair and replacement process is important so our bodies can utilize both phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids sources outside the body) like CBD and endocannabinoids (cannabinoids made in the body), which regulate homeostasis within the body. Research has shown that in order to get the maximum benefit from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, you need to ingest them in the proper ratio; 1 part omega-3 to 10 parts omega-6. Coincidentally, that is the ratio in which they are present in olive oil.
The synergy between the ECS and EVOO is starting to be discovered. There have been studies that show EVOO increases the CB1 receptor’s sensitivity to a tumor-suppressing gene in human colon cancer cells. This discovery may lead to a new therapeutic avenue for treatment and/or prevention of colon cancer.
Olive oil and cannabis have been utilized around the world for many generations. They have become increasingly more recognized and celebrated and, when combined, have been proven to provide some incredible health benefits.