As far as trendy wellness terms are concerned, veganism holds the top spot. And, of course, pure CBD oil is equally top on the chart. But can these two be fused? Does CBD oil fit into the vegan diet?
You are about to find out.
Perhaps you’ve jumped on the CBD oil bandwagon to experience its many touted health benefits. The answer to “Is CBD vegan-friendly?” depends on how the CBD oil was made. There are 100% vegan CBD products like CBD capsules, vegan CBD gummies, or any you prefer – you’ve just got to know what to look for.
Some CBD oils and edibles contain honey, gelatin, or other animal-derived compounds.
That’s where this article comes in handy. We’ll uncover the truth about CBD oil and vegan diets so you can make an informed choice.
What Is CBD Oil and How Is It Made?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of over 100 chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. It’s extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of hemp or marijuana plants.
The key difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp contains very little THC, which produces a “high” feeling. CBD oil from hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, so it won’t get you stoned and is legal.
CBD oil from marijuana typically includes 5-30% THC. Thus it may produce a buzz and is mainly legal for medical purposes.
Manufacturers use solvents like CO2 or ethanol to separate CBD from the plant material to produce CBD oil. The extract is then diluted with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. Some CBD oils also contain beneficial compounds like CBC, CBG, and terpenes to enhance the effects.
The result is a highly concentrated, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum CBD oil that can be taken sublingually (under the tongue), ingested orally, or applied topically. The potency typically ranges from 100 to over 3,000mg of CBD per bottle.
Therefore, while CBD oil does come from cannabis plants, it contains little to no THC, the psychoactive compound that produces a “high” effect. As long as the CBD is derived from hemp, it should be considered vegan. However, some CBD oils may use animal-based ingredients in their carrier oils or supplements, so check with the manufacturer to make sure.
Is CBD Oil Derived From Hemp or Marijuana?
The veganism of cannabidiol hinges on where CBD is derived from. It can either be extracted from hemp or marijuana plants.
Hemp-derived CBD Oil is Considered Vegan
Hemp plants contain very little THC (the compound that causes a high), so hemp-derived CBD oil contains negligible THC and is legal nationwide.
Marijuana-derived CBD Oil Is Not Technically Vegan
Marijuana plants typically contain higher amounts of THC, so CBD oil derived from marijuana may still contain traces of THC. Note that marijuana is still illegal under federal law. It’s safe to say marijuana-derived CBD oil is illegal nationwide.
Some vegans avoid hemp-derived CBD oil because the hemp plant is very similar to the marijuana plant. However, hemp plants are bred specifically to contain little THC and are legal agricultural crops. That’s why people consider properly sourced hemp-derived CBD oil to be vegan.
When shopping for CBD oil, check the source. Reputable brands will clearly state if their CBD comes from hemp or marijuana.
For vegans and those avoiding THC, hemp-derived CBD oil is the way to go. Contact the company to ask about their sourcing and processing methods when in doubt. With the right brand, you can enjoy the benefits of CBD oil without compromising your ethics or the law.
Are Animal Byproducts Used to Make CBD Oil?
When determining if CBD oil is vegan, an important question is whether animal byproducts are used during production. Many people assume that because CBD is derived from hemp, a plant, it must be vegan. However, some CBD brands use animal byproducts in their extraction and manufacturing processes.
Are Animal Byproducts Used?
The short answer is yes; some CBD companies use animal byproducts like beeswax or honey in their CBD oils, salves, and other products. During the CBD extraction process, manufacturers may use an oil base, emulsifier, or carrying agent derived from animals to infuse the CBD into products. Sometimes they even use milk-derived ingredients like lactose or whey.
However, many reputable CBD companies focus on 100% plant-based ingredients and vegan CBD oil extraction processes. Instead of animal byproducts, they rely on natural plant-derived oils like MCT, olive, or hempseed oil as a base and plant-based emulsifiers and carrying agents. Some popular vegan CBD brands are Veritas Farms, CBDfx, and CBDistillery. When shopping for CBD oil, check the ingredients list and look for the vegan certification to ensure no animal products are used.
Some other things to keep in mind:
- CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD oils can all be vegan. It depends on the specific ingredients used by the manufacturer.
- CBD topicals like creams, salves, and balms may contain beeswax or other animal byproducts as a thickening agent. Look for vegan alternatives.
- CBD capsules and gummies typically contain vegan ingredients like cellulose, but some brands may use gelatin. Check with the company to confirm.
- Certain CBD extraction methods, like lipid extraction, may employ animal fats, but solventless procedures, like CO2 extraction, are vegan.
By choosing a reputable vegan CBD brand and checking the ingredients and extraction method, you can feel confident you’re getting 100% plant-based CBD oil.
Common Ingredients in CBD Oil and Their Origins
The ingredients in CBD oil vary between brands and products, but there are a few common ones you should know about to determine if CBD oil is vegan-friendly.
Carrier oils dilute concentrated CBD extracts and carry the CBD compounds. Common carrier oils include:
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is plant-based and vegan. It’s a popular carrier oil used in many CBD tinctures and topicals.
- MCT oil: MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. MCT oil is made from coconut oil and palm kernel oil. While palm oil is vegan, its production has led to deforestation and habitat destruction. Some vegans avoid palm oil and MCT oil.
- Hemp seed oil: Hemp seed oil comes from hemp seeds and is 100% vegan. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
The CBD in CBD oils comes from hemp extracts. The most common extracts are:
- Full-spectrum: Contains CBD and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids extracted from hemp. Full-spectrum extracts are vegan as they come from the hemp plant.
- Broad-spectrum: Contains CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes but with the THC removed. Broad-spectrum extracts are also vegan because they originate from hemp.
- CBD isolate: This means pure CBD with no other cannabinoids. CBD isolate powder is vegan since it’s derived from hemp.
Flavorings and Additives
Some CBD oils contain natural or artificial flavorings and additives like stevia, monk fruit, or chemical flavor compounds. Ensure any flavorings and additives in a CBD oil are listed explicitly as vegan by the brand before purchasing. Unflavored CBD oils with all-natural ingredients are your safest vegan option.
If you’re the type of food planner who wants to ensure the content of what you consume, always check with the brand for any questions about specific ingredients.
Are There Vegan CBD Oil Brands and Products?
So you’ve decided to try CBD oil but want to ensure you get a vegan product. The good news is there are many vegan CBD oil brands and products.
Check the Ingredients
The first thing to look for is the list of ingredients. High-quality vegan CBD oils will clearly state “100% plant-based” or “vegan” on the packaging or website.
They should contain only CBD extract, MCT oil or olive oil, and natural flavors. Avoid any products containing honey, beeswax, gelatin, or other animal derivatives.
Buy From Vegan Companies
Some CBD companies like CBDistillery, NuLeaf Naturals, and cbdMD are certified vegan and cruelty-free. They offer oils, gummies, capsules, and topicals made from organic hemp extract and vegan ingredients. These companies are dedicated to providing ethical, plant-based wellness products so that you can trust their vegan claims.
Check for Certifications
Look for independent certifications that verify a product is truly vegan. Some major certifying organizations include Vegan Action, also known as the Vegan Awareness Foundation, which provides the Vegan Certified seal and awards the Certified Vegan label.
If a brand has undergone certification, it’s a good sign they are committed to vegan and cruelty-free standards.
Buy Full-Spectrum or Broad-Spectrum
Choose a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum vegan CBD oil for the most potent effects. Full-spectrum oils have all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in hemp, including trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%).
Broad-spectrum oils have had the THC removed but still contain CBD and other hemp compounds. CBD isolate fats only contain pure CBD and may be less effective. Opt for products made from organic, non-GMO hemp for the cleanest ingredients.
With so many great vegan CBD options available, you can get the benefits of CBD oil without compromising your values.
Although the CBD compound is plant-based and vegan, many CBD products contain other ingredients that do not meet vegan standards.
The bottom line is you must carefully research and read the ingredients list and product details. As the CBD market grows, more brands recognize the demand for high-quality, vegan CBD products. With so many options available, you can find a CBD oil that aligns with your values and needs.
The key is learning to spot vegan cannabidiol that contains no hidden animal byproducts. Now you can make an informed choice about whether CBD oil has a place in your vegan lifestyle.