CBD 101: Intro Guide > What Is CBD?

What Is CBD?

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CBD (aka cannabidiol) is a natural chemical that is commonly used for health and wellness. CBD can be harvested from any plant in the cannabis family but is most often harvested from hemp. It is one of the most researched of the 85+ chemicals compounds (called cannabinoids) found in these plants. Cannabidiol is safe, non-addictive, legal, and doesn’t get you high.

If you don’t know what CBD is, you are not alone. There are over 2.5 million Google searches each month to find information about CBD. This guide covers the important question of “what is CBD”. We will also touch on some of the other questions about CBD.

 

What is CBD – Overview

The topics covered in this section are listed below. If you have a specific area of interest, click the button to jump to that section.

Why Does CBD Matter? dropdown arrowsEffects & Uses dropdown arrowsScience of CBD dropdown arrowsTaking CBD dropdown arrowsIs CBD The Same As…? dropdown arrows Is it Legal? dropdown arrowsHow is CBD Made? dropdown arrows

After reading this 10-minute guide you will understand why so many people are talking about CBD for health and wellness.

woman looking out into a forest from a bridge with anxiety

Why Does It Matter?

Cannabidiol has a rich history of being used as a plant-based medicine, dating back to ancient China. Today, scientists are able to extract and study the chemical’s potential for health and wellness.

As of 2019, there are over 10,000 scientific and medical studies¹ into the benefits of cannabidiol. More than half of these studies have been published in the last five years, with thousands more currently underway. Many of these studies focus on pain, anxiety, mental health, inflammation, and brain health.

It is hard to say if CBD is so popular today because of all this research or if the research is growing because it is so popular. Regardless, there are now millions of people hearing about it from friends, stories on the news, or just seeing it online. This newfound popularity is important because it helps people learn about something that could improve their lives. The life-changing potential can be a source of hope and optimism. Many health conditions don’t have a solution that works for everyone, but if cannabidiol can help some of them… It will make a huge difference in their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Why haven’t I heard of CBD until now?

If you are wondering why you are just now hearing of cannabidiol, it is because research and use have been highly restricted until recently. Since the 1970s, the government treated any plant from the cannabis family as a controlled substance. Marijuana and hemp are both plants in the cannabis family. But, hemp and cannabidiol do not have any psychoactive effects. Because it comes from the cannabis family of plants, a stigma was unfairly associated with it. This made research into the chemical significantly restricted for decades.

Finally, the tides began to shift when the U.S. government allowed states to start hemp agricultural programs in 2014. Then, in December 2018, the newly enacted U.S. Farm Bill² clarified the status of hemp and hemp byproducts (including CBD). This law made hemp legal. It also defined it as distinct from marijuana as long as the plant has less than 0.3% THC (the chemical in marijuana that is responsible for the high).

*We will discuss where CBD comes from and its legal status later in the article.

person holding their hands in the sky in excitement after feeling CBD

Effects & Uses

Today, the potential of CBD is being explored by hopeful individuals. At the same time, its effects are being tested and confirmed by doctors and scientists. Medical research trials are still in the early stages for specific uses.

But, existing research shows significant evidence for a wide range of mental and physical health benefits. While more clinical research is ongoing, there is evidence for these effects³:

  • Reduces frequency or counteracts seizures
  • Decreases anxiety in social situations and relieves stress from a long day
  • Helps support healthy joint function
  • Relieves pain from over-exertion and intense movement
  • Promotes brain health and helps with memory problems associated with aging

Based on the evidence, many medical conditions could be helped by adding CBD. It could benefit the symptoms of over 50 different medical conditions including arthritis, epilepsy, anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, and more.

female scientist researching effects of CBD in a laboratory

Science of CBD

How does CBD work in the body? There are 80+ naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, two are particularly noteworthy: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). The chemicals in the cannabis plant are often called cannabinoids.

 

Tetrahydrocannabinol & Cannabidiol

THC and CBD are of particular interest because each chemical has the potential to provide powerful therapeutic benefits⁴. Both chemicals act on receptors throughout the human body and brain. The most obvious difference is that THC causes the high that users get from marijuana, but CBD does not have any high or intoxicating effects.

 

Endocannabinoid System

Due to the research into the effects of cannabinoids, scientists discovered a system in our bodies known as the endocannabinoid system⁵ (ECS). This system is acted on by cannabinoids that the body creates naturally. It can also be impacted by cannabinoids produced by cannabis plants.

The endocannabinoid receptors⁶ throughout the body respond to cannabinoids to maintain homeostasis and to moderate the body’s internal responses. Research states⁷ that the ECS has been shown to help regulate pain, mood, sleep, anxiety, appetite, inflammation, and more.

Woman holding her arms up in happiness while enjoying the water in the background

Taking CBD

There are many products on the market that include CBD. When some people first hear of cannabidiol, they think you have to smoke it or vape it. But, that is not true. Some of the most popular ways to take CBD products include:

When you are deciding if CBD is right for you there are three things to consider:

  1. Finding the right dosage that will provide your desired benefits.
  2. Choosing the best type of product for your lifestyle.
  3. Deciding when you want to take CBD.

Note: If you are considering CBD products, talk to your doctor to see if it is a good fit for you. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Dense clusters of cannabis plants and leaves

Is CBD The Same As…

There are a lot of terms flying around related to CBD. You may have heard it talked about with a variety of different names. This section will clear up any confusion so that you know exactly what you are talking about. CBD is also referred to by its longer scientific name, cannabidiol. These are exactly the same thing. Three letters are just easier to say and remember.

 

CBD Oil

CBD Oil is another common way to reference cannabidiol and it is one of the most common consumer CBD products. The phrase “CBD Oil” is usually talking about a mixture of the cannabidiol chemical and carrier oil.

When cannabidiol is extracted from the hemp plant it is usually in a powder or paste (depending on how it is processed). CBD powder is oil-soluble, meaning it dissolves in oil. A carrier oil is mixed with the cannabidiol to make it easier to consume as a supplement or food additive. The “oil” in CBD oil is usually one of two types: MCT oil (made from coconut/palm) or hemp seed oil.

The extracted chemical CBD is added to the oil in a specific amount, represented by the milligrams of CBD, typically 500mg, 750mg, or 1500mg.

 

Hemp Extract

Hemp extract is a more broad term than CBD. Any substance that is extracted from the hemp plant is a hemp extract. Pure cannabidiol (when it comes from hemp) is a hemp extract. But not all hemp extracts are cannabidiol. A hemp extract could be a combination of any of the other components in hemp.

That means, it is possible to have a product that is 100% hemp extract but 0% CBD. This is especially important to be aware of when buying products. Always look for the mg of CBD in the product.

 

Hemp Oil or Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp oil commonly refers to an oil that is pressed from the hemp seeds. That means hemp seed oil is similar to cooking oil, such as sunflower oil. The oil from hemp seeds has immeasurably low levels of CBD naturally. Most of the CBD in the hemp plant is concentrated in the roughage of the plant, not the seeds.  Hemp seed oil can also be used in a variety of different ways, including as a “carrier oil”  for CBD oil products, like referenced above.

 

Medical Marijuana

CBD is not medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is prescribed by a doctor as a treatment for specific conditions. Medical marijuana refers to the marijuana plant or its processed extracts. These processed extracts are primarily focused on a different cannabinoid, THC, but may also include cannabidiol. THC is the chemical in marijuana that is responsible for the high sensation.

If a chemical is extracted from marijuana, then it falls under the same legal status as marijuana. Marijuana is illegal on the federal level. Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states when prescribed by a doctor. This makes marijuana products different than products extracted from hemp, which are federally legal.

Bud cluster of cannabis that is ready to be processed for cannabinoids

Is it Legal?

1) If the CBD comes from HEMP then YES, it is legal to use and own anywhere in the United States.

2) If the CBD comes from MARIJUANA, then the answer becomes less clear…

Hemp-derived CBD is legal at the federal level in the United States. All Daddy Burt Hemp Co. products come from hemp, so they are 100% LEGAL to use anywhere in the US. It is also 100% LEGAL to purchase CBD derived from hemp from online retailers (such as Daddy Burt Hemp Co.) based in the United States.

The legal difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount of THC in the plant. If the plant has greater than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) it is considered marijuana. The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill changed the legal definition of hemp to an agricultural product. This separated it from marijuana, which is still subject to the Controlled Substances Act and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Hemp products are not considered a drug by the U.S. Government.

On the state level, the regulations for cannabis products may depend on additional factors. For example, due to shifting regulations, CBD may not be available in retails stores in some states, but can still be purchased online.

Note: The information on our website and any other communication of Daddy Burt Hemp Co. is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.

laboratory testing for the purity and quality of CBD with dish

Where Does CBD Come From

In this guide, we already discussed that cannabidiol can be found in both hemp and marijuana. Because hemp is federally legal, and marijuana is not, it is more commonly extracted from hemp. If you are curious there a few other differences between hemp and marijuana as well.

 

How is it made?

To begin, farmers use hemp seeds that are genetically selected to have certain levels of chemicals, typically high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. These differences in genetics are often referred to as strains of a plant. Hemp is grown in a greenhouse or in large open acres under natural sunlight. After a few months of spring/summer growing season, the plant can be harvested and processed.

The steps immediately after harvesting include cutting, drying, and sealing the hemp crop. It is then transported to a processing facility where extraction can begin. There are a variety of different extraction and processing methods for cannabidiol. Daddy Burt Hemp Co.’s products are made with a proprietary CO2 extraction process that delivers the highest-quality CBD. Once the CBD extraction process is complete, it undergoes formulation and internal lab testing. From there, it can be crafted into products like oil, capsules, or creams.

Daddy Burt Hemp Co. prides itself on the quality of its products. Every batch of our product is tested by third-party laboratories to ensure the accuracy of our products.

 

Isolate & Full Spectrum

When extracting the cannabinoid chemicals from hemp, it is possible to get to 99.9% pure CBD (isolate) or to have a substance that includes CBD and other chemicals (full spectrum). Full spectrum is generally less refined than isolate. Full spectrum includes the other cannabinoids that are naturally found in the plant, such as THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), CBG (Cannabigerol), Cannabicyclol (CBL), CBN (Cannabinol), and others. It is important to note that full spectrum contains trace amounts of THC.

Article References

¹CBD. (2019).  PMC – US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

²United States Congress. (2018, December). Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Conference report to accompany H.R. 2.

³National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015, June). The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol.

⁴Kogan, N. (2007, December). Cannabinoids in health and disease.

⁵Pacher, P., Bátkai, S., & Kunos, G. (2006, September). The endocannabinoid system as an emerging target of pharmacotherapy.

⁶Mackie, K. (2008, April). Cannabinoid Receptors: Where They Are and What They Do.

⁷Alger, B. (2013, November). Getting High on the Endocannabinoid System.

Written by:

Bob Estes

Bob is the founder and CEO of Daddy Burt Hemp Co. Bob has quickly become an authority and expert in the hemp & CBD industry.