CBD 101


Many of us seek alternatives to pharmaceuticals. We search for alternative treatments which are more in sync with natural processes. By tapping into how we function biologically, CBD can provide relief for chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression and many other chronic and critical ailments. The quality of our lives will change dramatically.

What Does CBD Stand For?

CBD stands for C A N N A B I D I O L, which is pronounced (kan-ə-bə-ˈdī-ˌȯl).1 It is a safe, non-intoxicating, naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis sativa plant, which has a rich history as a medicinal plant. According to an article by Harvard Health Publishing, CBD is the second most abundant of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant.2

Where exactly does CBD come from?

Discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams3 and chemically identified in 1963 By Professor Raphael Mechoulam and Professor Youval Shvo.4 CBD is one of over 140 identified cannabinoids, which are rich therapeutic compounds found in the cannabis plant and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.

All of these compounds account for most of the plant’s extract depending on cannabis variety and extraction method. This is what makes up the plant’s resin, a thick and sticky substance that is primarily found in the trichomes of the cannabis plant (imagine tiny, sticky, hair-like formations on the buds of the plants).

The beneficial terpenes that are found together with CBD are also produced and concentrated in the resins. Terpenes exist in all plants, flowers, and trees. There are 200 individual terpenes found in cannabis and they are responsible for the smell, taste, and color of cannabis.

These terpenes are important because they work synergistically with the primary phytocannabinoids in cannabis plants and also provide their own unique therapeutic benefits. They have been shown to have beneficial effects which are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-allergic activity.

What Is The Difference Between CBD and THC?

CBD is closely related to another important medicinally active phytocannabinoid which is known by its abbreviated name THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that causes the “high” for which cannabis is famous.

Although CBD and THC are extracted from the cannabis plant and have significant therapeutic attributes, there are many distinctions between them. Unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel “stoned” or intoxicated. The reason for this is that CBD and THC act in different ways on different receptors in the brain and body.

CBD can actually lessen or neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC, depending on how much of each compound is consumed. Many people want the health benefits of cannabis without the high – or with less of a high. Because CBD is therapeutically potent, non-intoxicating, and easy to tolerate as CBD oil, it is an appealing treatment option for those who are cautious about trying cannabis for the first time.

What Is CBD Infused?

CBD infused is a process that allows and ensures a consistent amount of CBD in every product. An example can be found with edibles like gummies. Infusion helps to ensure that each gummy contains a consistent amount of CBD in each piece.

It is recommended to get CBD-infused products in order to take CBD safely. This will help to avoid any unwanted effects and receive the intended benefits.

What is Hemp CBD?

Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are both derived from the cannabis plant. CBD oil comes from the flowers, leaves, and stems. Hemp seed oil uses extract from the seeds of the cannabis plant. Products containing hemp seed and CBD oils do not typically cause a high since the levels of THC, if any, are very low.

What Is CBD Hemp Oil Used For?

Scientists found that CBD affects the endocannabinoid system found in our bodies. This system regulates many of our bodily functions, such as pain and mood, and it has receptors that bind with cannabinoids from CBD-infused oils and products. When they do, it alleviates some symptoms of certain medical conditions like chronic pain and anxiety.

Extensive scientific research, along with a great number of anecdotal accounts given by patients and physicians, clearly highlight the potential and therapeutic benefits of CBD as a treatment for a range of ailments, and for better health and wellness. These ailments include:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cardiovascular dysfunctions
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Neurological condition
  • Neuropsychiatric illness
  • Gut disorders
  • Skin diseases

Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world and the level of beneficial health and wellness achieved when using CBD is being proven by science.

What Does Full Spectrum CBD Oil Mean?

The increased use and popularity surrounding CBD and its medicinal benefits has led many users to raise questions about what type of CBD is most beneficial. There are questions about the best methods of extracting, and the best way of administering CBD to achieve maximum efficacy.

The two most common forms of extracted CBD are full-spectrum, or whole-plant extract, and pure CBD isolate.

Whole-plant or full-spectrum extracts typically contain a carefully measured amount of the cannabis plant’s most prominent cannabinoid, THC. When THC is present together with CBD and its cannabinoid counterparts, as well as all the terpenes, what is known as an entourage effect is produced.

The entourage effect is the therapeutically synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes which has been shown to increase the healing properties of each. This is why the use of whole plant/full spectrum is recommended as it achieves that beneficial entourage effect for maximum efficacy, and then the healing process occurs.

CBD Isolate is different. The extraction is purified of any other compounds and only contains CBD. None of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, or healthy fatty acids that commonly result from the whole-plant extraction process are present. When these compounds are missing, efficacy is limited, and the entourage effect cannot be achieved.

What Does CBD Oil Look Like?

CBD oils can range in color from clear or slightly golden, to a dark brown, almost black. While color alone doesn’t mean that one will be more effective for you than another, it can tell you quite a bit about the product and how it was made. Several factors determine the color of the finished product. These include the type of hemp extract, the extraction method, the carrier oil and additional ingredients.

Full spectrum hemp extract is typically dark green or brown. Full spectrum extract contains all of the naturally-occurring cannabinoids, terpenes and other raw plant material. Its dark color is reflective of the hemp plant from which it came.

Pure CBD isolate in its raw form is a white, almost powdery, substance. When combined with a carrier oil such as coconut MCT oil, it dissolves and imparts little to no color. This is why most tinctures made from CBD isolate are completely clear.

As a result, full spectrum CBD oil drops tend to range in color from golden to dark brown. The more concentrated the hemp extract, the darker the color of the finished product will be.

Whole Plant vs. CBD Isolate?

When choosing a CBD product, it is recommended to choose the CBD from a whole plant. The label should have information as to whether or not it contains ‘whole-plant extract’ or ‘full-plant extract’. The whole plant/full plant extract descriptions mean that it was made from the entire Cannabis Plant. CBD oils made from whole-plant extracts, also called full-spectrum oils, are generally considered to be of higher quality than those made from CBD isolates.

A study published by the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research, which aimed its focus on the effectiveness of CBD isolate compared to full-plant extract, stated in its summary that, “in all of the tests, the isolated CBD was ineffective both before and after a certain dosage, while the effectiveness of the full-spectrum solution continued to increase as higher doses were administered.” The results indicate that CBD is only effective against swelling and pain at a certain dose.5

It is important to note that some individuals that are very sensitive to the effect of cannabinoids might do better with pure CBD isolate products. The synergistic combination of the whole plant by itself might produce an overwhelming sensation of relaxation and combining pure CBD doses during the day time, with whole plant/full spectrum at night, might become a functional and effective strategy.

How To Choose Your CBD product?

Good CBD oil made by a reputable company will tell you specifically on the label how much CBD you will be taking. Both the milligram concentration of CBD, or the number of milliliters, should be evaluated before purchasing a product. Higher numbers mean a more potent product.

It is important to note that in order for CBD to be considered effective, CBD oils should contain 500–1500mg per 30ml bottle. Anything less than that amount will not be effective.

CBD is a wonderful choice to help with a myriad of ailments, and for those seeking better health and wellness. With a clear understanding of what CBD can do for the body, it is understood the benefits are limitless. Cheers to the efficacy of CBD.


Cannabidiol (CBD)
Medline Plus Trusted Health Information fo you
US National Libraryt of Medicine

Peter Greenspoon MD. Cannabidiol (CBD) —
what we know and what we don’t

Harvard Health publishings, Harvard Medical School

Isolation of Cannabinol, Cannabidiol and Quebrachitol from Red Oil of Minnesota Wild Hemp
Roger Adams, D. C. Pease, and J. H. Clark
Journal of the American Chemical Society 1940 62 (8), 2194-2196
DOI: 10.1021/ja01865a080
Mechoulam R, Shvo Y. Hashish. I. The structure of cannabidiol. Tetrahedron. 1963 Dec;19(12):2073-8. doi: 10.1016/0040-4020(63)85022-x. PMID: 5879214.

Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z. and Hanuš, L.O. (2015) Overcoming the Bell‐Shaped Dose‐Response of Can‐ nabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 6, 75‐85. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/pp.2015.62010

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