CBD Basics

CBD is a compound that is naturally occurring and non-intoxicating chemical compounds primarily found in the flowers, leaves, and stems of the hemp plant. Its wellness history has been traced back thousands of years and today the healthful properties of CBD are used to support and maintain daily health and wellness.

A Beginner’s Guide

CBD is used in products like topicals, oils, and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike its cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the major active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive.

First-time CBD consumers should always consult with their physician before trying CBD products.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. CBD, like other cannabinoids, is found in cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are natural chemical compounds that can be extracted from cannabis and used in various products. When introduced to humans and other mammals, cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid biological system.

The Endocannabinoid Biological System is a complex network of molecules, receptors, and enzymes found throughout the body, primarily in the central nervous system.  It helps regulate various cognitive and physiological processes in order to promote homeostasis of bodily equilibrium. These processes include mood, appetite, sleep, and pain sensation.

When you introduce additional cannabinoids to the body, consumers can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with insomnia and other sleep disorders, epilepsy, anxiety and stress, depression and other mental health disorders, nausea, PMS, cancer, HIV and other conditions affecting the immune system, and medical issues that cause loss of appetite.

Most CBD products sold today are derived from hemp, a type of cannabis plant with high concentrations of CBD and a low concentration of THC. Some CBD products are considered full-spectrum, meaning they contain CBD and other cannabinoids from the hemp plant.

Other cannabinoids may include THC; per legal requirements, CBD products sold recreationally can contain no more than 0.3% THC. Other CBD products are considered isolate; these contain CBD but no other cannabinoids.

However, even full-spectrum products with trace amounts of THC will not produce the same psychoactive high as marijuana (which may contain more than 100 times as much THC).

Background of CBD

CBD was discovered in 1992 in the marijuana plant and was later patented by the US government in 2001. Since 2012 when marijuana was legalized in Colorado, growers started to grow high CBD/low THC strains of the cannabis plant under the protection of the new Colorado laws. The Federal Farm Bill of 2014 legalized the cultivation, processing and marketing of hemp and products made from hemp. The Farm Bill of 2018 provided greater clarity that hemp and CBD are legal under all aspects of federal law.

The Farm Bill of 2018 validated the rapidly growing CBD wellness revolution and allowed the launch of multiple brands in the health and wellness, fitness, beauty, and pet care categories.


There are many other cannabinoids present in the hemp plant, which may have a similar effect on the human body as CBD. Some of these compounds are CBC, CBDV, CBG and CBN, even THC is a cannabinoid. These compounds are known to work best as a team, producing what is known as the “entourage effect.”


When most people use the term ‘get high,’ they are referring to an altered, psychoactive state characterized by confusion, euphoria, heightened sensory perception, and other side effects that vary from person to person. While this describes the experience of many marijuana/THC consumers, the effects of CBD are not psychoactive and will not create any of the effects associated with getting high.

The science behind interactions between cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system is fairly complex. However, most current research suggests that CBD interacts differently with the endocannabinoid system differently than THC. When any cannabinoid is introduced into the body via vaping or oral ingestion, it binds with a cannabinoid receptor; an endocannabinoid neurotransmitter, produced in the body, will also bind to the same receptor.

Let’s say the cannabinoid introduced to the body is THC. Once the THC and its endocannabinoid counterpart have finished taking effect, enzymes synthesize and degrade the endocannabinoid. These enzymes cannot synthesize THC in the same way, allowing it to remain with the receptor for a longer period of time. For this reason, the effects of THC will normally outlast those of the endocannabinoid; this is why THC consumers feel high or stoned after the relaxing effects of marijuana have worn off.

CBD behaves differently by preventing enzymes from synthesizing and degrading the endocannabinoid attached to its receptor. This results in prolonged feelings of relaxation. And because CBD does not have psychoactive effects, there is no ‘high’ feeling at any point.

Full-spectrum products with CBD that contain up to 0.3% THC may produce more pronounced effects. However, there is not enough THC to produce any psychoactive effects; the CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids will essentially outweigh the traces of THC.

With that being said, drug tests may be a potential concern for full-spectrum CBD/THC consumers; depending on how much the individual consumes on a regular basis, the THC in their body could potentially yield positive results on a drug test. Proceed with caution when using full-spectrum CBD products with THC if there is any possibility of a future drug test. Isolate CBD products do not contain any THC and should not produce positive test results.

CBD Products

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