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What is CBD? (And Why Do People Take It?)

By Katrina Romain October 05, 2021

CBD has become such a popular supplement, that you can’t go anywhere without seeing someone trying to sell it - even in car dealerships! You’ve probably even heard of people taking it for aches and pain, to manage stress, or for serious health issues, or even give CBD to their pets.  But what IS CBD? And what kind of issues can it really help?  

hemp plants in a field with the sun shining on them

 

What is CBD?

Within the hemp plant, there are over 100 different cannabinoids (cannabinoids are naturally occurring, active compounds within the plant), each having their own effect on a human’s endocannabinoid system.  The endocannabinoid system within the human body has a large role in helping to maintain balance or ‘homeostasis’ within the body. 

NOTE: Endocannabinoid systems are not only in human beings.  Dogs and cats, for example, also have endocannabinoid systems. If you’d like to learn more about the endocannabinoid system, and in particular the human endocannabinoid system, check out this article: “The Human Endocannabinoid System – What Is It and How Does It Affect My Health” [COMING SOON]

Cannabidiol, or ‘CBD’ for short, is one of the 100+ cannabinoids in the hemp plant. It has become very popular and is becoming more and more researched everyday, for its medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Notably, Harvard Health Publishing (of Harvard Medical School) 

 

CBD is Not THC (Hemp vs. Marijuana)

Most people have heard of marijuana, which is a form of cannabis plant, and it’s popularity for recreational use (intoxication). The cannabinoid responsible for the intoxication effect or ‘high’, is called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or Delta-9 THC or just THC for short.

Because CBD comes from hemp, which is a type of cannabis plant, many people believe that CBD is a form of THC, and vice versa.  

The truth is, CBD and THC are cannabinoids - specifically, two completely different cannabinoids. There are a lot of cannabinoids within the hemp plant, at least 100, and each one has their own unique effect and contribution to our endocannabinoid system.

THC, as a cannabinoid, has become popular because of marijuana use recreationally, while CBD, as a separate cannabinoid, has become well known as a hemp extract used therapeutically. 

 

5 Key Things to Know as you Navigate the CBD Space

Most people only know the terms ‘THC’ or ‘CBD’ and simply associate them with each other or even some of the other 100+ cannabinoids, leading to the belief that they are all that exist.

If you are new to using cannabinoids as a supplement or as part of a therapeutic regimen, here are 5 key things to know as you consider which cannabinoid(s) to add to your natural health regimen:

1.) Hemp and marijuana are species (types) of the cannabis sativa genus (a family of plants).  

2.) The hemp plant has a high CBD content, with less than .3% of THC in the plant.  This means that the plant is non-intoxicating (not meant to make you ‘high’ or cause intoxication) and contain a concentration of cannabinoids that are therapeutic in nature.

3.) The marijuana plant has a high THC content and in most cases, will have no CBD.  This means that the plant is intoxicating by nature (will cause a ‘high’ sensation) and is generally used recreationally. Some marijuana is grown for medicinal use, however they still have a high THC content, low or no CBD content, and will cause intoxication.

4.) When CBD is taken out of the hemp plant, as a cannabinoid on it’s own, it has absolutely no intoxicating effect. 

5.) When you buy a hemp derived CBD product, there are generally three options:  (a) Full Spectrum CBD; (b) Broad Spectrum CBD; (c) CBD Isolate

 

What is Full-Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD, CBD Isolate, and Which is Better?

 

Active Brand CBD Tinctures and Edibles in a Display Case

The short answer as to which CBD product is best for you is - it depends.

Everyone’s body and endocannabinoid system is different. 

The first step to understanding which is best for you, is to understand the differences between the three basic CBD options:

Full Spectrum CBD: A whole plant extract, with CBD being the majority cannabinoid (a milligram amount should be listed on the tincture/product). There are a small amount of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and a small amount (less than .3%) of THC. This CBD option is considered to be non-intoxicating.

*This is our most popular product at Discover CBD! It is made in-house so that we can control the quality. It is also the kind of CBD product that most people are referring to when they say that they take a “CBD Oil.”

Broad Spectrum CBD A whole plant extract, with CBD being the majority cannabinoid (a milligram amount should be listed on the tincture/product). There are a small amount of other cannabinoids except for the cannabinoid THC, and terpenes. The only difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum, is that broad spectrum has NO THC. This CBD option is also considered to be non-intoxicating.

*This is our second most popular in-house product!  It is especially popular among those who are drug tested for sports or work, and don’t want to risk a positive drug test.

CBD Isolate: An extract of CBD with no other cannabinoids or terpenes (a milligram amount of CBD should be listed on the tincture/product). This is also a THC-free product. Like the other two options, this CBD option is considered to be non-intoxicating.

*This product is popular in our in-house gummy and in-house topical products. It is also the most economical form of CBD because it contains no other cannabinoid or terpenes.

NOTE: Terpenes are present in all plants within their essential oils and are considered to be what give a plant its flavor and scent.  In terms of CBD products, they also influence the effects that a person has from taking a whole plant, CBD product. While terpenes are important, this article will focus on the base knowledge needed to understand CBD in general.  If you’d like to learn more about terpenes, click here to see our article “How Terpenes Make Taking CBD Even Better!” [COMING SOON].

NOTE: If you’re interested in learning more about the difference between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate, check out this article “What is the Difference Between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and CBD Isolate?” .

 

Why Would Someone Use a Whole Plant Extract Instead of JUST CBD?

 

Orange Juice versus Vitamin C Supplement

You may be asking yourself, “If CBD is the therapeutic cannabinoid, why not just take the CBD?” It is a thought that many people have when they first learn about CBD, and is neither correct nor incorrect.

What has been discovered is that people tend to have better results from taking a whole plant extract from the hemp plant that is of majority CBD, with other naturally occurring cannabinoids mixed in. In the CBD industry, this is referred to as “The Entourage Effect.”

Think of it like this: There is vitamin C that is extracted from an orange, and then there is a fresh glass of orange juice.  Both contain vitamin C and are effective, but they will be processed differently in the body.  In the end, whether you ingest a vitamin C powder or drink a glass of orange juice, you’ve increased your intake of vitamin C.  However, the effect you feel and the dosage you take, will likely be different.  

It is the same concept when you are taking a CBD Isolate tincture, versus a Full or Broad Spectrum tincture.  In both cases, you are increasing your intake of CBD, but each kind will likely affect you differently - and one may even work better than the other.

It is important to keep in mind that EVERYONE is different in terms of how their body uses each form of CBD.  For some people, they feel a strong effect from CBD Isolate and no effect from a Full Spectrum CBD.  Sometimes it is the opposite.  And sometimes, both work exactly the same.

The key is to learn what works best for your body, and not assume that one will work better than another.  Being open to experimentation is what we find leads to achieving the best results when using CBD.

 

What does the research say about CBD?

In terms of CBD, there is a good amount of research that has been done, and a LOT more research being done and in the works to be done. With the stigma surrounding cannabis as a whole lessening as it has become popular as a therapeutic aid, research efforts have been increasing to better define and understand the potential uses for CBD.

So far, CBD has been shown through research to potentially help with:

-Seizure Disorders

-Pain

-Sleep Issues and Disorders

-Blood Sugar Issues

-Mental Decline

-Nerve Related Issues

-Stress

-Smoking Cessation

-Decreasing/Eliminating Drug Dependency

-Nausea and Appetite Issues

-Disease Management

-Hearth Health

-And So Much More!!!

Because we are not physicians, we cannot make any recommendations or definitive claims for CBD.  With that being said, here is a link to an article that was written by a clinical researcher and reviewed by physicians (and used as a source for this article), discussing the benefits and potential uses for CBD with links to the research referenced, Self Hacked: 22 CBD Oil Health Benefits & Effects (Cannabidiol).

Along with the research, we at Discover CBD have seen first hand the amazing results from our customers!  Check out our reviews to read about the real-life results our customers have experienced from our hemp-derived CBD products!   

Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Results/Reviews  |   Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil Results/Testimonials   |   CBD Isolate Oil Results/Testimonials

 

Some Things to Consider When Buying CBD: 

So you want to join the “CBD Club.”  

The first rule of CBD Club is: Don’t buy CBD at gas stations, grocery stores, random bodegas, or anyplace that is not a legitimate CBD establishment!

The second rule of CBD Club: Live by rule #1

Additionally....

Here are the 5 signs that a CBD company is legitimate and high-quality:

 

1.) They do 3rd party testing on every batch of their products. 

This is very important, because a shady company could simply offer up a ‘clean’ bottle of CBD oil for testing once, and then every other batch is of low quality or contaminated. 

2.) Their Certificate of Analysis (COA) from their 3rd party testing company is easily available on their website for each batch.

It’s not enough for them to claim that they have done 3rd party testing.  If you have to bug them to get the results or it’s not easily accessible on their website, or the COA looks ‘fishy’, then you risk taking a product that it is not what it says it is. It could also be contaminated with heavy metals or other harmful chemicals, which could make you think that the CBD is making you sick, when really it is contaminants.  Click here to read our article “How to read and inspect a Certificate of Analysis (COA)” [COMING SOON]

3.) They use a CO2 extraction method for their CBD.

There are many companies that use extraction methods other than CO2, such as hydrocarbon and spagyric.  However, CO2 is the current industry standard because of the effectiveness of the product and the fact that there is no chance of leaving behind any dangerous, residual solvents. If you are new to CBD, it is likely that you will benefit from a CO2 extracted method while also dramatically decreasing your risk of receiving a contaminated product (Remember, you also need to check their COA!).

4.) They have a money-back guarantee - and HONOR it!

There are many “fly-by-night” CBD companies out there. Because CBD is such a popular supplement right now, there are companies that exist simply to take as much money as they can from you, and then disappear. If a company does not have or honor a money-back guarantee, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

5.) Make sure to note if the website or store that you are buying from, is a reseller or the actual company of that CBD product.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a CBD company being a reseller. However, it means that the reseller is not the one who is in charge of the quality and effectiveness of the products that they sell. 

If you purchase a brand from a reseller, it is your responsibility to do the research on that brand and their CBD product. Especially if you are buying in-store, the store attendant may not be able to give you much information about a brand or a brands' products, and will likely not have access to any product 3rd party testing. 

The nice thing about purchasing CBD products from a company that makes their own products in-house, is that they can answer all of your questions about their products, provide the certificate of analysis for their products, and they also have control over the quality of their products.

 

Closing Notes

 

Active Brand CBD Tinctures

 

CBD has been a natural solution for many people for a wide range of issues. At Discover CBD, we’ve found that our customers who have had the most success in taking our hemp CBD products - regardless of why they are taking it - is to approach it with the mindset of experimentation and patience. 

Because everyone’s bodies and endocannabinoid systems are different, it is important to find the dosage, frequency, and type of CBD (full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate), that is best for you.

If you have any more questions about CBD, what people take it for, or about our Active Line of CBD oils, please feel free to call any of our shop locations or continue to explore our blog!


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