what is cbd

January 22, 2018 by Josh Desair with 2 comments

What Is CBD? Complete Guide to Cannabidiol

Last Updated on January 7, 2021 by Josh Desair

Cannabidiol (commonly known as CBD) is one of the main ingredient produced by the cannabis plant.  It’s also one out of about 80 “cannabinoids” present in the buds we smoke or consume. What’s so exciting about CBD that differentiates it from the other cannabinoid molecules? Well, alongside THC, it’s one of the main active ingredients and produces one of the most significant effects when consumed or smoked. How does CBD differ from THC? Tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC) is responsible for the psychoactive effect from consuming marijuana and although CBD produces a physical or “body high”, it doesn’t give the consumer the head high. It’s actually been shown to negate the high caused by THC to a degree, which is great for patients or recreational users who don’t like feeling stoned. This gives Cannabidiol a huge potential in the medical industry for treating patients with a number of different issues. We will go over the benefits for specific complications and illnesses.

Benefits & Studies

Study by British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

In 2013, the BJCP conducted a study that showed Cannabidiol to have a number of benefits, including antiemetic, nausea reduction, vomit suppressing, anticonvulsant, seizure suppressing, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-combat disorder, antitumoral, anti-cancer, anxiolytic, anti-anxiety and antidepressant. That is a significant amount of claims, to say the least, and since then (now 2019); more and more studies have been released confirming different benefits of CBD that weren’t previously in the light. Although some may exaggerate about the benefits of CBD, it’s impossible to look into the latest studies and not see the potentially life-changing benefits Cannabidiol can provide.

World Health Group on CDB’s Health Benefits

The focus on CBD and the possible health benefits it can provide has really grown recently thanks to a recent report by the World Health Group. Not only have they found a number of different health benefits that CBD can provide, but they also discovered that cannabidiol is not harmful and shows no evidence of dependence or abuse potential. Here are a few issues that experts claim CBD may be able to treat:

Epilepsy: Although treating epilepsy with CBD is still in its infancy stages, there are some very positive research results. According to a gold-standard study in which 99% oil-based CBD extract was used to treat children and adults with difficult epilepsies such as Dravet syndrome and Lenox-Gastaut syndrome, seizures decreases by over 50%.

Depression: This is another area where CBD has shown a lot of promise. A study showed that cannabidiol features anxiolytic-like properties and can produce fast antidepressant effects. Although there still needs to be more research done, it could one day replace the antidepressant drugs that are on the market today.

Inflamation: This is one of the more popular uses for CBD and has a track record for being quite effective. Studies have proven that CBD can stop inflammation by activating CB2 receptors which are located in the endocannabinoid system. Although THC can alsp be used for treating inflammation, it has side effects. CBD has shown no side effects.

Anxiety: Many human clinical, experimental and epidemiological studies have shown that CBD can be very effective in treating several anxiety-related disorders, such as social phobia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Extracts & Products


Cannabidiol Tinctures: These are one of the most popular CBD oil extracts and because of their particular sourcing process they are legal in all fifty states. Tinctures are typically made up of a mixture of any type of quality CBD oil combined with some type of other edible oil(s). Some of these oils include Hempseed oil, coconut oil, palm oil, MCT oil, types of veg oil, glycerin and sometimes even alcohol. This extract infusion is administered under the tongue via dropper and will usually come in a dropper style bottle. Sizes of bottles usually are available in two ounces and one ounce from one-hundred milligrams of cannabidoil per bottle to a more potent five-hundred milligrams per bottle.

It’s basically a concoction, but more so to lessen the concentration of CBD in the oil product. This method allows for full control of CBD contents allowing something for everyone no matter your tolerance. They also cost significantly less than pure CBD extracts and in turn last much longer.

Depending on the brand and specific product you go with, you can choose from vegan tinctures, non-GMO, and much more. You can also find tinctures with hemp seed oil as a key ingredient.

As a rule of thumb, the darker the tint is on the tincture, the more grass-like the flavor will be. Pure hemp oil is a very darkish color with a very grassy/earthy taste to it. The more diluted the hemp oil tincture, the less dark its hue becomes and the less concentrate its flavor is.

CBD Powder:  Powder is a great way to add CBD to your daily diet. It is 99% pure and is the most potent CBD product on the market. You can use it to make your own CBD infused oil, add into your daily smoothie or coffee, or make edibles like cookies, brownies and other foods that use oil.

CBD Capsules: This is the easiest and most convenient way to get your daily dose of CBD. It comes in a number of different doses and is easily swallowed, which is great for children that need to treat seizures.

CBD Topicals: This is popular among people looking to treat a variety of different pains and aches. It can easily be applied directly to the skin in the area that needs relief. This is a great product for people who need pain relief throughout  day and at work.


Although CBD and THC are the most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, which include both marijuana and hemp. Both cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, but have vastly different natural effects. One of the biggest differences between THC and CBD is the euphoric effect you feel when the plant is consumed. Most people that refer to the potency of marijuana, they usually refer to the amount of THC found in the plant. It is the psychoactive cannabinoid that gives people the stoned feeling when smoking for recreational or medical purposes. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t cause you to feel high, no matter how much you consume.

THC and CBD can both be found in the stalks, flowers and seeds of both the marijuana and hemp cannabis, but the proportions are different. The marijuana plant contains a higher concentrate of THC and the hemp plant contains a higher concentrate of CBD. The psychoactive properties of THC also means that you will feel some temporary side effects, such as dry mouth, memory impairments, increased heart rate and lowered reaction time. However, CBD has been shown to be safe even in large doses.

Laws & Regulations

New Stigma, Less Stereotypical

The same year the BJCP study was conducted (2013) a program CNN ran titled “Charlotte’s Web Cannabis” opened the eyes of millions across the United States. The program showcased the tried, tested and true benefits of CBD when used for controlling seizures or similar complications. What do you know! As of 2018, all 50 states allow for the medical use of CBD as long as it’s extracted from high-CBD, low-THC hemp. This has made it easier for the development and studies of CBD based medication. The valid association of CBD with a naturally sourced medicine that has shown to be effective for suppressing a number of disorders made it too hard to overlook. In the US, hemp-derived CBD is considered a dietary supplement and is legal to buy and sell.

However, most states regulate and limit the use of CBD derived from marijuana for medicinal purposes and some to use for a limited amount of conditions.

Legal Status (Illegal or Not?)

CBD derived from marijuana, along with THC and all other cannabinoids are “illegal” in many parts of the world and it remains a controversial subject almost everywhere it is available or can be obtained. It seems you’re either a supporter or against it. Why is this?

Well, in the United States, it’s a schedule 1 drug (depending on which lawyer you ask) under the CSA, for one. Being a controlled substance would mean that any scale of production, possession or attempt to distribute is a federal crime. This means, regardless of specific state laws, federal law enforcement can act on any production, possession or distribution and apply charges at any given time. You have to ask yourself, in 2018, do these guys really not have anything more significant to focus on? Well, we are seeing more leniency and more studies today than ever before.

Repercussions & Charges (Federal & State Laws)

For the most part, federal law enforcement does not get involved with how each state regulates its marijuana laws. Although, medical marijuana has become legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana is now legal in 9 states and Washington, DC, there are still rules and regulations that must be followed. First of all, you need to beat least 21 years old to purchase and consume in states that are legal. There are also laws regarding to how much you can buy and/or grow for personal use. In states that have not legalized marijuana, the charges and repercussions can vary widely, from a simple ticket to several years in jail. If you plan on using CBD for medicinal use, you’ll want to find out if it is legal in your state in order to avoid legal problems. You can also opt for hemp derived CBD and play it safe.


There are some loopholes in the legal status of CBD. The most prominent and commonly brought up by lawyers of marijuana usage is the fact that the term cannabinoid is not used or referenced at all on the CSA (Controlled Substances Act), therefore, in a court of law or technically speaking, deems this particular cannabinoid legal. It’s believed that lawmakers targeted other cannabinoids, more particularly those such as marijuana that produce a drug-like high.  Well, that’s the argument at least (as of Jan 2018). Although, as noted earlier, “Marijuana Extracts” was added to the already extensive list of schedule 1 drug, which is an argument in its own.

You may also want to take into account that industrial grade hemp doesn’t have the same legal restrictions. It can also produce CBD that can be extracted and used for patients. Many companies are taking advantage of this and are now making these extracts and shipping them to all fifty states. Federal law enforcement has not put a foot down, leading to a steady incline in the industry, recreationally and medically. It’s not uncommon for head shops, adult stores and some health-based stores to have CBD products for sale, even in states that have not yet legalized marijuana yet.

CBD on a worldwide scale

The term Legal could be used loosely in some countries because although they have laws against marijuana, they have not made it a priority to enforce them. In most countries, CBD has become legalized to one degree or another. To get a clear picture, let’s go over its legal status on a worldwide scale.

Australia: In Australia CBD is available legally as a prescribed medication and not at all for recreational purposes. Its specific medicinal purpose is as a therapeutic measure. Although, there is a catch, the total cannabinoid content other than CDB in this therapy medication cannot exceed two percent. This 2% includes all 59 other cannabinoids. It’s also available in Australia as a prescribed pet remedy.

New Zealand: In NZ, under the MOD (Misuse of Drugs) Act, cannabidiol is considered a class b1 drug. Fortunately, under their Medicine Act, it is considered legal for medicinal purposes. As of 2017, any residents of New Zealand could apply for use approval with the Health Ministry.

Canada:  CBD oil that has no THC is legal in Canada and can be purchased from retail dispensaries, online and local convenient stores. However, starting July, 2018, recreational marijuana will become legal and available. This means that you will also be able to find CBD oil derived from marijuana as well.

Europe: CBD is legal in Europe except Slovakia. However, each country has their own laws and regulations as to what type of CBD extracts can be sold and what dosage is allowed. According to EU laws, CBD must be extracted from industrial hemp that contains no more than 0.2% THC.

Sweden: Sweden follows the EU laws when it comes to CBD. It is legal as long as it is derived from industrial hemp with little to no THC. Marijuana laws in Sweden are known to be the strictest in the Western world so it’s a good idea to make sure you know what you are buying.

United Kingdom: The United Kingdom has legalized the growth and production of hemp, which also includes hemp oil, hemp seeds and CBD. The hemp must be grown according to UK law and cannot contain more than 0.2% of THC.

Switzerland: Since Switzerland is not part of the EU, they have their own laws in regard to CBD. It is currently selling cannabis flower with high CBD and low THC as a tobacco substitute. Unlike other EU countries where the THC content of the plant has to be 0.3 % or lower, they allow their plants to have up to 1% THC. You can find the cannabis flower sold in tobacco shops and other forms of CBD at other retailers where you can find food and dietary supplements.


Cannabidiol is not marijuana.

CBD can be extracted from industrial hemp and does not require sourcing from the marijuana plant or buds. The hemp plant and the marijuana plant, although related, are not the same. They are in the same genus, the Cannabis family, but hemp does not provide the mental high that marijuana provides via THC and other psychoactive cannabinoid molecules.


Cannabis: This is a type of flowering plant that has been used throughout history for a number of different reasons, including fiber, oil, medicinal and recreational.

Marijuana: Marijuana a type of cannabis plant that is dried and consumed for medical or recreational purposes. It is considered a psychoactive drug that has over 60 cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.

Industrial Hemp: This is a variety of cannabis sativa that has low THC levels and is specifically grown for industrial use.

Cannabinoid: This is a chemical compound that engages with the cannabinoid receptors in the body’s cells in order to alter neurotransmitter release in your brain.

THC / Tetrahydrocannabinol: One of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis and has psychoactive properties.

Hash Oil: Hash oil is an extract of cannabis that features most of the terpenes and oils found in the plant, including CBD and THC.

Hemp Oil: This oil is made from pressing hemp seeds and contains little to no THC.

Tincture: This is the liquid extract from plant using alcohol.

Controlled Substance: This refers to a chemical or drug whose possession, manufacture and use is regulated by the law.

CSA / Controlled Substance Act: It is the statute that allows the government to establish a federal drug policy under which the importation, use, manufacture, distribution and possession of certain drugs and chemicals are regulated.

Schedule 4 Substance: This is a classification of drugs that has a currently accepted medical uses and has low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3.

Schedule 1 Substance: This classification refers to drugs that have no acceptable medical uses and have a high potential for abuse and addiction.


  1. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology: CBD
  2. Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug: BJCP full
  3. Key Facts about Cannabidiol (Video)
  4. DEA: Controlled Substance Act (CSA)
  5. Is CBD Legal? 2017 Cannabidiol Legal Status
  6. Cannabidiol | Wikipedia Guide
  7. Charlotte’s Web High-CBD Extract | Wiki
  8. Which CBD Hemp Oil Tincture is Right for Me?
  9. Everything About Hemp Oil Tincture
  1. World Health Group: Pot’s CBD Has Health Benefits
  2. Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy



34 mins ago

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34 mins ago

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