What Is Cannabidiol? CBD Oil Explained

Looking for answers about CBD oil? Well, you've come to the right place!

In this article we are going to be going over the basics of CBD, what CBD is, where CBD comes from, and how it can help you.

By the end of it, you should have a pretty good handle on things, and the answer to the question, what is cannabidiol?

CBD Oil Explained

With all the hype around CBD oil lately, the question comes up a lot. Until fairly recently, there hasn't been a lot of research done in this area, and there are still quite a few unknowns surrounding it.

Cannabidiol(CBD), is just one of over 100 different phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is also abundant in the industrial hemp plant, where most of the world's CBD oil is sourced from.

 It's important to understand that CBD can be sourced from both hemp and marijuana, but the THC(tetrahydrocannabinol)content will vary greatly depending on which one it is sourced from.

The industrial hemp plant is naturally high in CBD, and low in THC. It is the opposite way around when dealing with the marijuana plant. THC is the compound of the marijuana plant that produces a "high", or stoned effect.

While both cannabinoids have medicinal purposes, CBD does not have any of those effects. It is generally considered safe and non-addicting, even at high doses.

For anyone who might be a little hesitant when it comes to marijuana, CBD is a great option. CBD oil can also contain many other beneficial nutrients and terpenes, depending on what type you decide to go with(more on that later!).


The first discovery of CBD was made by Roger Adams, along with his team at the university of Illinois. At the time he was completely clueless as to what he had discovered, and it wasn't until years later that the significance was realized. That's when the real research started.

To fully understand where CBD oil comes from, you need to understand the relationship between the marijuana plant and the hemp plant.

Both of these plants come from the same family, Cannabis. It has two primary classifications, Indica and Sativa. The hemp plant is part of the Cannabis Sativa family, while the marijuana plant can be classified as either of them.

As detailed above, hemp is high in CBD, and low in THC. It is typically grown for industrial purposes, and used in many ways, including clothing, rope, food, bio plastics and much more!

Because of its close relationship with marijuana, many people believe hemp to be the same thing, when that is the furthest thing from the truth.

The majority of the world's CBD oil comes from the industrial hemp plant.


CBD oil is obtained by extracting all the beneficial things that the plant has to offer. Depending on the extraction method used, the THC and some terpenes can be removed from the final product.

Full spectrum oil has absolutely everything possible included in the plant, while Broad spectrum has the THC removed. This can be an option for people who can't have THC due to drug testing, THC sensitivity, or other reasons. Another option is CBD isolate, which contains only CBD, nothing else.

There are many other beneficial cannabinoids within the plant, it doesn't just end there. 

different cannabinoids

There are a number of different carrier oils that are used to make CBD oil, and some companies add in extra terpenes, vitamins, or other beneficial nutrients depending on what they are trying to target.

CBD is sourced from many places around the world, but the most important thing is that it is organically grown and manufactured. The hemp plant is a bio-accumulator, which means it has the ability to suck up any toxins or pesticides during the growth stage.


First discovered in the 90s by Dr. L.A. Matsuda, the Endocannabinoid System is an extremely important part of the body.

Described as an intricate network responsible for maintaining homeostasis, this system keeps everything in check. What scientists discovered was there were countless cannabinoid receptors within the system, and so began the search for the body's own cannabinoids.

the human endocannabinoid system

The two main receptors that have been studied are CB-1 and CB-2. CB-1 is found in the bodies peripheral and central nervous system, while CB-2 is found in abundance in the gastrointestinal and immune system.

CBD oil works by binding with these specific receptors, and is the reason behind why it seems to work for so many ailments.


Chronic Inflammation has been linked to various ailments, and has been theorized to be the root cause of all disease. Once believed to be an important part of the body's response to injury or infection, inflammation is now being more closely studied in its role behind disease.

CBD oil, along with the other cannabinoids, work within the body and Endocannabinoid System to reduce inflammation, and due to the unique way it interacts with the receptors in the ECS, may have numerous other beneficial uses.

Being that a lot of the research is still in the preliminary stages, it will take some time to fully understand CBD and all that it is capable of.

Being that a lot of the research is still in the preliminary stages, it will take some time to fully understand CBD and all that it is capable of.

From Epilepsy to Asthma, CBD oil is currently being used to treat numerous diseases and disorders. Some have extensive research backing it up, while others do not. A list of some of the things that CBD may be able to help with:

  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimers
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromayalgia
  • Migraines
  • Cancer
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Parkinson's
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Addiction
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune disease
  • IBS/Crohn's
  • Heart Disease

By no means is this an exhaustive list, there are many other areas that CBD is showing promise in.


When first starting out with CBD, the terminology can be pretty confusing. Here are some terms that you need to become familiar with.

Full Spectrum - This type of CBD oil contains absolutely everything beneficial that the plant has to offer. All cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are left intact, and contribute to the "Entourage Effect". Full Spectrum CBD oil contains traces of THC, and should not be used by anyone who is drug tested.

Broad Spectrum - This type of CBD oil has the majority of everything you're going to find in Full Spectrum CBD oil, but the THC has been removed. You still get most of the benefits of the plant, but keep in mind that THC has a whole host of benefits.

Isolate - This is 99.9% pure CBD that has been isolated out of the plant. It is THC free, and contains only CBD and no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or other plant matter.

Entourage Effect - This is the term that is used when all of the parts of the plant work better and more efficiently together than they would as separate parts. Different parts of the plant serve to boost the other's effects in the body, and Full Spectrum is widely considered the best option to go with when using CBD oil.

COA - This is a certificate of analysis, and one of the most important parts of buying CBD oil. Simply put, if the company doesn't provide this, look elsewhere. This is where you go to see the cannabinoid content, toxins and heavy metal levels, pesticide count. These tests should ALWAYS be performed by a third party laboratory, not affiliated with the company.

Terpenes - This are essentially the oils within the cannabis plant that give it it's unique scent and flavor profile. They also have multiple different health benefits as well.


Have questions? Leave a comment below?

6 thoughts on “What Is Cannabidiol? CBD Oil Explained

  • April 8, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks for the great article. Now I learned something completely new. I first came across your second article on where to buy CBD safely. But since I didn’t know what CBD oil really is, I had to read here as well. Don’t realize that this oil from the cannabis plant could help so much. I have allergies, so this is perhaps something to try if it’s legal here I live lol

    • April 8, 2019 at 4:03 pm

      Glad to help! Hopefully you are in an area where you can access it, it truly is an amazing thing that is helping people with all sorts of ailments.

  • April 10, 2019 at 1:02 am

    Hi Mallory, Informative Article. My knowledge was skimpy and now I know. Is CBD legal in the world or just the USA? Maybe it doesn’t need to even be legal?To my knowledge it is not “out there” in Australia. Probably available but not common knowledge. Cheers Jill

    • April 10, 2019 at 8:07 am

      There are parts of the world that CBD is legal in, and parts that are not. For instance, it is legal in the USA as long as it contains 0.3% THC in it, while in the UK the limit is 0.2%. Australia at the moment is currently illegal, but hopefully that will change soon as more research is done and they “get with the times” so to speak. There are sites that ship to Australia, there is always a chance that your package could be stopped by customs though so that is something to be aware of.

  • July 16, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    I want to try this for my horrible back pain but I’m scared TBH I don’t like the thc high so I’m not sure what to get or any of it

    • July 16, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      You don’t need to worry, the amount of thc in full spectrum cbd oil is extremely low, 0.3% or less. This is nowhere near the amount that it would take to cause a “high”. I’m the same way, I don’t like the feeling. I’ve been taking cbd for almost a year now and have never had any concerns about this aspect. Take a look at this post here, it goes over it:



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