April 7, 2021

What Is CBD And How Is It Used?

Written by - Mallory Milne

minute read

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

In this article, we will be going over the basics and answering some questions – what is CBD and how is it used, 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 CBD?

What Is CBD And How Is It Used?

With all the hype around CBD oil lately, the question comes up a lot. Until fairly recently, there hasn’t been much 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!).

Where does CBD oil come from?

The first discovery of CBD was made by Roger Adams and 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 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.

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.

What is CBD oil made of?

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

THC and CBD may be the most popular cannabinoids right now, but others like CBG and CBN are slowly gaining more attention as we learn more about them.

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

CBD is sourced from many places worldwide, 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.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

First discovered in the 90s by Dr. L.A. Matsuda, the Endocannabinoid System is a significant part of the body.

Described as an intricate network responsible for maintaining homeostasis, this system keeps everything in check. Scientists discovered 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 body’s peripheral and central nervous system, while CB-2 is found in abundance in the gastrointestinal and immune systems.

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

How Is CBD Used?

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, works within the body and Endocannabinoid System to reduce inflammation. The unique way it interacts with the receptors in the ECS may have numerous other beneficial uses.

Since a lot of the research is still in the preliminary stages, it will take some time to understand CBD and what it is fully 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.

Understanding CBD Terms

When first starting 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 plant’s benefits 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 used when all parts of the plant work better and more efficiently together than they would as separate parts. Different parts of the plant 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. If the company doesn’t provide this, look elsewhere. This is where you see the cannabinoid content, toxins, heavy metal levels, and pesticide count. These tests should ALWAYS be performed by a third-party laboratory, not affiliated with the company.

Terpenes – These 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.

Final Thoughts On CBD And Its Many Uses

We’ve come a long way with the research on CBD and other cannabinoids and their role in health, but we still have a long way to go.

As research continues, we’ll better understand what effects CBD has on the body and potentially see many more applications of it in the medical field.

About the author 

Mallory Milne

Mallory is a mom of two, as well as the main content writer and owner of CBD Handle. She has been a consumer advocate and CBD user since 2018, and strives to relay accurate, easy to understand information and to educate others on the health benefits of CBD.


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