A Beginner’s Guide To CBD

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, has become one of the most popular natural health supplements in recent years. From the chill vibes of CBD wellness products to sweet dreams with CBD sleep aids, and even silky smooth skin with CBD topical creams and balms, the demand for this natural compound is exploded among Canadians. But, we get it, with any new trend, there’s bound to be some questions. So whether you’re wondering what CBD stands for or how it works, we’ve got you covered. This article is all about giving you the lowdown on CBD and helping you understand what it’s all about.

What Does CBD Even Mean?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the hemp plant. It is one of over 100 compounds called cannabinoids. CBD is one of the most commonly known cannabinoids, with the other being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)[¹]. Unlike THC, cannabidiol is not psychoactive, meaning it has no intoxicating effects and will not get you “high.” [²]

There are also notable minor cannabinoids, including CBG, which is often referred to as the “mother of all cannabinoids.” CBG, or cannabigerol, gets its nickname from the fact that other cannabinoids are derived from its acidic form, CBGA. CBN is often called “the ultimate relaxation cannabinoid.” CBN, or cannabinol, is created when THC is heated and exposed to oxygen. This explains its calming and relaxing effect on the body. However, because it is derived from THC, it may cause some dizziness, disorientation, or muscle relaxation, so it is important to know how CBN affects you before participating in activities that require your full attention. There are other notable cannabinoids as well, including CBC, THCA, THCV, CBDA, and CBDV. Each has its own unique characteristics, many of which scientists are just now catching up with.

Now that we have an understanding of what CBD is and some of the other notable cannabinoids. We will dive into the effects and uses of CBD.

What Does CBD Affect Our Body?

In order to understand the how CBD work, it is important to examine the human body’s endocannabinoid system. This system is present in all mammals, and research has revealed that it plays a key role in supporting both the central and peripheral nervous systems. [³] The body produces its own endocannabinoids, which are small neurotransmitters that bind to receptors in the nervous system.

Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system has two types of receptors: the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptor primarily works with the central nervous system and helps regulate functions such as mood, memory, pain, appetite, and motor control. On the other hand, the CB2 receptor binds primarily with the peripheral nervous system and regulates pain and inflammation. When endocannabinoids bind to these receptors, they provide crucial support to these systems.

CBD, a plant-based cannabinoid or phytocannabinoid, works in a similar way to the body’s own endocannabinoids. It does not attach directly to these receptors but instead activates them, sending a boost of support throughout the entire system, helping the endocannabinoid system, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system all work better [⁴].

In short, CBD helps to support the body’s natural systems by activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which can help to regulate essential functions in the mind and body.

Where Does CBD Come From?

As we’ve already discussed, CBD comes from hemp. But just what exactly is hemp and how does it different from marijuana?

Hemp is a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana is a cannabis plant that can have a THC content as high as 35% [5]. As a result, products derived from hemp, such as oils, will not produce a psychoactive effect or the sensation of being “high.”

Hemp plants must have less than 0.3% THC, while cannabis plants can have as much as 35% THC.

Hemp has a rich and fascinating history, dating back to around 8,000 BCE in ancient Taiwan and China. It has been used for various purposes, such as creating rope, cloth, paper, building materials, and even as animal feed. Additionally, it has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, including for pain relief and sleep.

In the United States, hemp was a major crop for the first 150 years. However, in the 1930s, hemp was grouped with marijuana as the government cracked down on cannabis use. It wasn’t until the 2018 USDA Farm Bill that hemp could be legally grown, processed and sold in the United States. And it wasn’t until the Cannabis Act that same year in Canada, that Canadians could legally produce, obtain and consume CBD & THC products. This legalization led to renewed interest in studying the medical benefits of cannabis, particularly after the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the early 1990s.

CBD is derived from the hemp plant, but it’s not the only oil that can be derived from the cannabis hemp plant. Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant, but it has different benefits than CBD oil which is extracted from the buds, leaves and stalks. Hemp seed oil is mainly used in beauty and skincare products.

Therefore, when shopping for CBD products, it is important to check the label carefully to ensure you are getting the right product. There’s a possibility of purchasing a beauty product instead of the intended CBD oil.

CBD Full-Spectrum vs CBD Isolate.

Between CBD products, there are generally two main types.

CBD Full-Spectrum products contain all the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, including CBD, CBG, CBN, a small amount of THC (less than 0.3%, so it won’t get you high), and other cannabinoids. It also includes the terpenes and flavonoids found in the hemp plant.
CBD Isolate products only contain CBD by itself, with all other compounds removed. Due to it’s pure and filtered nature it is quite flavourless and also 100% THC-Free which makes it a more suitable product people who want a pure CBD experience.


How Is CBD Processed?

The first method of extracting CBD from hemp plants was through steam distillation. This method required high temperatures and specialized glassware, but it was inefficient and often weakened the potency of the CBD oil. As a result, people began looking for alternative methods.

Solvent extraction became popular, where a solvent like alcohol is used instead of steam. However, this method can leave traces of the solvent in the final product and some cost-cutting solvents like butane, which can be dangerous for consumers. Ethanol extraction is considered safe when done properly, but it’s important to trust the supplier to extract ethanol completely without any errors.

The most efficient and clean method of extracting CBD is through CO2 extraction. This process substitutes carbon dioxide for steam and solvents, resulting in a completely clean extraction with zero residue. CO2 extraction not only preserves all of the plant’s chemical compounds, including CBD, but it also creates a safer and more effective product. Although it’s more expensive than other methods, it’s worth the investment for a high-quality CBD product.

Now That You Know

CBD is a fascinating compound that we are just starting to fully understand. Despite its use by humans for thousands of years, we are still discovering new benefits every day.

It is being incorporated into a wide variety of exciting products, such as CBD gummies, edibles, oil tinctures, topicals, and even products for pets. Now that you have a better understanding of what CBD is, we encourage you to explore the different CBD products available and discover how it can benefit you.

Ready to experience the natural healing benefits of CBD?

We’ve got CBD Gummies, Vapes, Oil Tinctures and Topicals available for all needs – whether it’s pain, anxiety or sleep.

  1. Holland, Kimberly. “CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?” Healthline.com, https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-vs-thc. Updated 20 July 2020.
  2. Carter, Alan. “Can You Get High From CBD or CBD Oil?” Healthline.com, https://www.healthline.com/health/does-cbd-get-you-high Updated 30 August 2019.
  3. Grinspoon, Peter. “The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious.” Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569
  4. Raypole, Crystal. “A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System.” Healthline.com, https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system. 17 May 2019.
  5. Ferguson, Sian. “Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?” Healthline.com, https://www.healthline.com/health/hemp-vs-marijuana. 27 August 2020.