CBD is taking the world by storm. It has blossomed in popularity to become a worldwide phenomenon. But just what is this supposedly miraculous compound? Where does it come from and what does it do? What is CBD?
The abbreviation “CBD” is short for the word cannabidiol. It’s part of a class of compounds known as cannabinoids.
There are all sorts of cannabinoids, including many which are produced in the human body as part of what is known as the endocannabinoid system, where they act as essential neurotransmitters used to send messages between the cells in your body.
You can find cannabinoids in all sorts of biological systems. But the most famous is their namesake: the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants are rich in over a hundred cannabinoids and these intriguing compounds can provide many benefits.
The Effects of CBD
The cannabis plant has a long history of use dating back to ancient civilizations.
Although the modern view of cannabis has focused largely on the recreational effects of smoking marijuana, the idea of cannabis as a product to promote wellness is experiencing something of a modern renaissance.
CBD does not have the powerful psychoactive effects of its more infamous cousin THC. THC is the main compound responsible for the intoxicating “high” associated with recreational marijuana usage.
CBD can be taken daily to help support the general health of the user.
How CBD Is Made
CBD products are made from an extract of cannabis plants. The recent surge in CBD’s popularity traces its origins back to a piece of United States legislation signed into law in 2018.
Known as the 2018 Farm Bill, this legislation made it legal for farmers to grow a specific type of cannabis known as “hemp.” Hemp is defined as any cannabis plant containing 0.3% or less THC, making it distinct from marijuana.
Under the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp plants and their extract can be legally grown, processed, and sold. This opened the floodgates for CBD products -- previously illegal to grow, sell, or possess under restrictive marijuana prohibition laws -- to make their way to market.
Making CBD starts with the hemp plant. Specific varieties of hemp are bred and selected for their high CBD content. These plants are then processed with an extraction method such as CO2 extraction, where the plant matter is removed and the essential oils, waxes, and resins are refined into a product known as hemp extract.
Products containing pure CBD are sold as “CBD Isolate” and products that contain CBD and other cannabinoids are considered as “Full Spectrum CBD Oil.”
Full Spectrum CBD products also contain traces of other organic compounds from the hemp plant, such as terpenes, amino acids, and other cannabinoids.
Hemp Oil versus Hemp Extract
As we outlined above, Full Spectrum CBD Oil is simply a form of hemp extract with a high CBD concentration.
However, you may occasionally come across another product on the market known as hemp oil. While this might seem quite similar to hemp extract, it is in fact dramatically different.
Hemp oil is created using hemp seeds, not hemp plants. Hemp oil is composed mostly of dietary fats and does not contain cannabinoids like CBD.
It’s more accurate to call hemp oil hemp seed oil, but it will often be labeled as simply “hemp oil.”
While hemp seed oil may have some beneficial properties of its own, it should not be confused with CBD oil.
Interestingly, many CBD tinctures rely on hempseed oil as a “carrier oil” which is mixed with hemp extract to produce a tincture. This can add some extra confusion, but don’t be fooled! Hempseed oil isn’t essential to consume CBD tinctures. In fact, many tinctures, such as tinctures available here at Sabaidee instead use a different carrier oil such as coconut or peppermint oil.