What is CBD & What Does it Mean?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a molecule that is found exclusively within the cannabis, or marijuana plant. Cannabidiol belongs to a category of compounds called cannabinoids, of which there are currently 113 discovered that exist naturally within the cannabis plant.
Clinical studies conducted on all cannabinoids have linked them with having specific medicinal properties. This includes probably the most famous compound contained within cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
CBD is gaining ground in the popularity game against THC because it appears to have medicinal benefits, but unlike THC, it doesn’t exhibit the same psychoactive effects. This means it won’t get the user ‘high’ or ‘stoned’ and hence has no chance of being abused recreationally.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is simply a form of cannabidiol that has been extracted from the buds/flowers of cannabis, purified and then suspended into a carrier oil, such as hemp oil, coconut oil or MCT oil. These oils are then generally consumed sublingually (placed under the tongue) for five minutes and are commonly used to treat chronic pain or for reducing inflammation.
Cannabidiol can be taken/consumed in multiple different ways, not just as CBD oil. The buds/flowers from a cannabis plant can be inhaled by either smoking or vaporizing them. Cannabidiol can also be extracted from the plant and placed into different sprays, creams, balms and e-liquids. All which can have different uses, bioavailabilities and different associated health benefits.
What’s the difference between marijuana and hemp?
A common misconception found not only on the internet but also in national media and even from people selling CBD products, is that CBD is something that is found exclusively in hemp plants, which is incorrect. To understand why we first need to understand the difference between hemp, marijuana and cannabis.
Marijuana and hemp are variants of the species called Cannabis sativa, which is known to have 3 subspecies called sativa, indica and ruderalis. All three of these subspecies can be classified as marijuana or hemp depending upon one property – their THC content.
Literally, the only thing that differentiates marijuana and hemp is the amount of THC that is present within the plant. A marijuana plant is a plant within the species C. sativa that contains more than 0.3% THC and a hemp plant is one that contains less than 0.3% THC. The amount of CBD is irrelevant.
The distinction between both marijuana and hemp was made for purely legal purposes, because THC is the main psychoactive component and has the potential to be abused. Authorities needed a way to separate cannabis with high THC from cannabis with low THC because the cannabis plant has multiple industrial uses. It’s not just something that people consume recreationally or medicinally.
It’s worth noting that if a company is selling hemp oil or cannabis oil that this doesn’t tell you anything about the CBD concentration within the bottle. The oil could possibly be made from the seeds of the hemp plant which contains no cannabinoids at all. Therefore, it is always important to check that the bottle explicitly states it has CBD inside.
In order to do this you should look at the product description for both the amount of mg of CBD there is in the bottle and the % of CBD stated.