What is CBD?

“So what is CBD (Cannabidiol), anyway?” is a question we are commonly asked.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a natural substance that has recently come into the spotlight for a number of reasons.

It is a relatively new food supplement that is still being researched, and while the initial results are promising, there is a lot of doubt, misinformation, and sheer confusion surrounding it.

Recently, CBD oil has become an accepted means of relaxation, and the substance’s popularity is rising fairly rapidly.

As the use of CBD oil is very new, there are still significant gaps in what we know about its effects. While we can confidently say the substance is safe and legal, its exact benefits are still an issue of hot debates and fervent research.

In this article, we are putting the most important facts surrounding Cannabidiol together to cut through some of the confusion and give you a clearer picture about this new cannabinoid known as CBD. This article covers:

  • The benefits of CBD
  • Where does CBD come from?
  • CBD’s legal status (and the confusion surrounding it!)

Finally, we have included our “Cannabidiol Definitions” section to help you make sense of all the technical terms and jargon surrounding CBD.

What Are the Benefits of CBD?

Numerous people are reporting success in using CBD to reach a desired state of calm and relaxation.

Strictly as a chemical substance, CBD also has strong antioxidant properties, a fact that so far has been largely ignored by the broader food supplements industry.

As each person is different, and because CBD’s effects are still under study, we strongly encourage you to do your own research before incorporating CBD to your daily life.

Where Does CBD Come From?

CBD is extracted and separated from specific varieties of cannabis, often known as hemp. Chemically, CBD is one of 85 chemical substances known as cannabinoids, which are all found in the cannabis plant. CBD is the second most abundant compound in hemp, typically representing up to 40% of its extracts.

However, here is where the confusion starts.

Unfortunately, the most abundant constituent of cannabis is the cannabinoid known as THC, an intoxicating and illegal substance that is responsible for causing marijuana users to get “high.”

While CBD is completely separated and isolated from THC and CBD cannot get you “high,” there is still a lot of stigma as many people tend to mistake CBD for THC. These fears, though unfounded, are understandable to an extent, especially since the terminology surrounding CBD can be very confusing.

Nonetheless, it is impossible to get “high” by smoking or ingesting CBD-high hemp (that has only traces of THC), as it is also impossible to get high by consuming CBD oil products (that contain virtually no THC).

CBD is extracted in oil form and is often found mixed in hemp oil extracts in varying concentrations.

Is Cannabidiol Legal?

Yes, CBD is legal worldwide (a controlled substance in Canada alone). As we’ve seen above, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding CBD, partially because its chemical properties are poorly understood and partially because of its close resemblance to THC.

Until relatively recently (1980s), scientists believed that CBD was a natural precursor to the formation of THC, and since THC was a strictly controlled substance back then (it still is), it only followed that CBD should be equally strictly regulated.

However, CBD is actually unrelated to the chemical chain that results in THC. They share some characteristics but are created via different paths. Again, unlike THC, CBD is considered a legal cannabinoid and is safe to consume in any amount and concentration.