CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. It is often confused with THC, which is another active compound in cannabis. The primary difference between them is that CBD usually doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, nor does it causes a “high” feeling, unlike the former.
Though research on CBD is still in its early stage, preliminary studies suggest that CBD can offer tons of health benefits like reducing anxiety, relieving pain, and improving sleep. On the flip side, due to limited studies and information available on CBD, understanding CBD can be overwhelmingly confusing.
So, this article is an attempt to help you understand what CBD really is, the forms of CBD products, and the three main types of CBD plants out there.
What Is CBD?
CBD is an active compound found in cannabis plants, along with THC and over 540 other compounds.
Many people are still confused as to where CBD comes from. Let’s make it crystal clear, for once and for all!
All kinds of cannabis plants, both Indica and Sativa, contain CBD and THC. However, the primary difference lies in their quantities. Many varieties of indica and Sativa plants contain higher amounts of THC than CBD. On average, a cannabis plant contains about 12% THC and 0.15% CBD.
However, on several websites, you’ll find that CBD comes from the Sativa plant. Or others may say CBD is a compound found in cannabis Sativa plants. Why so? That’s because CBD is typically obtained from hemp (a term used for cannabis sativa plants) that contains less than 0.3% THC. On average, hemp plants contain up to 18% CBD.
Is Cannabis CBD The Same as Hemp CBD?
The short answer is yes, CBD from Cannabis and Hemp are more or less the same. More importantly, the benefits of CBD will remain the same, regardless of its source. Likewise, the common side effects of CBD, such as fatigue, reduced appetite, dry mouth, or drowsiness, also remain the same in both cannabis-derived and hemp-derived CBD.
However, according to the 2018 Farm Bill and Canada’s Cannabis Act, CBD products should be made from plants that contain no more than 0.3% THC. Any product made from plants that contain more than 0.3% THC is considered illegal. This is where cannabis plants (except hemp) fall short.
All in all, CBD products (whether made from hemp or other cannabis plants) must have less than 0.3% THC to be sold and consumed legally.
Since hemp has far more CBD and meets the legal ≤ 0.3% THC requirement, it is considered a more ideal option for deriving CBD than other varieties of cannabis plants.
Types of CBD Plants:
There are three types of CBD plants:
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all components of the cannabis plant, such as cannabinoids (including THC), flavonoids, and terpenes. However, as per federal law, all full-spectrum CBD products should contain 0.3% THC or lesser. But note that this type of CBD does carry small amounts of THC.
Benefits of full-spectrum CBD
This type of CBD has a few benefits over the other two. For one, it is widely available in regions where cannabis is legalized. Plus, full-spectrum CBD offers an entourage effect, meaning different compounds work together to produce an effect that would otherwise be impossible to achieve by a single compound.
It is important to know that, though full-spectrum CBD contains little THC, it doesn’t necessarily make you high. However, that depends on a CBD product’s potency and the amount you consume. For instance, if you take too much of a potent CBD product, chances are, you’ll experience the classic “high” associated with THC.
CBD Isolate is considered the purest form, containing no other compounds from the cannabis plant other than Cannabidiol (CBD). In other words, isolates do not contain THC, terpenes, or any other cannabinoids that are naturally present in cannabis/hemp plants.
The most common method to extract CBD isolate is ethanol extraction or CO2 extraction.
Benefits of CBD Isolate
Several studies suggest that CBD is an effective treatment when accompanied by other compounds and cannabinoids. While this may hold true, CBD isolate has a consumer base of its own. They are an excellent choice for people wanting to try the benefits of CBD without ingesting any other psychoactive compounds like THC.
CBD Isolate also has lesser chances (compared to other types) of showing up on a drug test.
Broad-spectrum CBD somewhat lies between a full-spectrum CBD and an isolate. It contains most of the compounds found in the cannabis plant but without any THC. Or in some cases, broad-spectrum CBD may contain traces of THC, but the amount is usually negligible.
Benefits of broad-spectrum CBD
Broad-spectrum CBD produces a milder entourage effect than its full-spectrum counterpart (since it contains most of the compounds except for THC). In this regard, broad-spectrum CBD may produce stronger effects than CBD isolate that doesn’t contain any additional compounds.
Most Common Forms of CBD – Different CBD Products:
Today, you can find CBD in several forms, allowing you to choose a product that suits your preferences and needs. Below are some of the most common forms of CBD or CBD products available in the market:
CBD gummies are widely used to relieve anxiety, inflammation, depression, pain and improve sleep. CBD gummies are also a hassle-free, simple method of ingesting CBD. All you have to do is pop one into your mouth without anyone noticing.
One of the best things about taking a CBD capsule is that you have the ultimate control over how much amount of the compound you’re ingesting.
CBD oils are usually taken sublingually. This will allow the CBD to enter your bloodstream faster, resulting in quicker effects.
CBD topicals are applied to affected areas for treating pain and joint swelling. Many people also enjoy using CBD creams as an all-around relaxing massage oil.
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