What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is still somewhat new to the market but has quickly created a buzz in most households and continues to grow in popularity. It’s most commonly known for its therapeutic effects including anti-anxiety, stress relief and a sleep aid. CBD oil has entered today’s market in a multitude of ways including topicals, sublingual tinctures and infused edibles. The potential for this business and growth opportunity has sparked interest and many people are looking to launch; but you must understand cannabinoids and how products are derived from the plant.

CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids, which are compounds found throughout the cannabis and hemp plants. The most famous cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the intoxication associated with the consumption of cannabis. On the other hand, CBD does not produce an intoxicating effect. Though research is limited and still ongoing, CBD has been found to offer many therapeutic and health benefits.
CBD products are created in several steps. First, the raw material is cultivated and harvested. For example, if you plan on using industrial hemp to create your CBD products, you will either need to cultivate or purchase a large amount of the plant. From there, CBD oil is extracted from the plant using a variety of methods. Once the CBD oil has been extracted, it can be sold as a concentrate or used to infuse a variety of products.

Hemp CBD vs. Cannabis CBD

CBD is found in both cannabis and hemp plants and the CBD oil can be extracted from either plant and used to create CBD products. However, there is a key difference between hemp CBD oil and CBD products derived from cannabis: THC. Hemp and cannabis are closely related; the difference in name is solely a function of legal definition, which sets the threshold for THC content. The flowers of a hemp plant contain little to no THC, while the flowers of a cannabis plant (commonly referred to as marijuana) contain much higher levels of THC. The difference in THC levels attribute to hemp being considered federally legal and therefore made into finished goods we know as CBD products. Cannabis, on the other hand, remains federally illegal due to its high concentration of THC < 0.3%.

Full-spectrum CBD vs. Broad Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate

If you’ve done any research into the CBD market already, you’ve likely encountered the terms “full-spectrum”, “broad spectrum”, or “CBD isolate.” Depending on the extraction methods used, the CBD oil obtained from the plant might contain other cannabinoids and compounds found in the source plant. This is what is known as full-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoids found in the source material, as well as terpenes, which are responsible for creating the flavor profile, aroma and specific effects of the plant. Broad Spectrum CBD also contains other cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN but is free of THC. CBD isolate, as the name suggests, is a concentrate that only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids or terpenes. While the purity of CBD isolate might sound desirable, there is some evidence to suggest full-spectrum CBD promotes an “entourage effect”. All this means is that the compounds in a full-spectrum CBD work together to promote more significant effects. These effects include but are not limited to anti-anxiety and stress relief. This effect is still under investigation by researchers studying CBD and other cannabinoids.