New to CBD?
Don't worry! We have you covered with everything you need to know and the products to get you started.
What is CBD?
You may have heard about CBD in the news or from a friend. The truth is, there is no shortage of hype around CBD - and new CBD products are popping up everyday.
So what is it? Cannabidiol (ka·nuh·buh·DAI·uhl), commonly called "CBD", is found a cannabis plants - both hemp and marijuana. It is one of over 120 cannabinoids in cannabis plants. Another, more well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol, or "THC" for short.
Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to your body’s own endocannabinoids. This allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.
The interaction affects the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells and have roles in pain, immune function, stress, sleep, to name a few.
CBD vs. THC
Both CBD and THC have the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. A slight difference in how the atoms are arranged accounts for the differing effects on your body. THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives the high sensation, whereas CBD does not create the same psychoactive response (or a psychoactive response at all).
A primary difference between hemp and marijuana is that marijuana contains a relatively high concentration of THC - between 5 and 20 percent on average, and up to 30 percent for the most potent varieties - and relatively low levels of CBD. Hemp, on the contrary, contains higher amounts of CBD with very low THC (no more than 0.3 percent).
All CBD products that you will find here, as well as all CBD products that can be produced and distributed nationwide, have CBD that is extracted from only hemp plants and therefore have less than 0.3% THC, or no THC at all - which brings us to our next topic...
Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum vs. Isolate
You will likely see the terms Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum and Isolate on CBD product labels or in their description. We think it's important that you know what they mean.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all of the molecules that are present in hemp, including CBD, other cannabinoids (like THC), and terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD is considered the most natural form of CBD, retaining the most plant molecules of all three types of CBD, and it is therefore thought that these products may offer a greater range of benefits than isolate products.
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain CBD and other cannabinoids or terpenes, but no THC. A variety of different techniques are used to extract CBD, but broad-spectrum CBD is further distilled to remove traces of THC while leaving behind other beneficial plant parts. Broad-spectrum CBD offers many of the benefits of full-spectrum products, but without any concerns regarding drug testing.
CBD isolate, also known as 99% pure CBD, is a CBD product that solely contains CBD, with no other cannabinoids or terpenes. The CBD is obtained through CO2 extraction, whereby pressurized carbon dioxide is used to extract the desired chemicals from the plant.
Because CBD isolate is a single-molecule CBD, it is less potent than other forms of CBD. For those concerned with drug screenings that test for the presence of THC, CBD isolate can be a great fit.
|CBD Concentration||Varies - still high||Varies - still high||99%|
|Terpenes, Flavonoids, & Cannabanoids||High||Low-Med||None|
Is CBD legal?
The short answer is yes. However, there may be things you should know based on where you live. Many states have legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp. The most recent Farm Bill also removed hemp from the controlled substances list, making hemp “legal” nationwide. But there is some gray area in the state by state laws. While there are almost no reports of criminal action against people who buy products online, people have been arrested moving hemp in large quantities across state lines. It is also unwise to fly with products that contain cannabis or cannabis extracts.
In an evolving space where scientific research is in its infancy, remain skeptical. Research brands before you buy. Hold companies to a high standard. It’s possible to create cannabis products with a locally farmed cannabis, a transparent supply chain, and rigorous testing. Though you’re entering an unregulated space where, unlike with most FDA-approved medications, claims are presented without a 30-second legal disclaimer, you still deserve good information.
Brands on this site are brands that we have come to trust through research and are confident in recommending to you.
Before you use CBD, talk to a healthcare professional you trust. Your doctor may have access to new information and, as the stigmas associated with cannabis are lifted, conversations will increasingly move to more professional settings.
We believe in access to natural options. We think there is value in decreasing a dependency on synthetic products. That does not mean we advocate for quitting a medication you are prescribed because you read something on the internet.
Be careful, be healthy and stay smart.
Here are a few products that we would recommend to get started...