CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds unique to cannabis plants, and they interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in mammals, including humans.
The hemp plant is a member of the Cannabis sativa species, and it contains more than 100 different cannabinoids, with CBD being one of the most well-known and extensively studied ones. So far, we have robust data showing CBD is useful for reducing symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, sleep disorders, and pain.

CBD (cannabidiol) is frequently confused or linked with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Both are cannabinoids (that is, they can interact with the endocannabinoid system) and are found in cannabis plans. They also act on the same receptors but with different effects.

However, they are chemically different and produce distinct effects on our central nervous system. CBD’s effects are much milder and do not involve hallucinations, a “high”, or any changes in the way we perceive time or the objects around us. Some studies have shown that CBD counteracts the effects of THC.

CBD’s positive effects stem from how it interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

The ECS is a “widespread” system present in all mammals: it is made up of receptors across the body, which regulate a series of neurological functions such as pain, our response to environmental stressors, and sleep. Think of these receptors as special “keyholes” around the body, and of cannabinoids as extra “keys” that can open your ECS receptors.

The Cannabis sativa plant contains more than 100 different cannabinoids, and each interacts with these keyholes slightly differently. When cannabinoids like CBD are introduced to the ECS, they can interact with the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and other components of the system. CB1 and CB2 are the same receptors stimulated by THC, but in many ways, their effects are opposite: for example, where THC can increase your heart rate and trigger an anxiety attack, CBD will usually slow down the heart rate and soothe anxiety.

CBD and other cannabinoids have been studied for their potential therapeutic effects. Research suggests that they may help with conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, and more. However, it’s essential to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of using cannabinoids for various health issues.

Full-spectrum CBD oil is an extract that contains all the naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant. This includes not only CBD but also trace amounts of THC, which must be below the legal limit of 0.3% in the United States to be considered hemp-derived.

The presence of other cannabinoids and compounds in full-spectrum CBD is believed to enhance the overall therapeutic effects through what is often called the “entourage effect,” where the combination of multiple compounds works synergistically to provide potential health benefits.

No. The psychoactive effect of CBD is very mild. While it does affect your mind, it does not intoxicate you. It will not impair your function, slow you down, or impair your ability to make decisions or control your movements. It also doesn’t trigger the same euphoric relaxation that THC does — which is why it will not “get you high”.

CBD is generally considered a very safe substance. It is neither intoxicating nor addictive. And while it is technically possible to overdose on CBD, it would require an astronomical amount of it (at least 20,000 mg) and it is unlikely to be fatal.

CBD can produce some mild side effects, such as nausea and fatigue. In addition, CBD can interact with blood thinning or liver function medication, in the same way that grapefruit or Tylenol do.

Currently, the main risk from CBD comes from taking unreliable supplements, which may not always have the same dosage listed on the label.  When choosing CBD products, it’s crucial to ensure they come from reputable sources that use safe and transparent extraction methods. Third-party lab testing is often conducted to verify the potency and purity of CBD products.

As with any health supplement or treatment, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Currently, hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states in the United States. This is because the hemp plant, and all its derivatives, are now legal across the U.S. thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. This law removed all hemp-derived products from the Controlled Substances Act.

CBD extracted from Cannabis sativa, on the other hand, does not enjoy such a clear-and-cut status. In many states, Cannabis products are still restricted, heavily regulated, or only available with a medical marijuana license. It is essential to be aware of the local laws and regulations regarding CBD products before buying them.