Today, CBD can be found anywhere from internet storefronts, community markets, chiropractic offices, coffee shops, health clubs, and more. It can also be found in a number of different products like oils, vaping juices, beauty products, tinctures, edibles, and salves.

CBD is all the rage right now–and for good reason! But what is it exactly? We’ll give you all you need to know, including what CBD is and isn’t, how to consume it, its benefits, dosing recommendations, and more.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the cannabis flower, a plant whose medicinal benefits have been used for thousands of years. It’s one of more than one hundred phytocannabinoids, or molecules that are uniquely produced by the cannabis plant and are the source of its therapeutic benefits. CBD is safe as well as non-addictive or habit forming, and it offers extensive potential therapeutic benefits.

CBD versus THC and hemp

Cannabis, marijuana, hemp–they’re all words you’ve probably heard many times, but what’s the difference?

The Cannabis sativa plant has two primary species: hemp and marijuana. CBD can be found in both, but there’s a higher percentage of CBD in hemp versus marijuana and is therefore commonly extracted from the hemp plant.

THC, CBD’s cousin, is found in marijuana and gives the “stoned” high that many people are familiar with when they think about cannabis.

Hemp oil in particular is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant and doesn’t contain CBD nor THC, though it offers its own host of health benefits.

How does CBD work?

CBD lights up your body like a Christmas tree, and it all comes down to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD and THC interact with the ECS by mimicking the effects of endocannabinoids–molecules made by the body to help keep internal functions running smoothly.

The ECS is a part of the body that’s designed to respond to its environment, not unlike the nervous system. All humans and animals are born with an ECS, including women, men, children, and pets. This system controls some of our most vital life functions including our immune system, memory, appetite, sleep pattern, mood, and pain sensation.

The body produces endocannabinoids to assist with things like appetite stimulation, reducing stress and anxiety, pain relief, memory formation, and more. But the ECS can also interact with cannabinoids produced from plants, like cannabis.

These plant-derived cannabinoids connect with two main cannabinoid receptors found in the body: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and central nervous system as well as nerves and some organs. CB2 receptors are found in peripheral organs and cells associated with the immune system.

When consumed, plant-derived cannabinoids are like keys that click into our cannabinoid receptors to unlock a response in our bodies.

Will CBD make me high?

CBD will not get you high, and it can actually counteract the psychotropic effects of THC

THC is the compound responsible for the high that people often associate with cannabis, but CBD is derived from the non-psychoactive portion of the plant. Although CBD and THC are closely related, they react differently with various receptors in the brain and body. They both offer therapeutic benefits, but CBD doesn’t make you feel stoned or intoxicated.

That being said, keep in mind that when buying CBD it’s crucial to buy third-party-tested CBD, like we use in our products, to make sure that you’re purchasing quality CBD that doesn’t contain any amount of THC.

Will CBD show up on a drug test?

CBD should not show up on a drug test. But like we mentioned, that’s only true if you’re buying third-party tested CBD with no added THC.

Note that some people who are required to take more sensitive drug tests, like athletes, run a small risk of testing positive for trace amounts of THC if they’ve been using CBD products. Though that’s not likely, it’s good to keep in mind if you know your drug test is particularly sensitive.

How should I take CBD?

From tinctures, edibles, and vapes, there’s no shortage of ways to consume CBD. How you choose to use CBD depends on your own individual needs and preferences. It can either be ingested orally or applied topically. Here’s an overview of some common ways to take CBD.

CBD salves & topicals

  • Particularly good for localized pain relief
  • Provides immediate relief
  • Doesn’t enter the bloodstream like other CBD products
  • Applied directly to the skin and is absorbed by the body instantly

CBD tinctures

  • Particularly good for pretty much everyone
  • Easy to use, efficient, and versatile
  • Used by dropping CBD oil directly under your tongue
  • The tongue is capillary-rich, meaning tinctures allow CBD to reach your bloodstream quickly

CBD bitters

  • Particularly good for supporting digestion and adding to drinks
  • A few drops can be added to water, tea, soda, or a cocktail

CBD edibles (truffles, gummies, etc.)

  • Particularly good if you’re craving a yummy treat
  • Can take up to two hours to kick in, and your body may only absorb 20-30% of it
  • May contain sugar and preservatives that may negatively impact your health

CBD vape pens

  • Particularly good for quick delivery (approximately 10 minutes) because it immediately enters the lungs and then passes into the bloodstream
  • Lasts a shorter duration (approximately 2 hours)
  • Long-term safety of vaping is still unknown

What are the benefits of CBD?

We’re still somewhat in the wild west days of CBD as there remains a lack of research around this medicine. Even still, CBD’s potential as a remedy for a wide range of conditions has been highlighted by extensive scientific research and personal accounts from patients and physicians.

The potential benefits of CBD include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Treatment of autoimmune diseases like inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Treatment of skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis
  • Relief of anxiety and depression
  • Relief of acute inflammation
  • Treatment of various types of chronic pain
  • Treatment of neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and more
  • Reduction of muscle spasticity involved with multiple sclerosis
  • Treatment of cardiovascular dysfunction like atherosclerosis and arrhythmia
  • Relief of insomnia–may help falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Relief of seizures
  • Treatment of perimenopausal symptoms

According to Project CBD, it’s been proven that CBD has “neuroprotective effects and its anti-cancer properties are being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere.”

What is full-spectrum CBD?

There are two main types of CBD:

  1. CBD isolate – the pure form, 100% CBD, without any other cannabis plant compounds
  2. Full-spectrum CBD – an extract that contains other compounds of the cannabis plant, like terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids; the type of CBD we sell at ZV Botanicals

Though CBD isolate is a good choice for people who want to experience CBD without the additional cannabis compounds, its effects may be less noticeable than full-spectrum CBD.

Since full-spectrum CBD contains additional parts of the cannabis plant, it may have a stronger effect than CBD isolate. This is due to what’s called the entourage effect – the idea that multiple cannabinoids may be more effective together than any one of them alone.

Unlike CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD contains a trace amount of THC (usually less than 0.3%). Though it’s hardly present, the combination of THC with CBD may make full-spectrum CBD more effective in treating pain than CBD isolate.

CBD dosing–how much should you take?

OK–so you’re convinced you should try CBD sooner than later. Now you need to know how much to take. It may take some experimentation, but we’ve got some tips to help.

Full-spectrum CBD is effective at much lower doses than CBD isolate and potentially offers more therapeutic benefits. So it matters what type of CBD you’re using before determining how much to take.

A variety of factors come into play that impact how CBD impacts a person: cannabis experience, time of day, cannabinoid acids, and more. Therefore CBD dosage must be individually determined.

That being said, a good general calculation for CBD dosage recommendations is 1 milligram of CBD for every 10 pounds you weigh. So if you weigh 140 pounds, your recommended daily dosage amount is 14mg. This calculator can help you decide for yourself.

[Your weight in pounds] ÷ 10 = [your daily dose in milligrams]

If anything, remember to start low and go slow, especially if you’re a new cannabis user. Start with a lower dose one week and then slowly increase it each week. For more information on CBD dosing, visit this page.

But wait – Is CBD even legal?

Yes. Well, for the most part.

Hemp derived CBD has been federally legal since 2018 after a new Farm Bill was passed that made it federally legal to grow hemp. But even though it’s legal under federal law, each state gets to decide for themselves. You should check with your particular state to see what its specific laws are. You can find a nice map here that details each state’s laws.

What should I know about ZV Botanicals’ CBD?

We offer full-spectrum, hemp derived CBD extract in our tinctures, bitters, and topicals.

Our CBD comes from small family-run farms in central Oregon. They grow their plants using only organic and natural practices, ensuring an oil that is free of unwanted chemicals and heavy metals. The plants and oils are triple-tested by a third party testing lab, and the extract is certified safe by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, passing the strictest safety code requirements in the United States. 

Our oils are extracted using high-proof organic cane alcohol, distilled off, leaving a thick, golden oil rich with cannabinoids, mainly CBD, and lower amounts of CBC, CBG, and (legal amounts of) THC. Together with various terpenes, chlorophyll, flavonoids, and other plant acids, they can synergize and support the body in the healing process.

Now that you know everything you need to know about CBD, what are you waiting for? We’d love to support you on your journey of wellness and healing. If you’re ready to try CBD for yourself, explore our full-spectrum, herbal bitters, tinctures, and topicals. We offer a little something for everyone.