What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one of the more than 400 chemical entities found in cannabis plants. That means it can be found in both marijuana and industrial hemp. CBD is a close chemical compound to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. In fact, THC and CBD have the exact same chemical makeup with the only difference being the arrangement of a single atom. Unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive properties, meaning it cannot get you high, no matter how much you take.

How does CBD affect you?

The human brain is composed of billions of individual cells called neurons. These neurons communicate with one another through structures called synapses. Synapses are made up of a transmitter and a receptor –  When a synapse is off, or inactive, no communication occurs between the transmitter side and the receptor side much like your light switch at home.

When a synapse is on, or active, the transmitter (sending) side releases molecules that travel across the synaptic space to be absorbed by the receptor (receiving). These actions cause an effect somewhere else in your body or brain. CBD interacts with your brain in a similar way…When introduced into your bloodstream, CBD molecules activate specific groups of receptors:

- CB1 and CB2
- Adenosine
- Serotonin
- Vanilloid

These receptors influence such body functions as appetite, pain sensation, mood, memory, and anxiety and have a great deal to do with the effects that CBD offers. Serotonin for instance has long been associated with feelings of well-being and happiness.

Does CBD get you high?

No. CBD products contain zero or trace amounts of the other main cannabinoid that can be found in cannabis, namely THC – this is the compound in Cannabis that leads to the psychoactive effects that are commonly associated with marijuana and can get you high.

What is the difference between CBD derived from Cannabis and from Hemp?

Despite the identical molecular constitution of hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD, there are certain factors that demarcate CBD products sourced from the two plants.

One critical point of difference between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD is the resin content of each plant. Cannabis resin is found within the trichomes of buds and to a lesser extent on the leaves.Marijuana plants usually contain copious amounts of resin, while industrial hemp plants contain significantly lower levels. Following that logic, marijuana offers a more abundant source of CBD than hemp. In order to extract CBD oil from hemp plants, a much larger quantity is needed.There is an exception to this rule. Some emerging craft hemp varieties possess unusually high concentrations of CBD.

Knowing where and how your CBD is sourced will have a major effect in contamination levels. Naturally, hemp is a phytoremedial plant that removes pollutants such as heavy metals and chemicals from soil. But a lack of stringent local regulations surrounding the production and refinement of hemp could lead to highly contaminated CBD products.For instance, in China, there are few regulations enforced upon the agricultural industry, leading to the production of hemp-derived CBD products that tend to contain high levels of contaminants. Studies show that, due to the country's mining activities, some regions in China have water and soil that are contaminated with heavy metals.These contaminants manifest as toxicants within the hemp and may potentially taint CBD oil sourced from these plants. In order to remove the risk of ingesting contaminated CBD, it is safer to consume hemp-derived CBD products, which are grown without chemical pesticides and third-party tested.