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What is CBD? The Complete Guide to CBD

Learn why this popular plant is taking the world by storm and if you would benefit from taking CBD. 

CBD has taken the world by storm over the past couple of years with the legalization of the hemp plant with the 2018 Farm Bill.

CBD went from being relatively unknown to appearing everywhere due to its various health benefits.

The widespread popularity of CBD has left many people wondering what CBD is and if it can help them lead a happier, healthier life.

At Farmacy Bliss, we like to think of CBD as nature’s very own “chill pill.” And in this post, we’ll make it crystal clear for you about what CBD is, what CBD is used for, and any other questions you have about this somewhat mysterious (and awesome) plant.

So, let’s dive right in…


What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol — and it’s the second most prevalent active ingredients found in the cannabis plant. CBD is just one of over 80 natural compounds found in the cannabis plant.

Cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate our sleep patterns, mood, immune response, appetite, memory, and pain. It’s for this reason that many scientists are optimistic that CBD can help maintain balance in your body.

Your body makes its own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids.

Have you ever experienced the notorious “runner’s high?” If so, you’ve experienced endocannabinoids in action!

Now before we move on, let’s clear up some of the most confusing terms around CBD.


What’s the difference between cannabis, marijuana, and hemp?

These three terms are used almost interchangeably on the internet — despite being very different from one another. So before we continue, let’s discuss the difference between cannabis, marijuana, and hemp.

Cannabis – Cannabis is the scientific name of the plant responsible for both marijuana and hemp. Both marijuana and hemp are simply different parts from the Cannabis plant.

Marijuana – Marijuana is the part of the Cannabis plant that gets you “high” because it’s filled with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana can have up to 30% THC. While CBD does exist in marijuana, especially medical marijuana, it’s far more abundant in hemp.

Hemp – Hemp is the part of the Cannabis plant that has no more than 0.3% THC (which is the current legal limit for THC in the US). Due to the low amount of THC found in the plant, hemp is not psychoactive. CBD is one of several products created by the hemp plant. Other common products you might have in your house that use hemp include shoes, clothes, rope, and paper.


How does CBD work?

As previously stated, CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system. Our endocannabinoid system is a vast internal system of controls that helps regulate important daily functions such as your sleep, mood, and appetite.

CBD helps to stimulate receptors in our endocannabinoid system, which helps our body create its own endocannabinoids. Again, if you’ve ever experienced a runner’s high, you’ve felt the effects of endocannabinoids.

Because our endocannabinoid systems are so vast and regulate so much of our important daily functions, scientists believe CBD has a host of health benefits, which is part of the reason it’s become so popular.


What is CBD used for?

Before we dive into what CBD is used for, keep this in mind:

The research around CBD is still very young and immature. To date, the strongest scientific evidence for its effectiveness is in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to anti-seizure medications.

That’s not to say that CBD has no other benefits. CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the research is simply too young for scientists to confirm or deny other benefits of CBD.

With that said, many people use CBD for a variety of health issues. Research suggests that CBD can help create a general sense of wellbeing, but there have not been enough clinical trials to back up the research. Scientists should know with certainty in the next couple of years about all the benefits of CBD.

We like to think of CBD as a warm bath for your entire body delivered by nature herself.

Here’s how some other users have described their experience with CBD:

  • Promotes relaxation and a sense of calmness
  • Enhances focus
  • Promotes balanced mood support
  • Eases minor aches
  • Promotes a feeling of refreshment, especially after sleep
  • Relaxes muscles and improves muscle recovery
  • Helps manage stress
  • Promotes overall comfort and wellbeing

…and there are plenty of other potential benefits of using CBD. Again, remember that there has not been enough research into all the potential benefits of CBD. But scientists are currently conducting these studies as you read this.


Are there any side effects to taking CBD?

CBD is generally considered to be safe and non-addictive. But as with anything else, too much CBD could cause negative outcomes.

Remember, CBD is not some kind of miracle drug (even though some places on the internet will try to convince you that it is).

Not to mention that CBD interacts with everybody differently and medications you’re taking could potentially change the way CBD interacts with your body. That’s why we always encourage people to start slow and build their way up to larger doses.

There are a few minor side effects that you could experience with CBD. These include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness

Again, it’s best to start with a smaller dosage and check with your health practitioner if you are currently taking any medications to make sure CBD has no adverse effects on you.


What’s the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil?

If you’ve been looking into CBD as a potential health solution, then you’ve probably come across the terms CBD oil and hemp oil.

And the difference between them is sort of tricky.

Here’s why:

All hemp oil is derived from the hemp plant. And while most CBD oil is also derived from the hemp plant, technically, you can extract CBD from other sources (such as marijuana).

To make matters more confusing, many CBD companies branded their CBD oil as hemp oil to avoid upsetting the FDA back in shakier times.

So in many cases, there’s no difference between CBD oil and hemp oil. But that’s not always the case.

Ready to make everything even more confusing?

Hemp oil used to refer to hemp seed oil before the explosion of CBD.

Hemp seed oil is totally different than CBD oil and hemp oil. Hemp seed oil comes from hemp seeds and does not contain any cannabinoids like CBD but instead is a rich blend of nutrients including a high concentration of protein, polyunsaturated acids and vitamin E.

So to recap:

All hemp oil comes from the hemp plant.

Most CBD oil comes from the hemp plant, but it’s possible CBD is extracted from other sources.

Hemp seed oil comes from hemp seeds and contains no CBD, but instead is a blend of healthy nutrients.


Does CBD make you high?

As previously mentioned in this article, CBD has no psychoactive effects, meaning it will not get you high like THC will.

With that said, you need to be careful and check the labels when you’re buying CBD especially if you live in a state where marijuana is legal.

The federal legal limit of THC is 0.3%. Meaning, anything exceeding 0.3% THC in a state where marijuana is illegal would be illegal. But, it’s possible for states with legal marijuana to exceed the federal guidelines. (These would most likely be considered marijuana products instead of CBD products, but it’s a good idea to read the label yourself for any CBD product you purchase.)

When in doubt, choose CBD products that are derived from hemp. That will ensure that they contain less than 0.3% THC and will not get you high.


What’s the difference between full spectrum CBD, CBD isolate, and broad spectrum CBD?

If you’ve been considering CBD products, you’ve likely come across the terms full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

While the terms sound similar, they are very different. Each term refers to a different type of CBD used in the end product.

Let’s dive into each one:


Full spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD is an extract that contains all compounds found naturally occurring in the plant. This includes terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids.

Full spectrum CBD provides the most therapeutic benefits because each of the compounds found in full spectrum CBD work together to create what’s called the “entourage effect.”

And since full spectrum CBD maintains the integrity of the whole plant, it’s easier to trace the source and confirm the safety of full spectrum CBD as it isn’t processed as much as the other types of CBD.

We make all of the products at Farmacy Bliss with full spectrum CBD.


CBD isolate

CBD isolate is the purest form of the CBD compound, meaning all the other compounds such as terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids are removed from the CBD.

Scientists used to think that CBD isolate was more potent and more effective than full spectrum CBD. But a study conducted in 2005 disproved this theory.

The biggest benefit of CBD isolate is that you can be 100% certain that it contains no THC — whereas other types of CBD could contain up to 0.3% THC. The other forms of CBD won’t get you high like marijuana would, but those who need to submit random drug tests can find more peace of mind by choosing CBD isolate products. Want to learn more about how CBD affects drug tests? Read our article here.


Broad spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD is a mix between full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Like full spectrum CBD, the other compounds are preserved in the extract, but like CBD isolate, it contains no THC.

This means it can deliver the benefits of the “entourage effect” without comprising those who need to submit to random drug tests.

Broad spectrum CBD is more processed than full spectrum CBD, but less processed than CBD isolate. And it’s the least researched type of CBD.


How should I take CBD?

There is no shortage of ways to take CBD. Everything from capsules to vapes to oils exist — and new ways are emerging every day.

How you take your CBD will depend on you and your needs. Below are tables detailing the pros and cons of vapes, capsules, and oil drops:

Pros Cons
Fastest acting  Doesn’t last as long as other methods
Easily control dosage Vaping CBD too hot can cause health issues 
Provides on-the-go relief  Possibly addictive – CBD is not addictive but the act of vaping can be addictive 
Most bang for your buck – you absorb more CBD with less 
Tastes great
Most convenient 


Pros Cons
Longest lasting – Can last up to 8 hours Not as potent as other methods
Higher absorption rate than tablets or capsules Harder to control dosage 
Discrete – easy to take with daily vitamins and supplements  Needs metabolized by liver so takes longer to kick in 
No taste 


Oil Drops
Pros Cons
Fast acting – faster than capsules, not as fast as vapes Some don’t like the taste/texture of CBD drops
Easily control dosage  Not as convenient or subtle as other methods
Absorbed in bloodstream immediately 
Can add to drinks


As you can see, each has their own unique pros and cons. Another popular way to use CBD is in the form of topical lotions. While we don’t offer topicals at Farmacy Bliss, topicals are a good way to provide relief to external pain.

If you have any questions about our full spectrum CBD oil or Farmacy Bliss products, feel free to shoot us an email at [email protected].

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