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What is CBD?

What is CBD?

What is CBD?

To put it simply, CBD (cannabidiol) is an organic compound that comes from hemp, a variety of the cannabis sativa plant.  CBD is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids in cannabis, second only to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

When one thinks of cannabis, they immediately think of stoners smoking a joint or bong, getting high in their basement (think “That 70’s Show”). However, CBD does not produce a physical or psychological high, unlike THC.

So, what exactly is CBD? Is it legal? Does it show up on drug tests? Is it safe? Keep reading to find out!

Where Does CBD Come From?

People have unknowingly been consuming CBD for hundreds of years. However, it wasn’t until 1940 that American chemist Roger Adams discovered CBD as we know it today.

Unfortunately, many biased “scientific studies” on cannabis use demonized any form of the plant, including hemp. By 1971, the United States enacted its war on drugs with the Controlled Substances Act, making possession of cannabis illegal.

Luckily, the medical cannabis movement in the 1990s and into today has popularized the use of CBD.

CBD has quickly grown as a consumer favorite, mainly because several preclinical and clinical studies suggest that it may be able to provide many medical benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC.

Hemp VS. Marijuana

Hemp and marijuana are both botanical classes of the cannabis sativa plant but are grown for different reasons. Marijuana typically has higher concentrations of THC and is grown for recreational, entheogenic, and medicinal use. Hemp is developed specifically for industrial and medicinal use and has low concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of CBD.

The federal government defines hemp as cannabis and cannabis derivatives with meager (no more than 0.3%) amounts of THC.

CBD Research

While research is still limited on THC, there is a plethora of research into CBD’s ability to help with ongoing pain, with many of these studies showing promising results.

In one 2006 article, authors cite preclinical and clinical studies that have suggested that CBD may help treat various diseases, including those related to acute or chronic pain.

A 2019 study found that applying CBD cream twice a day provided pain relief to a group of people experiencing a specific type of jaw pain.

And in a 2020 review of CBD formulations in, pre-clinical studies were found to have various medicinal properties, including anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antipsychotic, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiolytic.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD is legal in the United States. The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the use of non-THC cannabinoids from the hemp plant according to the specifications laid out by the legislation.

In other words, the Farm Bill of 2018 declassified hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. Thus, allowing hemp to play a more significant role in the agricultural industry.

It’s essential to note that some states of their own hemp laws that don’t mirror the Farm Bill of 2018. Check out this chart from Leafly that includes each state and explains the restrictions.

Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

According to WebMD, pure CBD should not cause one to fail a drug test. However, this depends on the CBD’s purity and the drug test type.

When it comes to purity, there are three common types of CBD:

  • Full-spectrum CBD: CBD products that contain numerous naturally cannabis plant compounds, like terpenes and other cannabinoids, including up to 0.3% THC.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: CBD products that contain numerous compounds of the cannabis plant but are free of any THC.
  • Isolate CBD: pure CBD, which is more processed and typically comes in a crystal form that is ground up and sold as a powder.

The lesson here is that you should avoid full-spectrum CBD if you have any upcoming drug tests.

CBD Consumption Methods

There are four common ways that you can use CBD:

  • Topical – absorbs through the skin; excellent for localized application
  • Oral – absorbs through the digestive system; very convenient
  • Sublingual – absorbs under the tongue; has long-lasting effects
  • Inhalation – absorbs through the lungs; quick and efficient

What’s The Best Dosage?

The amount of CBD one takes is dependent on each person. Taking one to three doses of CBD daily is ideal for promoting a calming sense of well-being.

If you are taking CBD to help you sleep, it’s recommended to take your CBD dose two hours before bedtime.

Are you using topical CBD? Use it as needed, localized to the area that is in pain.

To ensure a dose works best for you, take it daily for one to two weeks before changing your amount if you find it isn’t helping.

Side Effects

Broadly speaking, CBD is well tolerated. However, some people may experience side effects, such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

Again, you should not feel sedated, but some people react differently. Junella Chin, DO, says about five percent of people say they feel altered after using CBD. “Usually, they’re the same people who have side effects from Advil or Tylenol.”

You never know how your body will react to a supplement you take for the first time. It’s always best to take your first dose under the supervision or guidance of a medical professional.

How to Choose a Quality CBD Product

Ensure that the brand or company you buy from uses third-party laboratory testing. CBD products get licensed without batch testing before selling them. These laboratory tests include samples from the same harvest to determine the content of cannabinoids and terpenes and the presence of heavy metals, pesticides, or other residuals.

It would be best if you also looked for a brand that only utilizes CO2 extraction to create CBD extract, as this is the industry standard and results in the purest CBD oil. However, CO2 extraction is the most expensive way to make CBD oil, so some manufacturers may cut corners. Other extraction methods can contaminate the CBD (quality CBD products will provide Certificates of Analysis).

You should also be aware that some CBD products, such as coconut oil (MCT), may contain allergens. Always check to ensure no extra ingredients could trigger an allergic reaction.

CBD: An Overview

Do you have a better understanding of CBD? We hope so!

To review:

  • CBD is a cannabinoid or an organic compound found in Hemp, a type of cannabis sativa plant.
  • Many studies have been done on the effectiveness of CBD on pain, anxiety, depression, and more!
  • CBD is legal under federal law, but some states have their own laws and regulations when it comes to CBD use.
  • Generally speaking, CBD is well tolerated by most of the public, though you should exercise caution the first time you take it so you can gauge your reaction correctly.
  • Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a “high” but a general sense of calm.
  • There are four main ways to consume CBD: topical, oral, sublingual, and inhalation.
  • Just like with any supplement, you should check to ensure it will not interact with any medications you are on or trigger any allergic reactions.
  • Always ensure that your CBD products were tested by a third party and were extracted using CO2 extraction.


WellRabbit has been licensed to sell CBD products. Visit our website at and take a look at our inventory, including:

We have dedicated ourselves to providing safe supplements that help you achieve optimum wellness. So, what are you waiting for? Get well today with WellRabbit!