What Does CBD Stand For?
What does CBD stand for? It might just be the most frequently asked question that our community hears. In short: CBD stands for "cannabidiol", which is one of the predominant cannabinoids found naturally in cannabis plants.
Cannabinoids, such as CBD, are a form of natural chemical compounds that interact in various ways with your body. But cannabinoids aren't found only in cannabis; in fact, our bodies produce cannabinoids of their very own!
In this article, we not only answer the question "what does CBD stand for", we also cover all of the most common follow-up questions you may have when first venturing into the wide world of CBD. With this CBD crash course, you'll have everything you need to get up-to-speed on this increasingly popular wellness supplement!
What Is CBD?
CBD is the common abbreviation for cannabidiol, which is one of the two most common cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (the other being THC, or "tetrahydrocannabinol").
Different cannabinoids have different effects on the body. CBD, for instance, is associated with several therapeutic benefits, including:
- Anxiety and stress relief
- Pain management
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved sleep
- Reducing the frequency and severity of certain forms of epileptic seizure
Other cannabinoids offer very different effects. THC, for instance, causes an intoxicating "high", while CBN offers a strong sleep boost.
It bears repeating: CBD is non-intoxicating and, as such, offers little for recreational use. Instead, CBD use is almost exclusively therapeutic, and CBD users may benefit from a wide variety of natural, botanical benefits.
CBD vs. THC: Similarities and Differences
CBD (stands for "cannabidiol") and THC (stands for "tetrahydrocannabinol") are the two most prevalent of cannabis's cannabinoids, but they're very different compounds.
- Origins: Like all cannabis cannabinoids, both CBD and THC are derived from CBG (stands for "cannabigerol"), which is often known as the "mother cannabinoid".
- Therapeutic Effects: CBD offers therapeutic benefits such as stress relief, improved sleep, and pain management. THC has more limited therapeutic applications, principally for sleep or pain. At high doses, THC may actually increase anxiety.
- Effects on Appetite: THC is a powerful appetite stimulant responsible for the infamous "weed munchies". CBD, on the other hand, has a much subtler effect on appetite, and studies disagree as to the effect it may have.
- Intoxication: CBD does not cause intoxication of any kind, even at very high doses. THC causes significant intoxication, including slowed reaction speed, decreased cognitive performance, and mild euphoria.
- Interactions: CBD and THC, taken together, interact and alter each other's effects. The most significant interaction is that CBD may reduce the psychotropic effects of THC.
Despite the similarity of their origins, CBD and THC are very different compounds, and users should be sure to select the one that will work best for their needs.
Generally speaking, CBD offers more potential for natural therapeutic treatments but very little in the way of enjoyable recreational use. THC is generally used for recreational purposes, and its therapeutic benefits are very limited outside of treating several very specific conditions.
Is CBD Legal?
But there are some restrictions on CBD's legality. Put simply, it all comes down to where the CBD comes from. And that leads us perfectly into our next most frequently asked question!
Where Does CBD Come From?
As we've already mentioned, CBD comes from the cannabis plant. But there's more to know than just that!
The cannabis plant comes in two varieties: hemp and marijuana. Put simply, hemp has very low levels of THC, while marijuana has very high levels of THC.
Regardless of where it comes from, CBD is CBD. Hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD are identical in all real respects. Nonetheless, it's important to know where your CBD comes from. Why, you ask?
Most importantly: legal reasons.
Legality of Hemp-Derived CBD
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD and CBD-derived products are only legal if they were harvested from hemp plants.
Further, all such finished products must be tested to verify that they contain only the smallest trace amounts of THC, CBD's psychoactive cousin.
Legality of Marijuana-Derived CBD
The 2018 Farm Bill makes no provisions for CBD that is derived from marijuana. So despite the fact that CBD is CBD is CBD, regardless of source, marijuana-derived CBD remains illegal at the federal level.
However, many US states have begun legalizing marijuana, whether for recreational or medical use. Further, some states have legalized marijuana-derived CBD, but not "full plant" products with high natural THC.
Before you purchase or use any CBD product, it's important to ensure that your local jurisdiction allows it. All products on CBD Choice are 100% legal throughout the United States, but shopping with other vendors may be a risky prospect. Always do your homework, lest you run afoul of local laws!
Are There Different Kinds of CBD?
At the molecular level, CBD is CBD. Regardless of its source, all CBD molecules are identical and will affect you the same way.
But in practice, it's not quite that simple.
CBD must be extracted from the hemp plants that produce it, and different extraction methods will result in slightly different types of extracts. Notably, different extracts may contain more than just CBD, so it's a good idea to consider what might be best for your needs.
- CBD Isolate: As its name implies, CBD isolate contains only CBD and absolutely nothing else.
- Full Spectrum CBD: Full spectrum CBD is a full plant extraction that contains traces of everything found in the hemp plant. Most importantly, that includes trace amounts of THC, CBD's psychoactive cousin — though far less than would be required to produce intoxication.
- Broad Spectrum CBD: Broad spectrum CBD is identical to full spectrum CBD, with one important difference: all traces of THC have been carefully removed.
Which CBD Extract Is Right For You?
This is a difficult question to answer, as reasonable minds will differ. Some users find CBD isolate is best for their needs, while others swear by full or broad spectrum extracts.
Generally speaking, the difference comes down to the entourage effect. Simply put: when hemp's other cannabinoids (and other compounds) are taken together, they can work together to complement and enhance CBD's effects.
The entourage effect is subtle. Again, some users may not even notice the difference. But others swear by the entourage effect as the very best way to unlock CBD's full therapeutic potential.
What Does CBD Stand For: In Closing
The first step into the world of CBD often starts with asking, "what does CBD stand for?" CBD stands for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found naturally in cannabis plants.
But from there, a whole new world of questions opens up! To recap a few of the most common questions:
- CBD offers a host of therapeutic benefits for sleep, anxiety, pain, inflammation, and more.
- CBD and THC (the other most common cannabis cannabinoid) are related but offer very different effects.
- CBD is non-intoxicating and offers very little in the way of recreational enjoyment.
- CBD is legal in all 50 US states, provided that it is harvested from hemp (not marijuana) and is tested to contain only the smallest trace amounts of THC.
- Molecularly speaking, CBD is CBD, regardless of where it comes from. Under current federal law, however, CBD is only legal if it's from hemp, not if it's from marijuana.
- Different types of CBD extracts exist, which may contain other cannabis compounds in addition to CBD.
- Full and broad spectrum extracts can contribute to the "entourage effect", which many users believe is the key to unlocking CBD's full therapeutic potential.
And while that should answer all of your early questions, there's a lot more to know about the wide world of CBD! CBD Choice's Blog and Learning Centers are your best resource for diving deeper, as we're constantly bringing you the most up-to-date, research-backed information with no spin.
Don't see your question answered? Feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable Customer Support staff, who will be happy to point you in the right direction!