What is CBD?

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What is CBD?

Cannabis-based products are becoming increasingly popular. As the conversation surrounding the variety of uses within the Cannabaceae family of plants continues to grow, a major focus has been placed on a specific molecule called cannabidiol, referred to in shorthand as CBD.

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid found naturally occurring in plants within the Cannabis genus, and is one of the many phytocannabinoids found within the hemp plant. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD is non-psychoactive, and does not produce the 'high' associated with the use of some other members of the Cannabaceae family.


What to expect in this guide

Odds are, you’ve been witness to the exploding CBD trend, with everything from simple CBD extracts to CBD smoothies sweeping the market. For many people, there is plenty of mystery surrounding CBD and how it works, especially because of its association with cannabis.

Here at DirectCBD, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about CBD, so you can discover whether or not this all-natural cannabinoid can fit into your lifestyle and routine.

What Exactly is CBD?

Plants in the Cannabaceae family produce a wide variety of molecules called cannabinoids, one of which is CBD. CBD is one of the two primary cannabinoid molecules present in these plants, coming in as a close second to THC (scientifically referred to as tetrahydrocannabinol).

Typically, the CBD you see sold by retailers has been sourced from the hemp plant, a member of the Cannabaceae family. Much like the closely-related marijuana plant, hemp contains concentrated levels of CBD.

CBD oil bottles

CBD Oil Bottles


Using Hemp for CBD

CBD can be obtained from various members of the Cannabaceae family, including both hemp and marijuana.  Depending on the refinement methods used, the final product’s chemical composition may vary drastically, or not at all.  While much of the molecular makeup of the final product depends primarily on the manufacturer’s refinement techniques, there are some critical differences between hemp and marijuana plants:

  • Hemp naturally produces a far higher ratio of CBD to THC.
  • Federally legal varieties of hemp contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.

CBD oil sourced from hemp plants is not necessarily categorized in the same legal category as CBD oil produced using marijuana plants, due to their different cannabinoid profiles.

The cannabinoid profiles of full-spectrum marijuana and hemp extracts are typically very different, with hemp-based containing a greater proportion of CBD when compared to unrefined marijuana extracts.


What Forms is CBD Available in?

CBD can take a versatile range of forms, making it fairly easy to find a method that suits your needs and preferences.

cbd product lineup

CBD Product Examples


Types of CBD Products

For consumers interested in making CBD a part of their lifestyle, there are a wide variety of product types to choose from.

Here are a few of the most popular options for CBD-infused products:

CBD Oil

CBD oil is created by first extracting CBD from a member of the cannabis genus, most commonly a hemp plant. Then, the extract is combined with a carrier oil, such as hemp seed or coconut, and packaged for customer use. Many people choose CBD oil because it is extremely easy to use.

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CBD Tinctures

CBD tinctures provide CBD in an easy-to-use liquid form, generally packaged in a glass bottle with an included dropper-style top. A CBD tincture offers a concentrated form of CBD in a convenient form. Tinctures are typically made by using high-proof grain alcohol, vinegar, or glycerin to steep the CBD-rich flowers of the hemp plant, then simmering the mixture for several hours. After the steeping is complete, a carrier oil (such as peppermint or orange) is added, making the tincture palatable for oral ingestion.

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CBD Edibles

CBD edibles can come in a wide range of forms, most often appearing as desserts or confections. You can choose from a variety of CBD-infused edibles to find options that best suit your desired CBD concentration and flavor preferences, making it easy to incorporate CBD into your daily routine. For many people, CBD edibles are an enjoyable way to take advantage of the natural properties of CBD in a delicious form like gummies, confections, chocolates, or chewy treats.

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CBD Topicals

CBD topicals include a wide variety of products such as creams, salves, lotions, and balms. Essentially, any CBD-infused product that is designed to be applied directly to the skin falls under the umbrella of CBD topicals. This form of CBD-infused products is specifically created for targeted use, making it easy to apply the topical wherever you feel you need it most. Some specialty masseuses or therapy specialists are offering CBD topicals as an added feature of their service menu.

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CBD Extracts

CBD extracts are among the most versatile forms of CBD, allowing you to switch up your ingestion method as desired. CBD extracts are also often referred to as CBD oils, called such for the carrier oils that are often included to make the product easier to use. Various extraction methods are used depending on the source of your chosen CBD extract, with many manufacturers concentrating significant efforts towards preserving the full profile of the hemp plant’s natural compounds.

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CBD Vape Juice

CBD vape juice combines vaping with the power of CBD, offering a simple and straightforward method that’s become highly popular. All you’ll need In order to use CBD vape juice is a standard vaporizer device, readily available from a wide range of online retailers. The vaporizer device heats the liquid, transforming it into an inhalable vapor. Typically, CBD vape juice is flavored to make the overall experience even more enjoyable.

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CBD Cartridges

CBD vape cartridges are pre-filled cartridges containing a variety of CBD vape juices designed to be compatible with specific vape devices. Much like standard CBD vape juice, the cartridges come in a variety of flavors including sweet and fruity options that are transformed into an inhalable vapor when heated by your vape device. One of the major benefits of CBD vape cartridges is convenience; as rather than refilling, most CBD vape cartridges are simply disposed of once the pre-filled liquid is consumed.

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The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana Extracts

It may seem safe to assume that all cannabis-derived oils are essentially the same, but their chemical composition can actually vary considerably depending somewhat on the source but primarily on the extraction and refinement techniques used. Despite the fact that both come from plants within the Cannabis genus, hemp- and marijuana-sourced extracts may have very different characteristics, including:

Marijuana Extract:

  1. A higher proportion of THC to CBD
  2. Potential for psychoactive and/or intoxicating effects
  3. Federally illegal

Hemp Extract:

  1. A higher proportion of CBD to THC, with no more than 0.3 percent THC
  2. Non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating
  3. Federally exempt from the Controlled Substances Act
CBD oil and hemp seeds

The Difference Between THC and CBD

It’s easy to confuse CBD and THC! They’re both cannabinoids, they are both found within members of the Cannabis genus, and they both interact with our own endocannabinoid system -- so what makes them so different?

THC is found in the highest concentrations in extracts made from marijuana plants. In fact, the THC molecule is solely responsible for producing the “high” associated with the use of marijuana. Due to how THC affects our brain and other systems, psychoactive effects are commonly a result of THC use.

On the other hand, CBD does not produce any intoxicating effects. CBD-based products are primarily, though not always, sourced from the hemp plant -- a species that is distinct and different from marijuana. One of the main reasons that CBD-infused products have become so popular is because they do not result in the “high” which THC typically creates.

CBD vs THC graphic

How to Find High-Quality CBD Oil for Sale

Like any product, the quality of CBD oil will depend largely on its source materials and how it was produced. It’s important that you research a brand before purchasing their CBD products, so you can confirm that they use quality ingredients, safe manufacturing processes, and independent laboratory testing. DirectCBD attempts to take the guesswork out of it by providing the best CBD products on the market along with their Certificate of Analysis.


Learn More About CBD

Interested in learning more about CBD and how to incorporate it into your everyday routine? DirectCBD is here to help. Our friendly team is happy to walk you through the basics of CBD. If you aren’t sure if CBD is right for you, learning more about it might help clear up any confusion you might have.

Contact DirectCBD today for more information about CBD and our CBD products.