What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?


CBD Product Spread

Cannabidiol - abbreviated as CBD - is one of over 60 compounds found in the Cannabis plant. These compounds, referred to as cannabinoids, have various effects on the body. CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two primary cannabinoids found in the plant. The study of the interaction between cannabis and the body is complex and there is still plenty to learn.

What we do know is that CBD is commonly used as an option for relief from inflammation, anxiety, pain, seizures, and many other ailments. There are growing volumes of scientific and clinical research supporting the potential for use as a medicine. The compound has potential use in the treatment of conditions including arthritis, diabetes, MS, chronic pain, epilepsy, depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, and more.

Here at IntelliCBD, our goal is to help provide clear education and information on CBD. In this article, you'll find an overview of the key topics around CBD with links off to additional articles for further reading.


CBD is Not Psychoactive

Before we start, it's important to note that while CBD is found in cannabis, it is NOT psychoactive. While CBD is a cannabinoid just like THC, it does not carry the same euphoric mind-altering properties. The 'high' associated with marijuana use is due exclusively to Delta-9 THC - the opposite is actually true. CBD is known to counteract the psychoactive properties of THC.

Is Cannabidiol Legal?

Law Hammer

While many sources claim that cannabidiol is legal 'in all 50 states', the simple truth is that at a federal level CBD is not legal. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act made marijuana and it's derivatives a Schedule I drug. Since CBD is a compound derived from cannabis, it is classified as marijuana and thus illegal.

Though CBD is federally shunned, it is widely accepted at a state level where it is legal under existing medical and recreational marijuana programs. Additionally, many states without marijuana legalization, have pro-CBD laws. Much of this acceptance is due to cannabidiol's effective use as a treatment of seizures in epileptic patients.

Despite the federal laws, the people of the US have widely accepted CBD. A rapidly growing number of providers and users choose to operate in the grey areas within the law and CBD products are readily available online and locally.

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A Brief History of CBD

While the use of cannabis as medicine stretches back thousands of years, specific knowledge of cannabidiol has only been around since 1940. After discovery, it too 23 additional years to discover the chemical structure of the cannabinoid.

Despite promising human testing as early as 1980, CBD has suffered little progress until just recently. The illegal status of marijuana and a poor public perception of the recreational drug has shielded cannabidiol from much-needed testing and clinical trials.

The last 20 years have promise for the CBD industry as clinical tests, anecdotal evidence, and acceptance of cannabis has grown. This is due to help from the mainstream media, pro-CBD laws at a state level, and a positive public perception.

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What is Cannabidiol & Where Does it Come From?

Field of Cannabis

Cannabidiol is cannabinoid, a class of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant.  There are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis that act on receptors found in cells. They alter neurotransmitter release in the brain for a variety of effects. There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors:

  • Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 (CB1): These receptors are found primarily in the brain.
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 (CB2): These receptors are found primarily in the immune system throughout the body.

Along with THC, Cannabidiol is one of the major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. As a major phytocannabinoid, CBD can make up nearly 40% of a plant's extract. CBD and THC are found in varying quantities depending on the type of marijuana or hemp.

CBD oil is often extracted from specially bred low-THC, high-CBD forms of hemp. These CBD rich and CBD dominant strains of hemp have become the primary source for CBD product production because the resulting extract is non-psychoactive and high in CBD. This is perfect for administration to children or those who don't want the psychoactive effects associated with THC use.

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What does Cannabidiol Do?

There is a growing wealth of research showing a wide range of potential benefits provided by CBD use. Common benefits include reduced inflammation, pain relief, improved sleep, reduced anxiety, seizure prevention, anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects, immune function improvement and more. In addition to all these benefits, the side effects observed have been minimal.

As the legal status of CBD improved, more studies are sure to be performed. The current knowledge on CBD is limited compared to the unknowns associated with the cannabinoid. As more research is published, improved knowledge of CBD will result in a more effective use of CBD as medicine.

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What Conditions Can CBD Help Treat?

Research is pointing to CBD's effectiveness in treating a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Sufferers of epilepsy, cancer, insomnia, chronic pain, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, social anxiety, and more may find CBD is an effective medicine. The range of treatable conditions is well documented in our conditions section with supporting research specific to each ailment.

What Types of CBD Products are Available?

CBD Capsules

As CBD explodes in popularity, so do the number of products available on the market. Today you can find CBD products in a wide variety of forms with varying levels of effectiveness. From medicinal focused products like pure concentrate to marketing hyped CBD water, there is no doubt you'll be able to find a product that works for you.

Today some of the most popular product types include:

  • CBD Extract
  • CBD Isolate
  • Capsules
  • Tinctures
  • Edibles
  • Topicals (Balms, Lotions)
  • Vape Products

Click each of the above for an in-depth look at each product type. Also, visit our CBD products page for a look at all the types products on the market.

While there are an array of products, they are not one size fits all. There are a few specific delivery methods to get the CBD into your bloodstream that have a direct impact on the effectiveness of cannabidiol in your system. Before setting off to find a quality CBD brand, it's important that you understand the delivery methods associated with each product and how to find the proper dosage.

Use the recommended reading below to do just that:

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IntelliCBD helps educate and inform Cannabidiol (CBD) users. Our goal is simple: put our visitor's needs first, and guide them to successful CBD experiences. We accomplish this by providing an ever growing library of CBD-related knowledge articles, cataloging the available product types, curating a database of CBD brands, and giving users an independent and unbiased platform to share their feedback.

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