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CBD Oil 101

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

CBD Oil 101

What Is CBD?

The cannabis plant contains over 100 different compounds in which cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most popular of these compounds.The cannabis species contains both THC and CBD. These two compounds are the two most prevalent and popular cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. They each interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS works to make sure levels of the neurotransmitters GABA (calms) and glutamate (excites) remain in balance, and exists throughout all of the body’s 11 main physiological systems. CBD does not bind to receptors within the ECS, but rather works to block the enzymes that are responsible for recycling the body’s endocannabinoids. This allows more endocannabinoids to be available to the ECS, which enables the ECS to function more smoothly and efficiently.


The two are made up of the same atoms, but interact in different ways within the body. 

CBD and THC have many of the same medical benefits. They can provide relief from several of the same conditions. However, CBD doesn’t cause the euphoric effects that occur with THC. Some people may prefer to use CBD oil because of the lack of this side effect. In addition, there are a host of side effects associated with THC. The red eyes associated with the typical marijuana user are caused by THC’s impact on the eyes. THC use also results in slowed reaction times, short-term memory loss, coordination problems, and increased heart rate.

Benefits Of CBD Oil

CBD produces many benefits throughout the body because of the way it interacts with the ECS including:

· CBD Promotes Restful Sleep

Many people take CBDto help with sleep. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology discovered that patients that had taken CBD slept better slept better throughout the night with less interruption.

· CBD Supports A Healthy Gut

The microbiome, digestive system, and the ECS are intertwined. When the ECS receives additional endocannabinoids, the microbiome shows signs of enhanced activity. By taking CBD oil, you can boost the body’s natural endocannabinoids and encourage healthy digestion and metabolism.

· CBD Promotes A Positive Mental State

CBD shows promise in helping us restore balance and reach an optimal mental state. Studies indicate that CBD works as an agonist of 5-HT1A receptors. 5-HT1A receptors are a type of serotonin receptor. These receptors modulate social behavior, mood, appetite, and sexual desire by acting on 5-HT1A receptors, CBD holds promise in supporting a positive and healthy mental state. The effects of CBD on mental state operate in the background of your conscious awareness. They’re not in your face, but at the same time, they are profound. CBD does not leave you with a massive displacement that is common with alcohol or other drugs, but rather promotes a slight shift in mindset and a greater sense of wellbeing.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

Thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states. That said, since the change in law is relatively new, some states might not fully embrace CBD, for instance, just as it’s is legal in all US states to buy and drink alcohol, some jurisdictions might have laws restricting the sale of alcohol within its borders. The legality of CBD oil by the 2018 Farm Bill depends on the source of the CBD. Both marijuana and hemp are members of the cannabis family making them similar in many ways. The government classifies hemp as any plant of the cannabis family that contains less than 0.3% THC. It classifies “marijuana” as any plant of the cannabis family that contains greater than 0.3% THC.

“Marijuana” cannabis plants have a lower percentage of CBD than hemp plants. That’s why most CBD products use CBD from hemp not marijuana. Because marijuana has higher concentration of THC, it’s not an ideal choice for producing CBD products. Using marijuana plants would require extracting amounts of the THC to make CBD within the legal limits, whereas hemp cannabis plants have a high amount of CBD and low THC,making them the most efficient plant for CBD processing.

There are many CBD products on the market that include absolutely no THC. These products may be labeled as Zero THC, No THC, THC-Free or 100% No THC. If you don’t see any of these labels on a CBD product, then it could include THC. It is also possible to get full-spectrum CBD without THC.

So the bottom line here is, if your CBD comes from hemp, it is legal. CBD oil made from “marijuana” with high levels of THC, is only legal if your state legalized marijuana.

Not All CBD Oils Are Created Equal

Things you should look for when buying CBD oil are: hemp origin, concentration levels of CBD, free of toxins (i.e. pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals), THC compliant, CO2 method extraction process, all which are reasons a higher-quality CBD oil can cost more. High quality and high potency CBD oil comes not only from superior sourcing of organic hemp plants, but also rigid quality control measures in labs testing for potency, microbiological contamination, heavy metals, pesticides, and the unique terpene profile in order to produce a pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil product. Full transparency and traceability through the identification of each batch of CBD oil product is essential to ensure consistent quality and provide customers with knowledge on what they are buying at any given point in time. Look for retailers who have published certificates of analysis for their products.

Drug Testing and CBD Oil

Dr. Barry Sample is Quest's Diagnostics director of science and technology. When recently asked “Can the use of CBD oil cause you to fail a drug test?” Sample states, “CBD, itself, on our tests, would not be confused with either THC or THC metabolite. Analytically, we can clearly differentiate the two substances.” So, you would pass.

With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress permitted the interstate commerce of hemp products that contain "not more than 0.3 percent" THC — a very low level.

According to Sample, 0.3 percent of THC is so low, tests don't pick it up. However, as a product, CBD oil is not regulated in the United States. That means the government is not ensuring that the level of THC remains low. Researchers in the Journal of American Medical Association tested a variety of CBD oils and found 43 percent had more THC in them than labeled. Sample said “If somebody is using a CBD oil that contains residual THC in it, they very likely could test positive on a urine drug test. Not because of the CBD itself but because of a contaminant that is in that oil.” So, while CBD should not cause you to fail a drug test, the reality is it could—another very good reason to verify the quality standards in place by your CBD oil supplier.


I recently have heard many misconceptions and encountered confusion from people I know about CBD oil, and so, I hope this information helps to clarify questions or ambiguity you might have about it. I have experienced on numerous occasions the benefits of CBD oil as a natural healthy alternative to OTC or Rx meds for relief and recovery when I have overworked my muscles and abused my joints in Jiu-Jitsu (the one I use is here). Feel free to respond to this with your comments or contact me with questions or feedback.

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