What Does CBD Stand For? (And What is it?)

CBD stands for cannabidiol (can·na·bid·i·ol) which is naturally found in hemp plants. Understanding CBD is the key to knowing how hemp oil supplements work and why this compound has captured the attention of so many scientists.

what does cbd stand for

About CBD

We now know what CBD stands for, but what exactly is it? CBD is a natural substance obtained from hemp plants that may promote wellness without any psychoactive or intoxicating effects. It is an active compound known as a cannabinoid.

Cannabinoids are the molecules which give the cannabis plant its medical and recreational properties. There are over 100 known cannabinoids today. The most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is most commonly used for the “recreational” function of the cannabis plant due to its psychoactive or intoxicating effects. CBD is non-intoxicating and is typically more associated with promoting an overall sense of calm as it may help to bring the body back into balance.

[RELATED POST: CBD vs THC: The Difference Explained]

How CBD Works

CBD, and all cannabinoids, work by interacting with our bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is an internal series of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body which work to bring the body back into balance (homeostasis).

endocannabinoid system ecs

Our body is able to produce its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. When our body is not able to produce enough endocannabinoids, supplementing with cannabinoids like CBD can help to support a healthy endocannabinoid system. For more on how CBD works, check out our post on the endocannabinoid system.

CBD Derived from Hemp vs Marijuana

When a person is interested in taking CBD for the first time, they should know where it is sourced from. Cannabidiol sourced from hemp is much different than from Marijuana.

[RELATED POST: The difference between Hemp and Marijuana]

Hemp derived CBD contains little to no THC, therefore it does not cause a “high”. When sourced from Marijuana, CBD will be found in conjunction with THC, and the THC would obviously cause an intoxicating effect. Marijuana is currently illegal unless you are in a state which allows for medical or recreational uses. Hemp is legal in all US states, as long as it is properly sourced according to the 2018 Farm Bill.

In order to know if your product is sourced from hemp and not marijuana, you will need to ask the company you are purchasing from for a lab test or a certificate of analysis (COA). If you are unfamiliar with how to read a lab test, we’ve created this helpful guide on how to read a certificate of analysis.

What Are the Benefits of CBD?

CBD can have a wide range of health benefits, and it can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from certain medical conditions. In addition, it can be helpful for insomnia, anxiety, and other mental health-related issues. Furthermore, the antioxidants in CBD, the relaxation it can produce, and trace cannabinoids found in full-spectrum CBD can be beneficial for healthy individuals as well. 

Can CBD Show up on a Drug Test?

CBD will not show up on a drug test. Drug tests look for the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, THC. However, full-spectrum CBD products do contain small amounts of THC. In some cases, this may trigger a false positive on a drug test. However, this is not likely to be an issue with CBD isolate. 

Can CBD Get You High?

Unlike THC, CBD will not get you high. This is an advantage for people who will be using it while at work or school. You’ll be able to take CBD in any setting, and it will not affect your performance. It also will not cause impairment while driving. THC, on the other hand, can. 

What Can CBD Help Treat?

While CBD is only an approved treatment for a handful of conditions, it’s likely the FDA will start doing further research. This means that it will be possible to use the compound to treat a wider range of conditions than is currently possible. However, early indications suggest that it’s effective for the following health problems:

  • Anxiety and Depression: CBD can help to calm the body and mind, which may make it an effective treatment for both anxiety and depression. That’s because the compound produces a calmer state of mind, which can make it easier to face life’s challenges and struggles.
  • More Severe Mental Health Issues: While the jury is out on whether it can be effective for more serious mental health concerns, some experts believe that it could potentially be an effective way to reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder and possibly even schizophrenia. Unlike THC, it does not produce psychoactive effects that could result in a worsening of symptoms.
  • Pain: If you are experiencing chronic pain, CBD may be quite beneficial for you. That’s because it acts as an effective pain reliever for many individuals who suffer from mild to moderate pain, and it does not carry the side effects of conventional pain-relieving medications. Even if you stick to over-the-counter pain relievers, significant side effects are possible if you use them for a long period of time. Though, CBD can be taken for years and very rarely causes any significant side effects at all.
  • Nausea and Problems With Appetite: Many individuals use CBD to help regulate their appetite. Not only that, but it may reduce nausea. In fact, some cancer patients even use it to reduce their level of nausea after undergoing a chemotherapy session.

CBD Product Types

There are multiple types of CBD that you can choose from. While there are many categories within these main types, the two primary types of CBD are isolate and full spectrum. Here’s what you need to know about each of them:

Full-Spectrum CBD

This CBD contains all of the compounds that are naturally found in the hemp plant. Therefore, it will contain CBN, CBG, CBC, THCA, THCV, and yes, a trace amount of THC. The percentage will not be higher than 0.3% if the product is sold as hemp, however. If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, the concentration will vary. 

For instance, some products have the 2:1 ratio of CBD:THC. These products could be considered a form of CBD oil, but they are a marijuana product rather than a hemp product. Furthermore, these products may produce psychoactive effects, which full-spectrum CBD from hemp will not cause. 

CBD Isolate

In some cases, it may be best to choose CBD isolate. While most people will experience maximal benefits from full-spectrum CBD, there are circumstances where this may not be the case. For instance, individuals with some forms of serious mental illness are generally advised to avoid products with any THC in them at all. 

Also, people who are simply hypersensitive to THC may find that the trace amounts in full-spectrum products cause problematic side effects. Furthermore, it is possible for the trace quantities of THC in full-spectrum CBD to cause a false positive on a drug test for marijuana. 

CBD Products That Have Other Cannabinoids Added to Them

In some cases, you may wish to purchase a CBD product that has other cannabinoids added to it. Some examples of cannabinoids that often are added to CBD products are CBN, CBG, terpenes, and THCV. Here’s what you need to know about each of them:


CBN tends to produce sedating effects. Therefore, CBD oils that contain a high level of this compound tend to be especially effective for people who suffer from insomnia. 


CBG is a precursor to both THC and CBD. However, it is thought to have beneficial effects of its own. In fact, it is thought to have significant antioxidant effects.


This compound is found only in certain strains of cannabis, and it has effects that are similar to THC. It is psychoactive. However, the effects are shorter in duration than THC. Furthermore, it does not tend to produce the increase in appetite that THC causes. Instead, it tends to be stimulating, and it decreases appetite. 


Terpenes are largely responsible for the difference in effects between different strains. However, they can produce mild psychoactive effects on their own. These effects are not strong enough to result in impairment, though. Some CBD products contain added terpenes.

There are a wide variety of CBD products on the market. At Made by Hemp, we offer CBD in the form of pure hemp oil, tincture extracts, oil concentrates, vape oils, and even CBD for pets! You can also choose from many infused foods such as chocolates, gum, or gummies. Hemp oil has a pretty strong and distinct taste (think earthy) so some decide to purchase capsules instead of raw forms or oils. If a flavor is added to the oils, however, they taste a lot better.

CBD has to be ingested; pure oils and tinctures are taken sublingually. This means you place the oil under your tongue, wait 1-2 minutes and swallow. Vape oils must be inhaled using a special vaporizer e-pen.

Cannabidiol can also be used topically. Skin and beauty products made from hemp are all natural and good for the skin. Many athletes enjoy using CBD salves on their joints and muscles before and after workouts to help with soothing aches and pains from rigorous exercise.

For more information on CBD products and the various types, see our helpful CBD Oil Buyers Guide.

What next?

Now you know what CBD stands for, a little on what it is, and the product types… what’s next?

These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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