What is CBD?

With the demand of CBD products on the rise, it’s important to understand what CBD is and how it functions.

CBD, which is short for Cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid that’s found in both hemp and marijuana plants. CBD is created through the decarboxylation of the cannabinoid acid known as CBDA.

Put more simply, CBDA needs to be exposed to heat over an extended period of time before it’s converted into CBD.


The decarboxylation process can occur through warm weather exposure or heat exposure in a growing facility.

What is CBD - and Can CBD make you high?

One of the most frequently asked questions about CBD is whether or not it has the ability to create a “high” effect similar to its well-known phytocannabinoid cousin THC. Although CBD and THC are similar in many ways, their chemical structures are different. THC is a psychoactive compound whereas CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that CBD is unable to create a “high” effect.

Where is CBD located?

CBD and all other cannabinoids are found primarily on the leaves and flowers of hemp and marijuana plants in something known as trichomes. Cannabis plants developed trichomes as a way of protecting themselves from the sun's ultraviolet rays, strong winds, insects, and other pests.

Trichomes, which are simply resin glands, contain CBD and THC as well as a wide range of other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. The trichome color indicates the life cycle of each plant. In general, each plant undergoes three main stages. When the trichomes are clear and or see-through, this is an indication that the plant is still in its early stages of growth and that it needs more time to develop.

When the color becomes cloudy and or milky, this indicates that the plant has reached its second stage of growth. It’s in this stage when the highest levels of CBD and other cannabinoids are available. When the color changes to amber, this is an indication that the plant has reached its third stage of growth. In this stage, THC slowly converts into another phytocannabinoid known as CBN.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD, and all other cannabinoids, interact with the human body as well as animals due to the fact that they both contain an endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is made up of two key components. Endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors. The cannabinoids found in cannabis, are similar in chemical structure to the endocannabinoids found in humans and animals alike. Cannabinoids work by telling the body to use up the endocannabinoids it has already naturally produced, rather than binding to a receptor. 

Why use CBD made from hemp?

We here at ShopCBD have chosen to only work with CBD products made from hemp. The reason why, is because hemp only contains a maximum of 0.3% THC. Although there are many people that enjoy the psychoactive properties of THC, there are many others that fear them.

We want to take the fear factor out of the equation when it comes to purchasing CBD products. That’s why none of the products found on our website contain more than 0.3% THC which makes it virtually impossible to get high from using them.

THC Concerns

For anyone that undergoes regular drug testing, even trace amounts of THC are simply too much. Luckily, there’s a simple solution; CBD isolates. CBD isolate products are the best choice for anyone who wants to completely avoid THC. They usually contain a 99% pure CBD extract along with only trace amounts of other cannabinoids.

For a slightly wider range of cannabinoids, broad spectrum products are the next best option. Similarly to isolate extracts, broad spectrum CBD products made from hemp often contain zero THC.

The main difference between the two however, is that broad spectrum products often contain higher levels of other cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids such as CBDA, CBC, CBN, and more. If the THC amount isn’t clearly indicated on the product, don’t hesitate to reach out to the company or brand directly to ask them about it. Consumer health and safety should always be a priority.

Full spectrum products aren’t the right for anyone that undergoes regular drug testing because they contain trace amounts of THC.

Many people choose to work with full spectrum CBD extracts because of something called the entourage effect. The entourage effect in simple terms is the belief that cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids work more efficiently and effectively when they work together.

There’s a big debate in the CBD community about which type of CBD extract is the best. The truth is though, one type of extract is not better than another, it’s simply different. Each extract caters to a different set of consumer concerns and needs.

Is CBD the right choice for you?

Many people reach out to us asking whether CBD is the right choice for them. Although we believe and trust in CBD we also know that it isn’t the right choice for everyone. CBD may not be the right choice for anyone who suffers from low blood pressure or is taking one or many medications prescribed by their doctor.

Although many people are looking to substitute their standard medication(s) for CBD, we always advise to first consult with a medical professional before doing so. Taking too much CBD may affect the way the body metabolizes other medications. This means that it may increase or decrease the potency and effectiveness of other medications it interacts with.

Because cannabis and CBD have only recently started to gain social acceptability, there’s a lack of research available in regard to how CBD interacts with different medications. Until we have more information about this, it’s best to proceed with care and caution. For almost anyone else, the only way to know whether CBD is the right choice is by trying it.

How to figure out which CBD product is right for you?

Now that we’ve looked at what CBD is, it’s time for the next question; which product to choose? When it comes to CBD and CBD products, the only way to figure it out is through a process of trial and error. Although we wish we could provide you with a better answer, it’s true.

The reason why one CBD product works well for one person and terrible for another is still unknown. We know that the process can be frustrating, but it’s worth going through in order to find the right product for your specific needs.

For those that are still trying to figure out just how much CBD to take, we recommend taking a look at our CBD dosage calculator. CBD dosage is based on three main factors:

  1. Consumer weight 
  2. Symptom severity
  3. Cannabinoid tolerance 

Consumer weight and symptom severity are simple enough to figure out, but cannabinoid tolerance can be more difficult. As far as we know there still isn't a way of knowing how tolerant each consumer's body is to cannabinoids. That's why we recommend starting at the lower end of the dosage range that our calculator provides and working up from there.

Other ingredients to look at

Although it isn’t legal for any company to make health claims about CBD, there are many other ingredients to look for that may help to relieve certain health ailments. Some examples include plant extracts such as turmeric, rosemary, ashwagandha, and more.

Minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, and more are also extremely beneficial to overall health. Taking the time to look at all of the ingredients in a CBD product allows for a greater understanding of how the product will work.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to CBD, there are a few key things that everyone should know.

  1. It’s a naturally occurring non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana
  2. It’s virtually impossible to get high from using CBD products made from hemp because they contain a maximum of only 0.3% THC
  3. Anyone that’s suffering from low blood pressure or is taking medication(s) should speak with a physician before using CBD products
  4. Finding the right CBD product is a process that takes time. Be patient and don’t be afraid to reach out for further guidance

To learn even more about CBD head to our knowledge base or our thinkCBD blog today.

To stay up to date with our weekly promos and more, follow us on Instagram @shopcbdusa.


 **This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.

The opinions and views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice or other institution.**