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What is CBD? The ultimate guide for a first timer

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CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound in both the hemp and marijuana plants. While clinical trials and studies have just started to scratch the surface of the vast variety of medicinal and therapeutic benefits CBD can provide for humans and animals, here a few of the proven ways CBD can enhance your life:

  • Pain relief
  • Reducing anxiety or depression
  • Help sleeping
  • Improving mood disorders
  • Improving gut health
  • Lowering inflammation
  • And countless more!

You’ve likely already heard of THC by now—the compound in cannabis (specifically marijuana) that gets you high. Too much THC, and you’re left staring at the wall wondering whether ketchup is considered a smoothie because tomatoes are a fruit. So, if THC and CBD come from the same family of plants, they both should get you high, right? Wrong. While CBD and THC come from the same family of plants, CBD does not get you high, due to a slight difference in their molecular structure.

First, let’s make one thing clear. Hemp and marijuana are not the same plant, they are different plants which happen to both be part of the cannabis family of plants. Oil derived from marijuana contains significant levels of THC, and can lead to unwanted side effects associated with THC related impairment (paranoia, anxiety, change in appetite) while hemp-derived CBD oil has negligible levels of THC (<0.3%) and is considered safe for nearly everyone.

Full spectrum CBD is an extract that contains other cannabinoids found in the plant in addition to CBD (e.g. CBN, CBG, CBC, etc.) The compound is not extracted or isolated further. This medley of cannabinoids work together to increase the benefits of CBD and the accompanying friends that come along with it, including THC (0.3% or less from hemp-derived CBD) This is known as the “entourage effect.”

Broad spectrum CBD also contains all the cannabinoids found in the plant, except the THC has been removed which might lessen the “entourage effect” but it has its place since pets are more sensitive to cannabinoids than humans. You don’t want to accidentally make Fido anxious about their status as a good boy or girl.

CBD Isolate is 99% pure CBD, in which all cannabinoids except CBD have been removed in the refining process.

So, since CBD isolate is 99% pure, it must be the best type to consume, right? Not exactly. Studies have proven that taking full spectrum CBD is actually more beneficial than the isolate, as each cannabinoid works together to amplify benefits. Think of it this way: would you rather have one super strong friend move all your furniture by themselves, or have over a hundred decently strong friends help? Chances are, you’d be done with your move in way less time with 100 friends.

When shopping for CBD products, keep your eye out for the Full Spectrum vs. Isolate distinction. If this isn’t disclosed, chances are it’s an isolate product.

Choose full-spectrum for yourself, choose broad spectrum for your furry friend, choose resolveCBD.


  • Alex Hurst is a writer for HUM@Nmedia covering Optimyz and Silver magazines in print and digital editions and is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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