A basic guide to CBD, what it is, how it works, and more!
By, Guinevere Yoseyva
What is CBD? CBD is short for cannabidiol. CBD is a main compound found in both Cannabis and Hemp plants (1).
What’s the difference between Cannabis and Hemp? Cannabis, commonly known as weed, pot, or marijuana, is a crop derived from C. sativa, C. indica, or C. ruderalis, and contains high levels of THC, the compound which makes you feel “high”, and low levels of CBD (1).
Hemp is what we’re working with at Ascend Hemp Oil. Hemp is a crop derived from C. sativa, which contains high levels of CBD and less than 0.3% THC (1). Our Kentucky OG strain is our most potent CBD oil at 52% CBD, to provide you with the most benefits a CBD oil can offer.
How does CBD work? Studies have shown CBD to have anti-inflammatory, anxiety and sleep benefits without any safety concerns of long-term use (2). These results are not surprising as other studies have estimated that CBD works alongside the Endocannabanoid System (ECS). It is believed that CBD works to decrease degradation of our natural endocannabanoids, which allows our brain to work to repair itself (3).
What is the Endocannabanoid System? The Endocannabanoid System has been researched since the 1990s and has been found to play important roles in sleep, appetite, mood, and memory regulation, among many other vital functions. We naturally produce endocanabanaoids, even if you don’t consume THC or CBD, and these molecules are what work to regulate balance within your system, thus helping your internal functions run smoothly (3). Ultimately, “the Endocannabanoid System is a homeostatic regulator of neurotransmitter activity and almost every other physiological system in the body” (4). Homeostasis refers to the experience of balance within your internal system. A highly functioning ECS should promote repair and balanced functions throughout the mind and body.
How will CBD make me feel? Due to the low levels of THC (less than 0.3%) contained in our CBD products, CBD may provide a feeling of overall balance, with a grounding or uplifting sensation, without the psychoactive effects that Cannabis provides. We cannot make any medical claims, but anecdotally, our clients have found a sensation of relief from their physical discomforts and mental clarity.
Is CBD legal? After the passing of the 2018 Farm bill, CBD is legal throughout the United States. Legal CBD is derived from hemp and contains the legal limit of THC, less than 0.3% THC (5). CBD is also legal throughout most of Europe with a THC limit of 0.2% THC.
How do you take CBD? There are 4 primary methods to receive the benefits of CBD.
- Sublingual, or under the tongue, through a CBD oil.
- Topically, via CBD salve or CBD skincare.
- Edibles, via gummies, chocolates, beverages, or any food item infused with CBD
- Smoke or vapor, via smoking hemp flower or vaping concentrated CBD oil
- “Hemp CBD vs. Cannabis CBD: What’s the Difference?”
Medical News Today, MediLexicon International,
- Shannon, Scott, et al.
“Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.”
The Permanente Journal, The Permanente Journal, 2019, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/.
- Raypole, Crystal.
“Endocannabinoid System: A Simple Guide to How It Works.”
Healthline, Healthline Media, 17 May 2019,
- Russo, Ethan B.
“Beyond Cannabis: Plants and the Endocannabinoid System.”
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Elsevier, 11 May 2016,
- H.R.5485 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Hemp Farming Act of 2018.