CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of dozens of compounds called cannabinoids that are naturally found in cannabis and do not result in a high.  In 2003, cannabinoids were patented by the United States Department of Health as “antioxidants and neuroprotectants” (patent #6630507). CBD then became famous after the CNN feature on the miraculous benefits CBD had for little Charlotte Figi and it went on to become a world-wide health trend.  

Unlike the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, other cannabinoids and CBD are non-psychoactive in nature so they will not deliver the user a “high.”  Since CBD lacks the side-effects of psychoactivity, it presents a wide variety of health and wellness potential. While research findings and definitive proof are limited, cannabinoids including CBD are being studied for their  ability to be anti-inflammatory in nature as well as for their ability to deliver natural support for pain, anxiety, and other issues. Hundreds of studies about the benefits of CBD exist along with thousands of anecdotal stories; however, FDA approved drug status only exists for Epidiolex (approved by the FDA for epilepsy).

Cannabis that is called “Hemp” must contain less than 0.3% of the intoxicating cannabinoid, THC, while cannabis with more than 0.3% THC (regardless of its CBD content) is classified as being “Marjiuana.”   Given confusing FDA perspective and erratic State laws, many manufacturers choose to label their CBD products as “Hemp Extract” oil instead of “CBD Oil.” That is: “CBD Oil” and “Hemp Extract Oil” mean the same thing.  Further, already confused consumers must also be advised that “Hemp Extract” oils are unique products compared to those labeled as “Hemp Oil” products. While “Hemp Oil” products contain healthy proteins from hemp seeds, they do not contain CBD


“Hemp Extract” oil “Hemp Oil”
Extracted from the hemp plant; contains CBD Contains healthy hemp seed oil; no CBD

CBD can generally be purchased in one of three ways:

  • “Full spectrum” oil:  contains CBD, other cannabinoids, and legal amounts of THC
  • “Broad spectrum” oil:  contains CBD, other cannabinoids, and no THC
  • “Isolate”:  contains only CBD

Most consumers are looking for a “full spectrum” CBD product so as to be as close to a natural whole-plant solution and because of belief in the Entourage Effect (theory that CBD in the presence of other cannabinoids works better than isolated CBD alone).  If drug testing is a concern, then “Broad Spectrum” or “Isolate” products are the best options. 

Now, to make things even more confusing just when it was starting to make some sense.  Consumers need to also understand that many unethical CBD companies exist who use just a small amount of the far more expensive “full spectrum” oil and then spike it with much cheaper CBD isolate (often from China) to elevate their claimed CBD levels.  Doing this allows them to produce products at the lowest possible cost and then pass them off as being “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum”.

So how to know if what you’re buying is what it says it is?  By scanning the QR code on all CBD packages. Simply open your phone camera and use it to scan the QR code shown on the CBD product package.  3rd party test results showing the CBD percentage, the percentage of other cannabinoids, and the absence of pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins should be viewable here if the product is to be trusted.  All H. Hemp products are tested for quality and purity.

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