Beginner's Guide to CBD

CBD's popularity has reached craze-like proportions in the last few years. Cannabidiol, aka CBD, has a long history, but only recently has it surged as a prominent player in the health and wellness industry.

Most people perhaps know its ability to reduce anxiety and help with insomnia, but CBD's benefits are seemingly endless! By now, you've probably heard someone talk about CBD, especially if you're battling cancer or chronic pain.

As more states and countries legalise the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis,  CBD-based products are growing in leaps and bounds. However, despite all this buzz, most people are unsure what CBD is, what benefits it can provide them, and whether it's even safe for use.

If you want to use CBD but are confused about where to start or how to use it for the highest benefits, we have prepared this comprehensive guide to clear any confusion, answer your questions and help you make informed decisions:

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD, is a prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis plants. Cannabis plants contain hundreds of chemicals. Approximately 113 of these chemicals are called cannabinoids, with THC and CBD being the most abundant.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive and intoxicating chemical responsible for providing users with a 'high' sensation. THC is often extracted from marijuana plants. 

Comparably, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not create a state of euphoria or make you high. CBD's potential role in alleviating many health symptoms has been touted for decades, and recent research and clinical studies have backed its potency. 

CBD can be sourced from both hemp and marijuana plants. However, unlike marijuana plants with high THC levels (5-30%), hemp plants contain abundant CBD and negligible THC amounts (below 0.3%). Therefore, most of the CBD products available in the market today are hemp-derive


CBD and THC work by interacting with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), but they deliver relatively different effects. They have a similar chemical structure. However, there is a slight difference in how the atoms are arranged. This accounts for the difference in how the two compounds interact with our ECS and the varying effects delivered. 

CBD interacts with our cannabinoid receptors to deliver more relaxing, sedating, and calming effects. On the other hand, THC binds with the receptors to provide a high, enhanced mood and a state of euphoria. 

CBD and THC have been shown to deliver nearly the same medicinal benefits as pain, depression, anxiety, and nausea relief. Hence, users can consume CBD to experience the therapeutic benefits of THC, but without the side effect of getting high. 

How is CBD cultivated?


As noted above, CBD can be obtained from hemp and marijuana plants. Marijuana plants remain federally illegal. However, in 2018, former President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill and officially legalised hemp at a federal level.

Since then, hemp plants have been cultivated widely to provide CBD. While the most prominent companies are cultivating industrial hemp on a large scale to make oil and numerous products, people also grow hemp at home. 

Growing hemp for CBD demands mastery and skills to keep the THC levels below 0.3% while boosting CBD production. 
CBD is obtained from female hemp plants. When male and female plants are grown together, they encourage seed production through pollination while reducing the levels of CBD. For these reasons, growers looking to obtain high CBD cultivate only female plants. 

Though the 2018 Farm Bill legalised the cultivation and consumption of hemp and its derivatives, hemp cultivation laws differ from state to state and from country to country. 

Hence, you must check the current hemp laws in your place of residence. 

How is CBD extracted?

Once hemp grown for CBD extraction is harvested, it is slowly dried and excellently cured. Hemp growers will then sell their optimally cured buds wholesale to CBD extracting labs/companies.    

Various techniques can be used to extract CBD oil from hemp plants. Ideally, companies extract CBD using highly efficient solvents that separate CBD molecules from other chemicals within the plant and then purify it. 

Liquid CO2 is the most common and arguably safest solvent for CBD extraction. That's because it extracts high amounts of CBD while preserving its purity. 

Other companies may use alcohol-based solvents like hexane, propane, or butane.  Experts advise that these solvents may be toxic and harmful to your health. 


Alternatively, companies can use organic and pharmaceutical-grade ethanol to extract CBD. This method is especially preferred as it eliminates unwanted substances and toxins from the hemp plant while extracting the highest level of CBD.  
After the extraction process, the solvent is evaporated so that only pure CBD oil is left behind. The oil is then mixed with carrier oil like coconut oil so that the body quickly absorbs it.

Before it's available for sale, The Believe Club products are rigorously lab-tested to ensure their quality and safety.

What is CBD quality?

A high-quality CBD oil will provide you with the highest benefits. When buying CBD oil or CBD-infused products, you want to dig deep and get updated and accurate quality information. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD like other medicines. This means that illegitimate companies are highly likely to falsely advertise their product quality to rip off your money. 

You can watch out for various details to ensure you don't buy cheap CBD oil in such a flooded market. For instance, you must ensure that the oil is manufactured using the safest extraction methods. 

Secondly, you want to buy products made from hemp grown in healthy and quality lands, free of contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides. 

You can easily confirm the quality and safety of your CBD product by going through its certificate of analysis (COA). The best companies usually send a sample of their products to a third-party lab where their quality, purity, safety and potency are tested. 

The COA shows you the CBD or THC amounts in the product and tells you if it's contaminant-free. A trustworthy company will willingly present its products' COA to its customers. 

What is CBD oil?

Generally, CBD oil is the CBD compound extracted from hemp plants. It is extracted as a very thick oily paste that combines with an effective carrier oil like hemp seed oil, olive oil or coconut oil. The end product is what we refer to as CBD oil.

The Different Types Of CBD

When CBD is extracted, manufacturers can avail it to consumers in three different types: CBD Isolate, Broad-spectrum CBD and Full-spectrum CBD. 

  • CBD Isolate: The purest type of CBD available. It is made by rigorously refining the extract to eliminate all other hemp compounds, leaving behind only pure CBD.  CBD isolate products may not provide highly potent effects.

  • CBD Broad-spectrum: This type of CBD contains all the cannabinoids and beneficial compounds of the hemp plant except THC. It is highly recommended for people looking for the best benefits of hemp without the influence of THC.

  • Full-spectrum CBD: This type of CBD contains all the compounds and chemicals of the hemp plant, including less than 0.3% THC. Experts suggest that full-spectrum  CBD is the most potent type of CBD. That's because its users experience all the benefits of each compound in the plant through a mechanism referred to as the entourage effect.

CBD and the Human body- How does CBD work?

Once you consume CBD oil or any CBD product, the CBD compound is absorbed into the body. It influences the endocannabinoid system to deliver various medicinal and wellness benefits.

To better understand how CBD delivers its benefits, you'll need to learn the endocannabinoid system first.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological and active cell signalling system in our bodies. Though only identified recently, in the early 1990s, by medical experts studying THC, there is much information about how it works and influences our bodies. 
The ECS comprises endocannabinoids, enzymes, and numerous receptors spread throughout our bodies. These components work in synergy to regulate and control nearly all the critical processes in our bodies, including memory, sleep, mood, appetite, temperature control, inflammation and immunity. 

Let's see how each of these components works:

  • Receptors- also referred to as our body's 'cannabinoid receptors. They are spread throughout our bodies, and endocannabinoids bind to them. This interaction controls and regulates our response to pain, hunger, and temperature changes. 

  • Enzymes - Enzymes are compounds that break down endocannabinoids.

  • Endocannabinoids - Our bodies naturally produce molecules known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids work to keep nearly all our internal processes running smoothly. 

The cannabinoids in the cannabis plants have the same molecular structure as our bodies' endocannabinoids. Cannabis cannabinoids work by literally hijacking our natural endocannabinoids. 


Understanding CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

As noted above, part of the components of the ECS is receptors that are expressed throughout our body and brain.
CB1 receptors are densely found in the brain and central nervous system. They govern and regulate our mood, appetite, pain, and more. The CB2 receptors primarily exist in the peripheral nervous system, influencing pain perception and inflammation. 

Once CBD is introduced into the body, the enzymes break the compound down to bind with these receptors. However, unlike THC, which directly attaches itself to the receptors, CBD works by influencing the receptors.

Researchers believe that CBD activates the receptors to provide its numerous health benefits.

CBD and Your Mental Health

CBD is greatly revered for its ability to help with numerous mental disorders like depression, stress, addiction, bipolar, anxiety, autism, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and more! 

Experts suggest that low serotonin levels in the brain may result in depression. Recent studies show that CBD has anti-depressant effects and delivers these benefits by influencing how our brain responds to the available serotonin.
CBD may also be used to help with physical conditions as well. A study involving rats concluded that CBD might be used to alleviate the pain associated with arthritis. A recent study on human cells concluded that CBD could effectively help with inflammation and related diseases.

Why CBD Is Beneficial To Your Daily Routine

Users can experience a boatload of wellness benefits by incorporating CBD into their daily routines. By regulating different bodily functions, CBD may provide you with the following benefits:


  • Better sleep: Studies have supported CBD's effectiveness in promoting better sleep and helping users stay asleep much longer. Increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, may influence insomnia. CBD may affect the production of cortisol and provide soothing effects. 

  • Anti-inflammatory benefits: Research has found that CBD contains anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce inflammation while helping with inflammation symptoms like pain, arthritis, and cancer. 

  • Alleviating Stress: CBD has been shown to contain anti-stress effects and may be used to effectively lower stress levels, thereby reducing depression and promoting better sleep. 

Enhancing the skin: Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may be used to effectively strengthen skin health while alleviating symptoms like acne, psoriasis and eczema. Today, you can find numerous CBD-based beauty products like lotions, creams, oils, and balms.