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What is CBD?

As far as we are concerned there are really a few different answers to the question. There is the answer for what CBD actually is but of little practical value. There is the answer of what is usually meant by the term CBD. That’s probably what most people want to know. Then there is the comprehensive answer of what CBD is for those who really want to understand. We will share answers for all three questions.


What is CBD? (simple answer)


CBD is an abbreviation for canabindiol.  Canabindiol (CBD) is part of a class of phytonutrients called cannabinoids. Cannabinoid are known for how they directly, and indirectly (depending on which cannabinoid), interact with our endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system can influence our experience of pain, stress and anxiety. 


What is CBD? (practical terms)


CBD is an abbreviation for canabindiol.  Canabindiol (CBD) is part of a class of phytonutrients called cannabinoids.


Today most CBD products will also say “full spectrum CBD” or “Fill spectrum hemp oil”. That means their product contains all of the cannabinoids and phytonutrients that that particular strain of hemp contains including cannabindiol (CBD) and .03 percent of THC.


The second most common type of CBD product will state “broad spectrum CBD” or “broad spectrum hemp oil”. This means their product contains all of the cannabinoids and phytonutrients that that particular strain of hemp contains including cannabindiol (CBD), but without the .03 percent of THC.


There is a third version of CBD products seldom seen in today’s market. That version is CBD which states “cannabindiol isolate”. As the name implies the only ingredient in the product is cannabindiol (CBD).



What is CBD? (comprehensive answer)


CBD is an abbreviation for cannabindiol, one of over a hundred different naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp. Plant based cannabinoids provide some of the same benefits as our body’s own endocannabinoids which bind to the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors.


The Endocannabinoid System


The endocannabinoid system interacts, and influences, nearly every system in the body. The purpose of your endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis (balance) within the body. The endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found in tissue throughout the body. In order to maintain a state of balance within the body endocannabinoids are needed to bind to these CB1 and CB2 receptors. The body produces two endocannabinoids;


  • anadamide (AEA) 

  • 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)

As we understand the endocannabinoid system today, if there exists enough of these naturally occurring endocannabinoids for CB1 and CB2 receptors the body remains in balance. If there are not enough endocannabinoids the body will not be in balance.

There are also many reasons for the body to not be in a state of balance. You could call it intentional unbalance. Just imagine living in nature, enjoying a restful afternoon of sunshine and a gentle breeze. You’re in a state of zen (your body has plenty of endocannabinoids satisfying all of your receptors). Then a hungry grizzly bear shows up. You really don’t want to remain in a state of relaxed and peaceful balance. Your body has an internal design to get you out of balance. These are enzymes produced specifically to destroy endocannibinoids so that you feel anxious, on-edge and inspired to move!


These specific enzymes which help to reduce endocannabinoids once they’ve served their purpose are:


  • fatty acid amide hydrolase

  • monoacylglycerol acid lipase


There are many other situations that would naturally cause the body to be out of balance. If you fall and injure your knee, it swells up and hurts in order to ensure you don’t use it. This process involves the endocannabinoid system (along with many others), and specifically using these enzymes to intentionally create imbalance. Once the knee is healed, the body reduces these two enzymes, endocannabinoids increase and balance is restored.


The Human Body 2020: Diet

A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and specifically consuming sardines, anchovies, seeds and nuts daily can increase our body’s endocannabinoids. For most Americans these dietary changes are unlikely to be implimented much less maintained.


The Human Body 2020: Lifestyle

Unfortunately, most of us live lives similar to that of someone about to be attacked by the hungry grizzly. We live with tremendous demands to be places, perform professionally, care for our family’s endless needs, run errands and to do everything in record time. This creates a near constant state of mental, emotional and or physical stress. In addition to stress, our diets and exercise can routinely be compromised.

The Human Body 2020: Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabinoids

In order to establish a state of balance within the body, in a world telling the body through sensory information to intentionally be imbalanced, we need more endocannabinoids and less of the enzymes which destroy them.

Nature provides a solution in hemp. Hemp has over 100 different cannabinoids which interact directly, and some case indirectly, with CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cannabidiol (CBD) naturally decreases the enzymes which destroy the body’s endocannabinoids. So by taking cannabidiol (CBD), our natural endocannibinoids can naturally increase and bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in hemp. Another cannabinol (CBN) has been found to bind directly to CB2 receptors. Cannabigerol (CBG) has been shown to directly interact with CB1, CB2 and other receptors throughout the body.




We have tried to provide a technical understanding of CBD, cannabinoids and phytonutrients in a way that can be understood without a scientific background. The reality of CBD, cannabinoids and the phytonutrients found in hemp is far greater than what we’ve presented. We have only touched on one aspect involving CBD, cannabinoids and phytonutrients as they relate to the endocaannabinoid system.