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What is CBD Oil and What It’s Used For

What is CBD Oil and What is it Not?

CBD oil is getting a lot of attention these days even though many people don’t know what it is or how it works. It is estimated that CBD will become a 22-billion-dollar industry within the next few years, so despite a certain lack of understanding, it’s a product that seems to do some good.

The key to knowing whether it is a practical choice for you is developing a better understanding of what it is and what it isn’t, plus knowing the potential CBD oil benefits, so you can make a smart choice about your health.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD stands for cannabidiol which is one of the chemical compounds (phytocannabinoids) found in the hemp and marijuana plants. The use of hemp is historic. In fact, material made from hemp 10,000 years ago was discovered. It has been used in almost every industry to create anything from rope, paper, to clothing, food and body care products. With the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2018, hemp became a term to classify varieties of Cannabis plants that contain 0.3% or less of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the phytocannabinoid that can produce intoxicating and mind-altering effects.

Any CBD product sold today must have less than 0.3% of THC and be derived from hemp.

Is CBD Oil Marijuana?

CBD oil is not marijuana. Marijuana and Hemp are varieties of the same plant species. The defining characteristic between the two is the chemical composition contained within each plant. Both contain the 2 phytocannabinoids: CBD and THC. While the Hemp plant can contain 0%-0.3% of THC, the Marijuana plant can contain up to 30% of THC. Cannabidiol is also a component of both plants. Commercial CBD oil comes from hemp not marijuana.

What is Full-Spectrum CBD Oil?

When you look at the label of a CBD oil product, you’ll see terms like:

  • Full-spectrum
  • Broad-spectrum
  • Isolate

Full-spectrum CBD is defined as being extracted from one hemp plant with all of the other chemical compounds/phytocannabinoids naturally occurring in the plant. When bundled together it creates something referred to as the “Entourage Effect”. This means that the full spectrum of compounds creates a holistic and powerful product. It must have 0.3% or less of THC.

The oil will also contain other elements of the plant such as:

  • Fatty acids
  • Flavonoids
  • Terpenes

These add to the benefit of the oil.

What is Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil?

Like full-spectrum CBD oil, products with the broad-spectrum label contain all the elements of the plant with one exception — there is no THC. It is a practical alternative for anyone who needs to avoid THC completely, but also offers the “Entourage Effect” of all the remaining phytocannabinoids.

What is CBD Isolate?

A product that says it is CBD isolate has nothing but CBD in it – it will be 99.9% pure CBD. It is the right choice for anyone who wants to avoid ingesting THC but also doesn’t want anything else in the product. During the CBD Isolate extraction process, everything in the plant matter is removed, including any traces of THC, terpenes, waxes, oils and more.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

That’s where the water gets a little murky. Essentially the answer is yes. In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration cut back on some of the regulations regarding CBD to allow for trials to determine its safety and benefits.

Donald Trump signed the Agricultural Farming Act of 2018 to once again make hemp an agricultural commodity and to make full use of the plant. As part of that law, cannabis with less than 0.03 percent of THC became legal at the federal level. CBD from hemp is no longer considered a Controlled Substance by the DEA.

Not all CBD products come from hemp, though, and that’s where things get confusing. The federal government still considers CBD taken from marijuana to be illegal. Each state has its restrictions on CBD products as well.

Currently, the FDA is looking for ways to clear the path to allow CBD to become a Dietary Supplement as it is currently not approved as one.

Different Ways to Ingest CBD Oil

There are a few ways to ingest or take in the CBD oil. For example, a tincture is a liquid that comes with a dropper while edibles mean it is in food.


Tinctures are one of the more common delivery systems because the manufacturing process does not destroy any of the components of the hemp. The ideal way to ingest liquid CBD oil is by putting a drop under your tongue, holding for 30 seconds to a minute and then swallowing. This allows for the sublingual absorption of the liquid into the bloodstream. This is the most potent way to take the CBD as well.

Liquid CBD oil can also be mixed with water or put into another drink like tea and ingested through the digestive tract. Some CBD products secure the liquid into a capsule or softgel to make it easier for you to take.


Edibles are just what it sounds like — the CBD is mixed into a smoothie, baked good, or other candy or food. The goal is to mask the taste of the oil by putting it into a treat. CBD oil has a natural earthy taste, though, and it can come out in the flavor of the food. The food will have to go through the digestive process to be absorbed.

Oral Spray

CBD sprays are very similar to the oil drops but aerosolized into a spray bottle. You spray the oil under your tongue, or onto the inside of your cheeks. Some spray products add a flavor to make the taste more tolerable, as well, such as mint.


Topical means on the skin. The CBD oil is put into a lotion, balm or cream. You simply rub it onto the skin, usually at a problem point, and the product is absorbed.

The type of CBD oil you choose whether it is a full-spectrum liquid or isolate spray depends on many factors but, ultimately boils down to availability and personal choice.

CBD oil may not be right for every person and it’s still unclear what the proven benefits of CBD oil are. It is up to each individual to do their own research as to why there has been a CBD explosion in popularity and praise, and how the product may benefit them.

Keep in mind that taking it might interfere with prescription medication or a chronic health problem. It might be wise to discuss its use with your doctor before trying any form of CBD.

Vitamin World now offers a range of CBD oil products to choose from—check out all of our products here.


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