CBD: A Beginner’s Guide

It’s touching everything these days – from food to beauty products – but what exactly is it and how does it work?

Even if you aren’t familiar with the world have cannabis, you’ve probably heard the term CBD in relation to its health and wellness value. It’s a very trendy product at the moment. From coffee shops to spas, it seems like CBD is everywhere right now. 

There’s no question it’s “hot”, but what is it exactly?

Even though it has infiltrated many aspects of our world, there is still some confusion around what it is and what it can actually do.

So, if you are unsure about CBD, you are certainly not alone.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the Cannabid sativa plant.

It’s a naturally occurring substance that’s used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.

Unlike its cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the major active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive.

So, CBD won’t get me high, right?

Well, the simple answer is: probably not.

The cannabis plant is made up of two key components: CBD and THC. CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the plant, so it doesn’t have the same effect on your mood, or psychological state.

This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs. 


There are two exceptions. 

First, some people (for unknown reasons) just react differently to CBD than other people. It’s impossible to tell you each person will react, so it’s best to experiment safely.

Second, some products may contain more or less CBD than actually advertised.  So again, it’s important to be careful about who is supplying the product and ask the right questions.

There is a flurry of health benefit claims for CBD – everything from pain management to anxiety. It’s touted as a “wonder drug”. But whatever you’re looking for help with, make sure that you are seeking advice from experts before delving in. 

Everyone is different and every product is different, so finding the right one for you may require some trial and error. Just make sure you’re testing the products safely and responsibly.





  • Julie Lawrence is a journalist and communications specialist from Halifax, NS. She is a contributing editor for Hum@n Media - Canada's largest health and wellness media company.

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