Back to Basics: CBD 101 Guide to Everything You Need to Know 
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CBD, an acronym we now hear and see everywhere. From mainstream stores to online adverts, the mention of CBD is hard to miss; but what exactly is CBD? Dive deep with us as we go back to the basics, exploring the world of this ever-popular compound. 

What is CBD? 

Before defining this amazing compound, it is important to discuss the distinction between a few basic terms that are commonly used incorrectly. This way, we have a foundation to build from in this educational post. Cannabis is a plant genus that encompasses various species, including indica, sativa, and ruderalis. The United States Government has enacted laws/bills that define industrial hemp and marijuana. While often used interchangeably, there are notable differences between these terms. 

  • Industrial Hemp: Cannabis sativa L. plants that contain equal to or less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. 
  • Marijuana: Cannabis that contains more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. 

Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. This includes both THC and CBD; among others. It is important to note that CBD is a cannabinoid within the plant, and is not synonymous or interchangeable when referring to cannabis plants. 

CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant but, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it doesn’t produce a ‘high’ or psychoactive effect. 

What’s the Difference Between CBD & THC? 

The main difference lies within their psychoactive effects. While THC induces psychoactive effects (a “high”), CBD does not. Their interactions with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) are distinct, resulting in their unique effects. 

Cannabinoids offer us so many unique benefits and we understand there is so much to learn! Check out our in-depth cannabinoid posts to get the full scoop on their benefits and uses! 

CBD Legality

Laws surrounding CBD vary across states and even globally. It’s essential to understand the legal status of CBD in your state’s legislation. However, industrial hemp was federally legalized in 2018 when the Agriculture Improvement Act (commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill) was signed into law. This law reclassified hemp as an agricultural commodity and removed hemp from the federal controlled substances list, as long as it contains no more than 0.3% Delta 9-THC on a dry weight basis. This shift made it legal to produce, distribute, and sell hemp-derived products, including various cannabinoids, across state lines, subject to state laws. You can read more about this legislation here.

What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)? 

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is an intrinsic cell-signaling pathway identified in the human body during THC research in the early ’90s. It’s pivotal in regulating functions like sleep, mood, appetite, and memory, amongst many others. Within this innate system, cell receptors, such as CB1 in the brain and CB2 in the immune system, interact with endocannabinoids naturally produced in the body. This ensures our body’s essential need for homeostasis, also known as balance. While the ECS works on its own independently of cannabis, introducing compounds like CBD from the cannabis plant leads to interactions akin to those with our body’s internal cannabinoids (endocannabinoids).

Read more about an in-depth discussion on the importance of your body’s ECS and how CBD works inside of it here

Benefits & Uses of CBD 

While CBD research is ongoing, always look for studies and scientific evidence to back any claims as you discover CBD for yourself. Below is a list, albeit not an complete one, on what research has shown us to date about the benefits this cannabinoid can potentially provide to our bodies.  

*This information is not to be considered medical advice or used in place of working with your medical professional team. 

  • Uplifts Mood 
  • Reduces Body Discomfort
  • Muscle Recovery  
  • Rest Regulation 
  • Support for Digestive Health 
  • Overall General Health 
  • Relaxation

How to Use CBD Products 

There are various ways you can consume CBD and they all have a purpose. Here’s a simple explanation of the differences between the most common routes of CBD administration:

  • Tinctures: Liquid extracts consumed sublingually (under the tongue). 

  • Edibles: Ingestible products like gummies or chocolates containing CBD that are processed through the digestive system. 

  • Carts: Short for cartridges, these are pre-filled vape cartridges containing CBD. Cartridges are used via inhalation.  

  • Topicals: Creams, balms, or lotions applied directly to the skin that provide localized support from discomfort. 

Self Titration Method 

This method helps with understanding how to best utilize sublingual tinctures; as they are amongst the most common forms of CBD that people gravitate toward. To use this method, start with a low dose and gradually increase until you find the right amount for your needs. This method ensures personal safety and effectiveness. 

For a more in-depth analysis on CBD consumption methods and dosing guidelines, click here

How to Choose Quality CBD Products 

Choosing CBD products is not always the easiest thing to do due to so various options available on the market. Here are the top things you need to know before you purchase from any cannabis company, including dispensaries. 

  • Third-party lab results ensure the products’ potency and purity. These should be readily available via the product label, website product description, and/or another area of the company’s website. 

  • Always check for natural, high-quality ingredients. 

  • Company integrity is essential. Make sure the company supports missions you believe in, understand why they are producing the product to begin with, and how they produce their products. 

  • Try to understand some basic CBD lingo. We created a comprehensive guide to help you with this here.

Navigating the world of CBD can be overwhelming with the myriad of terms and products. However, with a basic foundation, you can make informed decisions that best suit your needs. 

Here at Illuminent, we strive to take the guessing out of cannabis and make it simple for you to choose the product that is best suited for you. Integrity is our most valued priority. Thus, we know that quality is both important and necessary in order to achieve your desired results. We hope this guide serves as the most complete compilation of information for your CBD needs. 


Don’t forget to tag us @illuminent_life on Instagram and share your CBD experiences with us. We love hearing how our products bring happiness and wellness into your lives! 

Still not sure which product is right for you? 

Check out our comprehensive guide to choosing the Illuminent product (s) that may be best for you to start with here.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. Illuminent assumes no responsibility for the improper use of these products. We recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician when preparing a treatment plan for any and all diseases or ailments. Illuminent does not make any health claims about our products and recommends consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician prior to consuming our products or preparing a treatment plan. It is especially important for those who are pregnant, nursing, chronically ill, elderly or under the age of 18 to discuss the use of these products with a physician prior to consuming them.  

Illuminent Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally-occurring constituent of the industrial hemp plant. Illuminent does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substance Act (US.CSA).  Illuminent does sell and distribute industrial hemp-based products.