Materials & Use

What Does CBD Stand For?

Gabi Antunes

Aug 9, 2019

These three little letters are seemingly popping up everywhere. From grocery stores to luxury spas, these initials have made their way into the public consciousness. As it gets more popular, seemingly with each passing day, more consumers than ever want to know exactly what CBD is, where it comes from, and which products are available to them.

What is CBD, and what does it stand for?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, which is a non-intoxicating compound found in industrial hemp. It’s one of dozens of compounds called cannabinoids that have been discovered in industrial hemp. CBD was first discovered in 1940, and its chemical structure was established in 1963.

CBD is one of the most abundant compounds found in the hemp plant, alongside many other related compounds called cannabinoids. CBD in industrial hemp plants is bred to have very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating cannabinoid found in high concentrations in marijuana plants. In fact, by federal law, the industrial hemp must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. These minuscule amounts of THC should not cause an intoxicating effect.

Where does CBD come from?

CBD is extracted from industrial hemp in large quantities. The compound is converted from its inactive form into its active form through a process called decarboxylation. Once hemp CBD is extracted and activated, it’s added to hemp CBD products of all types, but only in states that allow these products.

Hemp CBD extracts come in three main forms: broad-spectrum CBD, full spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Isolate scrubs all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other materials from the industrial hemp extract, resulting in a powder that’s comprised of 99.9 percent pure hemp CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD retains all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, but removes the minuscule, trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in industrial hemp. Full-spectrum CBD does not remove any compounds found in the plant, including the tiny amounts of THC that occur naturally in the plant.

Hemp CBD oil uses

Rules around hemp CBD currently vary by state. Check out the multiple CBD form factors on the market, in permitted states. No matter a consumer’s preference, there’s a product option out there to fit every lifestyle. Some popular hemp CBD oil products include:

  1. Hemp CBD oil: Arguably one of the largest product categories in states that allow it, hemp CBD oil blends CBD isolate, broad spectrum CBD, or full spectrum CBD with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil or medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil from coconut. Some hemp CBD oils are made with water-soluble CBD, which makes the substance much easier to mix.
  2. Hemp CBD topicals: Face, body, and bath products are cropping up in states that allow hemp CBD topicals. Hemp CBD can be found infused into face serums, moisturizers, bath bombs, lotions, and more. As a non-ingestible version of the cannabinoid, consumers and retailers may turn to these products first when exploring the world of hemp CBD.
  3. Hemp CBD vaping products: Prefilled cartridges are among the most common hemp CBD vaping products on the market in states that allow hemp CBD inhalation. These cartridges, which often come in half-gram and one-gram sizes, are frequently outfitted with a 510-thread connector, a standard sizing that screws directly into many vape pen battery types. Certain specific vaporizer models offer cartridges designed to fit in their proprietary devices. Other hemp CBD vaping products include hemp CBD concentrates such as shatter and hemp CBD flower, which can be finely ground and placed into the oven of a portable vaporizer.
  4. Hemp CBD-infused foods: Chocolate bars, hot sauce, soda — you name a food, and there’s probably a CBD-infused version of it out in states that permit adding hemp CBD to food or beverages. This is a white-hot segment of the hemp CBD market, and many CBD brands, chefs, bakers, and food manufacturers have tried their hand at bringing their twist on these infusions to consumers in select regions around the U.S. Consumers often turn to these foods for their discretion and easy-to-measure portions.Even with all these innovative products making their way into the market, the classic infused gummy still reigns supreme. In fact, hemp CBD gummies were the third-most searched food term on Google in 2018.
  5. Hemp CBD pet products: Hemp CBD products for cats, dogs, and other mammalian pets are predicted to be the fastest-growing category of industrial hemp-derived CBD items. Oils, pet treats, and sprays — often in pet-friendly flavors such as bacon — have been selling in states that allow hemp CBD to be added to pet food.

Diving into the rapidly-expanding world of hemp CBD

As one of the most famous and most abundant cannabinoids, the proliferation of Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining more traction in the U.S. and beyond. This market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in just a few years. With its explosive popularity, massive market growth, and new products constantly making their way into the market, everyone will get to know the initials “CBD” soon enough.