What Is CBD Oil? Here’s What You Need To Know

What Is CBD Oil? Here’s What You Need To Know

What Is CBD Oil? CBD oil is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant which works with the CB2 receptors in your ECS to help your mind and body maintain homeostasis.

If you’re new to CBD and CBD oil, you probably have a plethora of questions floating around in your head. And often, it can be hard to know where to start looking.

So, we’re here to answer some of your most commonly asked questions, such as:


  • What is CBD oil?
  • How does CBD oil work?
  • What does CBD oil do?
  • What other compounds are in CBD oil?
  • Does CBD oil have THC in it?
  • Will CBD oil show up on a drug test?
  • Where can I buy CBD oil?


The Big Question: What Is CBD Oil?

CBD, a.k.a. cannabidiol, accounts for approximately 40 percent of industrial hemp’s genetic makeup. But what is CBD oil really? And where does that other 60 percent come into play? With all the misinformation out there, it can be hard to know what the facts are.

In 2021, cbdMD surveyed 800 participants on the most common misconceptions and hesitations when it using CBD. Of those 800 participants, 17.5 percent claimed that a lack of information led them to think twice about trying CBD oil. In contrast, over half (59 percent) said the lack of reliable information, such as being able to answer questions like “what is CBD oil” or “what does CBD oil do,” actually kept them from purchasing or trying CBD. When asked how easy it was to find reliable information about CBD, 53 percent responded that the information was difficult to find.

As you may know, CBD is a cannabinoid derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, of which hemp and marijuana are the two main strains. That being said, hemp and marijuana are two completely different things. The CBD you find online and in stores in the US is almost always produced from hemp since marijuana is a federally illegal substance.

This means that when bought from a reputable company, CBD oil and tinctures will not get you high.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

Once extracted from the hemp plant, CBD and other hemp extracts are suspended in a carrier oil, usually an MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil, allowing your body to absorb its benefits better.

CBD oil works with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) by interacting with and binding to your CB2 receptors in your peripheral organs and associated with your immune system. In turn, your ECS is responsible for maintaining your body’s homeostasis.

However, the specific benefits of CBD oil partly depend on your desired delivery method. This means that while CBD oil tinctures and CBD oil capsules may contain the same formula and the same CBD concentration, they’ll interact with your body differently.

For example, CBD oil tinctures are designed to be placed under your tongue and held for 30 to 60 seconds before swallowing. This method allows the CBD oil time to enter your bloodstream through the membrane under your tongue and reach your ECS faster. On the other hand, CBD oil capsules are ingested first, meaning they have to go through your digestive system before they can reach your bloodstream and interact with your ECS.

Now that you understand how CBD oil works, you’re probably asking yourself, “What does CBD oil do?” and “Where can I buy CBD oil?”

What Does CBD Oil Do?

CBD oil interacts with the CB2 receptors in your ECS to produce a range of benefits, although it is most well known for promoting a sense of calm and relaxation at night and throughout your day.

But CBD isn’t just for discomfort or relaxation; CBD can play a role in your daily meditation, encourage mindfulness in your everyday life, and even maximize your exercise routine. All of these benefits and more can be accessed through a variety of CBD oil products and delivery methods.

Choosing which CBD products best benefit your lifestyle and when to use those products is a very personal and individual decision. CBD oil affects everyone differently, and there’s no one product that works for everyone. So if you’ve tried CBD in the past but have found yourself asking “what does CBD oil do” and “how long does it take to work,” cbdMD is here to help.

First, it is important to know that to receive the full benefits of CBD, it is often recommended that you consistently use CBD oil for at least 30 days. This allows CBD oil to create a lasting impact by routinely interacting with your ECS.

By interacting with your ECS, CBD oil can help promote a sense of calm in your mind and body and improve your mood, sleep, and so much more. CBD can also support muscle recovery and reduce minor discomfort from strenuous exercises, depending on your preferred delivery method.

Second, you may want to consider the concentration and strength of your current CBD products. If you’re not fully receiving your desired benefits, and you’ve regularly used CBD oil in your daily routine for at least 30 days, increasing your CBD oil strength might be the right answer for you.

Now that we’ve dug into the heart of what CBD oil does and how it works, you might be starting to wonder if CBD is the sole ingredient or what else could be in CBD oil products. Not to mention where to buy CBD oil and how to identify a reputable company.


diagram depicting THC CBD and CBN compounds


What Else Is in CBD Oil?

Aside from CBD, CBN (cannabinol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of the most well-known cannabinoids. But whether you’ve heard of them before or not, do you know what they really are?

For instance, did you know that CBN is created from THC? Or that the psychoactive properties found in cannabis plants actually decrease as the plant ages?

What is CBN and Where Does It Come Into Play?

CBN is created when THC molecules inside the Cannabis sativa plant break down as the plant matures. While CBN is the product of degraded THC molecules, it is important to know that CBN does not have the same psychoactive properties as THC. In fact, when THC oxidizes, degrades, and converts into CBN, it loses 75 percent of its psychoactive properties, meaning that CBN is only mildly psychoactive.

While CBN is not typically in oils or tinctures on its own, it is often present in broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD oils.

CBN is considered a minor phytocannabinoid found in many CBD oil products and contributes to the entourage effect. The entourage effect is the process of one cannabinoid boosting the impact of another one as they work with your ECS. Unlike CBD, CBN can attach to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your ECS – however, the full benefits and effects of CBN are currently unknown.

Does CBD Oil Have THC in it?

THC, as many know, is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that produces a psychoactive reaction or high. But did you know that the cannabis plant, or Cannabaceae plant family, is more diverse than you might think? In actuality, it contains three main species: Cannabis ruderalis, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis sativa.

The Cannabis sativa plant is probably the most well-known variety, as both hemp and marijuana can be derived from it. By definition, hemp plants contain higher concentrations of CBD than other cannabis plants.

However, THC is just one of over 100 cannabinoids derived from the plant. CBD is another well-known and completely separate cannabinoid. The real difference between CBD and THC is the way each cannabinoid affects the mind and body.THC works by connecting with the CB1 receptors in your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which are part of your central nervous system. This means that when THC molecules attach to your CB1 receptors, they can impact the sensory and perception functions of your immune system, quality of sleep, and appetite.

To determine if a specific CBD product contains THC, you first need to know whether the CBD was extracted as a full spectrum. If so, that product likely does contain THC, in addition to a number of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds. It is important to know that general research indicates that when combined with THC, CBD can actually reduce the psychoactive effects of THC.

In the US, federally legal hemp is hemp that contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Cannabis plants that have more than 0.3 percent THC cannot legally be hemp plants. This means that while some full spectrum CBD products likely aren’t legal in the US, CBD isolate and broad spectrum CBD (containing all cannabinoids except THC) typically are.

So does CBD oil have THC in it? When made using CBD isolate and broad spectrum CBD methods, CBD products should be THC-free.* As long as the company is trustworthy and reliable.

That being said, do you need to worry about an upcoming drug test?

Will CBD Oil Show Up on a Drug Test?

Wondering if CBD oil will show up on a drug test is one of the greatest concerns for anyone considering adding CBD oil to their daily routine. And it’s an incredibly valid one for both athletes and a large majority of the working class.

But the answer isn’t always an easy one.

Drug tests are often needed when you want to get or keep a job or if you’re planning to compete professionally. In these cases, the most common type of drug test involves urinalysis, although blood tests can also be completed. When it comes down to passing or failing a drug test, there are a number of factors in play, including:


  • How long ago you took a specific substance
  • If certain substances are below detectable levels
  • Your current hydration levels
  • Body mass
  • Urine acidity


According to a recent survey conducted by cbdMD, 55 percent of participants believed that CBD would show up on a drug test. In actuality, CBD products produced with federally legal forms of hemp are incredibly unlikely to show up on a drug test, let alone cause you to fail one. THC is the cannabinoid that drug tests target, not CBD.

However, you need to know how a company’s CBD is extracted before choosing a product. While isolate and broad spectrum CBD are THC-free,* full spectrum CBD oil often contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant, meaning that full spectrum CBD products are most definitely not free of THC.

When it comes down to it, what kind of CBD you plan to take, what type of drug test you’re going to receive, and when exactly you take the test are all significant factors that come into play to determine whether or not you will pass your drug test.

It is so important to make sure that the CBD products you use are from quality, trusted companies. Third-party testing results are often provided by reputable companies so that you can be sure what exactly you are putting in or on your body.


cbdMD cbd products featuring cbd oil tinctures, cbd gummies, and topical cbd


Where Can I Buy CBD Oil?

Now that you know how necessary it is to make sure you’re buying a quality, THC-free* CBD product, you’re probably asking yourself, “Where can I buy CBD oil?”

When it comes to deciding where to buy CBD oil, one of the first places you’ll probably look is online. But when you do, be careful not to be tricked by misleading labels. As we mentioned above, responsible and reputable companies will always make their third-party testing results readily accessible and easy to find.

Another way to verify the legitimacy of a company is by looking for a good manufacturing practices (GMP) certification, which distinguishes a company’s proper manufacturing process and products. The third thing you should look for is independent reviews of a CBD company or its products, as long as you remember to be wary of fake or fraudulent CBD advertising.

Don’t believe every CBD claim you hear, especially if it seems too good to be true – because it usually is. Always, always, always review reputable research before deciding which CBD company or product is right for you. But above all, you should take into consideration that CBD research is continually ongoing, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding where to buy CBD oil online or in stores.

For more information on where to buy CBD oil, what else is in CBD oil, and the big question – what is CBD oil – stop by our frequently updated blog. Interested in staying up to date on the latest news and special offers? Make sure to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.