It has a funny name but it’s one of the hottest product trends in health and wellness today. It’s called cannabidiol, but you may know it by its more common name: CBD. But what is CBD oil and what does it do? Keep reading to learn more.

Since being federally legalized, CBD oil is a hemp based product that contains only trace amounts of THC up to 0.3 percent. It won’t get you high, and it can be legally bought and sold anywhere in the U.S. That’s a stark contrast to THC-rich cannabis, which is only legal at the state level according to various recreational and medical marijuana laws on the books.

But most people that are looking to the health benefits of CBD likely don’t want any psychoactive effects at all. Whether it’s for the treatment of pain, insomnia, anxiety or something else, CBD can be beneficial in myriad ways, and it doesn’t have to feel like your head is stuck in the clouds for you to benefit.

That said, each CBD oil is different, so if you’re shopping for CBD it’s important to know what you’re looking at, as well as what you’ll need to make a decision.

What Is CBD Oil?

As one of over a hundred compounds found in cannabis, CBD oil is an extract that either contains a high prevalence of CBD or a mixture of CBD and other compounds like THC or CBG. For the most part, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the CBD and THC content, which is typically represented as a percentage. As mentioned, many CBD products contain trace amounts of THC under 0.3 percent, though some CBD products contain more or matching levels of THC.

It all depends on the plant strain that is used to create the extract. If it’s a high CBD strain such as hemp, the resulting CBD oil will only have CBD within. However, if the extract is taken from a strain with both CBD and THC inside, the oil will have both CBD and THC. The benefit of CBD-only strains and oils is that it meets the 0.3 percent THC limit, allowing the product to be sold anywhere — and it also means a non-intoxicating effect.

Note that sometimes people refer to CBD oil when they actually mean a different type of CBD product. In this sense, CBD oils can come in the form of tinctures, capsules, vapes and topicals, giving many ways in which CBD can be consumed. Tinctures are commonly taken sublingually under the tongue while capsules are consumed orally just like any other medication. Other oils, like Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), are meant to be applied directly to the skin or have other uses. When in doubt, check the packaging for instructions.

What Does CBD Oil Do?

Let’s get one thing out of the way up front. CBD oil won’t make you high as long as you’re using CBD oil that contains no more than 0.3 percent THC. That said, a product with two or three percent THC may get you high, and five or 10 percent could be enough to really get you going, especially if your tolerance is low or you’re now to the product type. For best results, particularly if you want to avoid the high, it’s ideal to go with a pure CBD oil.

However, if you’re looking for more than what CBD can do on its own and you’re wanting the synergistic effects of both CBD and THC, you may want to consider a hybrid CBD product that has a generous amount of THC. Sure, you’ll get high, but that’s the point.

On the other hand, CBD oil does have benefits. While you may not feel it working as obviously as THC, it can help soothe your mood and relax your mind, helping to ease anxiety and enhance your sleep. CBD oil is also a great anti-inflammatory and pain fighter, which makes it an ideal alternative to pain pills that can lead to addiction and leave you feeling groggy and out of it all the time.

But the more obvious effects have to do with the symptoms that CBD oil minimizes. If you’re taking CBD to help de-stress or to focus more at work, that’s what you should be concentrating on. It can be hard to hone in on at first, but after you get familiar with what CBD oil does and how you feel, you’ll be able to gauge when it’s working and when you may need to re-up.

As far as effectiveness, it can be hard to quantify. Everyone is unique in their response to CBD, and the slight positive changes may not be so obvious if you’re, say, looking for a general mood enhancer. However, over time you should be able to make decisions on what brands and products are best for you.

If you’re interested in starting your CBD oil journey, let Embarc be your guide.