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What is CBD?

Today, the marijuana and hemp industries are growing across the globe at a lightning pace. Ever expanding volumes of research and anecdotal evidence continue to drive legal acceptance forward. The booming cannabidiol (CBD) industry has been in the spotlight thanks to wide-ranging media support, federal recognition, and the growing hemp farming industry.
Despite this growth, cannabis can be a complicated subject, and the quality and accuracy of educational content are not consistent. Here at iLife, our goal is to help educate users and provide a wealth of CBD-related resources.
As someone unfamiliar with CBD, you've come to the perfect starting place. Below we provide an overview of the industry and touch on the key points you should understand as a new user. Many additional resources are linked throughout the article should you wish to dive deeper. Without further ado, let's dive in and answer the question: What is CBD oil?
Both hemp and marijuana are species of the Cannabis Sativa L plant which contain a vast array of chemical compounds. The two main types of compounds are:
-  Cannabinoids: a class of compounds unique to cannabis that interact with a system in our body called the endocannabinoid system.
-  Terpenes: a group of aromatic compounds found in cannabis and many other plants that provide varied therapeutic benefits.
Cannabidiol - known commonly as CBD - is one of the primary cannabinoids found in cannabis. This compound exploded into the mainstream consciousness thanks to its feature in CNN's documentary 'Weed'. The FDA has even gone so far as to approve a pharmaceutical preparation of CBD approved for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome.
Today a thriving consumer market offers a wide range of CBD product types that are used by a wide population for things like the improvement of sleep quality, reduced soreness, and more.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a term that is used to describe the phytocannabinoid-rich oils that are extracted from hemp. These extracts are processed and used in the creation of a wide range of products from capsules, to tinctures, to balms and beyond. Often the term CBD oil is also used interchangeably to describe tinctures, one of the most common types of CBD products.
When the contents of these CBD-rich extractions mirror the contents of the source plant material, they are called full spectrum because they contain a full array of plant compounds. A full spectrum extract may be further processed to remove specific compounds. This is the case with broad spectrum, a CBD oil which includes no THC. These extracts may even be stripped of all other content, leaving only the CBD molecule which is commonly called CBD isolate. See this article more information on the various spectrums available.
As we discuss spectrums, it is worth noting that the individual compounds found within the cannabis plant can provide both unique and synergistic therapeutic benefits. When taken together, the synergistic benefits have been found to increase the overall effectiveness through a research-backed concept called the entourage effect. For this reason, seeking out products with a wider spectrum of compounds will lead to more beneficial experiences than isolate-based products.