What is CBD? Everything you need to know

A bottle of CBD Cool Spray and CBD Cream sold by Amway sit in the grass. A person with a bike is shown in the background.

Do you know what CBD stands for? You may be wondering as the letters are popping up on items at a variety of places, from specialty health stores to grocery stores to gas stations.

From CBD-infused teas and coffees to CBD face masks, sprays and lotions, there are a multitude of products on the market.

Why the explosion? Because CBD, short for cannabidiol, comes from the hemp plant, which used to be illegal except for a few unique situations. However, when Congress passed the Farm Bill in 2018, it expanded the legalized growing and use to more circumstances, paving the way for the flood of CBD products currently on the market.

With all the chatter surrounding CBD and its many iterations, we wanted to break down the basics and separate fact from fiction when it comes to this trendy-but-still-mysterious product. Read on to learn more.

A woman applies CBD Cream by Amway to her arm.

First things first: What exactly is CBD?

As we said above, CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a chemical compound found in the hemp plant or marijuana plant.

Is CBD the same as marijuana?

Nope. THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical compound found in marijuana that is responsible for that signature “high.” CBD from hemp allows only trace amounts of THC—.03% or less.

The CBD used in commercial products comes from the hemp plant, which can contain larger amounts of CBD than marijuana. And CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high.

Is CBD safe?

Yes. In 2017, the World Health Organization ruled that CBD does not appear to cause harm, doesn’t have abuse potential, and its use may have some therapeutic value.

But not all CBD products are created equal. “Quality is important when it comes to CBD products,” said Steve Cherry, who manages the XS family of products for Amway.

“A lot of products currently on the market haven’t been tested for safety, or even the correct levels of CBD,” he said. “You should always make sure you know where the CBD comes from and if it has been tested.”

XS, a family of products sold by Amway, recently launched CBD Cream and CBD Cool Spray. Both are designed to support recovery from an active lifestyle.

The CBD in the products comes from plants grown on certified farms for industrial hemp, and each product is thoroughly tested to ensure there are no heavy metals, pesticides and other types of contamination.

A man applies CBD Cool Spray sold by Amway to his arm.

What kinds of products contain CBD?

CBD is marketed in a wide variety of items, including creams, sprays and personal care products as well as food and drinks infused with CBD. It’s important to note that topical CBD products are the only CBD products currently allowed to be marketed and shipped across state lines in the U.S.

That means food, drinks and supplements are not yet legal to sell in the United States. You may see a lot of these products online and on shelves, but that’s because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently uses discretion when enforcing these laws.

How to identify quality CBD products

Look for products that contain “full spectrum hemp extract.” All hemp extracts contain CBD oil, but full spectrum hemp extract is created using more parts of the hemp plant.

When you use full spectrum extract, you get an “entourage effect,” meaning the benefit of all the other cannabinoids in the plant.

Products that use only hemp seed oil, hulled hemp seeds or hemp seed protein do not contain CBD.

Learn more

Bottom line: It’s important to get your CBD products from a trusted company that sources its CBD oil from certified farms and conducts extensive safety testing.

To learn more about CBD Cream and CBD Cool Spray or other XS products, visit Amway.com.

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