What REALLY Is CBD?: Dismissing the Stigma

What REALLY Is CBD?: Dismissing the Stigma


There’s a stigma against CBD or cannabidiol.

I recently realized just how bad it went when I was told my Pinterest board for my CBD posts was against their guidelines.

How crazy is that!?

(Granted, that’s because they consider it medical advice, which I think is kind of bs, but whatever…)

To me that would be like banning alcohol content. Both are completely legal, but only one has a stigma against it.

So, what REALLY is CBD?

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CBD, or cannabidioil, is related to marijuana but isn’t the same thing. That tends to confuse a lot of people, thinking because it has a relation to marijuana that it is marijuana. Harvard.edu defines CBD as:

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” [x]

CBD does not give you any kind of “high” feeling. If the CBD you are using does give you a high, you are probably using something that is mixed with THC, the component that makes you feel high, whether labeled or not.

If you get your CBD from non-reputable sources like gas stations, vape shops that don’t specialize in CBD, or the guy on the corner, you have a higher chance of the CBD you are getting is not going to be pure. There are going to be fillers in it that you don’t need, or even worse, mixed with actual marijuana. Those guys are the reason there’s such a stigma against CBD



CBD from reputable sellers, the kind that isn’t laced with or is derived from marijuana, is completely legal in all 50 states.

However, when Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill into law in December 2018, it legalized CBD that is derived from hemp and contains no more than 0.3% THC. CBD that comes from the marijuana plant is still illegal, since marijuana still has Schedule 1 drug status. [x]

So, you can use CBD and not feel bad about breaking any laws because it’s completely legal.

But, like I said, make sure you’re getting your CBD products from reputable sources that show you their lab results so you know they are good. If a store or company doesn’t list any kind of lab results, I would be wary against buying from them.

Because CBD is not an FDA regulated product anyone call sell something and call it CBD. Make sure you’re getting quality product before you use it. This should quell any stigma you have against CBD.



Side Effects

This can also be a contributing factor to the Stigma against CBD. If you want to “scary” side effects, meaning the ones that can cause any problems, WebMD.com lists these:

Some reported side effects of cannabidiol include dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness, and drowsiness. Signs of liver injury have also been reported in some patients, but this is less common. [x]

The side effects of drowsiness is something that I would think most people would experience. CBD is meant to help calm you, therefore, drowsiness would be a given.

I have not experienced any of these side effects except for the drowsiness. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t experience any of them in the future or that you may not experience them as well.

Currently, WebMD doesn’t have anything listed under their “interactions” section because there haven’t been enough studies on the interactions between CBD and prescription drugs. So if you are considering using CBD and take prescription medications, I highly recommend you talk to your doctor before hand.




I don’t know why there would be any stigma against CBD with the uses it has. There are many uses of CBD, but the most common reasons for using are anxiety, insomnia, and pain relief.

I personally use CBD for both anxiety and sleep related issues, and have anecdotes from friends and colleagues that have used CBD for pain relief.


CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.

CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. [x]




Is CBD safe to use?

Well, like with most things not regulated by the FDA, it’s a “use at your own risk” kind of thing. This can also contribute to the stigma against CBD.

You have to weigh the pros and cons yourself.

It’s like taking anything else you might that is more on the homeopathic side of things. Most homeopathic remedies aren’t going to be FDA approved, so you’re going to have to figure out for yourself if that’s the best course of action for you.

Again, I highly recommend you talk to your doctor before starting CBD. You never know if you’re on a medication that could make things worse, and it’s a lot better to be told that before hand than find out the hard way.


Types of CBD

There are a few varieties of CBD that you can have:

  • Broad Spectrum Oil
  • Full Spectrum Oil
  • CBD Isolate
  • Hemp Flower

Broad Spectrum Oil

Broad spectrum CBD is the middle ground option between isolate and full spectrum CBD. It begins as a full spectrum oil, with the full range of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes, but it then goes through a refinement process to remove all THC compounds. [x]

Personally, Broad spectrum is my favorite because I don’t really like having any THC in my CBD products. While I’m not against THC in general, I don’t like that it isn’t legal in my state and would prefer to leave it out of my system as I’m on prescription medications I rather not have any interactions, despite how small of a dosage there can be.


Full Spectrum Oil

Full spectrum CBD, on the other hand, extracts a full profile of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. Sometimes referred to as whole plant CBD, full spectrum will contain trace amounts of THC, but not enough to get you “high.”

Note: While full spectrum CBD and whole plant CBD are very similar, whole plant CBD is less refined than full spectrum and will contain fats, waxes, and other fibrous materials from the hemp plant. This type of CBD can be created using many different extraction methods. [x]

I’ve only tried a few products that would be considered “full spectrum”. Because I vape, that’s a pretty common oil to find. The last one I tried did not work well for me. It gave me headaches and made it hard for me to sleep, the opposite of what I want in my CBD. It could have been a bad day, or it could have been the CBD. However, I rather not try again to figure it out.


CBD Isolate

Isolate refers to a type of CBD that, you guessed it, is isolated from the rest of the compounds in the cannabis plant.

After CBD concentrate is extracted and separated from the rest of the compounds in the plant, it then goes through a winterization process, which extracts any remaining waxes, terpenes, or cannabinoids. This creates a CBD product that tests as high as 99% pure CBD. [x]

I’ve never tried an isolate product before. My experience reading about it online is that it’s either in a solid form or powder form. Some places offer a tincture oil, but because I prefer vaping over the other methods of use I haven’t found any to use just yet.


Hemp Flower

CBD hemp flower is the actual product that is grown. It’s what you harvest from the plant to create all these oils or isolates. It’s the most natural form of CBD you can really get.

However, hemp flower is much like marijuana flower, you have to grind and smoke it like you would weed.

That’s not my thing.

But, it can be your thing if you’re up for it.



Ways to Consume

The ways to consume CBD are plentiful and there are options for everyone, however, I can see how some of those options contribute to the stigma against CBD>


The most common way people use CBD oil is by tinctures. This is used sublingually, meaning under the tongue. It’s a simple process.

  1. shake up your bottle of CBD oil
  2. place desired amount of oil under the tongue
  3. wait 60-90 seconds
  4. repeat throughout the day if necessary [x]

I have never tried this version of CBD oil for anxiety because I don’t like the idea of holding the oil under my tongue for that long. When you have to hold something that has a very distinct taste under your tongue for that long, you find out just how long a minute is.



Edibles are another common way to consume CBD oil because they’re just as easy as eating candy!

In fact, most CBD edibles are in some kind of candy form. Gummy bears and gummy worms are a common form I’ve come across. I’ve also seen CBD chocolates, teas, and drinks. I actually did a review on a brand I found at my local vape shop: Mile High Cure

When most people consider edibles they usually think of marijuana, so I can see where any stigma might come from.



Vape is my preferred method of using CBD oil for anxiety. It’s the quickest way to get things into your system and feel the effects of it on your body and mind. However, because of that it also wears off pretty quickly as well.

I’ve done a few reviews on CBDistillery and their vape cartridges but they discontinued their supply of cartridges and only sell the vape oil as of now.

Personally this works for me because when I’m in need of help I want it right now. I don’t want to wait for things to digest or get through my system. I want it now! (especially since my digestive system is a bit broken)

Vaping or smoking can also contribute to the stigma against CBD because vaping and smoking are considered “bad” things. There isn’t enough research into vaping CBD to give you a definitive pro or con, most “research” is purely anecdotal at this point.



Capsules are probably the easiest way, at least for me, because I can just add them to my daily medication and be covered for the day. They look just like your regular capsule for any kind of medicine but they’re filled with CBD oil instead.

I don’t know about you, but being able to swallow a pill and have CBD effects is pretty easy.



Topical CBD oil products are used more for pain than anxiety, but if you think this could be helpful for you that’s up to you.

There are a variety of lotions and salves that you can buy and use for your pain needs. My former boss had a sciatica issue that just wouldn’t go away. He started using CBD and it was the first thing in years that actually worked for him, however he did use the tincture variety than topical. But it’s supposed to be helpful for muscle and joint pain.


Have you used CBD before? Looking to give it a try? Let me know in the comments below!


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