If you’re here, you’re probably aware that Cannabidiol (CBD) is a prominent compound found within the cannabis plant. Available in everything from tinctures & capsules to chocolates & drinks, companies have begun to sell CBD-infused gummies, topicals, oils, and even pet treats to provide relief to those in need.

Despite national adoption and popularity, CBD is still under intense scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There have not been any FDA-approved, non-prescription CBD products released onto the market to date. With that being said, the CBD industry is surging in popularity as more and more individuals find their way to different types of CBD products.

To better understand the different types of CBD products on the market, we are going to take a bird’s-eye view. First we’ll compare a few of the major cannabinoids, then we’ll discuss different forms of CBD, and finally we’ll take a look at the most popular product types.

Understanding Cannabinoids: CBD, CBDa, THC, and CBG

The cannabis Sativa plant contains more than 100 known cannabinoids along with a plethora of terpenes and flavonoids. For our discussion, we’ll focus on only four of the most important cannabinoids within the plant: CBD, CBDa, THC, and CBG.

What is a cannabinoid?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found naturally in cannabis plants. They interact directly with receptors found in our body’s endocannabinoid system, a part of our body that helps to keep our nervous system and immune system functioning correctly.

What is CBD?

The second most prevalent cannabinoid found within cannabis, CBD is a chemical compound known as a cannabinoid that is derived from the cannabis Sativa plant. The government technically classifies hemp plants as those cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC – but in reality, they are all cannabis plants. “Hemp plants” do not provide the same psychoactive high associated with cannabis Sativa plants that contain high levels of THC.

The difference here is genetic. There are certain strains of cannabis that have been bred to express high levels of CBD – those are “hemp plants”. Then there are certain strains of cannabis that have been bred to express high levels of THC – those are the cannabis plants you find at your local medical or recreational dispensary or grow facility.

When did CBD become popular?

CBD was first found effective in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes including Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). Some studies also suggest that CBD can provide relief for anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and even depression. But CBD really became popular when growing industrial hemp was legalized in 2018 thanks to the Farm Bill.

The Other Cannabinoids

For our purposes, we’ll briefly highlight the big three cannabinoids that you can expect to find and work in tandem with CBD. These compounds won’t always be found with CBD, though they work together to contribute to what’s known as the entourage effect.

  • CBDa – Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is produced by cannabis plants. CBDa converts into CBD over time or when exposed to high levels of heat. CBDa is, therefore, more prevalent in plants harvested earlier. Burning CBD like when smoking a joint will convert CBDa to CBD.
  • CBG – Cannabigerol (CBG) is considered the Mother of all Cannabinoids because its precursor, CBGa, is also known as the stem cell cannabinoid. All other cannabinoids like CBD, THC, etc. begin their journey as CBGa before being converted into another form. Normal strains of cannabis will contain under 1% of CBG. This is why products with CBG can be more expensive.
  • THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol. There is actually multiple versions of THC. Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive compound found within cannabis. Delta-9 THC provides the “high” that we so often associate with cannabis use.

Different Types of CBD Extracts

You’ll typically find 3 different types of CBD product on the market. This is important to know for several reasons, but mainly because certain types of CBD products are more effective than others. Here are the 3 types of CBD products you will typically see:

  • Full-Spectrum: Full-spectrum products include CBD as well as all of the other compounds, terpenes, flavonoids, etc that are present in the hemp plant at extraction. This means that full spectrum products will contain trace amounts (<0.3%) of THC, as well other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, etc. But the particular cannabinoid makeup will depend on the plants used in the extraction process.
  • Broad-Spectrum: Broad spectrum products are full spectrum products that have had some of the cannabinoids or other components removed.  Often times the goal with broad-spectrum CBD is to create a product that doesn’t include delta-9 THC, but you should always review the lab results to verify since some broad-spectrum products may contain delta-9 THC still.
  • CBD Isolate:; CBD isolates feature no other compounds or cannabinoids, leaving only the CBD. Products with just isolated CBD may have a reduced effect due to a lack of the covted entourage effect.

Different Types of CBD Products

With the CBD industry rapidly growing and expanding, new products are constantly being released onto the market. This means that consumers have more flexibility than ever when it comes time to add CBD to their daily regime. At Green Owl Wellness, we are going above and beyond to source the highest quality ingredients for our products up to and including our CBD oil for pets!

Here are a few CBD products you can expect to encounter during your shopping.

  • Oils and Tinctures – When asked what form of CBD is most effective, we often find ourselves reaching for CBD oil. CBD oil is typically offered with an MCT oil, coconut oil, or another type of oil base, allowing people to take extracts through a simple dropper. Some CBD tinctures are made without oil, making them perfect for adding to beverages or meals. There are many types of CBD oil products, so consult with the trusted experts at Green Owl Wellness for more information!
  • Edibles: For the individual that wants to quickly add CBD to their diet, CBD edibles can offer a convenient and tasty method of consumption. Available in gummies, capsules, drinks, and even chocolates, CBD edibles are available in a wide variety of strengths as well as flavors.
  • Salves – Available in topical oils as well as creams and lotions, CBD salves are ideal for bringing about more noticeable and immediate relief.

Dosing with CBD can be difficult as so much of your intake will depend on your body composition and lifestyle. For more guidance deciding on proper dosage, consult this handy chart from Healthline.