What is CBD oil

What Is CBD Oil? UK GUIDE 2021


If you’re new to the world of CBD, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the information that’s available. Don’t worry! We’re here to help clear up some of the confusion and provide a simple guide to understanding the basics of CBD and how cannabinoids work to support our health and wellbeing.

We’d firstly like to point out just how great a time in the history of Cannabis we find ourselves in right now – More and more people’s opinions are being shifted when it comes to Cannabis, and outdated stigmas are being replaced by a willingness from young and old, to sample the therapeutic health benefits and natural relief this incredible plant has to offer.

As with all things new, there is always a learning curve and CBD oil and cannabinoid wellness are no different. So, whether you are just starting out on your cannabinoid wellness journey or are researching CBD oil for a relative or friend, we hope to provide you with a helpful resource that answers some of your questions in this simple guide – Let’s get started with some of the basics.


CBD is the shortened name for Cannabidiol (pronounced Canna-bi-dial)

CDB, or Cannabidiol is one of many naturally occurring chemical compounds found primarily in the flowers and leaves of the Cannabis plant – These powerful compounds are called cannabinoids and are known to support the mind and body in various ways.

The Cannabis plant, with its rich therapeutic history dating back thousands of years, is once again under the spotlight and regaining recognition for its health and wellness benefits, as CBD is tested and confirmed as a safe, non-addictive substance by researchers and scientists from around the world.


CBD along with closely related THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of the most prevalent chemical compounds found within the Cannabis plant, both with significant therapeutic attributes and contributing to a full spectrum of over 100 known phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids found within plants) that are unique to cannabis and its powerful health-giving profile.

THC is the psychoactive relative of CBD and well known for the ‘high’ or ‘stoned’ feeling associated with using cannabis.

CBD, unlike its close relative, is non-psychoactive, does not get users high, is legal in the UK and quickly gaining popularity as more and more people discover for themselves the natural health benefits cannabis has to offer, without the need to get intoxicated.


Hemp and Marijuana are commonly thought of and described as separate plants but are actually just different classifications of Cannabis.

What Is CBD Oil? UK Beginners Guide


The term Hemp is used to classify varieties of cannabis (Cannabis Sativa) that are non-intoxicating and contain less than 0.3% THC. This variety of Cannabis is typically grown outdoors and harvested primarily for its fibrous stalks, nutritious seeds, seed oil and naturally high amounts of the cannabinoid CBD.

Hemp is not only one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, but also the strongest natural fiber in the world and believed to be the first crop ever cultivated by humans and spun into usable material, with evidence of its use dating back over 10,000 years. This incredible plant has over 50,000 uses including, nutritious food, clothing, rope, textiles, paper, biodegradable plastic, paint, biofuel, animal feed, medicine and more.


The term Marijuana is used to classify varieties of cannabis that can induce euphoric and psychotropic effects and contain more than 0.3% THC. This variety of cannabis is harvested primarily for recreational and medicinal use and is generally grown in controlled environments to optimise the breeds budding characteristics.

It’s important to note, the term ‘marijuana’ did not exist in the early history of America, with cannabis being the original term commonly used. The name marijuana was introduced in line with scaremongering and racism as the anti-Mexican sentiment gathered pace in the US and by the end of the 1930’s the propaganda film “Reefer Madness” delivered the final blow to negatively perceived cannabis and paved the way to 80 years of prohibition.

Today the term ‘Marijuana’ is associated with outdated stigmas and the botanical name ‘Cannabis’ is far more in line with today’s shifting perceptions.


Both varieties of cannabis can produce high amounts of CBD, however, the THC levels are the defining characteristic between the two, with hemp containing less than 0.3% and marijuana containing up to 30% THC or more in some cases.

It’s also important to note that the CBD compound itself is exactly the same whether it’s derived from either variety of cannabis, although to be legal in the UK, CBD must be derived from hemp containing less than 0.2% THC.

While countries such as Canada and some states in America pioneer forward by recognising the incredible medicinal value marijuana has to offer, outdated laws here in the UK means marijuana still remains illegal this side of the pond for recreational use, with medical marijuana only recently being legalised and beginning to be recognised as a viable medicine for British citizens with certain conditions.


CBD Oil, CBD Extract, Cannabidiol Extract, Hemp Extract, and CBD Hemp Oil, are all names used to describe the substance containing potent phytocannabinoids found naturally in the flowers and leaves (also known as the ‘Aerial parts’) of the cannabis plant.

Additionally (and confusingly) the term ‘’Hemp Oil’ can be used not only to refer to CBD oil as mentioned above but also to refer to Hemp Seed Oil which is something different. Hemp Seed Oil is made from just hemp seeds and although nutritious for the body and good for the skin, Hemp Seed Oil does not contain potent cannabinoids such as CBD.

For more information on this and guidance on what to look for when buying CBD oil online, read our CBD Oil UK: Buyers Guide here.


Evidence suggests that when it comes to cannabinoid wellness the whole-plant is far greater than the sum of its parts. Scientists have discovered that a full spectrum of compounds and cannabinoids from the cannabis plant have a better effect on our body when they work in synergy together, rather than when they are isolated or working alone.

This is very good news for whole-plant wellness advocates such as us here at Cannaba Tree, but not such good news for Big Pharma who may find it difficult to patent a whole plant.

We believe that CBD, along with trace amounts of THC and other health-promoting cannabinoids and whole plant compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids play an important combined role by supporting the mind and body more fully than just CBD working alone. This full-spectrum, synergistic contribution is known as the ‘Entourage Effect‘  and is experienced by users of full-spectrum CBD oil, such as the CBD oil we stock here at Cannaba Tree. 


After the cannabinoids and plant compounds have been derived from the cannabis plant using a specialised extraction process and combined with a natural carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil, CBD can then be consumed in various ways:

• Oil drops under the tongue (Tinctures)
• Inhaled into the lungs (Vaping)
• Consumed in food or capsules (Edibles)
• Applied directly to the skin or in balms and lotions (Topicals)

Each of these methods allows CBD to enter the body at a different rate where it can impact and activate our endocannabinoid system at a cellular level. To learn more about timing guidelines check out our full post How Long Does CBD Take to Work? here.


The Endocannabinoid System (or ECS for short) is a major communication network found in our brain and throughout our entire body and is the key player in maintaining the balance between many different biological functions and processes vital to life and overall health.

shutterstock ECS to use ok e1560944032527

This incredible system essentially governs how we eat, sleep, feel, relax, and experience pain… Yes, it’s a pretty big deal!

When our endocannabinoid system is functioning well, we feel balanced, calm, energised and free from pain. But poor maintenance, accidental damage, and simply natural aging can often lead us to experience endocannabinoid deficiency and we can feel at the opposite end of the spectrum, out of balance, anxious, low in mood and energy, with feelings of dis-ease.

The ECS and its vast network of receptors are perfectly designed to fit with cannabinoids produced naturally by the body and those found in the cannabis plant in a lock and key style system. Messages are passed from cannabinoids to receptor cells inducing various effects that support our mind and body and restore balance in a process called Homeostasis.

CBD however, acts slightly differently and does not directly bind to receptors, but rather influences the ECS indirectly by either blocking or inhibiting harmful compounds or guiding helpful compounds into activated receptor sites where they’re needed.

Picture How Does CBD Work Bright

To learn more about the fascinating Endocannabinoid System, read our full post The Endocannabinoid System and CBD. 


It’s clear our bodies are designed to work with cannabinoids, we have a whole network that interacts exclusively with them and as science continues to study and understand the synergistic relationship between our ECS and whole-plant cannabinoids such as those found in full-spectrum CBD oil, we believe they can be considered essential to our overall health and wellbeing and play a key role in how we function, heal and thrive on a daily basis.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our simple guide, What is CBD Oil? and hope we have provided a good starting point for learning about cannabinoid wellness and CBD.

Many advocates believe whole-plant wellness could be the future of natural health, and considering how much CBD has done for people already, and the fact research on harnessing its full potential is still in its infancy, we might just have to agree.

Thank you for reading this post and be sure to share the leaf love with others that may need it…

We’re Spreading The Word, Nature Does It Best!



If CBD has changed your life, or the life of someone you love, pay it forward by leaving a product review to help someone else have the confidence to try it!

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