The Complete Guide to Understanding What CBD Can Do for You | International Highlife
Charlotte's Web CBD oil

The Complete Guide to Understanding What CBD Can Do for You

From the beauty aisle in the grocery store to the fridge at the gas station and water bottles in yoga studios across the land, CBD is really having a moment. At times it can feel like everybody got the same memo overnight: CBD is the key to wellness, and you need it in your life.

But what exactly is CBD? Taking a look at Charlotte’s Web, one of the oldest and most trusted CBD brands on the market, can help give a better understanding of what CBD actually is and how it can help you.

A short history of Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte Figi began suffering from seizures soon after birth, and by age three, she was having hundreds of seizures per week, including at times for hours on end. Charlotte was eventually diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, and her parents – frustrated and unable to help – discovered a plant compound called cannabidiol, or CBD, through online research.

At the same time, the Stanley brothers were working to develop proprietary hemp genetics that were high in CBD and low in THC — originally called Hippie’s Disappointment as a joking nod to their plants’ non-psychoactive properties.

In 2012, Charlotte’s mother Paige contacted the Stanley Brothers looking for a non-psychoactive natural alternative for her then five-year-old daughter.  After seeing Charlotte’s response to the hemp extract, the Stanley brothers knew that they were onto something big. Then in 2013, the brothers created the CBD company named Charlotte’s Web.

Between 2013 and 2015, thousands of families from around the world moved to Colorado to access CBD products. In many cases, employees of Charlotte’s Web, the Stanley brothers themselves, their mother, Charlotte’s family, and others joined together to help these families get settled, and in some cases opening their homes as temporary housing.

The company that is today known as Charlotte’s Web didn’t start as a company. It started as a mission to help others. Starting with one little girl. Initially, Charlotte’s Web’s extract was something the Stanley brothers gave away to people who could benefit from it. First to a few and then to many.

Today, this mission remains at the core of everything they do — ensuring that people everywhere will have access to a product that can improve their quality of life, naturally.

Why is Charlotte’s ™ CBD different from the rest?

Beyond the company story and mission and frontrunner role in advancing the cause of hemp-based uses, there are many more reasons to try Charlotte’s Web™ products.

From the seeds and soil in which the plants are grown to its hands-on approach to farming, the company’s rigorous standards for quality and consistency are what clearly set it apart from the competition.

All of Charlotte’s Web’s products are the fruit of much love, effort, and care, providing CBD and other beneficial plant-based compounds for a full-spectrum extract of natural goodness.

Charlotte's Web Product Line
The Charlotte’s Web product line includes everything from tinctures to dog treats. (Courtesy Charlotte’s Web)

The company makes all of its products under strict quality control guidelines that cover every production step and safeguard its reputation as the most-trusted hemp brand in the world.

Charlotte’s Web has earned an official stamp of approval from the US Hemp Authority, is verified for compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), and has publicly available Certificates of Analysis (COA) on all of its products accessible on the company website.

This sort of transparency is no small matter, especially considering how fast and loose many CBD companies play when it comes to the purity of their products and the accuracy of their labels.

All plants are grown using sustainable practices, and avoid using toxic pesticides, and herbicides. Charlotte’s Web partners with American family farmers in Colorado, Kentucky, and Oregon, who grow Charlotte’s Web plant genetics. 

What exactly is CBD?

In short, CBD, the abbreviation of cannabidiol, is one of more than 500 chemical compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant.

Like its better-known cousin THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is a naturally occurring substance that holds a plethora of potential health benefits.

But will CBD get me high?

The good news (or the bad news, depending on what you’re looking for) is that CBD does not have any intoxicating effects. So no, CBD will not get you high. It actually can be used to tamper the effects of cannabis if someone is experiencing an especially strong THC high.

CBD products sold in the US have only trace amounts of THC, and in the case of some products — no THC whatsoever.

Charlotte's Web 17 mg CBD oils
All of Charlotte’s Web’s CBD products contain less than the legal limit of THC and will not get anyone high. (Courtesy Charlotte’s Web)

The permissible amount of THC for hemp-derived CBD products to be legally sold varies, depending on where you live (in the US, the allowed THC content is capped at 0.3%, in most of Europe it’s 0.2%, and in Switzerland, the limit is 1%).

This is far lower than that of cannabis varieties available in dispensaries across the country, which can have THC levels that soar well above 25%.

With all of Charlotte’s Web™ CBD products containing 0.3% THC or less, you don’t need to worry about any intoxicating effects, and can freely use CBD and carry on with your day as usual.

Can I fail a drug test with CBD?

Because CBD contains trace amounts of THC, many users are concerned that it could cause them to fail a drug test. According to the National Drug Testing Center, the cutoff level of THC is 50 ng/ml to pass drug tests under the recommendations of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which certifies the labs used for most employer drug tests.

“For those using extremely high levels of CBD or hemp oil (over 2,000 mg per day), it’s possible, though unlikely, that this could produce a “false positive” result on a drug test. Even then, a follow-up test can provide more conclusive results,” the National Drug Testing Center states.

That doesn’t make it impossible though, and according to the NDTC, “if you’d prefer to err on the safe side, refraining from taking even CBD if you’re expecting a drug test is likeliest the best approach.”

Even if you’re not taking huge amounts of CBD (most people start with doses around 10-15 mg per day), some less-reputable brands mislabel their CBD and claim that it does not contain THC, when in fact, their product actually far exceeds legally permissible limits.

If you want to be sure that you actually get what you pay for and don’t risk failing a drug test because of your CBD, only buy from reputable companies that third-party test their products, such as Charlotte’s Web.

What does CBD feel like and what does it do?

CBD products from reputable brands such as Charlotte’s Web can produce a calming, relaxing sensation that many users say can help with everyday stress. An increasing number of early-phase studies of CBD bodes extremely well for its use as a supplement for dealing with the stresses of everyday life.

Many users also swear by its ability to help people calm their nerves to get a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, CBD could have some benefits for you.

Charlotte's Web CBD Gummies Sleep Formula
The Charlotte’s Web Sleep gummies contain 10 mg of CBD and 3 mg of melatonin in every serving. (Courtesy Charlotte’s Web)

There are a variety of other uses for CBD, which many users say can help ease exercise-induced inflammation – this is why many athletes use CBD for sports recovery.

While it may seem that the market is a bit saturated with CBD in everything from sports drinks to lotions to even toilet paper, its soaring popularity is there for a reason, and there’s probably never been a better time to check it out for yourself.

How are hemp oil and CBD oil different?

Hemp has a long and storied history as an especially useful plant for a variety of purposes. Its stalks and stems can be used to make paper and textiles, and the seeds are prized for the making of hemp seed oil. Meanwhile, most CBD oil is made from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant.

With both hemp oil and CBD oil gaining in popularity, many people are scratching their heads, trying to figure out if and how they are different. Simply put, they are very different.

  • CBD oil is made using the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant, which are richer in CBD.
  • Hemp oil, on the other hand, is made from hemp seeds, which do not contain CBD but are rich in fatty acids and all types of nutrients and bioactive compounds.

Many brands use the two terms interchangeably, leading to a lot of consumer confusion. Make sure to read the label of whatever CBD product you buy and check that it does, in fact, contain CBD.

What is full-spectrum hemp extract with naturally occurring CBD?

If you’ve ever taken a gander at a bottle of CBD oil, you’ve probably seen the words “full-spectrum CBD” or “CBD isolate.”

This may sound like industry jargon, but it actually makes a difference in the final product. Full-spectrum CBD products contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, as well as chemicals such as terpenes and flavonoids. CBD isolate products, on the other hand, are made by isolating the CBD specifically during the extraction process.

Charlotte's Web 17mg CBD oil
Charlotte’s Web CBD oils are whole-plant extracts that include a variety of beneficial compounds. (Courtesy Charlotte’s Web)

Which is more beneficial? There’s no black or white answer, but full-spectrum CBD products do have the added benefit of what’s known as the “entourage effect.”

Full-spectrum CBD products are a way to ingest CBD closer to the way that nature intended, but that doesn’t mean it will work best for you. As with a lot of other aspects surrounding CBD, trying different products until you find the one that is right for you is the best way to go.

How is CBD made?

To keep things simple, CBD products are made by extracting CBD and other beneficial compounds from the plant, and then typically mixing it with some sort of base oil like coconut oil or olive oil, among (many) others.

There are several popular extraction methods, and one of the most common is CO2 extraction, which involves pumping CO2 into a chamber containing hemp material, after which it absorbs the oil.

The mixture is then pumped out, and the CO2 returns to its gas state, leaving the CBD oil behind. Liquid solvents like ethanol, butane, and isopropyl alcohol are also used in a similar fashion to CO2 extraction.

Is CBD legal?

The answer to this question obviously depends on where you live. In the US, since the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp cultivation is legal on the federal level, and so are hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC.

The fact that CBD does not have the psychotropic properties of THC means that it is often legal in jurisdictions where marijuana is illegal, thus making things a little confusing.

The 2018 Farm Bill clearly allows the sale, transport, and possession of hemp and hemp-derived products, though states still regulate the cultivation of hemp and the retail sale of CBD products.

Charlotte's Web CBD Dog Treats Calm
Charlotte’s Web dog treats can help your four-legged friend feel their best. (Courtesy Charlotte’s Web)

The FDA has so far approved only one CBD product for medical use – Epidiolex — a CBD isolate oral solution used to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.

Be wary of brands that claim to be able to treat or heal all kinds of conditions. These claims have not been approved by the FDA, and are actually illegal to make.

Alright, so where should I get started?

 Gone are the days of brands having only one or two products available, and the huge variety of different CBD products on the market can be overwhelming if you’re just getting into CBD.

 Luckily, Charlotte’s Web has a Starter Kit that includes all of the company’s favorite products in a handy sample size. In the kit, you’ll find a 10ml bottle of Original Formula CBD Oil, a lavender hemp-infused roll-on, a small pack of Recovery CBD gummies, and a small pack of Sleep CBD gummies.

 This gives you a great opportunity to try out different formulations and ways of taking CBD.

 If you’re still looking for a little bit of guidance, take the Charlotte’s Web beginner’s quiz and let it guide you in the right direction.

 Good luck on your CBD journey, with Charlotte’s Web you’re in good hands.