What Is CBD

Table of Contents

Cannabis Oil

What Is CBD

Before I explain what types of CBD there is you should know the following. If you do, then skip straight down to the Introduction heading. CBD stands for Cannabidiol. and if you are reading this you heard of this word CAN-NA-BID-I-OL. All across Europe, this product is becoming extremely popular however there many stigmas associated with it. Let’s clear something up a bit first before we move onto what CBD is.

Fruit and cannabis characteristics

What Is Cannabis?

This is a genus plant, meaning there are varieties. Roses would be another example and I am sure you are aware there are many types of roses. In fact, there are around 150species of roses and thousands of hybrids. This should give you an idea of the type of diversity there is with Cannabis. Technically Cannabis is a flowering plant that is part of the Cannabaceae family. There are about 170 species of this that are broken down further. We generally look at “Sativa” “Indica” and “Ruderalis” (some argue that Ruderalis is just used to hybrid the two ) which are 3 species of Cannabis.

We often term Hemp and Marijuana as a species or strains however they technically are not. They are simply broad classifications of Cannabis. It can be very confusing and a good way to describe it is using fruits as shown in the picture.

The Difference Between Hemp And Marijuana

You should now have an idea of how diverse the Cannabis plant is. The next thing to make sure you understand is the difference Hemp and Marijuana. The difference here is easy to determine as it comes down to one item. Before I tell you what that item is you need to understand this item is referred to as a Cannabinoid.  Depending on where you look there is anywhere between 100 to 130 odd Cannabinoids. CBD or Cannabidiol is one of those Cannabinoids (can-na-bin-oids). THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol (tet-ra-hydro-can-na-bin-oil) is another Cannabinoid. It’s this Cannabinoid, THC, and the level that is in the variety that determines whether it is Hemp, Marijuana, legal or not legal.

Re-Cap On CBD And THC

We should have a clearer picture now.To keep it a bit simpler we will use the Industry norm phraseology. Cannabis is referred to by this name if it has levels of THC (the part of the plant that is responsible for getting people high or stoned) above 0.3% in the USA. I will talk about the EU levels below. If this 1 Cannabinoid ( Out of 100 odd ) has a reading of below 0.3% THC then it is classed as a HEMP and deemed legal. Hemp is made up of all the other cannabinoids, terpenes (unsung heroes in my opinion) flavinoids, and other items with one Cannabinoid at a different level, THC.

EU law allowed licensed farmers to grow Sativa Hemp ( Commonly known as Industrial Hemp) at levels of 0.2% THC.  This law did not translate to CBD products. In Ireland, THC is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977 and as of May 2019. There is zero-tolerance to this Cannabinoid being over the limit. Meaning you can grow Hemp as long as it has a THC level below 0.2%. When you manufacture it for consumption in Ireland all the THC must be removed. No CBD product on the market should have any amount of THC in it what so ever.  

CBD Complications

It is a minefield to navigate this industry in terms of the use of language and the Cannabis plant legislation.  CBD inherits this stigma as it is tightly associated with Cannabis. To many, Cannabis is a dirty word with visions of stoners. It is often referred to as the gateway drug.  Then you have the laws like the hoax EU Novel Food Act to contend with. The fact you can’t run a CBD business like other businesses as you cant advertise your products. Payment systems other companies use not open to the industry and the rates are higher. It is difficult to get a business bank account and there is no chance of credit from them. The confusion in relation to the terms above and it can be very difficult for the consumer to understand the industry.

Introduction To CBD

So you now have a better understanding of the Cannabis plant so we can no move ahead. There are 3 main types of CBD on the market right now and some would argue 4. Before we get into this, in all these listed below you can have numerous products that are made from them. They can range from Tinctures, Gummies to Vapes and these all have an impact on the bio-availability of the product.  There are many factors that affect bioavailability and one more is the carrier used to transport the product into your body.

You should also note the type hemp used to make the product as it has an impact. Sativa or Industrial hemp is the only plant that is allowed to be used grown in the EU. This is very restrictive for companies as there are better strains out there.

Additional Factors To Consider When You Buy CBD

Another factor after the plant is sown is what conditions it is sown in and the climate it is in. Two plants could be grown from the same strain in different conditions and the end product quality will differ. A plant that is grown indoors in pots in controlled conditions will be of better quality. A plant that is left to grow outside in weather conditions such as Ireland will not be at the same standard. This is one of the reasons why I choose to import my CBD product from the USA. The strain is Phyto-Cannabinoid Rich Hemp and it is grown in pots in controlled conditions and planted outside to mature in the Californian sun.

The last thing that can affect the quality of the end product is the quality of the production. Many of the EU based companies are playing catch up to the USA manufacturers. All the above 3 points lead to a better standard of product for consumption at the end.


As explained above the Cannabinoid THC plays a role in whether the plant is classed as Hemp or Cannabis. It plays a role here too as if a product has all the other Terpenes, Flavanoids and Cannabinoids naturally present after production, INCLUDING THC then it is classed as a Full Spectrum product. Right now if you see a supplier in Ireland claiming this they are

  • Selling an illegal product due to the fact it is illegal to have THC of any amount in Ireland
  • They have labeled their product incorrectly and they don’t understand the differences.

Regardless of what is claimed the supplier should be able to give the certification (COAS) and laboratory results to confirm its quality and purity.


This is exactly like the above explanation except for one key difference and you guessed it, THC. These products have everything present naturally but ZERO THC in them. This is the type of product we sell here at Prime Spectrum. It is generally a more expensive product due to the fact you have to remove the THC and maintain the quality of the product. We have also removed the Waxes and Chlorophyll to provide a better-tasting product.


CBD Isolates are what it suggests. Pure Cannabidiol (CBD) on its own as a single molecular compound and all the other cannabinoids and terpenes have been removed. It looks good when you see something saying CBD 99.9% pure or Pure CBD and you can be forgiven for thinking this is the case. In 2005 this theory was proven to be false. Think of it like this.

You make a spaghetti bolognese sauce. Then you isolate it so all you get is just the tomatoes. Yes, you have nothing but pure tomatoes but you are missing the salt, pepper and all the other spices and herbs. It’s just not going to taste as good.

Full Spectrum CBD and Isolates just are not the same thing nor do they come close. The same can be said for a Broad-Based Full Spectrum. Once you take out the other cannabinoids and terpenes you are removing vital components that can help. You have removed 100 odd Cannabinoids and 50 odd Terpenes and for me, these are vital to the healing process. You would find this type of CBD in many forms of food that claims to have CBD in them. They are also generally many times cheaper to make.

The above forms can be extremely hard to tell apart as many suppliers don’t label their products right or supply you with the relevant documents.


These are, in short, be any of the above but with added properties. They are mainly CBD ISOLATES with a few other key Cannabinoids added like CBG OR CBN. They can also add other Terpenes to the product as many are desirable for various reasons such as inflammation and pain management.

How CBD Works in The Brain

Many people in Ireland and throughout Europe are using CBD. Those that have found a reputable brand and found their therapeutic dose are enjoying all the benefits CBD has to offer. We get asked so many great questions about CBD but have you ever stopped to wonder what’s going on in the brain after you take CBD. CBD helps us mental and physical in so many ways that many find it hard to believe CBD is real. Clinical trials of CBD’s effects on our body and our brain are limited, however, there is no doubt in our minds that the evidence, scientific and anecdotal show CBD helps and it is not going anywhere.

Wanting To Learn More About CBD?

Ireland is up against it in terms of creating a new Cannabis / Hemp industry. In 2019 a massive €49.7 billion medical and pharmaceutical products were exported from Ireland. It accounted for 33% of all exports in that year and the USA wants these industries back. As you can imagine when 120 companies and about 50 thousand jobs are formed around this industry you can see how they would hold a lot of influence. There is no money in healthy people. Anything that takes from their profits is useless unless of course, they supply it. They are using these figures stated, the Novel Food Act ( scam ), and build on the false stigma placed on Hemp and Cannabis to try to keep people away from CBD.

With the pharmaceutical industry under real threat, you would think that the Government would be looking to fill this massive hole in the finances. Hemp and Cannabis are huge in the EU already. England is one of the biggest exporters of this. Irish farmers and other investors would love to help create a new industry and more jobs around hemp and cannabis. This would include research on the subject however the government continues to block this space.

Your Brain on CBD

What CBD does within your brain from a neurological standpoint explains why it could help you like it has so many others. If you understand the Endocannabinoid system it will help you to see further how CBD impacts the brain receptors in a positive way. There are around 86 billion neurons within the brain and they are constantly communicating with each other. Your body is a protein-making machine and these protein receptors/neurons talk to each other using neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters bind to or talk to other receptors or neurons using such neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. It is pretty much like a lock and a key. Serotonin, the key, will only open or interact with certain neurons or locks.

CBD acts like these neurotransmitters. CBD and other cannabinoids interact with these neurons in various ways helping to keep your body in balance, This process makes it easier on the body’s protein and hormone making systems allowing it to conserve for other times. It also reduces the build-up of Beta-Amyloid which is the by-product of the body’s hormones making. Beta-Amyloid is something your body needs to get rid of every night you sleep. If it doesn’t it would be like a car, not being able to get rid of the exhaust fumes fully. It will cause damage to the engine and eventually it would break down. Beta-Amyloid has been associated with Alzheimer’s, cancers, memory loss and this is to name just a few side effects.

The Indirect Influence of CBD on CB1 Receptors and The ECS

CBD doesn’t have any binding affinity to CB1 receptors in the brain however it reacts with many other organs and body functions in the body. This intern reacts with the brain through what we spoke about above and indirectly has a positive effect on the brain. As the key (CBD) does not react with the brain (LOCK) it does not get you high like THC whos key fits te brains lock. In fact, CBD may block THC from binding to CB1 receptors, which may decrease the negative side effects of THC just like it could block the pain from reaching the brain.

Your body produces the cannabinoid anandamide and CBD helps keeps this at higher levels which keeps us more balanced and less stressed.

CBD on Serotonin Receptors

Serotonin is something I know a lot about and it is one of the main reasons for me discovering and taking CBD. It is one of the most famous neurotransmitters found in the brain and although many people may not know what it does, they have heard of it. It’s responsible for a multitude of different functions, including mood regulation, social behaviour, memory, sleep, and sexual function. Much more research is needed however as touched on above CBD interacts with our neurotransmitters. When serotonin is produced and cannot dissipate as fact due to the interactions then we are able to function a lot better. This explains why many people who take CBD report a mood uplift.

CBD on Dopamine Receptors 

Things we like to do such as eating certain foods or doing certain activities cause dopamine to be released. This action helps us to remember positive behaviors so we can do them again. Dugs are no different especially the ones that are abused by us. These can cause us to feel super great about ourselves and thus we want to take more again. However, this response is forced and not a natural process. There is only so much of one thing the body can produce at the one time. The negative effects associated with drug withdrawal are connected to a decrease in dopamine function and because your body has been forced to produced dopamine when this process is halted the body will struggle to produce the correct levels to keep us in balance.

CBD indirectly influences dopamine by its effect on activating adenosine receptors. Aside from the role adenosine receptors play in cardiovascular function, they also play a significant role in the brain by downregulating the release of dopamine. 

The Conclusion About CBD

  • There are mainly 3 forms of CBD that make up many of the products we see today in Ireland and they are Broad, Isolate, and Infused CBD products. If in doubt ask and you should get the relevant documents to see the makeup of the products. If they won’t supply you with this or you can’t see them then we think it can be safely assumed it that what they are claiming is not true. You should know the type of Hemp used to make your product. The way the plant was grown and the dried plant was manufactured to produce the end product. Your supplier should know this.
  • CBD and the brain’s relationship is very complicated and we do not fully understand it yet. It is being explored heavily and I have said this many times. CBD is no snake oil and the Genus plant Cannabis is not going anywhere. It is increasingly being found to have many positive reactions within our bodies and the science is catching up. With so many positives and little to no negatives, how could we ignore CBD, Hemp or cannabis?
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