CBD 101

A brief history of our human relationship with CBD

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the hemp plant. It typically comes from the hemp plant, which contains less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, most CBD is not psychoactive and will not produce any psychoactive effects in its user – still, its popularity today comes from its unique properties.

In recent years, CBD has become an exciting topic in the world of health and wellness. With research deepening our understanding of it, you might think CBD is a fairly new trend, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The history between humans and hemp stretches back over 5000 years, with different cultures using the plant for medicinal, trading, and religious purposes globally.

The earliest documented use of hemp dates back to around 2800 BC in central Asia. Emperor Shen Nung – widely considered the father of Chinese medicine – listed it in his pharmacopeia, a publication of 365 different medicines derived from the natural world.

The hemp plant appears throughout Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Indian and Arabic history – but our modern-day relationship with it is just as fascinating. With new studies emerging on its effectiveness and impact, CBD is creating a profound shift in the way we address health and wellness.


We believe you should have the highest quality CBD available on planet earth.

the science of CBD

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (kan-uh-buh-dahy-uhl), or CBD for short, is a chemical compound found in the hemp plant. While there are a number of hemp plant species, CBD is usually extracted from the flowers of the hemp plant. It belongs to a group of compounds known as cannabinoids.

CBD is one of 66 chemical compounds found in the hemp plant. The most well-known of these compounds is THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid, but CBD (and CBD products) will not typically produce any psychoactive effects in its user.

By law, CBD can only be extracted from hemp. Legally and scientifically, the plant has to adhere to certain guidelines to be classified as hemp. Hemp is a plant with a THC concentration that does not exceed 0.3 percent of its dry weight, at any point during cultivation whether the plant is fully grown or still maturing.

The CBD found in most products is a concentrated extract. Distilleries can extract CBD from a hemp plant in a few ways, but the three most common commercial methods are:

- Solvent extraction
- Olive oil extraction
- CO2 extraction


As mentioned, CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol.

Despite how prevalent CBD (and THC) is throughout human history, the individual compounds were only discovered in 1940. That year, Robert S. Cahn, a British chemist, became the first researcher to identify the structure of cannabinol (CBN).

American chemist, Roger Adams, was the first to successfully isolate CBD two years later. No other cannabinoid had ever been isolated before then. Not long after, Adams went on to discover and isolate THC, and this research is part of the reason we know so much about those two compounds today.

Thanks to the popularity of the plant in the ancient world, the hemp plant has many derivatives. One source is the Greek word for hemp: kannabis. The root word for hemp is also present in Armenian (kanap), Russian (konoplja), Persian (kanab), and Lithuanian (kanapės) etymology.


As Cahn and Adams discovered, the compound CBD comes from the hemp plant, but we’ve learned a lot more about its origins since then. CBD was the first cannabinol isolated and studied, but a hemp plant has more than 400 compounds in total.

Like 6% of all flowering plant species, hemp is dioecious, meaning a plant will have either male or female reproductive organs. Identifying the gender of a hemp plant is an important part of the growing process as it affects the composition of its compounds.

To produce seeds, male and female hemp plants need to be grown together so they can cross-pollinate. This is how cultivators develop new strains and select the desired genetics in their plants. However, to grow plants that can produce high concentrations of cannabinoids, the male and female plants need to be separated before they can cross-pollinate.

That’s easier said than done. Hemp pollen can travel up to 7 miles at high wind speeds. For this reason, growers tend to favor working in greenhouses or with indoor growing setups to create ideal environments. For outdoor growers, the best bet is usually removing all the male plants before they flower and start producing pollen.

While a male hemp plant will only flower for two to four weeks in ideal conditions, it can still produce 350 000 pollen grains in that time.

When the male plants are removed, the female hemp plants can grow unfertilized, saving the energy they would have poured into seed production. This frees up more energy to produce sensimilla – the dense, seedless buds we typically associate with hemp. These buds are what produce the higher concentrations of cannabinoids.

In unfertilized female hemp plants, these buds produce CBD in abundance while containing very low THC levels. That’s what makes female hemp plants the most popular source of CBD extract. Not only do they produce a high yield of CBD, but their makeup falls in line with the guidelines in the 2018 Farm Bill.


The ECS is a vast biological system that regulates important processes in the body including pain, mood, stress, and sleep to maintain perfect balance – homeostasis.

Our bodies are constantly regulating temperature, hydration, oxygen levels, internal pressure, etc. to keep the body in balance and achieve homeostasis – equilibrium with all of your physiological processes.

The ECS is also responsible for communication between your cells. As for the name, we have Czech analytical chemist, Lumír Hanuš, to thank for that.


One reason THC has psycho-intoxication effects is that it binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your endocannabinoid system. Its interactions with those receptors give it a powerful effect. Because this system is also tied to functions like mood, appetite, sleep, and immune responses, it can produce the effects we commonly associate with the psycho-intoxication effects of THC, like relaxation and enhanced appetite.

In the simplest terms, we experience these effects because of where each receptor is located. Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) is tied to the central nervous system. Cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) is in the peripheral nervous system.

CBD has a slightly different relationship to your endocannabinoid system.

While we're still learning about the full extent of the ECS, researchers believe that CBD doesn’t bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, although it does still influence them. Still, its negligible binding ability is partly why it doesn’t produce the same effects as THC.


As fascinating as the science behind CBD is, you may be wondering how people use it anyway. CBD extract is an extremely versatile compound. Not only does this give product makers a range of options, but it also offers consumers interesting ways to take it.

Before we get into some of the products available to you, let’s look at the different delivery methods and some considerations for each. Broadly speaking, there are three popular reasons to use CBD: for skincare, body care, and general wellness reasons.


Oral administration is just a fancy term for applying something to the mouth. The products used orally are dropped, sprayed, or dissolved in the mouth, and they are often quick and convenient to apply for that reason. Some consumers prefer this method of applying CBD for the convenience, as these products are often easy grab-and-go items that can be placed in easily accessible places around the home, and consumers prefer the portability and ease of placing these in a purse, travel bag, next to the nightstand, wherever you need it!

CBD products taken by oral application include:

- Tinctures
- Sprays
- Oils
- Lozenges
- & More!


Of course, there are quite a few CBD products that you can ingest normally. Edibles are the most common and they can offer a fun delivery method, but there are some trade-offs.

Research suggests ingesting CBD subjects it to the “first pass effect” – a process that can reduce its potency. A recent study on the effect explored how a drug ingested orally loses its concentration as it moves through metabolizing sites like the liver before it reaches the site of action.

Simply put, a substance breaks down as it moves through the body, so it isn’t as effective by the time it reaches its destination. Ingested CBD first has to pass through the liver and digestive tract before it reaches the bloodstream.

This is often what creates the delay between when you ingest an edible and when you feel it. You may only end up processing about 20 to 30 percent of the CBD too. Even with all that, CBD edibles continue to sell well, and some of the most popular edibles out there include:

- Gummies
- Mints
- Truffles
- Desserts
- Chocolate
- Tea


Topicals are designed to be applied directly to the skin.

Because they’re applied directly to the skin, CBD topicals could be effective in restoring the skin’s healthy appearance.

The effectiveness of the CBD products is also related to considerations like the quality of the other ingredients contained in the products!

CBD topicals are most popular as:

- Balms
- Lotions
- Salves
- Creams

How does CBD work?

So, we know that – as a cannabinoid – CBD interacts primarily with your endocannabinoid system. The human body naturally produces its own version of these compounds – another discovery that widened our understanding of human biology.

Endogenous cannabinoids – or endocannabinoids – are naturally occurring neurotransmitters. The “endo” prefix just means “within” or “inner” – indicating that they’re produced inside your body.

These neurotransmitters send signals that help your ECS regulate important processes like immune responses, stress, mood, and physical discomfort. When one of these processes is out of balance, your ECS produces them to help regulate your body. Once the endocannabinoids fulfill their functions, enzymes in the ECS break them down again.

So what does this have to do with CBD?

Well, although the results are the same, different studies have different theories. Many experts believe that CBD stops enzymes from breaking down the body’s natural endocannabinoids, allowing them to have more of an effect. Because researchers are still learning about the ECS, some believe CBD could be binding to a receptor they haven’t found yet.

While some scientific perspectives differ, most agree on the general effects caused by this interaction. But what exactly are these effects, and what are their potential benefits to us?

What does CBD feel like?

Every person is different, so the sensations you feel when you take CBD can vary. Generally, its effects are subtle but engaging, leaving you calm and relaxed. Depending on the product and the delivery method, it can take anything from 15-45 minutes for the effects to take place.

CBD doesn’t alter your mental state and will not leave you feeling intoxicated. Now, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good! It stimulates many beneficial processes throughout the body that add up to a uniquely pleasant experience.

The relaxation can be euphoric in its own right, but this is down to the mellowing effects of relief.

Are there side effects to taking CBD?

As with any health product, you should consult with your physician before use.

Which CBD products are right for me?

Well, this depends on the benefits you’re most interested in.

For general wellness, tinctures are always a good option. Tinctures offer a lot of versatility – you can take them sublingually or by ingestion. As a high-concentration solution, you can manage the dosage and take it in fun ways, like dropping a serving portion in your favorite beverage.

These qualities make it a beginner-friendly product for people new to CBD treatment, and for people interested in using CBD daily.

Topicals are still the number one product type for dealing with localized and surface ailments. Depending on your needs, you can opt for a daily balance oil or a relief balm that can target tense areas.

At ANTARA, we also offer collections – curated hampers of complementary CBD products that focus on specific effects.

How much do I take of a particular product?

There is no set rule for how much of a given product you should take, especially with the variables involved. The delivery method can change how much CBD you ultimately react to. Your tolerance to certain products might even change over time.

Of course, the biggest variable is that you can often buy the same product at different concentrations. If you’re new to CBD, the rule of thumb is: that it’s better to start low and build to the desired level. Of course, the biggest variable is that you can often buy the same product at different concentrations. If you're new to CBD the rule of thumb is that it's better to start low and build to the desired level. While using CBD daily, pay attention to your body's response and adjust as needed.

That said, CBD intake doesn’t have to be a guessing game – in fact, it shouldn’t be. All of our products come with detailed instructions and information to help you regulate your intake and manage your experience.

What to look for in a CBD product

The world of CBD is vast and constantly expanding. As exciting as this is, it can be a little intimidating if you’re not sure where to start. So what qualities should you look for in CBD products and the vendors that sell them?

Well, we can only start with ourselves.

Guiding principles

The ANTARA Organics Collection was born out of a desire to provide a deeper sense of wellness in our constantly connected world. As a result, our model is driven by a set of ethics that promote sustainability, community empowerment, and clean production practices.

Sustainable sourcing

Our hemp is sourced locally. We partnered with an organic farm in Colorado, where our products are made, which provides a more environmentally friendly seed-to-shelf cycle.

Clean extraction process

Our local distillation partner uses a patented extraction method that completely removes harsh chemicals from the process. The result is a self-cleaning extraction process similar to cold press technology – without the additives.

Cruelty-free, environmentally friendly

As a vegan company, we use 100% cruelty-free formulas, and our box-free products are stored in recyclable glass bottles.

Health-first approach

When it comes to our products, we’re governed by quality, transparency, and mindfulness. ANTARA products come with extensive insights to help you make informed decisions, with information on:

- Key ingredients
- Serving ratios
- How-to-use instructions
- Description of the effects

We use full-spectrum hemp extract, which contains CBD and all the naturally occurring compounds in the plant, such as essential oils, fatty acids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids.

Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons found in plants. They are the reason lavender, eucalyptus, and orange have their distinct smells. Aromatherapy oils and other holistic medicine rely on the mood-lifting properties of terpenes. The hemp plant contains over 100 terpenes, with beneficial properties that work together with cannabinoids.

Full-spectrum CBD has been found to be more effective than CBD isolate, as it incorporates the “entourage effect,” which magnifies the plant’s benefits when all the compounds work together.

Does CBD Expire and Does CBD Oil Go Bad?

Much like any other consumable product, CBD does expire. Over time, CBD can lose its potency, its effectiveness and eventually become “stale.” The shelf life of CBD products can vary depending on various factors such as the type of product (CBD oil tincture vs. CBD balm), the ingredients used, how it is stored, and whether or not the product uses preservatives to keep a longer shelf life.

In general, CBD oil typically has a shelf life of about 1 to 2 years. ANTARA Organics’ tinctures and balms have a shelf life of 2 years and our CBD oil and bath truffles have a shelf life of about 18 months. To maximize the shelf life of our CBD products, it's crucial to store them properly. You may use general tips for extending the shelf life of CBD products, like storing CBD products in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, and sealing the container tightly to reduce exposure to air. Exposure to sunlight/heat and air can lead to oxidation and degradation of CBD.


CBD is rapidly transforming the world of wellness and creating a profound shift in the way we address health. Scientists are seeking answers about how CBD impacts the way we feel and function. Researchers continue to study the effects of CBD on the body, including its ability to assist in a number of ways including:

Overall Wellness • Stress • Sleep • Pain • Anxiety • Inflammation • Skin Redness • Skin Tone • Acne • Fine Lines • Radiance


We use full-spectrum CBD oil, which contains all the naturally occurring compounds in the plant, such as essential oils, fatty acids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD has been found to be more effective than CBD isolate, as it incorporates the “entourage effect,” which magnifies the plant’s benefits when all the compounds work together.

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