What is CBD? Your Burning Questions Answered

CBD Skin Cream with Aloe & Arnica


Zara Kenyon


Gregor Zorn

If you’ve ever asked, ‘what is CBD?’, you’ve come to the right place. At Cannaray, we’re not just committed to bringing you the most premium products; we’re pioneering better CBD education, too.

That’s why – with insight from Cannaray’s Chief Science Officer, Gregor Zorn – we’re answering your most pressing CBD questions, covering where it comes from, its many uses and whether you can pack it on your next city break.

Here's what you need to know...

Cannaray CBD Oil

1. What Does CBD Stand For?

CBD is a shorter, easier way of saying ‘cannabidiol’, which likely brings you to your next question: ‘what is cannabidiol?’ Put simply, it’s a chemical compound produced by the Cannabis sativa plant, which is the most common of all the cannabis plants.

This natural substance is something of a secret weapon in the wellness world, with the ability to interact with your body’s built-in endocannabinoid system. This is how CBD helps to promote homeostasis – the sense of internal balance that all of us strive for.

Cannabis seedlings for CBD

2. What's the Difference Between CBD and THC?

When people hear about cannabis, they often assume it’s going to make them feel ‘high’, but this is only true when THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is involved. THC is responsible for the psychoactive states associated with taking cannabis, but Cannaray’s CBD is entirely THC-free – meaning our products are all non-psychoactive.

Cannaray hemp farm for CBD

3. What Does Hemp Have to Do with CBD?

The words ‘hemp’ and ‘cannabis’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but hemp is actually just one type of Cannabis sativa plant. Its leaves are abundant in CBD, so it’s a great natural source for the supplement. However, its seeds are not, meaning if you see ‘hemp oil’ or ‘hemp seed oil’ for sale, you shouldn't confuse it with CBD oil.

Cannaray CBD range

4. Why is CBD Getting So Much Attention?

CBD is getting a lot of attention right now because unlike THC, it is not intoxicating,” explains Gregor. “It doesn't produce the high that is associated with THC, but studies to date show it may have similar therapeutic effects as THC. However, the ways that CBD and THC actually work in our body are very different.

5. Is CBD Legal?

The legality of CBD depends on the country you’re living in. However, in all locales Cannaray ships to – the UK, the US and most European countries – CBD is legal. That said, it’s always advisable to research the laws around Cannabis in your country (or any countries you’re visiting) before purchasing CBD products.

In Europe

EU regulations state that CBD is allowed, providing the products contain no more than 0.2% THC. However, it’s down to each country to decide how they interpret these guidelines, with some opting to make it legal, and others ruling against all Cannabis products. For example, the UK, France, Germany, and a host of others all say that CBD products can be sold, as long as they’re below the THC limit. However, some countries, such as Denmark and Iceland, have banned CBD, while Austria, Belgium, Finland and a number of other countries state you need a prescription first.

In the United States

According to federal law in America, CBD that’s grown from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC is legal. That means you are allowed to buy it in all 50 United States. 31 of those states also allow for the medical use of marijuana, while 11 have made recreational use of marijuana legal.

6. Will It Show Up On a Drug Test?

CBD will only show up on a drug test if THC is present. That’s why, if you’re taking a test, it’s safer not to use a full-spectrum CBD product. Such blends will only contain trace amounts of the compound – which are legally sound because the levels are so low – but it may be enough THC to trigger a positive drug test.

If you’re worried, opt for broad-spectrum CBD instead. This means the blend will contain plenty of therapeutic terpenes extracted from the Cannabis plant, but the THC will be taken out. All of Cannaray’s products contain broad-spectrum, THC-free CBD, giving you a boost of other complementing compounds with no psychotropic or intoxicating effects.

Woman taking CBD Oil | Cannaray CBD

7. What Does Taking CBD Feel Like?

Now you know that CBD doesn’t cause you to feel ‘high’, what does it feel like? “Taking CBD doesn't change your consciousness,” explains Gregor. “You can still function fully and totally normally”

There have been plenty of other drugs available on the market before to help treat anxiety and depression and these drugs can sometimes come with unwanted side effects, such as headaches, nausea, lethargy and lowered libido, as well as addictive properties.

CBD has risen in popularity as a natural remedy for managing anxiety and depression, particularly due to its lack of unwanted side effects or addictions. “This is one of the areas where CBD is showing great promise in the treatment of anxiety-related conditions” continues Gregor. “Other pharmaceutical drugs often have the unwanted side effects of making you feel a little nonresponsive and zombie-like. CBD doesn't have these side effects, so it's really fascinating to hear what patients who are using CBD are reporting.”(1)

In fact, a recently published case series looking at the effect of cannabidiol on anxiety and sleep concluded that CBD appeared to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications in all but 3 patients out of the 72 participants. Controlled clinical studies are needed to validate the true effects of CBD and we look forward to the further research to come.

Woman meditating

8. What Can CBD Be Used For?

There are a host of reported use cases for CBD, with studies indicating it may help with everything from stress and anxiety to inflammation and sleep disorders. One of the most commonly discussed uses is CBD’s impact on pain, and Gregor explains, “CBD is an analgesic, meaning that it may be useful for pain relief, especially when there is pain due to inflammation.”

He adds: “We can categorise inflammation into two types: acute, which lasts for a short time; and chronic, which lasts for a longer period of time. Chronic inflammation often also causes chronic pain, which can affect long-term health.”

“Inflammation is a part of the reaction of the immune system that's extremely important in the healing process. That's why it's a good idea to have something to mitigate the inflammation. Studies have shown that CBD may have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties, especially in cases where pain arises from some sort of inflammatory process.”(2)

Woman touching face

9. What Else Can CBD Help With?

“CBD may also help with a lot of other less detrimental problems,” says Gregor. *“Some skin conditions can be very problematic and more than just a nuisance. There is preliminary evidence that CBD may also help with certain skin conditions because of its anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation is present in the majority of skin conditions."

A 2014 study looked into the effects on CBD on human sebocytes - the cells in the skin that create sebum. It revealed that CBD has the potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne. Gregor explains,“as an analgesic, CBD may help to prevent the pain, but it is also antipyretic, which means that it may help against the itchiness of many types of skin conditions. It can also be very useful in the treatment of acne. Initial research has shown that CBD can prevent the over-stimulated production of sebum, which is one of the major causes of [blemishes].”

While the results of this initial study are promising, controlled human studies are still lacking, and further reseach is necessary to understand the true impact of CBD on a variety of skin conditions.

What can CBD be used for?

10. How Long Does CBD Stay in the System?

One of the many benefits of CBD is that its results are long-lasting, namely because it takes a while for the enzymes in your body to metabolise it. Typically, the compound stays in your system for three to five days after use, but this timespan can vary from one person to the next. There are a number of factors that affect how long it stays in your system, including the amount of food you eat, how much CBD you use, how often you use it and, of course, your genetic make-up.

11. What Should You Look For in CBD?

High-Quality Plant Extract:

When it comes to high-quality CBD, how the plant is extracted is a vital factor, and every brand approaches this process differently. While many use unpleasant chemicals like CO2 and ethanol, we harness a blend of high pressure and low temperature to gently extract the plant. The result? Uniquely toxin-free, GMO-free, eco-conscious CBD.


For the uninitiated, CBD bioavailability relates to how much of the product is absorbed into your bloodstream, and how effective it will be. It plays a huge role in every product we create, including the CBD Oral Drops, which are blended with coconut oil – a carrier oil that ups absorbency and tastes delicious.

Meanwhile, our CBD Capsules and CBD Curcumin Capsules are infused with 5x VesiSORB Patented Technology – a one-of-a-kind delivery system that increases bioavailability. We’re one of very few brands with access to this innovative tech, making our capsules up to 5x more effective than others.


Look to CBD essentials made with transparency at the forefront; brands that are proud of their extraction process and the way their products are sourced. You’re in the right place at Cannaray, as every capsule, oil or topical that arrives at your doorstep comes with a serial number, so you can track the full production process.

Know your CBDs from your THCs - Our Glossary should help with any tricky terminology

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