What is CBD?

CBD molecular structure

CBD is so hot right now, and if you haven’t jumped on that train yet, it can be intimidating trying to sift through all the information. What do we know about CBD? Where does CBD come from? We’ve got the basics covered!

What does CBD stand for?
CBD stands for “Cannabidiol” (pronounced “can-uh-bid-DYE-ahl”). It is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. It’s one of over 100 cannabinoids produced by cannabis plants that interact with our endocannabinoid system.

Where does CBD come from?
CBD doesn’t come from just any cannabis plant; selective breeding of different cultivars means that the hemp plant that gives us goodies like hemp seed and CBD is the cousin of, but very different from, the cannabis plant that contains high levels of THC. In fact, Manitoba Harvest’s Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract is totally non-intoxicating (less than .01% THC) and derived exclusively from U.S. grown hemp.


The endocannabinoid system
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system (we’ve all got one!) composed of:

  • Endocannabinoids – molecules created naturally within our own bodies
  • the cannabinoid receptors that “read” the molecules’ signals
  • the enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids

The ECS is crucial to our wellbeing; it regulates lots of our psychological and cognitive processes and helps regulate how our bodies react to the trials and tribulations of everyday life. It’s also involved in controlling some of the physical and mental effects of exercise – the ECS contributes to that amazing feeling you get after a great workout! 

How CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system
Think of the ECS as your body’s master regulatory system – its molecules and receptors are present in every major bodily system, so how your ECS is functioning can have a major impact on your wellbeing.

So, our bodies are making cannabinoids all the time, pumping them out and connecting them with ECS receptors in response to stress, illness, or injury, all in an effort to keep us healthy. But like any other biological system, sometimes the ECS may not be functioning optimally.

The proper functioning of our ECS might be why humans have had such a special relationship with the hemp plant for thousands of years. The medicinal properties of the cannabis plant were noted in medical texts as far back as 70 AD!

We know that phytocannabinoids (phyto- meaning “plant”) like CBD that are produced in hemp plants interact with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system the same way that the endocannabinoids (endo- meaning “within”) that our bodies produce naturally do. So, CBD can be a great way to supplement and regulate how your body’s internal system already works.

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract
CBD isn’t the only thing in hemp plants gently nudging us toward a sense of balance and wellbeing – CBD cooperates with hemp’s many phytochemicals to produce a range of effects in the human body (it’s known as the “entourage effect”). Molecules in hemp like terpenes interact with the cannabinoids to enhance the plant’s therapeutic effects.

Full spectrum hemp extract contains all those compounds the hemp plant contains, including THC. Broad spectrum hemp extract is similar, but is THC free.

That’s why many people look to our Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract with CBD as an integral part of their wellness routine without an intoxicating effect. Key benefits are:

  • Manage day-to-day stress by calming the busy mind
  • Help achieve restfulness and wakefulness
  • Help the body recover and restore balance following workouts and physical activity
Coach Jon Aleman Finds Truth and Wellness in the Balance

In short, the human body is weird and complicated. But also really cool! Scientists are learning more every day about the properties of CBD and how it can benefit our wellbeing. At Manitoba Harvest, we believe in the power of hemp and all the potential it has to bring wellness and balance to our lives – our Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract with CBD is a great addition to your daily wellness routine.


The information provided is for informational purposes only. None of the information provided here should be considered medical advice or treatment recommendations. Consult with your health care provider if you have questions about incorporating CBD into your wellness regimen.