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CBD For Newbies: What Is CBD?

CBD Basics

CBD Legal

How CBD Works

CBD Products

What The Hemp

How Is CBD Made?

CBD Fast Lingo

Full Spectrum CBD: CBD that contains 0.3% THC. 

THC-ND: CBD that contains less than 0.0% THC or a non-detectable amount.

Carrier Oil: Oils that help the body absorb CBD.

MCT Oil: A type of carrier oil that helps the body digest CBD, preserve, and increase energy.  

COA: Certificates of Analysis are made to assure testing and quality standards are met.

Endocannabinoid System: The system in the human bodies Central Nervous System that maintains homeostasis.

CBD: The non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in industrial hemp.

THC: The psychoactive cannabinoid found in industrial hemp.

CBD Isolate: The powder form of CBD that contain zero trace of THC.

Cannabinoid: Naturally occurring and beneficial chemicals found in plants.

Cannabidiol Oil: CBD oil.

Homeostasis: Our bodies natural resting state.

CBD Basics

What Is CBD?

CBD is not one thing, but many things. In a nut shell, it is a non-psychoactive, natural, harmless, molecule. There are many falsehoods people have with CBD partly due to its strong association with the more abusive cannabinoid, THC.

CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid (canna-bin-oid) found in the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are active compounds found in industrial hemp. Much mystery surrounds the complete benefits of CBD, but it has been used in the past for medicinal purposes. It is most commonly wanted for calming nerves, anxiousness, and other stresses while also having a relieving side for muscle aches, joint discomforts, neck tightness, and back irritations among the few.

What Is A Cannabinoid?

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemicals that reside in plants such as the hemp plant. While new research continues on exactly how many cannabinoids hemp contains, there has been an identified 113 cannabinoids, CBD and THC the most well known among them.

Types of Cannabinoids

There are types of cannabinoids? Yes, there are three types of cannabinoids, those that are within plants, those that are part of the human body, and those that are synthetically created.

🌿 Phytocannabinoids – natural plant occurring cannabinoids

🌿 Endocannabinoids – the cannabinoids found in your body

🌿 Synthetic cannabinoids – lab synthesized cannabinoids

CBD is called a phytocannabinoid to be more specific. These are cannabinoids that are found naturally in plants. Phytocannabinoids are thought to have the role of protecting their plants from UV radiation or pestilence. 

Our bodies make their own endocannabinoids or endogenous cannabinoids. These are created in our Central Nervous system’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Endocannabinoids do much to regulate our sleep, pain levels, inflammation, and other immune system factors. Sometimes our bodies lack the proper amount of endocannabinoids, which is why taking phytocannabinoids such as CBD can play such an impactful role toward our health. 

Another type of cannabinoid is synthetic. A good example of a synthetic cannabinoid would delta 8 THC. Synthetic cannabinoids are made through alterations of the chemical structures of other phytocannabinoids. They too can be beneficial. 

Types of CBD Oil

CBD oil is also called cannabidiol oil. There are different types of cannabidiol oil, some being powders. Some have THC, some don’t. Some work better in certain products more than others. Your brand of choice should clearly state what kind of CBD they used in their products.

The “Safe” One: CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is pure CBD. Isolate is processed down to a white dissolvable powder that does not contain any other phytocannabinoids, only CBD. Many companies are CBD isolate only. 

The Favorite: Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

Broad spectrum CBD oil contains a broad array of phytocannabinoids, but no THC. 

The Watery One: Water Soluble CBD

Water soluble CBD is the micro particles of CBD. This type of CBD is H2O compatible. It dissolves in water for high bioavailability.

The Best One: Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD oil contains CBD, THC, and a plethora of other phytocannabinoids and other natural hemp plant properties like flavonoids, terpenes, fatty acids, and chlorophyll. This rich mix of phytocannabinoids work fluently together to promote better health and wellbeing.

What Is Full Spectrum CBD?

CBD companies pull this one on newbies all the time and it will be the one you will most see. A full spectrum CBD product contains the legally safe 0.3% THC amount. So when you see products labeled as full spectrum, there is a very insignificant amount of THC included. CBD and THC have a very similar chemical structure, which make them great companions. Some prefer full spectrum products because CBD and THC go together so well. 

What Is THC-ND CBD?

You may have seen this term floating around in the atmosphere. THC-ND is a category of products that have less than 0.0% THC. Isolate and broad spectrum CBD fall into this category. This also can mean “THC free” or that there is a non-detectable amount of THC. Newbies to dabbers in CBD are often set off by any indication of THC in a product, making THC-ND products a great option.

What Is CBD Isolate?

If you refine and process CBD long enough, it becomes a complete powder, free from any THC. Powders are great form of CBD for when products need complete dissolvement. CBD beverages like shots, coffees, and teas typically will have CBD isolate over oil because the oil does not dissolve.

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CBD Legal

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Is CBD Legal?

Yes, despite the never ending confusion society has displayed on the legalities of CBD, it is legal. CBD became federally legal in late December of 2018 through the Farm Bill. Among the many programs that were implemented by the signing of this document, the commercialization of hemp began. Each state can approve or disapprove CBD usage or certain products. For example, CBD drinks may be okay in a state, while CBD tinctures may not. Check your state laws regarding CBD. 

Is CBD Approved By The FDA?

CBD is legal, but it is not with approval by the Food and Drug Administration. This is because extensive research has not been done into the exact medical value of the substance. The only FDA approved drug containing a slight amount of CBD is Epidiolex, a treatment option for patients with sever epilepsy. 

Is CBD A Drug?

CBD was determined by the FDA to not be a drug. The agency explains that, “Under the FD&C Act, any product intended to have a therapeutic or medical use, and any product (other than a food) that is intended to affect the structure or function of the body of humans or animals, is a drug.” A drug is any product with the ability to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose a disease or condition. CBD has not reached that level of assurance.

Is CBD Legal Outside of The United States?

International rules surrounding CBD are blurry as they vary from country to country. Because it is unclear as to the legal status of varying countries on the consumption or application of CBD, hōlus and many other brands do not ship outside of the United States. 

Is CBD Medicinal?

CBD is not technically termed as a medicinal supplement. It cannot heal, treat, or diagnose a problem or condition because it is not approved by the FDA, but that does not mean is does not have has some significant benefits. Our bodies use cannabinoids indirectly because we each have an endocanniboid system that allows the two to interact. CBD may be very helpful in providing relief and other needs you have that are keeping you from feeling the best you can feel. 

Check your state laws regarding CBD here

CBD Products

What Products Are There?

When it comes to CBD products, there are plenty to choose from. We will get further in depth as we continue, but for now there are six categories to introduce.

  • CBD Topicals (roll on, creams, lotions, patches, face serums, face masks, lip balms, sprays, bath bombs)

  • CBD Tinctures 
  • CBD Beverages (shots, coffees, teas)
  • CBD Smokables (vapes)
  • CBD Edibles (chocolates, gummies)
  • CBD Capsules

Do All CBD Products Contain THC?

Not all CBD products contain THC. For those not comfortable with THC content, look for products that are THC-ND or “THC-free”. These products will not contain a detectable amount of THC (>0.0%).

Is CBD Safe?

Despite the FDA’s concerns over CBD, the WHO’s review on the safety of CBD was positive as of a report given to the public November 2018. Experts determined that recreational use and potential abuse was not a concern to the well being of the public. Furthermore, the WHO has encouraged the international posture of CBD to shift more positively as benefits were highly recognized. Still, the Food and Drug Administration’s stance remains unchanged.

Will Hōlus CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?

The consumption of CBD has no guarantees that it will not show up on a drug test. Field screening is not as sophisticated as a full on lab test, and may pick up on trace amounts of THC. Regardless of the type of CBD, trace amounts of THC may be detected causing a failed drug test. Much like the poppy seed muffins and bagels we all love and enjoy may spring a positive opioid drug test, consumption of certain CBD products may lead to the detection of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). By nature hemp contains THC, and by law it must be no more than 0.3% THC. If you are in a position where daily screening and testing takes place, consult with your healthcare provider prior to consuming CBD products.

Who Can Take CBD? 

CBD is a relatively safe cannabinoid not likely to induce psychoactive effects like THC does. The FDA is unclear as to the age restrictions of CBD. Many companies ask age verification before entrance to their site. Typically ages 18 and older is the set age to purchase and use CBD because some sites sell smokables.

Does CBD Oil Expire?

CBD degrades over time. The average shelf life of CBD oil is 1-2 years or 24 months. Quality, ingredients, storage, packaging, and the extraction process all can affect the duration of time before your CBD oil expires. 

“As long as the samples are sealed in an air free environment and not exposed to light, they will have no significant degradation over the 1-2 year shelf life we put on our products.  If they are exposed to light and there is oxygen present, there will be an ~10% decrease in potency over 1 year.” 

says Douglas Fryer, quality control Manager with Nemadji. 

Read full article Does CBD Expire?

What Is A COA?

You may have heard the term COA, but what does that mean? A COA stands for certificates of analysis. These are great assets to customers and all CBD companies should carry them. Why? Certificates of Analysis assure testing standards and quality. 

CBD is made in batches. These batch records or COA’s, record the safety of your product from any unwanted contaminants, pesticides, heavy metals, residuals, and toxins. In addition to documenting chemical treacants, testing is also important to ensure THC levels. Because hemp contains small levels of THC, it is important to make sure that your product contains no more than 0.3% THC as is the federally safe and legal amount.

How Do I Choose A Product That Fits Me?

Let’s face it, online shopping either sucks or is the best thing mankind has developed. Online shopping can lead you down rabbit trail after rabbit trail if you don’t know what you want, period. Instead, focus on your personal wellness goals. CBD is taken for a variety of reasons. What are your reasons? 

  • General health (I am looking to up my health game)
  • Curiosity (Sometimes it does cut it)
  • Knee discomfort (My knees have a hard time)
  • Back aches (My back needs a new source of relief)
  • Sleep (My body just doesn’t love sleep)
  • Stress (I get stressed easily or I have a lot on my plate daily)
  • Sports (Looking for relief during your high energy activities?)
  • Recovery (Trying to find a better recovery strategy?)
  • Calm (Peace is something you live for)
  • Anxiousness (I get easily anxious about small things. Its hard to manage my stress)
  • Focus (You have a hard time focusing and get easily distracted)
  • For the experience? (CBD is something new, why not try it?!) 
  • Joint problems (I have constant discomfort in my joints)
  • A last resort (tried everything else, lets give this a shot)
  • Weight loss (I am trying to get myself together)

You know your body, we know the science. What do you value? 

  • Quality (I am not cheap. I have high standards)
  • Vegan (You prefer vegan or you are 100% vegan)
  • Organic (You prefer the organic stuff)
  • Sugar free (I am watching my weight)
  • Travel accessibility (I commute or travel regularly)
  • Easy (If its easy to use, its for me)
  • Kosher (I have Jewish standards)
  • Speed (Need it fast!)
  • Taste (I have a culinary touch) 

Values vary from person to person, understand what you value the most. Needs change and what might fit you now, may not fit you later. It is a never ending cycle. Simple little things can help you find the right product like quizzes or reviews, but it all starts with knowing what you want in terms of your needs and quality. 

What Do I Look For In A CBD Brand?

Transparency, transparency, transparency! A company that is not transparent is not right for you. Several hundred warning letters have been issued by the FDA from 2015 to 2021 for products found to not claim the levels of CBD they promised to contain.

There are many things to look for in a CBD brand and transparency is among the top. Here’s an easy and thought provoking list to help you find a trustworthy company with customer health and transparency in mind. 

1. Do some investigation into hemp sourcing. The United States has one of the strictest hemp production systems based on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). If hemp is derived outside of the USA, pay close attention to COA’s.

2. Verify that the CBD brand grows and manufactures its own hemp and CBD products. Many new CBD users get ripped off by outsourced generic white labeled products.

3. Consider the extraction methods behind the scenes by which they create their products. CO2 is likely the safest process rather than ethanol (alcohol). 

4. Review the Certificates of Analysis especially if the hemp is grown outside of the United States as many soils outside the U.S. can be harmful with unknown pesticides, toxins, and heavy metals.

5. If the company claims products are organic without the USDA seal, double check all ingredients making sure hemp and other ingredients are fully organic

Read full article How To Read A COA

How CBD Works

The Endocannabinoid System And CBD

Our endocanniboid system (ECS) consists of endocannabinoids. An endocannabinoids main priority is to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is our our bodies natural resting state. It is the main factor that keeps our bodies stable and balanced. Without our ECS, our bodies’ functions would soon deteriorate. CBD promotes a well balanced and healthy bodily state by resupplying and “helping” our bodies natural supply of endocannabinoids.

Our ECS consists of…

  • Two cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2. These receptors control the effects CBD.
  • Two endocannabinoids naturally produced in our bodies called anandamide and 2-Arachnidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Endocannabinoids maintain balance.
  • Enzymes that destroy and synthesize endocannabinoids – fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monocluhlycerol lipase (MGL).

What Do Receptors Do?

Our ECS primarily consists of receptors, two in particular which we highlighted. Think of receptors has messengers. They send signals to the brain and boss cannabinoids around. 

They are heavily involved in our pain perception, memory, metabolism, inflammation, sleep, and mood. 

Is CBD Psychoactive?

We answer this question here because it has a lot to do with CBD’s interaction with receptors.

THC has an affinity for binding to CB1 receptors. This binding causes strong signals to send to the brain, which is why THC has such a strong effect. CBD on the other hand cannot bind to these receptors. They merely interact with them. They also tend to counterbalance THC’s relationship with receptors. While CBD does affect our brains, it is non psychoactive to the extent it will not cause a high like THC.

The Role CBD Plays In Your Health

CBD has many hats! It plays a variety of roles on the stage of our health and well being. The most complex and important one however, is its ability to maintain balance or homeostasis. We all seek well balanced lifestyles. In work, relationships, family, and most importantly our health. CBD promotes balance by encouraging our endocannabinoids to do their job and assist where needed. That stress your feeling? CBD combats that and brings back that needed balance.

There are a surplus of reason people take CBD. 

  • To promote tranquility
  • To reduce stress or anxiousness
  • To support a good nights sleep
  • To encourage focus
  • To promote healthy skin
  • To support internal balance
  • To relax mood
  • To reduce mild discomfort

What Is The Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect is the unearthed idea that cannabinoids are more efficient and effective toward our bodies when they are working together rather than alone. 

Think of cannabinoids as family. CBD is more comfortable and stronger in doing what it does best when its with its family of cannabinoids. CBD oil that contains its family members THC, CBD, CBG, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids is more beneficial to the human body than oil that is stripped of these. 

Not everyone, beginners especially, is comfortable with THC. And for that reason, broad spectrum products exist. This oil contains CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes, but no THC. This is just half of the entourage effect. 

The fullest and most natural CBD oil is full spectrum, which will allow CBD to be its full self. In conclusion, if you want the full experience, look for products that are full spectrum. 

As a beginner, you may just want to dip your toes, and that’s just fine. Broad spectrum CBD is half the entourage effect. We recommend beginners start there, but again experience is everything.

What Are Carrier Oils?

Carrier oils are plant based oils that “carry” other oils that can’t be absorbed by our bodies or used by themselves. They also play a role in product preservation. While CBD is naturally welcomed in by the human body, it is not absorbed very easily. CBD needs a piggy back ride or carry of sorts for our bodies to digest or feel the effects of CBD. This is why carrier oil choice is so important. Coconut oil is just one of several carrier oils, including almond oil, argon oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, and many more. 

Is CBD Antioxidant? 

Much like blueberries, CBD has been linked to antioxidant properties according to U.S. patent 1999/008769. Antioxidants protect the skin against free radicals, like UV radiation or second hand smoke. Free radicals are harmful to the body as they damage cells, causing an increased likelihood of illness and aging. Take your antioxidants. Vitamin C and A are two popular anti-oxidant vitamins.

Can Pets Have CBD?

Pets also have an endocannabinoid system. You heard that right, all animals, birds, reptiles, and fish have an endocannabinoid system. Now, we wouldn’t suggest giving your pet bird a good dose of CBD, but it has been very popular with dogs, cats, and even horses.

Animals ECS works in a similar way to ours, controlling stress, sleep, appetite, and more. CBD may be just what your pet’s need for those lonely days or loud evenings. Before giving your pet CBD, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian.

Check out our CBD dosage calculator for your pets!

What The Hemp

What Is Hemp?

Hemp is the plant source for a broad range of cannabinoids, like CBD, THC, CBG, and many more. Hemp produces a small amount of THC. The percentage of THC in hemp plants are heavily regulated in the U.S. In the United States, industrial hemp must contain no more than 0.3% THC. Thousands of hemp crops are burned each year for passing the THC percentage standard. The European Union has an even less THC limit, at 0.2% and UK is 0.0%.

Hemp CBD Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil

To a new comer, every term containing hemp and oil or hemp and extract or CBD, may be confused as one and the same. It’s an age old trap, but hemp extract and CBD are not the same as hemp seed extract or even hemp seed oil.

What Is Hemp Extract?

Hemp extract is another word for CBD. Ya got lucky this time. So when you see hemp extract, think CBD as both are one and the same and extracted from the same plan parts.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is the extract from the stems, stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant. CBD oil is actually CBD. This oil is what is used in hōlus products. 

What Is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant, not the plant itself. Hemp seed extract is also the same as hemp seed oil. It is a common cooking ingredient and beauty industry fad. This type of oil is processed from cold pressing hemp seeds. It is a green colored oil often used in the beauty industry for skin health. The hemp seed itelf does not contain any THC, making hemp seed oil a THC-ND product.

To recap: hemp oil aka hemp seed oil are one and the same. Hemp extract aka CBD oil are one and the same.

How Is CBD Made?

CBD is made via extraction. Many cannabinoids are in the hemp plant and in order to isolate certain ones, you must separate plant from compound. There is a whole science behind such an idea, which we call separation science. Hōlus is built and founded by such science. 

While many consumers may know what they want in a CBD product, the behind the scenes creation process is often overlooked. There are two primary extraction methods, ethanol extraction and CO2 extraction, and we will compare and contrast as these two processes vary in efficiency to create quality CBD oil.

While many companies slide over how they make their CBD, we are highly transparent when it comes to our process. Why? Because, it is the best. us was founded by a 10 year industry leader in botanical and hemp extraction. Our team is very knowledgeable when it comes to the safety behind the scenes of making the CBD products you love.

What Is Winterization: the process of removing fats and waxes from hemp extract. 

What Is CO2 Extraction?

Lets start with CO2 extraction. What is it? CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide (CO2) in liquid form as a solvent for saturating hemp biomass and stripping the plant of its important compounds. CBD also goes through a winterization process (an oil refinement step), where only a small amount of food grade ethanol is used for it to work. 

Hōlus uses this separation technique for a several important reasons. 

  • Glean & Green: CO2  extraction is cleanest method period. Contamination is hardly an issue with CO2. In addition, it is the most environment friendly option as it does not contribute to harmful emissions into the environment when recycled properly. It is appropriately termed “Clean and green” because of this.
  • Cost Efficient: In comparison to other extraction solvents, CO2  is far less expensive. CO2  by the pound costs an average of four cents compared to ethanol, which we will discuss shortly, which can get up to $4. 
  • Safest For Consumers: There are no leftover chemical denaturants or other contaminants left over in a product that has been CO2 extracted. Potency is also preserved with this process, making it very appealing to consumers looking for the quality and safely they all deserve.

What Is Ethanol Extraction? 

Ethanol extraction uses either denatured or food grade ethanol (alcohol) as a solvent to separate plant from compound. Ethanol has massive dissolving super powers. This means it will dissolve pesticides, waxes, and other unwanted plant material. Its fast dissolving times, make it one of the fastest extraction options.

While ethanol extraction is a very fast process, it is not very selective on what it dissolves. By this we mean, while it has great dissolving abilities, it will also destroy important plant rich terpenes too. Let’s look at the pros and cons of ethanol extraction over CO2

  • Pro: Ethanol extraction has a fast run time because of its dissolving powers. 
  • Con: Ethanol almost always risks chemical contaminants and residuals. While ethanol extracted samples may pass solvent tests, denaturants, acetone, and even heptane can still reside. No long term toxicity studies have been done and because of this, ethanol is still an acceptable solvent to use for botanical extraction.
  • Pro: Cost is significantly lower than CO2  extractors for sure. Operating costs and equipment are far less expensive than CO2 extractors.
  • Con: Cost of solvents themselves, CO2 is far less expensive then ethanol. 


It is a large debate in separation science what the best extraction solvent is. CO2 extraction seems to take it home in efficiency, safety, cost, and environmental friendliness.

Why holus?

1. USDA Organic

We align many of our products with USDA organic standards. While many companies claim to be “organic”, there is no guess work or doubt with our organic product line. Few CBD companies can openly advertise certain products as 100% organic without unintentionally being misleading. We are happy to provide our organic choice customers with such assurance using solely organic hemp and ingredients.

2. Farm Direct Process

A farm connection is important. Hōlus cultivates much of its own hemp. This allows us to learn how to improve the flavor and aroma of our strains to ultimately serve the customer with an increasing level of quality each year. When we cultivate, we don’t need to rely on the word and promise of others. We can make decisions on nutrients, amendments, and environmental controls that a normal farmer would probably never make because it might cost too much. Ultimately, we love that the biomass comes from our own work, our own hands, our own processes and we feel the pride when we see the good that come from it.

3. Lab Tested

We third party lab test and we do it multiple times throughout the process. Our process has the lowest cross contamination likelihood. We test for above and beyond the common pesticides, residuals, chemicals, and heavy metals to bring you a product that is trustworthy.

4. CO2 Extraction

Here at hōlus, we are experts when it comes to environmental friendly processes. We use “Clean and Green” CO2 extraction and wish to make it clear that our process is both the most scientifically sound and most eco friendly extraction method. You make the earth a better place by choosing a company focused on the good of the environment.

5. Good Manufacturing Practices

We are a fully GMP compliant facility! All of our equipment meet Good Manufacturing Practices. We hold Good Manufacturing Practices for higher quality product.

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