It’s natural to have a flurry of questions anytime you start something new. CBD is no exception. You can easily get overwhelmed sifting through Google searches for questions like “What is CBD” or “How to take CBD.” We understand that everyone is coming at this topic from a different place or perspective, so we thought it would be helpful to create a CBD guide for beginners.
This article will help you navigate some of the basic questions and issues most people encounter when trying to figure out what CBD to buy and what type of experience to expect. So, let’s start with the basics.
CBD is short for “cannabidiol.” It’s a non-psychoactive compound produced by the hemp plant. The cannabis hemp plant has over 100 different types of these compounds, called cannabinoids, with cannabidiol being one of the most prevalent. Each cannabinoid possesses its own unique skill set and effects for the consumer. CBD is well known for its calming abilities and overall wellness benefits. It’s because of these positive effects that many people are turning to CBD for the first time.
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, an extremely important molecular system that interacts with the central and peripheral nervous systems, helping your body regulate and perform various critical functions. These essential functions include pain, sleep, appetite, motor control, memory, mood, and many more. When you take CBD, it binds to receptors in this system and bolsters its effectiveness in many of these key functions for the mind and body.
CBD vs. THC
When talking about the differences between CBD and THC, it’s perhaps best to start with a quick discussion of marijuana vs. hemp. The hemp plant  is a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a cannabis plant that can have upwards of 30% THC.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid, like CBD. But unlike CBD, THC is a psychoactive compound that can produce intoxicating effects when consumed. CBD does no such thing. Instead, CBD promotes calming wellness by way of its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD does not get you “high.”
How Do I Start With CBD?
Now that you have an understanding of what CBD is (and is not), the next question is how to start shopping for CBD.
First, think about what you need your CBD product to do. Do you need a CBD calming product, CBD for focus, a CBD sleep aid, general CBD wellness benefits, a CBD topical for pain relief or skin care? CBD can serve a wide variety of needs.
Once you’ve decided what effects you’re looking for from your CBD product, the next step is to see what products are available that serve that need. CBD comes in a variety of product forms:
Our CBD gummies give you all the wellness benefits of CBD, along with a host of other key ingredients — all is a sweet, chewy treat. Our tasty selection of gummies with CBD includes Original Mixed Berry CBD Gummies, CBD Gummies with Turmeric and Spirulina, CBD Gummies with Melatonin for Sleep, CBD Gummies with Apple Cider Vinegar, and CBD Multivitamin Gummies for Men and Women.
Read more about CBD gummies.
CBD capsules are a convenient way to get your daily dose of CBD wellness. Choose from full spectrum CBD Soft Gel Capsules, CBD + CBG Morning Capsules for energy and focus, and CBD + CBN Night Capsules for sleep.
Read more about CBD capsules.
CBD Oil Tinctures
Need a little drop of wellness in your life? Our CBD oil tinctures give you a tasty splash of the ultimate CBD experience. Explore our CBD + CBG Oil Wellness Tincture, CBD + CBN Oil Calming Tincture, and our CBD Oil Sleep Tincture, featuring CBN, melatonin, and other restful ingredients. All of our tinctures come in a variety of strengths, from 500mg to a whopping 6000mg.
Read more about CBD tinctures.
Our CBD shots give you a thirst-quenching splash of CBD. Vibe out with our CBD Chill Shots in delicious lemonade and berry flavors, or rev up with our CBD Focus Shots in tasty pomegranate and tropical flavors.
Read more about CBD drinks.
Our CBD edibles come in a variety of forms, including gummies, capsules, and tinctures. If you’re looking for a protein-rich snack, try our Vegan CBD Cookies in three delicious flavors. Or, get the quick-hitting chill of our CBD Sublingual Strips, available in 15mg and 25mg strengths.
Read more about CBD edibles.
CBD Topicals (Creams, Balms & Lotion)
CBD topicals are a natural and effective way to treat dry and irritated skin, as well as aches and pains in your muscles and joints. Enjoy the calming relief of our CBD Cream for Muscle and Joint: Cooling Formula, CBD Face Masks, CBD Foot Masks, CBD Bath Bombs, CBD Foot Cream, and our CBD Balm Sticks in two formulations: Calming and Moisturizing and Muscle and Joint.
Read more about CBD topicals.
CBD for Pets
CBD is a great way to help your dog or cat with stress and anxiety issues, as well as joint and mobility health and overall wellness. Choose from our CBD Dog Tincture (available in a variety of strengths for different sized pooches), CBD Cat Tincture, CBD Pet Treats for Stress and Anxiety, CBD Pet Treats for Joint and Mobility, and our Calming and Moisturizing CBD Pet Balm.
Read more about CBD for pets.
CBD Vapes (Juices, Pens & Kits)
One of our most popular categories is CBD Vapes. Choose from a wide variety of flavors in our CBD Vape Juices, or explore our best-selling and long-lasting CBD Vape Pens and Kits.
Read more about CBD Vapes.
We encourage you to check out a few different options, so that you find the best product for your routine or lifestyle.
How Much CBD Should I Take?
Many products come in a single strength, like our original Mixed Berry CBD Gummies, while others come in a variety strengths, like our CBD Oil Sleep Tincture, which ranges in strength from 500mg to 6000mg. Also, different methods of delivery affect how quickly the CBD is absorbed into your bloodstream. This is called bioavailability. 
CBD tincture oils have the highest rate of bioavailability, since they absorb into the capillaries under the tongue, while you hold the tincture oil there for 60 seconds before swallowing. Edible products, like gummies, drinks, and capsules, take a little longer to absorb into the bloodstream, since they have to travel through the digestive system (and lose some of their potency in the process). However, once they kick in, CBD edibles have a longer-lasting effect.
People tend to start with edible options, since they offer lower concentrations and ease of use, with CBD gummies being one of the top choices for CBD newbies and experienced users alike. CBD gummies, capsules, and tablets may require a higher amount to achieve the same effect as a CBD oil tincture.
CBD topicals are products that are applied on the skin, never entering the bloodstream. Instead, the CBD content travels through multiple layers of skin before reaching the area in need. Some of the most popular topical products are creams, balms, bath bombs, masks, and more. Topicals are ideal when you have a specific area bothering you and you want targeted relief.
Our advice for beginners asking how much CBD to take is to start with a low dosage and figure out where your tolerance level is. Everyone has a different physiology, with differing height, weight, metabolism, and other factors. Start low and, if that doesn’t work, try a slightly larger serving size the next day. Work your way up until you find your sweet spot. But don’t take more while you still have the same serving in your system. You won’t be able to tell what your effective dosage is, and you might accidentally build up tolerance to the CBD.
What Should I Expect From CBD?
When you read all those amazing success stories online, it’s hard not to get excited about the effects of CBD. It’s mostly known for producing a wide range of therapeutic benefits, paired with calming vibes that many find pretty irresistible.
There’s so much more we’d love to say about the soothing, calming effects of CBD, but we can’t make any “claims” about the actual benefits of CBD (as instructed by the FDA). Fortunately, anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness is everywhere. Take a look at our customer reviews to see what other folks have experienced.
How to Buy the Best CBD
So, you’re pumped about this whole CBD thing now. You know what it is, you’re prepared to see a wide range of products, but you still need to know how to shop for quality. There are a lot of shady CBD companies out there selling ineffective and potentially unhealthy products. So, how do you tell the good from the bad?
Keep these tips handy when you’re shopping:
Always look for companies using organically sourced hemp.
Most of the time, you can find this information on the “About Us” page. The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the agricultural production of hemp (along with other things, like sale and distribution), so there are plenty of hemp farms right here in the states with pristine hemp farming conditions. U.S. farmers are actually required to get certified by state departments of agriculture. On the other hand, steer clear of hemp sourced outside the country, where quality standards are less strict.
Look for products with third-party lab testing, with results readily available to you.
These labs exist to help assure that you are getting what you pay for, including high/sufficient levels of CBD, low levels of THC, and no harmful contaminants. Most reputable companies will have this information on the product page, but sometimes you’ll find it in its own section of the website (all the products in one place).
Look to see what the people have to say!
Product reviews are an essential part of online shopping these days — a whopping 90% of consumers check the product reviews before purchasing!
Make sure you see “cannabidiol” and not “hemp seed oil”.
To avoid fake CBD, check the product label and make sure you see “cannabidiol” and not “hemp seed oil.” While they may seem the same, they’re drastically different. Hemp seed oil comes from the seed only and has nourishing properties used in an array of beauty products. On the other hand, hemp oil (CBD oil) comes from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the hemp plant. And of course, when in doubt, check the lab report to see the exact amount of cannabinoids.
Over the course of your shopping experience, you’re bound to run into terms like terpenes, the Entourage Effect, and the potentially confusing question of full spectrum CBD vs. broad spectrum CBD vs. CBD isolate. Don’t stress. When you shop with CBDfx, we’ll do our best to explain every pertinent ingredient and concept in the product description. We also produce a daily blog, where we discuss everything from the long and interesting history of hemp to joint health for dogs to CBD and drug tests.
Our goal is to make your experience as simple and transparent as possible, so that you can have confidence in every CBD product you purchase.
Ready to incorporate CBD into your routine? Try our award-winning CBD Gummies! Or, get a great night’s rest with our CBD Sleep Oil Tincture!
About the Author
Steven has been into health, nutrition, and fitness for over 10 years, and has a degree in Physical Education and Coaching. He is an expert in supplements and is devoted to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and live their best lives.