CBD is super popular these days, but there are still a ton of questions around this extract. What is it? Where does it come from? And what’s up with all the hype around it?

CBD’s history, source and legality gets confusing quickly, but we’re here to clear the air. Here are some frequently asked questions about CBD and answers from our supplement experts.

Q: What is CBD?

A: CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound extracted from cannabis plants, and the main compound found in the hemp plant. Unlike THC within marijuana plants, CBD is not psychoactive, so it does not change a person's state of mind when they use it.

Q: What is THC?

A: THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the main compound found in marijuana plants. THC is what gives marijuana its psychoactive properties or “high” effects.

Q: Are CBD and marijuana from the same cannabis plant?

A: No, CBD and marijuana come from different plants. They do, however, come from the same species of cannabis plant. There are three recognized species of cannabis plants—Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. Both CBD and marijuana are derived from the Cannabis sativa species. While CBD and marijuana both come from the same species of the cannabis plant, they are derived from different species of Cannabis sativa. CBD is derived from hemp, while marijuana is derived from the marijuana species.

Q: Do CBD products contain THC?

A: CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC to be legal according to Federal Law.

Q: What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

A: Hemp and marijuana are different species of Cannabis sativa and bred for different purposes. Industrial hemp is exclusively produced by Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be derived from Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica.

Both hemp and marijuana contain CBD, but there’s a much higher percentage in hemp. Hemp also has much lower levels of THC (less than 0.3%) than the marijuana species.

Industrial hemp is grown to be durable, have very long stalks and as few flowering buds as possible—this can make it easier to extract the high amounts of CBD and smaller amounts of THC. Hemp’s chemical profile means that you can’t get “high” from it, and it is used to create medicinal remedies, food and oil, as well as other products, including rope, bricks, natural polymers, fiber, clothes and many more.

Marijuana strains of cannabis are typically smaller, flimsier and have many flowering buds with the sole purpose of maximizing the concentration of THC. Marijuana is used recreationally and medicinally only.

Q: Is CBD legal?

A: CBD that is extracted from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC is legal at the federal level with the passage of the Farm Bill in late 2018. Each state also has its own law regarding the legality of CBD and therefore the legality of CBD products can vary from state to state.

Q: Is CBD the only cannabinoid in the hemp plant?

A: No. CBD is one of many cannabinoids within the hemp plant, but it’s currently the most popular one being researched for potential wellness benefits.

Q: How does CBD get incorporated into beauty products?

A: Once extracted, CBD can be combined with a carrier oil, which is then incorporated into topical creams, lotions and more.

Q: Who to trust for CBD?

A: It seems like everyone is selling CBD these days, so it’s smart to ask questions about quality and sourcing. As the supplement industry leader, GNC is committed ensuring potency, purity and consistency by only carrying high-quality products—that includes CBD. When selecting our partners, we consider every aspect of the company’s ingredient sourcing and quality control protocol, so your body gets nothing short of exceptional.

Q: Why is CBD so popular?

A: From grocery store aisles to Kim Kardashian’s baby shower, CBD is everywhere and used for a variety of purposes. See what the hype is all about and Shop our  top of the line products.