Are you thinking about trying CBD? Perhaps you’re a business owner or healthcare professional, and need to know more on the subject to discuss with consumers or patients.

When it comes to CBD and cannabis, we know what we’re talking about. Sativa Learning are dedicated to delivering trusted cannabis education, by providing accredited courses for all avenues of the cannabis industry.

We’re here to answer some frequently asked questions surrounding the subject, including what it is, the benefits and the difference between isolate and full-spectrum.

What is CBD?

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. A naturally occurring compound, it is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found within the plant.

CBD is often referred to as ‘non-psychoactive’. This is a common misconception as CBD has been shown to have prominent pharmacological benefits on anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction, and possibly even depression. In other words, it can influence a person’s state of mind, therefore a more accurate way to describe CBD is non-intoxicating.1 In other words, it will not get you ‘high’.

CBD is popular with people looking for pain or anxiety relief, as an assist to overcoming insomnia and a helping hand with other symptoms associated with a range of health conditions. So, how does CBD work?

CBD interacts with the bodies endocannabinoid system which is responsible for modulating nerve transmission and has a balancing effect and stabilisation effect on the whole nervous system throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system has been described as the Goldilocks system as it ensures homeostasis - that is the ability of the body to maintain a fairly stable internal state. Neither too hot nor too cold, blood pressure stable, inflammation under control, etc. It has been compared to the engine management system in a modern car – the overarching control of all the other functions.

Is CBD the only cannabinoid in the hemp plant?

CBD is one of 140+ cannabinoids found within the Cannabis sativa plant. It is usually extracted from hemp which is a type of Cannabis sativa characterised by its abundance of CBD as well as a low THC content (usually below 0.2% or 0.3% depending on the country).

The cannabis plant also contains phytochemicals known as terpenes. These are compounds which give cannabis its characteristic aroma and flavour. There are at least 20,000 terpenes found throughout nature and well over 100 are found within the cannabis plant. Not only do the terpenes give smell to cannabis, but they also have medicinal properties in their own right.

If the above wasn’t complicated enough then plants, including cannabis, have colour and this is given by phytochemicals called flavonoids. They are the most important plant pigments that give the colouration of the flower, but also other parts of the plant. Scientists have identified at least 20 flavonoids in cannabis and unfortunately, we know even less about the flavonoids and their medical properties, although many do seem to have medicinal effects.

In a CBD or cannabis-based product, it is the subtle final mixture of all the different cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids working together in different proportions that give rise to the final medicinal or wellness properties of a particular cultivar. That is what is known as the entourage effect.

What is the difference between isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum products?

Isolate is CBD in its purest form. The extracted oil is highly refined to remove all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and impurities to produce a white crystalline powder of pure CBD. CBD isolate may be diluted in a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, or MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil to produce a highly concentrated pure CBD oil.

Broad spectrum describes a CBD product which also contains the full array of naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, except the THC has been completely separated or removed after the initial extraction. This is done through a process known as chromatography.

Full spectrum describes a CBD product which contains the full array of naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids found in the cannabis plant. Full spectrum products will also contain trace elements of THC; however, the THC level should be low enough for the product to be considered legal.

Full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products are said to be more beneficial in providing consumers with the entourage effect - the synergistic interaction that occurs when the plant’s naturally occurring compounds interact with one another after consumption.2

Whether your goal is to grow and develop your team, become a more competent cannabis professional, advance your career, invest in the industry or to establish a new business, it is important to understand CBD and cannabis in full detail, so you can thrive in the industry.

The CBD Industry Professional Course by Sativa Learning brings together the most comprehensive online CBD course, covering all aspects of the captivating compound.

As the cannabis industry grows worldwide, the gap in cannabis knowledge grows with it. At Sativa Learning, we are here to bridge that gap. Our range of CPD accredited courses are the gold standard in cannabis learning, covering modules from the Endocannabinoid System to Cannabis Plant Chemistry and CBD Dosing.

We have partnered with leading industry experts to bring you comprehensive cannabis education you can trust.

Enrol in your next CPD accredited, CBD course today; or get in touch with us for more information.


  1. Russo, Ethan. Cannabidiol Claims and Misconceptions. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. 2017, 38(3), 198.
  2. Nahler G, Jones TM, Russo EB. Cannabidiol and Contributions of Major Hemp Phytocompounds to the “Entourage Effect”; Possible Mechanisms. J Altern Complement Integr Med. 2019, 5, 70.