Being applied for medical and leisure use, cannabidiol (CBD) is fast becoming a popular and well-enjoyed hobby worldwide. CBD is a primary chemical in both cannabis and hemp plants, and in countries like Canada, it’s legal to both sell and use CBD. The CBD community is growing fast in Canada, though there are still some laws that all must understand. Let’s take a look at what CBD is, how it’s different from other related compounds, and some background on where it originates.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical extracted from the hemp plant, but it’s not the only one. There are over 100 compounds in the hemp and cannabis plants, including the well-known THC. However, many people want to avoid getting high, so many consider CBD is an excellent option for this group of people.

CBD provides relief from using the product without a psychoactive side-effect from THC that you would experience with marijuana. And the popularity of CBD in Canada is increasing thanks to the legalization of cannabis in Canada and around the world.

Like millions of other people worldwide, Canadians use CBD recreationally and for medical use more and more. The effects of CBD happen because of the presence of cannabinoids, which bind with receptors in the body. One famous example is how the cannabinoids bind to the signal in the body related to pain.

What Are Cannabinoids?

In the cannabis plant alone, there are over 480 natural components, and of those, 66 are known as cannabinoids. An example of these would be delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the element that’s the primary reason you feel high when partaking in cannabis.

Of course, many of the other cannabinoids present in hemp and the cannabis plant moderate the effects of THC. Cannabinoids work because they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS, leading to the various impacts of cannabis. In short, certain cannabinoids interact with specific areas in the body and other cannabinoids, like CBD, moderate these interactions like a referee.

Subcategories of Cannabinoids:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Cannabielsoin (CBE)
  • Cannabitriol (CBT)


There are discussions about THC versus CBD, focusing on which is better and whether there should be a discord between the two cannabinoids. Here’s what they both can offer you with their use:

What Is THC?

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main chemical in cannabis that leads you to feel intoxicated. THC is also the most well-known and researched cannabinoid in marijuana. In raw marijuana buds, you’ll find THCA. For THCA to get a person feeling high, it must be converted to THC through decarboxylation, where the THCA is heated to a specific temperature that activates the THC.

In studies, THC is a lipid-soluble chemical that binds to the fat in the body. After it’s been activated, THC will have an intoxicating effect as it binds to receptors in the brain, which sends the effects of THC throughout the body. That leads to a feeling of euphoria, the typical high you would associate with cannabis.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is another chemical in hemp and cannabis, and is non-intoxicating and is the second most well-known chemical in these plants. CBD acts primarily as a moderator – a sort of referee – for the other cannabinoids to balance their effects.

Following its primary function, CBD regulates THC levels and controls how it interacts in the ECS. The benefit is that this will reduce the chances of adverse effects that can happen when you have too much THC, for example, the inflammation that excessive amounts of THC can cause.

Additionally, CBD can be used on its own, though it appears to work best when taken in conjunction with THC products. For those who don’t want to get high, CBD is the best option as the effects of CBD are not like those associated with THC.

What Is CBN?

Much like CBDCannabinol, or CBN, is another compound in cannabis that won’t cause an intoxicating effect. This well-known cannabinoid is produced through the degradation process of THC. Over time, THC will break down and create CBN. It’s thought that this cannabinoid is only about 1/4th as potent as THC, and it’s best known for the sleep-inducing properties it has. Those who grow cannabis will let the plants flower for an extended period to create CBN, helping a user stay sedated.

Although cannabinoids are commonly thought to be compounds in cannabis and hemp, they are produced naturally by the body. The naturally occurring cannabinoids play an essential role in using CBD to relieve chronic pain, anxiety, and other conditions. Because CBD occurs naturally in the body, using the chemical compound comes with few risks of side effects. It’s had a particularly positive effect on conditions like seizures, such as patients with epilepsy.

Just as you would any medication, you should always consult your physician before taking CBD. That is especially important if you take pharmaceutical medicines for other conditions. One example would be a patient with arthritis who already takes pharmaceutical drugs – they should speak with their physician first before using CBD.

One precaution to take is testing out CBD when you first begin using it. There are many forms of CBD to choose from and even more doses. Try them to see which provides the best relief for your condition. The impact of the CBD will depend on the concentration and the amount you take. Consult a guide chart for additional assistance with dosing.

Like any supplement, quality makes a huge difference. There are high regulations for the Canadian CBD industry that make sure the market only has quality products. To ensure you are getting a quality product, be conscientious when choosing your products and pick one authorized. Buying from licensed brick and mortar stores or online and becoming familiar with Canadian CBD laws will help you avoid a product with harmful chemicals or ingredients.

The Origin of CBD in Canada

A Brief History of CBD

CBD use became legal in Canada in 2018, along with other cannabis products. The laws governing CBD and cannabis products’ sale and use fall under the Cannabis Act, put in place on October 17, 2018. Since then, these products’ popularity has boomed, thanks to the low risk of side effects and the lack of psychoactive effects. That holds for most users, except for around 5% of users who experience high CBD products.

Aside from CBD and cannabis products, Canada previously legalized marijuana in 2001, mainly for medical use. Before that, the use of cannabis products was illegal in Canada since the enactment of the Opium Act in 1908, which was introduced by Mackenzie King, the Deputy Minister of Labor in Canada.

When the Opium Act was instituted, there had been an anti-opium movement throughout Canada, which had led to riots damaging the opium manufacturers. That led to the creation of laws regarding the manufacturing, sale, and use of opium. Along with the new regulations came new fines and, in some cases, prison sentences. These were all revised and strengthened in the 1920s.

Cannabis was included in these laws in 1923 under the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment. This amendment consolidated penalties surrounding opium and three other new drugs, including marijuana. It is important to note that there was an anti-drug movement affecting the majority race in the country during this time.

Canada had also become included in many conferences around the world during the 1920s. These were in place to discuss anti-drug movements, including the use of cannabis. The League of Nations, a dominating organization, discussed making cannabis illegal in any nation included in the League. However, it wasn’t until the late 1930s that the first weed-related arrest was made.

Later on in the 1940s, arrests related to cannabis would represent around 2% of all arrests in Canada. Although arrests were on the rise, leisure use of cannabis was sweeping the nation by the 1960s. At that time, cannabis users could face six months in prison and $1,000 in fines for having even a tiny amount in their possession.

This rise in leisure use of cannabis was noted by the National Government, which then created the Le Main Commission in 1969. This commission investigated the non-medical use of cannabis in Canada, and the results led to a recommendation in 1972 that criminal penalties be removed.

That had a stabilizing effect on the country’s use of marijuana products. Subsequent governments considered legalization, but it didn’t become legal to use cannabis products for medical use until 2001. The discussion continued through 2016, when legalization became a more seriously considered prospect thanks to over 5 million Canadians using cannabis regularly.

Finally, the Cannabis Act of 2018 allowed medicinal and recreational use of marijuana products, including CBD. This law came with heavy restrictions that all manufacturers and users should be aware of. Although there are many restrictions in place, these have made Canadian CBD products some of the world’s best. One reason is that manufacturers and suppliers have to be licensed and follow all established rules.

CBD Legalization Information

CBD is classified as a controlled substance under the United Nations Drugs Convention, meaning that it’s also categorized in all Canadian provinces and territories. That means that all Canadian CBD products have to meet the standards in place in quality assurance.

Before a manufacturer can work with CBD products, they must first have an official license and the failure to obtain that can lead to severe consequences. Along with regulations for manufacturers, there are heavy regulations on the possession, production, sale, and distribution of CBD under Health Canada’s authority, which oversees the Cannabis Industry.

As far as CBD products’ regulation is concerned, Health Canada is in charge of deciding how CBD products are sold and distributed, licensed stores’ location, and how these licensed stores are operated. Therefore, to grow hemp to produce and sell CBD, a person or company must have a federal license that falls under the category of cultivation or industrial hemp license.

Additionally, all manufacturers looking to process CBD must have a processing license and be aware of the additional requirements depending on their province and territory. Importation and exportation require even more licensing, falling under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, which was amended in 1972.

More regulations were on the horizon in 2019 regarding edible CBD products and other types of cannabis products. The additional restrictions came into play because of the increasing appeal to young people. More cases of accidental consumption were happening, leading to a concern about safety for minors and over-consumption.

For any Canadian user of cannabis products, knowing the history of CBD in the country is essential. The next step is becoming familiar with the different types of CBD products available.

How to Take CBD Oil

Always do your research before trying a new CBD product, even if you’ve taken other CBD products in the past. Having the right dose is important because it will decide how much CBD your body is getting. Under or overdosing is never a good thing. CBD oil continues to be the most popular. Research how dosing works based on weight before you start a new CBD regimen.

Final Thoughts on CBD

CBD can be an incredibly beneficial tool in treating and managing health conditions and a safe way to have some leisure time. You should always do the proper research beforehand to determine what type of CBD product you want to use and the dose you should get. Consult with your physician before you start taking CBD because it can impact medications and medical conditions.

Canada’s rich history with CBD has been extended and has resulted in a country with some of the world’s top CBD manufacturers. The regulations in place are strong, but they help provide top-quality products that you can enjoy.

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