Curing the Confusion Over CBD Oil

Curing The Confusion Over CBD Oil

What Is CBD Oil, Where Does It Come From, and Will It Make Me High or Relax Me?

If you’re thinking about using cannabidiol oil (CBD) for the first time, these are common questions. Even for people familiar with marijuana use, these are relevant questions. Perhaps you’ve already looked for answers. Quite likely what you found got you more confused. Often, that’s because in today’s writings, there’s a lot of erroneous information written about CBD. This bad information is further complicated by an interchange of words that typically can muddle your attempts at learning about this product. 

In many cases, the terms marijuana, hemp, cannabis, CBD, THC, hemp oil, cannabis oil, marijuana oil, and THC oil or other iterations combining these terms are used interchangeably – but there are distinct differences to note.

To properly answer the first two questions, you need to understand what cannabis, marijuana, and hemp are before you can begin to comprehend anything about the oil that comes from them. It helps to start by taking a look at the plant’s taxonomy – kind of like a family tree so to speak.

The Cannabis Family Hierarchy

cannabis family hierarchy- Difiori

FAMILY: At the top of the “family tree” is Cannabaceae – an overarching genus of flowering plants.

GENUS: Under the Cannabaceae family comes Cannabis, a genus of plant that has various species. 

Cannabis is an annual herbaceous plant with either male or female reproductive organs. As with most plants, the female must be pollinated by the male in order to produce seeds to further reproduction. In some cases, this pollination is blocked by growers in order to allow the female plants that don’t receive pollen (referred to as sinsemilla – Spanish for “without seed”) to produce buds that are larger than normal and very resinous. It is this resin that is commonly used for smoking, vaporizing, or it is processed into oils. 

Cannabis plants contain a psychoactive chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in varying amounts depending on the subspecies. THC is the active ingredient of cannabis that produces the sensation of euphoria or being “high.” Sometimes THC is used by individuals for medical reasons but it is primarily intended for recreational purposes.

Additionally, cannabis has other naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are known to affect the human body in various ways by acting on the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating various processes in the body such as cell communication, immune response, metabolism, appetite control, memory, and more.

SPECIES: The most commonly known species of cannabis are Cannabis sativaCannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.

Cannabis Sativa 

Sativa plants are the largest of the cannabis species, growing to approximately 9 feet on slim bushes with longer leaves than ruderalis or indica. Use of this plant is primarily for inducing euphoric and energetic sensations.

Cannabis Indica

Indica plants are short and bushy, though these are best suited for growth in colder climates. Indicas are known for inducing a relaxing physical sensation and are often used as sleep aids or for appetite control.

Cannabis Ruderalis

The least known of the three cannabis species, ruderalis is usually found wild as it can adapt to extreme environments. Similar to in size to  indicas, It is a short and compact plant that contains less than 0.3% THC and is found to have high levels of CBD.

Of importance is that sativa has two subspecies (or variations) depending on how it’s grown and on the intended end use – the first called marijuana and the second called hemp.

Subspecies #1: Marijuana

The marijuana plant is usually carefully cultivated, both indoor and outdoor, utilizing non-fertilized female plants grown to produce large buds which have a high percentage of THC. It is harvested for its euphoric, relaxing, and psychoactive properties. The plant is cultivated for its highly resinous flowers containing an abundance of cannabinoids. The THC content of marijuana is much higher than it is in hemp.

Subspecies #2: Hemp

The hemp plant is typically a commercially harvested, outdoor grown plant that is sturdy and tall – up to 13 feet in height. It is free to pollinate so that the entire plant can be used for many purposes: rope, clothing, food, cosmetics, fuels, construction materials, paper, and more. Its flowers are specifically harvested for the plant’s cannabinoid content.  Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is among the most abundant of all the cannabinoids. Hemp was originally called by just its species name “cannabis sativa” – another factor that lends to confusion.

THC is present in trace amounts in the cannabidiol derived from hemp. The concentration of THC is usually negligible and rigorous testing and remediation to ensure it is below the legal limit of 0.3% THC that typically keeps hemp-based consumable products from being classified as psychoactive.

We’ve answered the first two questions, so now let’s get back to the last one…

Will CBD Oil Make Me High?

Typically not, but it depends on a few factors. 

CBD Oil can be sourced from either marijuana or hemp plants. The biggest difference in the end product will be the ratio between CBD and THC. With oil derived from marijuana, the product may be sourced from selectively bred strains that produce high levels of THC – anywhere from 5 to 30%. But with a hemp-based oil, the THC content does not exceed the legal limit of 0.3%. 

So yes – CBD oil can make you feel high if it’s made from marijuana plants due to the much larger volume of THC than what is derived from hemp plants or proper testing and remediation is not completed.

How Can It Make Me Feel Relaxed and Avoid Getting High?

Edible products like chocolates or gummies should come from a hemp-derived CBD oil as the THC level is extremely low, meaning that there should be no psychoactive activity felt. Many edible products are infused with hemp CBD to support the endocannabinoid system. Proactively supporting the endocannabinoid system with CBD oil is thought to help by decreasing pain and inflammation and further by naturally inducing relaxation, ultimately leading to an overall state of balance and well-being.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully this helps to dispel some of the confusion about what CBD oil is, where it comes from, and shows the different effects it can have. Most importantly, you should now have an understanding that it’s important to carefully check on the origin of the CBD oil (marijuana or hemp) to ensure you are picking the right product for the effects you desire.

A Short History of World-Renowned Swiss Chocolate

Cover image for blog article about the history of Swiss chocolate

Swiss chocolate is often revered as the most exceptional type – but why? To understand this, you first need to take a look at two things: the origins of chocolate making and the role of Swiss ingenuity in its creation.


Let’s Travel Way Back in Time to Discover the Origins of Chocolate

Frontispiece illustration for "New and curious treatises of coffee, tea and chocolate", Philippe Sylvestre Dufour, 1685.
“Traités nouveaux & curieux du café du thé et du chocolate”, by Philippe Sylvestre Dufour, 1685, (PD)

Going back to as early as 1900 BCE, Mesoamerican cultures (the early occupiers of regions in South America) like the Zapotec, Maya, Teotihuacan, Olmec, Mixtec, and Mexica (or Aztec) were making chocolate. People of these cultures learned to prepare the beans of their native cacao tree – first by drying them and then by grinding them to a very small size. This allowed the resulting paste-like product to be mixed into a type of beverage by adding water, cornmeal, and chili peppers. This beverage, called “xocoatl,” was quite bitter and spicy, unlike the sweet chocolate we consume today, but was recognized as a mood lifter so the bitterness was tolerated and consumption grew.

Similar to today’s love affair with chocolate, the Mesoamericans regarded chocolate very highly. Their beverage “xocoatl” was referred to as “the royal drink.” Supposedly it was even consumed by Emperor Montezuma at least fifty times per day. In some of these cultures, chocolate was considered to be a food from the gods – Quetzalcoatl according to Aztec tradition or Kukulkan per the Mayans. Xocoatl or paste “coins” (made from pressing the ground beans together into small medallions) were often served at royal feasts and other important rituals. They were also awarded to soldiers for great accomplishments in battle. And cacao beans were also seen as a greatly valued commodity – often exchanged as a form of currency, in some instances replacing the use of gold.

Chocolate remained a well-kept secret of sorts until the early 1500s. Up to that time, it was only known in the Mesoamerican territories where it was produced. But in 1519, Hernán Cortés, a Spanish explorer, is said to have first encountered it while traveling in the area and then brought it back to Spain. Upon its introduction to the new land, chocolate was first seen as a bitter beverage, considered only good as a medicinal product. But, it didn’t take long before sweeteners like sugar and honey, or flavorings like vanilla were added to make it more appealing.

These sweet and flavorful additions helped to decrease the bitterness and led to chocolate becoming much more appealing. The new flavor profile of the chocolate also saw it being consumed on a larger scale, with aristocrats leading the demand. A major hurdle with meeting the demand was the cumbersome and labor intensive process to make chocolate. Beans had to be sourced from only certain tropical regions of the world and  they had to be shipped long distances at very large costs, driving up prices for the consumers. But despite these obstacles, chocolate was still in high demand throughout the next three centuries. 

While exploring better and more efficient means of producing chocolate, European chocolatiers began looking for new ways to further enhance their products – focusing on the flavor and consistency.

Enter the Swiss – “The Masters of Ingenuity”

Rudolphe Lindt 1880
“Rudolphe Lindt“, 1880, (PD)

The creative mastery of Swiss inventors is not lost on the public. You have Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web in 1989, Georges de Mestral to thank for the creation of Velcro in the 1950s, and in 1795, Abraham-Louis Breguet invented the tourbillon – an incredibly complicated mechanism that defeats gravity and makes watches keep time extremely precisely. All are outstanding accomplishments – but for those who love chocolate, there are two Swiss inventors who are even more important – Daniel Peter and Rodolphe Lindt. Without these gentlemen, chocolate would not be the decadent delight we all adore today.  Why?

Remember the Catchphrase “Got Milk?”

Nestlé Dairy Farm
Milk Powder used by Daniel Peter in the first milk chocolate was from the dairy farm of his neighbor Henri Nestlé. “The dairy in Vevey“, 1890 by Nestlé, (CC)

Apparently, up until the late 1800s, chocolate did not include milk. That is, until Daniel Peter, a former candlemaker who was married to a Swiss chocolatier, started to develop his own type of chocolate in the factory where he once made candles. At the time, cacao was still being used primarily as an ingredient for beverages. He started looking into new ways to use the cacao for other means of consumption, first attempting to blend in milk to make a creamier product. As it turned out, this combination resulted in failure because the high water content in the milk made the product quickly turn rancid. Over the next several years, he made various attempts to remedy the problem and in 1875 he finally found his answer. Dehydrated milk. Daniel Peter’s new, unique combination of cacao and dehydrated milk gave birth what is now known as “milk chocolate.”

Further Refinement of Swiss Chocolate Provides Even More Sensory Appeal

Hershey Conche in the early 1900s made by J.M. Lehmann in Dresden / Paris. This machine is on display as part of the Hershey Story Collection.
Conche machine from the early 1900s. “Hershey Conche” by J.M. Lehmann in Dresden / Paris. 2014 (CC)

As if the newly created and very delightful taste of Swiss milk chocolate wasn’t enough, four years after Daniel Peter brought milk chocolate to the world, there was another major development. In 1879, chocolate maker Rodolphe Lindt created a method of further processing the cacao beans and other added ingredients. This process, called “conching” in the chocolate making trade, grinds the mixture into ultra-fine particles – and it is this process that gives Swiss chocolate its extremely smooth, melt-in-your-mouth creaminess. Conching also homogenizes the product which better blends the flavors – plus it helps reduce any acidity coming from the cacao beans. When not processed in such a manner, there can be a hint of a lingering bitter and sometimes vinegar-like flavor in the finished chocolate.



Today’s Favorite? No Surprise – It’s Swiss Milk Chocolate

Infographic detailing differences in Swiss vs American

According to American Cocoa Research Institute (ACRI), over 70% of Americans prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate – and many of those consumers seek out Swiss or other European-made chocolate products for a couple of good reasons:

  • Swiss and other European milk chocolate requires a 20% or higher cocoa content, unlike American Swiss chocolate which only requires up to 10% cocoa.
  • American chocolate has a higher sugar content as a result of having a lesser percentage of cacao. This ratio makes the product not just sweeter but also lighter in density than Swiss and other European chocolates.
  • Sourcing of beans can have an impact on the flavor of milk chocolate. Chocolatiers in the United States have a tendency to source cacao beans from South America while European manufacturers often choose beans from West Africa. Just like with coffee, beans from different places can present different flavors to the consumer.
  • And finally, when cream and cocoa butter are added, the source of those products has an impact on the finished product. Chocolatiers in Switzerland and other European countries deliberately use European butter and cream due to their higher fat content – important for imparting a smoother texture and richer flavor. They also use more cocoa butter to further enhance the taste and creaminess of the finished Swiss chocolates being produced.

The End Justifies the Means

Difiori CBD Swiss Chocolate

At Difiori, all of our couverture chocolate is crafted in Switzerland by our master chocolatiers with only the highest quality Fair-Trade beans available using the same techniques developed over a century ago.  We want your experience to be like no other. When you take your first bite, our Swiss chocolates will melt and envelope your taste buds in sumptuous luxury as their Swiss chocolatiers intended.


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Love this chocolate❤

Linda M / Your CBD Store