If you’re ready to start on your CBD journey you may be wondering “What is CBD and how does it work?” CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis. Since there is CBD in both hemp and marijuana plants, sometimes it gets confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but CBD is not psychoactive. In other words, CBD does not cause a “high.” Instead, studies show there may be several mental and physical benefits to using CBD.
What Are the Effects of CBD?
There is a long list of possible benefits tied to CBD use. Some studies have found positive effects on the mind, while other studies note physical benefits. There is no evidence that people can get addicted to CBD (World Health Organization, 2017).
Many people take CBD to help keep anxiety symptoms under control. Research shows CBD can reduce anxiety in both people and animals (World Health Organization, 2017). It may also help with depression, stress, and insomnia (Grinspoon, 2018; Price, 2020). Several researchers have even found that CBD can be used as a tool to treat PTSD symptoms, like nightmares and traumatic memories (Price, 2020).
CBD may help treat physical ailments too. CBD has been shown to help cut down on seizures for children with certain forms of epilepsy (Grinspoon, 2018). A lot of people also use CBD to control pain, including chronic pain and inflammation. CBD might even be helpful in preventing heart attacks and strokes (Price, 2020).
How Does CBD Work?
CBD affects several systems within the body. One of these is called the endocannabinoid system, which influences things like mood, pain, and sleep. CBD impacts this system, but scientists are still studying exactly how (Price, 2020).
CBD also affects receptors—proteins that get signals from other cells—in other parts of the body. Some of these receptors pick up serotonin, and others are involved in sensing pain (Price, 2020). These receptors are some ways CBD can influence both mental and physical health.
Research that has been done on CBD shows lots of potential benefits. It may help ease both mental and physical ailments by working on several different systems in the body. Thus, CBD may be a great way to increase overall wellbeing.
Grinspoon, P. (2018, August 24). Cannabidiol (CBD) — What We Know and What We Don’t. Harvard Medical School. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
Price, S. (2020, January 20). CBD: Understanding How CBD Works with Our Bodies. Medical Cannabis Network. https://www.healtheuropa.eu/cbd-understanding-how-cbd-works-with-our-bodies/96718/
World Health Organization. (2017). Cannabidiol (CBD). https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf