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What is CBD? Everything You Should Know About CBD (Cannabidiol)

A Guide to Understanding Cannabidiol

Weed, Cannabis, Marijuana – these are interchangeable terms that have become quite popular in modern society. While many people associate these names with those so called “junkies” that continue to use these substances to get “high,” many people have other uses for the Cannabis plant. The medicinal properties of the Cannabis plant have gained a lot of popularity lately, contributing to a number of potential benefits in the human body.

Understanding The Compounds Of Cannabis

The Cannabis plant species consist of numerous compounds, each playing their part in the effects that the plant has on the human body. There are quite a large number of different natural chemicals found in the Cannabis plant – in fact, more than 400 different natural chemicals have been identified in these plants. Only approximately 60 of these chemicals, however, are unique to the Cannabis plant species. These compounds are called cannabinoids.

Amongst the many cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant, two particular chemicals usually stand out when it comes to scientific studies and when looking at the medicinal properties of the Cannabis plant. These two compounds include:

  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)

THC is the compound that is known to cause a person to experience the well-known “high”, while CBD is the component recognized for its numerous medicinal properties. CBD does not cause the same psychoactive or “high” effect as people experience when they utilize a strain of Cannabis that contains a high THC level.

Cannabidiol – What It Is And How It Works

As explained, Cannabidiol is one of the major components that make up the Cannabis plant, along with Tetrahydrocannabinol. The cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant species interact with the Endocannabinoid System in the human body, which consists of cannabinoid receptors. With THC, the compounds have direct interaction with the two primary cannabinoid receptors in the human body, known as CB1 and CB2. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, does not have the same interaction with the human body.

When Cannabidiol is consumed in the body, it instead causes the activation of receptors that are not directly related to the Endocannabinoid System, as well as certain ion channels. Some channels in the body that is receptor-independent can also be affected by the Cannabidiol component.

Some of the particular receptors that Cannabidiol components have been found to interact with include:

  • Serotonin receptors
  • Vanilloid receptors
  • GPR55-orphan receptors
  • PPARS-nuclear receptors

What Are The Benefits Of Using Cannabidiol?

A large number of studies have been conducted to provide more data on the potential therapeutic and medicinal properties of Cannabidiol. One study, published in the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, confirmed that Cannabidiol is a safe holistic approach to the treatment of several ailments in the human body, with common side-effects only including mild complaints about possible diarrhea, appetite changes, and tiredness. When compared to the possible side-effects produced by other treatment approaches, including pharmaceutical drugs, Cannabidiol acts as a safer approach due to a less significant side-effect profile.

Let’s take a look at some studies conducted to prove the effectiveness of Cannabidiol for the treatment of particular disorders and health ailments:

  • A study by the New York University School of Medicine explains that several studies have provided evidence of the effectiveness in using Cannabidiol to treat neuropsychiatric disorders, including panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder.
  • A study by the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy provided evidence that Cannabidiol can assist with efficiently reducing both pain and inflammation symptoms associated with arthritis. Immune cell infiltration, synovial membrane thickening, joint swelling and spontaneous pain are particular areas of symptoms that were significantly improved through the use of a transdermal CBD application.
  • A study by the Royal Derby Hospital Centre provided evidence that the acute administration of Cannabidiol compounds assists with reducing blood pressure amongst a group of participants.
  • A review paper by the University of Louisville School of Medicine explains that Cannabidiol is also a useful method for treating some forms of epilepsy. It should be noted that patients treated with medical Marijuana should be closely monitored by a physician, however.
  • A review paper by the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine explains that Cannabis and the Cannabidiol compounds found in these plants has potential benefits for cancer patients as well. Symptom management can be eased with the use of these substances, such as the risk of anorexia, as well as nausea, vomiting, depression, insomnia, and pain.

The CBD-THC Interaction

Recreational Marijuana use is common throughout the world. The Foundation For A Drug-Free World reports that it is estimated that approximately 3.8% of the worldwide population uses Marijuana – with the majority of these individuals using the plant for recreational purposes. When it comes to the use of Marijuana, some people do tend to experience adverse reactions to the THC content found in the plant – common adverse reactions include mood alternations, which can induce anxiety, as well as paranoia.

For those experiencing these adverse reactions, CBD may be a great way to reduce their sensitivity to the effects of THC, and allow the individual to experience a high without those potential adverse reactions. This is because CBD is known to counteract some of the psychoactive effects, often referred to as toxicity, produced by THC in many individuals.


Cannabis is a popular plant that has many uses. For some, it is a substance for experiencing psychoactive effects, but for others, Cannabis holds medicine value that helps them overcome pain, anxiety, nausea and many other potential health problems they may be experiencing. The major components of Cannabis, including THC and CBD, are responsible for the numerous effects that the plant has within the human body. In this post, we provided an overview of Cannabidiol, in particular, looked at how this compound interacts within the human body, and we also mentioned some of the most potential benefits Cannabidiol yields to the human body, based on scientific research.



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Contributor: Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable medical information to readers and simplifying complicated medical terms and conditions for the general audience. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon.