What is CBD and how does it work?

Oil dripping into a jar from a dropper

What is CBD?

CBD. It’s all the rage now – anecdotal evidence on the web suggests it can help with anxiety, sleep, ADHD, and even cure cancer. While we can’t make such claims (research on CBD is scarce due to restrictions on it by the US Government), we do want to help educate our visitors.So, what exactly is CBD? CBD – short for cannabidiol – is one of the most prevalent compounds (termed “cannabinoids”) found in the cannabis and hemp plants. It won’t get you high, but it is also responsible for many of the therapeutic potential cited by others, including epilepsy, trouble sleeping (insomnia), arthritischronic pain, and depression. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why you’ll often find it many topicals, lotion, and beauty products as of recent. In broad strokes, CBD can be taken sublingually, ingested, rubbed on one’s skin, or smoked. The most common route of consumption is as a tincture, which can be consumed as drops under the tongue or in one’s tea, however, many other forms of CBD continue to arise along with CBD’s growing popularity. There are lotions, bath soaps, bath bombs, capsules (some with added melatonin to help with sleep), vaporizers, edibles as gummies, chocolates, olive oil, and honey, and more. Additionally, the FDA recently approved its use in Epidiolex, a seizure medication for patients with severe epilepsy. This makes CBD the first marijuana-derived substance to be FDA-approved.

How CBD works (and why it won’t get you stoned)

To understand CBD’s unique positives, it helps to understand how cannabis affects the body in general.

One marijuana plant contains more than 100 chemical compounds––cannabinoids––that act on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).Made up of neurotransmitters and corresponding cell receptors, this system regulates a host of important mind-body interactions. When you’re in pain, for example, your ECS stimulates the nerves cells that signal the problem.Cannabinoids act on two receptors in the endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2.When a cannabinoid like THC enters the body, it acts on the CB1 receptor and affects memory, concentration, and coordination. It gets you stoned. When a cannabinoid like CBD enters the body, it doesn’t act on CB receptors. Instead, it acts on receptors that affect pain, inflammation, and anxiety. It doesn’t get you stoned––but it may make you feel better. We’ll be updating this post with more information on the biological pathway and subsequent impact shortly!