What is CBD?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. Cannabis is most well-known for a cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is responsible for getting people high. CBD is the other major component of cannabis and it might not help you get high, but it does provide a ton of incredible medical benefits.

To understand what CBD does, you first have to take a look at the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which contains receptors that interact with cannabinoids and helps maintain homeostasis by regulating pain, mood, sleep, motor functions, inflammation, and much more. The ECS also produces endocannabinoids which are naturally occurring cannabinoids that act on the body's many cannabinoid receptors. The main receptors are the CB1 receptors found usually in the brain and central nervous system and the CB2 receptors found mostly in peripheral organs and the immune system.

CBD doesn't directly stimulate the CB1 or CB2 receptors, but gets the body to naturally produce more endocannabinoids to activate them. As mentioned earlier, the receptors play a big part in managing functions such as pain and sleep, so stimulating these receptors can help the body fight against a wide variety of diseases and other ailments. The three main receptors that CBD affects, either directly or indirectly, are the adenosine receptors that moderate the body's sleep cycle, the serotonin receptors that affect mood and street, and the vanilloid receptors which modulate pain.

So far, many medicinal oils are extracted from marijuana plants with high CBD strains and used to treat all sorts of problems including:

  • Pain problems: Spinal injuries, cramps, arthritis, inflammation
  • Gastrointestinal problems: Appetite loss, diabetes, anorexia, nausea, Chron's disease
  • Neurological problems: Seizures, epilepsy, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's
  • Mood and behavior problems: Depression, anxiety, ADD, PTSD, OCD, stress

Another interesting use for CBD is that it counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. In other words, CBD is responsible for making sure that you don't get high. Therefore, marijuana strains with a high amount of CBD and a low amount of THC will probably not get you very high, if they even do at all.


CBD also alters the way that the body interacts with endocannabinoids. Neurologist and medical researcher Dr. Ethan Russo suggests that many problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and fibromyalgia are caused by an endocannabinoid deficiency and that CBD may help treat those issues.

1 https://www.solcbd.com/pages/how-cbd- works
2 https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what- is-the- endocannabinoid-system
3 https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/cannabinoids- 101-what- makes-cannabis- medicine
4 http://herb.co/2016/07/26/everything-you- need-to- know-about-cbd/


While marijuana is most widely recognized for its use as a recreational drug, further research on CBD should encourage more people to see marijuana as a medical drug as well. It has been proven to be effective in treating a large variety of diseases and ailments and the more the public comes to embrace its uses, the more it can be used to help those who need it. CBD-rich strains of cannabis have only somewhat recently become widely available and their full potential still has yet to be discovered by many people. By reframing cannabis as a useful medical treatment rather than just a way to get high, many people may be persuaded to adopt it as an alternative to over the counter and prescription medication.