CBD Research  -  How CBD Works

How does CBD work?


None of the statements on this website have been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. A doctor's advise should be sought before using CBD products especially if you have a serious medical condition, use prescription medications, are pregnant, or are nursing a child.


The media and web are all abuzz with stories on CBD.


Pretty amazing stories.

  • Children with epilepsy quieting the storm (a new medication was just approved by the FDA).
  • Anxiety and depression relief with MRI's to back it up.
  • Sleep restored without all the horrible side effects and side effects of Ambien, Tylenol PM, Unisom, and the like.


The list goes on and on:

list of CBD benefits


So how does it do this?


Its effects are so widespread in the body that there must be something "upstream" that's being affected.

We'll look at the current explanation of how CBD works at a top-level first.

We'll then zoom in to see what research shows at an individual system level.


That will start the ball rolling on how CBD works.


If you just want to see the price comparison for major brands, go right here:

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You can jump to any top here:


Let's get to work!

Big Picture – CBD And Homeostasis

We promise not to get lost in the weeds here (terrible pun – our apologies).


If you search online for how CBD works, many websites throw an alphabet soup of words at you that require a biology course.


We'll keep simple, Maam!


It's very rare that a chemical can affect so many different areas of the body.


CBD appears to have a balancing effect on:

  • Neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain and gut that govern everything from mood to pain)
  • Hormones (master regulators for both sexes)
  • Immune system (protects and defends us from outsiders)
  • Cardiovascular (heart, arteries, veins, and lungs) – little bit important


First, how does it affect all these different systems?

The endocannabinoid system.


That's a mouthful!


Basically, you have a network that runs through the entire body.


Organs, blood cells, neurons, bone, muscle, genitals....you name it.

This system has receptors everywhere!


There are two types of receptors.


CD1 and CD2.

  • CD1 is primarily in the brain
  • CD2 is everywhere else


Let's start with a quick visual, please!


how does CBD work

We share this system will all members of the animal kingdom except for insects.


It's ancient!!


About 600 million years old.


Clearly, nature only holds on to something this long across the arc of living beings if it's important.


So...why so important?

The best picture scientist have now is that the endocannabinoid system acts as a master controller for the other system.


Every system in the body works with opposing forces that balance each other.


Occasionally, we need one to overpower the other as needed.


For example, there's a chemical messenger that signals a need for food (appetite increases).


As we eat, there's a separate chemical messenger (or sometimes just the depletion of the "hungry" messenger) that signals it's time to stop eating (appetite decreases).


Otherwise, the two messengers are in balance and we feel neither!


This is called homeostasis.


It's just a big word for "in balance".


There's no movement either way because both forces are pushing against each other equally.

The endocannabinoid system is connected to all the key systems and works to keep them balanced!


Almost all our modern diseases, ailments, and discomforts are a result of an imbalance in one of these systems.


Take one example that's becoming a bigger and bigger issue these days...

Anxiety – too much cortisol; not enough GABA


CBD has been found to be very effective with anxiety as it helps to restore the balance between the two (and other actors).


CBD doesn't actually bind to the receptors but it does stimulate the body's natural system to be for productive.


It's a swift kick to the endocannabinoid system to do its job.


Learn more specifics about CBD and Anxiety here.

In all fairness, most of our systems are under attack in today's modern world:

  • Chronic stress
  • Pesticides
  • Environmental toxins
  • Endocrine disrupters in plastics, and food

Most of us are walking around with fire retardant and glyphosate (RoundUp) in our bodies as you read this.  Even umbilical cord blood isn't safe!

There's almost no way to avoid it in the modern world.


The endocannabinoid system is overworked and stressed.

It needs some assistance!


That is EXACTLY what CBD appears to do.


Stimulate our existing system which governs all the other key systems.


Pretty cool.


Even cooler, let's look at an actual example based on real research.

Little Picture – CBD And Gut Inflammation Example

Most of our newer, modern diseases originate from the immune system.


The immune system protects us from intruders. It has to be very vigilant and monitor everything that goes in us and on us.


When this system is faulty or gets stressed from over-use, it starts to make mistakes.


It attacks us!

  • Arthritis – immune attaches the joints
  • Cardiovascular plaque – immune attacks mouth bacteria and locks it in walls of arteries and heart
  • Diabetes immune attacks islets cells in the pancreas
  • Weight and other issues – immune attacks thyroid
  • Gout pain – immune attacks kidneys
  • Alzheimer's, DementiaParkinson's – immune attacks neurons and other parts of the nervous system


You may be saying...wait a minute...these can't all be related.


Let's look at a small example...arterial clogging.


You may say...

"I'm on statins for my arterial clogging!"


You and millions of other people.


Until they actually did a much more sophisticated genetic scan of the fat that was being lined in the artery.

It did not bear the microscopic signature of mammalian fat.  Not from our liver or from what we ate.


It came from bacteria!!


Bacteria were most likely from the mouth which accounts for the link between poor dental health and heart issues.


In fact, they just found that bacteria in our gums may be causing Dementia and Alzheimer's.


That is groundbreaking research....but not if you read a few more pages on this site such as CBD and the Immune system or CBD and the Gut. 


How does the immune play into this?


The mouth bacteria's waste products are small lipids or molecules of fat that can cross the blood barrier from the mouth.


The immune system catches them and panics...


Foreign bacteria attackers!!!


Attack attack attack.

It creates an inflammatory response which is what it's supposed to do and locks the foreign invader in the lining of the artery. Imprisoned forever.


If it does this too much for too long, we have a problem!

That's a single example of the immune system's implication in a major health issue that affects 100's of millions worldwide and costs BILLIONS in medications and procedures.

Reference to the research can be found here:



What does CBD have to do with the immune response??


Recent research shows that CBD has two big impacts on the immune system.

Keep in mind that the primary residence of the immune system is in the gut.


This makes sense.


The gut is the primary way that our body interacts with the outside world, both good and bad actors!


The bacteria are literally allowed inside us!


It's our biggest vulnerability (behind skin and lungs).


The immune system is the cop and it needs to be in the high crime area.


Our gut!!


So...back to CBD.


The researchers found that CBD impacts the immune system and gut inflammation in two ways:

  • It calms the immune system down – switching from T1 attack mode to T2 mode
  • It allows toxins from the body to pass to the intestines to be sent out with the trash


This is huge!


Many of the modern diseases are a result of a stressed-out immune system.

Too many 911 calls. It can't respond or when it does, it's overkill!


Furthermore, too many toxins from the environment and body that get stuck behind the lining of the intestinal wall and that cause...




Find out all about CBD and Inflammation or CBD and Immune Response.


The whole leaky gut syndrome.

It turns out that the endocannabinoid system is the transporter of the toxins across the gut lining.


Taking out the trash!


CBD spurs this activity which means fewer toxins in your bodybuilding up in the gut.


There are two basic "states" of the immune system.

  • T1
  • T2


T1 is defcon 4...highly aggressive and called into action when we're potentially under attack.


T2 is less belligerent.


CBD helped to switch from T1 to T2.

Remember that most of our modern diseases are a result of the immune system attacking us!


The change from T1 to T2 reduces this tendency.


That's one example born out by research.


One of potentially 100's in the body!


This is very exciting stuff!


Remember that there are CBD receptors throughout the body, brain, and nervous system!


Learn all about CBD and the Immune system here.


There's no free ride in the universe...are there any side effects from using CBD?

Are There Side Effects To CBD

This is what sets CBD apart from all the medications doctors prescribe for corresponding issues.


It's very safe by itself!


The more common side effects (usually moderate) for CBD are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness

There is no known case of overdosing on CBD.


Compare that to even the back of Tylenol or Aspirin.


Heck, compare that to caffeine or sugar!


Clearly, CBD ties into a system that's integral to the body.


You can read more about CBD safety here.


How much CBD does it take to work?

How Much CBD Should I Take To Work

Great question.


First, there are different ways to take it and they have varying effects:

Best way to take CBD


The common ways to take CBD are:

  • Tincture (oil either sublingual or swallowed)
  • Balms and lotions applied to the skin
  • Edibles – cooked into food
  • Vape – heated and inhaled
  • Capsule – swallowed


Regardless of how you take it, the dosages are pretty standardized.


Here's a general guideline but make sure to check out CBD dosage page for much more guidance.

Best dosage for cbd - how much should I take


We want to focus on the total amount of CBD per usage.


This is usually given in a milligram or MG of CBD.


Everybody's chemistry is different and the dosage also depends on what you're trying to address.


We have CBD dosage guidelines by health issues here.


You can always adjust up or down from there.


What's the expected time before CBD works?

How Long Does It Take CBD Oil To Work

This also depends on how you take it.


Here's a rough estimate:

  • Tincture – starts in 10-20 minutes
  • Balms and lotions applied to the skin – starts in 20-30 minutes
  • Edibles – starts in 20-30 minutes
  • Vape – heated and inhaled – starts in 5-10 minutes if not immediately
  • Capsule – starts in 20-30 minutes


A few notes.


The topical (applied to the skin) will last longer and start slower.


The most popular approach is the tincture with sublingual (under the tongue) application.


The effects of CBD can last for days depending on what is being addressed.


You can check out the Best Of list from our screened CBD brands here:


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How Does CBD Work With THC

This question comes up quite a bit.

One note...THC is not legal in every state and not really legal at the Federal level.


In the States where it is legal (such as California), you can find products that have THC and CBD in them.


Usually, there's a ratio of THC to CBD.

THC is psychoactive while CBD is NOT.


In fact, there is evidence that CBD counters some of the negative effects of THC.

The rule of thumb is that a ratio of over 10 CBD to 1 THC should not be psychoactive since the CBD mitigates the THC high by crowding out the CD1 receptors.


We have an entire article on the THC versus CBD discussion here.


Almost all of the positive research is on CBD by itself which is called CBD Isolate on the market.

How To Buy CBD Oil That Works

Make sure to check out our buyer's guide to CBD.


We go through:

  • What to look for when shopping for CBD
  • What companies are strong
  • How to find the best CBD values


And much more.


CBD is new to many people and there are so many products out there!


We want to make sure everyone has a great introduction to this substance that just might revolutionize health care and health.

Review Of How CBD Works.

We could have written for 100's of pages to really capture everything CBD is doing in the body.


Instead, we took one powerful example based on hard research.


It's a big one though.

Gut inflammation and immune overactive responses.


Pay attention to the medication ads next time.


It will probably have something to do with diseases listed as potential targets for CBD!


Also listen to the side effects (arm may fall off, uncontrollable levitation, etc)


CBD has tremendous promise to address some of these issues without the side effects!


We'll have entire articles based on existing research for CBD and Different Issues here.


And more coming every day!


The one take away is this...


CBD impacts a system-wide network called the endocannabinoid system.


This network has crucial work to do in today's modern world (toxins, pesticides, stress, etc).


It's very easy to see if CBD will work for you.


You can access reviews of top CBD brands and products here with cost comparisons!


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Shop and Compare CBD Oils here from a brands with 3rd party testing