How CBD Works - Beginners Guide to CBD
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.
It’s starting to pop up everywhere.
The much easier way to say Cannabidiol (thank you initials!)
Many people who hear the word CBD have no idea what it is.
Many others have negative connotations thinking that it’s illegal or Marijuana.
There needs to be one place that gets in to all the questions people have.
After all, we have an entire system in our body that can use it!
More on that later.
If you just want to jump right different CBD options, click here:
Otherwise, feel free to jump to any section here:
Lots to cover.
Some of these sections are so detailed, we’ll have separate articles just for them.
This is an intro after all.
We just want to get to know CBD…we’re not dating yet!!
You will be!
CBD is short for Cannabidiol.
There are over 113 Cannabinoids that have been identified and we don’t know what most of them do!
The two we’ll focus on are THC and CBD…which are the best researched.
A few important notes on CBD to first-time readers:
THC (it’s a psychoactive cousin) has received the lion’s share of both research and condemnation.
CBD is newer on the scene but the results have been nothing short of amazing.
For that reason, you’re about to see an explosion of options on the market.
So we need to arm ourselves with information!
Starting with, how does CBD work?
First, let’s start with a quick primer:
Whenever you have a substance that affects so many different systems in the body, it’s probably operating at a systemic level.
Let’s look at a common medication…the anti-depression meds.
The most popular class are SSRI’s.
Sometimes it works, while other times it can go horribly wrong (just look at the side effects!!)
Our current take on medicine is a whack-a-mole approach.
We increase or decrease one chemical somewhere in the body to affect one symptom.
The problem is that we’re not as smart as we think we are.
So how does CBD affect so many different systems?
The current research is pointing to a long but very important word…
There’s a push-pull going on across the body and brain.
These systems exist all over the body!
Some are simple while others are very complex – The immune system and Endocrine system (hormones) for example.
Lots of players on the field there.
Umm…I thought we were talking about CBD!!
We’re getting there.
Think of a referee sitting above all the players on the field.
Ahhh…that part of the system is too strong…dial it in!
How does it do this?
We literally have a body-wide system that CBD can influence.
This requires an entirely separate article on how CBD works since we like to geek out on it!
Let’s take one example that research just discovered.
CBD reduces inflammation in the gut (uh-um… Crohn’s, Arthritis, and all the other immune diseases that plague modern society) in two ways.
The endocannabinoid system is the transporter of toxins (from daily metabolism and environment) across the gut lining to the intestine and out of the body!
CBD basically stimulates that system to activate and do its job!
Otherwise, toxins build up just behind the intestinal lining and bad things happen!
That’s one simple example of a specific system, but you can see how powerful that is!
Read more on how CBD works here.
Are there different types of CBD?
A quick lesson in botany.
If you see the cannabinoid designation, it comes for a group of related plants.
They all have a common ancestor if you go back far enough.
Keep in mind that cannabis has been cultivated by humans for 1000’s of years.
Every mammal will eat cannabis in the wild.
They can even detect the better plants.
THC is the psychoactive chemical that has made marijuana illegal in the U.S.
CBD is NOT psychoactive and actually provides an offsetting effect to THC.
It’s calming and neuroprotective.
A quick look at CBD versus THC:
The levels of THC are a primary determinant of the legal label of Hemp.
The CBD is the same chemical in either.
We’re focusing on the CBD part of it (legal and not psychoactive).
The chemical is the same for either.
At dispensaries (where THC is legal) you may see a ratio of say 20 CBD to 1 THC.
That’s a very high CBD level.
The net net…
CBD from marijuana can only be found in dispensaries within states where marijuana is legal.
We’ll focus on the hemp CBD here since it’s available to everyone and exploding on the scene!
CBD by itself has been found to be very safe.
Levels up to 1500 mg have been tested up to 4 weeks with no adverse effects.
Keep in mind that we’re talking about CBD only.
THC is a different chemical altogether!
Our focus is CBD which has been tested for safety.
We’ll discuss the side effects (for some people) below.
We have an entire page of CBD safety here.
But first, what’s all the commotion about? What does CBD do for people?
With every passing week, we get new research on a given symptom, system, or disease with pretty amazing results for CBD.
Dozens of further experiments are in the process right now!
Here’s a quick list but we’ll be breaking out each topic separately over time:
We can go on and on which tells you something.
It’s not activating at the individual system but further up the scale on a system-wide basis.
This is what makes it so exciting.
Most nutrients, supplements, and medications affect one small system.
Maybe even a piece of a system.
CBD appears to stimulate a system that monitors, adjusts, and strengthens all the systems:
If you look at what makes the body and brain work well…that’s getting close to it!
Something is going on at a systemic level and that’s why CBD is showing progress across the board.
There are CBD receptors throughout the body!
This furthers the idea that the endocannabinoid system is a master system in the body and brain.
We’ll tackle all the benefits of CBD here but what about side effects?
CBD is well tolerated by the body.
With higher doses, these side effects have been reported:
Take a look at the possible side-effects for even a psoriasis medication:
Are you kidding me?
That medication can cost up to $50K/year.
We’ve seen anecdotal but amazing results with CBD roll-ons for psoriasis, acne, and a host of skin-related autoimmune diseases.
This small example but written across the entire body is why we’re so excited about CBD and its ability to help people!
This depends on what you’re trying to address.
Here are the most popular:
CBD comes in all sorts of form factors:
We have an entire article on the best way to take CBD but are considerations:
Let’s look at each one.
If your issue is skin-related, then it might be best to apply a topical CBD.
This is usually a balm or roll-on (like a deodorant stick).
This also works well for specific pain areas such as feet, arthritis, joints, back, etc.
So specific body pains and skin issues, topical might be best.
Keep in mind that they may have a stronger smell.
You may not want to go to work as a preschool teacher smelling like Indonesia!
The scent goes away pretty quickly but you can apply at night.
Check out the product page for the best CBD balms here.
Some people may have sensitive stomachs.
In that case, the sublingual (under the tongue) tinctures. The patch would also work here but they might be more expensive.
This is usually an allergic reaction to full-spectrum CBD (see full spectrum versus CBD Isolate).
The vape pens also avoid digestion and deliver very fast CBD effects.
There are so many different ways to take CBD now.
CBD Isolate has almost no taste (especially if in MCT or coconut oil) while full spectrum can taste really strong.
The tinctures have a distinct taste which isn’t terrible but you’re not going to consider it a treat!
Edibles work well here but make sure to get the infused CBD options and not the spray-on CBD (typically gummies).
The CBD isolate generally has no real taste if clean.
Check out this article on What does CBD taste like.
This is a big factor as the costs can swing significantly.
Some trial and error are important here to see what works for you.
Check out the CBD cost comparison here:
On average, here’s the cost from less to most expensive:
You can research all these options at the link above.
There are 1000’s of CBD products now available on the market.
With differing levels of quality, availability, and in many cases…clarity!
Here’s a CBD Buyer’s Checklist:
This is a good list to start with.
Beyond that, it’s the application that’s important.
The tincture is the most popular for more therapeutic dosages.
The balms/roll-ons work well for skin-related issues or area-specific pain/inflammation.
Learn all about CBD for inflammation here.
The company is important but California is forcing many of the lesser quality actors out of the market with their new regulations.
This is good news for the consumer ultimately!
There are still lots of bad brands and products out there just trying to make a buck on CBD’s popularity.
Where can we shop based on our requirements above?
There are now 100’s if not 1000’s of CBD stores and brands online.
After comparing the different options, we found multiple that meets our requirements.
Compare the major CBD brands and products here:
They meet the requirements on our checklist but maybe, more importantly, their CBD is very effective.
That’s one thing you will notice if new to the CBD marketplace.
One product will have an amazing effect for you while another seemingly similar product will not.
This may be a question of how the CBD is processed, where it is sourced from, and many other factors.
Keep in mind that CBD is coming from a plant.
The original source of the CBD oil is critical and we’ve found the above, linked product to be consistent and effective.
You can read more about our CBD company and product comparison here.
This was NOT meant to be everything about CBD.
That would take 100’s of pages (which we’ll get to)!
We wanted a clean introduction for people new to the world of CBD.
Hopefully, we delivered.
We’ll be adding those other 100’s of pages to this site on every possible topic you can imagine.
It’s really exciting times.
If you have a personal story on CBD or a specific product (good or bad), PLEEEEAAASSSE let us know!
You’ll help the next person who is investigating or using CBD to changes their life.
You can read my personal story on CBD for my family. It’s made me a believer…almost religious in nature.
Let’s get started with that, please!
Dozens of Brands
“I was lost…there’s so many CBD products out there. Thank you for making this all make sense!”
“I literally lay down and I’m out. I wake one to use the bathroom and them I’m out again til morning. I almost NEVER am able to sleep like that! It’s pretty awesome”
“I feel like my body is oddly more flexible in the gym if that makes sense. I do notice that I sleep deeper.”
“CBD is the only way I get through the night. It’s been a life-saver for me. Thank you for the research!”
SEE Statement at bottom regarding FDA notification and legal statement on claims
“I love the comparison! It’s impossible to figure out what’s being offered and for how much. Thank you so much! I’ll make sure to send my CBD story to you!”
“I had no idea how important the lab results were with CBD. I won’t touch it without first seeing what’s in there now.”
“I was spending sooo much energy fighting off negative thoughts before CBD. I have so much more energy now.”
“Thank you so much for your marvelous work. I’ve told all my family members to check out the how it works page. Simple enough for even me to understand!”