What is CBD (Cannabidiol) And How Does it Work?

Everything you need to know about CBD

Like THC, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid naturally found in cannabis. Of all the cannabinoids, THC is the most well-known, leading consumers to beg the question, “what is CBD?.” Even though THC has some amazing benefits, we are finding more and more every day that it drives many of the medicinal uses of marijuana. Because of the way CBD reacts with our brain, it’s not psychoactive. In fact, it tends to protect against the psychoactive effects of THC.

What Does Cannabidiol Help Treat?

Because of the way CBD interacts with your CB-1 receptors, it can be used to treat a whole selection of illnesses. Remember, CBD is non-psychoactive, so you’ll get all the health benefits of cannabis, without any of the psychoactivity. Here are some of the known ailments that CBD helps with.

Quitting Nicotine

A 2013 study showed that inhaled CBD was a very effective replacement for nicotine CBD quit nicotine, Cannabidiol helps quit nicotine that reduced cigarette consumption and combatted withdrawal symptoms.

These are just a few of the uses we’ve researched for cannabidiol. The great news is that there are many different ways to utilize this versatile cannabinoid. CBD can be isolated and consumed by itself or it can be used in conjunction with other cannabinoids to achieve the entourage effect.  The entourage effect is the result of whole cannabis medicine and describes the synergy that occurs when the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis are used in conjunction with each other.

Unfortunately, whole plant medicine isn’t always available to everyone due to outdated and ill advised prohibition laws that still exist regarding marijuana


While this one still requires a lot more research, in a 2006 study, cannabidiol was shown to lower the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. While it did not show any direct impact on blood glucose levels, the underlying factors contributing to diabetes were affected.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

CBD’s ability to fight inflammation combined with its ability to affect gastrointestinal motility shows a great deal of promise in treating Crohn’s Disease, colitis, and even IBS. Cannabis has gained a reputation for combating nausea and increasing appetite in those patients who are undergoing chemo, but it turns out that CBD has far more uses in optimal digestive health.

Multiple Sclerosis

A study by the Cajal Institute found that cannabidiol was pivotal in reversing the inflammation responsible for the symptoms of MS. Not only did mice show improved motor skills, but they appeared to gain protection from the effects of MS as a result of the CBD.

CBD can help treat patients with multiple sclerosis


A 2011 study showed that cannabidiol enhanced anandamide signaling and alleviated psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. When compared side by side with a more traditional pharmaceutical option, not only was it deemed just as effective but had far fewer side effects.


CBD  has not only been found to induce sleep but to also promote sleep stability. As anyone who has struggled with insomnia can attest, getting to sleep is wonderful, but gaining a stable sleep cycle is amazing!


In a 2011 study, CBD showed significant promise in treating fibromyalgia. CBD appears to reduce pain and stiffness, enhances relaxation, and increases feelings of well-being in fibromyalgia patients.

CBD and Acne

Researchers have found that cannabidiol is a potent tool in controlling acne. Studies show that CBD normalizes “pro-acne agent” induced excessive lipid synthesis, reduces inflammation, and acts as a sebostatic agent.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Cannabidiol has been shown to promote neurogenesis and reduce neuroinflammation which helps to reverse two key pathological features of Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition to reducing oxidative stress, CBD has also shown promise in preventing neurodegeneration.

How to Consume CBD

Just like with THC, there are a lot of options for consuming CBD. No matter what method you choose, CBD has a plethora of benefits to offer. Whether you are utilizing CBD to fight a specific condition or simply to promote good health, CBD can make a positive impact on your well-being and provide much-needed relief from pain and inflammation. CBD can be utilized by itself though and while the legality of CBD derived from hemp is an issue of debate thanks to recent rulings by the DEA, it is still widely available online and in health food stores. There are numerous products to choose from too. From topicals to tinctures to capsules, here are just a few options to get you started.

CBD Tinctures

Tinctures and concentrates are the purest applications of CBD. TInctures are most effective when taken sublingually. The drops are placed under the tongue and held there as long as possible before swallowing.

CBD Concentrates

Concentrates are typically the strongest available dosage of CBD, sometimes as much as 10 times the concentration of tinctures. The downside is the flavor, which for many is deal breaker. Concentrates usually come in syringes that shoot the product into the mouth. Again, like tinctures, it’s best take sublingually.


CBD capsules, Cannabidiol capsules Capsules are the easiest way to take CBD. Capsules usually come in doses of 10-25mg per serving and can be taken easily with a glass of water. If you find you need a larger dose than what is available via capsule, you may want to supplement with another product rather than doubling up on capsules as they can be very expensive.


Topicals include lotions, salves, balms, and oils. Topicals are usually reserved for localized pain and skin disorders. The application method will vary depending on what type of topical you’ve chosen.


Sprays are the weakest concentration available with doses usually ranging from 1-3 mg. Sprays are convenient and discreet for portable use but are much more difficult to gauge the exact dosage. Sprays are simple to use as they only require a quick spray into the mouth.


Unlike whole plant medicine, CBD doesn’t seem to be as effective when smoked or vaped. It does, however, take effect faster than oral or transdermal use. It can be an expensive option too since it requires a vaporizer, which will need to be maintained, and vape oil.


What is CBD (Cannabidiol) And How Does it Work? was last modified: by
Amber Faust
About Amber Faust
Amber Faust is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in natural lifestyle pieces and sociopolitical commentary. Amber is a lifelong activist for social justice and environmental issues. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, painting, drumming, meditation, and yoga.