The basics of CBD: What it is, how it works in your body, and why you should try it

The basics of CBD: What it is, how it works in your body, and why you should try it

Cannabidiol (CBD) is rapidly growing in popularity as a treatment and preventative medicine for a wide range of illnesses, including chronic pain, stress, and anxiety. More people than ever before are shifting their opinions on hemp and related products, and turning to CBD as a safe, natural relief for medical conditions, from chronic pain to anxiety.

The hemp-derived product contains natural medicinal benefits with proven healing properties that are backed by modern medicine and research. Whether you’re a CBD user, have never heard of it before, or curious about how it may be able to help you, here are some basics to help you understand more about CBD:  

What is CBD, and is it legal?


Cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, is a naturally occurring hemp compound and medicinal product. It is the concentrated liquid extract of the hemp plant. CBD oil does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the “high” commonly associated with hemp.

Due to its ability to treat a wide range of chronic illnesses, the popularity of CBD is quickly growing.

While CBD is legal in all states, there are situations when it is not, largely determined by where the CBD is derived from, hemp. The crucial difference between the two is the amount of THC each plant produces. Hemp has a much lower concentration of THC, making it near impossible to get high from it.

Unlike THC, there are no psychoactive effects in hemp or in hemp-derived CBD. As a result, these products are completely legal and available nationwide. However, hemp-derived CBD is a different story and relies on state laws – in some states, it is completely legal, recreationally and medically, in some it is illegal entirely, and in some, it is more mixed with specific-CBD laws, typically legal if prescribed for medical use by a licensed professional. Before purchasing or using any hemp-derived products, make sure you know the laws in your state.

How does it work?


CBD oil works through interaction with the endocannabinoid system, which controls a wide range of metabolic functions. It primarily interacts with two receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors can be found in the brain and central nervous system, controlling sleep, appetite, mood, smell, and motor control. CB2 are found in the immune system, peripheral nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and brain.


The endocannabinoid system also plays an important role in homeostasis in our body, helping to balance interdependent elements. For example, in a stressful situation, we release cortisol, helpful when we need to react quickly, but disruption for the natural balance of our body and mind. When certain endocannabinoids are introduced, it not only provides stress relief, but it manages our perception so we can make a clear-headed decision.

Due to the presence of endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body, naturally found in the brain, organs, skin, tissue, glands, and immune cells, the extensive effect of CBD oil can lead to systemic, widespread relief for many different ailments.

Usually, CBD is consumed in the form of crystals or pure oil and can be dissolved under the tongue or added into food and beverages. It comes in liquid form or capsules. As an oil, it can be mixed with a favorite lotion and applied directly to your skin.


Talk to your doctor to determine the right dosage for you, and try starting with a small dose to see how your body reacts before increasing the amount.

What conditions can CBD help?


While existing research on CBD has shown promising results, there is a lot of room to continue expanding our knowledge and understanding of CBD, including more human clinical trials.

It has shown success when faced up against many chronic illnesses, including relief for multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease and relief for chemotherapy-induced nausea or other symptoms, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and chronic pain.

In terms of pain relief, CBD can help to limit the number of pills a patient would need to take, and it is non-addictive, eliminating some of the risk associated with traditionally prescribed opiates and painkillers.

CBD has also shown to have an effect on depression and anxiety. It often provides a calming effect for patients and has shown promising results, particularly in reducing social anxiety.

With so much promise in existing studies, CBD treatment is a great option for a variety of chronic illnesses and will only continue to grow in popularity and use.