Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient from the group of cannabinoids and is found in the hemp plant (cannabis). Female hemp has a high concentration of it. Together with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is one of the best-known cannabinoids. The latter is responsible for the intoxicating effect. On the other hand, CBD is considered a non-psychoactive substance (i.e., it does not induce changes in consciousness), although it appears to have specific psychotropic effects. It is lipophilic (= fat-soluble) and is therefore well distributed in the body, especially in the central nervous system.

Pharmacology: This is how CBD works

There is evidence that cannabinoids interact with different receptors, either active or blocking. The two “classic” cannabinoid receptors are known as CB1 and CB2.

Cannabinoid receptors

Cannabinoid receptors control necessary sensory inputs in the body and mind, which interrelate with cannabinoids from plants, which are produced by the brain as needed. Common perceptions or sensations under the control of these receptors include appetite, mood, pain, and memory.

CB1 & CB2

One finds the CB1 receptor mainly in the central nervous system (and to a lesser extent in the liver, lungs, intestines, and kidneys), while the CB2 receptor is an integral part of the immune system. It also plays a significant role in many diseases.

Especially THC, i.e., the substance that has psychoactive or narcotic properties, unfolds its mechanisms of action when it interacts with the receptors. The difference between THC and CBD in CB1 & CB2 is that THC directly stimulates the two receptors, while CBD indirectly reaches them. The effects of CBD are mainly triggered by other receptors such as adenosine, vanilloid, and serotonin.

It can be roughly summarized that the receptors are part of the so-called endocannabinoid system, which regulates processes in the human body. This system influences the following bodily functions:

  • performance of the immune system
  • perception of pain
  • mood
  • emergence of fears
  • regulation of sleep, hunger, and body temperature[1][2]

Therapeutic effect

Although CBD does not directly interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it does activate many non-cannabinoid receptors. These have an enormous influence on many different sensitivities and diseases; these are as follows:

CBD, Anti-Stress & Anti-Inflammation

CBD’s calming and anti-inflammatory effect is based on interacting with the so-called adenosine receptor. During stimulation, dopamine and glutamate neurotransmitters are released, which are closely linked to functions such as fine motor skills, motivation, and the reward effect. One requires glutamate for memory, learning, imagining, and processing sensory impressions.

CBD & Serotinin

However, CBD influences other functions in the body because it also stimulates the serotonin receptor, which is known for its anti-depressive effect. In addition, the serotonin receptor is involved in hunger, pain, nervousness, or addiction.


In addition, since CBD stimulates the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, or PPARs for short, it is considered a potential anti-cancer drug.

Genes responsible for various metabolic processes, fat absorption, and insulin sensitivity interact with the PPAR receptors; therefore, a CBD treatment could also be helpful here.

Medical application

The effects of cannabidiol, CBD for short, promise enormous medical benefits (and this without the psychoactive effects of THC). It has many beneficial mechanisms of action and exhibits healing properties; therefore, it is highly regarded in alternative medicine. Experts see CBD “cannabidiol” as the essential component of medical cannabis.

Since cannabinoid receptors are in many places in the body, their effects can unfold in several places. CBD acts indirectly on the receptors, which affects the nervous and immune systems. This substance is said to affect nerve-related, psychological problems, and autoimmune diseases positively. Since it greatly influences the immune system’s regeneration, cannabinoids can reduce cancer cells, they say. Since cannabinoid has antioxidant properties, they can protect human cells and genetic material from negative influences.[3][4][5][6]

Clinical studies

Initially, knowledge about the effects of CBD could be obtained from research on animals or studies on isolated cell samples. While these results are illustrative; however, they were not fully representative of the effects and potential benefits of CBD in humans.

Based on recent clinical studies on sick or healthy people, one can make the following statements about CBD and its positive influence on some health problems:

  • possible reduction of autoimmune inflammation in type 1 diabetes[7]
  • can provide support for epilepsy[8][9]
  • can be helpful for anxiety symptoms[10]
  • possible reduction in nicotine dependence[11]
  • can help with sleep disorders[12]
  • can have a positive effect on schizophrenia[13][14]

Important NOTE:

The information provided is as up-to-date, factual, and fact-based as possible. However, we would like to point out that this can under no circumstances replace advice and treatment by a doctor.


CBD is considered a significantly better choice when treating health conditions than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) because CBD does not exhibit any psychoactive or narcotic effects.

How fast and how strong the effect of CBD is ultimately depends on several factors. In addition to the dose, the symptom or health problem and the type of intake play a significant role. Types of income are usually:

If you want to experience CBD’s long-term effect, you must ensure that you take it for a long time and regularly.



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[2] Thomas A, Baillie GL, Phillips AM, Razdan RK, Ross RA, Pertwee RG. Cannabidiol displays unexpectedly high potency as an antagonist of CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists in vitro. Br J Pharmacol. 2007 Mar;150(5):613-23

[3] Lunn CA, Fine JS, Rojas-Triana A, Jackson JV, Fan X, Kung TT, Gonsiorek W, Schwarz MA, Lavey B, Kozlowski JA, Narula SK, Lundell DJ, Hipkin RW, Bober LA. A novel cannabinoid peripheral cannabinoid receptor-selective inverse agonist blocks leukocyte recruitment in vivo. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006 Feb;316(2):780-8

[4] Esposito G, De Filippis D, Maiuri MC, De Stefano D, Carnuccio R, Iuvone T. Cannabidiol inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression, and nitric oxide production in beta-amyloid stimulated PC12 neurons through p38 MAP kinase and NF-kappaB involvement. Neurosci Lett. 2006 May 15;399(1-2):91-5

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[9] Perez-Reyes M, Wingfield M. Letter: Cannabidiol and electroencephalographic epileptic activity. JAMA. 1974 Dec 23-30;230(12):1635

[10] Das RK, Kamboj SK, Ramadas M, Yogan K, Gupta V, Redman E, Curran HV, Morgan CJ. Cannabidiol enhances consolidation of explicit fear extinction in humans. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Apr;226(4):781-92

[11] Morgan CJ, Das RK, Joye A, Curran HV, Kamboj SK. Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: preliminary findings. Addict Behav. 2013 Sep;38(9):2433-6

[12] Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. Perm J. 2016 Fall;20(4):108-111

[13] Linge R, Jiménez-Sánchez L, Campa L, Pilar-Cuéllar F, Vidal R, Pazos A, Adell A, Díaz Á. Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology. 2016 Apr;103:16-26

[14] Lee JL, Bertoglio LJ, Guimarães FS, Stevenson CW. Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders. Br J Pharmacol. 2017 Mar 7