How Does CBD Work?

If you’re one of the millions left still asking, “how does CBD work?” you’re not far from the answer now. It’s natural to want to understand how a particular supplement actually works inside the body before taking it.

Despite the popularity of CBD, many of the people taking it only vaguely understand the science behind it. Knowing how the body absorbs it and the effects it may or may not have on you is a good idea, especially if you’ve already started taking it.

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Table of Contents

What Is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is one of the many compounds found in marijuana. It’s also found in hemp in much higher concentrations than in marijuana. That’s why most of the CBD on the market today is derived from hemp plants. As a cannabinoid or chemical found in cannabis, it’s one of the many known for having specific effects on the human body. It’s often referred to as the non-psychoactive alternative to THC, but that’s not entirely accurate. CBD is technically psychoactive because it binds to receptors in the brain.

It is not known for being intoxicating like THC, which is why there are many claims that it’s not psychoactive at all. CBD has mostly subtle effects that don’t generally interfere with everyday activities or normal functioning. It’s one of the biggest reasons that CBD has become so popular with such a wide variety of people, even those who still aren’t sure how CBD works.

How Does CBD Work Inside Your Body?

CBD, just like THC, works through a special system inside your body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Receptors found throughout the body and in the brain absorb compounds like CBD and THC so they can produce various effects. The body also makes natural cannabinoids that bind to these receptors as well.

As with many other supplements and compounds, CBD can have different effects on people depending on variations in their ECS. It can take some time for enough CBD to circulate through the body to bind a large amount to the receptors and notice the effects. Many people report needing to take daily doses of CBD for anywhere from three days to three weeks before noticing effects.

What Potential Effects Does CBD Offer?

The only format of CBD approved by the FDA is a prescription for childhood epilepsy and similar seizure disorders. Yet millions of people take it as a supplement each day and report a wide range of positive effects.

One of the most widely claimed potential benefits of CBD is pain relief such as migraines and reduction in inflammation. Other people take CBD for anxiety management or to encourage better sleeping habits. There is not as much anecdotal evidence for using it for depression or other mental health conditions, but it may have benefits in that way as well. More testing is needed to determine the exact answer to “How does CBD work?” for every condition.

How Are CBD and THC Different?

As noted before, CBD is not intoxicating like THC is for most people. There’s no dizziness or noticeable “high” even after taking a relatively high dose. Very high doses can bring on sleepiness, but it’s easy to avoid once you know your preferred dosage for this supplement. THC has a stronger pain relief effect, but it’s still not legal in many states. CBD is currently legal in all 50 states except where local laws prohibit its sale.

What Forms Does CBD Come In?

All CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana as something known as CBD oil. That extract is then added to other products like balms, soaps, tinctures, edibles, vaporizing cartridges, and much more to give you many options for taking it. No matter the form, the dosage is what generally determines the effects you’ll feel.

Does Dosage Matter?

High doses can be a little overwhelming, but low to medium doses will take longer to produce any noticeable effects. We recommend using a CBD dosage calculator to find the best quantity for your height and weight.

Most people find starting with a dose in the middle of the recommended values for your particular condition produces the best starting effects. You can adjust the dosage from there as needed to increase or decrease the effects you experience. When moving between products, you may need to modify the dosage as well.

Now that you’re better versed in regards to the question “How does CBD work?” you’re empowered to put it to good use. Give it a try if you need pain relief, help with insomnia, or anxiety relief to see what it can possibly do for you.

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Brooklyn native, accent-having, travel lover, wordsmith and bud enthusiast. Versed from the streets of NYC, mixed with some world influence, writer/editor and medical user extraordinaire, JJ is here to tell you like it is and guide you to the finest. Brooklyn's favorite feminine stoner, your neighborhood contributor, wrapping leaves like a bandage and bringing you along for the ride.

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