What is CBD: Everything You Need to Know About CBD

Written by: Dr Dmitry Loktionov



Time to read 6 min

In the realm of natural health and wellness, one plant-derived compound has been stealing the spotlight - Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD. As curiosity about CBD's potential benefits continues to skyrocket, it's vital to understand what CBD is, its origins, uses, and legality. Let's dive into the world of CBD and demystify this intriguing compound.

Dr Dmitry

Dr Dmitry Loktionov - MB. BCh. OB-GYN

Dr. Dmitry is an accomplished doctor, women's health advocate, and founder of Quanna, a next-generation sexual wellness brand. With a background in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, he works towards empowering women with knowledge and improving access to holistic care.

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What Is CBD Explained

CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the cannabinoid responsible for the 'high' associated with marijuana use, CBD is non-intoxicating. This means it doesn't create the same mind-altering effects, making it a focal point for individuals seeking therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive experience.

Understanding Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds naturally occurring in cannabis plants. Over 100 cannabinoids have been identified, with THC and CBD being the most researched. Various cannabinoids may have potential therapeutic benefits, influencing processes like pleasure, pain, sleep, appetite, and memory.

Our bodies produce endogenous cannabinoids, which work in tandem with the body's endocannabinoid system to maintain biological harmony. This system, through its receptors, adjusts to changes in the body, aiming to maintain a state of homeostasis.

Recommended Reading: What is The Difference Between THC and CBD

Historical Overview: CBD, Hemp, and Cannabis

The relationship between humans and cannabis dates back centuries. The cannabis plant has been cultivated for various uses, from medicinal to industrial. It's interesting to note that hemp, a type of Cannabis sativa, has been essential in textile and manufacturing industries due to its high CBD and low THC levels.

Historically, hemp was so valuable that some governments, like that of Henry VIII in England, mandated its cultivation [1]. Even the Gutenberg Bible, an iconic printed work, utilized hemp. The hemp plant's rich history underscores the long-standing recognition of its benefits, paving the way for modern-day interest in CBD [2]


Generally refers to one of two types of strains from the same plant, whose botanical names are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica or marijuana. Cannabis plants contain a variety of chemical elements called cannabinoids. Different strains of cannabis produce different ratios of plant cannabinoids.


Refers in general to the Cannabis sativa plant. The word hemp is often used with reference to the plant’s industrial use in textiles and manufacturing, but the word is essentially interchangeable with the word ‘cannabis’.

There is evidence of hemp cultivation dating back 10,000 years and by 1630, half of all Americans’ winter clothing and nearly all of their summer clothing was made from hemp fiber. 


Tetrahydrocannabinol is the compound in cannabis that produces the plant's psychoactive effects. The high feeling associated with using marijuana is the result of THC, which belongs to the group of chemicals known as cannabinoids. These chemicals interact with our endocannabinoid system by attaching to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which can then affect pleasure, memory, thinking, coordination, and time perception.

via mjbizdaily.com


Unlike THC, however, CBD is non-intoxicating and acts upon receptors located throughout your body to produce various possible positive outcomes [3]. CBD, unlike THC, does not bind directly to these receptors but rather impacts them indirectly. CBD directly activates serotonin receptors, giving rise to a decrease in anxiety.

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CBD is a cannabinoid that’s created when THC begins to degrade. THC turns into CBN over time, especially when exposed to light and heat. CBN does not produce the head high associated with THC Instead, a user experiences more of a sedative effect coupled with a mild psychoactive effect [4].

via mjbizdaily.com


Cannabigerol (CBG) has been gaining traction online appearing with CBD products. CBG is found in the hemp and cannabis sativa plants, alongside CBD.

Unlike THC, CBG does not have mind-altering properties. Referred to as "the mother of all cannabinoids", CBG is the original compound used to produce the other cannabinoids, including CBD. But while CBD has been extensively studied for its possible applications and uses, research involving CBG has been primarily done on limited groups of people, making it difficult to understand the potential benefits of CBG [5]

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The Potential Benefits of CBD

CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system and has been studied for its potential therapeutic effects. Although research is still in its early stages, findings suggest that CBD may offer relief for various health conditions.

Pain Relief

One of the most recognized benefits of CBD is its potential analgesic properties. CBD may interact with endocannabinoid receptor activity and reduce inflammation, potentially offering relief from chronic pain.

Mental Health Support

CBD has also shown promise in managing symptoms of mood disorders. Several studies suggest that CBD may reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even psychosis. CBD's potential anxiolytic and antidepressant effects make it a point of interest for researchers exploring natural mental health treatments.

Neurological Disorders

CBD has gained considerable attention for its potential use in treating certain neurological disorders. It has shown promise in treating epilepsy, with the FDA approving Epidiolex®, a CBD-based drug, for treating specific types of seizures.

Heart Health

CBD's potential health benefits may extend to the cardiovascular system. Some studies suggest that CBD could help lower blood pressure and improve heart function, thus potentially benefiting heart health.

Cancer-related Symptoms

CBD may alleviate some symptoms and side effects related to cancer treatment, such as nausea, vomiting, and pain.

Blood Flow

There is some evidence to support the fact CBD can improve blood flow by decreasing blood pressure. An increase in blood flow means the tissue is more sensitive and this is one of the reasons why we’ve added CBD to our lube, Oomf.

Who Could Benefit from CBD?

Given the potential therapeutic effects of CBD, a wide array of individuals may find it beneficial. It may be particularly helpful for people with high-stress jobs, the elderly, and anyone seeking to improve the functions of an already healthy body. However, it's essential to remember that the research on CBD's health benefits is ongoing, and its use should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.

Potential Side Effects of CBD

CBD is generally well-tolerated and has a good safety profile. However, some people may experience side effects like dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications, so it's crucial to consult your doctor before starting any CBD regimen.

Legality of CBD

The legality of CBD varies by country and sometimes even within countries. In the UK, CBD products are legal provided they contain less than 0.3% THC. However, it remains illegal to grow hemp or produce CBD without a government license.

In the US, CBD is legal both federally and at the state level. 

How to Use CBD

CBD can be used in various forms, including CBD oils, capsules, and topicals. The method of consumption depends on the individual's needs and preferences. It's important to buy CBD products from reputable sources to ensure you're getting a high-quality, legal, and safe product.


CBD has emerged as a promising natural remedy, with potential benefits ranging from pain relief to mental health support. However, as CBD research is still in its infancy, it's vital to approach its use responsibly and always consult a healthcare professional. While we wait for more concrete scientific evidence, CBD continues its journey from an ancient plant to a modern-day wonder.

Note: The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or supplement.