What Is CBD?

Guide to Understanding CBD and Its Uses


CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in Cannabis sativa plants, which include hemp and marijuana. It's one of over 100 types of cannabinoids, but unlike its famous counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn't produce the "high" commonly associated with cannabis.


CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are both cannabinoids derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, but they have distinct effects on the body. The primary difference lies in psychoactivity. THC is psychoactive, meaning it can produce a "high" or sense of euphoria. This is due to its strong affinity for the CB1 receptor in the brain, altering perception, mood, and consciousness.

CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive and doesn't cause a "high". It has a low affinity for CB1 receptors, and in some cases, it can even inhibit the intoxicating effects of THC by blocking these receptors.

Both compounds are being studied for potential therapeutic benefits. THC is often associated with pain relief, muscle spasticity reduction, and appetite stimulation, and it's the active ingredient in some approved medical treatments, such as Marinol and Cesamet.

CBD has been researched for a broader range of potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and seizure-reducing properties. It's the key component in Epidiolex, an FDA-approved drug for certain forms of epilepsy.

What is CBD used for?

CBD's popularity has grown due to its potential therapeutic effects. Research suggests it may help alleviate symptoms of conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It's also studied for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which could be beneficial for heart health and skin conditions.

Epilepsy is another area where CBD has shown promise. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug, for treating severe forms of epilepsy. This was a milestone as it's the first FDA-approved drug containing a purified substance derived from marijuana.

How long does CBD stay in your system?

The duration that CBD stays in your system can vary greatly depending on several factors. These include:

  1. Dosage: The higher the dose, the longer it may take your body to eliminate it.
  2. Frequency of Use: Regular use can lead to CBD accumulating in the body, meaning it could take longer to leave your system.
  3. Individual Metabolism: Each person's body metabolizes substances differently. Factors like age, weight, lifestyle, and overall health can influence how quickly CBD is processed.
  4. Method of Consumption: Different methods of consumption (e.g., oral, sublingual, topical, inhalation) have different absorption rates, which can affect how long CBD stays in the system.

Generally, research suggests that CBD may be detectable in the body for 2 to 5 days after use, but in some cases, it can be weeks. However, most standard drug tests are designed to identify THC, not CBD, so even if CBD is still present in your body, it typically won't show up on a drug test.

Does CBD get you high?

No, CBD (cannabidiol) does not get you high. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it doesn't produce the "high" or sense of euphoria associated with THC. CBD interacts differently with the endocannabinoid system in the body compared to THC. It doesn't bind directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors which are responsible for the psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD can even counteract some of the psychoactive effects of THC.

However, CBD can have other effects such as inducing a sense of calm and relaxation in some users, which should not be confused with a "high". As always, individuals should consult a healthcare provider before using CBD, especially if they are on other medications, as CBD can interact with certain drugs.

What Is CBD

Benefits of CBD

  1. Pain Relief: Some research suggests that CBD may help to alleviate chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, interacting with neurotransmitters, and reducing inflammation.

  2. Reducing Anxiety and Depression: CBD has shown promise in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in both human and animal studies.

  3. Alleviating Cancer-Related Symptoms: CBD may help reduce symptoms related to cancer and side effects of cancer treatment, like nausea, vomiting, and pain.

  4. Neuroprotective Properties: CBD's ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signaling systems may provide benefits for those with neurological disorders. For instance, it has been approved in the form of the drug Epidiolex for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy.

  5. Beneficial for Heart Health: Some studies suggest that CBD may benefit heart health in various ways, such as by lowering high blood pressure and preventing heart damage.

  6. Potential Anti-Inflammatory Properties: CBD is being studied for its role in treating various types of inflammation, which could have benefits for conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or arthritis.

  7. Improving Sleep: Some people use CBD to help with insomnia or other sleep disturbances, though more research is needed in this area.