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What is CBD (cannabidiol)?



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On this page we talk about cannabinoids and more specifically what is CBD or cannabidiol.

Products with a lot of CBD but no THC , does not cause intoxication at all. Instead of intoxication, CBD relaxes the body and reduces e.g. pain and anxiety (1).




The medicinal value of cannabis plants is based on the compounds in the plant, cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabinoids can be classified into external cannabinoids, ie phytocannabinoids, internal cannabinoids, ie endocannabinoids, and synthetic laboratory-produced cannabinoids. More than 100 cannabinoids and more than 200 terpenes have been found in hemp. The best known active ingredients of hemp are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN) (1).


Hemp has been used for thousands of years


The medicinal as well as intoxicating effects of hemp were discovered thousands of years ago. There is a heated debate today on the legality of hemp and cannabis. Previously, the cultivation of both oil and fiber hemp was completely banned in Finland for decades, and hemp-related research was stopped elsewhere in the world.

In legal in cannabis products CBD and THC concentrations are usually expressed as a percentage. If there is little or no CBD, THC can be thought of as a measure of its strength in much the same way as the percentage of alcohol in beverages. CBD works almost in the opposite direction and partially reverses the intoxicating effects of THC (1).


CBD or cannabidiol


CBD, or cannabidiol, has become known for its medicinal effects. CBD is currently used to treat various diseases and e.g. recovery from sports and recovery from various stressful situations such as concussion (2, 4).

Cannabidiol in raw hemp is still mostly in its natural acid form, cannabidiol ( CBD-A ), which is converted to CBD by time and heat (3). CBD products are often made from industrial useful hemp that does not contain narcotic amounts of THC.


CBD does not cause intoxication.


CBD mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC in hemp. Products that are high in CBD but not THC do not cause intoxication at all. Instead of intoxication, CBD relaxes the body and reduces e.g. pain and anxiety (1).

“CBD is classified as an antipsychotic and neuroprotective cannabinoid, meaning it relieves anxiety and calms. Studies have found that CBD is useful in the treatment of muscle spasticity, MS, epilepsy and insomnia .” (Vanha-Majamaa, 2018, p.23)

It is precisely CBD that is used by people with epilepsy or MS (Multiple sclerosis) because it has been shown to reduce obsessive-compulsive disorder, muscle stiffness, and seizures (1).

CBD has been found to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, be a more effective antioxidant than vitamin C or E, and have anti-nausea, antipsychotic, and antiepileptic effects through 5-HT1A, GPR55, GPR18, TRPV1, and other TRP receptors, among others. , 6 and 7).

How does CBD work?


CBD has been found to slow the natural degradation of anandamide and thus increase the amount of endocannabinoids in brain synapses. This increase in endocannabinoids may be a significant factor in the neuroprotective and other disorders of CBD. health effects (8).

In addition, CBD has been studied to increase the amount of the neurotransmitter adenosine, which regulates the activity of adenosine receptors. A1A and A2A receptors play an important role in the cardiovascular system, regulating myocardial oxygen uptake and blood flow in the coronary artery. These receptors also have broad anti-inflammatory effects in the body (9).

CBD increases the aminobutyric acid binding capacity of the natural agonist of the GABA-A receptor. Aminobutyric acid is one of the most important neurotransmitters in mammals. This increased butyric acid binding has sedative and anxiolytic effects (10). CBD also has a similar negative effect on the CB1 receptor, which reduces the psychoactive effects of THC (11).

CBD is associated with the TRPV1 receptor, which is known to affect pain, inflammation, and body temperature (12).


Research on CBD


According to some studies, CBD affects the so-called as an agonist that blocks or deactivates the GPR55 receptor. The GPR55 receptor is found especially in the cerebellum. It is involved in blood pressure, bone density, etc. in the regulation of physiological processes. When it is overactive, osteoporosis occurs, which can potentially be treated with CBD. It has also been found to have antiproliferative effects, i.e., to reduce the proliferation of cancer cells. The GPR55 receptor causes the proliferation of cancer cells and is manifested in several types of cancer (13).

CBD also potentially creates cancer-reducing effects by activating PPA receptors that are expressed in cell nuclei. Studies have shown that PPA receptor activation has anti-proliferative effects as well as the ability to regress on cancer (14, 15). In addition, its activation has been found to degrade amyloid-beta plaque, one of the major causes of Alzheimer’s. Therefore, the PPA receptor agonist CBD may be useful in Alzheimer’s patients (16). PPA receptors also regulate genes involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and the like. in metabolic processes. Thus, CBD may also potentially help in the treatment of diabetes (17, 18)


A summary of the studied benefits of CBD:


  • reduce pain
  • reduces inflammation
  • improves appetite
  • improves digestion
  • improves metabolism
  • to help you fall asleep
  • enhances the immune system
  • balances homeostasis
  • prevents the growth of cancer cells
  • relieve anxiety
  • reassure
  • Protects cells, tissues and organs from oxidation


Does CBD have any side effects?


According to a WHO report, the use of CBD is safe and there is no dependence or risk of abuse. Read the full WHO report .

According to some studies, high levels of CBD may affect the efficacy and absorption of certain drugs. Therefore, CBD may have undesirable interactions with certain drugs, so we always recommend that you identify potential risks before use.

CBD works in the body through cannabinoid receptors and is excreted mainly by the liver. The cytochrome p450 enzyme plays a key role in the metabolism of CBD and CBD can increase the activity of these enzymes (19). These CYP enzymes are found especially in the liver, but also everywhere else. CYP enzymes play a key role in drug metabolism. CBD and certain drugs may increase or decrease the effectiveness of the drug in a dangerous way.


Read more how CBD works in conjunction with drugs .






  1. Vanha-Majamaa, A. 2018, Kannabiskirja, Helsinki, Kosmos.
  2. Jyotpal Singh & John Patrick Neary. Neuroprotection Following Concussion: The Potential Role for Cannabidiol. 2020. Cambridge University Press.
  3. D. Butterfield. Cannabidiolic Acid (CBD -A): The Raw Cannabinoid That Fights Inflammation. . 2017
  4. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes
  5. EB Russo. Cannabidiol (CBD) claims and misconceptions. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences.
  6. AJ Hampson. Cannabidiol (CBD) and (-) Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation et al. 1998.
  7. Aidan J. Hampson et al. Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Google Patents. 2003.
  8. Deutsch DG. A Personal Retrospective: Elevating Anandamide (AEA) by Targeting Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) and the Fatty Acid Binding Proteins (FABPs). Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY, USA. 2016.
  9. Ribieiro A. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoid, decreases inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury: role for the adenosine A (2A) receptor. Neuroimmunomodulation Research Group et al. 2012.
  10. Bakas T. et al. The direct actions of cannabidiol (CBD) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors. Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney et al. 2017.
  11. RB Laprairie. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a negative allosteric modulator of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2015
  12. B. Costa et al. The vanilloid TRPV1 receptor mediates the antihyperalgesic effect of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), in a rat model of acute inflammation. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2004
  13. G. Hu et al. Oncogene – The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 promotes cancer cell proliferation. Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology et al. 2010.
  14. McAllister SD. Cannabidiol (CBD) as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells. California Pacific Medical Center and others. 2007.
  15. R. Ramer et al. COX-2 and PPAR-γ Confer Cannabidiol-Induced (CBD) Apoptosis of Human Lung Cancer Cells. American Association for Cancer Research. 2013.
  16. G. Esposito et al. Cannabidiol (CBD) in vivo blunts β-amyloid induced neuroinflammation by suppressing IL-1β and iNOS expression. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2007.
  17. JN Feige. Transcriptional coregulators in the control of energy homeostasis. Institute of Genetics and Biological Sciences Molecular and Cellular. 2007.
  18. Y. Sun et al. Cannabinoids: A New Group of Agonists of PPARs. School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham Medical School. 2007.
  19. Stephen M. Stout & Nina M. Cimino, Exogenous cannabinoids as substrates, inhibitors, and inducers of human drug metabolizing enzymes: a systematic review. Drug Metabolism Reviews. 2013




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