CBD, cannabidiol or CBD oil. It’s the hottest topic in wellness right now. It’s rapid rise would have been hard to miss. Ever since the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use in November 2018 there are more and more stories emerging of cannabis based supplements having a positive impact on the lives of the people that use them. This has all helped to create a huge surge in interest from the wider public, but its still early days and not everyone knows what it actually is.

Here we answer the question…. What is CBD oil and how does it work?

CBD -Structure-Cannabis Leaf

CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a phytocannabinoid. Phyto means plant. Phytocannabinoids are naturally occurring plant substances found in cannabis plants that stimulate the cannabinoid receptors present within the human body. CBD is one of over 60 naturally occurring phytocannabinoids that can be found specifically in the  cannabis plant.

You may already be familiar with another phytocannabinoid, THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that is commonly associated with the ‘high’ experienced from recreational use of cannabis.

Whilst THC is currently a controlled substance in many countries around the world, CBD is not. CBD is perfectly legal in the majority of places and it doesn’t get you high.

So that’s all well and good but how does it all work? Let me explain little bit further…

The Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS)

In order to understand how CBD works in the human body, you have to first understand that we all have an Endogenous Cannabinoid System or ECS. Every persons ECS is unique to them, just like a fingerprint.

You wouldn’t have learned about the ECS in school. You may have learned about the digestive system, the nervous system, the immune system, the pulmonary system, the circulatory system, and the endocrine system but not the ECS. Why is this?  It’s because the ECS is such a recent discovery that even the scientists who are familiar working with with the ECS on a daily basis are still figuring out some finer details.

Everything that we understand so far categorically points to the ECS being such an extremely powerful system, one that ultimately regulates all other systems within the body. Like a master key if you will.

When our ECS is working effectively it brings our body into balance, promoting what is know as homeostasis

Homeostasis by definition is – The tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

The human body is biologically designed to look for balance and homeostasis is the internal balancing system of the body that helps you to function optimally.

There are trillions of cells within our body. These cell all work independently and with each other ensuring that we remain healthy.

One small change in one of the body’s systems will produce a chain reaction that affects one or more of the others.

A great example of the body balancing itself takes place within the hypothalamus. This is a group of nerve cells found deep within our brains that are essential in regulating some key processes we perform every day, which we never notice, even though they are critical to maintaining homeostasis. These include:

  • Sleep – Homeostasis is dependent on a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Sleep deficits result in an increase in the duration and intensity of sleep, while too much sleep will decrease sleep propensity
  • Blood pressure – This is regulated when cells in the body send feedback to the brain. Cells send signals that widen the blood vessels to eliminate pressure or narrow the vessels to increase pressure.
  • Breathing – Respiration rate is affected by how much carbon dioxide you have in your blood, which is controlled and monitored by a part of your brain. This process changes as you engage in certain activities, such as when you breathe deeper and more when you climb up a set of stairs because your muscles are burning more oxygen.
  • Mood: Adjusts based on changes, triggers and stresses in the environment.

Simply put, the body is a complex organism with many functions and the ECS plays a key role automatically regulating it’s proper function.

Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2) and Endocannabinoids

Cannabinoid receptors can be located throughout the body on the surface of cells. The two primary cannabinoid receptors are known as CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are predominantly present in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs and CB2 are predominantly found in the immune system.

These receptors are key in communicating instructions to within our cells and triggering the necessary cellular responses.

The body naturally produces its own endocannabinoids and these work by binding to and stimulating our cannabinoid receptors.

Endocannabinoids go to the receptors on the cells and signals are given to the cells, tissues, organs, and systems instructing them what to do. Without cannabinoids these receptors are not stimulated properly and they struggle to function.

This breakdown in communication to our cells can result in various bodily systems failing, which ultimately leads to reduced well being and potentially even disease.

Here is where things get interesting – CBD feeds our receptors

This is where it gets really interesting! Endocannabinoids are signalling molecules that are produced inside of the body. Endo basically means inside or internal. Phytocannabinoids are molecules contained in cannabis plants that are very similar in structure endocannabinoids. The cannabinoids contained within the plant can interact with our receptors in an almost identical way to the cannabinoids our body produces naturally.

Supplementing with CBD –

CBD is highly concentrated in the cannabis plant. So, when you extract CBD from the plant and supplement with it, you are essentially directly feeding your body with very powerful signalling molecules (cannabinoids) that the bodies receptors can easily understand.

CBD interacts directly with your very own endocannabinoid system!

Conclusion – CBD is naturally effective!

Taking a CBD oil as a supplement alongside a healthy lifestyle offers such profound benefits. By supplementing our bodies with CBD we signal the body to restore and support its own natural functions. When we feed our endocannabinoid receptors, our endogenous cannabinoid system is triggered to correct and self-regulate. This all works to promote a feeling of general well being and helps to maintain a healthy body and mind.

Why wouldn’t it be popular!

Please feel free to comment or ask any questions you may have.Some of the most common questions can be found on our FAQS

There is also some good choices for further reading on our CBD Books page

I hope that you have a wonderful day.


10 thoughts on “What is CBD oil and how does it work? An easy to understand guide”

  1. I really enjoyed your post on CBD Oil. I live in Canada and weed just became legal in Canada in Oct 2018. Since then everyone has been talking about CBD and how amazing it is. This post really explains everything we need to know about CBD Oil.

    I am a huge advocate for using CBD to treat main symptoms and illnesses. Anything we can do to help people that are suffering is an important product.

    I just did a post on my own website about dogs and CBD. Many pets also suffer from debilitating issues themselves, so I think it is also something that is extremely safe to give to dogs.
    Great job on the website and I really love the look of it.

    1. Hey Coralie, really pleased that you liked the post. Thank you for your kind words.

      I really believe in the effects of CBD, this is the reason I started Get Inspired, to spread the word and help as many people as possible experience these benefits.

      Many studies have shown that its not just humans that have an endocannabinoid system, it’s believed that all mammals can benefit in the same way. I’ll be interested in reading your post on giving CBD to dogs. I definitely agree with you that its safe.

      Thanks again

  2. I have been reading about CBD oil and the benefits lately. Seems as if it is really helping some people. I know friends and family that are willing to try CBD Oil just to get relief from their illnesses. However, they want to understand more about this “wonder” product. I will definitely share this post with them and hope that it will help them in their decision to try CBD Oil.

    1. Hi Carol,
      Your friends and family are certainly right to do their research and fully understand CBD before making the choice to try. I would always suggest caution when it comes to taking any form of ‘medicine’ be it natural or a synthetic pharmaceutical.

      I do think good information is key with CBD. Hopefully this helps on that front and I hope tht your friends and family members do decide to give CBD a try.

      The benefits I have personally experienced are great and it has certainly helped to improve my well being.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      Take Care

  3. Interesting article! Cannabis has not been legalized yet here in the Philippines but it’s almost there. I haven’t heard about CBD oil and I think this is a real deal when it comes to benefits. Hopefully, this will be legalized in our country soon and I can try to use CBD oil to improve my health.

  4. This is one of the most detailed articles I have read on the subject of CBD oil. I like the fact that you have explained how the human body works and the impact of taking CBD.
    I’m not sure yet if it’s available in Australia yet, do you know if it is? I am a long time sufferer of migraines and I’m wondering if this would help me? Thank you

    1. Hi Helen,

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m pleased that you liked the information provided.

      Unfortunately CBD is not freely available to purchase over the counter in Australia yet, hopefully this will change in the near future. Medical cannabis products are available, but only through a prescription issued by an authorised doctor and not all doctors are licensed.

      If you do manage to get access to CBD, then one thing I would advise is to drink plenty of water whilst you are taking it. As the phytocannbinoids trigger your system to function correctly your body will begin to rid itself of any toxins that may have built up. This can contribute to you feeling dehydrated. Drink plenty of water to help your body to flush out the toxins and reduce the chances of getting a headache from dehydration, which for you personally would be very important seeing as this is one of the symptoms that you are looking for CBD to help you with.

      Hope this helps.

  5. There has been so much hype about CBD oil this past year or so that I decided to try it for myself for my sleep issues and I have to say, it worked great! And I have heard the same stories from others too.

    I work in a Herbal Apothecary, and we sell really high quality CBD oil. It’s not cheap, but it works, and being as there is so much rubbish stuff on the market it’s important to shop around. Anyway, my point is, the feedback we have had so far has all been positive, and we get people coming back time and time again for it.

    Anything that we can use instead of nasty drugs has got to be good in my book. Also, it’s environmentally friendly 🙂

    1. Hi Stefanie,

      Really pleased you have experienced one of the benefits of taking CBD for yourself.

      Totally agree that quality CBD oil isn’t cheap and with the many choices available you need to do your research before buying. If a product appears too good to be true then it probably is. That being said there are some expensive oils that aren’t very good either so like you say it pays to shop around.
      I’m always looking to develop my knowledge of CBD brands and would be interested to know the particular brand that you stock in your shop?

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