Self Care » Everything You Need to Know About CBD 

Everything You Need to Know About CBD 

You might have noticed that CBD is popping up everywhere these days. Capsules. Salves. Coffee. Cocktails. Beauty products. Dog treats. You name it, there’s probably a CBD-infused version of it available.   

Maybe you’ve even tried CBD yourself, but do you actually know what it is? If not, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about CBD, including how it works, its benefits, different types, and its safety.

What Is CBD? 

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of over 100 naturally-occurring chemical compounds (called cannabinoids) derived from hemp, a variety of the Cannabis sativa species.[1] 

Marijuana also comes from the cannabis plant, but there’s a big difference. Marijuana has high levels of THC—the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the “high” feeling. Hemp, on the other hand, is extremely low in THC.

By law, hemp-derived CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC and won’t lead to a “high” or any other psychoactive effects. This makes them an appealing option for those looking to support their well-being without the mind-altering effects of marijuana.

How Does CBD Work? 

To understand how CBD works, you must first understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system in the human body. This system is involved in regulating a variety of functions, including sleep, mood, memory, appetite, reproduction, fertility, and temperature regulation.[2]

The ultimate goal of the endocannabinoid system is to create and maintain homeostasis, or balance, within the body.

Within the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid receptors exist to interact with endocannabinoids—neurotransmitters that humans naturally produce. Cannabinoid receptors also interact with cannabinoids, such as CBD, as a means of supporting the body’s function.[3]

What Health Benefits Does CBD Offer?

CBD continues to grow in popularity as research and awareness about possible health benefits increase. Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits:

1. Anxiety and Depression Relief 

One of the most common reasons people take CBD supplements is to find relief from anxiety. Research suggests that CBD may positively impact the way the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood.[4]

Additionally, animal and human studies have pointed to antidepressant effects of CBD, although larger studies are needed to determine its efficacy.[5]  

2. Pain Relief 

Using cannabis for pain relief is nothing new. In fact, it’s been used for this purpose as far back as 2900 B.C.[6] More recently, research is looking into this age-old remedy, confirming that certain components of cannabis like CBD do, in fact, have pain-relieving effects.

CBD is thought to help reduce chronic pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters.[7]  

3. Anti-Seizure Effects

While research is still in its early days regarding CBD and its effects on seizure disorders, the initial results offer great hope.

In one study, 214 people with severe epilepsy who were treated with CBD oil experienced a 36.5% median reduction in seizures.[8] In another study, CBD oil significantly reduced seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder.[9]

Researchers believe that CBD may also benefit those with other types of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.

4. Heart and Circulatory Support  

Some research has linked CBD with heart and circulatory system benefits, including the ability to lower high blood pressure.[10] This is significant, as high blood pressure is connected to higher risks of several health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome.

5. Improved Sleep  

Due to its calming effects, it comes as no surprise that CBD has been shown to support sleep, particularly in those with health problems.[11]

Studies suggest that taking CBD leads to better sleep quality, fewer sleep disturbances, and decreased time to fall asleep.[12]

What Are the Different Types of CBD?

There are three types of CBD, each containing different compounds and concentrations. None of the below three types produce psychoactive effects:

  • Full-spectrum: Contains all components of the hemp plant, including a very small amount of THC (less than 0.3%).
  • Broad-spectrum: Contains all components of the hemp plant, except for THC.
  • CBD isolate: Pure CBD, with no other compounds from the cannabis plant. This type is also free of THC.

Is one type better than the other? There’s some evidence that compounds of the cannabis plant are more effective when taken together—a theory known as the “entourage effect.”[13] 

If you want to get the full benefits of the entourage effect and don’t mind consuming a very small amount of THC, opt for a full-spectrum CBD product.

How Do You Take CBD?

CBD comes in many forms, including capsules, oils, and creams. It’s even in some foods and beverages. What form of CBD you choose to use largely depends on what it’s being used for.

For example, if your goal is anxiety relief, CBD oil or capsules would be the best options. However, if your goal is localized pain relief, a CBD-infused cream would be the way to go.

Always talk with your doctor before adding a CBD product to your routine. A qualified professional can help you determine the best form and dose for your needs.

Is CBD Safe? 

CBD is generally well-tolerated and considered safe. In fact, its safety profile is what makes it an attractive option for many people.

That being said, side effects noted in studies include:[14]

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue

CBD can also interact with other medications you’re taking. As mentioned, check in with your doctor before taking CBD and if you experience any side effects, immediately discontinue use and consult your doctor.

The Bottom Line on CBD 

CBD is a hot topic in the wellness world—and for good reason. Research suggests this natural supplement may ease symptoms of many common health conditions, including anxiety, chronic pain, and sleep disorders.

Overall, there are really no downsides to trying CBD (under the guidance of a licensed practitioner) to see how it might benefit you. It just may end up becoming a valued part of your wellness regimen.

If you’re interested in learning how CBD can support your unique wellness goals, consider becoming a Knew Health member. We work with our members to ensure they receive the care they need and offer a range of member perks, such as discounted supplements, discounted lab work, and health coaching. Take the next step to achieving your healthiest, happiest self today.


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Cannabis (marijuana) and cannabinoids: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from
  2. Peter Grinspoon, M. D. (2021, August 11). The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious. Harvard Health. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from
  3. Chye, Y., Christensen, E., Solowij, N., & Yücel, M. (2019). The endocannabinoid system and Cannabidiol’s promise for the treatment of substance use disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10.
  4. Campos, A. C., de Paula Soares, V., Carvalho, M. C., Ferreira, F. R., Vicente, M. A., Brandão, M. L., Zuardi, A. W., Zangrossi, H., & Guimarães, F. S. (2012). Involvement of serotonin-mediated neurotransmission in the dorsal periaqueductal gray matter on cannabidiol chronic effects in panic-like responses in rats. Psychopharmacology, 226(1), 13–24.
  5. García-Gutiérrez, M. S., Navarrete, F., Gasparyan, A., Austrich-Olivares, A., Sala, F., & Manzanares, J. (2020). Cannabidiol: A potential new alternative for the treatment of anxiety, depression, and psychotic disorders. Biomolecules, 10(11), 1575.
  6. Hill, K. P., Palastro, M. D., Johnson, B., & Ditre, J. W. (2017). Cannabis and pain: A clinical review. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), 96–104.
  7. Darkovska-Serafimovska, M., Serafimovska, T., Arsova-Sarafinovska, Z., Stefanoski, S., Keskovski, Z., & Balkanov, T. (2018). Pharmacotherapeutic considerations for use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases. Journal of Pain Research, Volume 11, 837–842.
  8. Devinsky, O., Marsh, E., Friedman, D., Thiele, E., Laux, L., Sullivan, J., Miller, I., Flamini, R., Wilfong, A., Filloux, F., Wong, M., Tilton, N., Bruno, P., Bluvstein, J., Hedlund, J., Kamens, R., Maclean, J., Nangia, S., Singhal, N. S., … Cilio, M. R. (2016). Cannabidiol in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy: An open-label Interventional Trial. The Lancet Neurology, 15(3), 270–278.
  9. Devinsky, O., Cross, J. H., Laux, L., Marsh, E., Miller, I., Nabbout, R., Scheffer, I. E., Thiele, E. A., & Wright, S. (2017). Trial of cannabidiol for drug-resistant seizures in the Dravet syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine, 376(21), 2011–2020.
  10. Jadoon, K. A., Tan, G. D., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2017). A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight, 2(12).
  11. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Cannabis (marijuana) and cannabinoids: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from
  12. Suraev, A. S., Marshall, N. S., Vandrey, R., McCartney, D., Benson, M. J., McGregor, I. S., Grunstein, R. R., & Hoyos, C. M. (2020). Cannabinoid therapies in the management of sleep disorders: A systematic review of Preclinical and Clinical Studies. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 53, 101339.
  13. Russo, E. B. (2019). The case for the entourage effect and conventional breeding of clinical cannabis: No “strain,” no gain. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9.
  14. Brent A. Bauer, M. D. (2020, December 18). CBD: Safe and effective? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from,taking%2C%20such%20as%20blood%20thinners.

Disclaimer: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to educate you about how to take care of your body and as a self-help tool for your own use so that you can reach your own health goals. It is not intended to treat or cure any specific illness and is not to replace the guidance provided by your own medical practitioner. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. If you suspect you have a medical problem, we urge you to take appropriate action by seeking medical attention.

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