cbd is mood altering

What is full spectrum CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol.  It’s a naturally occurring compound with helpful benefits for anxiety and pain relief.  CBD is found in cannabis plants. CBD has benefits for pain and anxiety because it mimics a natural regulatory chemical created by our body—more on that later.

CBD is extracted from cannabis plants and diluted in coconut oil or hemp oil to make the product known as CBD oil. Full spectrum CBD oil refers to a CBD extraction process where all beneficial compounds are removed from the cannabis plant. Full spectrum products contain CBD and all the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in a particular strain of cannabis.

Why is full spectrum CBD oil best?

In clinical trials, scientists found that cannabinoid isolates didn’t have the same beneficial effects as products made directly from cannabis flowers that were rich in a mix of cannabinoids and terpenes.  Through further researchers, clinicians discovered that cannabinoids and terpenes appear to potentiate each other by lengthening and strengthening the effects of each when consumed together. This is called the cannabis synergy effect.

Taking a full spectrum CBD oil gets you the full benefit of terpenes and cannabinoids. Whole CBD flower and full spectrum CBD products, like oils and creams, have more significant and wide-ranging benefits than any product made from cannabinoid isolates.

About this CBD Guide

This guide is filled with useful information that will help you understand exactly what the real benefits of CBD are. After reading this guide, you’ll have the information you need to make informed decisions about using cannabinoids to change how you feel physically, emotionally, and cognitively.

How can CBD help you? Let’s find out.

The medical studies selected for this guide are published by highly reputable organizations.  In this guide you’ll learn:

  • How CBD will benefit you?
  • Exactly how CBD affects mood, emotions, and health.
  • How to boost CBD benefits.
  • How to recognize CBD side effects.

If you don’t find an answer to your question, leave us a comment below. We’ll search the published studies to see if an answer exists and get back to you.

Let’s get started.

cbd oil bottle and dropper

What is CBD

CBD Definition: CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating organic compound found in cannabis plants (including hemp plants).

Does CBD get you high?

No. CBD is non-psychoactive. CBD doesn’t cause the euphoric high effect that is caused by THC. CBD is relaxing and relieves pain.

  • CBD perfectly mimics the natural chemicals your body makes to keep you in good mental and physical health.
  • CBD is non-habit-forming and non-addictive.
Can you fail a drug test due to CBD?

No. CBD will not show up on a drug test.

  • Saliva, blood, and urine drug tests screen for THC, not CBD.
  • It is important to use high-quality CBD oil and consult the product’s Certificate Of Analysis to confirm there is no THC present in the product your taking.
  • Full spectrum CBD products sometimes contain THC so be cautious if failing a drug test will cause significant disruption to your life.

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabis plants and your body make natural chemicals called cannabinoids.

  • Cannabinoids made by your body are called endocannabinoids.
  • Cannabinoids made by plants are called phytocannabinoids.

What are phytocannabinoids?

CBD is a phytocannabinoid made by the cannabis plant.

  • CBD’s chemical structure is identical to an endocannabinoid called anandamide.
  • Anandamide is an important cannabinoid made by your body with powerful effects.
  • That’s why CBD works—it mimics anandamide.

cbd pain relief graphic


Endocannabinoids like anandamide (the one CBD mimics) help to maintain important regulatory systems that control everything from emotions to pain sensation.

  • Your body uses endocannabinoids as signaling chemicals.
  • They communicate on/off messages within your central nervous system.
  • Endocannabinoids signal regulatory subsystems when they should turn on or off.
  • These subsystems are your body’s way of regulating emotional, cognitive, and physical health.

How does CBD work?

CBD imitates anandamide perfectly. So perfectly, in fact, that your body will turn on or off important regulatory subsystems based on whether or not you’ve consumed CBD. That’s why CBD has the benefits it does.

  • Your body recognizes the presence of CBD as a sign to activate systems that regulate your emotional and physical well-being.
  • Your body responds to CBD as if it were an endogenously produced (meaning produced within your body) signaling chemical.
  • That’s what science has figured out up to this point about how CBD works.

underside of a cannabis leaf


There are actually a lot of different cannabinoids made by the cannabis plant. (2)

  • CBD is one of the more than 113 different types of cannabinoids made in cannabis plants.
  • Several of those cannabinoids have known benefits.
  • Because of prohibition, science is just now discovering the power of these “minor” cannabinoids.
  • THC is the only known naturally occurring cannabinoid that is powerfully intoxicating.
  • Many of the minor cannabinoids have powerfully relaxing effects.

CBD properties


Unlike THC (the intoxicating compound in marijuana), CBD doesn’t have a euphoric “high.” (3)

  • CBD and THC are entirely different compounds with separate chemical structures and different effects.

marijuana bud

What happens when CBD and THC are taken together?

  • CBD “down-regulates” or counteracts some of the anxiety-causing effects of THC.
  • Many medical studies suggest that taking THC and CBD together increases the benefits of both compounds.
  • THC to CBD ratios of 1:1 (THC to CBD) up to 1:20 (THC to CBD) have been studied and suggest significant benefits for anxiety, pain relief, and even autism.

Unlike CBD, THC is known to cause anxiety. If you are taking THC for therapeutic reasons, it is often recommended to take CBD at the same time.

  • Medical studies have shown that CBD has anxiolytic effects (anti-anxiety effects) especially for anxiety caused by THC. (4)
  • “Research indicates that cannabidiol may reduce adverse effects of THC, particularly those causing intoxication, sedation, but only at high doses.”

cbd thc differences

cbd dropper bottle with cananbis leaves

CBD Wellness

How can one organic compound made by a plant have such wide-ranging wellness benefits for mind and body?

The short answer: CBD mimics a key signaling agent that your body uses to keep itself in chemical balance (homeostasis).

  • CBD mimics anandamide.
  • Your body makes anandamide naturally as part of your endocannabinoid system.
  • Your body uses anandamide as a messaging chemical to communicate “up-regulation” and “down-regulation” signals to different regulatory subsystems.
  • When you take CBD, you are affecting how your body is signaling its regulatory subsystems.
  • By modulating up or down how active these subsystems are, you can affect mood, health, and pain sensation. (6) (7)

Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The overall signaling system CBD affects is called your endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

  • The ECS is a critical wellness system that was—incredibly—only discovered in 1992.
  • Notice the ‘cannabinoid‘ part of the name endo-cannabinoid system? More on that later but take note of it now.

The endocannabinoid system is part of your central nervous system.  It exists in your brain, spine, and throughout your body. (8)

  • “A recent surge in scientific publications has found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward calming effects for CBD in the central nervous system,” according to a 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal.

cannabidiol mental health

The endocannabinoid system—the system affected by the CBD cannabinoid—has powerful abilities to change your mood and health.

  • “The endocannabinoid system is involved not only in short-term depression, but also in long-term depression (LTD) at both the excitatory and inhibitory synapses.”
  • “The endocannabinoid system has become the most-studied retrograde signaling system in the brain,” according to a 2018 study published in The International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

cannabidiol ECS benefit

So, it’s not in fact the CBD that directly makes you feel better.  Instead, the CBD you’ve decided to take is activating different regulatory subsystems in your body. Their the ones responsible for changes in how you feel.

  • Each subsystem has its own unique purpose and effect.
  • The CBD you put in your body is a signal you’re sending to those subsystems that says, “Hey, you need to ‘turn on.'”
  • Those subsystems then get to work.
  • They release natural chemicals and those chemicals in turn change how you feel.
  • In general, the goal when taking CBD for wellness is to activate systems in your body that restore chemical homeostasis and good function.

That’s the core of how CBD works.

  • CBD has powerful effects because it mimics the signaling chemical that turns other systems on and off.
  • CBD has important effects on your central nervous system which controls your internal chemical balance or wellness.

Not so complicated, right?

decorative gecko lizard with funny expression

CBD is all about boosting your body’s own powerful regulatory systems. That’s why it works. More on your endo-cannabinoid system later…

First, what’s the legal status of CBD in the U.S.?

woman drying cannabis

Is CBD legal federally and in states like Texas and Florida?

  • Yes, CBD is legal federally for possession, sale, and manufacture.
  • CBD is legal to possess in Texas as long as it has less than 0.3% THC content. Texas allows higher THC content in CBD products if the patient has a Texas CBD Medical Program card.
  • CBD is legal to possess in Florida as long as the CBD oil has less than 0.3% THC. With a medical card, Florida residents have legal access to CBD with higher levels of THC.
  • CBD is federally legal and sold over the internet as well as in retail locations in all 50 states.

happy guy

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Let’s take a look at where cannabidiol (CBD) comes from so we can understand its legal status more thoroughly.

  • CBD is created in hemp and marijuana plants.
  • Hemp is completely legal in the US.
  • Marijuana is not.

What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?

  • Hemp is a type of cannabis purposely bred for its high CBD content and other industrial uses.
  • Hemp and marijuana are similar (actually, they’re technically the same plant) but they differ in one important respect—hemp produces “virtually none” of the intoxicating cannabinoid THC.
  • Unlike hemp, marijuana has been selectively bred for many generations to produce high levels of THC. (9)
  • “Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a strain o the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest-growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. It can be refined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.”

cbd legal status

THC—the compound that is virtually nonexistent in hemp—is the compound that makes people feel euphoric or “high.”

  • THC is illegal federally.
  • Federal law makes an allowance for hemp production because of hemp’s very low THC levels.
  • Federal law defines hemp as any cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC.
  • Hemp became federally legal as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The legal difference between hemp and marijuana comes down to the THC content of a particular plant at a particular point in time.

  • Any cannabis plant that has more than 0.3% THC content is not hemp.  It is marijuana and illegal.

Any cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% THC content is hemp and completely legal under federal law.

guy standing in indoor grow space

You may hear in some corners of the internet that somehow hemp and marijuana are different species of cannabis plants or different plants altogether.  They aren’t.  The only distinction between the two is their respective cannabinoid composition.

  • Selective breeding (also referred to as a cannabis strain’s “genetics”) and growing conditions are the variables that determine THC content in a cannabis plant.

Other Federally Legal Cannabinoids

The upside: hemp plants are legal and they produce all of the beneficial cannabinoids we need to take care of ourselves, except THC.

  • There are many beneficial cannabinoids beyond CBD and THC.
  • Hemp has over 100 non-intoxicating cannabinoids.
  • Many cannabinoids have significant and undiscovered benefits.

legal hemp compounds

CBD is the best known but CBG is growing in popularity.

  • CBG is especially good at helping with anxiety.
  • It affects how your body absorbs a specific type of adrenaline.
  • Adrenaline is associated with hypervigilance and anxiety symptoms.
  • CBG is the only cannabinoid known to affect adrenalin uptake.

While THC is a schedule 1 substance (highly prohibited), CBD from hemp is not scheduled.

  • CBD from hemp is regulated by the FDA, not the DEA.

So, CBD is federally legal everywhere in the U.S. for consumers as long as it has virtually no THC content.

Will CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?

No. CBD will not cause you to fail a drug test.

  • Medical studies have consistently shown that smoking CBD flower or consuming CBD oil do not cause failed drug tests.
  • Drug test screen for the presence of THC, not CBD.
  • One issue of concern with regard to drug tests is cross-contamination of the manufacturer’s processing equipment.  Some manufacturers process both hemp and marijuana in the same extraction equipment and there have been instances of THC cross-contamination between crops.
  • A large 2019 medical study tested short-term and long-term use of hemp seed oil and found no failed drug tests from hemp seed oil among more than 600 study participants.
  • Another 2019 medical study drug tested participants after smoking 4 grams of hemp flower within 1 hour. None of the participants failed the drug test.

Types of Legal CBD Products

CBD is available in several forms. While full spectrum CBD oil is the most widely available type of CBD, high CBD hemp strains are very popular as well. Several medical studies show that complete botanical products (like hemp flower) tend to have the most benefits. For higher dose needs, CBD dab concentrates like wax and rosin are available online or in dispensaries.


THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that makes people feel a euphoric “high” effect. CBD is non-psychoactive and has relaxing effects.

  • THC is federally illegal.
  • If THC content in a cannabis plant is above 0.3%, then the plant itself becomes illegal.
  • THC prohibition has motivated selective breeding of cannabis plants over the last 40 years toward higher THC content and lower CBD content due to black market incentives.
  • CBD is legal federally and in all 50 states.
  • CBD has pain and anxiety-relieving benefits.
  • THC has pain-relieving benefits but is known to cause feelings of anxiety in some people.
  • Balanced THC:CBD ratios of 1:1 have shifted toward unbalanced ratios approaching 5:1 THC to CBD content.
  • Higher THC to CBD ratios have significant mental health implications and can lead to increased feelings of anxiety.

THC vs CBD: Anxiety Effects

Unfortunately, THC doesn’t always make people feel good.

  • THC causes anxiety in some people.
  • “For some users, the use of cannabis may cause undesirable psychological side effects, such as cognitive impairment, anxiety and paranoia, and an increased risk of developing chronic psychosis and addiction,” according to a 2013 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

On the other hand, CBD reduces anxiety.

  • CBD may have protective effects against some mental health risks of THC in extreme cases.
  • CBD down regulates how THC interacts with cannabinoid receptors.
  • “Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD, with a notable lack of anxiogenic effects. CBD’s anxiolytic actions appear to depend upon CB1Rs and 5-HT1ARs in several brain regions; however, investigation of additional receptor actions may reveal further mechanisms,” according to a 2015 study published in the journal Neurotherapeutics.

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THC vs CBD: Cannabinoid Ratios

Anxiety caused by THC is a significant problem.

  • Some people quit smoking marijuana because of anxious feelings associated with THC.
  • Individuals who had a positive experience with cannabis decades ago are less satisfied with modern cannabis strains due to increased feelings of anxiety.
  • While this is often attributed to increased THC content alone, it may also be caused by a lack of CBD content due to selective breeding for higher and higher THC content.
Modern Cannabinoid Ratios

The cannabis plants we have available to us today were bred for specific cannabinoid profiles.

  • In the past, breeders were incentivized to design cannabinoid profiles for the punitive economics of prohibition, not wellness.
  • Medical studies find that CBD is most effective when used together with small amounts of THC.
  • Hopefully, the number of cannabis plants bred for wellness with balanced CBD:THC ratios will increase as prohibition eases.

close up of cannabis flower with trichomes visible


Hemp plants contain over 113 cannabinoids.

  • Many of the lesser-known cannabinoids have benefits that haven’t been fully described by medical science.
  • Some of the benefits attributed to CBD may in fact be caused by lesser-known cannabinoids like CBG and CBN.
  • Full-spectrum extracts and CBD oils have the most powerful effects because they contain the “full-spectrum” of cannabinoids. This usually consists of CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, and may include small amounts of THC depending on the supplier.

Pain relief benefits

While CBD is the most well-known, CBG and CBN are the focus of intense interest in 2020.

  • Recent studies have shown CBG has pain and inflammation-relieving properties that may exceed CBD.
  • CBG may be particularly useful in the case of hard-to-treat pain and neuropathic pain. (11)
  • “CBG has more potent analgesic, anti-erythema, and lipoxygenase blocking activity than THC, mechanisms that merit further investigation,” according to the study below published in the journal Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management.

cannabigerol inflammation benefits

Anti-inflammatory benefits

CBG’s anti-inflammation benefits may slow brain aging.

  • CBG may have benefits for neurodegenerative diseases like dementia according to the 2018 study below published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences
  • “Inflammation and oxidative stress play main roles in neurodegeneration…Cannabis sativa represents a reservoir of compounds exerting beneficial properties, including cannabigerol (CBG), whose antioxidant properties have already been demonstrated in macrophages.” (12)

cannabigerol anti-inflammatory properties

CBD Terpenes

Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds made by cannabis plants.

  • Terpenes give cannabis varieties their unique smell and flavor.
  • Terpenes are also found in many fruits and vegetables.
  • Terpenes have significant health and mood-altering benefits for pain and anxiety relief.
  • CBD terpenes contribute powerfully to the entourage effect where complementary cannabinoids and terpenes lengthen and strengthen the effects of each compound when consumed together.

cbd dropper putting oil on skin

CBD Benefits

Human beings have been making use of cannabis plants in traditional medicine for more than 5,000 years. Self-care with cannabinoids is nothing new. But unlike in the past, the CBD benefits of today are carefully described by medical science and tested in clinical trials. Modern medicine has given us a more complete understanding of how to use CBD effectively, how it works, and how to use it safely.

  • CBD benefits impact behavioral, cognitive, and physical health.
  • CBD has multitargeted effects on the nervous system.
  • CBD has an excellent safety profile with few side effects.

Why Take CBD?

CBD is frequently taken to help with:

Surprisingly, CBD may even help with vexing future medical problems. A 2020 study on CBD antibiotic effects shows CBD may make antibiotics 64 times more effective against antibiotic-resistant infections like Staph.

What exactly is the complete benefit profile of CBD? Let’s find out.

mature cannabis plants growing in greenhouse

CBD Benefits: Anxiety

Clinical definition of anxietyhypersensitivity to stimulation in a nonthreatening environment.

Anxiety means someone reacts inappropriately to normal, non-threatening situations.

  • A person with clinical anxiety reacts to non-threatening situations as if a threat exists.
  • A threat could mean a physical, emotional or social threat.
  • Individuals with anxiety often struggle with hypervigilance—always on guard feeling as if a threat could appear at any time.

Anxiety is the reason I first started researching and caring for myself with cannabinoids. In my experience, CBD helps to change the way your body responds to anxiety and worry.

graphic of cat draggind down the face of a woman with words anxiety, fear and worry

How CBD Oil Affects Anxiety

CBD oil benefits anxiety by signaling your endocannabinoid system to down-regulate anxious feelings, especially when they are spiraling out of control. (17) Though no single study has been definitive, CBD is consistently reported to have anxiolytic effects (anti-anxiety effects).

Natural Anxiety Regulation

After all, you’re not designed to feel threatened when a threat does not exist. You’re supposed to feel “normal” most of the time.

  • There are systems in your body whose job it is to keep you feeling normal most of the time.
  • Unfortunately, they aren’t doing their job.
  • They’re not maintaining your normal chemical balance.
  • That’s when your brain needs to take notice, step up, and step in to make yourself feel better.

When you choose to take CBD, your conscious brain is asserting control and saying, “Hey, something isn’t right about how I’m feeling right now. I need to fix this.”

How The Body Reacts To CBD Oil

As the CBD oil gets absorbed into your body, your endocannabinoid system interacts with it as if it were the naturally occurring compound anandamide.

  • Anandamide is naturally-occurring in humans.
  • CBD mimics anandamide in your body perfectly.
  • Anandamide is used by your endocannabinoid system to communicate control signals.
  • The presence of anandamide tells specialized regulatory subsystems when to turn on and off.

After being signaled by the presence of higher levels of anandamide or CBD in your body, specialized regulatory systems “turn on.”

  • They create chemicals that affect your mood, memory formation, and emotions in complex ways.
  • They restore a feeling of normalcy and anxiety relief.
How CBD Oil Feels

The return to chemical equilibrium may feel like being relaxed or uplifted.

  • Studies show that CBD may even make you feel more confident. (18)

CBD may have significant benefits in cases of severe anxiety disorders, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Neurotherapeutics. (19)

  • “Evidence from human studies strongly supports the potential for CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders: at oral doses ranging from 300 to 600 mg. CBD reduces experimentally induced anxiety in healthy controls, without affecting baseline anxiety level, and reduces anxiety in patients with [Social Anxiety Disorder].”
  • There is evidence for CBD “acutely enhancing fear extinction, suggesting potential for the treatment of PTSD.”

CBD Benefits: Pain Relief

CBD relieves pain differently than opioid-based painkillers.

  • CBD relieves pain without intoxication.
  • CBD doesn’t make your thinking foggy so you can remain productive and safe.
  • CBD doesn’t cause cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
  • CBD feels like it disrupts pain instead of masking it.
  • CBD is non-addictive.

CBD Benefits: Neuropathic Pain

CBD may have strong effects on neuropathic pain.

  • “Clinical trials lasting from days to months, involving more than 1,000 patients, have shown efficacy in different categories of chronic pain conditions (Table 2), but the vast majority of controlled trials have involved patients with chronic neuropathic pain.”

CBD Cream Inflammation Relief

By reducing inflammation, CBD cream may be especially suited for relieving hard-to-treat pain such as neuropathic pain. (23)

  • Chronic inflammation can result in many types of hard-to-treat pain.
  • In animal studies, CBD “significantly [suppresses] chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance.”

CBD Benefits: Inflammation Pain

CBD may affect how pain is transmitted through the nervous system to the brain, according to a 2018 study published in the journal Molecules.  (22)

  • CBD may affect the source of the pain, especially when the pain is caused by chronic inflammation.
  • Reducing inflammation with CBD may have other health benefits too.
  • “Preclinical studies have shown that cannabinoid receptor agonists block pain in various acute and chronic pain models and that inflammation is [decreased by cannabinoids].”
  • “Chronic state of inflammation plays an important role in the onset of classic inflammatory diseases (e.g., arthritis) but also of various diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, cancer, asthma.”

CBD Cardiovascular Benefits

CBD oil may be able to reduce the inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease and premature brain aging. (24)

  • “The reduction in arterial stiffness and improvements in endothelial function after repeated CBD dosing are findings that warrant further investigation in populations with vascular diseases.”

CBD Clinical Trials For Pain Relief

This press release from the NIH on September 19, 2019, announces a new NIH cannabinoid research initiative. It is a recognition of the growing belief among the medical community that cannabinoids and terpenes may have significant value in the treatment of pain and associated inflammation.

  • NIH will study pain management techniques using minor cannabinoid compounds and terpenes from cannabis.
  • There are over 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.

In the next section, you’ll see how CBD may affect addiction and complex motivational disorders.

CBD Benefits: Addiction

CBD may help addicts relieve withdrawal symptoms, the cravings that lead to relapse, and the anxiety associated with quitting.

  • CBD is not addictive and not habit-forming.
  • Studies show CBD may decrease withdrawal symptoms and cravings in opioid, alcohol, and tobacco addicts who are quitting. (10)
  • “Finally, and possibly most importantly, CBD influences the relapse phase of opioid addiction by decreasing cue-induced, drug-seeking behaviors,” according to a 2015 medical study in the journal Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment.

cannabidiol withdrawal relapse effects

CBD may be a potential treatment for opioid abuse according to a 2015 study published in the journal Neurotherapeutics. (21)

  • CBD may have anxiety, insomnia, and pain relief benefits that can decrease the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms.
  • “To date, the evidence appears to at least support a potentially beneficial treatment for opioid abuse. The fact that patients with substance use disorders often present with various psychiatric and medical symptoms that are reduced by CBD—symptoms such as anxiety, mood symptoms, insomnia, and pain—also suggests that CBD might be beneficial for treating opioid-dependent individuals.”

CBD Benefits: Depression

CBD oil may benefit depression.

  • The medical study results for CBD benefits for depression are less defined than they are for anxiety and pain relief. (20)
  • According to a 2014 study on animals, CBD affects serotonin and dopamine uptake and may have antidepressant-like effects.
  • Serotonin and dopamine are the same chemicals that many pharmaceuticals act upon in the brain to treat clinical depression


It is not known definitively if CBD oil can treat depression.

  • There is some preliminary evidence that suggests CBD does help depression.
  • CBD effects are believed to be fast-acting.
  • Taking CBD has few side effects.
  • Patients in studies who take CBD and experience side effects usually continue with the course of treatment suggesting that side effects experienced were minimal.

The 2019 study below published in the journal Molecular Neurobiology found that CBD induces rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects by affecting nervous system signaling in the brain of animals. (21)

While pharmaceutical drugs take up to 6 weeks before having an effect, some doctors claim CBD has a positive impact on their patients within 24-48 hours.

  • These are anecdotal reports from medical professionals outside of a controlled research setting.
  • This is weak evidence of CBD antidepressive effects but the experience of these doctors shouldn’t be ignored.

New studies published in the last few years are attempting to describe the possible mechanism of action of CBD with regard to depression.

  • “CBD treatment has shown significant antidepressant-like effects in different rodent preclinical models. However, the mechanisms involved in CBD-induced antidepressant effects are still poorly understood,” according to a 2018 study published in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychology.

Unfortunately, depression is nearing epidemic proportions around the world.

  • Pharmaceutical drug development has not yielded new treatments in decades.
  • The active ingredients in most depression-related pharmaceutical drugs were developed 40 years ago.
  • Little improvement has been made to these drugs recently.
  • Pharmaceutical drugs have significant adverse effects that cause many patients to stop taking them.

CBD Benefits: Fertility

Cannabinoids play an important role in uterine receptivity and embryo implantation, according to an animal study published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. (44)

  • If cannabinoid levels in the uterus are either too low or too high then the likelihood of pregnancy is reduced.
  • “These results suggest that a tight regulation of endocannabinoid signaling is important for synchronizing embryo development with uterine receptivity for implantation.”

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CBD Benefits: Sleep

CBD oil may have significant benefits for sleep and insomnia according to a medical study published in The Permanente Journal. (38)

  • Some difficulties with sleep (especially falling asleep) are associated with anxiety.
  • During this study, CBD oil benefited both anxiety symptoms and sleep as reported by 72 study participants with an average age of 34.  All participants had been diagnosed with either a sleep disorder or anxiety disorder prior to the study.
  • “On average, anxiety and sleep improved for most patients, and these improvements were sustained over time.”
  • “At the first monthly assessment after the start of CBD treatment, 79.2% (57/72) and 66.7% (48/72) of all patients experienced an improvement in anxiety and sleep, respectively; 15.3% (11/72) and 25.0% (18/72) experienced worsening symptoms in anxiety and sleep, respectively. Two months after the start of CBD treatment, 78.1% (32/41) and 56.1% (23/41) of patients reported improvement in anxiety and sleep, respectively, compared with the prior monthly visit; again, 19.5% (8/41) and 26.8% (11/41), respectively, reported worsening problems as compared with the prior month.”

CBD Benefits: Motivation

Interesting findings reviewed in a 2016 medical study published in the Annual Review of Neuroscience point to CBD’s potential impact on complex behaviors like motivation. (42)

  • As discussed in other contexts in this guide, this medical review found CBD may have a positive impact on motivation disorders including drug addiction, anxiety, and depression.
  • CBD may be especially effective against motivation disorders because it has dispersed methods for affecting the parts of the body responsible for motivated behaviors such as the brain and central nervous system.
  • “Therefore, in motivational disorders with complex etiology and underlying neural substrates, the multitarget effects of CBD may make it a highly efficacious treatment option.”

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CBD Side Effects

CBD has an excellent safety profile. CBD side effects and toxicity are infrequent.

Side effects of CBD include:

  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • low blood pressure
  • drowsiness

If any adverse effects do occur, you should stop taking the CBD immediately and consult a medical doctor about continuing use.

CBG Adverse Effects Department of Health

Above is a highly recommended guide to cannabinoid adverse effects developed by the public health authority of the District of Columbia.  Download the full PDF here.

cbd dosage graphic

CBD Dosage

According to a 2019 study published in The Journal Permanente, CBD is well tolerated across a wide dosing range.

  • “Long-term use of 10 mg/d to 400 mg/d did not create a toxic effect on patients.”
  • CBD doses “up to 1500 mg/d have been well-tolerated in the literature.”

CBD studies have shown that oral doses up to 1500mg/day showed no psychomotor slowing, vital sign abnormalities, or negative mood effects. (54)

When deciding on how much CBD to take of any particular product, you should rely on the manufacturer’s guidelines and employ a significant amount of caution when taking a product you do not have personal experience with.

  • Start off slowly and increase to the recommended dose over time.
  • Each person may react in unexpected ways to any new substance in their body.
  • Stop taking a product if you experience side effects.
  • Purchase high-quality products from recommended manufacturers to ensure consistency and accurate labeling.



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