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How Does CBD Work?

How Does CBD Work?

How does CBD actually work?

 As with any wellness trend, there is an initial sense of skepticism among the masses about how the product actually works. Many are quick to label CBD as snake oil, either because of things they have read about it or personal experiences they’ve had for themselves. It is important to remember that not all CBD oil is created equally. It is also important to understand exactly why CBD oil works and why properly formulated, high-quality CBD can’t be snake oil.

Our body is actually designed to receive CBD as it is designed to receive water or food. It is called the endocannabinoid system and it can promote a sense of wellbeing and homeostasis. Researchers have discovered that the endocannabinoid system can regulate certain aspects of our lives, like sleep, clarity of mind, inflammation, anxiety, and more.

The endocannabinoid system

Our bodies are made up of various systems. We know about the circulatory system that transports blood from the heart to different parts of the body. Our digestive system is a series of organs that help break down food into proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. We have other systems too, like the endocrine system, the nervous system, the lymphatic system, etc.

A body system you may not know much about is the endocannabinoid system. It was discovered in the early 1990s by researchers who were studying THC. The endocannabinoid system has three core pieces to it; cannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors.

Let’s break each of those components down:


Cannabinoids can either be identified as phytocannabinoids or endocannabinoids. The difference is simple, one is produced and found in plants, and the other is found in our body. Phytocannabinoids are found in most plants, but are most densely populated in the cannabis plant. Endocannabinoids are the ones that are naturally-produced in the body. Phytocannabinoids are the most well-known compounds because they are exactly what people are looking for when choosing to use CBD products. Some examples of phytocannabinoids include CBD, THC, CBG, and CBN.

Endocannabinoids are compounds like anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Your body produces endocannabinoids as it needs them, there are no set numbers of endocannabinoids that someone should receive. Their primary function is to help regulate the body and keep everything running smoothly, similar to the role of phytocannabinoids.

Metabolic Enzymes

Metabolic enzymes work directly with cannabinoids; the role of a metabolic enzyme is to break down the remaining bits of the cannabinoid that does not get used by the body. It will break down the unused portions and encourage our body to get rid of the rest.

FAAH is a major enzyme that breaks down anandamide, while the other major cannabinoid, MAGL, breaks down 2-AG.

Cannabinoid Receptors

Cannabinoid receptors are essentially portals for cannabinoids to enter. When cannabinoids meet these receptors, they bind together to create homeostasis and balance in the body. There are two main receptors: CB1 and CB2.

Different cannabinoids work the best with different receptors. For example, THC perfectly fits the CB1 receptor like a key. CB1 receptors are located primarily on the brain stem, spinal cords, and nervous system. CB2 receptors are located in the immune system and vital organs, and CB2 receptors work closely with CBD.

Does CBD help to fight inflammation?

There is a lot of evidence to support the idea that CBD can help to fight inflammation. This study, for example, shows CBD to reduce acute, transient joint inflammation and prevent pain and nerve damage in rat models with osteoarthritis. Another piece of research showed CBD to reduce early pancreatic inflammation in rats with type 1 diabetes. The subjects were given 5 mg of CBD per day, 5x a week, for 10 weeks. The experimental CBD treatment reduced markers of inflammation in seven-week old female mice models.

Research aside, many former professional athletes are coming out and saying CBD helps them deal with the chronic pain they deal with caused by their days of competitive sports.

While CBD isn’t an FDA-approved cure, it’s gaining traction among the medical community.

What about CBD and anxiety?

Anxiety and stress are one of the most common reasons people turn to CBD. Those who use it report less anxious and panicky feelings, a stronger ability to focus, clarity of thought, and reduced stress-levels. Early research shows CBD to be a promising candidate for anxiety treatments. One study reads that CBD has, “has positive effects on attenuating psychotic-, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors.”

The draw to CBD for anxious feelings is the lack of THC. THC can cause psychoactive effects, which makes anxiety worse a lot of times. CBD can cause a physical body relaxation, but it won’t alter the mind.

How to use CBD

The cool thing about CBD is the variety of ways it can be administered. CBD oil is the most common way to take CBD, as well as the most talked about. Oncali’s CBD oil boasts an orange and honey flavor to mask the earthy taste of CBD. Orange and honey are also great at supporting the immune system. It is recommended to start with about one-third of the dropper full as one dose. Start with that, see how you feel, and adjust as needed! Too much won’t harm you, but it might make you a little sleepy.

We always recommend talking to a CBD-educated physician before introducing CBD into your routine.
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