What Is Cannabidiol (CBD), and What Does It Do?

    Posted by Diane Campbell on Apr 29, 2015 7:30:00 AM

    cannabidiolNext to THC, cannabidiol is the most prevalent of the over 100 cannabinoids in marijuana. THC was long considered “the” active ingredient in marijuana, and for many years, growers developed strains with the primary goal of enhancing THC content. As a result, high-CBD strains were, until fairly recently, largely unavailable. As researchers, doctors, patients, and recreational users have begun to understand the nature and benefits of CBD, however, demand for CBD-rich cannabis products has skyrocketed, and they are now widely available in marijuana dispensaries.


    Benefits of Cannabidiol 

    Seizure Control

    Thanks to the story of Charlotte Figi, brought into the mainstream by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the best-known therapeutic application of CBD is for the control of epileptic seizures.

    At the age of 5, Charlotte was experiencing 300 seizures per week, and conventional treatments were failing. The child was not expected to survive long. With no other options available, Charlotte’s parents began giving her low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil. After the first dose, her seizures stopped completely for a full week, and their frequency dropped dramatically to just 2-3 per month.  Charlotte’s story is not unique; Stanford researches found that of 19 severely epileptic children given CBD-enriched cannabis, 84% experienced substantial seizure reduction.[1]


    Other Benefits

    Recent studies have indicated a host of potential benefits of this previously-overlooked cannabinoid.

    A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology states that CBD has demonstrated the following effects:

    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Anticonvulsant (controls seizures)
    • Antioxidant
    • Anti-emetic (controls nausea and vomiting)
    • Anxiolyitic (calms anxiety)
    • Antipsychotic (with potential for treating schizophrenia)[2]

    Further studies have noted additional benefits of CBD:

    • Aids tobacco cessation (reduced cigarette consumption of those trying to quit by 40%)[3]
    • Kills cancer cells
    • Neuroprotective
    • Controls pain[4]
    • Potential treatment for complications of diabetes, including retinopathy and cardiomyopathy[5]


    Synergistic Effects

    Although CBD produces effects on its own, much of marijuana’s power is in the synergistic activity of the many compounds within the plant. For example, CBD enhances THC’s ability to control pain as well as reduces the negative effects that THC can produce, such as anxiety, rapid heartbeat,[6] paranoia, and memory impairment.[7] CBD also promotes wakefulness, balancing the sedative effects of THC[8] and cannabinol (CBN).

    The BBC’s Nicky Taylor provides an illustration of the dramatic difference between taking pure THC and THC in combination with CBD by participating a study in which researchers give subjects intravenous doses of each and observe the psychological effects. While Ms. Taylor felt positively giddy on combined THC/CBD, she repeatedly described feeling “morbid” on THC alone. The observing researcher reported that when she was on straight THC, she showed strong indications of psychosis, which were not present when she was under the influence of the THC/CBD blend. You can watch the video here.


    Nature’s Gift Shop, a marijuana dispensary in Pueblo West, offers a wide range of cannabis products, including CBD-rich flowersconcentrates, and more. Synergy by Dixie Elixir, widely used for pain relief, is available as a balm or tincture and features a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio. We also carry Mary's Medicinals patches and tinctures in both CBD only and CBD/THC varieties. Come in and see us for more information. 

    Interested in making CBD-rich edibles at home?  Start with a high-CBD strain, and download our free eBook to learn about making your own infused oils, dosing, and decarboxylation.

     Free eBook: Nature's Gift Shop's Guide to Homemade Marijuana Edibles

    The Nature’s Gift Shop blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice or a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice a qualified health care provider if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of anything you read on this website.

    [1] "Benefits of CBD Get National Attention, Study.", California NORML, Dec 2013. Web. 24 April 2015.

    [2] Fernandez-Ruiz, et al. "Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid?" British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb 2013. Web. 24 April 2015.

    [3] Morgan, CJ et al. "Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: preliminary findings." Addictive Behaviors. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept 2013. Web. 24 April 2015.

    [4] "Science." Project CBD, n.d. Web. 24 April 2015.

    [5] "Diabetes Mellitus.", NORML, n.d. Web. 24 April 2015.

    [6] "Science." Project CBD, n.d. Web. 24 April 2015.

    [7] "5 Must-Know Facts About Cannabidiol." LeafScience. n.p., 23 Feb 2014. Web. 24 April 2015.

    [8] "5 Differences Between CBD and THC." n.p., 24 Sept 2014. Web. 24 April 2015.


    Topics: cannabinoids