What does CBD Do?

It’s no secret that Cannabidiol (CBD) has helped hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and its popularity is still growing.

The question is, what does CBD ACTUALLY DO?

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In this article, we’ll review exactly what Cannabidiol does and how it affects:

Cannabidiol interacts with receptors in the human body known as the CB1 & CB2. These receptors work within a system, a system we all have inside of us, known as the Endocannabinoid System; for short, the E.C.S.

These receptors are located throughout, including in the central and peripheral nervous systems (particularly the brain and spine) as well as in the respiratory system, pancreas, spleen, liver and digestive system. These receptors also exist throughout the entire immune system. [1]

All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to these receptors in various cells.

CBD works by modulating the transcription of over 1100 genes that make the signaling molecules that naturally reduce inflammation in our central nervous system and throughout our immune system.

This process restores homeostasis to both our immune and central nervous systems. Homeostasis refers to a balanced equilibrium in your body’s other systems and is crucial for optimal health.

CBD upregulates the genes the create anti-inflammatory biochemicals for our immune system and upregulates the GABA system in our central nervous system, which brings calmness to our central nervous system. CBD also downregulates the genes that create the inflammatory biochemicals in our immune system and downregulates the glutamate system in our central nervous system which causes over excitement. [2]

Now that you have a better understanding of what Cannabidiol does within our bodies, we thought it was imperative to offer a visual aid as well.


Please enjoy the video below titled,
What Does CBD Do?

Video Credit: Asher Milgrom, PhD

Quick Summary & Introduction Of Next Topic

CBD helps regulate the various systems of our body by causing a cascade of homeostasis throughout our entire central nervous system, and our entire immune system.

This is how CBD helps regulate overall health by promoting synergy among all our inner systems of the body.

It’s important to know that CBD will have a similar effect on the body regardless of how it is taken (absorption method). However, the effects that one could experience may vary from one intake method to the next.  This brings us to the following topic of discussion.

How does the method of CBD intake affect the deliverability and effectiveness of CBD within our bodies?


Anecdotal evidence and scientific research suggest that the specific effects of CBD within the body can vary depending on the form of intake as our body processes cannabinoids at different rates.

Below are the varying methods of how CBD works based on the intake method used:

CBD Edibles

When Ingested (Orally/Sublingually)

Taking CBD orally, or under the tongue, can provide longer, lasting effects. Although, because the CBD must be digested and metabolized first by the liver, it can take longer to feel the effects when compared to inhalation. [3] 

On average, you should feel the effects of CBD Edibles within 25 minutes to 45 minutes.

CBD Smokeables

When Inhaled 

The benefit of taking CBD through an inhaler or another device is that it allows the user to feel the effects more quickly. As CBD vapor passes into the lungs, it passes more quickly through the blood-brain barrier allowing the effects to be felt almost immediately. [4]

While these effects are often more immediate and intense, they also are not as long-lasting when compared to those of oral ingestion.

On average, you should feel the effects of CBD Smokables within 1-5 minutes.

CBD Topicals

When Applied Topically

There currently isn’t enough reliable information about cannabidiol when absorbed through the skin, but anecdotal evidence suggests there are no harmful effects. [5]

Through personal experience and from the report of our customers, on average, you should feel the effects of CBD topicals as quickly as 5 minutes, all the way up to 25 minutes.


If you are considering trying CBD for the first time, the most effective route, in my personal experience, is a full-spectrum CBD product.  The reason “why” will be demonstrated and intuitively described in question form.

Would you rather have 113+ potentially beneficial cannabinoids or would you rather only have one potentially beneficial cannabinoid?

The number comes from the fact that the Cannabis Sativa plant (hemp plant) has over 113 naturally occurring cannabinoids with each one seeming to offer something unique to the body.

I like to describe full-spectrum hemp-extracted CBD products as a mini-army of phytocannabinoids working in synergy with one another, offering more potential benefits in comparison to pure CBD products.

Most complement and enhance each other while others, CBD specifically, actually blocks the binding of another Cannabinoid (THC) to its cell receptor sites.

Why it does that, specifically?

Well, I’m not quite sure, but I do have two hypotheses!

  1. CBD got there first.
  2. It could be some type of “CBD security feature”

It could be either one or both!

Nonetheless, even at a molecular level, cannabinoid-teamwork can be witnessed; and it’s been around for centuries!


CBD is truly a beautiful thing.  Organically and naturally designed, Cannabidiol works by connecting and communicating with receptor sites within our bodies E.C.S.  The presence of CBD within the body helps the E.C.S. to perform better by properly transcribing the various genetic messages/signals that get sent to the brain.

These messages are like reports that get sent to the brain.  Reports created based on the information that the receptors bring to the nucleus.  In a nutshell, this report or signal is pretty much a command being sent to the brain.

Time and environmental factors can unintentionally or intentionally break this coded message.  CBD HELPS BY TRANSCRIBING THIS BROKEN CODED MESSAGE.  Allowing your brain to fully comprehend the message and to handle it accordingly.

Since you now know EXACTLY what CBD does, it’s very important to know the difference in effectiveness/quality from one CBD product to the next, Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Pure CBD.


Founder & CEO at Cannabidiol Life

When we look at the Endocannabinoid system, it is clear to see that this complex system of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid molecules, and metabolic enzymes does have serious functions, especially when it comes to homeostasis. We should, however, remember that our body is tightly regulated, and overstimulation of the ECS could be detrimental long term or have side effects we just don’t know.

Behind the science, there is a strong argument for trying CBD and THC from Cannabis Sativa, but it should be discussed with medical and healthcare professionals first. It is easy to find CBD for sale online in products like CBD oil and CBD gummies, but just like vitamin use, it’s best to have a clear reason for taking the product beyond just the trend. Using CBD for anxiety or pain is perfectly understandable, and now that you understand how it works in the body, you appreciate hemp-extracted products even more.


Are you not convinced that CBD is right for you? If so, we cordially invite you to reach out and give us a call! One of our CBD specialists would love to answer and assist you with all of your CBD-specific concerns.


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