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Cannabidiol: What it is and frequently asked questions

Cannabidiol: What it is and frequently asked questions

What is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a natural compound that is neither psychotropic nor psychoactive and has great therapeutic potential. More and more studies and research are showing its beneficial properties and its ability to alleviate symptoms of various diseases.

Some of these conditions are stress, arthritis or muscle pain, which, through the use of CBD cream, CBD oil or other types of textures, can improve the quality of life of consumers. This component is one of the two main cannabinoids found in the Cannabis or hemp plant, along with THC. It forms part of the plant in varying proportions depending on the variant of the plant. That is to say, in some strains of Cannabis Sativa we can find a minimum amount of CBD, others where it is more abundant or in balance with THC.

The properties of cannabidiol are of great therapeutic importance and it lacks the psychoactive factor normally associated with THC. That is, the psychoactivity of cannabidiol is characterised by anxiolytic properties, whereas the psychoactivity of THC is related to psychotropic effects.

How is Cannabidiol used?

Cannabidiol is a component with great potential in terms of health, which is why we can find a variety of options for its use, all of them with advantages and disadvantages.

  • CBD oil. They can be administered topically or orally (under the tongue), the latter being the most common way of using cannabidiol. It has optimal absorption and is hydrophobic, i.e. it repels water, so the body does not absorb it well without a carrier oil such as olive, hemp or MCT oil.
  • Smoking CBD. Smoking cannabidiol has a high bioavailability. In other words, it reaches the bloodstream faster than other uses. Its speed is due to the fact that it passes directly into the bloodstream via the capillaries of the lungs, although the effects of cannabidiol do not last as long as in consumables or oils.
  • Vaporising CBD. Vaporising should not be confused with vaping. Vaporisers do not carry liquids, but the CBD flower, which is heated by precisely controlling the temperature and more efficiently releasing the cannabinoids without toxic products. Using a vaporiser gives greater benefits than smoking cannabidiol. For one thing, vaporising cannabidiol does not burn the substance to be consumed, thus reducing the risk of inhaling adverse compounds into the lungs. Moreover, its bioavailability is as good as that of smoking.
  • CBD edibles. The use of marijuana edibles started in the form of biscuits or brownies, but now we can find more products on the market with CBD. They have a natural taste, although it is not for everyone. Their ingestion is notable for having a delayed onset of effects (it takes up to 1 hour) but their duration is longer. They are ideal when you can't take a quick dose of CBD or need longer lasting relief.
  • CBD tinctures and sprays. Tinctures are similar to oil, but are taken sublingually. This way, it enters directly into the bloodstream through the capillaries in the mouth. It provides rapid relief in as little as 15 minutes. The sprays are introduced into the nostrils and absorbed into the bloodstream via the nasal capillaries. Both tinctures and sprays lose the beneficial effects of the carrier oils.
  • CBD creams. These are very easy to use, massaged into any type of skin. Instead of entering directly into the bloodstream, their active components act only on the treated area, absorbed by the skin. It soothes, protects and moisturises the skin.
  • Transdermal CBD patches. Mixed with certain medications, cannabidiol penetrates the skin and manages to reach the bloodstream. To get an idea, it works like a nicotine park, providing a slow release of the active ingredients.
  • CBD suppositories. If you want to go further than transdermal patches, you can use suppositories with cannabidiol. They offer high CBD absorption. The bioavailability of CBD suppositories is still under study, so the exact efficacy is not yet known.

Aceites de cannabidiol

Are there side effects and contraindications to using cannabidiol?

Several research studies have already been carried out to assess the effects and benefits of CBD, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), which also carried out studies examining all the research that had been done so far on CBD.

In the end, the WHO ruled that cannabidiol is a well-tolerated compound and that it is very safe. Moreover, side effects of its intake may be due to interactions with other drugs.

It also acknowledged that adverse effects of CBD such as tiredness, diarrhoea, dry mouth, dizziness and others are considered mild and disappear after a short time.

What precautions should be taken?

Not everyone is affected equally by the use of CBD, and it can sometimes cause side effects. To avoid such adverse effects, it is advisable to know what kind of patients are not advised to use CBD as a therapeutic treatment, as well as what precautions should be taken when using cannabidiol for health.

  • During pregnancy. The intake of CBD is not recommended, as it enters the bloodstream and there is still not enough research on the use of CBD during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Children. Although CBD-based drugs such as Epidiolex can be taken by children, other forms of CBD may not be safe. If in doubt, it is best to consult a doctor so as not to expose the health of the child.
  • Diseases and pathologies. Certain liver diseases only tolerate low doses of cannabidiol. It is important to avoid self-medication to avoid more serious negative effects. As for Parkinson's patients, the indiscriminate use of this component is not recommended, as it can aggravate the pathology.
  • Consumption of herbs. Caution should be exercised when taking this medicine or supplement in combination with other herbs or ingredients, as it may cause dizziness or drowsiness.

Benefits and properties of cannabidiol

The use of this component may result in cannabidiol having positive health benefits and properties for individuals. Some evidence of the beneficial properties of cannabidiol are:

  • Analgesic.
  • Anticonvulsant.
  • Reduces nausea and is antiemetic.
  • Anxiolytic.
  • Reduces addiction to drugs such as heroin, cocaine and alcohol.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Neuroprotective.
  • Antioxidant.
  • Anti-tumour.
  • Antipsychotic.
  • Immuno-modulator.

Propiedades del Cannabidiol (CBD)

The combination of these properties observed in CBD means that it is used in the treatment of many diseases and conditions such as:

  • Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's,
  • Alzheimer's or multiple sclerosis.
  • Anxiety.
  • ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder).
  • As an accompaniment to chemotherapy treatment.
  • Chemical dependencies.
  • Psychosis.
  • Chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease, chronic polyarthritis or irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Anti-tumour treatment.

In certain countries, thanks to their legislation, cannabidiol can be recommended as a food and nutritional supplement. You can also check out these 8 benefits of CBD for the skin.

Can I buy cannabidiol?

In Spain, cannabidiol can be obtained through topical use in the form of creams and oils, although for its consumption it is advisable to have the indications and advice of a medical specialist or pharmacist.

In some countries, both THC and CBD are banned, due to the negative consequences of recreational marijuana use.

Although the FDA and some states have approved CBD as a medicine and food supplement, it is best to check the laws of each country to know whether or not we can transport CBD or buy it freely and avoid unpleasant moments.

Where to buy cannabidiol?

Currently, a wide variety of products made from cannabidiol can be found on the Spanish market. Oil is undoubtedly the most demanded and common product in Spain, as it provides a versatile and safe way to use it, as it can be applied in different ways.

When asked where to buy CBD in Spain, it is possible to do so through:

  • Online shop. Online shops usually offer fast delivery, complete discretion and anonymity. In addition, they often offer discounts, offers and promotional codes from the websites of physical CBD shops in Spain.
  • Importing. It is possible to order CBD from abroad, although it should not be forgotten that it is compulsory to pay the different taxes and VAT involved in importing products into Spain.
  • Physical shop. This is the most traditional way of obtaining CBD. In Spain it is possible to buy CBD in a physical shop and evaluate the products offered there in person. There are several points of sale throughout the country.

Conclusion on cannabidiol

Cannabidiol or CBD is still in the research process. To date, it has been tested with positive results on people suffering from epilepsy caused by syndromes (Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut). Despite its benefits, it is always advisable to follow the guidelines recommended by the doctor.

On the other hand, there are encouraging clinical trials on its use in the case of cancer or Parkinson's disease, although its effects have not been fully proven, so it is recommended to use CBD with caution.

Finally, it should be remembered that CBD is still banned in many countries due to its false link to psychotropic effects and is therefore considered illegal. To make sure you can travel with CBD or take it freely, it is advisable to check the laws of the destination country to avoid fines.


  1. ElSohly M.A., et al. Phytochemistry of Cannabis sativa L.Phytocannabinoids. Progress in the Chemistry of Organic Natural Products, vol 103. Springer, Cham. 2017. Print.
  2. Booth, Martin. “Cannabis: A History”. 1st Picador ed. New York: Picador, 2005. Print.
  3. Fundación Canna.”El sistema endocannabinoide“. 2016. Web.
  4. Kaplan, Josh (Kalapa Clinic) “CBD as preventative medicine” 2018. Web
  5. Atakan, Zerrin. “Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals”. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology vol. 2,6: 241-54. 2012. Web.
  6. Bridgeman, Mary Barna, and Daniel T Abazia. “Medicinal Cannabis: History, Pharmacology, And Implications for the Acute Care Setting.” P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management vol. 42,3: 180-188. 2017. Print/Web.
  7. Mounessa, Jessica S. et al. “The role of cannabinoids in dermatology” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 77, Issue 1, 188 – 190. 2017. Print/Web.
  8. Pamplona, FA et al., Potential clinical benefits of CBD-rich Cannabis extracts over purified CBD in treatment-resistant epilepsy: observational data meta-analysis” 2018
  9. J Koehler,“Who benefits most from THC: CBD spray? Learning from clinical experience”  2014

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Author information

Neuropsychologist | Specialised in treatments with Medical Cannabis

Tommaso Bruscolini

Tommaso Bruscolini (Rimini, Italy) is a neuropsychologist and phytotherapist based in Barcelona, where he has been running his private practice since 2014, both in person and online, where he formulates and produces different preparations with all kinds of medicinal plants, as well as making personalised recommendations.

A member of the Official College of Psychologists of Catalonia and qualified as a Health Psychologist, he is a specialist in Neuropsychology, the branch that studies the brain and its neurological function. Tommaso complements his training with studies in Phytotherapy and Herbalism at the Guild of Herbalists of Catalonia and two Masters, one in Nutrition and Herbal Dietetics and the other in Mindfulness.

In recent years she has specialised in Medical Cannabis, through private training and collaborations with different entities in the world of Medical Cannabis, coordinating for a year a clinic specialising in cannabinoid medicine, carrying out consultations, writing articles, talks, training courses as well as carrying out consultations and patient follow-up.

He currently collaborates with several entities of the cannabis sector in Spain, among other things he is the coordinator of the therapeutic area of the magazine DolceVita España, consultant in the SmokingMap portal, collaborator of the Unión de Pacientes por la Regulación del Cannabis (UPRC) and Alpha-Cat certified technician to perform cannabinoid analysis.

What fascinates him most about the Cannabis plant is the possibility it has to change the current medicinal and therapeutic paradigm towards a more holistic vision as it acts on our body, mind and mood, in a synergic way.

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