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What is CBD? History, benefits and properties

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Learn about its history, benefits and properties.

What is CBD? History, benefits and properties
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What is CBD?

Both CBD (Cannabidiol) and the famous THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids to be more specific. They are both natural compounds that are present in the cannabis sativa L plant.

Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid (phyto = derived from plants) which has been found to be very promising for medicinal and therapeutic use due to its multitude of benefits and properties such as its; anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, antibacterial and anxiolytic effects.

molécula estructural de CBD

CBD’s Molecular Structure

The Cannabis Sativa L plant has had a long history. During the 20th century there was a political campaign of prohibition and penalization on the production, consumption and distribution of cannabis. Part of this ban included politicians interested in studying the cannabis sativa L plant to support their arguments that the plant was detrimental to health and society. Investing in these investigations led to discoveries that were not expected and honestly not desired. During the 1940s CBD was isolated (Todd and Adams) and in 1964, Raphael Mechoulam isolated and synthesized the structure of CBD and THC. This was only  the beginning of discoveries which would lead to understanding the infinite properties, benefits and connection that we as humans have with cannabinoids.

Through the study of phytocannabinoids the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered. The ECS is a system (like our reproductive, immune or circulatory systems) that acts like a thermostat by regulating almost all bodily organs and systems.

During the last 30 years CBD’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties have been discovered and therefore studied a lot. The interest in its research and consumption is growing for the treatment of diseases like fibromyalgia, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, disorders such as anxiety and stress, and topical afflictions like psoriasis, eczema or atopic dermatitis.


The benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD)

The most important therapeutic properties of CBD, demonstrated with quality evidence are the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Analgesic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anxiolytic
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Rich in omega 3 and 6
  • Rich in amino acids
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anti-nausea and antiemetic

How does it make you feel?

The most common answer among CBD users is that it makes you feel something similar to the endorphin rush that occurs after participating in a physical activity. Regular users also experience an increased sense of consciousness, the ability to focus better, and a greater sense of well-being.

By only containing minute traces of THC (the habitual recreational consumption of cannabis in Spain contains THC levels higher than 10%, while legal CBD products contain less than 0.3%), the psychological effects are positive and help relax states of mental agitation.

The perceived effects when you start taking CBD gradually decrease. This means that the benefits that are noted at first convert into a normal state because your body has reached homeostasis. Over time, people who consume CBD regularly check its effectiveness by not taking it for a couple days.

How is CBD consumed?

Based on a multitude of clinical trials that have taken place on the subject, it is recommended to find your dose by trial and error dosing, with small doses, for several days. This allows users to listen to their body and understand the varying effects that CBD can have on different people. Small doses throughout the day are preferred over a single dose of greater amount or concentration of the substance.

We have to remember our Endocannabinoid System is unique person to person, just like our circulatory system or liver is unique in each human being.

Topical use (regulated in Spain):

In Spain the use of CBD is regulated for topical use only. We have a multitude of CBD receptors on our skin making it very effective. CBD can be administered to our skin in areas affected by inflammation, skin afflictions such as redness, itch, acne, eczema, or psoriasis.

Ingested use (not regulated in Spain):

In the U.S., Canada, UK or Switzerland, CBD is regulated as an ingestible supplement. The most commonly used products are Capsules, Tinctures or Oils. The recommended form of using CBD Oil is sublingually, this means you place the oil under your tongue for about 30 seconds so it can absorb. This method is the most efficient form of communicating CBD’s properties quickly through our body, this is because the mucous membrane under our tongues allows direct absorption to our bloodstream.

Check out our article What is the best way to use CBD for you? To find out other forms of using CBD. Or if you want to check out more information about CBD in general, consult our magazine.


Uso tópico (regulado en España): 

En España el uso del CBD está regulado como uso tópico. Tenemos multitud de receptores de CBD en nuestra piel por lo que es ampliamente efectivo. El CBD puede ser administrado sobre la piel en zonas afectadas por inflamación, afecciones de la piel como rojeces, picor, acné, eccemas o psoriasis

Uso Ingerido: 

En EEUU, Canadá, Reino Unido o Suiza es comercializado como un importante complemento alimenticio, y se aconseja el uso sublingual para aumentar y aprovechar mejor los efectos del aceite de CBD. 

Bajo la lengua contamos con multitud de vasos sanguíneos que tras mantener el aceite durante 30 segundos absorben el aceite comunicando todas las propiedades del mismo a tu cuerpo rápidamente.  

Existen otros tipos de usos que puedes consultar en nuestro artículo sobre ¿Cuál es la mejor forma de usar CBD para ti? O si quieres consultar más información sobre CBD consulta nuestro magazine.


Booth, Martin. “Cannabis: A History”. 1st Picador ed. New York: Picador, 2005. Print.

Fundación Canna.”El sistema endocannabinoide“. 2016. Web.

Kaplan, Josh (Kalapa Clinic) “CBD as preventative medicine” 2018. Web

Atakan, Zerrin. “Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals”. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology vol. 2,6: 241-54. 2012. Web.

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.

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.

Pamplona, FA et al., Potential clinical benefits of CBD-rich Cannabis extracts over purified CBD in treatment-resistant epilepsy: observational data meta-analysis” 2018

J Koehler,“Who benefits most from THC: CBD spray? Learning from clinical experience”  2014

Christina Schwertschlag (Autor)

Se dedica a la investigación y desarrollo en el mundo cannábica. Con experiencia en proyectos de innovación y sostenibilidad, busca unir diferentes entes en el mundo cannábico para ayudar a destigmatizar la planta y hacerlo más accesible.


Tommaso Bruscolini (Revisor)

Tommaso Bruscolini (Rimini, Italia) es un neuropsicólogo y fitoterapeuta que reside en Barcelona donde lleva su consulta privada desde 2014, de forma tanto presencial como online, donde se dedica a formular y producir diferentes preparados con todo tipo de planta medicinal, además de efectuar recomendaciones personalizadas.



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